The Christmas Wager

Putnam. Sept. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780593544051. pap. $17. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Bella Ross arrives in small-town Maple Falls, CO, to close a property deal on a local Christmas shop for her boss—a move that will win her a promotion and keep her from being fired. What should be a simple trip to the Always Noelle store becomes complicated when the seller refuses to sign, instead insisting that Bella stay in Maple Falls and win the annual holiday games to clinch the agreed-upon deal. To complicate matters further, the owner’s grandson Jesse is competing against Bella in the games and wants nothing more than to see her fail. With her job riding on the sale of the store, Bella tries not to see the beauty of the small town and the people who grow so close to her, including Jesse, who ultimately opens his home and his heart to her. She’ll have to decide between the town and her big city dreams.
VERDICT Escape to small-town life where the holiday spirit takes on a whole new meaning as tradition and family are tested by love, money, and one wacky community, in Cassidy’s first romance (she also writes suspense novels as Hannah Mary McKinnon).
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