Author: Maggie Knox
True love wasn’t on their holiday wish list.
When Sadie and Max are selected as contestants on the famed reality singing show Starmaker, each thinks they’ve finally gotten their big Nashville break. But then they’re paired up for duet week and stun the world with their romantic onstage chemistry. With fans going wild for #Saxie the network demands that they remain a duo on and offstage, or exit the competition. Faking a relationship until their final performance in the Starmaker holiday special shouldn’t be too hard, except for one small problem–Sadie and Max can’t stand each other.
But with their dreams just within reach, they agree to the ruse. Will their fake relationship be exposed before they can win? Or will an unexpected trip to Banff spark real feelings by the Christmas finale?
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All I want for Christmas surrounds competitors on the hit TV show Starmaker, a fictional country singer version of the Voice/American Idol in Nashville. This was a dual POV story from the two main characters. Sadie Hunter has been trying to break into the music scene and is about to give up when she gets the chance to compete in the program, which features a coveted recording contract as a prize. Max Brody is the son of music legend Holden Brody and Max is trying to find his own spotlight away from his father’s shadow. The two are paired during duet week and fans love their undeniable chemistry, which leads to fake dating to boost their chances.
This is a fun premise as not only do I enjoy fake-dating stories, but I love that Sadie and Max each show different sides of artists in the music industry. Sadie is a dreamer that wants stardom, but she also has a good head on her shoulders to know that this may not happen. Max, on the other hand, is more entitled as he gets by through nepotism; however, I liked that the story still showed his insecurities and struggles. As the two fake-date, there is tension behind the scenes along with real feelings developing. After Max goes to Banff and Sadie follows him, this new setting was great and added a magical Christmas/holiday element. I loved this part of the story mainly for the setting alone.
While this concept was interesting and right up my alley, it does rely heavily on the miscommunication trope. This is included in pretty much every romance at some point, but I think the authors took this to the extreme in this story. The pair either are assuming the worst or are keeping things from each other (sometimes both), and it becomes repetitive throughout the novel. I wish that the characters grew from each of these issues. As it stands, I could not see a way that these characters grew to a point where I could see them as a lasting couple. Instead, it seemed that they were destined to break up and get back together over and over again. Overall, I think the premise and basic elements were fantastic, however, the execution was not quite there yet. For me, this novel was a miss, but I still enjoyed the style of the authors and will read more from them in the future.
Cupid Prompt: A book with a favorite trope in it. (Fake dating and enemies to lovers for two of mine.) (15 pts)