Wreck the Halls by Tessa Bailey
10/03/2023 by Berkley
Review by Angela
I don’t read a lot of holiday romances, but you can bet I snapped this one up as soon as I could.
Tessa Bailey’s newest romance features the children of infamous band members and rock legends, who split long ago and are now enemies, Melody Gallard and Beat Dawkins. They’ve always known about each other, but only met in person once, briefly, as teens. But when an entertainment television company has an idea to boost ratings by getting the band back together, they are about to be thrown into reality TV superstardom.
This book had so many tropes- friends to lovers, instalove, and forced proximity. I kind of fell into it the moment I opened my Kindle. You just can’t help but fall in love with these MCs. They connect on a fundamental level during that first meeting as teens and then keep thinking of each other through the years, even though they never reconnect through phone or email. Yet, when Beat comes to Melody with the entertainment company’s idea for them to pressure their mothers into reuniting, they can’t help but be instantly drawn back to each other.
Their romance is a heartwarming, sweet melding of souls. The live stream of their quest garners them instant stardom and the audience can tell right away that there is something more there than just friendship. Insta-love isn’t usually my jam, but oh man did I enjoy it here. Beat is sweet and protective and always, always thinking of Melody’s feelings. Melody has a huge crush on Beat and is really only doing this whole thing because she knows he needs it for reasons and to become independent from her mother. Their dialogue is full of sparkling wit and snappy comebacks.
In true Tessa Bailey style, Beat has a sexual secret he’s afraid to share with Melody- something that he’s always kept to himself and never shared with a romantic partner. This “secret” brings the hotness to the sexytimes and does create a bit of drama between the couple. And yes, Beat has a dirty, dirty mouth in bed.
There is also a blackmail plot behind Beat’s decision to take part in the show. It drives all of his decisions and is the catalyst for the third act breakup. I did love the way the blackmailer received his comeuppance at the end, and how that scene ultimately brought this couple back together. Their HEA is super sweet and reminded me a bit of a Hallmark movie ending.
All in all, Wreck the Halls is a spicy holiday romance, full of delightful shenanigans, quirky characters, and sparkling banter. The premise is fun and the romance sigh-worthy. I enjoyed it immensely.
Final grade- B+