What started as a dumpster fire of a blind date turns into a deal.
In truth, it probably didn’t help that I showed up dressed like an elf but that’s a story for another time. Our start was rocky at best which is why it’s so frustrating that I can’t stop thinking about his sexy British accent. Or the way his chest and arms fill out his suit. Or his perfect hair with that single streak of grey at the front.
Santa likes lists and so do I, so here’s all the reasons why Andrew and I aren’t right for each other:
He’s my brother’s best friend
He’s the biggest grump I’ve ever met.
He hates Christmas.
That last one is big for a girl like me who thinks that the entire month of December should be a national holiday. So, when he calls for my help in planning his firm’s holiday party, I can’t pass up the opportunity to grow my small business. Bonus, we make a deal, and he agrees to attend three holiday events with me so I can make him fall in love with Christmas. As if I’d pass up an opportunity to make a Grinch’s heart grow three times its size.
It isn’t long until I discover Andrew has a very real reason to hate Christmas and I start to see him in a different light. That’s when the Christmas miracle begins.
Ok first of all, let’s just pretend it’s still November, shall we? Because somehow this week got away from me. (Like all the other weeks and years…) Anyway. secondly, I want to say overall I enjoyed this book. I’m not at all mad I read it. That being said though, there are some things that bothered me about it. And I’m just … too crushed by endless migraines to write a real review right now. So we’re going with just the lies in the book. (ETA the November TBR Challenge “prompt” was “Lies.”)
I picked up Single and Ready to Jingle because I’ve enjoyed some Piper Rayne books in the past, and “best friend’s sibling” is one of my romance catnip tropes. The heroine is 28 (god forbid she be over 30, right?) And the hero is 34. They get matched on a dating app, and realize he’s her brother’s best friend. But the thing is – they don’t exchange actual names until the actual date. (They’d also never met prior to this first date.) As the blurb says, it goes badly. With good reason. I have to admit I’m leaning a bit towards Andrew’s side on this one because Kenzie shows up at a posh Manhattan restaurant literally in full Christmas elf getup with literal bells on. Why… not just message you’ll be late? And change?
Both characters have a lot – a lot – of understandable baggage. I totally was okay with that. November’s TBR challenge prompt was lies … so I guess I’ll discuss the two biggest ones in the book that I remember.
The first is that Kenzie and Andrew keep their relationship a secret from Kenzie’s brother, Finn. When they’re first all together Kenzie and Andrew have met a few times, but they pretend to be strangers. Andrew panics and Kenzie goes along with it. But then when they begin dating, Andrew wants to tell Finn but Kenzie asks him to hold off until after the big party she’s planning for his firm, because she’s worried about Finn’s reaction or response. (The project puts them in a bit of a “forced proximity” situation so the relationship gets to develop.) This one is just a little lie, and things work out. Does Finn love it? Of course not – but he gets it.
The second lie … is the one that has me practically pulling my hair out and gnashing my teeth.
So Kenzie is an event planner. The new squeeze of one of the partners of the law firm where Andrew works has “inherited” the annual office Christmas party. She’s depicted as a trophy girlfriend twit for like 98% of the book. She’s so difficult event planners keep dropping her as a client despite the party being a big money maker. They’re six weeks out from the event, and Andrew who had just met Kenzie the night before suggests her for the task. Kenzie is great at her job, extremely competent, etc etc etc. It’s a whole thing and [even] impresses Andrew who obviously is Very Fancy Lawyer, possibly just about to become partner.
Here’s the lie. We get to the law firm party … and the chick hands Kenzie a drink – THE SIGNATURE DRINK OF THE EVENT KENZIE HAS PLANNED. And is like “here’s this drink it has no alcohol.” … Major lie. Kenzie pounds them all night. (I think she has six or more?) She definitely acts a fool and it culminates in the dark moment of the book. I’m just … AYFKM at this point. She even says or thinks “this drink is so yummy for not having any alcohol” which is a statement/thought I hate, but also WHERE IS YOUR BRAIN, MY DUDE.
Obviously that was an extremely shitty lie. You don’t fucking do that shit. For SO MANY REASONS. But … the results etc bothered me a lot. A lot a lot. But I’m trying to limit this to the lies. So … we’ll leave my further thoughts for the comments. This lie leads to a really terrible situation though, and the relationship not only spirals it basically ends that night. ( I wouldn’t really call this a spoiler although I guess it is – but the why/how of it isn’t described here and that’s what you really care about anyway, because we all know like 95% of romances all have a Dark Moment. And obviously they do get back together.)
Otherwise though the development of Kenzie and Andrew’s relationship is really lovely. They both see there’s so much more to the other person than their first impression. It’s fun, sexy, and there are some really emotional moments too. It made me want to pick up and re-read some of the other Piper Rayne books I’d enjoyed. I can actually see myself re-reading Single and Ready to Jingle.
You can buy a copy here.