This annual countdown goes from December 1st until Christmas with one share per day. In the original challenge, the “rules” were (1)published in 2021 and (2)five-star read with “Red Hot Reads” titles automatically making the list. I kept the 2021 publish year “rule” as I have a lot of recent releases that were amazing. Since I already do my top novels of the year (5 star and sometimes 4.75 stars), I decided to highlight some of my 4.5 star reads as they are still amazing, but often get passed over in my countdowns. The choices are in a semi-random order with some novels that I enjoyed a little more making it a little higher in the countdown.
#Bookvent DAY 9
The Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson
The meet-cute award goes to dog groomer Juliet Nolan. It’s one of Hollywood’s biggest nights when she volunteers as a seat filler and winds up next to movie heartthrob Noah freaking Douglas. Tongue tied and toes curling in her pink Converse, she pretends that she doesn’t have a clue who he is. It’s the only way to keep from swooning.
She’s pretty and unpretentious, loves his dog, and is not a worshipping fan. No way Noah’s giving up on her, even if his affectionate pursuit comes with a bump: Juliet has a pathological fear of kissing and the disappointments that follow. What odds does romance have without that momentous, stupendous, once-in-a-lifetime first smooch? Patient, empathetic, and carrying personal burdens of his own, Noah suggests a remedy: they rehearse.
The lessons begin. The guards come down. But there’s another hitch they weren’t betting on. As for that cue-the-orchestra-and-roll-credits happy ending? It might take more than practice to make it perfect.
In this story, the main character has Philemaphobia, also known as the fear of kissing. This creates complexity to the usual famous person and “commoner” love story. I also enjoyed that the main character is also a dog groomer, which is a little different than the more high-powered jobs/careers that are given to mains. This story was cute, heartwarming, and romantic, which is one of the many reasons it made this list.
Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!