The Great Charade by Gerri Hill

The Great Charade
Published: 12/7/21

Two years ago Abby Carpenter took her girlfriend Holly home with her for Christmas. Holly slept with Abby’s brother, Aaron, while they were there. Last year Holly went home by herself and promptly slept with Holly behind her brothers back. Now, she’s going home again for Christmas and Holly and Aaron are engaged. So, of course, she needs a fake girlfriend to take with her so she doesn’t get seduced by Holly again. And that’s where landscape artist, Nic, comes in. Abby asks Nic, a complete stranger, to accompany her for ten days to her family’s home for the holiday. Nic agrees with one stipulation.

Gerri Hill’s books were some of the first I read when I began reading lesfic. She has written some fantastic books. This book has some good moments but getting to those was difficult. The sexual ping pong Holly does between brother and sister is cringeworthy along with Nic agreeing to go along with the charade in exchange for sex. Once Abby and Nic arrive at Red River, the book becomes more enjoyable.

The chemistry between the two characters is convincing and I actually grew to like them a lot. Nic isn’t as callous and arrogant as she seems in the beginning. She has endured a great deal of trauma in her life and has serious walls around her heart to protect herself. The scenes with Nic enjoying snow for the first time were delightful. She displayed such a childlike innocence that Abby couldn’t help but get drawn in. Abby is a good character as well, although her weakness where Holly is concerned bothered me.

Along with the two main characters, Abby’s mom, is my favorite. She is kind and supportive and helps to give Nic the kind of Christmas she never had growing up. The scenes with Abby, her mom and Nic are lovely, as are the ones in Red River with Abby and Nic exploring the idyllic town. It wasn’t enough to help me get over Nic demanding sex in exchange for going with Abby or Holly sleeping with both siblings with no regard to eithers feelings. This wasn’t my ideal Gerri Hill book but it might be the one for you.

ARC provided by Bella Books via NetGalley for an honest review

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