For the past few years, I've been really into seasonal reading. I love exclusively reading holiday/Christmas/winter-themed books during the month of December and this year is no different. If anything, this year I have even more holiday books to read so for the next few weeks, that's what my book reviews will be focused on.

You can also find more winter/holiday books I recommend in my new Winter Reading Guide that I just published. 

The first-holiday book I read this year set the standard really high because it was truly outstanding. "Window Shopping" by Tessa Bailey was released a few weeks ago and I pre-ordered it because I knew a lot of people were raving about it... and the cover is just so cute!

Publisher's Summary

Two weeks before Christmas and all through Manhattan, shop windows are decorated in red and green satin. I'm standing alone in front of the famous Vivant department store when a charming man named Aiden asks my opinion of the d├ęcor.

It's a tragedy in tinsel, I say, unable to lie. He asks for a better idea with a twinkle in his eye. Did I know he owned the place? No. He put me on the spot. Now I'm working for that man, trying to ignore that he's hot. But as a down on her luck girl with a difficult past, I know an opportunity when I see one—and I have to make it last.

I'll put my heart and soul into dressing his holiday windows. I'll work without stopping. And when we lose the battle with temptation, I'll try and remember I'm just window shopping.

My Thoughts

This was a very hot book... it was extremely steamy and sexual, so buyer beware! However, the story was still really excellent as was the writing. This was the first Tessa Bailey novel I've ever read and it did not disappoint. I can see why everyone enjoys her books so much. 

I thought the plot was really fun and unique; the idea of ex-con, Stella, needing to find her way in life after being released from prison, paired with the beauty of New York at Christmas and an inappropriate romance is very interesting and stands out amongst all the Hallmark movie type of novels out there at this time of year. 

The setting was also extremely unique and added a bit of festive fun to the entire story; window dressing at Vivant, which I can only assume is supposed to be Saks, is something I have never read before but it's such an iconic moment in the holiday season it makes a lot of sense. It was really fun and different- better than a bakery, or a toy shop, or a bookstore-- I mean, I love those holiday tropes but the windows at a department store are so much better! 

The story dealt with some heavy stuff: familial problems, friendship problems, prison, crime... it was intense but I loved that because it felt realistic against the backdrop of a cheery, light romance. 

Aiden, the owner of Vivant, and Stella definitely moved fast through their lust and romance, which was a little hard to believe but I loved how they melded together at the most important times throughout the novel and how neither one truly pushed them away... it wasn't as dramatic as other books, nor was it as frustrating which I can really appreciate. 

I really enjoyed reading from both Stella and Aiden's perspectives; they were really great, well-thought-out characters who had their own quirks and personality. Aiden was specifically a fantastic book boyfriend; thoughtful, caring, nice, generous, and hot. It was perfect!

I cannot recommend "Window Shopping" by Tessa Bailey enough! It is a perfect Christmas novel to read this year, and it's a very easy, quick read. Plus, I think it's a great book to pull you out of a reading slump. 


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