Review of 'Fool Me Twice At Christmas' - Camilla Isley
There are two types of relationships: fake and real. Chuck and Kate’s used to be real, oh-so-real. But after she broke his heart four months ago, leaving him, it became all just pretense for the sake of their entwined families. With parents who are best friends and business partners, it’s not easy for Chuck and Kate to announce they’ve split up. But with the holidays looming over them, they can no longer keep pretending. They head home for Christmas, determined to tell the truth—and end up accidentally engaged instead. The more they try to pull apart, the more the Universe seems to push them back together, shortening the road to the altar. And when just-for-show kisses stir up forgotten feelings, things get even more complicated. Now, with the midnight hour approaching, will Chuck and Kate’s relationship turn out to be fake or real?
The fake relationship trope is one that is often used in romantic comedies. Sometimes it's believable, sometimes it isn't. In this book, although the scenarios the characters end up in seem totally outlandish, at no point did I ever feel they'd missed an opportunity to come clean. There was the occasional moment where I briefly thought 'would you really let things go this far' and then I thought about my own mum and instantly decided, 'yes you would'. It's very easy to overdo this kind of plot but Camilla Isley always manages to keep it just on the right side. The book is comic and heartwarming and Christmas just adds a little bit of festive cheer on the side. It's not really central to the plot, it just adds pressure to Chuck and Kate's decision to tell their parents about their breakup. After all, who wants to put a downer on Christmas?
What I found more interesting about this book was the relationship between Kate and Mario. Initially, she's very 'into' him, but as she spends more time with Chuck again and remembers how nice he can be, she slowly begins to see how controlling Mario is. Part of me initially felt as though I should feel sorry for him - after all, he wasn't the cause of the break up - however, by the end, he was just irritating and not simply because he was getting in the way of Kate and Chuck getting back together. It was his whole reaction to everything. I could see that everything he did under the guise of it being good for her, was actually about moulding her into the woman he wanted her to be. If he thought there was so much wrong with her, why did he want to be with her in the first place?
If you're looking for something to read while you curl up under a blanket, in front of the fire, with a hot chocolate and listen to the December wind howl outside, this would be a good book to choose!
Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad. She's a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading--duh!--cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies--popcorn, please. She's a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn't want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.
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