Published by Atria Books on November 1, 2022
Also by this author: The Charm Offensive
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I adored Alison Cochrun’s debut romance The Charm Offensive so I had sky-high expectations about her second book, Kiss Her Once for Me. And Reader, she didn’t disappoint!
About Kiss Her Once for Me
This mixes up a bunch of typical romance tropes – second chance romance, fake dating, holiday romance, only one bed – in unexpected yet totally fantastic ways that you cannot help but love this book and its characters.
It’s the holidays and barista Ellie is worried about money (her mom is constantly haranguing her for cash), she’s anxious, and regretful about what seemed like meeting The One a year ago only to have it turn into heartache instead. So she’s entirely on board when the coffee shop’s landlord proposes a deal – she pretends to be his fiancee when he goes home for Christmas so he can receive an inheritance and split the money with her. Win-win, right? Except that when they arrive, Ellie discovers that Andrew’s sister is none other than Jack, Ellie’s Christmas dreamgirl from last year. So much tension and unresolved feelings plus an eccentric family with Serious Christmas Traditions – Andrew and Jack’s mom even has a daily itinerary!
My thoughts about Kiss Her Once for Me
This book has everything! So much representation – queer, trans, bi, demisexusal, nonbinary, poly, Korean American. It also reps mental health and body positivity. And the author writes about all of it with grace, sensitivity, and authenticity. All of the characters felt incredibly real and I totally wanted to make cookies with the grandmas.
Ellie felt so relatable as she worried about her (currently nonexistent) career as an animator, her creativity, self-imposed pressure to succeed, and of course finances.
The flashbacks to the previous year give texture and context to Ellie’s feelings about Jack and how her mental health is suffering because of anxiety.
The family relationships with Jack and Andrew’s grandmothers, two kooky old ladies with no problems meddling. The way everyone welcomes Ellie into the family is so heartwarming. I was cheering when she got to do traditional Christmasy things like bake cookies instead of being alone for the holidays because her terrible mother ditched her.
You get lots of the kitsch of a Hallmark Christmas with a log cabin, snowball fights, ugly sweaters, and a sweet kiss under the mistletoe. And of course, there’s a blizzard and Only One Bed. Heartwarming holiday goodness!
Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun is queer Hallmark Christmas kitsch in the most heartwarming way possible.
Thank you, Atria Books for the DRC!