All Hail Tessa, Queen of Romance
Wreck The Halls Book Cover Wreck The Halls
Tessa Bailey
Romantic Comedy
October 3, 2023
Hardcover, Paperback, Ebook, Audiobook

Melody Gallard may be the daughter of music royalty, but her world is far from glamorous. She spends her days restoring old books and avoiding the limelight (one awkward tabloid photo was enough, thanks). But when a producer offers her a lot of money to reunite her mother’s band on live tv, Mel begins to wonder if it’s time to rattle the cage, shake up her quiet life… and see him again. The only other person who could wrangle the rock and roll divas.

Beat Dawkins, the lead singer’s son, is Melody’s opposite—the camera loves him, he could charm the pants off anyone, and his mom is not a potential cult leader. Still, they might have been best friends if not for the legendary feud that broke up the band. When they met as teenagers, Mel felt an instant spark, but it’s nothing compared to the wild, intense attraction that builds as they embark on a madcap mission to convince their mothers to perform one last show.

While dealing with rock star shenanigans, a 24-hour film crew, brawling Santas, and mobs of adoring fans, Mel starts to step out of her comfort zone. With Beat by her side, cheering her on, she’s never felt so understood. But Christmas Eve is fast approaching, and a decades-old scandal is poised to wreck everything—the Steel Birds reunion, their relationships with their mothers, and their newfound love.

Tessa Bailey is Romance Royalty

I’m just going to tell it like it is – Tessa Bailey can do no wrong in my eyes.

“Wreck the Halls” is the latest from Queen TB, and it’s one of the most enjoyable books I’ve had the pleasure to read. Tessa Bailey has the ability to take an idea that seems outlandish and turn it on it’s head, writing her characters into such relatable and well developed people that you can’t help but invest your heart and soul into their journey. Let’s look at her backlist.

Murder mystery at the beach? Check.

Secret Admirer leaving love letter through a vineyard? Check.

Businessman falls in love with an ex-con in NYC? Check.

Party Princess gets cut off and ends up a small business owner in love with a fishing boat Captain? Check.

A ‘Why Choose’ where four strangers find love in a cable car? Check.

“Wreck the Halls” is another perfect example of such an experience for me. Two children of celebrities take on the task of reuniting their feuding mothers to get the band back together. They’ve only met once in their lives prior to this, but they share a unique experience that no one else in the world would understand, one that brings them closer to each other than any other person on the planet.

Beat and Melody are Dynamic Characters

Novels are beautiful and complicated. You need to have the right amount of plot and forward momentum to keep interest and anticipation, and the right character motivations to keep a reader invested. I find myself falling in love with characters before anything else. The plot is great and all, but if you don’t have the right characters to take you on that adventure, it’s gonna fizzle out. Beat and Melody, our “Wreck the Halls” main characters, are absolutely dynamic.

Melody Gallard is down to Earth and far more relatable than any child of a rock start should be. She craves to be independent from her mother’s reputation and stardom, and does what she can to live her own life and be her own person. Much like what Four says to Tris in Divergent, fear doesn’t shut Melody down, it wakes her up. I love how Melody acknowledges her anxiety and fear and nerves but chooses to make choices in spite of them. She’s strong and smart, and I admire her character.

“You believed in me enough to bring me on this journey with you. Brought me along to fight the monsters. You might have made choices to keep me out of the battles. And I understand why, I understand that protecting me is how you show your love, but we fought the war together. We won, because we get to love each other. We won because there is no one you trust more than me and no one i trust more than you. I believe in that.”

Beat is a simp for Melody from day one and I am here for it. From the beginning, Beat shows impressive character when he calls for out the paparazzi and media for the different ways they treat him from Melody. He is praised and desired while she is critiqued and dissected, taking away her humanity almost altogether. He spends his time and energy doing everything that he can to protect Melody, and keeping her safe. That’s how he shows his love.

“No matter what, though, Beat, we’re best friends. I think maybe we have been this whole time without even seeing each other. If we can still be best friends after one crazy night, I think that means we’re in it for the long haul.” She wet her lips, searching for the right words. “Maybe we just needed to get it out of our systems?”

He huffed a sound. “You’ll never leave my system, Mel. You’re one-half of it.”

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

Final Thoughts

“Wreck the Halls” had me firmly in it’s grip from the first page. I laughed out loud and caught myself smiling so hard my cheeks hurt, especially the fights with the Santas. Despite the title, “Wreck the Halls” doesn’t lean too heavily into the holiday spirit, so it’s totally okay to read this any time of year. That being said, I did catch myself yearning for a trip to the city in the winter when the snow is falling and the Rockerfeller Christmas Tree is up and lit. The city is magical in the winter.

Beat and Melody are captivating as a couple. Absolutely enchanting when they’re together. Octavia and Trina’s feud felt straight off the pages of a tabloid or the behind-the-scenes of a Bravo show. I could picture their antics and dramatics perfectly.

When you pick up a Tessa Bailey, you know what to expect. Witty banter, zesty 3-d characters, and palpable sexual tension. You can’t go wrong with whichever title you choose, and “Wreck the Halls” is up there as one of my favorites by Queen TB.