Book Review

Book Review: A Christmas Spark by Cindy Steel

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance novella
Length: 131 pages
Author: Cindy Steel
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: December 5th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When my best friend found out I’d be alone over Christmas, she hooked me up with a week stay in her family’s cabin in Idaho. I was on a publishing deadline for my latest book and was really looking forward to a cozy week by the fire, cuddled up in flannel pajamas with my laptop and hot chocolate.

Alone.

So imagine my surprise when I arrived at the cabin during a blizzard, and found it already occupied. By an all too familiar face and a fine pack of chiseled abs. Even though it had been ten years since I’d last seen Chase, he had no problem picking up exactly where we left off.

I had a big problem with it.

It didn’t matter what he threw at me—the old nickname, the teasing, his charming grin, or even those chiseled abs (did I already mention those?), I refused to let him get to me after…the incident. Nope, not me. I was made of stone.

Unfortunately, I’m beginning to understand that when you strike Chase against stone…you get sparks.

Lots of them.

NEEDED MORE SPARK.

I’m having mixed thoughts over this. Probably because it’s a novella. And those either hit well for me and still feel developed or otherwise feel like they’re lacking.

This leaned more towards lacking. The initial premise was explained well and I could understand the turmoil and reasoning behind why Penny and Chase hadn’t spoken in years. All the time they spent in the cabin together, I wanted more discussions about that, not just one brief night of actual communication. The banter was was cute and the story was simple.

It was a quick read and had some adorable moments. I think it felt a little rushed, but the ending definitely made me laugh.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Holiday Romance Novella
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: falling through ice into frozen lake

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Book Review

Book Review: The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Sandy Barker
Publisher: One More Chapter
Release Date: October 16th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Chloe, Jules, and Lucy meet at a Maui resort kids’ club, aged 11, forging a lifelong friendship spanning two decades and three continents.

Twenty-two years later, they decide to swap Christmases, none of them expecting the hilarity and romantic escapades that will ensue.

Chloe from Melbourne spends her Christmas with Lucy’s mum and dad in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England, stunned to the core when she discovers who grew up across the road from Lucy.

Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.

And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend a balmy ‘Orphan’s Christmas’ with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away from her mundane life is just what she needed.

Join these three lovable women as they each get a Christmas to surpass their wildest dreams.

JUST STOP.

Oh goodness. I can’t with insta-love y’all. I will admit, I have read good renditions of it, this was not one of those.

There’s 400 pages to cover three entirely separate story lines. It was clearly not enough to actually put any angst or moments into anyone’s romance. I couldn’t get past how quickly everything was happening and wanted it to just slow down. There was no background on relationships and the love interests. All 0 to 100 faster than I could convince myself to read this book.

I wanted to like everyone, and I did for the most part. And the premise was a nifty idea. Switching places with friends to enjoy a “new to them” Christmas celebration seemed enchanting.

I’m going to keep this short because I don’t have any desire to rip into this more. It wasn’t a love story I was on board with.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses; mentions of nights together (but no details)

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Book Review

Book Review: Thawing the Viscount’s Heart (Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair #3) by Mindy Burbidge Strunk

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Regency Romance
Length: 219 pages
Author: Mindy Burbidge Strunk
Publisher: FiveJoys Press
Release Date: November 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

He detests the French. Especially the one staying in his house.

Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair
Sweet, Regency Christmas Romances

Five Christmas romances and the Frost Fair that started them all

This is the third book in the clean and sweet Regency romance Belles of Christmas: Frost Fair series.
Although this enemies to lovers romance is a stand-alone novel, the books are best enjoyed when read in order.

ANOTHER ROMANTIC TALE.

Another good installment to this multi-author series! I didn’t love book two, but this one perked me up to continue reading the stories of all these Frost Fair ladies.

I liked the turn around for this romance. It starts off on the wrong foot (and with poor assumptions), but slowly turns into some true realizations. I love that Aaron was able to look into himself about how he was treating Gabby and where his prejudices were coming from. I loved Gabby and her resiliency in the face of a lot of people who hated her without knowing her. As Aaron and Gabby came together I found myself completely invested in their relationship.

Maybe some dramatics were added in for a bit for umph, but I didn’t mind. These books have a nice magical holiday quality that I’ve really taken to. I hope to finish this series soon!

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: kidnapping
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, PTSD from war

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Book Review

Book Review: A Match Made at Christmas (Nantucket Love Story) by Courtney Walsh

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance Novella
Length: 147 pages
Author: Courtney Walsh
Publisher: Sweethaven Press
Release Date: October 20th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Hayes McGuire never believed the stories about a famous Nantucket matchmaker until she ropes him into taking over her duties in while she’s off the island for Christmas.

So he enlists the help of the one person he can trust with this crazy scheme—his best friend, Prudence. Armed with a series of rules, a book of success stories and the promise of Christmas magic, the pair of old friends sets out to make a Christmas match.

Little do they know that magic doesn’t discriminate, and the pair soon finds their years of friendship deepening into something more. Will Pru and Hayes ignore the electricity in the air between them or will there be more than one match made at Christmas?

A Match Made at Christmas is a stand-alone holiday novella.

THIS WAS SWEET.

A quick romantic novella on the East coast.

I liked the story and how even more a novella, I felt connected to the second-chance/childhood friends romance. Hayes and Pru had some tender interactions and really broke down some communication walls to discuss their relationship.

It was fun to have the other story line weave throughout. It highlighted what what Hayes and Pru were going through and added something more to the plot overall. I found this an easy read, plenty of holiday spirit and that cute happy every after.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Holiday Novella
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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