Maxwell doesn’t like Christmas. As a kid, his parents’ idea of a gift was going to the ATM and Maxwell never knew there were families that did things differently. His parents were all about business and now Maxwell is too. Which is why he’s determined to get Micah Noble to sell him his Christmas tree farm in Vermont so Maxwell can turn the land into a resort. But the land is everything to Micah; it’s his past, present, and future, and no amount of money will make him sell.
Maxwell is determined to get what he wants and makes an unannounced visit to Vermont, getting himself stuck in a snowstorm in the process. He also gets himself stranded at Micah’s home and the man is tall and broad and not what Maxwell should be thinking about. But Micah is determined to make Maxwell see the beauty of the farm and their small Vermont town, and if the men happen to wind up under the mistletoe—well, they both can certainly think of worse things to happen.
This story feels like a holiday movie in a book form and it captures the fast-paced romance and plot line of those movies. Almost the entire book is a flashback, as Maxwell reminisces about Christmas the year before and his time on Micah’s Vermont tree farm while he’s stuck in NYC traffic. The plot is likely a familiar one with Maxwell the businessman looking to acquire property and Micah the lumberjack not interested in selling. Maxwell, of course, goes to Vermont unprepared for the weather and he’s not at all ready for the heat between him and Micah.
The men are opposites, with Micah having a loud, involved family of siblings and Maxwell being an only child with an estranged relationship with his parents. Micah pulls some moves to get Maxwell to stay on and see the magic of the town and the farm and of Christmastime itself. With the style of storytelling, there isn’t a lot of character development and the relationship moves quickly in getting the characters to change their views and possibly their lives. Once Maxwell arrived in Vermont, he didn’t read as the hard-edged businessman he was made out to be and the book definitely is heavy on the fluff.
Once Upon a Sexy Scrooge is a nice escape when you want that hit of holiday sentiment set around a snowy Vermont farm.