Christmas Book Review: “Merry Ex-Mas” by Courtney Walsh

It’s that time of year already, and I’m totally happy about it! I’m talking about time to read Christmas stories. I have quite a few on my TBR from last year still, so here’s hoping I get to some this season. The first one I have crossed off my list is a new RomCom release from author Courtney Walsh: Merry Ex-Mas.

About the Book

I haven’t been home for Christmas in eight years.

But that’s about to change. This year, I’m traveling to my small hometown to convince my producer to make me the permanent host of Good Day Denver.

The plan: Charm viewers by sharing my favorite family Christmas traditions, and in turn, get the likes, clicks and shares to land the job.

Not the plan: Running into my ex-boyfriend.

In my house.

For Christmas.

But here he is, a guest of my mother, who apparently had more trouble letting go of Max Weber than I did.

Unfortunately, he is as handsome and charming and talented and annoying and frustrating and flirty as ever.

Even more unfortunately, he seems to have a plan of his own—to convince me to give him a second chance.

Which is not happening.

There’s just one problem—my viewers love him. More than that, they love us. Me and Max. My ex.

The boy who broke my heart.

The boy I now have to fake flirt with to win over the hearts of my viewers.

But it’s not their hearts I’m worried about. . . it’s mine.

Merry Ex-Mas is a sweet, small town, second chance romance with a dash of not-so-fake flirting, a tiny bit of enemies to lovers and just enough forced proximity to make things sizzle.

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Review

Merry Ex-Mas by Courtney Walsh is an ADORABLE, hilarious, romcom of a Christmas story, filled with Christmas traditions and an emotional second chance romance. When Marin’s trip home turns into an opportunity for a work promotion, a little forced proximity and fake dating come into the mix with Max — and he’s clear up front his flirting will NOT be fake 🙂

There’s something about Courtney Walsh’s stories when she uses a second chance trope (delightedly, there have been a few!): she writes just the right amount of history and angst for the reader to be curious and invested in the couple from an early point. In Max’s case, especially, I liked that he is certain of his goals and endgame where Marin is concerned nearly from the beginning. They have to work through grief and hurt to get back to a healthy place in their relationship with each other and their perspective on life, and they do so in a way that’s realistic and natural. Themes of identity and belonging come into play amidst all the twinkling holiday traditions and banter.

A few of my favorite little things about Merry Ex-Mas: I swooned when Max bought Marin her favorite coffee creamer; Marin’s mom, Lydia, is hilarious and discerning; talk of genuine smiles; Marin’s clumsiness; the phrase “leave room for Jesus”.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy. This is my honest review.

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