Holiday Reviews: Bright Lights, Big Christmas and Through the Snow Globe

Posted December 21, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments


I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

Holiday Reviews: Bright Lights, Big Christmas and Through the Snow GlobeBright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 26, 2023
Also by this author: The Santa Suit
Format: Audio/Physical (288 pages) • Source: Library, Spotify Audiobooks
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From Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of The Homewreckers and The Santa Suit, comes a novella celebrating love and the warm, glittering charm of the holiday season.

When fall rolls around, it’s time for Kerry Tolliver to leave her family’s Christmas tree farm in the mountains of North Carolina for the wilds of New York City to help her gruff older brother & his dog, Queenie, sell the trees at the family stand on a corner in Greenwich Village. Sharing a tiny vintage camper and experiencing Manhattan for the first time, Kerry’s ready to try to carve out a new corner for herself.

In the weeks leading into Christmas, Kerry quickly becomes close with the charming neighbors who live near their stand. When an elderly neighbor goes missing, Kerry will need to combine her country know-how with her newly acquired New York knowledge to protect the new friends she’s come to think of as family,

And complicating everything is Patrick, a single dad raising his adorable, dragon-loving son Austin on this quirky block. Kerry and Patrick’s chemistry is undeniable, but what chance does this holiday romance really have?

Filled with family ties, both rekindled and new, and sparkling with Christmas magic, Bright Lights, Big Christmas delivers everything Mary Kay Andrews fans adore, all tied up in a hilarious, romantic gem of a novel.


I really enjoyed THE SANTA SUIT last year and was excited to try another short and sweet Christmas book from Mary Kay Andrews. BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CHRISTMAS followed Kerry as she joined her brother in NYC selling Christmas trees from the family farm. She hadn’t been at their lot since she was a kid – when her parents split up, her brother and father ran the tree farm while Kerry stayed with her mom. She’s feeling lost between jobs and is subbed in for her father this year, who recently had a heart attack.

The characters were good – there’s a romance with a cute single dad from the building next door. I really loved meeting everyone else in the building and the nearby restaurants too. One of their neighbors goes missing and they all band together to find him in time for Christmas. It leads to an interesting new life path for Kerry that I really enjoyed reading about.

I didn’t love the romance necessarily; the kid was cute but the father was a little pushy. It was off-putting to have him move so quickly on her when they’d known each other for a couple of weeks.

Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels

NYC during the holiday season is one of my favorite settings, as I’ve mentioned time and time again. The block they were located on felt real and gave some nice Christmas feels. Christmas tree lots or farms are some of my favorite settings for holiday books. Andrews did a great job of fleshing out the setting and making me feel COLD like they were feeling.


If you’re looking for a quick holiday romance to meet your reading challenge, I’d recommend this one. I think I enjoyed THE SANTA SUIT even more if you’re thinking of reading another MKA book this season. The “mystery” element was stronger and more interesting in that book, but I did really love the ending of this one.

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I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

Holiday Reviews: Bright Lights, Big Christmas and Through the Snow GlobeThrough the Snow Globe by Annie Rains
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Holiday
Published by Kensington on August 22, 2023
Also by this author: Christmas on Mistletoe Lane, Springtime at Hope Cottage, Snowfall on Cedar Trail , Starting Over at Blueberry Creek, Sunshine on Silver Lake, Season of Joy, Reunited on Dragonfly Lane, The Summer Cottage, The Christmas Village, The True Love Bookshop
Format: Audio/eARC (304 pages) • Source: Publisher, Scribd
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It’s a Wonderful Life meets Groundhog Day, as a woman dangerously close to losing it all receives an unexpected Christmas gift that prompts a surprising journey of self-discovery... and another chance at happiness.

What if you could have one more day with someone you lost?

Diana Merriman, a physical therapist, is probably the only person in the small town of Snow Haven, North Carolina, who isn’t looking forward to Christmas. It’s been three weeks since her fiancé Linus was critically injured when a car hit him as he biked home from the toy store he owns and manages. Watching him open his eyes is the only gift she wants, but she can’t help losing a little more hope every day.
But an unexpected visit from a friendly neighbor and finding a snow globe of Snow Haven—a gift Linus had hidden in the closet—the night before Christmas Eve changes things in ways Diana never would have imagined. Because on Christmas Eve Diana wakes up to find that it’s not—Christmas Eve, that is. Instead, it’s somehow December 4 all over again, the day Linus got hurt, and as mystified as Diana is, she immediately starts a plan to save her partner from his fate.

Nothing is that simple, of course. Instead of a single repeat of that day, Diana finds herself in an endless loop of December 4, experiencing every possible variation of events. Along the way, she uncovers startling truths about herself, her relationship, and even her career that illustrate the ways she’s retreated from her life—and in the face of life’s slights and outright blows, from her deepest feelings. Suddenly hope is second only to joy as Diana opens her heart to the people she loves in every way she can.


Annie Rains is one of my favorite small town romance writers so I was really intrigued to see her write another holiday romance (with a different publisher) but involving a time loop! Groundhog Day stories are some of my favorites to read because every single author does them differently. I love finding out how the person is going to escape from it because again, it’s always something unique to the author’s interpretation.

Diana and Linus have had a whirlwind romance but once he popped the question and the wedding became real, Diana started to pull away. She’s used to people leaving her and isn’t prepared to get sucked into another new family that could eventually do the same. She dealt with a lot of (somewhat annoying) thoughts around this throughout the book and didn’t listen much to the people around her.

The story follows Diana as she repeats the same day that Linus has an accident that puts him into a coma. She tries everything to create the best day for her patients, best friend, and fiancé. I liked seeing how she approached each new day and I think it was slightly more repetitive than other time loop books I’ve read, but it wasn’t enough to deter me. I didn’t fully click with the characters but I definitely shipped Linus and Diana overall – I was really hoping he’d make a recovery for them to start their life together.

Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels

I really enjoyed this cute North Carolina town and the fact that the MMC owned a toy store! I didn’t feel quite as much holiday cheer because the repeating day is December 4th – it was a little further away from Christmas than I prefer. However, Christmas DID appear (no spoilers) so it wasn’t a total loss there.


There were some cute family feels in this one (especially with a little boy) and this was really the epitome of a heartwarming holiday read. That’s the best word I could use to describe it. The story was good for the holiday season but I kind of wish I read it earlier in December or even November, since I love reading the most holiday-ish books closest to Christmas.



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