It Happened One Christmas by Chantel Guertin
Christmas Romance | Contemporary
Earlier this year, I received the sweetest little “Christmas in July” box from Penguin Random House Canada — complete with It Happened One Christmas by Chantel Guertin and some peppermint hot chocolate! And while I don’t usually start my December holiday reads so early in the year, the cooling temperatures and rainy days lately have gotten me in the mood for some more festive reads!
Zoey Andrews works for a production company that specializes in Christmas films. When she finally gets the chance to direct her very own Christmas movie, she knows exactly where she wants it set — Chelsea, Quebec — a charming town, closely tied to her childhood holiday memories. Arriving in Chelsea just a few days before Christmas, things seem to be falling into place. There’s just one problem… the mayor refuses to grant her the filming permits. Can Zoey charm her way (and her movie) into the mayor’s heart?
This book felt like a Hallmark movie on paper. It was sweet and cozy and had the most adorable, small-town setting and characters. Our main characters had the typical Hallmark vibes too: big-city director meets small-town Christmas tree farm owner/mayor. The Quebec setting isn’t one that we see very often, and the specific winter traditions and Canadian-isms brought me a lot of joy while reading.
When it comes to romance tropes, I love a good grumpy-sunshine story. Insta-love, however, not so much. I love the feeling of rooting for two characters to get together, and being finally relieved when they do — but unfortunately despite the slow burn of this story, I never got that feeling.
Overall though, this was a cute and fluffy, holiday read. The setting was my favorite part, and absolutely perfect for a wintery read. If you’re looking for a lighthearted, Hallmark-esque story, this could be a fun option to add to your December reading pile.
Fans of Hallmark-style winter romance novels.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Advance copy of the book provided courtesy of the publisher, Penguin Random House Canada. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher) A charming and rollicking holiday rom-com about a big-city film director who must convince the dreamy, yet grumpy, mayor of a small town to give her the permit to shoot her Christmas movie in his idyllic hometown. Perfect for fans of Hallmark holiday movies, and readers of Maggie Knox’s All I Want for Christmas and The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.
Will magic happen under the mistletoe?
All year long, Zoey Andrews lives and breathes Christmas–not just because she loves everything about the festive season, but because, as the director of countless Christmas movies, she’s perpetually (and happily) surrounded by 24/7 holiday cheer. And this year Christmas has come early: After years of making other people’s movies, Zoey finally has the chance to make her own. There’s just one thing standing in her way of that: Benoît Deschamps, the sexy, bearded, grouchy and utterly frustrating, plaid shacket-wearing tree-farm-owner-slash-mayor who refuses to grant Zoey the permit to film in Chelsea, the cozy and snowy Quebec hamlet at the center of her screenplay.
With just four days left before Christmas, Zoey must change Ben’s mind, but not before an unscripted ice storm leaves them stranded in the middle of nowhere, with nothing–no food, no phone, no electricity–except . . . each other.
Will Ben’s chilly resolve shatter Zoey’s Christmas movie wish? Or will Zoey be able to melt through his stubbornness–and maybe even his heart?