Monday, December 23, 2013

Review: The Holiday Gig

Have you ever read a book and realized that you weren’t in the right frame of mind to read it? Maybe you were too tired or had another book you wanted to read first. Either way, this potentially good book just rubbed you the wrong way. I think that’s what happened with me and The Holiday Gig. I started reading it one night and I couldn’t let my issues with it go and I was being very nitpicky. I finished Erin Brady’s novel the next morning and I was able to get into the story a bit more and ignore (most of) the issues I had.

Here’s the synopsis:
Taylor Barnes has a dilemma. She is 32 and about to realize her dreams of making partner at her New York City high-powered law firm with a fancy office and a huge salary. She has no time for anything else in her life -least of all a boyfriend. Yet something stands in the way of her coveted promotion: Charles Wigs, family man and managing partner at Gotsall and Craig who questions whether the single Taylor Barnes can project the right image for the firm.
Not only does her own boss question her singledom, but so does her entire family back home! When an invitation to her cousin's Christmas wedding lands on her desk, Taylor must head back to Pennsylvania to face the music.
It seems as if Taylor has to convince everyone that she's got the perfect life with the
perfect boyfriend -all before the clock strikes twelve on New Year's Eve. But how is she to make this happen?
Taylor thinks she’s found the answer. Why not hire a temporary boyfriend to help her get through the holidays? It’s the best of both worlds and without any of the emotional baggage that comes with a real relationship. However, when handsome Hunter Ryan answers the ad for the position, Taylor finds herself with more than she bargained for. Ryan can certainly talk the talk, but does he have what it takes to walk the walk? Could he possibly cost her that coveted partnership that she has been working for since the beginning of her career? Could something that starts out as a simple employment proposition turn out to have her questioning everything she has worked so hard to achieve? Will this Holiday Gig turn Taylor's professional and personal life on its head?
I mentioned I had some issues with this book and I’m just going to get it all out there first. I found the flow to be a bit off, especially with dialogue, and wording and descriptions to be odd. I found Brady explained too much and repeated unnecessary information (the description of what Hunter looks like, for example). There were also a lot of italicized words and I didn’t understand why. One example: "Youd think she was hosting royalty or a reality show celebrity rather than her own daughter." What’s the point of that emphasis? There were also a few grammatical issues and spelling mistakes. I was reading a Word doc final version and the job ad for her fake boyfriend was missing. These things may seem small but it really took away from my enjoyment of the novel.

Why do lawyers always seem to be so heartless? I mean, I’m sure that being a lawyer is stressful and it’s a huge deal to make partner but to never see your family for any holidays when you’re only a few hours away? And to not even remember that your assistant has actually been giving you messages from your mother for a few weeks? I don’t care how much Taylor tries to insist that she’s not heartless and work is too busy…you should at least recall that your mother called you. It was hard to get over that but I had faith that Brady would change Taylor for the better and I was right. Watching her realize she could balance work and life was so great and I loved that part of the story.

I loved Hunter. I could tell right away that he was going to be very good for, and to, Taylor. I found myself desperately hoping that Brady would give me the Happily Ever After I wanted for the two of them! There were so many times I found myself yelling at them to just kiss and acknowledge their feelings for each other. I was so worried about people finding out that Taylor had hired Hunter to play her boyfriend, especially at the first holiday party, but “Tom” was so smooth it made me giggle. He really settled into the role but it was Hunter who stole my…er…Taylor’s heart.

So, I’m not giving The Holiday Gig a super high review. Erin Brady has written a pretty good book with an interesting story but I think it needs more editing before it can really wow. You should keep an open mind though and read it yourself if you think it sounds interesting. It’s not super Christmassy so you can still read it after the holidays and you won’t be overwhelmed with holiday spirit (Taylor’s cousin’s wedding was the most festive part of the book). In the end, watching Taylor change into a better person was my favourite part – the holidays just made it that much better!

*A copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

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