Monday, December 21, 2020

A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday

Leo Ricci never expected to be driving an actual princess around New York City. But when his sister Gabby insists he pull over for a damsel in distress, that's exactly what he ends up doing. 

Leo and his sister have been managing as best they can since their parents passed away. Leo, dropped out of college and has been driving a taxi part time and working as the super in their apartment building the rest of the time to make ends meet and support his eleven-year-old sister. With the holidays looming, all he can hope for is a quiet Christmas together, with their friend and cousin Dani, in front of the cardboard fireplace they put up to mimic the one they used to have in the family home. 

But their quiet plans for Christmas are upended when they meet Marie Accola, Princess of Eldovia!

Marie is only in New York for a few days to handle affairs of state in her father's place. But when her hired car dies en route to pick her up, leaving her stranded and dangerously close to missing her next appointment. Which is why she finds herself in an off duty cab driven by Leo Ricci. After hiring him to drive her the rest of the weekend, she finds herself warming to the NY native and even invites him and his sister to spend the holiday in Eldovia. Of course one thing leads to another and Marie finds herself falling for this completely innapropriate man. But at the very least, she's determined to enjoy her time with a man who makes her feel like a normal woman rather than royalty. 

Jenny Holiday's latest is a steamier version of a Hallmark Christmas movie and I am so here for it! See, I can be brought over to the light and happy side—occasionally!

In true holiday movie style, Leo is an everyday man and Marie is a princess. The tongue-in-cheek homage to Hallmark movies is not only obvious, it's played up to the nth degree with Leo regularly comparing the happenings to the famously kitsch holiday movie fare. 

Eldovia, a tiny kingdom in Europe, is a Christmas village in actual practice, even going so far as to celebrate with an annual Cocoa festival and ball every holiday. But both Leo and Marie enjoy the holiday season a little less these days thanks to personal loss. Leo's parents died in a car accident two Christmases ago and Marie's mother died just days before the holiday three years ago. Ever since, the holidays have had a little less magic for both of them. 

Until this year! Yes, this year brings magic and romance for them both. And of course it's a romance that cannot be, since Marie is royalty and Leo is anything but. We even know from the outset that not only does Marie have to marry strategically, but she's also already engaged! What we don't find out until later is that her engagement is one that neither she or her betrothed in any way wants. 

The book doesn't really offer any surprises, per se. But A Princess for Christmas is fun and charming. It's also, as I mentioned, much more steamy than any Hallmark movie you've watched lately :) Even more fun is the fact that it's not a one off: Jenny Holiday is planning three books in this vein—the second features Dani and there's a little excerpt at the end of this installment to tease you along!

Definitely a recommended read in these final days leading up to the holiday. 

Order a copy from your favorite indie via Bookshop!

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