Abby Carpenter is in a tailspin knowing she is about to spend ten days in the company of her ex-girlfriend—who is now engaged to her brother—for a family holiday gathering in Red River, New Mexico. The same ex-girlfriend who last year at Christmas had lured her into bed. Abby’s solution? A pretend girlfriend for the holidays would surely keep her ex away and in her own room at night, right?
Nic Bennett’s life has been far from ideal and Christmas is her most dreaded holiday of all as she relives horrors from the past. When an attractive stranger approaches her with the offer of a chance to get away for ten days, she agrees. But with a counteroffer that brings both anxiety and excitement to the desperate Abby.
Among the holiday lights and snow-covered grandeur, the lines between pretend and reality blur as the two women have the time of their lives. Soon Abby learns it isn’t her ex she can’t resist. And Nic learns what it means to be part of a family for Christmas.
GCLS Goldie Awards
The Great Charade — Winner, Contemporary Romance: Short Novels.
FROM THE AUTHOR
"There’s this snow globe from Red River, New Mexico. I was digging around in my old childhood bedroom and found it. I’d only been to Red River a couple of times, both as an adult. My mother had no clue where it came from. She’d never been. I shook the globe several times, watching it snow, wondering where the heck it had come from.
So, when a Christmas story formed—and Red River was the setting—the snow globe had to have a part in the book.
I hope you love The Great Charade as much as I do…and I hope you fall in love with Abby and Nic. I know I did!
Happy Holidays, everyone!"
Natalie T. - For me, this was a perfect Christmas book. Not only does it nail the Christmas theme, but the premise is also engaging from the very first page - Abby needs a fake girlfriend to take home for the holidays because her ex is now dating her brother. This crazy scenario hooked me in from the get-go and I read this book in 24 hours—a feat for me at the moment. It was a real page turner.
Although you'd think a premise like this would cause a lot of angst, this book focuses more so on the relationship development between Nic and Abby. They are strangers at first, and over the course of a week or so they get to know each other, and this is what then kept me turning the pages. The way their relationship develops was a joy to read and felt so organic.
The backstory of Nic was gut-wrenching, but I loved the way Abby engages with her once she knows. It was a really beautiful part of their story and I loved that it wasn't blown out of proportion or used in a way that made it feel overly constructed.
I absolutely adored this Christmas novel and it’s definitely one of my favourites from Gerri Hill.
Carol C. - One of the big loves I had for this book, among other things, was it is so full of rich dialog. I am a sucker for running dialog that fills a story, it gets me to relate to the characters even more because you just have their voices and direct interaction running in your mind’s eye throughout the story and Ms. Hill does this brilliantly. There isn't much angst in regard to the MCs, just a heartwarming holiday story, which can be read anytime of the year, of Nic just trying to make it through the holiday (again no spoilers, but me wiping away a few tears) and Abby slowly falling for Nic.
Betty H. - The Great Charade really is a heartwarming, romantic holiday book that I’m really glad I was able to read this season. If you’re looking for a great novel to read this holiday, this may be the one you are looking for.