A romantic holiday time loop? Last year, when the pandemic was even more mentally claustrophobic, I was not in the headspace for a Groundhogs Day situation. This year I am so glad I picked up this cute holiday read!
One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners..
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.
But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.
The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.
Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays. from Goodreads
Truly, the wonderful holiday that Maelyn (Mae) is describing sounds like my nightmare. Traveling, getting together with other families, romantic entanglements….nope, nope, nope. I grew up with lots of siblings but no family outside of our house. No aunts, uncles, or grandparents. So it was always just the six of us for Christmas. That made for a perfect day in my book. No performative gift openings (my parents always knocked it out of the park), no need to have my “party manners” on, and no obligation to have a cheek pinched. If I could have skipping the holiday dinner it would have been my own personal ideal day. I find it unfathomable that this many people could get together for a holiday every year and not one of them is less than blissfully happy. I mean, they repeatedly call the 23 year old main character “Noodle” with no explanation and she is absolutely fine with this.
But, like the thousands of Dukes in regency romances, this is exactly the kind of suspended reality that I can bring to romance books. So, I roll with it. Mae loves the cabin and each and every single person in it including her divorced parents who come together every year. Falling in love with the kid you have known since birth and adding a time loop? Sure!
This book was ridiculous and fun and I loved it. I have read a few other Christina Lauren books and these two authors, Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, clearly enjoy writing and love their characters. And, it shows.
I do wish that they had flushed out the gang of characters a little more or deleted a few people. There are a lot of people at this cabin. And, since so many of them only hung around in the background, I struggled to keep track of them. Really, there was just; Mae, the brothers (Theo and Andrew), and Bennie (the benevolent hippie Godfather). Everyone else just acted like scenery.
Mae, arriving at the cabin and realizing how happy she is there, makes her realizing how miserable her day-to-day existence is making her. Been there! I loved that her wish is so general, “Show me what will make me happy.” When the universe grants her wish (violently) she has to figure it what will make her happy.
This book does require you to just go with it but, if you can, it is a super cute holiday read!
Tell me, please! What do you think is the most unrealistic thing in romance books?