Here I am, veeeeeeeeery late, with my review for you entering my challenge! The complex reviews will happen oh my god. Bear with me. Still catching up! Anyway, review time, so here we go!
Which bakery doesn’t get insanely busy around the holiday season? I just don’t get why Lily doesn’t see it because you need all those cookies for santa and whatnot, I mean, it’s obvious innit?
Truly fair to hate the holiday for more than the colours clashing with your hair.
OH GOD THE FEEL OF PEOPLE BEING ENTITELED AND RUDE AS HELL DURING THOSE SEASONS LIKE I DONT EVEN WORK IN RETAIL BUT IN HEALTHCARE BUT BOY DO I FEEL IT
lol the Karen mention, we all know them
HAHAH OF COURSE LILY WOULD CONSIDER THE MAN BEING GORGEOUS AF A PROBLEM BC OF THAT
Elfs can be damn cute tho
Coworkers like Mary are the best tbh
But I also love the sheer of people like James
HAHA OF COURSE JAMES WINKS
I bet Lily that they are indeed dating
The same eight songs for a month on end isn’t truly to bad… but then I can listen to one song for months on end so
of course he managed to hack the account
Oh please, as if Lily wasn’t attracted to him from the getgo
James has fucking manners and we applaud him for it
oh jesus she goes there already god she has it bad
HAHA THE ANTLERS
HAHAH OF COURSE JAMES CALLS HER MINNIE
Mcgonagall I bloody love you
HAVE A BISCUIT HAHAHA OF COURSE YOU THREW THAT IN HAHAHA
Also the fact that James immediately wanted to go and change the song. God. I love this so much <3 Thank you so so much for having written this for my challenge <3 I’ll get to your prize reviews as soon as I can - even though it might end up taking a while still!
Hey Taylor! I'm here with one of your (extremely belated) prize reviews from my Broadway Musical Song Challenge! :)
Okay so first of all, who gave you the right to write 7k words about baking?! "They're called super-sprinkle cookies for a reason, Karen" is so shady and I. LOVE. IT! The subtle reference to James' nickname of Prongs with the reindeer antlers is a nice touch too, by the way. The dichotomy of Lily absolutely abhorring Christmas and James absolutely loving it? Your faves COULD! (thank you Paula for the original tweet omg) Taylor, is that a reference in there to Orange Cardamom I spy? This is the freaking cutest "enemies to lovers au" ever and it's definitely going on my list to read again over the actual winter holidays because wow. Your note at the end about the instagram girl being a complete self-insert literally made me snort out loud, so thanks for that VERY important information :P I'm sure you've been told this hundreds of times before, but you really are the queen of Jily AUs, and this is definitely one of my favorites! I'm a fan of baking myself, so this felt so fun and pure and had such realistic relationship development between James and Lily. Giving Lily more depth with her hatred of the holidays going beyond the usual Grinchiness to associating it with her father's passing from cancer, and then James immediately recognizing that and vowing to himself (probably) to do what he can to make the time easier for her is just so heartwarming. Honestly, I'd love a sequel of this, Taylor! :)
back again :P
first, a confession (and a digression lol i’m sorry, i know i have a lot of them): i’m a huge…like really huuuge lover of christmas holidays. it’s my favourite holiday, and it’s also completely unrelated to the religious aspect of it. i love the spirit of the season, the coming together with family and friends, the decorations (which me and my dad are always in charge of and it’s one of the things we really really love to do together), the lights, the tree, the gifts, the music….i’m the person who starts listening to christmas songs in the middle of October. i also have a hot co-worker who’s pretty similar in that regard so it’s us against the grinches of my workplace haha. and this long digression is to say that i’m basically james of the story :P and also that this is the perfect intro into my own christmas spirit which is going to rear its head soonish.
right now i can’t decide if 9.9/10 or this story is my favourite out of the jilys i’ve read by you, it’s really a tough call so i’ll hold off on that. but! i just loved this story. it’s perfectly fluffy and i read it with a mug of hot tea, wrapped in a blanket because it’s suddenly become cold in croatia so anyhow, the mood and the setting is basically perfect.
i appreciated how you incorporated the reindeer antlers, and all the inappropriate thoughts that lily had were 100% warranted, who could blame her, right? mcgonagall and her biscuits and her whole bakery is a thing of creative beauty but omg! her reaction to james and lily snogging in her kitchen was priceless and i had lots of fun imagining mcgonagall’s face as the trawled through the security cameras and coming upon…well…that haha
lily not generally being a christmas person and then her dad, who was obviously one of those amazing dads who loves christmas and everything to do with it and who reminded me of my own dad (i have a lot of feels and related-ness to this fic, okay.), passing away during christmas time, is something i can understand as a reason for completely ruining her christmas spirit :I
but james! i loved how he was just trying to annoy her at first because it was funny how she got flustered and all that but after she tells him the real reason, he’s dead set on his mission to make lily see the holidays as once again the time of year to be happy, to remember the good times with her dad, without it becoming too much, and just showering her with good stuff, like cookies, and flirting with her and everything…to make her feel a lil’ bit better.
i also thought that his characterisation was really well done and you somehow managed to do it without going into too much depth?? idk if that makes sense, but a lot of the story we spend in lily’s head and her perception of james, and how it suddenly changes, without dwelling too much into james and his reasons. but still, we get a really clear view of who he is as a person, and he is such a good guy. i also understand his annoyance at not being able to do what he truly wants, though because i know you’ve written a sequel to this, i can appreciate the fact that he maybe does go through with his dream of owning a bakery. he really showed passion for it and the creativity needed to be able to go at it alone *_*
i loved all the banter, the little jabs they took at each other, lily's hilarious bout of jealousy and especially the ending when lily realised that her dad would’ve loved seeing her happy on christmas, enjoying the holiday. it made me feel all fuzzy inside *_*
i’m def coming for the sequel soonish :D
Hey, Taylor! Here for your review as a placer in the Wrong Owl Challenge. I'm so glad that you participated in our challenge, and that I get to look into a few more of your writings!
This was definitely a cute story. I loved the slow burn beginning of both Lily's learning to at least like Christmas again and falling into at least a like with James Potter. I like how you kept them pretty much in character, even as you set them as Muggles. Having McGonagall there was the icing on the cake.
Paula was certainly lucky to recieve this story from you!
I'll give an honorable mention to James' friends, for they do have odd names if your not part of the Wizarding world.
I loved Lily's struggle in the story going on. At first, learning how to deal with James, having mad baking skills (and allowing herself to take direction from someone she thought of as a noob on the baking scene with the cardamon. Which I had to look up myself to see if he was just pulling her leg. He wasn't it's a member of the Ginger family.)
Slowly accepting his music, even as she finally told him why she didn't like the holiday. I feel for her, missing her dad like that. (I go through periods of that missing family members also.)
It was truly magical how you wove them together, and made them both seem so real. And - I hope that their future is brighter than the Wizarding couple.
(I'd give this one more than a ten - but the machine won't let me!)
i love keeping james and lily to character, just in a totally different setting - it's part of what makes writing AUs so fun, in that you're taking people that everyone knows, even mcgonagall, but sticking them in a totally new environment and having things play out there. (and yes, sirius and remus are *such* strange names outside of the wizarding world, lol.)
she definitely grows to like him as the story goes on, and also grows to have a better understanding and appreciation for the holiday (and starting to realise that being happy around christmas is what her dad would have wanted).
and yes, part of the reason i love writing muggle AUs is that their ending is definitely *not* the one they meet in the books - they live happily ever after and have even more kiddos post-harry and grow old together and canon can suck it. :P
thanks for reviewing - i'm so glad you enjoyed the story!
I'm here with a review for the Magical Menagerie Review Event as well as the Gryffindor Red vs Gold Review event for January 2019! So Jily AUs are not my usual cup of tea, but I've heard so many good reviews about this story that I figured I should come by and check it out. Maybe you'll change my mind. :)
Aww Poor Lily. It's tough to not like the holidays. It seems like if you say that to anyone, they automatically jump all over you about it.
I had a good chuckle over the idea of James all decked out in Christmas gear dancing around the bakery, singing to Christmas music.
I'm with Lily on this one. I think James would be getting on my nerves too. I mean I love Christmas as much as the next person, but having to deal with someone singing loudly and off pitch would be frustrating.
It's interesting that he adds cardamom to the cookies. That wouldn't be my first inclination as cardamom makes me mouth go numb, but whatever works.
Yes. Lily just said it. You're automatically a grinch if you aren't uber enthusiastic about the holidays.
Ah. So that's why she doesn't love the holidays or that particular Christmas song. That seems pretty reasonable. I think it would probably make the holidays a bit bitter for anyone.
It's nice that James changes the song and follows it up over the next few days by chilling out. Maybe not being so intense about Christmas would help Lily to fall for him. If that doesn't do the trick, those chocolate peppermint cookies sound amazing. Do you have an actual recipe for them or is that just something you made up in your head?
Ooh. I sense someone is starting to fall for her co-worker. Him putting his arm around her seems to have released some conflicted feelings.
Oh gosh. I'll never look at reindeer antlers the same again.
I love how you described the Insta-photo taking girl. I had a good long laugh over that. I see that sort of behavior all too often working in the culinary industry. (Ugh. What an awful user name)
Aww. That first kiss was so perfect. Food fights definitely can lead to snogging. Ha.
Busted. I can't believe McGonagall caught them snogging on the security cam. And I'm so happy that you used the Have a biscuit line in that way.
I love their first date. It's perfect.
Okay. So I actually really enjoyed this. I thought you wrote such a clever and cute Christmas piece. And it's great seeing their relationship go all the way from dislike to dating. That was nice progression.
hi kaitlin! i enjoy gradually introducing you to more and more jily and modern aus, haha.
people are so aggressive about not liking christmas, and christmas decorations are alway so so over-the-top. and like, i personally love that stuff, but it's definitely easy to see how all of that can be annoying after a while (especially if you've got your own reasons for disliking the holiday, like lily does). and yeah, i'd definitely also be annoyed with james for the loud off-key singing.
hahaha i love that you're reading this as an actual chef. i put cardamom on a lot of things - i love the taste, but it's definitely something that has to be used in moderation. and yes, i've made those chocolate peppermint cookies before! i can't remember where i found the recipe, but i love them.
the reindeer antlers line was one of those things that happened in a spur of speed-writing and then after the fact i was just like... 'where the HELL did that come from,' haha. but this progression of their relationship from "enemies" to lovers was fun, and james definitely chills out when he starts to learn more about lily, and then yes, food fight to snogging happens. and i couldn't write a bakery au in which mcgonagall runs the thing without the biscuit line working its way in.
i'm so glad you enjoyed this - thanks for the review!!
hellooo taylor, finally here to read this super super adorable chrismas fic. honestly i am dispaoointed in myself for not coming to read this sooner because it combines christmas and baking, two of my favorite things
i love the premise of this and watching james and lily grow closer throughout the whole thing was so amazing. like all of your jily's it was so well done and the build up was perfect. lily's reasons for being a total grinch are so understandable but james is obviously having none of that with all his holiday cheer (the elf line was amazing, honestly as soon as he started singing i was praying for that to come out at some point).
james' reindeer antlers are amazing and i love that it's now a recurring theme in your stories. i need all of james potter in reindeer antlers and lily rolling her eyes at him. i love his tip about the cardamom-first it was so him to just drop that and break the rules a little and so lily to be hesistant to change it up but basically i just love his passion for baking and that he's so much more excited about it and getting lily to love christmas than like anything else
i love that james catches her singing a christmas song, i think that was the perfect lead up to their first kiss! it was easy to tell throughout this that he was breaking her down. their first date was so so cute and i think it was kind of perfect that lily's dads favorite christmas song was playing. total full circle moment for them and very sweet of james to go offer to change it except nope lily doesnt need to anymore because she likes christmas and she likes him and everything is great and wonderful now <33 basically this was cute and wonderful and amazing and i loved everything about it xoxo keep up the amazing work!!
sarahhhhhh. yes, christmas and baking are also two of my favorite things and so when paula tweeted about this and i realised it could work as a christmas fic, i couldn't resist.
all of the james potter in reindeer antlers, you say? never fear, because i'm basically incapable of writing any sort of jily AU *without* james potter in reindeer antlers. he's such an overexcited dork about everything, including baking and christmas, and i couldn't resist the elf line making an appearance. he's like, basically buddy the elf in this anyways.
the full circle moment felt like the right way to end things - he'd slowly softened all her resistance to the holidays and made her realise that the best way she can honour the memory of her dad is to enjoy the holiday and the people she's spending it with rather than by ignoring its existence entirely.
anyways, very very happy you enjoyed this, thanks for reviewing!!! <3
OMG I love this so much!!
So I kind of stumbled onto this story while browsing HPFT, and I was mainly drawn in by the pairing (Jily is like, my all-time favourite ship and I’m basically trash for any thing marauder related), but God, this is just so amazing.
The overall story, the romance (obviously...), the Christmas baking aesthetic, the FLUFF OMG THE FLUFF, just wow. Everything just ties in together so well, and even though there’s not any magical aspects you still manage to represent the characters realistically. I mean, I found James and Lily to both be super convincing, as I could totally imagine Lily being somewhat opposed to the idea of Christmas and James taking it upon himself to change that for her and cheer her up (also the backstory made me want to cry).
Not just the main characters, though, but also supporting ones. McGonagall was amazing- I particularly liked the ‘have a biscuit’ scene as her reaction shows a part of what her character is like and because we’re already familiar with her ‘biscuit tactic’. I think you also used the character of Sirius really well. Like, he wasn’t there much but I still got a good sense of his personality (no shagging on the ice lmao) even though he wasn’t even in any direct speech, and it helps relate the story to the HP series more. Plus, the wolfstar hints ;))
Anyway, I’m sorry this basically turned into a ramble (oops...), I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this, it was such a great read though :D
hi! i'm so happy you stumbled upon this fic :P
i have a lot of fun with muggle AUs, and this one was no exception - making it a christmas and baking themed extravaganza was an adventure (and a perfect way to hype myself up for the holidays, haha), and adopting their characters to this storyline just fit so well.
writing about a bakery that mcgonagall owns and *not* working in the iconinc 'have a biscuit' line felt almost criminal, and plugging sirius in, even if just for a short period of time, felt necessary. i adore sirius, so he needed to have at least one good joke here. and yessss, there are always wolfstar hints in my jily fics, lol.
i'm so glad you enjoyed this, thank you for reading/reviewing!!
Hello! Here for December's RvG Review Battle, and of course some Jily Christmas fluff!
I think you know by now that I'm basically in love with your Jily AUs, and this one is no different - setting it in a bakery at Christmas is just perfect, and making me feel even more Christmassy and fluffy than before (also hungry. I need to go and get food now, too). One of my favourite things about these is the way that you manage to keep including little details like James's reindeer antlers in the stories, tying each of the AUs together and tying them into the canon version of the couple, too. Seeing those details pop up each time always makes me smile.
This was so sweet and fluffy to read round Christmas - although of course, with a helping of angst, as well. It was really sad to read about why Lily didn't like Christmas. I thought that you teased that out really well through the story, rather than just telling us everything from the beginning - the fact that it came out in an explanation to James (albeit an angry one) meant that they became closer, and he was much more aware of the aspects that were difficult for her, too.
I really loved the way that you wrote their relationship growing from the start of this story - with Lily getting annoyed that she wasn't working with her normal shift partner, and even more annoyed that James had a positive attitude towards Christmas, him admitting that he was trying to wind her up with being excessively cheery, and then the understanding, which led to more attraction between them.
I think I had two favourite scenes in this story (which were hard to choose because it's all so great). The first is when the customers are coming in - first with the older couple assuming that James and Lily are together, and then the girls coming in taking photos and flirting with James, which made Lily more jealous than she realised she would be. The second is when McGonagall confronts them about seeing them kissing on the security footage - it's so incredibly awkward, but I can imagine McGonagall in the books realising that James and Lily are together and being secretly happy about it. The inclusion of the "Have a biscuit" line was the best!
Of course, the ending was brilliant, too - the date was so thoughtful and sweet, and I loved the fact that being with James made it easier for Lily to listen to her dad's favourite song and face the Christmas season. Please don't stop writing these two together!
you can 100% give credit to paula for the bakery idea, i just rolled with her concept haha. also yes, this fic made me very hungry the entire time. also i have such an obsession with james potter in reindeer antlers that i absolutely can't resist including it whenever possible.
the angst in this surprised me as i was writing honestly, because it got a bit more intense as i started writing than i initially planned, but it also kind of helped to flesh out lily's resistance to enjoying the holidays - but that moment was definitely one of the ones that brought them closer, and made james start taking her more seriously in certain ways and made lily respect him a bit more for being adult enough to admit that he's messed up.
gah, that scene with the customers was SO fun - i died writing the girl flirting, as well as the one who was taking instagram pictures the entire time. lily's internal monologue at that point was funny too because she starts to realise that she's even more into him than she thought. and haha, there was NO WAY i was writing a fic in which mcgonagall owns a bakery and the iconic 'have a biscuit' line DIDN'T make an appearance.
thanks for this lovely review, sian! and lol, i'll probably never stop with the cheesy jily AUs.
Ohhh Taylor this was so freaking adorable!
Jily fluff, cake, ice skating, hot boys in reindeer antlers - I'm here for it all. I LOVED your James and Lily. James being the easy-going, annoying, loud little nugget we love and Lily being a bit of a rule follower. Although it was a one-shot set over a month, it actually felt like a real slow burn which was great! I liked how he chipped away at the until she started to thaw. And I cracked up when he admitted he was going out of his way to be annoying.
Also, it got a bit saucy for a moment there. James Potter effect, eh?
It was really sad about her father though. I actually wasn't expecting it, and it gave me a little lump in my throat. By the ice skating scene when the song came on again, I was gone. There's something about the holidays that make the emotions a little closer to the surface. I also loved McGonagall's cameo, especially the cringe moment when she caught them on camera! I always get a kick out of other characters popping up in AUs!
Also, now I just want all the biscuits, cakes and James Potter with flour in his hair, is that too much to ask?
For RvG December - Team Red & Christmas wishlist giving!
Hi Tasha! I'm so glad you liked this! Lily and James are definitely true to their canon characterizations, and I had fun trying to make their enemies-to-lovers type vibe fit into the span of a month. And honestly, James going out of his way to be annoying seems like something he'd definitely do, until - like he did in this fic - he realizes that it's gone a bit too far.
"James Potter effect" wow I love that description of it so much. I truthfully have no idea what possessed me to write that line, but it's my favourite to see reactions to.
So uhhhhh, I was not expecting that part about her father to be as emotional as it was, and it very much threw me off guard that there was this random splash of angst that decided to plant itself right in the middle of any otherwise fluffy story, but I think you're right that holidays tend to bring emotions right to the surface.
And omg I couldn't possibly write about a bakery that McGonagall owns without working the biscuit line in there somewhere - it's too good an opportunity to pass up.
I also want all the biscuits and James Potter - I'm sitting in a coffee shop right now so the biscuit part wouldn't be too hard to manage, but if you manage to locate a James with flour in his hair, let me know, yeah? :P
Thanks for the review!! <3
I cannot form coherent sentences because I'm too happy. I might actually legit die of happiness.
THE AESTHETIC. THE FLUFF. THE JILYNESS OF IT ALL.
Omg the elf quote. I'm in love.
This makes me want to turn my oven on too. When I'm baking all weekend I'm 100% blaming the sheer ~aesthetic~ of this story.
I know that I can blame the hormones but I'll have you know I sobbed over her father. Runny eyes, tears, the works.
If a handsome boy was force feeding me cookies I'd probably fall in love too tbh.
Also I don't know for sure that he'd have to take the antlers off for certain acts. He could probably just tilt them a bit.
lol i hard relate to the girl on the floor trying to take artsy photos.
THERE'S THE SPECIAL CODE WORD. Such a good instagram name. I'm so happy.
Thank you for this beautiful story. I can die happy. <3
(lol also sorry, I first reviewed this on my staff account)
Haha I'm so glad you liked it!! And yes the aesthetic of this story is probably why I made 50+ cookies tonight tbh. Also not gonna lie, I wrote the section about her father and almost cried myself and had a moment of 'what the hell Taylor' because THIS IS FLUFF, NOT ANGST, WHAT ARE YOU DOING.
OMG crying at "he could probably just tilt them a bit." Incredible. And yes the girl on the floor taking artsy photos is such a relatable character. The code word just fit in so well with this scene so it worked out perfectly. Anyways, thanks for the tweet that inspired this hot mess, haha. <3