BOOK REVIEW: The Stocking Was Hung (The Holidays #1) by Tara Sivec

BOOK REVIEW: The Stocking Was Hung (The Holidays #1) by Tara SivecThe Stocking Was Hung (The Holidays #1)
by Tara Sivec
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


What happens when your life goes to crap the week of Christmas? You invite a hot Marine you met in an airport bar to come home with you for the holidays, to distract your crazy family from the truth.

With a handsy aunt, a meddling mother, and a father concerned for the wellbeing of his daughter's eggnog, there's no chance Sam and Noel will have time to fall in love...or will they?

The Stocking Was Hung is the first of three books about The Holiday family. It's a full-length Christmas novel that will make you laugh, make you HOT, and maybe even make you say, "Awwwww" a few times.


I had so much fun reading Christmas Cliche, so I had to try another book by Tara Sivec.  The Stocking Was Hung was over the top, laugh out loud hilarious.  While I adored the main characters, Sam and Noel, the rest of the characters didn’t mesh so well with me.  So I won’t be continuing on with this series, but I’ll still be picking up another book by Tara Sivec down the road.

I’m happy for the first time in a long time, and something about that scares the shit out of me. How could a guy I just met make me feel this way?

When Noel’s boyfriend proposed to her, she bolted.  Afraid to tell her parents she “failed” at something else, she ended up bringing another guy home for the holidays.  Noel and Sam met at the airport and there was definitely an instant attraction. When she suggested for him to pretend to be her ex, and to come home with her for the holidays, I was addicted.  The chemistry between them was smile inducing and I was so giddy that Sam went along with Noel’s crazy plans.

He smile, her laugh, her smell, her skin…I need her. Just her. I realize how crazy that sounds when we haven’t even known each other for twenty-four hours, but I don’t give a fuck. This woman has turned me inside out in less than a day and I just. Don’t. Give. A. Fuck.

Noel was so down to earth and easy to connect with.  And Sam was the sweetest guy ever.  And while he agreed to pretend to be Noel’s ex, the man was not altruistic lol.  He definitely had an end game of hooking up with Nicole.  Their moments together had me glued to the pages and the chemistry between them was scorching hot!  But the more time they spent around each other, they both started to see that there was so much more than just a physical attraction between them.  I loved watching how kind Sam was to Noel, he defended and helped her.  And Noel gave Sam the possibility of a true family, something he never had.

“Mom, do you have pot hanging from the ceiling?” Noel asks.
“You know your father needs it for his arthritis,” her mother sighs. “Pot—mistletoe, potato—potahto. It’s green and it’s festive, and you have to kiss under it.”

My hiccup with this story was Noel’s family.  Her mom would say things so seriously it horrified me. Telling her daughter that her father doesn’t believe in oral before breakfast, that’s a little tmi for even me lol. And her dad’s analogy with milk and his daughter was just a little too awkward. So when you throw in her Aunt Bobbie’s comments, drinking and drug use, plus groping Sam…I’m sad to say I struggled. Her family was way too much for me.  

I want to tell him to never leave. I want to tell him this stupid charade stopped being a charade the moment he kissed me under the pot mistletoe. I want to ask him if he’ll be my boyfriend for real and not for a fake show for my family.

But here’s the thing, Tara Sivec writes characters that are so vividly real and the story flows so seamlessly that it’s all so easy to devour.  And again we got an over the top story with an adorable romance, crazy side characters and a happy ending that made me smile.  It pains me that I struggled with her family, especially since I adored the main characters so much.  I’m hoping the next book I pick up by her will be a much better fit.

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  1. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    The only thing I’ve read by Sivec was her collab with Andi Arndt (Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words), which was cute but a bit silly for my personal preference. Based on your review, I’m wondering if that kind of over the top humor is just her style. I really would have struggled with Noel’s family, too. Maybe it was all meant for laughs, but I’m thinking this one isn’t my cup of tea.
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…The Sunday Post #315 | December 11, 2022My Profile

    • Jen

      She definitely writes in an over the top way. And I adored her other Christmas story that did that, but not so much this one. I don’t think this book would work for you either.

  2. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    Yeah, Sivec’s characters are pretty much over the top, but if you follow her on Facebook that is kind of the way I think she is in real life too. I adore her silly stories! I haven’t read any of her holiday ones yet, other than the most recent one that was Halloween centered, but I know I’ll get to them all at some point! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted…Review: How to Succeed in Witchcraft by Aislinn BrophyMy Profile

    • Jen

      I definitely recommend you try her Christmas Cliche book! I bet you’d really enjoy that one then ♥.

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