Happy Holidays! Carrie Aarons is releasing a brand new Christmas romance just in time for you to read it before the holidays! Read my thoughts about this sweet standalone below, and let me know your favorite holiday books in the comments!
What is If Only in My Dreams by Carrie Aarons about?
‘Tis the season to … be freshly divorced at twenty-six and moving back into your parents’ house?
Because that’s my reality this Christmas. As if it isn’t bad enough that my entire hometown is buzzing with the news of my failed marriage, who is the first person I bump into at the grocery store? The guy who treated me like his personal booty call in high school just happens to be looking at spices while I’m trying to pick up cinnamon for my mother.
And get this; Porter Kelly, the broody, mysterious recluse who exposed his own secrets to the world by writing a book about his family years ago, is the one who acts like I wronged him. His rude remarks on aisle nine are the final straw as my exhausted unhappiness breaks, and I’m officially calling off the most wonderful time of the year.
Too bad it’s literally impossible for the woman whose parents own a railroad that specializes in Christmas train rides to ignore the holiday season. Because I’m back under their roof, it’s mandatory to work in the middle of the red and green merriment, Santa himself, and wait for it …
Porter serenading us with the greatest festive hits of all time. That’s right, apparently my teenage heartthrob turned nemesis not only works for my parents, but can strum a guitar like he’s trying to get every soccer mom on board pregnant. As we’re forced to spend more time together than ever, his past baggage and my marital rejection make their way to the surface, bonding us in ways neither of us knew possible.
I thought I was heartbroken about my ex-husband wanting to end our marriage, but that pain is nothing compared to what Porter could inflict. He seems like a changed man, one on the precipice of a new chapter, which is exactly where I find myself. Would it be crazy to think we could turn the page together?
Returning home was the only option I had. But as I come dangerously close to counting on the first man who broke my heart, I wonder if all of my future dreams are too good to be true.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Carrie is back with another sweet standalone romance! When we meet Madison, she’s actually struggling with two heartbreaks — the most recent is her divorce from her college boyfriend, William, and the previous heartbreak is with Porter, who she was in love with in high school. Her and Porter have a sort of enemies-to-lovers thing going on, but really they’re just rude to each other, him more so than her.
Something that I liked about Madison as a character is that Carrie made it clear that she’s strong and independent and able to stand on her own two feet without a husband/boyfriend, while simultaneously not looking down on her for wanting to find true love, either. (It’s a romance book, so I’d hope that would be the case, but you never know!) I think it would’ve been cool to see some sort of scene where Porter and William interact in the present (it’s mentioned that they briefly met in the past), but William’s connection to Madison is wrapped up nicely.
Even though Porter is a musician and an author, I wouldn’t necessarily consider this to be a ‘rockstar romance’ or anything like that, since the book doesn’t revolve around it, and Madison isn’t sucked up into it like other romances that involve the music industry.
Overall, I thought this was a fun read and would recommend it if you’re looking for a new adult book to get you in the mood for Christmas! As with all new adult books, I recommend it for 18+ due to some of the sexual content, but I won’t tell you what to do.
Thanks to Carrie Aarons and Grey’s Promo for sending me an early digital copy to review!
Check out my interview with Carrie about “The Tenth Girl,” and read my other reviews of her young and new adult books:
“Foes & Cons” – ARC (coming soon)
“Control Artist” (Callahan Family #4) – ARC (coming soon)
“Then You Saw Me” (Prospect Street #1) – ARC (coming soon)
“Tagging Up” (Callahan Family #5) – ARC (coming soon)
“Foes & Cons” ♪ (coming soon)
“Control Artist” (Callahan Family #4) ♪ (coming soon)
“Tagging Up” (Callahan Family #5) ♪ (coming soon)