5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: A Very Bossy Christmas by Kayley Loring

What’s the actual last thing you’d ever want your executive assistant to see you doing the morning after you had hot, drunk, angry sex with her in a terrible hotel room? Dancing around your terrible hotel room to “Come and Get Your Love” like Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy—naked? Yeah. Me too.

And yet, here we are.

This isn’t even the most unprofessional thing that’s happened between us in the past couple of weeks.

The first was when I agreed to let her have Christmas Day off, but only if she goes with me to three family gatherings as my fake girlfriend.
The second was when she caught me belting out a Christmas song on stage in the awful hotel bar.
The third was the hot, drunk, angry sex that followed, but I do not regret it.

And she hasn’t even found out the real reason I need her by my side this holiday season.

I need to pull it together before I do the dumbest, most unprofessional thing of all—fall head over heels in love with the only assistant who’s lasted more than a month at the job and claims to hate me and my moods more than she hates eggnog.

And I’ve seen how much she hates eggnog.

Title:A Very Bossy Christmas
Author:Kayley Loring
Series:Very Holiday (Book 1)
Category / Genre(s):Contemporary
Trope(s):Christmas Romance
Enemies to Lovers
Fake Relationship
Office Romance
Point of View:First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Mostly New York, US
Release Date:26th October, 2020
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Sexy, festive and so much fun

When I imagine a book about a sexy, grumpy boss falling in love with his long-suffering assistant, I immediately assume that the hero will be a quiet and broody while the heroine is quiet, somewhat submissive and hiding her light under a bushel.

This is so not that story.

From the first page, you realise the relationship between Declan and Maddie is full of bickering, sarcasm, eye-rolling and taking little digs at each other. This is clearly foreplay which is obvious to everyone except Declan and Maddie. That’s not to say that Declan isn’t a little bit of an asshole to Maddie. She’s strong enough to dish it right back to him but he does deserve a slap every now and then.

For the first wee while, like I said, Declan was an asshole. But he tempered it with joking, teasing and bantering with Maddie. Yet as the story progresses, we begin to see something deeper with Declan. It’s so subtle, but little things he thinks and says, little looks he gives and his actions begin to show his vulnerabilities. My heart started to hurt for him and I began to really root for him. And want to give him a big hug, obviously!

I liked Maddie from the start. She was no nonsense and while she gave as good as she got with Declan, she was still infuriated by, and attracted to him. It was hilarious to watch her battle with herself about what she should do and how she should play things. And like Declan, with each chapter, we learn a little more about Maddie and she becomes more human and more open with her thoughts and feelings. And how she and Declan interact. My hurting heart began to swell.

The foreplay/banter is on point with this story which leads to an unbelievably hot sex session when things get to a head. Wow! Merry Christmas to all of us! There was more sex in the book after that and while nothing compared to that first time, it was all still hot, sexy and still fun.

“…sass, sex, shenanigans and Christmas – what more could you ask for?”

This story gave me lots of Christmas feels. It’s not festive in a ‘snow falling, sitting by the fireplace sipping hot chocolate’ kind of way. It’s just got heart to it – especially in the family scenes. And we get lots of references and puns with Christmas songs and carols. Good grief – who knew that so many Christmas songs could be made to sound so dirty? Slow clap

It took me a couple of chapters to get fully into the story (don’t worry, the chapters are short) but once I did, I devoured this story. I liked the change up of traditional storytelling, text message conversations and, once or twice, hilarious diary entries from Piper – Maddie’s niece. All these elements worked so well and were just what I needed. This was definitely an ‘ach- I’ll just read one more chapter’ kind of book.

This is my first Kayley Loring book but it certainly won’t be my last. Her writing is fast, sassy, fun and filthy. It’s packed with fun references, tons of sweary words and moments of absolute hilarity. And the banter – oh the banter! You could practically hear the character voices coming through the pages, they felt so real.

While this book stands alone with its own HEA, I did make a note to myself to demand a book for Eddie, Declan’s brother (hopefully with nerdy Birdie) in the future. Imagine my delight to hear it’s already in the works and coming in April 2021. Yay – a new series to indulge in.

This book was an absolute delight. Characters that grow with the story, a believable relationship and sass, sex, shenanigans and Christmas – what more could you ask for? Highly recommended – definitely a 5 star read.

Before writing steamy romantic comedy novels, Kayley Loring got her BFA in creative writing from a Canadian university and had a fifteen-year career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles (under a different name). She mostly wrote PG-13 family comedies that studios would pay her lots of money for and then never make into movies. In 2017 she decided to move to the Pacific Northwest and write about all the fun stuff that she wasn’t allowed to write about in those PG-13 scripts. Now she’s breathing cleaner air and writing dirtier words. It’s an adjustment that she’s happily getting used to.

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Very Holiday Series:

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