Dashing Through The...Airport. | A Book Review on Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh
Title: Holiday Romance
Author: Catherine Walsh
Genre: Romantic Comedy; Holiday Romance
Release Date: October 4th, 2022
Hi friends. I'm back with another hot take on the latest books I've read. This one I actually hopped on the chance to read it when I saw it on NetGalley.com. For you noobs who have no idea, NetGalley is a website where authors upload their books before the release date. The goal is to generate positive buzz about the book before the release and encourage others to read it. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what the point is. I could be very loud and very wrong. Who knows? Anyway.. So yes, I spotted this on NetGalley and jumped at the opportunity.
For those of you who don't know me personally, I am a Christmas elf. Seriously. The even tempered, mild-mannered woman you meet January through November 30th completely disappears on December 1st and is replaced with an obnoxiously giddy Christmas enthusiast. I almost put up five different trees in the house last year, but unfortunately my husband is a bit of a Scrooge and wouldn't let me be great. Had to settle for two trees. I'm still salty about it, almost an entire year later but it's fine. I'm fine.
I usually keep Lifetime on constantly during the entire month. The movies are painfully corny and every moment is predictable from beginning to end, but I watch faithfully and I swoon at the Christmas romance. (Do you even have a pulse if you haven't swooned at a corny Christmas movie in your lifetime?) I picked this book hoping it would be a pleasant change of pace from the usual thrillers and murder mysteries I normally gravitate towards. We can't always be dark and gloomy now can we? So. Holiday Romance. Yes.
Let's talk about it.
She’s meant to be catching flights, not catching feelings…
Molly and Andrew are just trying to get home to Ireland for the holidays, when a freak snowstorm grounds their flight.
Nothing romantic has ever happened between them: they’re friends and that’s all. But once a year, for the last ten years, Molly has spent seven hours and fifteen minutes sitting next to Andrew on the last flight before Christmas from Chicago to Dublin, drinking terrible airplane wine and catching up on each other’s lives. In spite of all the ways the two friends are different, it’s the holiday tradition neither of them has ever wanted to give up.
Molly isn’t that bothered by Christmas, but—in yet another way they’re total opposites—Andrew is a full-on fanatic for the festive season and she knows how much getting back to Ireland means to him. So, instead of doing the sane thing and just celebrating the holidays together in America, she does the stupid thing. The irrational thing. She vows to get him home. And in time for his mam’s famous Christmas dinner.
The clock is ticking. But Molly always has a plan. And—as long as the highly-specific combination of taxis, planes, boats, and trains all run on time—it can’t possibly go wrong.
What she doesn’t know is that, as the snow falls over the city and over the heads of two friends who are sure they’re not meant to be together, the universe might just have a plan of its own…
I loved this book. Plain and simple. I loved it. It was a pleasant surprise. I expected the usual corny Christmas romance, but instead I got a well thought out story that had just the right amount of Christmas cheer and sarcasm to keep me feverishly turning the pages. I was literally standing in the middle of the floor in my bathroom reading, desperate to figure out how it was going to play out, instead of getting in the shower to get ready for work like I was supposed to. (I'm sorry for whatever mental image that conjures up.)
I was only a few minutes late like once, thankfully. So I still have my job. As far as they know, I was stuck in traffic. In reality, I was stuck in this book!
Now that it's over, I am actually sad. There is no more Andrew and Molly. I'll never know how their next Christmas turns out. I'll never know if Molly got to meet the cute little dog Andrew’s roommates had. I'll never know if Hannah gets into a design school. I'll never know these things and I haven't come to terms with that yet, if you can't tell. It'll take me a minute.
Let's take a closer look at what I liked and didn't like about Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh.
The Banter. I said it once and I'll say it again. I love banter. I am a sucker for it. I fall in love with characters based on their ability to do it. Molly and Andrew had a relationship that was the perfect mix of sarcasm and true friendship that I love. Their conversations made me laugh more than once. I will take banter over mushy smushy behavior anyway. My husband's ability to banter is one of the things I enjoyed most about him, if that gives you any indication of how high it ranks on my list of desirable qualities. (It also helped that he was really fun to look at, but that is beside the point.) Molly and Andrew had a leg up on most couples because it wasn't the meet cute followed by flirting and then immediately falling head over heels. Their dynamic was the definition of a slow burn (ten years in the making!) that turned into an all out forest fire by the end of the book. So by the time they finally dragged their heads out of their butts and realized what was in front of them, they already had years of history on their side.
Holiday Romance was realistic. Nothing between the two of them was immediate. Molly struggled with looking at him as a friend for so long and then switching to romantic feelings. To me, that seemed like a more realistic way to transition from platonic friendship to romantic love(ship?) The movies where they just jump from one to the other without at least a little bit of hesitation is completely unrelatable to me.
Family dynamics. Both of their families were cute in their own way. Molly's family didn't really put as much effort into Christmas, but they still loved each other in their own way. Andrew's family was that obnoxious, matching pajama wearing, caroling in the snow type of family. Seeing the dynamic in each household added to the warm and fuzzy feeling this book gave me. I have always wanted to be a part of a big family with siblings that pretend they are sick of each other but secretly love spending time with each other.
I really don't have anything to put here. I really tried my hardest to look for something I didn't like, but I couldn't find anything. I loved this book. Am I biased because it's a Christmas theme and I am a Christmas fiend?
Do I care about that?
No. No I do not.
Buy this book. Quickly. Immediately. Expeditiously. And every other word that means: "right frickin' now."
If you love Christmas or even if you mildly tolerate it for the sake of people around you (aka, my husband), buy this book and read it. Currently it is set to release on October 4th, so you have time to gather your funds together if that's what gives you pause.
There you have it folks, buy this book on October 4th, so I don't have to yell at you. I guarantee you'll love it just as much as I did. And if not, clearly you are a thief of joy and a hater of all things happy. After you read it, please come back and tell me what you think of it. You can catch me over on Instagram and Facebook blabbering endlessly about this book and others that you need to read as soon as your schedule allows.
Happy reading, babes! ❤