Wreck the Halls | By Tessa Bailey
Book Review | Contemporary Holiday Romance
Melody Gallard may be the daughter of music royalty, but her world is far from glamorous. She spends her days restoring old books and avoiding the limelight (one awkward tabloid photo was enough, thanks). But when a producer offers her a lot of money to reunite her mother’s band on live tv, Mel begins to wonder if it’s time to rattle the cage, shake up her quiet life… and see him again. The only other person who could wrangle the rock and roll divas.
Beat Dawkins, the lead singer’s son, is Melody’s opposite—the camera loves him, he could charm the pants off anyone, and his mom is not a potential cult leader. Still, they might have been best friends if not for the legendary feud that broke up the band. When they met as teenagers, Mel felt an instant spark, but it’s nothing compared to the wild, intense attraction that builds as they embark on a madcap mission to convince their mothers to perform one last show.
While dealing with rock star shenanigans, a 24-hour film crew, brawling Santas, and mobs of adoring fans, Mel starts to step out of her comfort zone. With Beat by her side, cheering her on, she’s never felt so understood. But Christmas Eve is fast approaching, and a decades-old scandal is poised to wreck everything—the Steel Birds reunion, their relationships with their mothers, and their newfound love.
Narrative and Plot
I started reading Wreck the Halls early in December. I believe this is a perfect time to read this book because, despite the cover and the title, the story is not festive enough. It happens around the holidays or the days leading up to Christmas. There is some form of festive cheer in the background, but other than that, it is mainly a cutesy romantic story.
The romance itself is only enjoyable if you are into the soulmates/meant to be kind of trope. If you can see past that, the main leads have good chemistry and are entertaining to read.
Characters and Conflict
When you read a Tessa Bailey book, you go into it with certain expectations. It is supposed to be steamy, hot fun, and full of engaging characters. This one almost fulfills most of these criteria. Almost. Somehow, the story leaned heavily on Beat, and Melody wasn’t equally fleshed out. She had a conflict, but other than Melody appeared to be pretty flawless. They even run with the hashtag MagnificentMel.
The intensity of the romance given the time frame these two have actually known each other kind of threw me off sometimes. The ensemble cast was a hoot, however. The formidable mothers, Danielle and Joseph were all fun characters to read.
Once again, we have a romance where the final conflict isn’t exactly strong. It would have been nice if they bookended it with some kind of a festive epilogue. The ending felt quite abrupt to me.
Overall Wreck The Halls was a one-time read for me. It makes up for a decent rom-com but I cannot possibly recommend it as a holiday romance due to the lack of festive spirit in it.