Book Review: Humbug

Amanda Radley, 2021

New Release! A copy of this book was provided by Netgalley for the purpose of review. 

Premise: Ellie is in the wrong job, but she figures she can just keep her head down. But when her love of Christmas decorations gets her promoted and tasked with saving the company Christmas party, she'll have to rise to the occasion, despite a debilitating fear of heights and a growing crush on her Christmas-hating new boss. 

Oh, this was lovely. It might be one of my favorite Christmas romances I've ever read, in fact. 

Ellie's obsession with Christmas is important to the plot, but her heartfelt reasons for it don't step over the line into too schmaltzy. Rosalind's dislike of the holidays is grounded, not extreme or petty, so their eventual compromises seem reasonable.

The romance builds steadily and sweetly. They both respect each other's competence, which I love, and work around each other's particular needs gladly. The main obstacles are circumstance (Ellie is currently Rosalind's assistant) and each woman's belief that the other couldn't be interested, so those are easily remedied once they get on the same page. 

The main plot about rescuing the Christmas party is full of fun details and believable obstacles and solutions. Both Ellie and Rosalind are wonderfully kind and gentle around each other's most significant challenges (Ellie's fear of heights, and Rosalind is supremely protective of her immuno-compromised daughter.)

I didn't need the flash-forward epilogue, that felt excessive to me, and the physical element was pretty tame compared to most of what I read, but overall I loved this.