Title: Nutcracker with Benefits
Author: Liz Alden
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance, Wanderlust
Format: eBook, Novel
I’ve loved the nutcracker as a Christmas story in whatever version for as long as I can remember. So, of course when I saw that there was a novel retelling of it in a contemporary romance format… I was pretty keen to dive right in. And I most definitely was not disappointed! This was a wonderful Christmas story in and of itself, but as a reimagining of some of the themes throughout the Nutcracker? I really enjoyed it. This was one of those rare retellings that took the themes and some of the characterisations, but Alden was able to truly make it her own.
I love that throughout this story, Nash is just trying to show Clara what there is to love about their city and life with him. He might not be exactly subtle about some of it, but he is also obviously trying to make her see what there is to love about home. And also showing how much he truly knows her. Although it’s, admittedly, a little bit manipulative, it’s also incredibly sweet. Particularly the fact that everything he chooses shows Clara just how much he adores her and knows about her.
While reading this, I did think a lot about my little sister. She too has the wanderlust and need to travel. Itchy feet can lead to some pretty incredible adventures, and I love how Clara is able to harness that within her job. However, like my sister, there is a sense of fleeing in all of Clara’s actions. I really enjoy that at the end, she doesn’t have to give up her wanderlust and enjoyment of travel. But rather it’s about finding a better balance. Both in her life and Nash’s. But honestly, seriously the coolest job ever.
This was an incredibly Christmassy book. Not just in the fact that it’s actually set at Christmas and has the whole nutcracker retelling aspect. But also, in the fact that there is so much family involvement. For me, Christmas time is all about family and the chaos that is sure to follow with that kind of gathering. It’s about love and laughter. Alden highlights all of this really well in her story and makes you think of cozy nights with family around laughing and smiling.