I have this habit—possibly a bad one—of reading AITA posts on Reddit at night sometimes. For those of you not in the know, AITA stands for Am I The Asshole, in which a prospective asshole will write down their story and submit themselves to the judgement of strangers. Are they the asshole? Were they in the wrong? Should they apologize/get someone else to apologize/go low contact/share their fruitcake recipe? Well, not the last one—at least not yet—but there are innumerable variations on the other results. And lately, there have been a LOT of posts about either a) how messed up Thanksgiving was, or b) how potentially messy Christmas is going to be.
I get it. Holidays are hard. Family can be challenging at the best of times. Throw a dash of guilty obligation in there, stir in some in-law controversy, add a heaping helping of money troubles and you’ve got a recipe for a Very Angsty Christmas. Ugh. Not what any of us need, but also not something some of us can get out of.
There is a tonic to this real-world angst, though, one that those of us who are readers know and love—books. I’m being completely serious when I say that nothing helps me escape the pressures of my day-to-day life like reading a happy ever after or two (or five, or ten). And while I sometimes dig angst—such drama, much woe, so desperate for each other!—around the holidays, I crave relatively smooth sailing. I want to see people surrounded by love and support, shared traditions and a spirit of giving, new romances blossoming and old ones rekindling.
There can be issues, of course. No holiday is completely smooth sailing, and no romance is either. But honestly, I don’t need to increase my tension by reading about emotional wreckage when I’m already up to my elbows in increased childcare, travel plans falling apart, last-minute gift finding, and baking. So much baking.
His Holiday Crush is exactly the kind of romance I want for the holidays—low-angst, full of family and togetherness and intimacy, with a happy ending. If that sounds like something you’re looking for too, now is the perfect time to pick up the book. I hope you love it, and hey—Happy Holidays! Don’t let ‘em get you down!
Workaholic attorney Max Robertson is one meeting away from making partner at a big NYC firm when his best friend calls and guilts him into coming back home for Christmas. But there’s a reason he hasn’t been back to Edgewood for a decade—too many bad memories. The plan was to go for just one night, until a wild deer and a snow bank wrecked everything.
Former Army Sergeant Dominic “Nicky” Bell is the new guy on the Edgewood police force, so of course he drew the short straw and is stuck working the night shift. But his evening gets turned upside-down when he gets called out to a wreck in the snow—and it’s his one and only high school crush, looking even sexier than he did back then.
When they both end up stranded together at Dominc’s house, sparks start to fly and Max isn’t sure what to do. But everyone deserves a present this holiday season, right?
Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to keep reading from being her only love, she did all sorts of progressively more exciting things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to joining the Peace Corps, which sent her and her husband to West Africa, where they spent two years working and learning. Writing was a good way for Cari to entertain herself with no electricity, and she hasn’t looked back since. She writes award-winning LGBTQ fiction featuring aliens, supervillains, soothsayers, and even normal people sometimes.