Christmas Inn Maine by Chelsea M. Cameron is a super cute Christmas romance that has zero angst. Yes, I know it’s not Christmas right now, but I picked it up during a stressful week and I’m so glad I did!
The story is told from the perspective of Colden Hayes, a nonbinary demigirl. Colden sometimes uses she/her pronouns and sometimes uses they/them pronouns, depending on what feels most right at the time. I’m going to use she/her throughout this review because that’s what’s in the official blurb, but please keep in mind that it shifts for Colden at different times.
Colden is ready to get the hell out of Boston and into the cottage she’s rented for a two-week Christmas vacation in Maine. She has a suitcase full of books and some groceries, so she’s all set for the solo vacation of her dreams. Turns out, the cottage doesn’t exist, so Colden books in for the night at a picturesque inn so she can wait out the snow and figure out what she’s going to do.
What could be worse for Colden than staying at an inn with other people when all you wanted was to be alone? Learning that said inn is owned by the family of her nemesis at work, Laura Sterling. Even though she knows she should go back to Boston, Colden ends up taking the Sterlings up on their offer of staying through the holiday. After all, they’re so damn nice, the food is tasty, and the location really is beautiful.
Can Colden really stay mad at Laura with all the festive cheer, mistletoe, and “only one bed” situation that pops up part way through her stay? Or will she have her own little Christmas surprise and fall in love?
Colden is a supergrump and I love her. She’s been alone for a long time, so it’s understandable why she’s so guarded. I loved seeing her warm up to all the Sterlings, especially how she figures out that she might be attracted to Laura. Colden has a big emotional journey and I found it thoroughly satisfying.
We don’t get to see as much into who Laura is as a person, since this is Colden’s book, and I was okay with that. Her main thing is that she’s forging a path for herself that’s different from what her family wants for her and I loved that Laura is firm about her boundaries with them while still showing tremendous care for her family. I also appreciated that even when she and Colden don’t get along, she does regular pronoun check-ins with Colden to make sure she’s using the right ones.
The Writing Style
This is a very warm book that has a lot of heart, which always goes a long way with me. It also has everything I love from a Chelsea M. Cameron book: great characters, adorable tone, excellent chemistry, and hot sex.
Literally everything about this book works for me. Plus, Laura’s grandma has an enormous pet pig, which I think is hilarious.
I got nothing.
When things are rough, I love to cling to sweet, funny romances. I was hoping Christmas Inn Maine would fit that bill, and it totally delivered. If you’re looking for a warm hug of a book, pick it up, because this one is sure to make you smile and maybe even laugh.
Excerpt from Christmas Inn Maine by Chelsea M. Cameron
I left the beautiful room and went downstairs. There were already a few people in the dining room, including an older woman who might be sixty and might be three hundred and the most enormous black pig I’d seen in my life. Not that I’d seen a lot of pigs. She was feeding it scraps from the table like a dog. That was something I definitely hadn’t seen in my life.
“Granny, you can’t do that,” I heard a familiar voice say, and I turned to see none other than Laura. The coworker I’d seen yesterday. I stood there gaping for a second, sure this was a mirage. She couldn’t possibly be here, at this random Maine inn. What the fuck? It had to be someone who looked like her.
Then the pig turned around, saw me, and ran over. I put my hands up to protect myself, but it skidded to a stop right in front of me and looked up, making soft noises.
“Uh, hello?” I said, unsure of what to do. Did you pet pigs like dogs? What was pig etiquette?
“Colden?” the raspy voice said, and I looked from the pig to the approaching Laura. Yup, definitely her.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” I said as the pig wiggled in front of me as if it wanted me to do something.
“This is my family’s inn,” she said, looking just as stunned as I probably did. Her face had gotten pale.
“Oh,” I said, because what else was there to say?
“She wants you to pet her,” she said, pointing at the pig. “Right on the top of her head or under her chin.”
This was the most bizarre moment of my entire life, and that was saying a lot.
“Your last name is Sterling,” I said, finally making the connection.
“Yeah,” she said, leaning down to pet the pig. “What are you doing here?”
“I was supposed to rent a cottage that turned out not to exist and there was a lot of snow and now I’m here and you’re petting a pig.”
“Yes, I am,” she said, and I could feel her irritation. I wasn’t too happy either.
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Bits and Bobs
- Publisher: Indie author
- Chelsea M. Cameron Online
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