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The Holiday Trap

Sunday, January 1, 2023

The Holiday Trap (2022) Roan Parrish

The Holiday TrapGreta has had it with her family. She may love them, but that doesn’t change things.

“I know it’s Chanukah and I know your family, but I must introduce you to my friend Boundaries, and her best friend, Also Boundaries.”

Truman needs to get away.

“I left. Excuse me for panicking when I realized my boyfriend of almost a year has a secret family.”

Luckily, they have a friend in common who suggests they swap houses for a month, to give them space and distance to sort themselves out.

The selling point for Truman is that Gerta is from Maine–where the author of his favorite book series lived.

He had read the series so many times over the years that he could open to any page in any of the seven books and know exactly what was going on. Often, he read his favorite bits to cheer himself up.

Both quickly make friends in their new, temporary homes.

“So… you’re getting a PhD to… what?”

“To get to do math for seven years!” Carys said, grin so bright there wasn’t the slightest doubt in Greta’s mind that she truly did love math that much.

The bell above the door in Muskee’s General Store tinkled his arrival, and he stamped off the snow.

“Back again!” crowed the woman at the counter.

“Er. Yes. Thought I’d try a food group other than heartbreak,” he quipped, laugh-cringing.

I liked this better than the last two Garnett books. It’s not that they were bad books, but something felt off or missing, and I think it was because I expect Roan Parrish books to have an underlying level of angst and trauma that form the characters into who they are.

This story is nowhere near as dark as the Riven or Small Change series, but the past traumas felt central to who the characters–all the characters not just Greta and Truman–are in the present.

That is not to say the story doesn’t have joy and happiness–it does in droves–but something about Roan Parrish’s stories feels off when there isn’t a significant struggle for the characters to deal with.

Or perhaps I have just come to expect her books to be emotionally wrecking at times, and not having that struggle confuses my expectations.

Regardless, I liked the story, the main characters, and all the secondary characters.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Rating: 8/10

Categories: 8/10, eBook, Good Cover, LGBT, Romance, Sexual Content

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