Tag Archives: Holiday novel

Recent release Review-What A Lady Needs For Christmas by Grace Burrowes

Title: What a Lady Needs For Christmas

What a lady needs for Christmas

Genre: Historical Romance/Holiday

Author: Grace Burrowes

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Oct. 7, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

The Best Gifts are the Unexpected Ones...

To escape a scandal, Lady Joan Flynn flees her family’s estate in the Scottish Highlands. She needs a husband by Christmas, or the holidays will ring in nothing but ruin.

Practical, ambitious mill owner Dante Hartwell offers to marry Joan, because a wellborn wife is his best chance of gaining access to aristocratic investors.

As Christmas—and trouble—draw nearer, Dante and Joan’s marriage of convenience blossoms into unexpected intimacy, for true love often hides beneath the most unassuming holiday wrapping…

**

Yes, all you romance lovers, Grace Burrowes has done it again. She has given us a damsel in distress, a hunky, hot hero to come to her rescue, a smarmy, evil villain and some adorable children that this reader hopes for more of in future books. So well composed and written you will lose yourself in the chill of the Victorian Scottish winter. You will have your senses assaulted by the smell of the coal fired Steam Engine trains. You will be seduced along with the heroine by a hero who is kind, good and tough when he needs to be. The romance here is slow developing but ultimately superbly sensual. This couple does not have instant sexual rapport which is unusual for the genre. The story is taking place at the holidays but that is really incidental to the plot. I highly recommend this book. I highly recommend this author.

( I’ve been reading some new release holiday romances and saving my reviews for closer to the holidays but this one I couldn’t wait to post.  Go and pick it up, read it now, you won’t be sorry.)

4 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Holiday

Final Friday Holiday Book Review- Bring Me Home For Christmas by Robyn Carr

Since this is Christmas Week I have time for one more Friday Christmasy Novel Review.  I hope Santa was good to you all. 

He was good to me, I got a Kindle Fire HDX, Yay!

Title: Bring Me Home For Christmas

Bring me home for Christmas

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Robyn Carr

Publisher: Mira, 2011

Source: Kindle purchase

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

This year, Becca Timm knows the number one item on her Christmas wish list—getting over Denny Cutler. Three years ago, Denny broke her heart before heading off to war. It’s time she got over her silly college relationship and moved on.

So she takes matters into her own hands and heads up to Virgin River, the rugged little mountain town that Denny calls home, as an uninvited guest on her brother’s men-only hunting weekend. But when an accident turns her impromptu visit into an extended stay, Becca finds herself stranded in Virgin River. With Denny. In very close quarters.

As the power of Christmas envelops the little town, Becca discovers that the boy she once loved has become a strong and confident man. And the most delicious Christmas present she can imagine.

**

This is my first book of Robyn Carr.  Even though it is late in a series I found it read well as a stand-alone.  The story is well crafted and heartwarming although I didn’t like Becca very much.  She seemed to be a ”taker”  and Denny seemed to be a “giver”, which just left me thinking that these two are perfect for each other but not really perfect for me.  This is a cozy Christmas story and will be welcome when you sit by the fire.  It will put you in the spirit of the season.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Holiday, Kindle, Romance

4 Fridays ‘Til Christmas 2 Reviews of Debbie Macomber Christmas books

Title:  Starry Night

Starry Night

Genre:  Contemporary Holiday Romance

Author: Debbie Macomber

Publisher: Ballantine Books, Oct. 8, 2013

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 3

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from amazon.com:
Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.

Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a megabestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.

Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

**

The book synopsis explains the premise quite well so I won’t repeat it here.  It did remind me of an old movie called “Continental Divide” with John Belushi.

This is the easy-read novel that you curl up with after a long day of Christmas shopping and gift wrapping.  It is sweet and totally predictable but ultimately quite satisfying.  It is not very long, only 226 pages, so it can easily fit into a busy holiday schedule.  Pour yourself some tea, grab a couple of Christmas sugar cookies and put your feet up and have your heart warmed.
*******************************

Title:  Angels At The Table

Angels At The Table

Genre: Contemporary Christmas Romance

Author: Debbie Macomber

Publisher: Random House, Oct. 2012

Source: Free For Review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from amazon.com:

Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy know that an angel’s work is never done, especially during a time as wondrous as New Year’s Eve. With an apprentice angel, Will, under their wings, they descend upon Times Square in New York City eager to join in the festivities. And when Will spies two lonely strangers in the crowd, he decides midnight is the perfect time to lend a heavenly helping hand.

Lucie Farrara and Aren Fairchild meet after bumping into each other—seemingly by accident—in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. They immediately hit it off and find they have a lot in common: Lucie is a burgeoning chef and Aren is a respected food critic. But just as quickly as they’re brought together, another twist of fate tears them apart, leaving Lucie and Aren with no way to reconnect.

A year later, Lucie is the chef of an acclaimed new restaurant and Aren is a successful columnist for a major New York newspaper. For all the time that’s passed, the two have not forgotten their one serendipitous evening—and neither have Shirley, Goodness, Mercy, and Will. To reunite the young couple, the angels cook up a brilliant plan: mix true love, a second chance, and a generous sprinkle of mischief to create an unforgettable Christmas miracle.

**

If you are looking for some divine intervention in your love life then you better hope the heavens don’t send you these four bumbling angels.  Well, sure, they redeem themselves but only after making some really idiotic mistakes.  A very lighthearted, easy holiday read,  Macomber fans will enjoy this one while taking a break from the cookie baking and gift wrapping busyness of the holidays.

sexy_santa_4-257x400

Coming next Friday

snowy night with a stranger

2 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Holiday, Humor

6 Fridays til Christmas Review- Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

Title: Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait

Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait

Genre:  Holiday Historical Romance

Author: Grace Burrowes

Publisher: Sourcebook/Casablanca, Sept 24, 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 4.5

Description from amazon.com:

What Lady Jenny wants for Christmas…

For Christmas, soft-spoken Lady Jenny Windham craves the freedom to pursue her artistic ambitions, though it will mean scandalizing her ducal parents and abandoning all hope of a family of her own. She confides her plans to successful artist Elijah Harrison when he’s commissioned to paint a portrait of her small nephews, because assisting Elijah will bring Jenny that much closer to her heart’s desire–won’t it?

…Will break both their hearts

Elijah Harrison finds in his unlikely assistant not only an inspiring muse and unappreciated talent, but also a lovely and passionate woman. If Elijah supports Jenny’s career, his own professional interests will suffer, but more significantly, he will lose Jenny forever. Both Jenny and Elijah must choose between true love and a lifelong dream.

**

Lady Jenny is a daughter of her time, the early 19th century, where women are not expected to have value above being objects for breeding children and running households.  That is why her family sees her painting ability as “hobby” rather than the professional brilliance that it is.  They expect her to marry well or spend her life as a spinster, devoted and doting as aunt to her brother’s and sister’s children.  Lady Jenny has other plans; she is going to go to Paris where women artists are accepted….at least that is her plan for after the holidays.

Elijah, Earl of Bernward, has spent his life developing his art and his recognition as a portraitist.  When he meets Lady Jenny at her brother’s house he is impressed with her artistic ability and appalled at her family’s inability to recognize it. Jenny asks to assist him in his painting of her nephews’ portrait.  Mutual interest in painting and art develops into a romance that appears doomed by the ambition of both artists.

“ He brought fistfuls of gold forward over her shoulders and buried his face in the abundance of it.  “if I live to be a hundred, the scent of Jasmine will bring me back to this moment.”…..

“When I’m in Paris, I will miss you, Elijah.  If I live to be a hundred, I will miss you.” “

This lusciously romantic novel will leave you enthralled with these characters for days if not for always.  Burrowes brings us a well researched look at artists and their dedication to their art set in the Regency Era. This is book #8 in Ms. Burrowes’ Windham Series and an utter delight as well as a standalone novel.

sexy_santa_4-257x400

Next Friday’s Review:

All I want for Christmas is a Duke

 

6 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Holiday

7 Fridays til Christmas Review- Miracle Road by Emily March

Title:  Miracle Road: An Eternity Springs Novel

Miracle road

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Author: Emily March

Publisher: Ballantine, Nov. 5, 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Christmasy Feeling: 4

Description from amazon.com:

After tragedy strikes his team, college basketball coach Lucca Romano arrives in the haven of Eternity Springs to reassess his life. Even a winning record and big offers can’t dent the wall of guilt that Lucca has built around himself. Nothing can—except maybe a vibrant new neighbor who won’t give up on him.

Schoolteacher Hope Montgomery believes in miracles. She has to believe—because giving up would mean crumbling under the greatest loss a parent can endure. Hope understands Lucca’s suffering; she lives it herself every day. However, the high school team needs his coaching expertise, so she sets out to draw him from his cold, solitary shell and into the warmth of life in their small Rocky Mountain town. But when a weak moment leads to consequences that shake Hope’s faith, it’s up to Lucca to put aside his heartache and show the teacher that here in Eternity Springs broken hearts can heal—just in time for Christmas.

**

This is Emily March’s seventh novel in her Eternity Springs Series.  It is so well written that you will not for a minute feel you missed something by not reading earlier books in the series, although you will want to go back and find out all about those delightful side characters.  Characters like Celeste Blessing who rides a motorcycle and dishes out life changing and life affirming philosophy or Maggie Romano mother to the Romano family who can hold her own even when there is family angst. But, of course, this book is all about Hope Montgomery and Lucca Romano; both have lived through horrible tragedy and suffer horrible guilt.  It is their story of supporting, trusting and loving that warms the pages of this novel.

I can recommend this book if you want your heart warmed by a delightful array of characters but know that there is a good deal of sadness before the clouds lift.  Those clouds often seem socked-in and the abruptness of the turnaround was a bit disconcerting but all in all a good read.

sexy_santa_4-257x400
Coming next Friday:

Lady Jenny's Christmas Portrait

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Holiday

9 Fridays Til Christmas Review- The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap by Kaufman, Angell and Kincade

Title: Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap (Anthology)

the sugar cookie sweetheart swap

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance anthology

Author: Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, Kimberly Kincade

Publisher: Kensington, Sept 2013

Source: Free For review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

This is an anthology with stories that are linked by an introduction/prologue. The  Introduction to this book starts the stories at the annual holiday cookie swap at the village community center where Clara, Lily , and Abbey have brought their cookies to be auctioned off.  We are introduced to each of the young women which gives a good jumping off point to each story.  The stories are all unique with the cookie theme running through each one.  This anthology is delightfully filled with the holiday spirit, AND three mouthwatering cookie recipes.

   Descriptions from amazon.com in bold type:

Where There’s Smoke by Donna Kauffman:

When flames from a recipe gone disastrously wrong send hunky fire-fighter Will Mason to pretty Clara Parker’s rescue, the sparks really begin to fly! And once Will gets a taste of Clara, he aches for more than just a little sugar from the famously single food columnist…

**

Deet’s Review: Clara travels over the mountain to a bookstore even though it is starting to snow.  At the bookstore there is a book signing taking place and she is shocked and surprised to see that it is her college friend, Will, signing his Volunteer Fireman’s Calendar.  They have not seen each other for ten years and agree to coffee  after the signing…  Will helps Clara get home in the storm but shortly after that Clara has a kitchen fire and Will saves the day.

This is a rather predictable romance although it is sweet to see friends become lovers.  Some men need to save their women, this is a good depiction of that premise.  Ms Kauffman has written many contemporary romance novels and her ability with prose and plot shine in this offering.

Deet’s Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 3

The Gingerbread Man by Kate Angell:

Folks have always told fun-loving Abby Denton that her anatomically correct Gingerbread cookies are…impressive. But those erotic cookies have nothing on the sexy stranger Abby saves from a snowy country road. Could Lander Reynolds be the Christmas treat she’s truly been longing for?

**

The premise alone would rate this high on my list because I’m a sucker for a stranded in a blizzard romance.  However the writing in this novella is terrific, along with the sizzling romance.  Both the hero, Lander, and the heroine, Abbey have had recent losses of close family.  It is not hard to believe that those loved ones arranged for these two to meet and fall in love.  A heartwarming story of love at Christmas.

Deet’s Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating:5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Sugar And Spice by Kimberly Kincaid:

When caterer Lily Callahan goes up against hotshot pastry chef Pete Mancuso in the bake-off of the season, the stakes are high – and scandalously passionate. Will the gorgeous gourmand steal Lily’s heart – and the top prize in the Christmas cookie competition?

**

You better have a glass of milk and a plate of cookies ready to eat when you read this story.  The cookies that these two bake will have your mouth watering.  The character development is really strong, the plot is delicious and the romance at first surprising then delightful.  I have not read this author before but I will seek out her books.  This story was also perfectly suited to the Christmas theme.

Deet’s Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

**sexy_santa_4-257x400

2 Comments

Filed under Anthology, Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Food, Holiday, Novella, Romance

Holiday romance- His Mistress by Christmas by Victoria Alexander

Title: His Mistress By Christmas

His Mistress at Christmas

Genre: Holiday Historical Romance

Author: Victoria Alexander

Publisher: Kensington, 2012

Source: Library

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 3.5

Description from amazon.com:

For three years, Lady Veronica Smithson has been perfectly happy as a widow — and thoroughly independent. Still, the right gentleman could provide the benefits of marriage without the tedious restrictions. And in Sir Sebastian Hadley-Attwater, renowned explorer and rogue, Veronica is sure she has found him. Sebastian will come into his inheritance in a matter of weeks — if his family deems him responsible enough. There’s no better way to prove his maturity than with a home and a wife. But though the lovely Veronica will share his bed, she steadfastly refuses to marry. However, Sebastian has a plan. An intimate sojourn at his new country house will surely change Veronica’s mind. For Sebastian never takes no for an answer. And even in the midst of mischief-making relatives and unexpected complications, he intends to persuade his Christmas mistress that they belong together — in this, and every season to come…

**

This was so well written with banter that evoked laugh out loud responses that I did tend to overlook the fact that it was a bit slow in parts.  It was still an enjoyable read and I do recommend it to all of you who want a romance with a holiday setting.  Yes, it was also a bit predictable but again it is so well done that I could easily forgive that small flaw.  Christmas is only the setting here so there is nothing else to bring forth the holiday in the plot.  If you are tired of wrapping gifts and need to relax with a cuppa hot chocolate by the fire then you will enjoy the tale of Veronica and Sebastian.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Holiday

Holiday romance- A Creed Country Christmas by Linda Lael Miller

Title:  A Creed Country Christmas

A Creed Country christmas

Genre:  Histori cal Romance/ Western

Author: Linda Lael Miller

Publisher: HQN, 2009

Source: Kindle Purchase

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from amazon.com:

Celebrate the holidays with the Creed forefathers—Montana men who built the family homestead and established a legacy of love…

In the unforgiving Montana wilderness of 1910, widowed rancher Lincoln Creed is up against more than rustlers, wolves and the coming winter storms. His young daughter has needs beyond the beans and bacon he can barely cook. Lincoln must find little Gracie a governess, a lady who can teach and cook—yet won’t set her sights on him.

Disowned for her refusal to marry, twenty-five-year-old Juliana Mitchell shares the love in her heart with her young students at the underfunded Indian school. When she meets Lincoln and Gracie, her response to the handsome rancher makes her realize she’s not against marriage after all.

She longs to help, yet the two orphaned brothers in her care need her. But in the season for miracles, Providence just might find a way to bring Juliana, the boys and the Creed family together for Christmas Eve….

**

There are six books in this series, this one was written fourth but is actually a prequel to the remainder of the series.  It is a warm hearted story of tolerance, acceptance and love.  It glows with the kindness of Christmas spirit that we all wish for at the holidays and hope will extend through the New Year and beyond.  Ms Miller has written many romantic novels set in the western states of the USA,  this one is a lovely Chrismas gift to all of her many fans.  Well written, characters personalities well drawn and time and place brought to life; a recommendation from me if you are looking for a delightful book to put you in the Christmas mood.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Historical Romance, Holiday, Romance

Holiday Romance- A Visit From Sir Nicholas by Victoria Alexander

Title:  A Visit From Sir Nicholas

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Victoria Alexander

Publisher: Avon, 2004

Source: purchase

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 4

Description

Show More

Show Less

Young Elizabeth has grown up knowing that she would marry Charles.  She is even sure of her affection for him until she falls in lust with his best friend Sir Nicholas Collingsworth.  But Nicholas, who feels love for Lizzie, will not hurt his best friend and goes off to seek his fortune in America and Lizzie marries Charles.  Ten years pass and Charles has died leaving his estate and Lizzie’s future in the hands of Nicholas. Lizzie fights the control of her future by Nicholas but Nick is determined to win her love.

**

This was a lovely Christmas offering with passages of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol interspersed throughout the book.  The author has well developed characters and the dialog is smart and sassy and sometimes profound.

“I should do something about that if I were you,” Jules said

“He does not belong to me, Jules.”  Elizabeth shrugged.  “I have no claim on him.”

“I should do something about that too.”  Jules studied Nicholas for a moment.  “He is rather a catch.”

“If one were seeking a salmon.  I however am not in the mood for a fish course.”  She flashed her   sister a wicked grin.  “Only dessert.”

The plot is well conceived.  We understand Lizzie’s reluctance to become involved with Nicholas again.  We are also led to understand why Nicholas has acted as he has.  The only thing left for us to wonder about is how they will each become aware  that their grand passion is love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Holiday

Holiday Romance- A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh

Title:  A Christmas Promise

Genre: Regency Historical Romance/holiday

Author: Mary Balogh

Publisher: Random House/Dell, 2010

Source: purchase

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from amazon.com:

A love that cannot be bought or sold proves to be the greatest gift of all, in this heartwarming classic that demonstrates once again why New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh is among the most celebrated authors of historical romance.

Weddings are supposed to be joyous occasions—especially when a couple seems as well matched as Randolph Pierce, Earl of Falloden, and his bride-to-be, Eleanor Transome. Ellie brings to the marriage a vast dowry, while Falloden, though distant, is handsome, tremendously desirable, and possessed of a title most young ladies can only dream of sharing.

Yet Ellie is not most young ladies. She knows that she must honor her dear father’s dying wish for her to wed the proud earl, but she dreads a lifetime in a union without love—and how can Falloden claim to love her when he married her only for her fortune? As Christmas descends upon the Falloden manor, the warmth of the season may yet melt away the trappings of duty and wealth, leaving behind only a man and a woman destined for each other’s arms.

**

Yay!* This book is about love and the Christmas Spirit.  It will tug at your heart, bring tears to your eyes and make you want to hug even those prickly relatives that often give you grief.  Mary Balogh can write a romance novel that does all those and more.  I want nothing more than to spend Christmas with Ellie, Randolph and the realatives.  And luckily we can all do just that through this book.

*The “yay” is because I read so many books that are supposed to be about Christmas and really they hardly mention the holiday.  Not the case with this one.

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Holiday