I am a big Gerri Hill fan. I really like her romances, and her holiday love stories are especially good. The Great Charade, her newest Christmas themed novel is just more proof of this.
Ms. Hill uses one of the best tropes for a love story in this book, the fake romance. There are so many things you can do with this trope, and the author takes full advantage of that.
In this story Abby Carpenter is in desperate need of a fake girlfriend. She will soon have to spend 10 days (Christmas through New Year’s) with her family in the resort town of Red River, New Mexico. This wouldn’t be so bad if the family didn’t include her brother and his fiancée…the woman who used to be Abby’s girlfriend before she cheated on Abby. The same person who lured Abby into a one night stand. Abby finally finds Nic Bennett who is willing to go with her to Red River and pretend to be her girlfriend, but Nic has a counter offer that Abby is not sure she’s willing to accept.
This is a wonderfully crafted story with a lot of conflict coming from several different directions. There is also an underlying layer of angst, from Abby’s rather dysfunctional family dynamics to Nic’s past. Ms. Hill handled the romance between Nic and Abby perfectly. They start out as strangers and the author slowly lets them become friends. The chemistry they have together takes them further as the story continues through the holiday season and beyond. The setting is almost magical, and definitely worthy of a holiday story. I even caught a few Easter eggs from some of Ms. Hill’s past books.
The Great Charade really is a heartwarming, romantic holiday book that I’m really glad I was able to read this season. If you’re looking for a great novel to read this holiday, this may be the one you are looking for.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bella Books for an honest review.