Clark Griswold was onto something, at least with his annual holiday meltdown. And since the last three weeks of my life have been riddled with humbug—another breakup, a broken toe, an office promotion I deserved and didn’t get—I’m not at all in the mood to celebrate nor have the happ, happ, happiest Christmas EVER.
When Mom insisted that we all gather at my Grandparent’s ancient cabin for an old school family Christmas, I fully intended to get into the holiday spirit with the help of the three wise men, Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, and Jim Beam. But those boys did absolutely nothing to offset the shock or temper the sting of seeing my EX on our doorstep the first day of our holiday soiree.
Apparently, Santa missed the memo, and this elf is pissed. Stuck for a week with the man who obliterated my heart nearly two decades ago, I did the only thing I could do and put on my game face, thankful for the home advantage.
I knew better than to drink that last cup of eggnog. I knew better than to get tongue tangled beneath the mistletoe with the only man to ever break my heart. I knew better than to sleep with Satan’s wingman on the eve of the Lord’s birthday.
I could blame the nog. I could blame the deceitful light blue eyes, thick, angelic hair, and panty evaporating smirk…but mostly, I blame Eli because he always knew exactly which of my buttons to push.
I foolishly thought a family Christmas filled with nostalgia was going to turn my inner Scrooge around, but this year’s festivities went up in flames. Leave it to the ghost of my Christmas past to be the one to light the match.
Fa la la la la, la FML.
TL;DR: It admittedly took me a little while to get into the story but I ended up really enjoying the Christmas vibes, the Collins family, the sibling relationships, and following along with Eli and Whitney’s second-chance romance after a gut-wrenching heartbreak and 17 years apart. This ended up being a bit more serious than I expected (CW/TW below) but the story was well-balanced with light-hearted moments of cheeky banter, swoony romance and steamy moments.
CW/TW: recounting of terminal illness (cancer), parental death, anxiety
It started with a lie. A night of blurred lines between a teacher and a student. I wasn’t her student, yet it was the single most defining night of my life.
I’ve never been the man she thinks I am. Most people have no idea about the life I’ve lived or the words that ring true when it comes to me—still waters run deep. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a coed on the TGU campus who knows otherwise…because I’ve never corrected them.
The clock is ticking down, it’s Fourth and Inches with the ball inside the one-yard line and the focus is on me, The Guy on the Left. I’ve never felt like a football god, inside I’m…just Troy.
It’s time to set the record straight. For my son, I‘ll find the strength. In her eyes, I’m determined to gain redemption. I will have them both, even if I have to take my eye off the ball.
YOU GUYS!!! I didn’t think I could love a character in The Underdogs series more than Theo… BUT I WAS WRONG!!! And who would’ve thought it’d be TROY to win me over?! Ugh, mY HEART, Kate Stewart!
Strike One – My mother named me Theodore after her favorite chipmunk. Not cool, Mom. I‘ve spent most of my life answering to Teddy, because I couldn’t make Theo work. Except for here. College. The place where all bets are off, and I’ve managed to redeem myself.
There’s only one problem, my new roommate, Troy, is football royalty and looks like he stepped off the set of an Abercrombie shoot. Doesn’t matter, I cook a mean breakfast for his panty parade, and we get along well. And anyway, this year I got the girl. And she’s perfect. That’s right. Theodore Houseman, former band geek, now marching band rock star has finally landed the girl of his dreams. Everything is perfect.
That is, until Troy takes a good look at her. I’m not going down without a fight. As a matter of fact, I’m not going down at all. As glorious as these days may be for my all-star roommate, Laney is my end game. I may not know much about play strategy, but I’ve been the good guy my whole life. I’ve been listening and I know exactly what women want. Framed in a picture standing next to me, Troy may seem like Mr. Perfect, but he’s underestimating the guy on the right.
Spoiler alert: In this story, the underdog is going to win.
Brace yourselves for another gushing review friends because I LOVED EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE of this book! The itch to read this has steadily built since last week, so I finally caved and of course I have zero regrets. There were a few moments towards the end that frustrated me and made me angry because wow, talk about being very intense and out of character, but I can’t honestly say that it affected my overall enjoyment of this book. I literally devoured this in the span of a few hours and it was by far the best way to spend a Sunday cozied up under the covers while the rain poured steadily outside!