The story opens in a coffee shop, while Jessica Raymond is breaking up with her dirtbag girlfriend. Jess hadn’t been particularly into her anyway, but it still sucks to be cheated on and to go through a breakup right before Christmas. Refusing to give her ex the emotional response she clearly wants, Jess sort of tunes out during their conversation, noticing a grey cat outside.
When Jess gets home, she’s greeted by the same cat, who’s waiting outside her door. Hoping the cat is chipped and that she can reunite it with its owner, Jess takes the furry cutie to a vet where she gets real snarky when someone bumps into her and the cat. Of course, the clumsy person is none other than Taylor Mitchell, super-hot veterinary extraordinaire.
And thus begins a series of encounters between Jess and Taylor, Jess acting like a grumpy jerk and Taylor being a sweetheart. Luckily for Jess, she has a super special cat who will make sure she stays on the right track.
Tinsel is told in the first person, keeping us with Jess’s perspective the whole time. Even though she’s kind of a dick to Taylor, I liked her a lot. She’s not in the best place when Taylor first bumps into her, since Jess is understandably frustrated with her ex, and I was glad that she’s self aware enough to admit to herself why she was behaving so badly. Also, it’s super cute how she denies that she can keep the cat even though they’re meant to be a family.
Taylor is basically perfect and I love that the cat knows it. Given the way Jess treats her, I’d love to get even a short story from Taylor’s perspective to see why she persists in the face of Jess’s bad behaviour, but I don’t actually feel like anything is lacking in the story. I’m just curious.
The Writing Style
This is a super sweet, fun novella. I sank into it immediately and read it in an evening.
Extra special bonus points from me because Jess gives the cat the single best name of all time (even if I was a little disappointed that she renames it later).
The cover doesn’t do it for me at all.
If you’re looking for the perfect short, low-angst holiday read, this is the one for you! It’s sure to make you smile and is a great way to pass a couple of hours.
Excerpt from Tinsel by Kris Bryant
I pulled out my phone and texted Mo.
It’s a girl! Followed with a baby emoji and a cat face.
I thought so.
No chip so she’s coming home with me. I’m going to put flyers out in the neighborhood and see if we have any takers.
Congratulations on your new baby.
I scowled at the phone. That shit’s not funny.
At least you aren’t allergic. Something that fluffy would set me into a sneezing frenzy. Don’t forget to pick up everything. Maybe take her to one of those super pet stores where you can bring your cat and shop with them.
Taylor quietly slipped into the room again, Catmas comfortably tucked in the crook of her arm. She was staring at a piece of paper.
“So Catmas…” She paused as if saying the name was distasteful.
“Catmas Evergreen. That’ll sound great when I’m angry or get home for the day. Catmas Evergreen, come here! Or, Catmas Evergreen, get down from there!”
She finally smiled. “Very interesting name. Read young adult dystopian much?”
At least she got the humor of the name and where it came from. “I lead a very exciting life glued to either my Kindle or the television.”
“You should get out more,” Taylor said.
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Bits and Bobs
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
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Note: I received a free review copy of Tinsel by Kris Bryant. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site