Category Archives: Holiday

Release Day Review- Christmas In Vermont by Anita Hughes

Christmas In Vermont

Title: Christmas In Vermont

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Author: Anita Hughes

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martins Griffin, Oct. 15, 2019

Pages: 304

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 2

Violence Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 0

Description from Amazon:

Emma can’t believe her luck when she finds an open pawn shop on Christmas Eve in Manhattan. She’s there to sell the beautiful bracelet her ex-boyfriend gave her when a familiar looking watch catches her eye. It’s the same engraved watch she gave her college boyfriend, Fletcher, years ago. On a whim, she trades the bracelet for the watch and wonders at the timing.
Practical Emma thinks it’s just a coincidence, but her best friend Bronwyn believes it’s the magic of synchronicity that caused Emma to find the watch. Fletcher was the one that got away, and somehow Emma never quite moved on.
When Bronwyn finds out that Fletcher is in snowy Vermont at a romantic inn for the week, she can’t help but give synchronicity a push. She signs Emma up to help the inn keeper as the children’s activity coordinator. Emma agrees that a week filled with quaint shops and maple syrup would do her good… and maybe Fate really does have a Christmas gift in store for her. That is until she sees Fletcher with his daughter and fiancée.
Suddenly, the fairytale trip seems doomed to fail… much like the innkeeper’s dwindling cashflow. It will take a miracle to save her heart and the inn. And that just might be what Fate has in mind.
**
Sometimes I choose to read a book and I wonder what possessed me to pick this one. Well, I liked the simplicity of the cover, I thought maybe Vermont would be ideal at holiday time. I got both of those hopes fulfilled but I just couldn’t wrap my head around a heroine and her bestie, both alone on Christmas, not spending the holiday together and what was Bronwyn doing with those kids. It just seemed like ineffective parenting, holiday avoidance, and why is Emma taking Ubers in the city if she has a car to drive to Vermont. (Okay I’ll give in on that one since city parking is horrendous.) but I was so annoyed with Emma from the get-go that I couldn’t warm up to her later on. Even though Fletcher’s kid was cute.

This one is not highly recommended by me. There are other holiday books much better than this.

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Retro Review-A Christmas Return by Anne Perry

A Christmas Return

Title: A Christmas Return

Genre: Historical Holiday Mystery Novella

Author: Anne Perry

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Ballentine Books, Nov. 7, 2017

Pages: 179

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 2

Description from Amazon:

As Charlotte Pitt’s grandmother Mariah Ellison finds herself investigating a long-unsolved slaying, it becomes clear that grappling with intrigue and foul play runs in the family. A festive Christmas package left on Mariah’s doorstep contains an ominous present, sparking memories of a twenty-year-old murder that shattered her friendship with the victim’s widow. Though the gift is a bitter reminder of that tragic time, in the spirit of the season Mariah travels to Surrey in hopes of reconciling with her estranged friend and solving the crime that drove them apart.

On arrival, Mariah joins forces with the murdered man’s grandson, a sleuth in his own right who’s discovered promising evidence as well as a suspect. But Surrey’s picturesque hills conceal dark doings and shocking revelations that could make the holiday anything but calm and bright.

Decked with intrigue and trimmed with Yuletide spirit, A Christmas Return is a holiday treat wrapped in the glorious storytelling talents of the reigning master of Victorian mystery.

**
I must admit that I accepted this book for review when it was first published in 2017 but that year I became very ill and this book slipped through the cracks. Ms. Perry writes a Christmas mystery every year, often with side characters from previous books but they are standalone mysteries.

This is an okay mystery but as a Christmas offering, well…not so much. We pretty much know who the murderer is from the beginning and proving it isn’t much of a task for Mariah and Peter. Why this murder wasn’t solved 20 years before is a mystery to me the reader. Christmas is just a token notion with mentions of a few garlands hung and a Christmas Eve party.

 

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Release Day Review- Magic Under The Mistletoe- Lucy Coleman

Magic Under the Mistletoe

Title: Magic Under The Mistletoe

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Author: Lucy Coleman

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Aria, Sept. 5, 2019

Pages: 334

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from Amazon:
Christmas and romance are in the air…
It’s December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn’t relishing spending Christmas at his family’s country estate either.
So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They’ll spend half of the holidays with each other’s families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten…?
Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed… It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!
**

I really enjoyed the slow build of this romance. Leesa has some tragic past issues and Cary has some present day issues. Both are self focused so they don’t even see that they are falling for each other. This is my first Lucy Coleman book and I like the way she develops her characters. Cary as a CEO was a bit of a stretch since he seemed to not be involved in his business except to badger Leesa about her video. I didn’t like that there was a plethora of “heart-to-heart” talks in the middle of the book. I thought it slowed things down and really one or two heart-to-heart’s would have sufficed. I liked Leesa’s character, she was determined to overcome her tragedies. The side characters were well drawn and added to my liking the story. But be prepared because all seem to have secrets. This book is set during the Christmas/New Year holidays and it is full of holiday cheer.

Whoa! That’s William Levy pretending to be an elf, sneaking onto my blog. Are those elves going to invade every Christmas book review?

santa-william-levy

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Deet

St_-Patricks-Day

 

And Who was this St. Patrick? He was the saint who drove the snakes out of Ireland.

st-patricks-day-cartoon

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Valentine’s Day 2019

Back in 2012 I posted a “Sexy Man Tuesday” Valentine.  Since I still think it one of my more thoughtful…well…appreciated posts I’m going to send you over there to have a look. https://ladeetdareads.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/sexy-man-tuesday-happy-valentines-day/ Be sure to watch the Morticia and Gomez video…be still my heart!

Valentine's Day All-you-need-is-love

 


 

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Merry Christmas From Deet

Christmas day

Today we are happy to celebrate the holiday with neighbors who will arrive for a roast beef dinner and lots of good cheer.  Wishing you all a very

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas Eve from Deet

Dollhouse living room

This is a dollhouse I made several (like back in the 80’s) years ago.  I made the chairs, sofa and even the tree.  It was so much fun . I hope you have fun times to look back at today.  Sleep well, Santa comes tonight.

santa-claus-old guy

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Release Day Review- The Good, The Bad and The Duke by Janna MacGregor

The Good the Bad and the Duke

Title: The Good, The Bad and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses book #4)

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday

Author: Janna MacGregor

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, November 27, 2018

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 368

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

Lady Daphne Hallworth is ready to celebrate the holidays with her family. But when they accidentally leave her home alone, Daphne uses the time to work on her dream—opening a home for unwed mothers. But her quest isn’t problem-free: She’s in a battle to win the property for the home against her brother’s best friend-turned-enemy, Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart. And that’s not all: someone has stolen her personal diary, which holds secrets that could devastate her family. Daphne has always harbored private feelings for the man her family scorns…though perhaps striking a bargain with the handsome Duke will solve both their problems?
Paul, long considered good for nothing, aims to open a hospital to honor his brother and restore his reputation. So when a conflict over the land brings him straight into Daphne’s life, they make a deal: He will help her find her diary if Daphne can change her family’s opinion of him. But before he can win her family’s affection, he has to win hers first. Maybe love was the answer to their family feud all along?

**
Daphne takes a stroll in the park and sits on a bench to write in her journal. A street urchin comes up to her begs a coin and steals both her reticule (purse) and her journal. Daphne gives chase and hesitates when she sees him entering a gaming hell. She enters through a side door and inside the Duke, Paul Barstowe, recognizes her as his old friend and whisks her away from prying eyes. They team up to recover her reticule and journal which starts some grand adventures and deliciously romantic encounters.

I enjoyed this book immensely. It was fun, not always true to the time period but so well done we will give it a bye. Daphne and Paul were made for each other. I was delighted that they didn’t take forever getting to the reality of their love. The story takes place over the Christmas holiday and there is even an impromptu carol singing in the dark London streets. This is a standalone but a good part of the story rests on what happened in the first books of this series (THE BAD LUCK BRIDE and THE LUCK OF THE BRIDE). For full enjoyment you may want to read those first although this one can be enjoyed by itself with no problem.

 

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From Deet- Happy Thanksgiving

happy-thanksgiving-2015-5

My turkey is roasting along with the stuffing. There will be potatoes, rutabagas, green beans, Waldorf Salad, cranberry sauce, gravy and my homemade rolls. For dessert: Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream. The only missing component is YOU my dear followers. But you are always welcome and please know that I am thankful for your support.

 Hugs from, Deet

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Holiday Anthology- How the Dukes Stole Christmas by T. Dare, S. MacLean, S. Jordan & J. Shupe

How the Dukes Stole Christmas

Title: How the Dukes Stole Christmas
Genre: Historical Romance /Holiday/Anthology
Author: Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Joanna Schupe
Publisher: Amazon Digital, Oct. 15, 2018
Source: Purchase for Kindle
Pages: 392
Rating: 4.5
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Christmasy feeling: 4
Descriptions from Amazon.com:
Christmas magic is in the air… From the ballrooms of London, to abandoned Scottish castles, to the snowy streets of Gilded Age New York, four bestselling authors whip up some unforgettable romance…with a little help from some enchanted shortbread.

“Meet Me in Mayfair” by Tessa Dare
Louisa Ward needs a Christmas miracle. Unless she catches a wealthy husband at the ball tonight, the horrid, heartless Duke of Thorndale will evict her family from their beloved Mayfair home. But when her friend begs to switch dance cards, Louisa finds herself waltzing with the enemy: the horrid, heartless—and unexpectedly handsome—Thorndale himself. Now the duke’s holding her future in his hands…and he’s not letting go.
Deet’s review: Delightful! This is Regency romance how we like it: desperate heroine, clueless Duke, magic shortbread, witty repartee and even a romp in the snow. Tessa Dare at her best. 5-stars, very sexy Christmasy feeling: 4

“The Duke of Christmas Present” by Sarah MacLean
Rich and ruthless, Eben, Duke of Allryd, has no time for holidays. Holidays are for whimsy and charm—the only two things his money cannot buy. Lady Jacqueline Mosby is full of both, even now, twelve years after she left to see the world. When Jacqueline returns for a single Christmas, Eben can’t resist the woman he never stopped loving…or the future they’d once been promised. It will take a miracle to convince her to stay…but if ever there were a time for miracles, it’s Christmas…

Deet’s review: This is the most emotional of the four novellas. We ache for Eben’s heartache and we try to figure out if Jack is in it for revenge or something else. Maclean is the mistress of perfect prose and the long awaited HEA. 5-stars, very sexy, Christmasy feeling: 5

“Heiress Alone” by Sophie Jordan
When Annis Bannister’s family leaves her behind in the rush to escape an impending snowstorm, she finds herself stranded in the Highlands, left to fend off brigands terrorizing the countryside, robbing homes locked up for winter. Her only hope falls on her neighbor, a surly hermit duke who unravels her with a look, then a kiss … until she fears the danger to her heart outweighs the danger of brigands and snowstorms.

Deet’s review: The romance felt a bit rushed. There is no denying that this novella was based on the movie HOME ALONE. There is a breath holding action scene. This one needed a bit more emotional feeling. 3.5-stars, very sexy, Christmasy Feeling: 2

“Christmas in Central Park” by Joanna Shupe
Women all over America devour Mrs. Walker’s weekly column for recipes and advice. No one knows Rose, the column’s author, can’t even boil water. When the paper’s owner, Duke Havemeyer, insists she host a Christmas party, Rose must scramble to find a husband, an empty mansion, and a cook. But Duke is not a man easily fooled and she fears her perfect plan is failing—especially when Duke’s attentions make her feel anything but professional. To save her career will she give up her chance at love?

Deet’s review: This novella is based on the movie CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT. This novella is so well done I wish it had been a full length novel. I wanted more romance between Duke and Rose although this was very sexy, but the romance was rushed.
4.5- stars, very sexy, Christmasy feeling: 5

Deet’s Over All Opinion: You can’t go wrong with this anthology. Every story is a page turner. I finished it in two nights and wanted more. Highly recommended!!

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