Published by Self-Published on 19th November 2012
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
It’s the eve before Christmas Eve, and all that twenty-three-year-old Landry has on the agenda for the holiday is moping in the bar that he left everything behind to open.
And he’s got plenty to mope about.
He found his girlfriend treating herself to a little holiday delight with his best friend;
He hasn’t seen his family in over a year- since he alienated them all and ended up spending a night in jail;
And he may have just ruined the perfect, uncomplicated thing he had going with his platonically hot roommate, Mila.
Drinks all around!
But when he gets a call from his sister, Paisley, begging him to make it home for a huge announcement, he tosses aside his better judgment, (or, what’s left of it after that last round of drinks) and hops on the first train back home to Jersey.
But home for the holidays isn’t all mugs of cocoa and fireside chats with his family.
Landry left the people he loves the most high and dry when he fled to Boston and spent all of his inheritance…the inheritance money that he was supposed to use to help save his family’s floundering bar.
His dad will hardly look at him, his ex is maybe stalking him, his sister has dropped a bombshell on the family, and a flame from the past catches his eye. When Landry’s present and near past collide, it only further complicates things.
Landry thought he was leaving all of his problems behind when he left his family in New Jersey. But he comes home to find out that problems, like family, never go away. And sometimes facing the past with the help of someone who’s fearless about the future is the only way to move on.
REVIEWED BY KELLY
*I received an eARC from the authors in exchange for an honest review*
OK, so let’s get this out of the way … I have a HUGE girl crush on these two authors and I have yet to read one of their co-authored books and not like it. A Toast To The Good Times was no exception. It was a perfect way to spend a couple of hours in the run up to the Christmas festivities.
Landry is currently the black sheep of his family after a huge fall out with his dad that landed Landry in jail. He’s moved out of the family home in New Jersey and is now the proud owner of his own bar in Boston. He hasn’t seen or spoken to his family in a year, that is until his sister calls him and summons him home for a big announcement.
Mila is Landry’s room-mate. She’s a librarian, loves books, comics, Mr Darcy, and all things sci-fi. In short she’s a geek and not Landry’s type. Or is she? Right before Landry’s phone call with his sister things get a little hot and heated between him and Mila … and then he puts the brakes on and walks out.
So, feeling crappy and confused about just what the hell is going on in his life right now, and more than a little unsure about what sort of welcome to expect, Landry heads on home to face his family. And that’s where he bumps in to Toni, his old high school girlfriend … who he might just still feel attracted to.
OK, so now that you’re all caught up let me tell you what I thought …
I loved how Landry wasn’t a biker, or a fighter (as such!), he wasn’t in a band, he wasn’t an alpha male, and we didn’t hear if he had any tattoos either! He was just a normal guy, and that was a breath of fresh air for me after a lot of the books I’ve seen/read lately. They all seem to have/need one of those aforementioned elements to their plots. It gets a little boring after a while. I liked how Landry didn’t have all of the answers either. Going home was definitely an eye opening learning experience for him.
I absolutely loved that Mila was a bookish sci-fi geek! Geeks don’t get enough love and attention in books in my opinion! Mila is definitely going on my list of favourite book geeks, alongside Jess from Anne Eliot’s Almost (one of my absolute favourite books FYI!). Mila proved that you can be in to comics AND be hot AND smart AND have guys interested in you.
Toni was such a sweet character, and another example of hot and smart not being mutually exclusive. She was just the person Landry needed to see on his way home. Their conversation helped him out a LOT! Landry really took a lot of Toni’s advice and worked through some stuff he’d been avoiding dealing with.
There were a whole host of other characters, some I liked, some I didn’t. Some who Landry was right to cut loose and some he needed to spend some time getting reacquainted with.
I have no idea if it’s just coincidence (although I doubt it) but I adore the fact that a lot, if not all, of this super-duper co-authoring team’s books feature food. And it’s featured in a way that brings families together, it has the power to unite people. I may be reading too much in to that but it’s not the first time I’ve noticed it in their books and I like it!
OK, so I’ve started rambling, and who can blame me – it’s almost midnight here and I have been sat here for hours trying to work out what to tell you about this book that will make you rush and download it – because you NEED to! Steph and Liz’s books are a treat to read. You can never tell where one author stopped writing and the other picked up, their writing style is so similar.
It’s a sweet story, it’s not too long, and it’s just a perfect read for the holiday season. Oh, and it you’re quick you can get it for just 77p/99c at the moment 🙂
“You’re the worst liar. Ever. Anyone ever tell you that?” She backs to the door, pulling her hat over her dark, messy hair streaked with fire-engine red pieces. “But this will be epic, Landry! Epic merriness, and it will make me feel better. To spread some Christmas cheer to the ultimate Grinch!” She throws her skinny arms up and knocks into the bells above the door. “Ho ho ho!”
I can’t help smiling, and it turns into a laugh fast. Mila is definitely a little dorky, but she’s got this irresistible cheerfulness that always manages to crack me up, no matter how hard I try to wallow in my own stubborn depression.
She’s probably the reason I didn’t leave Boston with my tail between my legs the first month, when everything felt like it had gone to overwhelming shit, and I felt like a huge failure. And it wasn’t just because she picked up half the rent.
Mila was someone dependable. Comfortable. Someone who wasn’t after anything from me.
She was someone to watch cartoons with in the mornings and never bitched that it was juvenile.
And even if she didn’t remember to replace my dental floss, she always remembered to pick up milk, so we could eat our Lucky Charms the way they were intended to be eaten and not with water or juice, both of which I had sadly attempted, unsuccessfully, pre-Mila.
She danced around the kitchen to awful girly pop music while she cooked even more awful food, and then, as she forced me to eat her inedible cooking, she told me stories about the people who came to the library where she worked and who were so freaking unbelievably crazy, they had me rolling even on my worst days.
She and I were both pigs, so our apartment was almost always a warzone, but Mila added some kind of magical touch that still made it feel homey, gym-sock stink and all.
Living with Mila was like having a sister-like person around.
Only less annoying.
Maybe like a pretty cool cousin.
Or, I guess, I could call her a best friend.
I start to restock glasses and think about the fact that she’s been, possibly, my only true friend here. There was this guy who came with me from my hometown, Tyler. We were supposed to see about buying this bar to run together. But he wound up sleeping with my girlfriend at the time, and we beat the piss out of each other when I caught him. So it seemed like a good idea to let that partnership go.
I find myself slamming the glass in my hand down a little harder than I mean to when I remember Heather, naked, on top of Tyler.
In my bed.
I was one hundred percent ready to get back to New Jersey and lick my wounds as fast as I could after that day. But I bumped into Mila while I was drinking away my sorrows at some bar and I wound up telling her my entire sad story. She mentioned that she was looking for an apartment and also might know a few good bartenders who’d be willing to help me cover shifts for cheap. It wasn’t the way I imagined it would be moving out on my own to big, bad Boston, but it wound up working.
Even if her cheerful exuberance is sometimes more than I want to deal with.
Also, she has a small light saber collection, and she wore a freakishly detailed Princess Leia costume for Halloween to give out candy. It isn’t that bad, but, still, she’s putting one toe dangerously close to the line of complete, hopeless dork-dom.
a Rafflecopter giveaway