You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Toni Shiloh
Christmas | Romance | Christian Fiction
Contemporary romance isn’t my go-to genre, but when the month of December rolls around, holiday romances seem to be all I read. I love the cozy settings with fireplaces, homemade cookies, and lights twinkling against the snow. And while You Make It Feel Like Christmas comes in at under 200 pages, it definitely brings all the Christmas-y vibes.
Starr is home for the holidays — albeit, somewhat reluctantly after having lost her job. And as if that wasn’t enough, her self-absorbed sister Angel is marrying Starr’s ex-boyfriend. But on her first night home, her brother’s charming friend Waylon joins the family for dinner and Starr realizes that perhaps, it won’t be so terrible being home after all.
Christmas books are always cheesy, and this story was no exception. While this is something I expect and look for in holiday romances, the overly cheesy one-liners between Starr and Waylon weren’t my favorite. I loved Waylon’s character and just wanted more playful banter between him and Starr, and to feel a deeper connection between the characters. (This is a struggle I have with romance novellas in general, not just this book.) This is an insta-love plot, which I don’t personally mind, but the fact that it’s also a novella does mean that things move quickly. Still, it was easy to root for Starr and Waylon. Their romance made for a heartwarming and light holiday read, and I loved the Christmas shop setting for their budding relationship.
Starr’s family also features heavily into the story. Her siblings all have Christmas-inspired names (Eve, Gabriel, Noel, Angel) — and I thought this was fun. I also enjoyed the close-knit family dynamics (and drama) between the characters. Starr’s sister Angel is marrying Starr’s ex-boyfriend, and this storyline gave me a lot of stress! While some of the interaction felt a little immature, the author was really able to bring the self-absorbed character of Angel to life, and was definitely able to evoke emotion in me as a reader.
The novella explores themes of family, love, and mending broken relationships, all wrapped with a sparkling, Christmas-y bow. If you’re looking for a quick, holiday read with a sweet (and cheesy) romance, I’d definitely recommend You Make It Feel Like Christmas.
Readers looking for a clean romance, holiday novella with Christian faith elements.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Copy of the book provided courtesy of the publisher, Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher) Starr Lewis reluctantly returns home for the holidays jobless, single, and not at all prepared to be dragged into her sister’s wedding activities–or to witness her sister’s marriage to Starr’s ex-boyfriend on Christmas Eve. But when her brother’s charming best friend, Waylon Emmerson, attends their family Thanksgiving, Starr begins to believe that maybe coming home isn’t so bad.
As Starr endures wedding preparations, she takes comfort in Waylon’s presence and finds the perfect distraction in helping him keep his late mother’s Christmas shop afloat. As the spark between them grows, Starr must decide what she wants out of life–to go back to New York City or to stay and pursue a new dream.
A joyous, heartwarming, and magical holiday romance from Christy Award-winning author Toni Shiloh that will keep you cozy under the twinkling Christmas lights.