Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun

“And then we’re slow-dancing in the snow. She’s humming the tune to “White Christmas” in my ear, and the rest of the world falls away as we dance on a bridge while the minutes tick down until Christmas. All that exists is her breath, her voice, her arms, and all the places our bodies meet. We’re suspended in a perfect snow globe built for two.

On a snow day in Portland, you could fall in love.”- Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun

It’s ironic that just a week ago I shared my top five favorite holiday romances. Little did I know that I hadn’t read my favorite yet. But that is the inevitable joy of reading- discovering new favorites and falling into stories that wrap around you like a warm hug.

Kiss Her Once For Me is the perfect Christmas romance. It is one of the most beautiful romances I’ve read, and it is a book that I wanted to start over the minute I finished.

Ellie (she/her) moved to Portland to take a job at an animation studio that was her dream job. She’s always had a plan, and her life has always been on a trajectory to achieve that plan. But within three months, she’s lost that job and is working in a coffee shop, Roastlandia, in an attempt to pay her bills while she figures out what to do next. In the meantime, she draws webcomics that have become very popular. One in particular called, Snow Day, is a fictionalized version of her last Christmas. The perfect night one year ago where she fell head over heels for Jack (she/her).

But within the course of one night, Jack broke her heart, and a year later, Ellie is still picking up the pieces. When the landlord of her coffee shop asks her out for a drink, her co-worker Ari (and best friend, even if she won’t accept it) encourages her to go. From the sidelines in Chicago, her other best friend, Meredith is also encouraging her to get back into the dating scene. Andrew (he/him) is part of the Prescott family in Portland. His grandfather died and added a stipulation to him receiving his inheritance- he has to be married to get it.

Over drinks, Andrew and Ellie create a fake marriage contract. Ellie agrees to marry Andrew for one year in exchange for ten percent of his inheritance. They go to Andrew’s family’s cabin for Christmas to spend a week with his family, and it isn’t long after that Ellie discovers Andrew’s sister is Jack.

Thrown together by fate, Ellie and Jack are forced to confront what happened last Christmas, why their whirlwind twenty-four hours ended, and all the messy feelings it left behind.

I’m trying to remember the last book that made me this emotional (probably One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston). I loved this book with every fiber of my being. This story is told in alternating storylines. Ellie’s webcomic Snow Day unfolds alongside the main events of the novel, and it is so heart-wrenching to see how that story ended, but then, it wasn’t actually over yet.

This book is snowy, full of Christmas and full of heart. It is gorgeous, perfect, and my new favorite holiday romance. I can’t wait to read more by Alison Cochrun. This is one of those holiday stories that will stick with me all year round. Stories like this one are gifts that should be treasured. Go buy it, borrow it, read it. You won’t regret it.

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