Review of All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox

How about a little country music Christmas romance connected to a reality TV contest?

Blurb: Will they hit the right notes this holiday season?

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 might their phony connection turn real by the Christmas finale?

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Max Brody is the son of a legendary country singer and Sadie is a nobody with a beautiful face and voice who remembers Max’ poor treatment of her a few years earlier. Now they’re competing against each other on a reality tv show until they sing a duet creating an instant sensation. Can they fake a relationship when it seems they already have sparks? Find out in Maggie Knox’ All I Want for Christmas.

All I Want for Christmas has a cute premise with Christmas on its side. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love a Christmas romance? Of course, that begs the question of what happens after Christmas when all of that magic drifts away. What happens here is that an abundance of trust issues arise showing that theses two characters need to grow up further before entering coupledom with anyone. There’s a lot of running away and avoiding issues, lack of communication, and an episodic feel that seems like the novel is clinging to “events” rather than characters. The characters don’t seem to grow or change.

What I ultimately felt was missing from All I Want for Christmas was heart and, well, some laughs. There was one fun scene where Max, Sadie, and her grandmother go out on the town incognito. The story could have used more of that and a lot more of Sadie’s grandmother.

Ultimately an average escapist read.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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