Category Archives: Holiday

The Homespun Holiday by Sarah O’Rourke…99 cents!!!

Dr. Mackenzie Daniels was a loner. He had the divorce, a far-away family, and well-known cranky persona to prove it. And if he had his way, he would continue on his loner way, in spite of the attempts of the townspeople to infiltrate his life with their irritating, so-called charming ways. That was…until he met the beautiful Nurse Millicent Robbins.

Millie Robbins had done the love and marriage thing, and all she could say was that she got a beautiful daughter out of the entire debacle. Love was not in her long-term plans when she graduated from nursing school, thank you very much….until she found herself falling head over heels for the grouchiest but most gorgeous doctor she’d ever met.

Can Mack and Millie find their way to love in spite of their histories? Can happiness actually exist for two star-crossed lovers?

Join the entire town of Paradise for a Christmas celebration of lasting love!

Just #99cents on Amazon US & UK! ENDS December 10th!

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Review ~ Oklahoma Christmas Blues by Maggie Shayne

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Darryl is on a quest for peace. His chance at fatherhood was taken from him long ago, and an IED in Iraq ensured he’d never get another. In Big Falls, the McIntyre brothers hire him to keep an eye on their beautiful cousin Sophie in case her criminal ex shows up. He doesn’t expect to fall head over heels.

Sophie McIntyre’s life was blown apart by a drug dealing ex who cost her her job and nearly her medical license. She comes to Big Falls because she has nowhere else to go. And the minute she gets there, things start to get better.

Is it because of that letter to Santa her Aunt Vidalia convinced her to write?

Within days she meets a beautiful man with a deeply wounded soul. And oddly, she finds herself giving him the same advice the town Santa gave to her—try believing again, and if it’s too much to believe, then just try hoping.

Love, magic, and miracles ensue.

Because this is Big Falls, Oklahoma. Miracles are an everyday occurrence around here. Especially at Christmastime.

If you know me at all, then you know that Maggie Shayne is one of my one-click authors and that is especially true with the ever expanding Oklahoma branch of the family! This is a heaping serving of Christmas magic mixed in with a little bit of love and romance.

Sophie was in Oklahoma visiting her uncle and aunt-in-law (Vidalia of the Oklahoma Brands), but really it’s because her ex cost her a fancy job at well respected hospital and he nearly cost her career. So she’s lying low and trying to figure out what happens next and going back to her roots as a bartender.

Darryl was hired on the down low by her overprotective cousins, the titular McIntyre Men, to keep her safe in case her ex comes after her. But Sophie thinks Darryl is the bouncer who likes to flirt with her, until a misunderstanding forces the truth out quickly. I really appreciated this in Oklahoma Christmas Blues because sometimes we really don’t need to have it drawn out over the length of the story. It was handled and we all moved forward.

The cutest part of this story was the letters to Santa and how slowly they came true. Of course there’s a lesson to be learned here because neither Sophie or Darryl asked for material things. They wanted help getting their lives back on track while they sorted it out for themselves.

Again Maggie Shayne has done a fantastic job with this fun holiday tale to kickoff the newest series. Oklahoma Christmas Blues was a quick read but my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. I can’t wait to watch each of the McIntyre men fall, and I have Oklahoma Moonshine already!

Side note: I missed Vidalia’s story and I’m adding it to my TBR list! You can do the same here!

Review ~ Homecoming in Christmas Falls by Ciara Knight

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Eight years after fleeing Christmas Falls because of a high school prank gone wrong, Ashley Brooks receives a mysterious letter from her mentor asking her to come home. She arrives to face all she left behind—her family, her friends, and the rich boy she’d loved who would never date the girl from the wrong side of town.

Brent Donnelly, high school jock, brainiac, and dutiful son did everything right until the day Ashley returns to Christmas Falls. With one look at the girl who got away he questions all his life choices, including following in his father’s footsteps in the family business.

Faced with a potentially devastating decline of tourism in their hometown, Brent and Ashley must work together to save the magic of their town, but when Ashley discovers he still has feelings for her best friend she must finally face the real reason she left Christmas Falls—to try to heal her broken heart.

Seven fabulous authors bring you this holiday romance series about a group of special friends returning to their hometown at the request of their high school mentor. Each book is a standalone, but read them all to fully enjoy the journey of these remarkable women and their emotional reunion with their mentor, an incredible woman who changes their lives and helps save a small town community forever.

When I first cracked open Homecoming in Christmas Falls and saw that it was written in first person, I nearly closed it right away. It’s just a personal preference of mine, but I have a hard time enjoying stories written this way, but I was SO curious about the story that I pushed past the first chapter and then the second, and soon I was wondering who’s story would be next.

Ashley was a bit of a wild child back in the day, not reckless or even destructive, just energetic for a small town girl who never fit in with her family. Though this is a love story, I really enjoyed watching Ash reconnect with her parents, who she’d always viewed through the eyes of a hurt teenage girl. But nearly a decade apart can change things. Change people and their perspectives. This part of the storyline really enhanced the overall Christmas-y feel of the whole story.

Now Ash and Brent. Ash, despite her gregariousness as a kid, had some self-esteem issues and thought she would never be good enough for the town golden boy, Brent. She thought he’d be better suited—and was already interested in—one of her besties, Piper. So after THE EVENT, she packed up and left town never to return.

Until this year when her teacher, mentor and surrogate mother calls the girls home, setting the stage for the whole Christmas Falls series.

Now that she’s a successful business woman with a clear vision of the past, Ash wants to help the town get back the magic it used to have. She’ll put her business sense to good use, along with Brent, to make the place truly fantastic again.

But this is a romance and Homecoming in Christmas Falls wouldn’t be complete without talking about these two. From the moment they appear on the page together, sparks fly. Brent is gorgeous and sweet, an irresistible combination that Ash succumbs to pretty quickly. Instead of being scared as she’d always been, Ash dives in and lets him know how she feels and her plans for the future.

Then it’s Brent’s turn to chicken out and go running. I was upset with him, but Ciara Knight created really beautiful drama with this part of the story. You could feel Ash’s pain and wanted to do serious bodily harm to a guy that seemed pretty damn perfect…until this moment. But I loved that it allowed Ash to see how strong she really is.

This was a really good read. It was cheesy and sweet and fun and filled with over the top Christmas, and none of that took away my enjoyment of this story.

Review ~ Christmas Glitter by Ann B. Harrison

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After a rough year involving a serious car accident, painful recovery and broken engagement, Dakota Moore moves to Cherry Lake to rebuild her life. To embrace her new community, she volunteers to coordinate the annual Christmas tree gala.

Adam Clements has come home to help his mother run the family business while his father recovers from a heart attack. For the last decade, he’s been a high-flying soccer player, enjoying the life that comes with his popularity. But something is missing and he can’t put his finger on it… until he returns to Cherry Lake and remembers the feeling of home.

Adam tries to keep his distance because he knows he’ll be leaving, but he can’t deny his attraction to Dakota. With the countdown to Christmas on, can Dakota convince Adam that his home is right there in Cherry Lake, with her?

One of the things I liked most about Christmas Glitter was the overall theme of making choices. Both Dakota and Adam have had some life changing events happen in their lives recently and Ann B. Harrison’s tale is about the choices they make. Do they let these things happen to them or do they make a choice about what their lives will look like next? It’s an interesting choice, but a good one as the story unfolds with Dakota recovering physically and emotionally, and Adam dealing with the realities of aging parents and an aging body as a professional athlete.. With both Adam and Dakota back in Cherry Lake, they will both have to decide what happens next. Her life is now in Cherry Lake but his stay is only temporary, even if the life that’s waiting for him isn’t as fulfilling as it should be.

The thing the author does so well in Christmas Glitter is the way the relationship builds. Not that I’m opposed to it, but there is no insta-love, this is definitely a slow burn that starts with friendship and gradually changes as they get to know each other. Healing, though in different ways, changes their perspectives and as the story moves forward you just know this will cause some drama later on! Aside from the basic relationship drama, I loved the focus on the holiday and the small town calmness.

I am a sucker for a small town romance and Christmas Glitter was the perfect holiday treat.

Review ~ Christmas Nights – J.H. Croix

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Sometimes it takes more courage to love than to be alone.

When Janie Stevens gets fished out of the icy ocean after a boating accident, she doesn’t expect to fall for the man who saves her. Travis Wilkes, the man in question, is all kinds of man—firefighter, emergency responder and pure, rugged masculinity. She’s completely unprepared for the burning, yearning craving he kindles.

Travis is the quintessential sexy outdoorsman and much too busy for love. He’s been honed by a life on the edge in Alaska and not much rattles him. When he yanks Janie out of the freezing waters of picturesque Kachemak Bay, he takes one look into her eyes and can’t stop thinking about her. A man who doesn’t blink in the face of danger finds himself nearly brought to his knees by a woman.

Janie has her reasons for being committed to a life that doesn’t include romance. To say she has trust issues is a bit of an understatement. With the sparks flying between Janie and Travis burning too hot for them to ignore, they discover there may be much more than passion binding them together. Steamy nights, snowy days and Christmas just might convince Travis and Janie that love is possible.

This wasn’t my first Diamond Creek, Alaska novel and I doubt it’ll be my last even though they are sometimes hit or miss. Christmas Nights though was pure, romantic fun. Janie gets pulled from ice cold water by resident bachelor, town hero and rugged outdoorsman, Travis and from there, things get interesting. Janie and Travis kind of dance around each other at first, which was fun to watch because they both had their own reasons—though totally lame ones—for not pursuing romance.

Once they started spending time together, I was hooked. First of all, you have to love any guy who saves your life and then stops to check on you in the hospital. And throw in that sizzling chemistry that was there in the hospital room with them and you knew this was going to be a fun read. Travis is hot and all man, but he’s also sweet and kind, so yeah I have a bit of a crush on him.

One of the best things about Christmas Nights is that it was a mostly angst-free read. There was drama, particularly where Janie’s reasons for being wary of relationships was concerned and that was more than enough drama, and not in a bad way. There were no scheming exes or crazy stalkers either. Just one precocious teenager and two adults trying to find love in Alaska. Oh! That’s the other thing J.H. Croix does really well with these novels. I feel like I’ve been to Alaska (I haven’t…yet) but the author really pulls you into the rugged chaos of the terrain, the beauty and serenity of the area.

Over the past year and a half I have become a solid J.X. Croix fan because of the Diamond Creek, Alaska series and this one was the perfect holiday read. Steamy, sweet and just enough Christmas to make you feel warm and fuzzy.