*I was given a copy of Santa Maybe in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to House of Zeus and Mary Jayne Baker.*
It’s going to be a holly jolly Christmas… Toy Store owner Elodie Martin is not one to get into the festive spirit but nothing gets her fired up more than the chance to get one over on her nemesis, Callum Ashley – the frosty, infuriatingly handsome owner of the local department store. Christmas is the only time she can compete thanks to her grandad Jim, everyone’s favourite Santa Claus. But when he has to unexpectedly hang up his red suit, Elodie is at risk of losing the business for good and has no choice but to rely on last-minute replacement out-of-work actor Nick Winter. Can a sprinkling of Christmas magic warm Callum’s heart and help Elodie find her happily-ever-after? Or is it just possible that love is to be found a little bit closer to home?
I really, really enjoyed Santa Maybe. It had a ‘You’ve Got Mail’ vibe to it and I loved that. I don’t think the book was actually inspired by the film, however, it did have the essence of it in there. An independent toy shop is struggling because of the department store just around the corner and the owners cannot stand each other. Very similar, but not quite the same.
Toy shops have to be one of the most festive places in the world and Martin’s Toy Kingdom sounded wonderful. Reading all of the descriptions made me nostalgic about festive toy shops when I was a kid and it was such a nice feeling.
Elodie, our main character, doesn’t enjoy Christmas and she absolutely despises Callum Ashley who owns the department store that’s putting her out of business. They’ve known each other since they were kids and their grandfathers were good friends. Only since they both came into possession of their respective companies did the rivalry start and other characters seem to think it’s because of reason outside of sales. Now personally I hate this type of trope. I love enemies to lovers, but here it was so obvious they’d never be right for each other.
As I don’t like giving spoilers I won’t say whether anything does happen between them and if if I did you wouldn’t believe me anyway because in strolls oh so charming Nick Winter. Nick auditions to be the new grotto Santa at Elodie’s shop and from the get-go I loved him.
The first half of this book was so fun and festive and I love the whole ‘will they, won’t they?’ situation. Unfortunately, this book does involve the miscommunication trope as Elodie has a conversation with Nick about fancying Kurt Russel as Santa and she assumes that he’s outright gay instead of asking. Not sure if that’s outright miscommunication, but there are other moments that are. I can’t say though because of spoilers.
The second half of the book almost lost me for a while. I didn’t like the direction it was going in as it just did not make sense to me. Well, it made some sense but I wasn’t happy about it. Fortunately, everything turns around, as you would expect from a festive romance, and all is right again in the world.
Honestly, although the second half wasn’t as good I did still really enjoy Santa Maybe. It was super festive and uplifting and the idea of training grotto Santas was absolutely brilliant. I wonder if these schools actually exist.
If you’re looking for a super festive and speedy read then I’d definitely recommend Santa Maybe.
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