Friend or Mistlefoe - Ariella Zoelle

Naughty holiday puns and jokes abound in Friend of Mistlefoe, a story of two grad students that love to hate each other. Mingo loves the holidays, but he doesn't expect to share the same traditions and holiday dreams with that hunky jerk Marley Garland. Christmas quips abound between two men that actually might have their Christmas dreams come true.

From the blurb:

The only thing worse than not living out his Christmas rom-com fantasy is having his sworn enemy be the one to make all his holiday dreams come true.

Mingo Nevins

I’d rather roast my chestnuts over an open fire than spend a single second around Marley. So when that Grinch shows up at my apartment to hang out with my friends over Christmas break, I’m ready to deck his halls, if you know what I mean.

After he starts an argument with me, I take advantage of the mistletoe hanging above us to end it with an impulsive kiss to shut him up, once and for all. But I make one crucial miscalculation: Marley kisses to win, and I refuse to lose.

I guess that means we’re dating now?

Marley Garland

With a mistletoe kiss, Mingo moves from my naughty list right to the top of my to-do list. We may have started as enemies, but that doesn’t change the fact that I want him to jingle my bells and make it a white Christmas.

If I have my way, the road won’t be the only thing getting plowed tonight. But can we call a truce long enough to make it a not-so-silent night?

Friend or Mistlefoe is a standalone novel in the Sunnyside universe. This comedic enemies to lovers gay romance is full of holiday cheer and naughty Christmas banter. If you love cute sweetness, sexy fun, and no angst stories that will make you laugh and swoon, you’ll enjoy this festive HEA without cliffhangers. 

SNik's Review:

Standalone. Frenemies to lovers. Dual POV. 

Mingo and Marley have been at odds since they first met 3 years ago, both grad students studying the same time period in Japan, they have butted heads arguing about anything and everything. When Marley tags along to Mingo’s apartment to watch holiday movies, Mingo sees red. No way does he want the arrogant Marley around ruining his festivities, Christmas is his favorite time of year. The war of words between them continues, with holiday puns and jokes, and both men infuriating the other until angry kisses become something more. Marley shares Mingo’s love of Christmas and as they spend time together, they realize that they have more in common than they realized, including wanting all the romance the holiday season brings. 

This book has huge amounts of funny banter, the dialogue witty and silly, with two men that are smart but emotionally clueless, finding that their perfect match was close all along. A fun holiday read with hints of Hallmark romance and some steamy times leading to a sweet HEA.

Rating: 4 Stars

Angel's Review:

"Once upon a time, I would have preferred a lump of coal in my stocking than let you stuff mine. However, it was truly love at frost sight. Now, you bring joy to my world and are all of my favorite things. I'll do my best to stay on your nice list, but let's be honest, I'm probably going to spend way more time on your naughty list." 

I got such joy reading the playful and unique banter between these characters. I've never read another story quite like this one before. It was quirky and unique, not to mention so funny, but It was also romantic. I want a Christmas Hallmark style guy too! Can I have a Marley please? Or a Mingo? Please? 

This was an enemies to lovers holidays romance, with swoon worthy moments of these characters making cookies together and having some very naughty times. 

I enjoyed everything about this; the writing, the detail, the puns! Oh, the puns and the jokes! I was giggling reading this; it was just so well done. I appreciated how Ariella wrote about Mingo, realizing that he didn't really hate Marley, and I loved how Figgy automatically went to Marley. That really aggravated Mingo, but pets are wonderful judges of characters. 

I honestly can't recommend this one more to anyone who wants laughter at the holidays. And those who want to use these puns themselves. ;)

Rating: 5 Stars

Janet's Review:

Friend or Mistlefoe was an insanely fun read, seriously laugh out loud!! Enemies to lovers with sooo many Christmas puns! 

Mingo and Marley both adore Christmas. I loved the way Marley antagonized Mingo every chance he got, sooo freakin funny. Mingo and Marley’s romance was so satisfying to read. 

Sweet and steamy, fantastic hate s3x and every Christmas cliche possible make this a fantastic story. Really well written with fast pacing. Couldn’t put it down! 

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

If you are looking for a punny Christmas story, filled with naughty mugs and sweet enemies to lovers vibes, look no further than Friend or Mistlefoe.  It's full of holiday cliches, stolen kisses and ice-melting steam that is a fun and easy read.  Bonus: adorable kitty cat with a holiday name!

While this book is part of the Sunnydale universe, it can easily be read as standalone if you're just here to soak up the punny holiday spirit.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Friend or Mistlefoe is available to buy as an ebook and paperback.