Monthly Archives: October 2020

Happy Halloween from Deet

This is Deet’s Granddaughter, she’s a doll!!!

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Release Day Review- The Christmas Backup Plan by Lori Wilde

Title: The Christmas Backup Plan (Twilight, TX book #12)

Genre: Countemporary Romance/ Holiday

Author: Lori Wilde

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, Oct. 27, 2020

Pages: 364

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 4

Description from Amazon:

Wedding planner Aria Alzate has one goal: to give her best friend a perfect day. But after a bump on the head, she’s under doctor’s orders not to travel on her own. So she’s stuck on the road to Twilight with upright, uptight Remington Lockhart in the driver’s seat. True, Remy is one long, tall, Texas male, but the ex-military man never saw a rule he didn’t like—making this one long road trip . . .

 Remy has left the military, but the military lifestyle has not left him. The uncertainty this ex-paratrooper encountered during his tour of duty has convinced him that plans—combined with backup plans—will keep life under control. Aria is undeniably tempting, but her fly-by-the-seat of her pants attitude is never going to work.

 Then a sudden snowstorm strikes, and these opposites come together in a night of unexpected passion. And suddenly the magic of a Twilight, Texas, Christmas takes hold, proving that sometimes the best plan is to have no plan at all.

**

This is a cute enemies to lovers novel. Aria is a wedding planner on her way to work her good friend’s wedding. Remington is corralled by his step-mother to drive her to the wedding 8 hours away. These two have nothing in common, although they have grown up together. If one says it is black the other says it is white. When a snowstorm forces them to spend the night at a motel before continuing on, passion flares. But conflicting values are still keeping them apart as they continue on their way.

I enjoyed this lighthearted look at two obstinate lovers. Remy was so stubborn and Aria so flighty that you knew there were going to be all kinds of roadblocks to their happiness. A scene or two at the end of the book didn’t make sense if an HEA was to happen. It was wrapped up a bit too neatly. Still it was a fun light read for the holidays.

Elves, again!

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Recent Release Review- A Princess For Christmas by Jenny Holiday

Title: A Princess For Christmas

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Holiday

Author: Jenny Holiday

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Avon, Oct. 13, 2020

Pages: 396

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy feeling: 4

Description from Amazon:

From USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday comes a modern fairy tale just in time for Christmas about a tough New Yorker from the other side of the tracks who falls for a princess from the other side of the world.

Leo Ricci’s already handling all he can, between taking care of his little sister Gabby, driving a cab, and being the super of his apartment building in the Bronx. But when Gabby spots a “princess” in a gown outside of the UN trying to hail a cab, she begs her brother to stop and help. Before he knows it, he’s got a real-life damsel in distress in the backseat of his car. 

Princess Marie of Eldovia shouldn’t be hailing a cab, or even be out and about. But after her mother’s death, her father has plunged into a devastating depression and the fate of her small Alpine country has fallen on Marie’s shoulders. She’s taken aback by the gruff but devastatingly handsome driver who shows her more kindness than she’s seen in a long time. 

When Marie asks Leo to be her driver for the rest of her trip, he agrees, thinking he’ll squire a rich miss around for a while and make more money than he has in months. He doesn’t expect to like and start longing for the unpredictable Marie. And when he and Gabby end up in Eldovia for Christmas, he discovers the princess who is all wrong for him is also the woman who is his perfect match.

**

As the author indicates in notes, this is very much like a Hallmark Christmas Movie. However even though it reads like that in the beginning, it is so much more sexy-sensual than any Hallmark movie I have seen. Yes this book could even get a 5+ rating on the sex scale. It is a fun if unlikely story, almost a reverse “Cinderella” story with poor, cab driver Leo and the Princess Marie of Eldovia. I did like Leo and his devotion to his orphaned kid sister. In fact there is not anything to dislike about Leo. The princess was devoted to her country but was reluctant to marry Max, her childhood friend. An unlikely HEA results but it is a fun holiday read.

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Recent Release Review- The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

Title: The Midnight Bargain

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

Author: C.L. Polk

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Erewhon, Oct. 13, 2020

Pages: 384

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

A sweeping, romantic new fantasy set in a world reminiscent of Regency England, where women’s magic is taken from them when they marry. A sorceress must balance her desire to become the first great female magician against her duty to her family.

Beatrice Clayborn is a sorceress who practices magic in secret, terrified of the day she will be locked into a marital collar that will cut off her powers to protect her unborn children. She dreams of becoming a full-fledged Magus and pursuing magic as her calling as men do, but her family has staked everything to equip her for Bargaining Season, when young men and women of means descend upon the city to negotiate the best marriages. The Clayborns are in severe debt, and only she can save them, by securing an advantageous match before their creditors come calling. 

In a stroke of luck, Beatrice finds a grimoire that contains the key to becoming a Magus, but before she can purchase it, a rival sorceress swindles the book right out of her hands. Beatrice summons a spirit to help her get it back, but her new ally exacts a price: Beatrice’s first kiss . . . with her adversary’s brother, the handsome, compassionate, and fabulously wealthy Ianthe Lavan. 

The more Beatrice is entangled with the Lavan siblings, the harder her decision becomes: If she casts the spell to become a Magus, she will devastate her family and lose the only man to ever see her for who she is; but if she marries—even for love—she will sacrifice her magic, her identity, and her dreams. But how can she choose just one, knowing she will forever regret the path not taken?

**

I chose to read this book because I love Halloween and magic but I really hate horror and to be scared. (Yes, I’m a wuss.) This book appeared to be safe to feed my Halloween love without causing me nightmare traumas and I was right. It is a feminist novel with strong women who demand their own rights but are being thwarted by the Patriarchy of the era. The setting is an alternate reality of Regency England ( early 1800’s). There is magic, sorcery and conjuring of spirits but ultimately women and magic are controlled by men.

I enjoyed this book very much even though I thought it a bit slow in the middle. It took off toward the end to a very satisfying conclusion. I liked how the author didn’t deny the characters emotional feelings just because they were feminists. Love and feminism can live together and I was happy for that. What was a bit disturbing was the explanation of the consequences of disobedience to the Patriarchy. No spoilers here but it was rather grusome.

This is a fun read full of action, magical adventure and romance. I recommend this book to Fantasy and Historical romance readers.

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Recent Release Review- A Highlander Is Coming To Town by Laura Trentham

Title: A Highlander Is Coming To Town (A Highland, Georgia Novel, #3)

Genre: Contemporary romance/Holiday

Author: Laura Trentham

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Sept. 29, 2020

Pages: 290

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon:

Holt Pierson is dreading Christmas. His parents absconded to Florida for the season and left him to handle the family farm which will be his one day—whether he wants it or not. Driven by duty, Holt has always followed the path expected of him. But lately, he’s been questioning what he wants and where he belongs. Will assuming the responsibility of the Pierson farm make him happy or is there something—or someone—else out in the wider world calling to him?

To Claire Smythe, the Scottish lead singer of a touring band, Highland, Georgia, is the perfect place to hide . . .until a very handsome and deeply curious Holt begins to ask all the questions Claire doesn’t want to answer. As Holt draws Claire out from under and into the fabric of small-town life, can Claire put the past behind her and embrace the unexpected gifts of the season—including the new and lasting love?

**

Contrary to what the book-blurb says, Holt likes being a farmer. He is dutiful but likes Highland, Georgia. That he wants something more in his life does not mean he wishes he wasn’t a farmer. Claire is waiting out a few weeks before her 25th birthday when she is due to reap an inheritance that she is not sure she wants but feels obligated to accept. Finding an attraction to local farmer Holt was not in her plans, neither was her growing fondness for Ms. Meadows the elderly lady she is caretaking.

I enjoyed this warm and fuzzy read. There are delightful characters who add to the feeling of community. There is enough angst to keep me turning pages to find out what will become of these delightful people. The Christmas holidays are intricate throughout the story.

Hm, must be warm at the North Pole.

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Release Day Review- In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Title: In A Holidaze

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Holiday/Fantasy

Author: Christina Lauren

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Gallery Books, Oct. 6, 2020

Pages: 334

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

**

If you read no other Christmasy, holiday book, read this gem. I don’t always like this author’s offerings but this one rings all the Christmas romance bells. It is a delightful take on the “reliving a day” trope, although in this instance it is Mae trying to relive the week. She flounders around for a bit, but with the help of “Uncle” Benny she manages. Our delight of a hero, Andrew, is what everyone wishes for in a boyfriend. The encounters are steamy until they are flammable. The cabin and the side characters are wonderful. A total Holiday treat.

Uh-oh! here come those sexy elves. Every time I post a holiday review.

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