Book Review

Book Review: How the Grump Saved Christmas by Claire Kingsley

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Length: 339 pages
Author: Claire Kingsley
Publisher: Always Have, LLC
Release Date: November 17th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Hardworking Isabelle Cook has a serious problem. Her family farm, site of Tilikum’s Christmas Village, is in trouble. Big trouble. And worst of all? The man trying to buy it is none other than the grumpiest, grinchiest man of them all—Elias Stoneheart.

That’s a big nope. She’s not letting him get involved. Not with his heart made of coal.

Elias Stoneheart is in the business of making money, not friends. Especially when his boss is promising a long-awaited promotion. All he has to do is convince one struggling family to sell their farm.

The problem? It’s Cook Family Farm. And Isabelle Cook is his ex.

He might have history with Isabelle, but this is just business. A Christmas-loving farm girl is not going to come between him and his ambition.

And Christmas? He hates it. Christmas Village needs to go.

But as Elias spends time in the small town, holiday spirit—and Isabelle—get under his skin. And she might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Author’s Note: a sassy farm girl takes on a grumpy businessman in this stand-alone, snowy, small-town Christmas romance. Saucy banter, a guard donkey, plenty of holiday cheer, and a heartwarming happily ever after that will make you believe in the magic of Christmas.


I knowww some people will find this too Hallmark adjacent for them, but it hit all the right notes for me so I am here for it and here to recommend this one for romance lovers who want a dash of spice alongside their Hallmark movies [books].

We’ve got the small town, the millionaire coming home to see an old flame, a cute Christmas farm that needs saving and more. I enjoyed all of these tidbits and how the author put them together. Elias is written as a really great grump. I felt his Grinchyness and you could easily see the slow thawing of his heart.

I didn’t love how Elias and Isabelle re-started their relationship (benefits moments are never my thing) buuut I do admit that this worked out well enough that I had few complaints past that. They actually worked on their relationship and opened up about the past. There were a few key flashback moments that helped the details connect too.

Romantic and simple, with a level of spice that I prefer, definitely pick this one up for the season!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Holiday Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: 2-3 brief open; low explicit
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: miscarriage (recounted briefly)

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Book Review

ARC Audiobook Review: In the Weeds (Lovelight #2) by B.K. Borison

Rating: ★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 410 pages
Author: B.K. Borison
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: April 18th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Evelyn St. James isn’t the kind of woman you forget.

Beckett Porter certainly hasn’t. One incredible weekend in Maine, and he’s officially a man distracted. He’s not unfamiliar with hot and heavy flings. He knows how it goes. But Evie wove some sort of magic over him during their tumble in the sheets. He can’t stop thinking about her laugh. Her hand pressed flat against his chest. Her smiling mouth at his neck.

Also, her eyes. And her legs.

So when she suddenly appears on his farm as part of a social media contest, he is … confused. He had no idea that the sweet and sexy woman he met at a bar is actually a global phenomenon: social media influencer Evelyn St. James. When she disappears again, Beckett resolves to finally forget her and move on.

But Evelyn St. James has a problem.

Feeling disconnected from her work and increasingly unhappy, she’s trying to find her way back to something real. She returns to the last place she was happy, Lovelight Farms and the tiny town of Inglewild.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the hot farmer she spent two incredible nights with.

Nothing at all.

In The Weeds is a sweet and steamy second-chance romance about finding your happiness. It features a grumpy farmer, a no-nonsense social media influencer, a small town of busybodies, and four very cute kittens. In The Weeds is a standalone romance and is part of the Lovelight series.

Thank you to Dreamscape Media and Netgalley for the audiobook ARC.


I didn’t like the original book in this series, Lovelight Farms, but I wanted to give the author another chance. And maybe it’s okay to say now that we don’t totally click. That’s okay too!!

Audio narration wise it was GREAT. I loved the narrators and the way the read the story. I could listen at 3x speed with no issues and I have zero complaints in that regard.

Story wise it got off to a start with a one night stand, which can be a hit/miss for some. It was okay for me as I was prepared for it and knew more story was coming. I liked the initial moments of Beckett and Evelyn reconnecting. I also loved the theme surrounding Evelyn in disconnecting from social media and finding some happy each day.

Beckett was the sweetest and I liked a lot of moments surrounding him too. There was a good emphasis on his background and I enjoyed knowing more of his story.

I did think the pacing was my biggest issue. It started off well then slowed down so much I was wondering if anything was actually going to happen. Playing house was fun and sweet, but there needed to be something else happening too.

All in all, I truly gave this book a chance and I wish I had loved it more, but the audio was an easy listen and I appreciated that aspect.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: multiple open door; medium explicit
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: social anxiety

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Book Review

Book Review: Knitted Hearts (Poplar Falls #6) by Amber Kelly

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 234 pages
Author: Amber Kelly
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: June 29th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


An emotional, passionate second-chance romance in the Poplar Falls series from Amber Kelly

Sometimes you have to lose control to have it all…

I’ve always longed to start a family of my own. I throw everything I have into every relationship. Too bad I seem to attract the fixer-uppers. You know the type—the boys with all the potential but none of the drive. I thought Ricky was different, the one who would finally step up and be the man I’d been dreaming about all these years—ever since I lost my father when I was a little girl. I didn’t realize the dream would turn out to be a nightmare.

So here I am. Twenty-four years old, on the verge of divorce, and trying not to think about what my daddy would say while I hold on to the last threads of my life to keep it all from unraveling.

It’s all going fine until Foster Tomlin swaggers into my life. The sexy-as-sin former soldier works on my best friend’s family ranch, and there’s no getting around him or what I’m feeling. He doesn’t need fixing up. He’s perfect the way he is. The way he looks at and treats me makes me feel things I’ve sworn off for good. And when he wraps his arms around me, I find myself letting go of all the things I thought I wanted and needed.

The question is…can I take a risk and put my heart on the line again?


I can’t believe I finished this series! Or maybe I can because I loved it that much. A small town romance series you need in your life y’all!!

Getting Sonia’s story last was the best. I loved her romance with Foster and the second chance love between them was perfect. Sonia and Foster both had pasts that they needed to repair in their hearts as they also learned to lean on their new love and each other. It was all sorts of sweet and a little spicy.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about the relationship conflict because it’s usually not a trope I love, but the more I sat on it the more I liked it in the end. It worked for this story and I’m fine with that!

Sometimes the plot focused too much on the previous couples in the series when I just wanted more Sonia and Foster. That was my only complaint. Otherwise all of the dates and romancing under the moonlight was fantastic.

Another quick read I flew through in one morning because I needed to know how everything worked out. It was emotional and tender and I can’t wait to see what Kelly writes next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to open door scenes (2-3)
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent (on page), divorce and separation

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Double or Nothing: A Sweet Romantic Comedy (A Pride and Pranks Romance #2) by Cindy Steel

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Cindy Steel
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: April 8th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


My best friend’s older brother is back in town.

Do I care? Not one bit. Logan may have been my childhood crush, but I’ve always been little Tessa to him. Not to mention, he’s turned into a shallow flirt and I’m not looking to get played again.

What’s the problem, you ask? (Besides all the flirting.)

Thanks to a scheming mutual friend, Logan and I find ourselves embroiled in a bet of absurd proportions. Now, instead of ignoring Logan and keeping my heart safely locked away, we have a date every Saturday night and a kiss looming on the horizon.

And the line between us is getting… muddy.

As long as Logan stays the shallow flirt, I’ll be fine. My heart is safe from the player. It’s the man underneath giving me a run for my money.

Thank you to the author for an eARC.


I just loved this book. Simple as that.

There’s fantastic banter and teasing. The passionate kisses hidden in the dark. Dancing in sprinklers and laying underneath the stars. a one tent & angry moose situation. Allllll the baked goods, sweet friends and more. I just couldn’t get enough of Logan and Tessa.

I adored both of them separate and together. Both are working through relationship trauma of the past and [thanks to Jake] are pushed into a forced proximity situation that allows them to face fears and stumble together. I loved the deep conversations and acknowledgement of choices inside and outside of their control.

The antics were humorous, and the quiet moments WERE SO SOFT. The amount of times I found myself all filled up with swoonyness because of the simple, yet intense moments Logan and Tessa shared. This author just has a way with words y’all. Highly recommend.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: past cheating recounted

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