*I was given a copy of The Naughty Or Nice Clause in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Kate Callaghan*
When Lyla’s father retired as CEO of the toy company which has been in their family for generations, she was meant to receive his shares. Instead, she discovers the company is bankrupt and her father has given her shares to Mason Klaus, an investor known in the corporate world for his cold and callous nature. Much to Lyla’s frustration, her only option is to run the company with him, despite their evident loathing for one another.
When Mason cancels the annual Christmas party, Lyla throws it anyway – only for the event of the season to result in a terrible fire. With the offices and Lyla’s credibility ruined, Mason offers her a deal: he’ll forget her part in the disaster, but she must join his family for the twelve days of their Christmas holidays.
Taken to a fantastical winter wonderland, Lyla hopes that she might discover some of the secrets Mr Klaus is hiding, and maybe even a way to get her company back. However, when Mason introduces her to the secret village as his fiancée, she is horrified to realise she has no choice but to go along with the pretence – because the cost of bringing an outsider to their magical land is far too high.
The Naughty or Nice Clause was my most anticipated festive read of the year and sadly I didn’t love it. It was definitely ok, and the speed of which I read it was absolutely a bonus. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as magical as I’d hoped.
This took me no time at all to read, which at first was confusing, but then I realised that there weren’t many descriptions of anything. I can tell you that Mason is blonde and Lyla has curly hair, and that’s about it. There’s not much in the way of character descriptions and background details are unheard of.
The village of Yule would have been the perfect place to really get the festive vibes going with descriptions of powder-white snow and twinkling lights. But no, this didn’t happen. It’s really a shame because the concept of this is really good, it just wasn’t executed too well.
Unfortunately, the romance also wasn’t executed very well. The book moved far too fast for Lyla and Mason to move from hating each other to being in love within literally a week if that. I get that festive romances are meant to be over the top and they fall in love quickly, but it didn’t work here.
I did like them together and I think given time their relationship would make sense. But he pretty much kidnapped her, forced her to be his fiancee after threatening to have her memories wiped, and his ex almost killed her. That’s a bit much if you ask me.
The Naughty or Nice Clause is a Hallmark movie in written form; outrageously ridiculous with a weak romance plot. Don’t get me wrong sometimes this works, those types of movies aren’t guilty pleasures for no reason, and honestly, this was a decent read. It’s just sad that you don’t really get to learn anything about the characters or their surroundings.
If you want a very quick Christmassy read that you don’t need to take too seriously, then I’d definitely recommend The Naughty Or Nice Clause. Don’t ask me why it’s called that though, I have no idea.
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Like this post? Why not read this one too: The 12 Books of Christmas: The Christmas Cupid by Jennifer Joyce