*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Melissa Ellis and Tucker James have known each other for many years. Back in high school, Tucker asked Melissa to Prom in front of the entire school. Melissa turned him down and might’ve called him a stalker. Who cares, right? It’s not like Tucker was important.
Fast forward a year and Tucker moved from Wisconsin to Nashville to start his music career. His first hit single is about the public rejection…where he calls out Melissa by name. Now she’s the laughing stock of her hometown.
Years later, Melissa is still in her hometown, working at a popular restaurant. Guess who she happens to see at one of her tables? It’s Tucker James, back to perform at a local Christmas event. All of her anger toward Tucker comes rushing back. While Tucker feels bad about the past and wants to move forward, Melissa can’t let go of how insulting her launched Tucker’s successful music career.
When a snowstorm makes it impossible for Melissa to get home, she has no choice but to spend the night at Tucker’s mom’s house. The two are forced to deal with their past issues and after spending some time together, they understand each other better.
Visiting Wisconsin brought back Tucker’s old feelings and he wonders if Melissa could ever forgive him for his past mistakes.
Christmas After All is a hate to love second chance love story. We’ve read all of Louise’s fantasy novels so we were excited to see her try a contemporary romance.
First of all, we enjoyed that the book started off with the flashback scene instead of the reader just hearing about it from the present. It painted a picture of high school Melissa and Tucker. Neither of them made the right choices in our opinion. Tucker shouldn’t have publicly embarrassed Melissa and Melissa should have been a bit nicer in her response.
In the present, we didn’t blame Melissa for still being angry at Tucker. He could’ve at least changed her name so the whole world wouldn’t know who turned him down. But Tucker has grown up since he released the song and we appreciated his regret.
Christmas After All is character driven instead of plot driven. Most of the story takes place over a few days and is simply about Melissa and Tucker figuring out what they want in life. However, it isn’t easy when you throw in younger siblings, a business deal and the paparazzi.
Overall, we found Louise’s contemporary debut to be very sweet and enjoyable. It’s definitely for those who are getting excited about Christmas. The one thing we weren’t found of was the epilogue. Without spoiling anything, we felt it unnecessary and that most successful relationships don’t move too fast.
Pick up this 2022 Christmas romance if you’re in the mood for a light and quick read.