If you love Christmas movies, as in you check the Hallmark Channel guide starting in July, then hang on to your stockings, because here comes the merriest of indulgences in print. It’s “The Proposal” meets “The Holiday”. 

First meet Robyn Lane. She’s always dated struggling creative types, including her current squeeze (Perry, an actor). For this year’s Chrismukkah celebration, her parents would love her to bring someone stable, reliable, steadily employed. You know, with health insurance and a 401(k). 

Now let’s meet Sidney Bellows. Her parents already plan her professional life (she’s an attorney at her father’s law firm). If she brings her current boyfriend (Will, an attorney) to the family Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have their wedding planned by New Year’s Eve.

Leave it to a mutual friend (and copious amounts of wine) to find a playful solution: Swap those boyfriends, fool the parents, and enjoy the holidays. It’s perfect! Robyn can show off a successful attorney boyfriend, and Sidney’s high-society family won’t ring those wedding bells when they meet a flaky actor beau.

The fun isn’t in the theory, it’s in the practice. 

Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years. Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe. 

Fool the parents? Enjoy the holidays? Swapping boyfriends never sounded so good or went so bad. Take time to read this one. It’s like Christmas in July.

“Holding hands, some touching, and little pecks are fine. As long as we show some affection, my parents won’t question the lack of making out,” I said, almost choking on my words. I was having trouble focusing on the road with Will Brady as my passenger, and the current topic of conversation wasn’t helping. I flashed back to the last time we’d ridden in a car together. School had closed early due to an ice storm. I was terrified to drive home and the buses had already left. Before I could protest, Jordy, who was a freshman, asked Will to give us a ride and, of course, he said yes. I remembered sitting in the backseat and trying not to get caught looking at Will’s reflection in the rearview mirror.
“Do you and Perry full-on make out in front of your folks regularly?”
Even though I was looking at the road, I could still see Will’s amused grin through my side vision. To talk myself out of blushing, I focused on the vanity plate of the car in front of me—GRNSON1.  “Not at all. I meant if we make small shows of affection, no one will be skeptical.”
Will tapped my thigh. “I’m teasing you. I don’t think it will be too difficult. Unless your parents are suspicious by nature.”
My leg tingled in the spot where Will’s fingers had been. “They’re not. But they’ll be surprised.” To my knowledge, Will had no idea of the extent of my crush back then. He probably assumed my parents would consider it a humorous coincidence that their daughter was dating an old neighbor—nothing more, nothing less. I should have warned them, but I was too afraid they’d see right through my lies.



A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones's Diary, book blogger Kim Long has worked tirelessly to squash the claim that "chick lit is dead" once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in Manhattan. But while she finds no passion in the day job, she finds plenty in the handsome associate down the hall. At least until her high school nemesis, mean girl Hannah Marshak, bursts back into town. Not only does she flash onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that's turning heads--and pages--but Kim's afraid she's turning the head of her handsome colleague as well.

Adding salt to her wounded heart, Hannah's book has popped into Kim's inbox--along with a request for review. With a mere click of her mouse, Kim can deliver a nasty one-star review to thousands of followers. She would rather toss her favorite designer shoes in a trash heap than help promote Hannah's career. But does she become a mean girl herself or put on her big-girl panties and be professional in spite of the past?

With everyone around her moving on and up, Kim begins to question whether being a "blogger girl" makes the grade in her offline life. But is Hannah really the problem, or will her success be the push Kim needs to unearth a dream she's kept hidden for years?

“I checked it out, you know.”
I put down my sandwich. “Checked what out?”
“Your blog.”
I gulped. “You did?”
Nicholas smiled. “Yeah. I wondered what all the hoopla was about.”
“What did you think?” I held my breath.
“I get why your blog is so popular. Your reviews are great. Very honest.”
Nicholas paused to eat some soup. I counted three hearty spoonfuls of what looked like lentil. Then he ate several forkfuls of salad. I watched him in amusement. When he finally came up for air, he smirked. “And some are kind of brutal.”
“Not brutal. Just honest. I always try to say something nice about every book to balance out the constructive criticism.” Drawing to mind a book completely lacking in story structure I had reviewed earlier that month, I added, “Sometimes it’s not easy, let me tell you.”
“I also read a few of your regular posts. I especially liked the one about juggling your day job with the blog. You’re a great writer.”
And the blushing continues. “Thanks.”
 Pointing to my e-reader, he said, “What do you think of the book you’re reading now?”
“Well, I’ve only read a few pages, but…” I crinkled my nose. “I don’t think I’m going to like it, which surprises me. I loved all of Olivia Geffen’s other books.”
“Yeah, she’s great,” Nicholas said in delight.
“You’ve read her stuff?” I found that surprising since Nicholas hadn’t even heard the term “chick lit” until the squad happy hour, and also, well, because Nicholas was a guy.
 “Of course, I have. What was that one?” Nicholas scratched his chin. “The one with the pink cover?”
“Swimming Upstream. That was my favorite.”
“Mine too,” Nicholas said.
“I love the way she…” Noticing the twinkle of mischief in his eyes, I stopped talking and studied him. “You never read Swimming Upstream, did you?”
Nicholas shook his head. “No.”
“Have you read anything by Olivia Geffen?”
Nicholas pursed his lips and shook his head again. “That would be another no.”
I reached over and slapped him lightly on the hand. “You’ve never even heard of her, have you?”
Chuckling, he said, “No, I haven’t.”
“You suck.” I giggled.
“Sorry, but I couldn’t resist. Are you always so gullible?”
Feeling myself blush again, I said, “Not usually, no. You must be really good.”
Nicholas locked eyes with me. “I am.”




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