Friday, September 1, 2023

All's Fair in Love and Christmas by Sarah Monzon

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Two workplace rivals. One festive competition. And a romance that upends it all.

Every December two things are guaranteed for graphic designer Mackenzie Graham--Christmas celebrations and the annual promotion at her workplace. Those two things are by no means mutually exclusive. In fact, the better an employee is at harnessing the Christmas spirit, the more likely they'll win the new job. With her social anxiety, Mackenzie never thought she'd be a contender in her company's holiday competition, so how exactly has she found herself dueling her workplace crush with wrapping paper tubes and using tinsel as her weapon of choice for a much-needed raise?

Jeremy Fletcher's life is meticulously planned out, including how to win this year's promotion at work. Not only will the new position fulfill some of his career goals, but as a single guardian to his twin niece and nephew, he needs the salary increase to support his family. Jeremy has barely noticed Mackenzie Graham around the office, but now that she's his rival, he can't stop thinking about her. Her quirkiness intrigues him, and he's afraid that if he can't get his head on straight, the promotion isn't the only thing he'll end up losing to Mackenzie.

HOLT Medallion and Selah Award-winner, and a Carol Award finalist, Sarah Monzon is a stay-at-home mom who makes up imaginary friends to have adult conversations with (otherwise known as writing novels). As a navy chaplain's wife, she resides wherever the military happens to station her family and enjoys exploring the beauty of the world around her. Learn more at 

I don't know if I ever read a book where I so quickly related to a character as I did to Mackenzie. Before the very first chapter was even over, I couldn't help but feel seen. As someone who struggles with social anxiety like the main character of this story, Sarah Monzon got it right! As a Christian book, this made me especially happy to see. Unfortunately, there is still sometimes that mindset among Christians that anxiety comes from lack of faith, and that can be a very dangerous idea. This book didn't downplay the role of faith, but also addressed the importance of professional help too. So, so important! 

While the mental health aspect of this book definitely took it to the next level and made it one that's going to stick with me--- the story itself was super fun too! I loved the holiday puns mixed out, the office competition, and of course--- the romance. Jeremy and Mackenzie were both (mostly) such likeable characters that I couldn't help but be drawn into their story. There was enough Christmas cheer and fun to make this worthy of a Hallmark-like love story... but with many mentions of faith, which made it all that much better for a holiday read too!

I've read several other books by Sarah Monzon and have enjoyed them all... but this one might just be my favorite so far! If you're looking for a great holiday RomCom, this is the perfect choice! 


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