Recent Release Review- Kissing Under The Mistletoe by S. Enoch, A. Grey & A. Bennett

Such a pretty book cover!

Title: Kissing Under The Mistletoe

Genre: Historical Romance/ Holiday Anthology

Author: Suzanne Enoch, Amelia Grey and Anna Bennett

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s, Sept. 28,2021

Pages: 347

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon:

Great Scot! by Suzanne Enoch
Miss Jane Bansil knows she will never have a fairy-tale moment. Well past the marriageable age, she’s taken a position as a companion and is now stuck in Scotland for Christmas, alone even in the middle of the boisterous MacTaggert family. But when Brennan Andrews, an architect and cousin to the MacTaggerts, arrives to draw up plans for a new family home, Jane must decide if she will take a chance at a happily-ever-after, or settle into her small, safe life for good.

Christmas at Dewberry Hollow by Amelia Grey
Miss Isabelle Reed has no plans to ever fall in love. She has a perfectly acceptable life with her mother at the Dewberry Hollow Inn, thank you very much. But when Gate, the Duke of Notsgrave’s grandson, appears at Dewberry Hollow searching for a carving on a tree, Isabelle cannot help but get involved. But Gate’s charm and their instant attraction makes Isabelle question if she’s willing to take her chance at love once again.

My Mistletoe Beau by Anna Bennett
Miss Eva Tiding is determined to cheer her widowed father with the perfect Christmas gift. Even if it means breaking into the home of the rakish Earl of Frostbough who swindled Papa out of his pocket watch. But when the earl, Jack Hardwick, catches her in the act, they strike a deal: she’ll pose as his fiancée in exchange for the watch. Falling in love is not part of the plan—but with a little Christmas magic, anything is possible…

**

Each of these stories will put you in the mood for the Christmas Season. Usually when I read an anthology there is at least one story that is not as good as the others. That’s not the case here. Each is well written with good character development and well intentioned and executed plots.

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Recent Release Review- A Magical New York Christmas by Anita Hughes

Title: A Magical New York Christmas

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Holiday

Author: Anita Hughes

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin Griffin, Sept 28, 2021

Pages: 296

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon:

A magical holiday love story set at the glamorous Plaza Hotel in New York City.

It’s Christmas week when 26-year-old Sabrina Post knocks on the door of the Vanderbilt suite at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, ready to accept the ghostwriting position for the memoir of Grayson Westcott—a famous art dealer.

A struggling journalist, Sabrina can’t believe her luck: a paycheck and six nights in her own suite at the Plaza. She feels like Eloise, the heroine from her favorite children’s books. To make the job even more exciting, Grayson recounts how he worked as a butler at the Plaza sixty years ago for none other than the author of the Eloise books, Kay Thompson.

What promises to be a perfect week is complicated when Sabrina meets Ian Wentworth, a handsome British visitor, at the hotel bar. When Ian assumes Sabrina is another wealthy guest at the hotel, she doesn’t correct him —a decision she doesn’t regret after learning that Ian is a member of the British aristocracy. But, things are not what they seem. The truth is: Ian is not a wealthy lord; he’s actually the personal secretary of Lord Spencer Braxton.

As the week unfolds, will Sabrina and Ian learn the truth about one another?

Filled with the magic that can only be found at the Plaza Hotel during the holidays, and revealing facts about the author of the Eloise books, Anita Hughes’s A Magical New York Christmas is both a holiday treat and a heartwarming story that reminds us that falling in love is the greatest miracle of all.

**

Reading this book was like I was at the fabled Plaza Hotel in NYC. From the lovely description I could picture the Christmas decorations and the the wealthy guests mingling in the Palm Court. Also other NYC Christmas sights are introduced: Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, etc. There are two plot lines and both are really primary. First there is Ian and Sabrina and the other has to do with Grayson the wealthy art dealer and former Plaza butler. I found the story of Grayson the more interesting. The Ian Sabrina romance would have developed quicker if they had just been honest with each other. Ian’s job of keeping Lord Spencer in line got tiresome after a awhile. There is an abundance of Christmasy feeling and it will put the reader in a holiday mood.

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Recent Release Review- The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

Title: The Santa Suit

Genre: Contemporary romance/Holiday

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s, Sept. 28, 2021

Pages: 213

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon:

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?

Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

**

Are you looking to get your heart warmed along with all the Christmas feels? This is the book to curl up with. Ivy is settling in to her broken-down farm and loving every minute. She is consumed with curiosity about that child’s note to Santa all those years ago. Looking for answers she meets the locals and starts to make the community her true home. Her real estate broker, Ezra, is the handsome, helpful Christmas gift she didn’t know she wanted.

This is my first read of a Mary Kay Andrews novel and I really enjoyed her writing. It is a short book, perfect for the busy holiday season when we just want to take an escape break.

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Release Day Review- Mistletoe Christmas: An Anthologyby James, Caldwell, MacGregor and Ridley

Title: Mistletoe Christmas

Genre: Historical Romance/Anthology

Author: Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, Erica RidleyA

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon & Harper Voyager, Sept. 28, 2021

Pages: 480

Rating: 4.5 (closer to 5)

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Christmasy Feeling: 5

The Duke of Greystoke’s Christmas Revelry is famous throughout the British Isles for its plays, dancing, magical grotto… not to mention scandals leading to the marriage licenses he hands out like confetti.

But not everyone welcomes a visit from Cupid.

Lady Cressida, the duke’s daughter, is too busy managing the entertainments—and besides, her own father has called her dowdy. Her cousin, Lady Isabelle Wilkshire, is directing Cinderella and has no interest in marriage. Lady Caroline Whitmore is already (unhappily) married; the fact that she and her estranged husband have to pretend to be together just makes her dread the party all the more.  But not as much as Miss Louisa Harcourt, whose mother bluntly tells her that this is her last chance to escape the horrors of being an old maid.

A house party so large that mothers lose track of their charges leads to a delightful, seductive quartet of stories that you will savor for the Season!





**

This anthology is one of the best I’ve read. If you love Christmas Anthologies like I do, than you are in for a treat if you go for this one.

A Mistletoe Christmas by Eloisa James

Lady Creesida and Lord Darcy de Reyleston

Cressida is the “Cinderella” type granddaughter of the Duke of Greystoke. She is definitely underappreciated and has been for the 10 years she has coordinated his annual Christmas House party. Lord Darcy comes along and appreciates her for who she is. A truly lovely love story that also sets up the scene for the remainder stories in the anthology. Rating 5-stars An absolute delight

***

Wishing Under The Mistletoe by Christi Caldwell

Cyrus Hill and Lady Isabelle Wilkshire

This story has shades of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”. Cyrus is the scrooge like man focused on making money and his success. Isabelle wants him to think of her as important since they are betrothed. Isabelle ends the betrothal but they meet 10 years later at the Duke’s party. Rating 4-stars Good character development

***

Compromise Under The Mistletoe by Janna MacGregor

Caroline Whitmore and Lord Stephan Whitmore ..

This story is about granddaughter Caroline wanting her grandfather, the duke, to give her her trust early so that she can start an art gallery. Caroline is estranged from her husband Stephen but they must be a couple for the duke to release the funds. Rating 4-stars My least favorite but still very good.

***

Mischief and Mistletoe by Erica Ridley

Louisa Hardcourt and Ewan Reid.

Louisa is falling for Ewan who is not her mother’s idea of a proper suitor. Louisa is a poet and he is noted for being a poet so she pursues him, all the while avoiding the aristocratic “proper” choices thrown in her path. Rating 5-stars This one was my favorite. I will have to read more by Erica Ridley

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Christmas Book Release Week at La Deetda Reads

A Yuletide Kiss Releasing tomorrow 9/28/2021

Title: A Yuletide Kiss

Genre: Historical Romance/Anthology/Holiday

Author: Madeline Hunter, Sabrina Jeffries, Mary Jo Putney

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Kensington Books, Sept. 28, 2021

Pages: 336

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 4.5

Description from Amazon:

THE UNEXPECTED GIFT by Madeline Hunter
Jenna Waverly has closed her inn, anticipating a blissfully quiet Christmas, until a snowstorm brings the first of several strangers to her property. Lucas Avonwood, as charming as he is secretive, is on a mission to track down a scoundrel, but the inn’s lovely owner is giving him a more compelling reason to stay . . .
 
WHEN WE FINALLY KISS GOOD NIGHT by Sabrina Jeffries
When Flora Younger first met Konrad Juncker, she thought she’d found her match, only to have her hopes dashed. Konrad is now a famous playwright whose plays Flora has secretly panned in reviews. But a chance meeting in a secluded inn may help them rewrite this star-crossed romance . . .

WHEN STRANGERS MEET by Mary Jo Putney
Kate Mcleod is shocked to find that her fellow guest in the snowbound inn is the dashing soldier who may or may not be her husband. Daniel Faringdon barely remembers that long-ago night when he rescued her from disaster, but the desire they discover now will be impossible to forget, or to ignore . . .

**

I enjoyed each story in the wintery anthology. Some were a bit more Christmasy feeling than others. These authors are truly at the top of their game and can construct dialogue that brings the reader into the scene. The characters come to life on the page.

What I didn’t like was the repetition of events in each story. I kept saying to myself”yes,yes, we already know about that.” But that is a small problem that I can overlook because of the good story telling and accomplished writing.

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Advance Review-A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman

Title: A Reckless Match ( Ruthless Rivals, book #1 )

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Kate Bateman

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Sept. 28, 2021

Pages: ?

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Meet the Davies and Montgomery families – two households locked in an ancient feud, destined to be on opposing sides forever. Until now…

CAN LIFELONG HATE

Madeline Montgomery grew up despising––and secretly loving––the roguish Gryffud “Gryff” Davies. Their families have been bitter rivals for hundreds of years, but even if her feelings once crossed the line between love and hate, she’s certain Gryff never felt the same. Now, she’s too busy saving her family from ruin to think about Gryff and the other “devilish” Davies siblings. Since he’s off being scandalous in London, it’s not like she’ll ever see him again…

TURN TO TRUE LOVE

As the new Earl of Powys, Gryff Davies planned on spending his post-war life enjoying the pleasures of London. But when an illegal duel forces him to retreat to his family’s Welsh castle, he realizes the only exciting thing in the dull countryside will be seeing the fiery Maddie Montgomery. Thoughts of his nemesis sustained Gryff throughout the war; but the girl he loved to tease has grown into a gorgeous, headstrong woman – who loathes him just as much as she ever did. Will secret tunnels, dangerous smugglers, and meddling from their feuding families be enough to make Maddie and Gryff realize that their animosity is really attraction…and maybe even love?

A Reckless Match is the first in a new regency romance series by Kate Bateman about two feuding families, and reunited childhood enemies whose hatred turns to love.

**

Even if Maddie and Gryff don’t initially realize their attraction to each other, the reader sees right off that these two have a destiny. Kate Bateman always seems to come up with original plots to her fabulous Historical Romances. This book is certainly original in that there is spelunking (cave exploring), villains, feuding families, an adventure seeking heroine and lots of action and suspense. I didn’t mention lots of hot romance also. This is a rollicking start to a new series. I enjoyed it immensely and look forward to the rest of the series.

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The REAL review: When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting

Forgive me for mixing up my reviews. This is the review for WHEN SPARKS FLY.

Title: When Sparks Fly

Genre: Contemporary romance

Author: Helena Hunting

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin, Sept. 21, 2021

Pages: 320

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:0

Description from Amazon:

Avery Spark is living her best life. Between her friends, her sisters, and Spark House, the event hotel her family owns, she doesn’t have much time for anything else, especially relationships. She’d rather hang out with her best friend and roommate, Declan McCormick, than deal with the dating scene. But everything changes when she is in a car accident and needs someone to care for her as she heals.

Declan avoids relationships, giving him a playboy reputation that he lives up to when he puts a one-night stand ahead of a promise he made to Avery. While he may not have been the one driving the car, he feels responsible for Avery’s injuries and is determined to make it up to her by stepping into the role of caretaker.

Little did they know that the more time they spend in compromising positions, the attraction they’ve been refusing to acknowledge becomes impossible to ignore. When they finally give in to the spark between them, neither is prepared for the consequences. Their love is fragile and all it will take is a blow from the past to shatter it all.

**

Right from the beginning we are brought into the lives of Avery and Declan. Avery is a very”sporty” kind of girl. She plays soccer with the guys, has sport watching hang-outs with the guys and considers these people to be her close friends, and they are. Declan is her best friend and after the accident he goes above and beyond to help Avery and assuage his guilt. They are falling in love but live in denial. We believe that they will figure it out but, of course, there are other obstacles. This is a good Contemporary Romance by an accomplished author. I did have some trouble relating to Avery. I just have never understood her personality type. That is nothing againist this book, it is totally me. I also wanted Declan to get into therapy early-on and was frustrated that Avery didn’t stop with the seductive actions. (She could have had help from her sisters with bathing, even though there were excuses made as to why this wasn’t possible.) So, my feelings are mixed but not about this good story and excellent writing.

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Review- A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman

Title: A Reckless Match ( Ruthless Rivals, book #1 )

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Kate Bateman

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Sept. 28, 2021

Pages: ?

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Meet the Davies and Montgomery families – two households locked in an ancient feud, destined to be on opposing sides forever. Until now…

CAN LIFELONG HATE

Madeline Montgomery grew up despising––and secretly loving––the roguish Gryffud “Gryff” Davies. Their families have been bitter rivals for hundreds of years, but even if her feelings once crossed the line between love and hate, she’s certain Gryff never felt the same. Now, she’s too busy saving her family from ruin to think about Gryff and the other “devilish” Davies siblings. Since he’s off being scandalous in London, it’s not like she’ll ever see him again…

TURN TO TRUE LOVE

As the new Earl of Powys, Gryff Davies planned on spending his post-war life enjoying the pleasures of London. But when an illegal duel forces him to retreat to his family’s Welsh castle, he realizes the only exciting thing in the dull countryside will be seeing the fiery Maddie Montgomery. Thoughts of his nemesis sustained Gryff throughout the war; but the girl he loved to tease has grown into a gorgeous, headstrong woman – who loathes him just as much as she ever did. Will secret tunnels, dangerous smugglers, and meddling from their feuding families be enough to make Maddie and Gryff realize that their animosity is really attraction…and maybe even love?

A Reckless Match is the first in a new regency romance series by Kate Bateman about two feuding families, and reunited childhood enemies whose hatred turns to love.

**

Even if Maddie and Gryff don’t initially realize their attraction to each other, the reader sees right off that these two have a destiny. Kate Bateman always seems to come up with original plots to her fabulous Historical Romances. This book is certainly original in that there is spelunking (cave exploring), villains, feuding families, an adventure seeking heroine and lots of action and suspense. I didn’t mention lots of hot romance also. This is a rollicking start to a new series. I enjoyed it immensely and look forward to the rest of the series.

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Advance Review- Infamous by Minerva Spencer

Title: Infamous (Rebels of The Ton, book #3)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Minerva Spencer

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Kensington Books, Sept. 28, 2021

Pages: 292

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

A mean girl reformed . . .
Once the reigning beauty of her social set, Celia—whom the newspapers dubbed Lady Infamous—has fallen on hard times and is practically destitute, her reputation in shreds. When Celia is forced to attend a society wedding as a companion to an elderly guest, she must confront the clique she once commanded; the gentleman she’d once hoped to marry—who is now wed to a girl Celia relentlessly taunted; and the powerful man who ruined her life a decade before—and is threatening to do so again. . . .
 
A hero transformed . . .
Then there is Richard, the studious boy Celia used to ridicule, who is now gorgeous, wealthy, and
more-than-a-little famous. As a youth, Richard was infatuated with Celia. He still seems intrigued, but Celia has acquired a shocking secret along with her hard-won humility. Will it put an end to the love blossoming between them? Does she have the courage to find out?
 

**

I never managed to warm up to Celia. She had a very wicked history as a bully-mean girl. The author does a credible job redeeming her character in the plot but I still thought her to be quite “trashy”. Richard was not my favorite hero either but he did make for a good guy even if he comes off as a bit self absorbed. The villain in the story is truly evil, the kind that makes you shiver. There are some very hot sex scenes from more than just the hero and heroine.

Minerva Spencer can tell a very good tale and write superbly nuanced characters. Celia and Richard are original to the genre in the exploration of their depth of character. Their banter can be witty and sexy. Ms. Spencer has penned a very original, enjoyable read.

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Recent Release Review-A Bookshop Christmas by Rachel Burton

Title: A Bookshop Christmas

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Holiday

Author: Rachel Burton

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Aria, Sept. 2, 2021

Pages: 226

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon:

A snowstorm. A stranger. A spark. It should be the perfect start to the perfect love story.

But real life is far messier and more complicated than in the pages of the books in Megan Taylor’s family bookshop – the last few years have left this young widow in no doubt of that. Moving back home to York should have been a fresh start, but all it did was allow her to retreat from the world.

When prize-winning author Xander Stone rams his supermarket trolley into her ankles and then trashes her taste in books, Megan is abruptly awoken from her self-imposed hibernation. It’s time to start living again, and she’s going to start by putting this arrogant, superior – admittedly sexy – stranger in his place.

Just as she is beginning to enjoy life again, the worst happens and Megan begins to wonder if she should have stayed hidden away. Because it turns out that falling in love again is about more than just meeting under the mistletoe…

***

The delight of this book for Romance readers is the references to actual published romance books that the book club members love. The plot otherwise is a bit predictable. Megan doesn’t seem to be in control of her own shop when she lets Trixie run over her about the Christmas party. Xander is moody and unpredictable in his moods. He can turn on a dime and yet Megan continues to put up with it. The side characters are well drawn and add life to the story. I do think this is an okay read and it does have Christmas spirit.

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