Review| The Mistletoe Motive – Chloe Liese

We’re two weeks away from Christmas, so I think it’s only appropriate to share a holiday romance review. The Mistletoe Motive is a novella by Chloe Liese and I want to talk about this book today. Keep on reading to find out more about this book and what I thought.

A big thanks to the author and Kobo for providing me with an e-arc to read and review!

From the author of THE BERGMAN BROTHERS series comes a slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers holiday romance, perfect for fans of THE HATING GAME and YOU’VE GOT MAIL.

He loathes the holidays. She loves them. She’s full of festive cheer. He’s brimming with Bah, Humbugs. Besides unreasonably seasonable names, the only thing Jonathan Frost and Gabriella Di Natale have in common is a healthy dose of mutual contempt. Well, that and the same place of employment at the city’s most beloved independent bookstore, Bailey’s Bookshop. But when the store’s owners confess its dire financial state, Jonathan and Gabby discover another unfortunate commonality: the imminent threat of unemployment.

With the Baileys’ requests to minimize expenses, win new customers, and make record sales dancing in their heads, Jonathan and Gabby conclude—barring a financial Christmas miracle—one of them will soon be cut from the payroll. Neither are willing to step down from their position, so they strike a bargain: whoever has more sales in December gets to stay on in the new year; the loser will resign. With a lifetime’s worth of festive tricks up her sleeve, Gabby should easily outsell her nemesis, except the unreadable Mr. Frost’s every move seems purely designed to throw her off her game.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Gabby’s deceptive ex won’t quit pursuing her, and her anonymous online friend suggests they take a break. Worst of all, as the pressure mounts to save the bookshop and her job, Gabby meets a new, tender side of Jonathan. Is this the same man she’s called her cold-hearted enemy?

Maybe he’s got a motive she just can’t figure out—or maybe Jonathan Frost isn’t as chilly as she once thought. Maybe Jonathan and Gabby already know—and love—each other in ways they never thought possible.

This is an #OwnVoices story for its portrayal of autism by an autistic author.


When I read the synopsis for The Mistletoe Motive I was sold as soon as I read it would be taking place at a bookstore, during the holidays and with a main character who seems to love Christmas as much as me. And I was right about this being a book for me, because I think I had a smile on my face almost the whole time reading.

Gabby was such a fun main character. I love her passion for books and the holidays. And even more so for the bookstore she works in. You can tell with how everything is described and decorated that it’s something she loves to do. Her only problem seems to be her co-manager Jonathan.

That’s where Jonathan comes in who has also become one for the book boyfriend list. He doesn’t seem to like Christmas at all and only there to ruin Gabby’s store. I loved all the enemies to lovers vibes. Their banter was amazing, but seeing them slowly connect has to be my favorite part of this book. Besides the banter and working in the bookstore we also get some more serious conversations and I love how the author put those in the story. Maybe they can actually work together after all?

Yes, The Mistletoe Motive may be a bit predictive, but that didn’t take away from me enjoying this novella at all. It had me laughing, swooning, wanting to hug the characters during the more serious moments and made my holiday & book loving heart very happy. I honestly wished we got a full book, because these characters were just so much fun to read about! Also, I need the bookstore in The Mistletoe Motive. I don’t think I’d ever leave.

About the Author

Chloe writes romances reflecting her belief that everyone deserves a love story. Her stories pack a punch of heat, heart, and humor, and often feature characters who are neurodivergent like herself. When not dreaming up her next book, Chloe spends her time wandering in nature, playing soccer, and most happily at home with her family and mischievous cats.

Connect with Chloe



I really enjoyed The Mistletoe Motive and I definitely plan on reading more by this author. Have you read and holiday themed books yet? Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

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