Holiday Hoax

Maggie Cole

Book Cover

GENRE

ROMANCE

    Core Theme

    OVERCOMING CHARACTER FLAWS IN THE NAME OF TRUE

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    HOLIDATE, THE PROPOSAL, EASY A

    CHARACTER LIST

    • GEORGIA PEACH: 20S. LEAD. ASPIRING BAKER, MBA, WITH NO LIVING RELATIVES.

    • SEBASTIAN CARTWRIGHT: 30S. ASPIRING CEO OF CARTWRIGHT ENTERPRISES. EXTREMELY WEALTHY, BUT WITH AN IRRITATING EDGE.

    • MELANIE: 20S. GEORGIA’S FRIEND AND CONFIDANTE.

    • RUBY: 50S-60S. SEBASTIAN’S MOTHER, DESPERATE TO SEE HER SON MARRIED.

    • JACOB: 50S-60S. SEBASTIAN’S FATHER AND ACTING CEO OF CARTWRIGHT ENTERPRISES.

    • EVELYN: 30S. SEBASTIAN’S SISTER, MEDDLESOME BUT WITH THE BEST INTENTIONS.

    Logline

    Little Miss Sunshine will make the perfect fake bride to take home for the holidays… who cares if I’m her boss? Once January 2nd arrives, I’m divorcing her.Except the more we’re together, the more she’s infiltrating my heart… in ways that have me second guessing our secret arrangement…

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54

    Target Gender: Female leaning

    Setting

    Texas and Iceland

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Pulse Press Inc

    Year Published: 2022

    Starting Description

    Georgia works for Sebastian who makes her a deal she can’t refuse to become his fake wife to take home for the holidays. He’s bitter, she’s little miss sunshine, and while they annoy each other there’s mad attraction.

    Ending Description

    The author has not yet written this

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending

    Plot - Premise

    The author has not yet written this

    Main Character Details

    Name: Sebastian Cartwright

    Age: 36

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Complex, Educated, Greedy, Manipulative, Masculine, Seductive, Sexy, Sophisticated

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Georgia Peach

    Age: 24

    Gender: 24

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits:

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Genre

    MATURE AUDIENCE, ROMANCE

    Brief

    An aspiring baker/MBA graduate takes an internship at the prestigious Cartwright Enterprises. She gets more than she bargained for when her wealthy boss offers her money to pretend to be his wife for the holidays, to stave off his meddlesome mother and save his reputation as a relationship failure. But the pair’s chemistry is revealed at the Cartwright family home, and they must choose to continue to live the lie they created, or give their true feelings a chance.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: EXCELLENT

    Franchise Potential: GOOD

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    It is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    The story puts us in the action right away, in that the love interests meet on the very first page. We can sense both the tension and the chemistry between them, and it makes us want to keep reading, to see what happens next. Given that romance is usually a genre for female-identifying readers, it’s a smart choice to start with Georgia’s perspective, because she gives us enough information to endear us to her and she allows us access to Sebastian, and his company, as an audience surrogate. By the time we jump to his perspective, we already have a good understanding of the ‘ordinary world’ and Georgia’s plight.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Overall, HOLIDAY HOAX is hard to put down (and, in fact, this reader was able to get through a first read in almost one sitting). That said, there are a few things worth considering. For instance, at certain moments, Sebastian teeters on the line of being unlikable. These moments usually occur when he’s talking/thinking/scheming about sex with Georgia, and it makes him feel almost arrogant. It might be more effective if he, like her, didn’t want to have sex initially. Though it’s a Regency era romance, the BRIDGERTON series (especially the adaption) handles this quite well, and could be something to look at. There, the men have sex frequently, and with any number of women. Their sex drive, or abilities, are never called into question. But they are adamant about not wanting to have sex with their eventual love interests, leaving the audience’s desire for it strong and still protecting the man’s integrity within the primary storyline.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    Romance is extremely trendy, especially with the streaming services. With two characters with starkly opposite personalities, along with strong goals and even stronger senses of self, it’s hard to look away. The manuscript follows the genre format well, too, which makes it familiar enough to be endearing.

    Fanbase Potential

    Romance, and rom coms, have a built-in audience, especially with adaptations. We need only to look at Netflix’s BRIDGERTON or the Hallmark channel to ascertain that. HOLIDAY HOAX hits on several familiar tropes – forced togetherness, enemies to lovers, and fake relationships – that keeps it feeling familiar, and thus, easy to digest.

    Awards Potential

    Generally, romance is overlooked by the major awards (i.e. – the Academy), but that’s not to say that there isn’t potential for fan-voted awards, or even something like the Globes. Best screenplay, best score, costuming, etc. are all contenders!

    Envisioned Budget

    LOW BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    HOLIDATE, THE PROPOSAL, EASY A

    What’s New About the Story

    The format is familiar, as it usually is within this genre, but the characters themselves are what makes the story stand out among others of its kind. We are introduced to two starkly different personalities, that must work together towards their own, individual goals. But to make the story more unique might mean elevating the supporting cast a bit. For instance, it’s possible that Melanie can meet Sebastian before they take off for the ranch. Or maybe Alexander can serve as more of a confidante to Sebastian, making him more present on the page. Adding depth could be interesting, too. For example, touching on what Ruby does with her time when she’s not wedding planning could be interesting to see.

    Lead Characters

    Both Georgia and Sebastian have extremely strong personalities, and they play nicely off each other. Georgia softens Sebastian, and Sebastian gives Georgia confidence. Their chemistry on the page is undeniable, and the slow burn to physical intimacy is well-paced and satisfying.

    Uniqueness of Story

    HOLIDAY HOAX is a rare gem in that it feels well-developed, well-executed, and satisfying for the reader from start to finish. The slow burn is handled exceptionally well, and the interiority we get from the romantic leads helps endear us to them quickly and consistently. Aside from a few small moments with Sebastian (largely, his attitude towards sex with Georgia), we root for these characters, and their relationship, which keeps us turning the pages as the story unravels.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    HOLIDAY HOAX feels largely ready for adaptation. It fits the genre nicely, and follows its structure almost perfectly. The characters are endearing, and it’s easy to root for them and their relationship as they grow and change to ultimately find satisfaction together. Additionally, physical and emotional intimacy is handled effectively, and it’s well-paced. It also doesn’t cross the line into erotica, but contains all the steamy, sensual moments that audiences familiar with the genre expect. There’s a lot to like here, and it’s a fun read from top to bottom, chock full of everything the romance genre has to offer. Put simply, it’s a good story, well told.

    Brief

    An aspiring baker/MBA graduate takes an internship at the prestigious Cartwright Enterprises. She gets more than she bargained for when her wealthy boss offers her money to pretend to be his wife for the holidays, to stave off his meddlesome mother and save his reputation as a relationship failure. But the pair’s chemistry is revealed at the Cartwright family home, and they must choose to continue to live the lie they created, or give their true feelings a chance.

    What We Liked

    HOLIDAY HOAX is, at its core, a romance, not unlike Netflix’s HOLIDATE or THE PROPOSAL. It has moments of wit, but overall, it’s an endearing story about two people overcoming their flaws in the face of true love. It follows much of the typical format for rom-coms, and is supported by a secondary cast that plays off the leads quite nicely. It’s tropes are familiar enough for an audience to feel comfortable, but is elevated by the progressive, albeit sometimes stark, character arcs of the two romantic leads.

    Film: HOLIDAY HOAX follows the typical rom-com format, and the two romantic leads share equal weight on the page. Generally, the story feels on-trend, especially with the streaming services, and it would likely fit in quite nicely alongside others of its kind.
    Thematically, the story explores country vs. city, socioeconomic dynamics, and the fantasy of things like wealth, power, and status. Georgia Peach would likely be perceived as a highly relatable character to the average viewer (particularly female-identifying viewers), making her easy to sympathize with, and root for from start to finish.

    TV: Given the story’s structure, HOLIDAY HOAX is much better suited for the feature film format, and would align quite nicely with other trendy romances of its kind (think HOLIDATE, or the Hallmark formula). To make it work as anything other than a miniseries would require perhaps too much character expansion and forced continuation that doesn’t feel necessary.

    Key points:
    Romance, with comedy potential.
    Low budget.
    Strong female lead.
    Fake relationship trope.
    Great supporting cast.

    Synopsis

    GEORGIA PEACH arrives for her first day as an intern at Cartwright Enterprises, and is introduced to SEBASTIAN CARTWRIGHT. Sebastian gets a call from his father, JACOB, demanding that he come home for Christmas. If he doesn’t, then he vows to never name Sebastian CEO. Sebastian gives Georgia a proposition: marry him until he becomes CEO, and he’ll give her $100,000 to open her dream bakery. Georgia negotiates for $1 million dollars.
    Sebastian calls his lawyer, HUCK, and instructs him to contract a prenuptial, with loopholes to ensure that he doesn’t have to pay Georgia the full amount.

    Sebastian and Huck arrive at Georgia’s apartment for the signing. Sebastian kisses Georgia and is surprised at how much chemistry they have. He then provides her with a flawless Tiffany’s engagement ring. Sebastian’s family welcomes Georgia, and Sebastian reveals that they’ll be marrying in a week’s time. His mother, RUBY, becomes engulfed in wedding planning.
    Sebastian’s overhears his sisters talking to Georgia about his failed engagements. The gossip gets inside his head and reminds him that Georgia, too, is only in this for the money. He becomes short with her, and Georgia slaps him.

    Sebastian’s family begins suggesting venues for the wedding, and are surprised when Georgia suggests having the wedding at their home. She becomes dismayed when she realizes that the Cartwrights are the kind of family she’s always longed for. Sebastian buys Georgia another, more fitting engagement ring. He presents it to her while they are watching the stars from their wedding venue. Georgia kisses him, and they have sex for the first time. Georgia’s friend, MELANIE, arrives and reveals that Georgia’s goal is to own a cupcake franchise. Sebastian asks her about it, but Georgia refuses to talk.

    Sebastian and Georgia are married. Sebastian takes Georgia on a honeymoon to her dream destination, Iceland. On the plane, Sebastian confesses his true feelings to Georgia. She suggests that they keep up the façade until Sebastian is named CEO. At the hotel, Georgia
    finally shows Sebastian her business plan for the cupcake franchise. He sends her to the spa,
    and then begins planning for Georgia’s first bakery.

    When they return home, Georgia overhears Sebastian talking to Huck about the loopholes.
    She assumes that he’s been using her the whole time, and leaves. Sebastian comes clean with his family, and Jacob refuses to name him CEO. When Georgia learns Sebastian’s fate, she calls Jacob on his behalf and urges him to change his mind. On Christmas, Sebastian takes Georgia to her new bakery. On New Year’s Eve, they spend the night together, and reveal their true feelings. But when Sebastian wakes up in the morning, Georgia is gone.

    On the day that they’re supposed to annul their marriage, Georgia insists that Huck doesn’t pay her. When Sebastian finds out, he insists that she gets a million dollars and the keys to a new condo. Georgia shows up at Sebastian’s to give it all back, and he admits that he still loves her. He challenges her to say that she doesn’t love him, but she can’t. One year later, Georgia is celebrating her first franchise. She thanks her husband for his support, and all is well.

    About The Author

    Maggie Cole is committed to bringing her readers alphalicious book boyfriends. She's been called the literary master of steamy romance. Her books are full of raw emotion, suspense, and will always keep you wanting more. She is a masterful storyteller of contemporary romance and loves writing about broken people who rise above the ashes.Maggie lives in Florida with her son. She loves sunshine, anything to do with water, and everything naughty.