Review: Party Favors – Erin McLellan

Review: Party Favors – Erin McLellanParty Favors
by Erin McLellan
Series: So Over the Holidays #4
Also in this series: Candy Hearts, Bottle Rocket
Publisher: Erin McLellan
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Genres: Romance
Pages: 168
Source: A Novel Take PR

I received an advance review copy of this book from A Novel Take PR. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star


Amanda Ellis knows three things: she’s tired of doing what’s expected of her, she hates her job at her family’s business, and the last thing she wants to do is attend her parents’ boring New Year’s Eve ball with a date her mother picked. A few days of fun with her online best friend is exactly what she needs to ring in the New Year on her own terms.


Wren Rebello is impulsive and always ready for fun. A last-minute girls’ getaway sounds like the perfect way to spend New Year’s. But even Wren isn’t prepared for the spark of attraction she feels when she meets Amanda in person for the first time. Good thing Wren loves popping Amanda’s cork.


After days spent sharing end-of-year resolutions and the one bed in their cottage, the clock strikes midnight and the ball drops on their time together. As Amanda and Wren go their separate ways, they leave new resolutions unfulfilled. Is there enough New Year’s magic left to turn their online friendship into real-life love?

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4 stars icon contemporary icon f-f holiday romance icon

I adore this series. It’s adorable, kinky and sex-positive and I have loved every single one of these couples over the past year. This is the fourth in the holiday-themed series, and while it could be read as a stand-alone, you’d miss a lot of the backstory (and in-jokes) with the other couples.

Amanda may be the disco ball heiress, but working for her family’s glassware company and getting roped into endless dates with eligible men picked out by her mother is anything but fun. She’d much rather be home in her pajamas texting with her friend Wren, who she originally bonded with over a vintage pattern. Wren’s the complete opposite of serious don’t-rock-the-boat Amanda – she loves having a good time and isn’t afraid to be a little crazy. When Wren suggests Amanda blow off her mom’s charity shindig and come spend New Year’s Eve with her and her friends, Amanda jumps at the chance to be a little more like her best friend. But what she doesn’t expect is that her feelings for her friend don’t stay just friendly. But with only a few days until she goes back home, can anything happen between Amanda and Wren?

“I’m happy. I’m on vacation, so there’s a bit of unreality to the whole thing. Like consequences don’t exist. And … I’ve always respected your ability to live in the moment. I want to live in the moment. I want to have fun, Wren.”
“You’re going to be rash and act without a plan or regard to consequences? You’re me in this scenario?”

This is a novella, so I loved that Wren and Amanda already had a history together. Even with that though, they had to figure out how to go from texting constantly with each other to communicating in real life. It was super sweet and believable, and I loved that the big moment happened over text – even with how close they’d gotten, it was believable to me that they’d still need to do that in the way they first got to know each other. While Wren was very comfortable in her own sexuality (and already aware that she had a huge crush on her), Amanda was a little more bowled over by her attraction to Wren, but her inexperience was something that was handled gently by Wren. Because while everyone seemed to think Wren was just wild and crazy, she actually brought a lot to the relationship with Amanda, especially with showing Amanda how to be vulnerable and open. Everyone else assumed that she couldn’t settle down; Amanda, by contrast, loves how fun she is. For her, that’s an intrinsic part of why she likes Wren, not something to like her in spite of.

“William made me listen to a crime podcast where the murder weapon was a disco ball. They’re dangerous and sparkly. You should own it.”
William cleared his throat. “That was a lava lamp, babe.”

I loved getting to see previous couples, especially Wiliam and Benji, who were serious comedic relief. Plus, there were lots of silly New Year’s related puns (including multiple references to the title). As for heat level, it’s exactly as steamy as you’d expect, and Wren and Amanda have amazing chemistry.

Overall, I loved seeing another Rebello sibling fall in love, and I seriously hope there are more novellas in this series!

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