Congratulations on the publication of THE CHRISTMAS WAGER by Holly Cassidy (pen name for internationally bestselling author Hannah Mary McKinnon) publishing today from Viking!

One rivalry. Eight days until Christmas. Let the holiday games begin.

When LA-based real estate developer Bella Ross arrives in the sleepy, mountain town of Maple Falls, she has one mission: to acquire the local failing Christmas shop, Always Noelle, securing the promotion of her dreams. Nothing can get in her way. Except the shop owner’s stubborn grandson, Jesse Harrison.

Both refuse to budge, until an unlikely wager is struck: Bella and Jesse will compete in the Maple Falls Holiday Games, an annual tradition of eccentric feats of strength and skills. Winner decides the selling price. They’ll give each other a run for their money, but as the competition heats up, Bella and Jesse’s icy feelings toward each other begin to thaw. It’ll take a Christmas miracle for them to admit there’s a spark, but what if it’s just another game?


“Holly Cassidy’s The Christmas Wager is full of my favorite things: enemies-to-lovers; a quaint small town; a high stakes competition (thanks to the town’s annual holiday games); and enough Christmas cheer to power Santa’s sleigh. Full of wit and charm, The Christmas Wager is better than a hot cup of cocoa after a fresh snowfall. I was smitten!”

—Karma Brown, #1 bestselling author of Recipe for a Perfect Wife

“As delicious and comforting as a warm cup of cocoa with cinnamon, The Christmas Wager is sure to delight! Holly Cassidy/Hannah McKinnon hits every note with Bella’s delightful journey to magical Maple Falls, where she finds belonging and Christmas magic, competes in the adorable holiday games, and finds hope alongside swoony electrician Jesse. Don’t miss out!”

—Uzma Jalaluddin, author of Much Ado about Nada and co-author of Three Holidays And A Wedding

“Romance readers are the winner in this spirited holiday romp that turns love into sport in all the best ways.”

—Jean Meltzer, author of The Matzah Ball

“The Christmas Wager by Holly Cassidy reads like Survivor meets the Hallmark Channel but with the fate of a Christmas shop hanging in the balance. This book is for you if you love a good tussle, a spark of romance, and a competition of wills and skills. This isn’t your typical Rom-Com, it’s a Rom-Competition, and I’m here for it.”

—Ann Garvin, USA Today bestselling author of I Thought You Said This Would Work

“A delightful Christmas story, sure to envelop you in holiday cheer.” 

—K.A. Tucker, internationally bestselling author of The Simple Wild

“An absolute treat! Like a hot cup of cocoa laced with a shot of Irish cream, it has all the small-town charm of a Hallmark movie and so much more. I laughed, I cried, I swooned. With a clever twist on the rivals to lovers trope, this is one of those cozy rom coms I’ll read again and again—perfect for a cold winter day, long flight, day at the beach, or anytime at all!”

—Meredith Schorr, author of As Seen on TV

“The perfect holiday romp full of laugh out loud shenanigans amid a delightful small town loaded with wintery charm. Bella and Jesse are simply magical…in this swoon worthy Christmas romance that will warm the coldest of hearts.”

—Jenn McKinlay, author of Wait for It and Summer Reading

“Hilarious, warm and romantic…With a charming setting and a lovable cast of supporting characters, readers will root for Bella and Jesse in more ways than one. Let the games begin!”

—Elyssa Friedland, author of The Most Likely Club and Last Summer at the Golden Hotel

“A delightfully witty romcom that will have you laughing and cheering as the holiday antics and romance rev up! Holly Cassidy’s talent for setting a scene shines from the first to the last page, sucking you in and bringing all the feels with her charming characters and heartfelt moments. Read up, Brinches! Your new favorite holiday romcom has arrived!”

—Codi Hall, author of Nick and Noel’s Christmas Playlist

“A sweet and witty story with all the warm comfort of your favorite holiday rom-com movie!…Full of holiday hijinks, hilarious side characters, and the perfect cozy small-town setting….A complete delight!”

—Farah Heron, author of Kamila Knows Best and Accidentally Engaged

“Sweetness and spice blend perfectly in this rivals-to-lovers story with an enchanting holiday twist. Idyllic, snowy Maple Falls is a town you’ll never want to leave and Bella and Jesse are characters you’ll love to root for (even as they’re rooting against each other), making The Christmas Wager a story you won’t be able to put down: pure swoony, escapist fun. This book deserves to be on your classics shelf, reopened and savored every Christmas.”

—Ashley Winstead, author of The Boyfriend Candidate and In My Dreams I Hold a Knife

Holly Cassidy is the pen name for internationally bestselling author Hannah Mary McKinnon. Her suspense novels include The Neighbors, Her Secret Son, Sister Dear, You Will Remember Me, Never Coming Home, and The Revenge List publishing May 2023. McKinnon was born in England, grew up in Switzerland, and now lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and three sons. The Christmas Wager is her first novel writing as Holly Cassidy.

Holly (Hannah Mary) is represented by Carolyn Forde.