I don’t know why I don’t hear more about Tessa Bailey’s Christmas book, Window Shopping, because I loved it so much! I mean, I do hear about it a little bit – that’s how I added it to my holiday tbr – but I think it’s highly underrated. Or maybe since it’s from last year people just haven’t been all about it this year?
Here’s the premise – Stella has just recently moved to New York City after a difficult past few years. One day she stops in front of the Christmas window display of Vivant – a high end department store – and hates it. Then, an upbeat (and attractive) man comes up next to her and asks for her opinion. Not really in the mood to be friendly, she tries to brush him off but she can’t help but list all the reasons she hates the window. He tells her she should apply for the window dresser position and she walks away. But, Stella does need a job so she eventually does decide to apply.
Aiden can’t stop thinking about the girl he met at the window even though she didn’t seem to want anything to do with him. He’s hoping she’ll apply for the window dresser position and he’ll get to see her again. He is, after all, the owner of the department store. Stella does end up getting the job on a trial basis and now must wow the Board with her Christmas ideas and hopefully bring more customers in after sales have been down post-pandemic. Side note: I love how the pandemic is mentioned in this book a few times so it makes it seem so real.
The book had cheesy elements to it that made it seem a bit like a tv Christmas movie or something out of Hallmark, but holy smokes the spice! The tension was so good and the spicy scenes were top notch. I loved Aiden and his upstanding morals and personality lent themselves to the tension, because he didn’t want to do anything that was against the rules or would make Stella uncomfortable. Even when she wanted to be with him too, he wouldn’t cross certain lines without the proper HR paperwork because he didn’t want their relationship to be tainted with a power imbalance, etc.
I really enjoyed the two of them getting to know each other and watching their feelings develop beyond lust/attraction. They were really there for each other. Stella helped Aiden realize he couldn’t always be the nice guy or peacekeeper with his annoying family (aka the Board) and Aiden helped Stella realize she’s a good person and worthy of a fresh start.
I can definitely see this being a holiday comfort read for me in the future!
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