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Abbie Keller thought that Richard Bartholemew Benson the Third would be her forever. In their four years of dating, she never doubted that she wouldn’t end up with his grandmother’s engagement ring on her finger. Sure, she had to change a few things about herself to fit that mold, like dying her hair, dressing more conservatively, and finding golf enjoyable (honestly the most difficult of the changes), but she was sure that at the end of it all, it would be worth it.
That is, until he leaves her crying outside her apartment wearing a Halloween costume, having broken it off with her because she’s just not serious enough. She was just fun, he tells her – and now that Richard has becoming a partner at his law firm in his sights, he needs to focus on work.
So she does what every girl does when she’s broken up with: she calls her friends, gets drunk, dyes her hair, and formulates her plan for revenge. It just so happens that the universe supports her efforts and gives her the perfect match to prove to her ex that he made a huge mistake: his boss.
Abbie starts dating the founding partner of Richard’s law firm, Damien Martinez, with one thing in mind: convincing him to invite her to the huge annual Christmas party as his date.
But when the relationship starts to become something more than casual dating and Abbie sees that the tough New York lawyer has a soft side, will she be able to follow through with her plan of deceit?
Tis the Season for Revenge is a contemporary, grumpy sunshine, age-gap, Christmas romance.
It is a full-length romance with a Happily Ever After that features sexually explicit material and profanity. This book is intended for 18+
This book seems like it would be lighthearted but there are some pretty sensitive topics discussed. Here are the potentially triggering content I observed while reading:
- Abusive Relationship (not between Main Characters)
- Cheating (not between Main Characters)
- Emotional Abuse
- Misogyny (and internalized misogyny)
- Physical Abuse (not between Main Characters)
- Sexually Explicit Scenes
- Slut Shaming (not between Main Characters)
- Violence (not between Main Characters)
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There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!
I’m going to start with, we all have preferences and like what we like! Many, many readers recommended this book to me. I have seen even more people pick this one up this week and start reading it. There were parts of this book that I liked but none of those parts have earned this book a spot in my five star reads. The main characters weren’t that likeable and definitely not memorable for any of the right reasons. Also, I don’t think this book was funny enough to be classified as a RomCom.
Initially, Abbie really annoys me. I’m not a fan of the idea that she spent 4 years being a doormat to this terrible guy. I just can’t even imagine allowing someone to treat me that way and the fact that she had and defended him was absolutely worthy of how many time I rolled my eyes at her in the first 5 chapters. I nearly stopped reading. She jumps to conclusions so quickly yet she ignores all the red flags her ex had?! Like everything he did to her was messed up. Not one kinda ok thing about the relationship. Everything was screwed! She talks about how hot and awesome she is with men but she literally dated the worst human being for yearssssssssss… what?! The math is not mathing. How are you great at getting what you want with men when you didn’t get ANYTHING from your most serious relationship?! Where?!
I found myself rolling my eyes at the FMC or feeling really bad for how pathetic and depressing she’s written. Her friends weren’t good friends imo and her sister was a non-factor, MIA. Your support system is supposed to support you, yet no one is giving her good advice or being honest with her about the truly frightening state of her life. When they bring in a client of Damien’s who was in a physically abusive relationship and Abby makes the connection that her and this woman have so much in common, it does nothing to make Abby acknowledge how much she really dealt with. She has deep emotional scarring and it needed to be addressed. A revenge plan was a fun idea before his wrong doings were actually explained! This was a much heavier problem that needed a real solution. Revenge wasn’t it. Her childhood trauma plus her emotionally abusive relationship with Richard truly wrecked Abby and she would feel better by talking to someone about her feelings. Instead she chose to be toxic to everyone around her, constantly lying and spewing her negative self talk. She never stops lying in this book. I hate manipulators and that’s exactly what Abby was to Damien after being manipulated by Richard. She didn’t learn or recover from her last relationship.
I actually love Legally Blonde a lot but this book does not compare. I’m almost offended at people making the comparison. Abby is blonde, likes pink, has a bubbly personality, and a horrible ex-boyfriend. That is where the similarities start and stop. Elle Woods educated herself and becomes an amazing lawyer despite her douchebag boyfriend. She excels at her job and gets revenge by being a better person and lawyer than Warner.
Abby becomes a *literal* personal assistant and doormat for her douchebag ex who repeatedly humiliates and degrades her in anyway possible all while using her for any number of things. After the breakup, she doesn’t work to improve herself, her career, the lives of her friends and peers or her love life, like Elle does. She decided to commit petty little acts to her ex and he has no idea who is even doing it. It’s cowardly and childish. To top everything off, she chooses to lie to the only man that actually cares for her in the way that she has wanted her whole life! Abby has multiple opportunities to come clean about what she’s doing to Richard, and ultimately to Damien, yet she never even considered being honest. She only comments on the guilt she is accepting instead of being truthful. She actually chooses to have sex instead of telling him the truth many times. It’s gross how inconsiderate she is to Damien’s feelings regardless of whether he is serious about her or not. Being good to someone in one way but intentionally lying to them does not negate the lies. She lied to him from day one.
Any time Damien does something for Abby, she gives us a depressing view of how little she values herself and how that idea has not changed since being dumped. There was a constant comparison between Richard and Damien when they don’t compare. She was deeply traumatized and abused by her ex. She needed to talk to a health care professional to work through the negative self-talk she allowed her ex to implant in her mind.
I don’t feel like Damien was even doing anything extraordinary, he simply treated her like a human being. Her standards were very low on anything that was not materialistic. Name brands? Highest standards. Restaurants? Highest standards. The way a partner treats her? The lowest possible standards.
I didn’t understand the instalove that Damien has after telling Abby and the reader he wants nothing serious. It was not effective in my opinion. Their chemistry was weird and forced and uncomfortable. It’s not because of the open-door scenes but because Abby was not recovered from her ex at all and it would come up during her and Damien’s time together. Not a fan. Period! There was way too much consoling for it to be sexy. She needs to work through her shit. She was not ready to be in another relationship. It shows.
It didn’t appear that the author did any research to flesh out the two characters that were supposedly Hispanic. They just weren’t believable. On top of that, she misuses some Spanish phrases that really irritated me. At some point she describes her best friend as having “Latina curves”… Ew. What are Latina curves? A stereotype, yes. Anyone can have curves… every person’s body is unique. This description told me nothing besides the fact that this author thinks all Latina women have the same body type and shape. I still don’t know what this character looks like! I did not like how she handled the people of color in this book, at all.
And to top everything off, the revenge she actually gets on Richard was extremely unsatisfying. Her lies ruined a great opportunity for her to link up with Damien and really make Richard look bad. Instead, she blindsided Damien with her plotting and hurts him on top of Richard. It’s very unrealistic that Damien would just be ok with her using him like she did and forgive her that easily. Especially, if he feels for her as genuinely as he claims. I hated the ending. How does the woman that lied and manipulated the MMC the entire time they’ve know each other still get a HEA?! Gross.
I would not recommend this book.
It’s all open door scenes and there are many in the book! If that’s all you’re looking for in your books, this is pretty full!
Genre & Tropes
- Age Gap Romance
- Grumpy Sunshine Romance
Check out Tis the Season for Revenge on Amazon here. Maybe this is a book you will enjoy. It is available on Kindle Unlimited. Try Kindle unlimited today with this link!