November 16, 2020
Blurb: From the moment Julie sees her best friend, Gavin, in the airport, it’s like no time at all has gone by instead of months and months. No matter how long they’ve been apart, their relationship has always been steady, comfortable, and decidedly just friends. Even though their meddling parents have hung what seems like unlimited amounts of mistletoe everywhere she goes this holiday season, Julie knows some things will never change.
Gavin is well-aware his family’s wanted him and Julie to get together since forever, even though he’s been friend-zoned since they could talk—and he’s been happy to play that role. After all, as the new starting quarterback for the San Antonio Mustangs, he’s got enough on his plate without adding romance to the mix.
But between playing elves in the holiday bazaar to nights spent one-on-one watching rom-coms or soaking in their town’s hot springs, suddenly the “reverse parent trap” they’ve fallen into is actually starting to work. But this could be one scheme where letting themselves get trapped might be way too dangerous.
Everything about The Mistletoe Trap is cute. The couple is cute. The families are cute. The plot is cute. Considering all of this, the novel should have worked a lot better for me than it did, but that seems to happen a lot when it comes to me and Cindi Madsen novels. This one took me over two weeks to get through just because it didn’t hold my attention long enough to read for any length of time.
Julie and Gavin have grown up together. Their parents have always presumed that because they were best friends that they would eventually become romantically involved and have not hesitated to offer opinions or push the pair toward that goal. That has never happened, but then maybe the scene just hadn’t been right until now. Julie and Gavin are doing well career-wise; they are currently single; and suddenly they realize they are attracted to each other.
Christmas abounds in this one, which is good if you’re looking for some romantic escapism that isn’t saccharine. Also The Mistletoe Trap has a sense of humor as well as some lovely insights. For me, this would have been the perfect novel if there had been less reluctance between Julie and Gavin for most of the novel (which drove me crazy. I muttered “just get on with it” a couple of times.) and if Julie had a bit more self-esteem. I have never encountered a richly educated woman who behaved as uncertainly as Julie does.
If you’re looking for a cheerful holiday novel full of the crowdedness of Christmases past, here you go.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
3 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies