Published by Bookouture on October 1, 2021
Buy on Amazon
Two single thirty-year-olds. One marriage pact. And a night in Vegas that’s about to change everything…
On Christmas Eve eight years ago Evie and Dan made a pact: if they weren’t married by thirty, they were going to marry each other. Of course, neither of them took it seriously, even if Dan has always been mesmerised by Evie’s beautiful smile, and Evie has always fancied Dan, her best-friend’s brother.
But then “it” happens. They wake up on Christmas Eve, the night before Evie’s thirtieth birthday in Vegas… married. In a honeymoon suite filled with hundreds of heart-shaped pillows, they realise too late what they’ve done – just like Ross and Rachel.
Surely if they just get a quickie divorce, they can go back to the way things used to be, right? If it wasn’t for the alcohol and Susan-with-the-huge-beehive-hairdo who just wouldn’t take no for an answer, none of this would have happened. They can just go back to being friends.
Except moving on is easier said than done when you've secretly loved each other forever… but if one of them doesn’t admit that, what happens to their friendship? If they don’t get together this time, what happens to the pact? Are they really ready to let it go for good?
From the blurb, I’d initially assumed that ‘The Mistletoe Pact’ was a story about an accidental marriage between 2 drunk (but very compatible) friends who finally realised the error of their ways…and moved forward from that point together.
To my dawning horror, this turned out the opposite as the book went on.
Instead, Evie and Dan moved on from each other after trying to brush off their accidental one-night Vegas marriage with Dan even having a baby with his ex-girlfriend and Evie moving on with a new bloke in the months after. How was that supposed to bode well?
Clearly this has something to do with my clear set of expectations that the book fell totally short of. But in a romance, I do at least expect a lot more interactions between the protagonists rather than fleeting looks or touches in the intervening years, catalogued as very distracting chapter flashbacks between the years when they were in each other’s orbits but never really did anything about each other after the pact that they made.
In fact, Evie and Dan (along with the rest of the characters) came off as wooden, flighty and somehow shallow at the events that they met, their dialogues and scenes together not even sounding remotely interesting or hinting at any deeper development other than what was really printed on the page. Their individual life trajectories were always drawing away from each other rather than coming together and when it felt like they were pulled apart more than together at the halfway point (where Jo Lovett threw a spanner in the works by introducing the ex- and the baby), I simply gave up.