Saturday, December 24, 2022

Review: The Naughty or Nice Clause by Kate Callaghan


Genre: Holiday romance
Published: November 8, 2022
Pages: 237

Being Naughty Has Never Been So Nice! 

When Lyla's father retired as CEO of the toy company which has been in their family for generations, she was meant to receive his shares. Instead, she discovers the company is bankrupt and her father has given her shares to Mason Klaus, an investor known in the corporate world for his cold and callous nature. Much to Lyla's frustration, her only option is to run the company with him, despite their evident loathing for one another. 

When Mason cancels the annual Christmas party, Lyla throws it anyway - only for the event of the season to result in a terrible fire. With the offices and Lyla's credibility ruined, Mason offers her a deal: he'll forget her part in the disaster, but she must join his family for the twelve days of their Christmas holidays. 

Taken to a fantastical winter wonderland, Lyla hopes that she might discover some of the secrets Mr Klaus is hiding, and maybe even a way to get her company back. However, when Mason introduces her to the secret village as his fiancée, she is horrified to realise she has no choice but to go along with the pretence - because the cost of bringing an outsider to their magical land is far too high. 

Can Lyla resist the devilishly handsome Mr Klaus and the enchanting village to win back her company, or will she give into temptation?

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review.

This book has a bit of a The Santa Clause feeling to it, and with the title, that's fitting. Lyla is the 49% shareholder in a toy manufacturing company that has been in her family for years, but her dad sold his shares to Mason Klaus, giving the controlling percentage to an outsider. Mason and Lyla butt heads like nobody's business because he wants to change all the things, including canceling the company Christmas party. Lyla wasn't cool with that so she used her own money to throw a party for the staff at the office. Things were going great until she saw Mason drunk as a skunk in his office and decided she needed to get him home before any of the employees saw him. 

Next thing she knows, she's being whisked away to a mysterious location in her pajamas by a jingle bell. Of course she finds out the location is the North Pole, or Yule rather, and she has to pretend to be engaged to Mason, because otherwise her being there is very much against the rules.

I have very mixed feelings about the way the romance between Lyla and Mason developed. Parts of it felt very natural while other parts very much did not. Like the moment in the cabin after he played the Beast to her Belle felt natural, but his behavior while they were shopping for her didn't. But I mostly enjoyed the way it bloomed. 

There were some mechanics about getting to and from Yule that made aspects of the story not really make sense as well. Like if you can travel to and from Yule by jingle bell, then why couldn't they just go back to Lyla's house to get her clothes? There are other details kind of along those lines that just didn't feel very thought out. 

But this book did give me the magical Christmas feelings I was looking for, so overall I give it 3.9 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Kate Callaghanis an Irish fantasy author. Her debut young adult trilogy, A Hellish Fairytale, began with Crowned A Traitor in 2020. She is currently branching out into adult dark fantasy romance. She loves dark tales, villains, and happily-ever-afters - something you will find in all her books. Chatting with readers is her favourite part of being an indie author.Follow below if you want to learn more about future stories! Signed copies are also available on the author's website.Mailing List | Gain Access To Exclusive News WWW.CALLAGHANWRITER.COMInstagram | @callaghanwriter Tiktok | @katecallaghanwriter 

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