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Josie Avery just graduated from culinary school. In a career-making break, a renowned chef hires her to help open his new restaurant in her native Seattle. The building won’t be ready until the fall so Josie takes a summer job cooking in a lodge in the community of Ponder, Alaska.
Palmer Saxon and Josie end up spending every waking minute together during Josie’s time in the small town. The night before Josie leaves for Seattle, Palmer proposes. Josie doesn’t completely shut him down but she doesn’t say yes either. They decide to pursue a long-distance relationship and re-evaluate later.
I’m not really the audience for this book but I wanted a Christmas-y audiobook. The options at my library were either this standalone romance or other romances or cozy mysteries that were roughly number 52 in a series. (Yes, that’s an exaggeration but not as much as it should be.) Standalone romance it was, even though I’m not really a romance reader.
This was cute enough but completely forgettable to me. Josie and Palmer literally relate their respective sides of the summer courtship while they’re preparing for their final evening together. The author didn’t show the relationship building so I just had to accept that they cared for each other. It was entirely predictable but other readers might like predictability in a holiday book.
My feminist hackles rose when it started to feel like Josie and the other women in the book were going to give up their own dreams and career plans for marriage. I must admit that I was placated by the ending though.
And really, who allowed a book about Palmer from Ponder to get published? I had to think about whether I was hearing information about the town or the man more often than you would expect.
The narrators overall did a great job. Laurel Rankin may have been a bit too earnest and Luke Daniels may have tried too hard to liven up a lackluster book, but those are fairly minor quibbles.
Romance readers and those who take comfort in familiarity and predictability will like this more than I did. It’s sweet enough and a quick Christmas read. I’m simply not the audience for this book so I shouldn’t have even checked it out from the library.
If you liked Alaskan Holiday, you might also like my reviews of
- Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
- The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore
- Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Buy Alaskan Holiday from Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, NC.
I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site.