Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun
Print Length: 368 pages
Publication Date: November 1, 2022
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About The Book:
One year ago, recent Portland transplant Ellie Oliver had her dream job in animation and a Christmas Eve meet-cute with a woman at a bookstore that led her to fall in love over the course of a single night. But after a betrayal the next morning and the loss of her job soon after, she finds herself adrift, alone, and desperate for money. Finding work at a local coffee shop, she’s just getting through the days—until Andrew, the shop’s landlord, proposes a shocking, drunken plan: a marriage of convenience that will give him his recent inheritance and alleviate Ellie’s financial woes and isolation. They make a plan to spend the holidays together at his family cabin to keep up the ruse. But when Andrew introduces his new fiancée to his sister, Ellie is shocked to discover it’s Jack—the mysterious woman she fell for over the course of one magical Christmas Eve the year before. Now, Ellie must choose between the safety of a fake relationship and the risk of something real.
This is my first book by this author and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the fake dating trope through the holidays and mimicked While You Were Sleeping (without the coma). The book was very funny at times so there was a good balance of tension and laughs. When Ellie ends up loving the Kim-Prescott's, wishing they were her real family, things get extra confusing when the girl she fell in love with last Christmas turns out to be her fake fiancee's sister!
There is some heavy duty subject matter in the book, child abuse, mental health issues and LGBTQ phobia. But it was handled realistically and sensitively. The characters also felt very real to me, especially Ellie's mom. I loathed her. There was so much about Ellie's childhood and her mom that reminded me of my own. I could understand how easy it would be for her to attach herself to the Kim-Prescott family.
The sex scenes were few but done very well and I appreciated that as this is more about love and wanting to belong than anything else. I was rooting for Ellie and Jack right from the start. They made sense together. This is a well written, fun holiday read that takes a unique spin on the fake dating trope, highly recommend it.
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