ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND CHRISTMAS by Sarah Monzon
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2023
Two workplace rivals. One festive competition. And a romance that upends it all.
Every December two things are guaranteed for graphic designer Mackenzie Graham–Christmas celebrations and the annual promotion at her workplace. Those two things are by no means mutually exclusive. In fact, the better an employee is at harnessing the Christmas spirit, the more likely they’ll win the new job. With her social anxiety, Mackenzie never thought she’d be a contender in her company’s holiday competition, so how exactly has she found herself dueling her workplace crush with wrapping paper tubes and using tinsel as her weapon of choice for a much-needed raise?
Jeremy Fletcher’s life is meticulously planned out, including how to win this year’s promotion at work. Not only will the new position fulfill some of his career goals, but as a single guardian to his twin niece and nephew, he needs the salary increase to support his family. Jeremy has barely noticed Mackenzie Graham around the office, but now that she’s his rival, he can’t stop thinking about her. Her quirkiness intrigues him, and he’s afraid that if he can’t get his head on straight, the promotion isn’t the only thing he’ll end up losing to Mackenzie.
Oh y’all this is such a fun Christmas romance! All’s Fair in Love and Christmas by Sarah Monzon is perfect for Hallmark and the like but with an added depth that makes it even more than a feel-good romcom. It delighted me from beginning to end, and I had to remind myself to breathe at least a couple of times from all the repressed romantic tension between Jeremy and Mackenzie.
Mackenzie is an instantly likeable and empathetic character who struggles with social anxiety and occasional panic attacks. But when she’s relaxed and can truly be herself, she’s charming and witty and smart. She cares about people and wants them to feel valued. She also happens to be in love with her coworker Jeremy (not that she can tell him) … who also happens to be her current rival for a company promotion. A promotion that comes with a raise they each need for personal – and important – reasons. And ohhhhhhh my goodness, the chemistry between them!! Just delicious. I grinned so many times as I read their interactions, and I also did my fair share of melting at Jeremy’s wonderfulness. I loved watching these two grow more comfortable with their mutual attraction and once Jeremy turns on his swooniliciousness in full, brace yourself!
I laughed out loud a lot while reading All’s Fair in Love and Christmas, especially a certain ballet scene (and the character’s thoughts leading up to it). Pure romcom gold. But there are also some incredibly sweet scenes that almost had me hugging my Kindle from all the feels. And one of the things I loved most was the approach the author took to Mackenzie’s anxiety. I was thrilled that her best friend helped her see the role of faith AND therapy/medicine in helping you cope with anxiety. It’s something that Christian fiction – and Christians in general – need to be better at acknowledging and discussing, and I’m so proud of Monzon for addressing it so fully.
Bottom Line: All’s Fair in Love and Christmas by Sarah Monzon is everything fun and Christmas-y and romantic while also delivering a story layered with meaning. The faith threads are heartfelt and sincere, but not preachy or forced, and the spotlight on social anxiety and Alzheimer’s are written with sensitivity and thoughtful insight. I fell in love with Mackenzie and Jeremy, along with the fabulous supporting characters, and I loved watching them fall in love with each other. If you’re looking for a book that makes you smile, swoon, laugh, and sigh happily while lifting your heart and filling you with Christmas spirit, then make All’s Fair in Love and Christmas your next read!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / fantastic!
KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on more than one occasion
HOLT Medallion and Selah Award-winner, and a Carol Award finalist, Sarah Monzon is a stay-at-home mom who makes up imaginary friends to have adult conversations with (otherwise known as writing novels). As a navy chaplain’s wife, she resides wherever the military happens to station her family and enjoys exploring the beauty of the world around her. Learn more at sarahmonzonwrites.com.
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Bethany House is offering a print copy of All’s Fair in Love and Christmas by Sarah Monzon to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
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