Thursday, December 21, 2023

Is a Candy Cane Yard Decoration Really a Good Weapon???


TITLE: Wrapped with a Beau
AUTHOR: Lillie Vale
PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam's Sons
PUBLISHING DATE: September 26, 2023
PAGES: 368   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: As a successful film liaison, Elisha Rowe has her heart set on one thing and one thing only: putting her hometown back on the map. So, when she gets the chance to secure a sequel to Sleighbells, she's willing to do whatever it takes to make sure everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately, that includes claiming to have already secured permission to film at the historic Christmas house—permission she was very much denied by the gorgeous new owner. 
Ves Hollins is only back in Piney Peaks long enough to sell the house he inherited from his great-aunt. The holidays have always been tough for Ves, and it's not any easier when he's distracted by memories of a Christmas long, long ago, and the undeniable charm of neighbor Elisha. Ready to return home to New York as quickly as possible, he has no plans to put down roots or fall in love...even if Elisha unravels his hesitations like a bad Christmas sweater. 
There's no question the two are opposites in every way. Ves is unquestionably frosty. Elisha is brimming with warmth. He doesn't do commitment. She never runs from a challenge. But as the two grow closer, they quickly realize that the growing spark between them may be just what the season calls for.

MY THOUGHTS: I grabbed this strictly for the cover one day at the library when I was looking for holiday reads.  I expected a fun rom-com but ended up with a book with more going on than I originally anticipated.

Ves has come to Piney Peaks to clean out a recently inherited house from his aunt.  He dislikes Christmas and pretty much most people and hasn't been back to the home since he was a young child.  Elisha moved back to Piney Peaks following a bad breakup.  She is in love with the town, which years ago, was featured in a classic Christmas movie.  As a film liaison, Elisha has promised the famous house which was used in the movie can be the main setting for the much-anticipated sequel.  However, there is one problem, that house now belongs to Ves.  Throw in Elisha's jerk of an ex, some friends who love hanging out in the local town bar, and a cute bakery owned and operated by Elisha's parents, and you have a scene straight out of Gilmore Girls.  

I loved the grumpy/sunshine dynamics of Elisha and Ves and especially appreciated that the author shared with us what made Ves so standoffish. It was clear the two were attracted to each other right of the bat, but it was nice that the author took time to develop the relationship.  The side characters were adorable, in particular Elisha's grandfather, who helped pull Ves out of his grumpy shell. 

If you are looking for a fun Christmas read with some great characters, then this might be the book for you.  The only complaint I have is that is did drag a bit about 2/3 through and I feel like it could have been about 50 pages shorter.  Overall, though, a solid read which definitely helped me get into the Christmas spirit.



  1. You had me at Gilmore Girls, lol. This makes me want to read a Christmas centric book!

  2. I have this one on my TBR list because I do love that grumpy/sunshine trope. Glad to know it's such a good one. :D

  3. Sounds like a good holiday charmer.

    Anne - Books of My Heart