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The Christmas Pact by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland: FAQs + Books Like It

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

I've been single for years and not once has it ever crossed my mind to bring home a fake boyfriend just to get my parents off my back. Yet, this is exactly what happens in The Christmas Pact by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland. (Kindle | Paperback)


While it might not seem all that realistic to me, this fake-boyfriend trope comes up a lot in books, especially in Christmas romance books.


In the following article, you'll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions bout the book, as well as a list of books like The Christmas Pact to read next. (Warning: This article contains spoilers)

The Christmas Pact by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland

What Is the Book The Christmas Pact About?

Riley Kennedy works at Star Publishing in New York City. After years of being single, she writes in to an advice column for help. Unfortunately, the advice column accidentally sends her reply to Kennedy Riley, who works at the same company, by mistake. He forwards it to Riley, but not without including some unsolicited input. At the company Christmas party, the two meet for the first time in person and discuss their fears about returning home for the holidays. Kennedy offers to return home with Riley as her fake boyfriend if she'll go with him to a wedding a week later so that they can save face with their families. Upon making the pact, neither expects real feelings to develop, but wouldn't you know, that's exactly what happens next.


Is The Christmas Pact Spicy?

No - The Christmas Pact is not spicy and there are no spicy chapters.


Can The Christmas Pact be Read as a Standalone?

Given that The Christmas Pact is not part of a series, it is meant to be read as a standalone.


How Long Does It Take to Read The Christmas Pact?

The Christmas Pact is a novella, which means that it's a short and sweet read. In fact, it will only take about 1 hour and 38 minutes to read The Christmas Pact, according to How Long to Read.


Does The Christmas Pact Have a Happy Ending?

Yes - The Christmas Pact does have a happy ending! After Kennedy and Riley return to New York City after the holidays, they don't speak for a week. During that time Riley once again writes to the advice column about her newfound feelings for Kennedy. The advice columnist then forwards Riley's email to Kennedy and tells him to give her the romantic ending she wants. Kennedy does exactly that and shows up on a white horse at her apartment to proclaim his love. One year later, Kennedy proposes and Riley says yes.


5 Books Like The Christmas Pact by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland

Whether it's the length, the fake dating trope, or the holiday vibes that you liked, here are five recommendations of books like The Christmas Pact to read next:


Meet Me in London by Georgia Toffolo

1. Meet Me in London by Georgia Toffolo

As the name suggests, this holiday romance takes place in London over the holidays. Like The Christmas Pact, it's about a couple who make a mutually beneficial agreement to begin fake dating each other. The idea is that he needs a girlfriend for the opening of his store and she needs a chance to showcase her fashion designs. However, it doesn't take long for this unusual business deal to develop into something more.


Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison

2. Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison

What's better than a fake dating relationship? A fake dating relationship between two friends with a past. In Lovelight Farms, Evelyn owns a failing Christmas Tree farm and enters to win a contest that will help her farm get extra publicity. The only thing is that she lied on her application and said she owns the farm alongside her non-existent boyfriend. So, who better to ask to be her fake boyfriend than her best friend, Luka?


My Fake Christmas Fiancé by Julie Kriss

3. My Fake Christmas Fiancé by Julie Kriss

Were you bummed that there were no spicy chapters in The Christmas Pact? If so, you're going to love My Fake Christmas Fiancé. In it, Penny and Wes are engaged to be married on Christmas eve. However, it's not supposed to be romantic - it's business. Or so they thought. Here's what one Goodreads reviewer called out as her favorite thing about it: "It's a fun, slow-burn but incredibly steamy, heartwarming romance. I adored both main characters and watching them fall in love was, quite simply, utterly joyful."


A Christmas Date by Camilla Isley

4. A Christmas Date by Camilla Isley

Not only is A Christmas Date a fairly short read, but it also features a fake relationship like in The Christmas Pact. In it, Nikki is forced to return home at Christmas to celebrate her younger sister's engagement to the man Nikki's secretly in love with. She can't bear to return home alone though, so she uses her job as a video producer for an advertising agency to hire a fake boyfriend for the trip. As it turns out though, the man she hires as her Christmas date is perfect in more ways than one, which causes her to develop some very real and confusing feelings.


Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey

5. Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey

In my experience, while many holiday romance books are set in December and feature themed covers, the actual contents of the book don't feel overly Christmas-y. That's not Window Shopping though. Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey really put me in the Christmas mood, plus the love story is just as, if not more, sweet than Kennedy and Riley's romance.

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