Books

Book Review: A Cross-Country Christmas

I’ve read a handful of great Christmas books this holiday season and A Cross-Country Christmas by Courtney Walsh might just be my favorite one of the bunch!

The dual POV novel follows Lauren Richmond and Will Sinclair. Lauren, a set designer, lives in LA and hasn’t been home to Illinois for Christmas in a long time, but this year her brother Spencer and his wife are having a baby and want her there. Lauren doesn’t like to fly and besides her brother she doesn’t really have a reason to go home. Lauren didn’t have the happiest childhood so her hometown is not a place she looks forward to visiting. But, she wants to see her brother so she lets her brother arrange for her ride home – a cross-country road trip with his best friend, Will. Will, who is an assistant baseball coach in LA, also happens to be Lauren’s childhood crush who unknowingly broke her heart years ago.

Lauren is distant and guarded because she can’t and won’t get over Will breaking her heart, even if he may not know he did that. Will has spent years building his life back up after mistakes he made in the past cost him his baseball career. Will the road trip help Lauren see how much Will has changed? Can Will convince Lauren that he’s worth getting to know again and taking a risk on?

I absolutely loved this book. It made my heart so happy! Will was perfection and I felt like Lauren was really realistic and relatable. I saw a few reviews saying that Lauren’s grumpiness and stubbornness bordered on being too much, but I got her. I can relate to that inner dialogue that she had where she knows she’s being stubborn or not as nice as she could be and internally chides herself for it, but she can’t help what comes out of her mouth or the attitude that comes out because she just isn’t ready to “get over it” yet.

All the Christmas-y stops they made and the evolution of their friendship and romance was so sweet. I teared up at one part, but not a romance part – it was a part about her childhood that broke my heart. Lauren’s past makes her time with Will’s family all the more touching and sweet. I just loved it so much!

And there’s going to be a spin-off next year with Lauren’s best friend coming out next year and I cannot wait for it. I saw the title and the little blurb about it (the synopsis isn’t out yet) and I left a comment on the author’s Instagram with my guess about what it is about and she said I was absolutely right!

Read this book if you’re looking for a holiday romance, love to loathe to love tropes, childhood crush trope, forced proximity, and brother’s best friend!

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Welcome to my blog! I'm a teacher during the day and lifestyle blogger by night. I love pop culture, entertainment/TV/movies/music, food, beauty, travel & fashion! www.twitter.com/jamwong www.instagram.com/lifeaccordingtojamie

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