Trust me. I know. Fall hasn’t given way to winter, and Thanksgiving deserves its time in the spotlight. While I am a supporter of Thanksgiving, there aren’t a lot of Thanksgiving themed reads out there. Besides, if I’m reviewing books so you can find ones to add to your TBR Christmas list, I need to start now.

Today’s book isn’t the first Christmas book I’ve read this year, but it is the one I finished most recently. It also happens to be the one I’m currently most excited about. Let me tell you why.

While It Was Snowing, by Tari Faris, has all the makings of a great, feel-good holiday story. On the surface it may seem like a tried and true friends to lovers story, but it mixes it up a bit right from the start.

Danielle Fair isn’t a girly girl. Raised by her father and older brothers, Danielle doesn’t even use her full name. Instead, she goes by Dan, and it isn’t just at home. So used to being one of the guys, she’s known as Dan everywhere she goes including on the job. Her job just happens to be in her father’s garage as the best mechanic he has. Of course, she has to prove that as her father seems unwilling to leave her the business when he readies for retirement.

The story starts with Dan being drafted into her friend’s wedding. Can I repeat here that she isn’t a girly girl. She doesn’t do dresses or makeup or hair. Coveralls are more her style. But she is loving friend, and she steps in despite her discomfort at being transformed into a princess for a day. Maybe it will even give her the chance to impress her best friend Gideon.

Gideon and Dan have worked together for years and become best friends. Gideon is gorgeous and catches the eye of every girl in town, including Dan’s. But he sees her as everybody does, one of the guys. Until he sees her dressed up for the wedding. Suddenly their easy going, share everything with each other friendship is thrown off kilter.

Dan finds herself in the position of proving to her father that she’s the best man for the job while trying to show Gideon that she’s the woman to win his heart. Coveralls and cover shoots don’t exactly mix, and Dan isn’t sure she has what it takes to be a desirable woman and a capable woman in a male dominated business at the same time. Is it even possible?

Gideon loves his friendship with Dan and doesn’t want to risk losing it. But after seeing her at the wedding, he can’t get her out of his mind. He begins to wonder how he has been so blind for all the years of their friendship. Sure, she’s attractive in a dress, but her coveralls don’t make her less of a woman or less beautiful. As he considers their friendship through the years, he starts to realize he loved Dan before he saw her as Danielle for the first time. He loves all sides of her. Now if he can only get her to see it isn’t the dress that makes her desirable, it’s who she is in her heart.

Throw in a snowstorm, a holiday, work drama, and a little bit of jealousy to complicate their journey to realizing their love for each other, and you have a fun Christmas story to start off your holiday reading. Plus, there are several moments with all the feels. (Those moments that leave you actually feeling excited or disappointed for fictional movie or book characters even though you know they aren’t real.)

My rating: 4 out of 5 Christmas angels. This is a contender for my favorite Christmas book of the year. Come back closer to Christmas to see if it wins.

What about you? Do you enjoy the friends to lovers scenario in books?

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