Book Review: The Mistletoe Trap by Cindi Madsen

The Mistletoe Trap

Author: Cindi Madsen
Series: Heart in the Game, book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Amara (November 16, 2020)
Kindle edition, 269 pages
Romance, Adult Contemporary Romance


From the moment Julie sees her best friend, Gavin, in the airport, it’s like no time at all has gone by instead of months and months. No matter how long they’ve been apart, their relationship has always been steady, comfortable, and decidedly just friends. Even though their meddling parents have hung what seems like unlimited amounts of mistletoe everywhere she goes this holiday season, Julie knows some things will never change.

Gavin is well-aware his family’s wanted him and Julie to get together since forever, even though he’s been friend-zoned since they could talk—and he’s been happy to play that role. After all, as the new starting quarterback for the San Antonio Mustangs, he’s got enough on his plate without adding romance to the mix.

But between playing elves in the holiday bazaar to nights spent one-on-one watching rom-coms or soaking in their town’s hot springs, suddenly the “reverse parent trap” they’ve fallen into is actually starting to work. But this could be one scheme where letting themselves get trapped might be way too dangerous.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This book is so amazingly good. Julie and Gavin have been best friends since before they can remember – and their parents have been planning their future together for just as long. Their beautiful, interwoven and interconnected families are such an amazingly warm (and hilariously funny) part of this book. The shenanigans they get up to trying to throw our two leading characters together are the stuff of the best holiday rom-coms and this really needs to be a movie!

I love how delightfully nerdy Julie is, and how Gavin just rolls with it because it’s such an integral part of who she is. Their chemistry together as friends is really warm and cute, and their building awareness of each other as sparks start to fly is absolute FIRE. They’re not just friends to lovers, they’re BEST friends, and they’ve had a hard time finding time to connect this past year just as friends – can they make a relationship work? Do they want to risk their friendship?

Read this book if you love:
* (Best) Friends-to-lovers
* Meddling families (with the best intentions)
* Holiday hijinks (elf costumes! mistletoe!)
* Forced proximity (if their families had been able to finagle it there TOTALLY would have been only one bed, but alas)
* Oh yeah, and sportsball (but it’s really not a huge part of it, tbh, which is fine with me!)

This is the second book in the Heart in the Game series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. The characters from the first book, The Wedding Deal, do play a role as minor side characters in this book and there may be some spoilers for book 1. Tricky, because I liked them so much that now I’m going to go back and read The Wedding Deal, haha!

A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Mistletoe Trap by Cindi Madsen

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