For This Christmas Only by Caro Carson

He was successful in business but not in love in this emotional holiday romance by USA TODAY bestselling author Caro Carson.

His book inspired her to return to school...

But he no longer believes his own advice

After nearly dying in a plane crash, financial guru Eli Taylor wants to find meaning in his life. A chance encounter at a small town’s Yule log lighting leads to an evening spent as the fake boyfriend of his superfan Mallory Ames. When she finds herself homeless for the holidays, he invites her to stay with him as his fake girlfriend, so he can show his siblings what a loving partnership should look like. The arrangement will end when the new year begins…or will it?

When we meet Mallory, she's having a rough night. It's her birthday and she just wants to go out and have fun walking around town. It's the holiday season and there's a fire going. What else could she want?

But she runs into some rowdy college boys who give her a hard time, so when she sees a guy all on his lonesome she goes up to him and pretends to be his girlfriend. He's not so open to the idea at first, but when he realizes that she's trying to get away from the guys who are harassing her, he gives in and plays along.

At first, the Mallory and Eli seem to have nothing in common.  She's friendly and chatty. He's quiet and doesn't seem all that interested in making Mallory's acquaintance. But I knew I liked him right off the bat because he came to Mallory's rescue when she needed it, and that's what a good guy does.

But there's a twist! See, throughout the night Mallory goes on about how excited she is for E.L. Taylor to be coming to her college to teach. At 29, Mallory is an older college student, and has high hopes for impressing Mr. Taylor and getting him to invest in her.

But as Eli listens to her talk, he doesn't know what to do. See, his name is EL Taylor. He IS the visitor who Mallory is so excited to meet.

Uh oh.

I enjoyed Mallory as a character a lot. She's had a lot of hardships in her life but applaud her for being so passionate and coming up with a plan to get ahead in life. I wasn't so sure about Eli at first. He didn't seem to have too much of a personality. But as he opened up, it was clear that he was a good guy who was just trying to do the right thing.

I found this book to be quite enjoyable! My only real issue is the pacing. To me, it was strange how over 50% of the book took place on the first night they met while the other 50% of the book made up the rest of the time (which was probably the equivalent of 2, maybe 3 weeks).

I would have preferred for a shorter first "date", and more time spent developing the relationship between the time that they decided to stop seeing each other and the time that his family unexpectedly came to town. Eli and Mallory were really cute together and I enjoyed their banter, like when she teases him about joining the mile high club. I would have enjoyed more of that throughout the second half.

Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!