Review By Veronica

Claus and Effect is a swoony and fun Christmas road trip story that I will be reading again and again.

Favourite Quote:

“Stop being such a macho guy. I promise not to tell anyone I put on your seat belt.”

He chuckles, and I glance up at him again before I click the seat belt in place. Holy shit. The seat belt slips from my hand, but I catch it before it gets all the way across his lap.

He’s ten times more gorgeous when he smiles. I can see now how he got the first-class ticket. Even the small scar just about his right eyebrow makes him sexier somehow. Rugged and manly.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Two strangers who couldn’t be more opposite find themselves on an unexpected cross-country road trip days before Christmas where whatever can go wrong, does.

He’s an Army Ranger.
She’s a baker.

He’s organized and rigid.
She’s messy and carefree.

He doesn’t do relationships.
She’s following her heart.

His family chat blows up his phone.
She just buried her last living relative.

The holiday season doesn’t seem so jolly as they venture from one mode of transportation to the next. But, they have to become friends and rely on each other if they’re going to survive all the obstacles thrown their way.

As the miles grow shorter, vulnerabilities are shared, and by the time they reach their destination, neither one of them is sure what they really want for Christmas anymore.

I’ve been seeing this book all over social media this holiday season, and I love a good grumpy sunshine romance, so I thought, what the heck? I might as well give it a try, and boy, I am so glad that I did. I started this book after dinner one night and finished it in the wee hours of the morning. Did I have a book hangover? Yes, I did. But it was so worth it. Claus and Effect filled my heart with Christmas magic and had me wishing the story would never end. This book follows Piper’s previous holiday book, Single and Ready to Jingle. If you are like me and haven’t read Single and Ready to Jingle, no worries, this book reads as a stand-alone. This story follows Tessa, who is going through a bit of a rough patch. She had to close her bakery, and her great uncle just passed away. One night, she had a session with a psychic who told Tessa that she would end up alone in her life if she didn’t learn to open her heart and take a chance on love. She then tells Tessa her true love is visiting family out west. Tessa assumes this mysterious true love is her ex, Carter, and decides to head west to Portland to see if she can rekindle their love. But of course, Tessa’s journey doesn’t go as planned, and she finds herself going on a cross-country road trip with Tre, an army ranger trying to get back home for Christmas. 

This story is so much fun! If you love a light-hearted road-trip romance, you will devour Tessa and Tre’s love story. Yes, things happen in this book that would only happen in romance land and for romance reasons. But who cares! This is just one of those books you can just sit back and enjoy without having to overthink and overanalyze what you are reading. You know how it will end, so enjoy the journey in all its Christmas glory. I love a fun road-trip romance because it forces the two MCs together and puts them in situations they normally wouldn’t be in. Tessa and Tre find themselves in these delightful festive situations, whether it’s an eggnog drinking contest, dressing up as Santa Claus, or sharing a Nutcracker theme hotel room. You can’t help but soak up all the festive goodies leaping from these pages. 

I adore a good grumpy/sunshine romance, which meant I loved Tessa and Tre’s story. These two do not get off on the right foot, and their meet-cute is more of a meet-destroy. There was so much delicious tension between these two; you could see those sparks flying. I loved watching the animosity between them turn into an unlikely friendship and then into something more. Their conversations go from delightful teasing or picking on each other to deeper, meaningful conversations about their past and their fears. You can’t help but not like these two MCs, and I found myself quickly rooting for them and wanting them to get the HEA they truly deserve. 

Claus and Effect will warm your heart for this holiday season.