The Plight Before Christmas – Kate Stewart

Genre: Romance
Publisher: Independently Published
Pages: 374
Release Date: December 19, 2021

Clark Griswold was onto something, at least with his annual holiday meltdown. And since the last three weeks of my life have been riddled with humbug—another breakup, a broken toe, an office promotion I deserved and didn’t get—I’m not at all in the mood to celebrate nor have the happ, happ, happiest Christmas EVER.

When Mom insisted that we all gather at my Grandparent’s ancient cabin for an old school family Christmas, I fully intended to get into the holiday spirit with the help of the three wise men, Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, and Jim Beam. But those boys did absolutely nothing to offset the shock or temper the sting of seeing my EX on our doorstep the first day of our holiday soiree.

Apparently, Santa missed the memo, and this elf is pissed.

Stuck for a week with the man who obliterated my heart nearly two decades ago, I did the only thing I could do and put on my game face, thankful for the home advantage.

I knew better than to drink that last cup of eggnog.

I knew better than to get tongue tangled beneath the mistletoe with the only man to ever break my heart.

I knew better than to sleep with Satan’s wingman on the eve of the Lord’s birthday.

I could blame the nog. I could blame the deceitful light blue eyes, thick, angelic hair, and panty evaporating smirk…but mostly, I blame Eli because he always knew exactly which of my buttons to push.

I foolishly thought a family Christmas filled with nostalgia was going to turn my inner Scrooge around, but this year’s festivities went up in flames. Leave it to the ghost of my Christmas past to be the one to light the match.

Fa la la la la, la FML.


The Plight Before Christmas had so much potential, but fell flat in its execution. The biggest issue I had is that the novel felt like it didn’t have clear direction as there were too many characters Stewart tried to focus on. None of the storylines had enough air to breathe, including the main one.

The Plight Before Christmas takes place at the main character’s, Whitney, grandparents’ cabin with her entire family for Christmas. Stewart gives readers a cozy and intimate setting to situate all the characters. When I say all the characters, I mean ALL the characters. There’s Whitney’s sister, husband and two kids. Whitney’s brother, wife and two kids. Whitney’s parents and, finally, her love interest, Eli.

It was hard to enjoy Whitney and Eli as it felt like all the other characters kept intruding on their story. There were multiple flashbacks throughout the novel detailing their past. I loved these flashbacks as they were cute, funny, and full of angst and heat that’s missing from the present timeline. This missing angst and heat is a byproduct of them being in the house with her entire family. At certain points, I was more interested in Whitney’s sisters’ marital problems.

The Plight Before Christmas had the potential to be a deeply emotional story because Whitney and Eli’s relationship had all the makings of an engaging romance, but, like I mentioned, kept getting interrupted. 

Overall, The Plight Before Christmas had the potential to be a cute and angsty second chance Christmas romance, but bit off more than it could chew.


Have you read The Plight Before Christmas? What did you think?

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