It’s the most wonderful time of the reading year, when Christmas books take over, and our hearts grow bigger while we kick our feet and scream through the best types of stories. Snowed In by Catherine Walsh, a companion to her gorgeous hit from last year, Holiday Romance, is a thoroughly hilarious fake-dating spectacle.
Walsh throws us straight into the trenches with a runaway bride, leaving readers wondering why and how before jumping five years into the future, where we reunite with our heroine, Megan O’Sullivan, at a local pub. (And the why we uncover later on hits like a ton of bricks but no spoilers.) There, we also reacquaint ourselves with the last person we saw at the failed wedding, Christian Fitzpatrick. The stars align, and one failed date leads to a proposition that’s hard to ignore, throwing us toward the start of a relationship that’s easy to invest in.
Christian Fitzpatrick in Snowed In by Catherine Walsh is peak book boyfriend material—fake and real. He’s charming, funny, attentive, and a caretaker in every way. He’s the former bad boy with a reputation, and with the lies around their families come plenty of moments where vulnerability and uncovering their heartaches take control to heal them both. Walsh’s writing works entirely because of how natural and hilarious the quippy banter is threaded amidst the heartwarming moments, making both Christian and Megan incredible characters to get to know. The balance between their perspectives works well, and even if Walsh wants to dive into a single point of view, something tells me she’s one of the few authors who could master it. The writing is sharp, thoughtful, and, quite frankly, actually, hilarious.
When it comes to fake dating romances, every reader looks for something different, but there’s a moment in all the best ones where it subtly, quietly becomes real. For Christian and Megan, these beats surface when they’re around their families, and they pay close attention to how the other shifts and falls and rises, making a mental note to ask about it later. These changes allow them to grow during every moment where they stand up for one another, fighting for their seemingly faux courtship as though it’s the most crucial thing in the world. Which, well, it is.
But more than that, it’s how Snowed In by Catherine Walsh explores both characters finding their footing and voices to stand up for themselves. It’s what draws them to become better partners and people in the long run, making their romance an enticing character journey as well as a relationship. Theirs is a story about growth, and it’s about two people using a very short amount of time to be transparent about their feelings. Walsh also brings back Molly and Andrew from Holiday Romance, giving readers a further glimpse of their happy ending, making the novel feel like a delightful joy ride for all sorts of love stories. It’s a small-town treat with a lot of history that adds more meaning to every interaction and altercation.
In short, Snowed In by Catherine Walsh is a delightfully written, hilariously enamoring fake dating Christmas novel that’ll have readers kicking their feet up in the air and clutching their chest with all sorts of feelings. It’s the kind of book Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again” goes perfectly with, setting up a story where a single red coat holds a plethora of depth woven into the threads of its making. The same can be said about Megan’s knitting, allowing her creations to become her love letters, pieces of her heart, and the care she puts into everything she does. It’s a warm, cozy romance that should be on everyone’s radar—alongside Holiday Romance.
Snowed In by Catherine Walsh is now available wherever books are sold.