About the Book
Book: Christmas Baggage
Series: Christmas Escape #1
Author: Deborah M. Hathaway
Release Date: October 19, 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christmas Lit
If there is one thing she has learned in England, it’s that not all Englishmen are created equal.
Because this guy was turning out to be a real pill.
Tired of spending the holidays throwing up on cruises with her parents and, you know, being dumped by ex-boyfriends, Claire Frost is determined to change her luck this Christmas. Taking time off from her flower shop, she follows her friend to London, ready to enjoy all-things England. And boy, does she. The frost-covered flowers. The frozen green hills. The bright red telephone boxes. The festive Christmas markets.
Also the men. Definitely the men.
Except, of course, her friend’s cousin. Liam Everhart is super attractive, super swoony, and super English. Too bad he’s also a super jerk. A super jerk whom she now has to spend every minute with. What a blessed, blessed relief that his Darcy/Poldark looks are overshadowed by his Darth Vader/Malfoy personality. She had enough Christmas baggage to deal with, so why would she ever add a swoony Englishman to the mix?
This is a clean, sweet, wholesome romance set in present-day London, England that features the enemies-to-lovers and forced proximity tropes, with a guaranteed happily-ever-after.
I devoured this book. I sat down expecting to read a generic, cutesy Christmas story, but instead was happily treated to an absolutely fantastic book I just could not put down! I admit, I’ve never read a book by Hathaway before so I really had no idea what I was getting into. Now, I own five of her books; I loved Christmas Baggage so much I wanted more or Hathaway’s writing style. I must also admit that I come to Christmas Lit kicking and screaming. I HATE Hallmark anything. Way too saccharine and boring for me. But I’ve heard good things about this Christmas Escape series, and I do like the authors who have come together for these books, so I thought I would take a chance. I am SO glad I did. Christmas Baggage is the kind of Christmas Lit I desire — stories with stuff, not fluff! Claire is a young woman with some actual baggage. Her life has had some serious disappointments. Christmas, to Claire, is almost like any other day. But thanks to her quirky, spirited best friend, Melody, Claire will get to spend this Christmas with Melody and her family in England. It is Claire’s first trip abroad, and she is excited! I loved getting to site-see with her and broody Liam. I had a lot of fun pausing my reading for a minute or two to Google all the various places Claire and Liam visit. Kew Gardens looks AMAZING. Definitely a new bucket-list item for me. And speaking of Liam — WHOA! What a hero. He has the brooding thing down to an art form, and he is HOT. But he’s not actually mean or full of himself. He’s been hit with a bit of bad news at the very start of the story, and, unfortunately for Claire, she falls into the path of his emotional tornado when they first meet. I actually appreciate that they did not have a meet-cute. Anyone who has ever spent time in an airport during holidays knows it’s not the place for a meet-cute regardless of what they show in Love, Actually (great movie, but not realistic). Holiday travel tends to breed frustration, anger, and disappointment, and we get this realistic picture for sure when Claire and Liam first meet. As far as the rest of their relationship goes, I loved every single minute spent with this couple. It definitely takes a minute for Claire to thaw in regards to Liam, but once she does their relationship blossoms into something really sweet. I really loved my time with these two characters!
Christmas Baggage is a wonderful story. I loved every minute! If you are a fan of well-written Contemporary Romances then I highly recommend you check out this book immediately. You do not want to miss out on this read!
I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on November 17, 2022, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.