ARC REVIEW: In a Holidaze – Christina Lauren ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ½

Title: In a Holidaze
Author: Christina Lauren
Rating: ★★★★½

ARC provided by Gallery Books through NetGalley.

I haven’t been this in love with a Christina Lauren book in a long time. In a Holidaze is the perfect holiday romance story and had everything I could have wanted and more: family, Christmas magic, romance, angst, childhood friends-to-lovers, mistletoe kisses. This book gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings!

In a Holidaze differs from other CLo (and most contemporary romance) books in that it asks readers to suspend belief regarding the time travel aspect. The Groundhog Day-esque plotline is excellently utilized, in my opinion, and the best way to enjoy the book is to just go with it and accept the holiday magic at work.

This has to be one of my favorite books by this amazing writing duo. CLo write what they do best: playful banter, a charming romance, the classic childhood friends-to-lovers trope, and a cozy setting. The setting was one of the best aspects of the book and an instant mood booster. I wanted nothing more than to be with these characters in a cabin in the snowy woods during the Christmas holidays, with those I love most.

I don’t want to spoil too much about the romance, but I will say that it was beautifully written and absolutely melted my heart. My two favorite Christina Lauren books are also childhood-to-lover stories so I’m beginning to believe that this is where they really excel with their romances. The romantic lead is such a wonderful dream boat and I’m really hoping for some holiday magic for myself this year and for a real-life version of him to appear (I’m speaking this into existence!!).

My one and only issue was the ending, which I found to be…unexpected. I wouldn’t necessary label it as bad, it just wasn’t really where I thought the direction of the ending of the book would take us. It clearly didn’t effect my enjoyment of the book, however.

I read this book in about three hours so that should really say something about how much I loved it. In a Holidaze is the perfect heartwarming, romantic story for the holidays. Pick this up and let yourself believe in holiday magic and love.

BOOK REVIEW: My Favorite Half-Night Stand – Christina Lauren ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Title: My Favorite Half-Night Stand
Author: Christina Lauren
Rating: ★★★★

The last couple of Christina Lauren books I’ve read have left me wanting, so I was extremely pleased to find myself really enjoying this one! My Favorite Half-Night Stand was fun, flirty, and angsty. It was exactly the kind of light pick-me-up I was looking to read in the summer!

Millie was a protagonist worth reading. Throughout the book, I found myself slightly frustrated with some of her thoughts and behavior. But when I really analyzed her character, I found it because I see a lot of myself and my insecurities in her. Once I made that realization I was able to fully understand and connect with her. Her emotional guardedness and difficulty opening up resonated with me, even though I wanted to strangle her on occasion for not being more forthright.

“I’m lonely because I don’t tell people what I need or what I want, and then get hurt when they don’t figure it out on their own.”

I absolutely loved her relationship with Reid! It’s no secret that I enjoy friends-to-lovers tropes and My Favorite Half-Night Stand nailed it. I thought the authors did a fantastic job convincingly writing two friends who come to the the realization that their feelings for each other differ from their other friendships. It was also super refreshing that here, it was the man that wanted the emotional depth, the tenderness, the sharing of one’s soul with a partner in this conflict.

As much as I enjoyed this book, I do have a major gripe. The entire premise of My Favorite Half-Night Stand revolves around their group of friends needing to find dates for an upcoming dinner event for the university they work at. However, we never get to see that party! I was really looking forward to some prom-style drama at that dinner and honestly thought that would be where the climax of story happened. So to say I was slightly disappointed would be an understatement.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand is classic Christina Lauren. From the flirty banter, angst-ridden relationship, and light-hearted fun, this is the perfect summer read for fans of contemporary romance and rom-coms!