Saturday, December 23, 2023

All's Fair in Love and Christmas by Sarah Monzon Book Review

About the Book:

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.

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

This is a fun Christian romantic comedy. It's a quick read, the story itself coming in under 240 pages. It is entertaining, featuring realistic characters facing a seemingly impossible task. There are good doses of humor that add to the lightness. There are also a few serious issues, however. Mackenzie is socially awkward, for example, producing periodic anxiety. Her mother has Alzheimer's too. Jeremy has had tragedy in his family and is now raising his niece and nephew. The plot is fun, even if a little predictable, and there is a good twist near the end.

There are a couple of issues with the writing style that I found distracting. The first is the change in point of view. Some chapters are more about Mackenzie's thoughts and they are in first person, her POV. Some chapters are more about Jeremy and they are in third person POV. Another issue was the changes in tense, Mackenzie's in the present tense while Jeremy's was in the past tense. I found that change in tense particularly disconcerting as the same people are involved in both styles of writing. “Keri dropped her hand.” (196) “Keri screws up her lips.” (200) It grated on my sense of writing consistency.

This is a fun romantic comedy rooted in the Christian faith of the characters, if readers can overlook the changes in POV and tense I did not like.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

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

Bethany House Publishers, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)