Release Date: December 1st, 2021
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CW/TW: Mentions of divorce, character with dementia
I’m Birdie Mae, and let’s skip to the weird part of my story: Short-term relationships with good looking Santas are kind of my thing. And Nicholas Ryan is the good looking Santa I really don’t need in my life.
They say the spirit of Christmas finds you on holiday vacations, but instead I run into the only person who could get my Christmas lights twisted: freaking Nicholas. A man I haven’t seen in twenty years and who I never wanted to see again. Except now he’s my hot bartender, complete with a silver-fox beard, a twinkle in his eye, and looking a lot like my kryptonite: jingle belling Santa Claus.
It’s five days until Christmas, I’m stuck in a snowy town straight out of a Hallmark movie, and my ultimate goal? Avoid the Grinch who stole all my Christmases and pretend that our chemistry is simply just the magic of Christmas in the air.
I have laughed, swooned, sniffled a little and just had a really good time while reading The Fake Santa Apology Tour. From the concept, to the writing style and the brilliant characters, Julie Olivia has me hooked! I love the kind of stories Julie has managed to regale us with––my favourite still being Thick As Thieves––and with this Christmas novella, I was absolutely floored.
As a kid, Birdie Mae met a young boy by the name of Nicholas ‘Call me Nic’ Ryan and while he could have been her first crush, he turned out to be the reason she hates Christmas. And for someone like Birdie Mae, that’s a big deal because she loves Christmas. She’s held Nicholas responsible for the way she feels about the holidays for years. And if that’s not enough, Birdie Mae also has a type when it comes to the men she dates––Santas.
Told entirely through Bridie’s perspective, this novella is charming as all get out. Not only because of our Santa-looking hero, but because Birdie is so damn relatable and adorable. She’s the kind of person you’d really want as a friend and the kind of person who would make you laugh so hard you snort just by being around her. She’s taking a break in a small Christmasy town before heading to see her family for the holidays and she ends up getting stranded because of a snowstorm. But that’s not all that happens, she meets a hot Santa-looking bartender and given her type, she’s resisting the urge to jump his bones.
Birdie and Nicholas’ relationship is so entertaining and wonderful. He’s a hot as hell silver fox bartender who is well known and liked in that small town, but he’s also known for avoiding all things Christmas. And when Birdie swoops into his life, all the walls he’s erected come crashing down. Their chemistry is cute at first, because it’s all flirty glances and touches and it’s interesting to see how they can unravel the other slowly. I really loved that the snarkier Birdie Mae got, the more charming Nicholas became.
Obviously the best and most touching part of this story is the actual tour, but what makes it so wonderful is how every Santa that Birdie Mae meets is unique in his own way and how he makes her feel comfortable about opening herself up like that. There’s only so much I can say about this book without giving all of it away, especially since it’s a novella. But I can promise you that Julie Olivia does such a brilliant job of making sure all the details and all the story points are there and you’re not left unsatisfied.
The Fake Santa Apology Tour was a fun and easy Christmas romance, perfect for those who like silver foxes, laughing while they read and a dash of steam to keep you warm and cosy this holiday season!
Thanks to Julie Olivia for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.