Okay, I’ve talked about this before. I’ve received – and LOVED – a lot of ARCs from Entangled Publishing, so I keep going back to them again and again. But this one was a huge miss for me, and I am really sad about it. I wanted a cozy Christmas romance to read while I was driving cross country, which is what I’ve been up to this week and why I’m another week behind on Marshmallow Fridays. I’ll make it up to y’all at some point, I swear! But in any case, this was a huge disappointment for me, which is why I ended up not finishing it.
Tangled Up in Christmas is about Hannah, a photographer and event planner, and Roarke, a veterinarian and the infamous Horse Wrangler, who has become a YouTube sensation. They grew up together in Sweetwater, Texas, falling in love after Hannah finished college and Roarke finished vet school. They got engaged, and then Hannah ran, leaving Roarke behind while she built her career as a photographer in LA. She believed Roarke cheated on her, and she didn’t think she’d ever get past it. But now she’s back in Texas, back in Sweetwater, helping her old friend Jason and his new bride plan the best Christmas festival ever… and Roarke is part of it too. Can the two of them get past their old feelings of hurt and pain, and start anew?
I DNFed at 56%.
Why I DNFed
Here’s the thing about this book – for me, it’s already done. Some slight spoilers ahead. At the point where I DNFed, Hannah and Roarke were back together and happy, the conflict with Hannah’s family had been addressed and solved, and the festival was already over. So… why was there still 44% left in the book?? I stopped because I didn’t really want to know any more. The pacing was terrible throughout, in fact – it glossed over some parts that I wanted to know so much more about and dragged through things I didn’t care about. Like the festival, the thing that brought Hannah back to Sweetwater in the first place? That was told over maybe 10 pages TOTAL. It was the whole reason she was there, and it was glossed over entirely. But we needed a bazillion pages on Hannah getting her luggage at the airport. (Hey, it felt like a bazillion.) On top of that, the dialogue was completely unrealistic. People don’t monologue! People don’t say their thoughts! I don’t know how to explain how stilted it was without you seeing it, but I don’t want to drag the author too much. It’s something a good editor probably should have caught, honestly. No one talks like they’re soliloquy-ing.
Would I pick this up again?
If someone told me that something super major happened in the second half… maybe. But that’s a hard maybe. I wasn’t super into it, and I wanted so much more from it. So… Idk. Maybe, maybe not. Thumbs sideways.
Does anyone know a good, cozy Christmas romance that can scratch my itch?