After Nick returns from the military, his long-term girlfriend breaks up with him. Luckily, Nick has his friends and family to bring him joy and comfort. After a night out takes an unexpected turn, Nick discovers he has romantic feelings for his best friend Noel.
Nick Winter is just out of the military, and his Christmas homecoming is not going as planned. What was supposed to be a memorable holiday with his long-time girlfriend goes sour when he learns she cheated on him while he was stationed overseas. At least Nick can rely on his usual shift at the family Christmas tree farm with his best friend, Noel Carter, and her endless supply of Christmas tunes to lift his spirits. A night of fun together is just what he needs to forget about his ex.
But then they kiss. And it feels…so right.
If Noel can turn Nick’s Blue Christmas merry and bright, this might be the last Christmas Nick spends with a broken heart. This year, they’ll be Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree as a couple―as long as Nick’s ex doesn’t go standing under any mistletoe.
Where do I start? First, I am so glad that I read Nick & Noel’s Christmas Playlist with a friend. I desperately needed someone to cavil with as I read this book.
Let’s start with the names in this book. One of the titular characters was named after good ole Saint Nick (seriously). His siblings’ names are Holly and Merry. They live in Mistletoe, Idaho. It was very difficult trying not to roll my eyes at portions of this book. There is cute, and then there is ridiculous and over-the-top. Nick & Noel’s Christmas Playlist is the latter.
The dialogue Nick & Noel’s Christmas Playlist, particularly in the first half, is seemingly written by someone who has only ever conversed with middle school boys and frat bros. “Broski” is used by a character unironically. “Boob” is used as a term of endearment. The phrase “jerkin’ your gherkin” is said at one point. In case you need another example, women giving birth “asked how far we’ve gone.” (Not to mention, what woman on the verge of birth wants to think about sex?) Maybe I have been spoiled with cute, witty dialogue from Emily Henry and other great romance writers. Regardless, the dialogue and writing in general in this book is cringy and unnatural.
Let’s talk about the characters. Noel is the I’m-not-like-other-girls girl but damaged. Ugh. Her enemy is a mix of a cartoon villain and Amber from Love Is Blind (Netflix). The two of them actually get into a cat fight during the book (see: middle school boys). The other characters were more realistic, minus what came out of their mouths’.
The plot of Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist is overly dramatic and absurd. The main conflict in this book is Noel’s fear of commitment, which is somewhat illogical as written. The playlist part is pretty half-baked. So why did I not end up giving this book one star? The second half of the book, which contained the romance, redeemed the first half just a bit. I thought that the romance storyline did build and develop over the course of the book in a way I mostly enjoyed.
Overall, Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist was ridiculous and a great book to hate read with a friend. Otherwise, if you are looking for a good holiday friends-to-lovers romance, try Christina Lauren’s In A Holidaze instead.
Nick & Noel’s Christmas Playlist
November 24, 2020