Hollis hasn’t had much Christmas spirit since his parents died three years ago. It feels wrong to celebrate without them, no matter how much his sister and her extended family encourage him to join in, so he plans to spend the holidays working in his stationery store, hanging out with his cat, and rewatching SHERLOCK. Hollis's friend Sawyer knows Hollis can never resist a bet, though, and Sawyer is determined to reignite Hollis's holiday cheer with a series of wagers that can't help but make this Christmas extra special for both of them.
Romances where one person's down on Christmas and the other one's all, "Let me introduce you to the magic of the holiday season!" are my favourite. They give both parties plenty of opportunity to do fun things together and explore traditions new and old. In this case, Sawyer draws on his and Hollis's intense family connection (his twin brother is married to Hollis's twin sister) to concoct a slew of holiday enticements. He also convinces Hollis to participate in some Portland events that'll feel familiar even to non-Oregonians readers, like the local small business association's window decorating contest, Portland's official tree lighting ceremony, and a train ride through the Oregon Zoo's animal-shaped holiday lights.
Some holiday romances use the season as a rough framework on which to hang a relationship. It's winterish (or summerish in southern hemisphere romances), there're a few decorations floating around, and life is otherwise fairly normal. In contrast, WRAPPED TOGETHER goes all in with romance and Christmassy feel alike; a sure way to keep my attention glued to my ereader's screen around this time of year.