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The Wake-Up Call

Beth O'Leary crafts an endearing holiday romance!

Izzy and Lucas both work the reception desk at the cash-strapped Forest Manor Hotel, and they are arch-rivals. Izzy confessed to Lucas that she had feelings for him in a Christmas card a year ago, and he kissed her flatmate that very night. When Izzy locates the owner of a wedding ring found at the hotel and receives a substantial reward, the hotel starts trying to locate the owners of the rings they've found to raise cash. Izzy and Lucas compete to find the ring owners, and sparks fly!

I have loved all of Beth O'Leary's books, and this was no exception! Charmingly set in a cozy hotel during Christmas and full of sweet characters, this was delightful! Enemies to lovers, grumpy sunshine, workplace romance, this had some of my favorite tropes, and it was all wrapped up in a heartfelt holiday story. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it, but once I did, I could not put this down, and by the end, it was tough to say goodbye to these characters. Quirky Izzy and buttoned-up Lucas were memorable characters, and their slow-burn romance full of chemistry had me rooting for them as a couple.

The book also has themes of found family. Izzy and Lucas had both endured loss and found each other and a wonderful group of amazing friends. When returning the lost wedding rings, the people they encountered brought a whole range of stories, from sweet to scandalous! This might be the most light-hearted of O'Leary's books, which works well for a holiday read, but as you would expect from the author, Izzy, and Lucas are well-developed and complex characters, and the story is layered. This feels modern and nostalgic, making for a heartwarming holiday book. If you are looking for a holiday romance with some substance and characters you will grow to love, add this to your tbr!

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for the opportunity to review this ARC.

My steep was Christmas Tea from Damann Freres, a black tea with orange and pineapple with a hint of maraschino and caramel- a delicious and unexpected take on holiday tea!

Publisher's Synopsis:

Two hotel receptionists--and arch-rivals--find a collection of old wedding rings and compete to return them to their owners, discovering their own love story along the way.

It's the busiest season of the year, and Forest Manor Hotel is quite literally falling apart. So when Izzy and Lucas are given the same shift on the hotel's front desk, they have no choice but to put their differences aside and see it through.

The hotel won't stay afloat beyond Christmas without some sort of miracle. But when Izzy returns a guest's lost wedding ring, the reward convinces management that this might be the way to fix everything. With four rings still sitting in the lost & found, the race is on for Izzy and Lucas to save their beloved hotel--and their jobs.

As their bitter rivalry turns into something much more complicated, Izzy and Lucas begin to wonder if there's more at stake here than the hotel's future. Can the two of them make it through the season with their hearts intact?

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