Genre: Holiday

Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Pact and The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

Posted December 27, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Pact and The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

Story I decided to listen to this on a whim when I ran out of podcasts on December 22nd – I had a lot of Christmas errands to run and knew the 2 hour runtime would be something quick and easy to bolster my holiday reading AND Goodreads challenge. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit! Riley Kennedy and Kennedy Riley work at the same publishing house and constantly receive each other’s emails. When they finally meet at the company Christmas party, they end up making a Christmas pact: Kennedy will go to Riley’s Christmas Eve to show her mom she DOES have something exciting in her life, and in exchange, Riley will go to Kennedy’s brother’s wedding after New Years. I thought the chemistry was actually well-done (very THE HATING GAME!) in a novella. I usually struggle with plot development due to the length and find there to be too much instalove, but this felt just right for me. I loved the characters and their families: they slotted into each other’s lives nicely. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels Yes, there’s a smattering of Christmas and a mention of New Years but in a novella, not a ton of time to develop holiday feels. It has a company holiday party, Christmas Eve and morning (briefly) celebrated… and that’s about it. The setting is upstate NY so there’s some snow too! Overall The ending was a bit silly but I enjoyed it – it kind of made sense! There were […]

Holiday ARC Reviews: The Christmas Village and Duke, Actually

Posted December 22, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday ARC Reviews: The Christmas Village and Duke, Actually

Story I love Annie Rains’ books – that’s no secret around here. I’ve read them all so far under the Forever Romance umbrella, and can’t wait to dive into the novella that occurs right after this book! I can always count on her to deliver an enjoyable Christmas story each year and THE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE was no exception. This is the second book in the Somerset Lake companion series, a setting we’ve only seen so far during summertime. Lucy and Miles were high school sweethearts who were once engaged before Miles unceremoniously called it off. Neither of them truly moved on from it though. Now they’re back under “one roof” (more like “one yard” as Miles is renting Lucy’s garage apartment temporarily) and sparks are flying again. I do love a second chance romance and this couple was totally worth rooting for! I don’t love reading books about cops but the “Christmas Crankster” mystery that Miles worked on throughout the book was entertaining and he’s really a great guy. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels Somerset Lake’s residents love Christmas and that was clear in this book! They spoke about the holiday season in its debut novel so I was really looking forward to seeing how they celebrated. There were a lot of decor references and holiday events that made me feel Christmassy, especially decorating Lucy’s big pink house for the neighborhood competition. Overall This series continues to impress! I was sad that Sweetwater Springs was no longer the setting for […]

Blog Tour Review: Sleigh Bells Ring

Posted December 13, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Sleigh Bells Ring

Buy Links: BookShop.org // Harlequin // Barnes & Noble // Amazon // Books-A-Million // Powell’s Review I’ve been reading RaeAnne Thayne’s books for years now and was excited to sign up for this tour! She always writes fun and cheery holiday stories with adorable small town settings. This book was no exception for the most part – instead of a small town with an adorable main street, this takes place on a sprawling ranch in Wyoming. It was very festive with lots of decorating and Christmas cheer, especially through the eyes of a couple of children. SLEIGH BELLS RING centers around Annie, the caretaker of the ranch, and her brother’s children. The owners of the ranch, including her childhood crush Tate, come in for Christmas and she is working as the de facto chef and host to all of them for one final Christmas before they sell it. I was expecting to only read their two POVs but Tate’s sister, Brie, ends up as a main character after the first 20% of the book or so. I immediately knew where her perspective was heading and I was intrigued to see what would happen for her. She wasn’t spoken about very favorably in the beginning of the story so I was curious to see what her reasons would be, or where her head was at during the story. I enjoyed the setting and the family feels in this one. However, I think the writing was a bit repetitive. The characters had the same […]

Holiday ARC Reviews: The Holiday Swap and No Ordinary Christmas

Posted December 3, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday ARC Reviews: The Holiday Swap and No Ordinary Christmas

Story I love a good swap story! Identical twins Charlie and Cass switch lives for a week during an incredibly busy time in their lives. Charlie manages the family’s bakery in their adorable hometown, where she’s under the gun to finish their famous holiday bread by Christmas Eve while her parents are on vacation. Cass lives in LA, a few hours away, and is a famous celebrity baker. She’s filming a limited-run holiday-themed baking show with a shitty coworker and needs everything to go well so she can “win” her own TV show. When Cass gets a concussion and loses her sense of smell and taste, she and Charlie switch places – Cass doesn’t need those to bake her well-known family recipes and Charlie is a great baker that can step in for the show. Naturally, the two ladies fall for some cute guys where they are, under the guise of their sisters. These kinds of stories usually come with a ton of drama and predictable results in the end, but honestly this one was tame! There were a lot of side plots for both of the MCs and annoying characters, but I think everything got a decent amount of page time to feel necessary. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels I enjoyed the holiday feels throughout this one. They had a lot of tasty-sounding holiday-themed baked goods. I will admit that Cass’s chapters in their cute, snowy hometown had more holiday feels for me than the scenes in LA (with good […]

Holiday Reviews: One Way or Another and A Princess for Christmas

Posted December 9, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: One Way or Another and A Princess for Christmas

Story I’m a sucker for a parallel life/universe kind of story. Should she go to NYC or her crush’s cabin for the Christmas holiday? I love seeing both timelines and how they end – will she end up in the same place? The main character, Paige, struggles with anxiety and decision-making; when she hits her head on the grocery store floor, the story and her life split into two universes so we can see how it plays out. I enjoyed the best-friends-to-more situation that was possibly brewing too – Paige had had a crush on her best guy friend for years and is trying to figure out how to move on and get over it. I liked reading both stories/settings. I think the wintery cabin with Fitz and his family was more interesting because they were actually spending time together. The NYC timeline was cool for her to travel and spend time with her mom’s friend’s son, Harrison, but she spent a ton of time still thinking about Fitz. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels NYC during the holidays is always a dream setting. I’ve been near Christmas and it was a chaotic time that I don’t want to relive ever again. I’m not a city girl. I can definitely see the magic in it and love reading Christmas books set there! It’s the closest I’ll get haha. The Christmas feels were medium because those elements weren’t the point of the story. It was just the time of year where the […]

Holiday Reviews: The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission and 10 Blind Dates

Posted December 6, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission and 10 Blind Dates

Story I was excited when I got approved for this holiday novella and first “book” in the Boots and Bouquets series. It seems like these books will center around the Bellini family’s winery (Red Moss Vineyard), where the entire family hosts weddings and – obviously – makes some wine! There are a number of siblings and parents who work there, so this novella did a good job of setting the stage for the series and introducing the characters. Aside from that, Alice meets Clay (the rancher next door) when they’re forced to sleep over the vineyard. They have some instant chemistry but she still pushes the idea of utilizing her matchmaking service on him. They end up spending more time together and boy did this get steamy for such a short little book! I love when I can FEEL the chemistry between the characters in such a short book. Very strong instalove here but it is what it is. Some things were too convenient, like how his house was EXACTLY like the house she’d always wanted?? Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels The main reason that Alice is stuck at the Bellini vineyard is because of a major unexpected snowstorm, which certainly added to the winter vibes of this one. It takes place in December because her friends’ wedding is an OUTDOOR ceremony then (yikes). Being snowed in with a potential romantic partner is one of my favorite holiday book tropes! There were some good Christmas decor moments and the snowiness […]

Holiday Reviews: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane, and Snow In Love

Posted December 21, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane, and Snow In Love

Story I’ll keep it real – I did not love Dash and Lily as much as everyone else (and any good feelings that led me to rate it four stars have definitely faded over time for some reason). I like to eventually finish things I start though, so I decided to give the sequel a shot. It’s a short book and therefore a short audiobook; I thought it’d be the perfect one to listen to during the Tis the Season-a-thon in early December. I really loathe Lily because of her immaturity and Dash is so pretentious. It’s hard to ship a couple when one of them feels like they’re 10 years old and shouldn’t be in a serious relationship. Speaking of which, how is it possible that after a year of dating, they’re in the exact same place they were in the previous book/year? They did not communicate at all and it’s frustrating to see that they were still dancing around things. I would hope dating someone for that long would open you up a bit. Aside from that, they were constantly running to catch up to each other (so to speak). They were never on the same page. Wintry Setting & Holiday Feels The story was mostly depressing with some holiday feels involved? It happens in the 12 days before Christmas, which should bring about the most Christmassy feels possible. While being in NYC for Christmas is the last thing I want to do because of the crowds, I absolutely […]

ARC Reviews: Kiss Me in Paris and Sadie

Posted August 24, 2018 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Reviews: Kiss Me in Paris and Sadie

I didn’t fully think about the fact that KISS ME IN PARIS was actually a holiday story when I started reading it, so it quickly became a “Christmas in July” kind of read. I usually don’t enjoy reading Christmassy books outside of November or December but I made an exception for the sake of my Goodreads challenge (and yes my Netgalley percentage, okay). I was dying to read something short, quick, and sweet, and I determined this would fit the bill. I loved the idea that the main character, Serena, would be retracing her parents’ steps when they first fell in love in Paris. The synopsis implied some good ol’ hate-to-love romance too, as the guy she has to stay with (Jean-Luc) isn’t overly happy about her arrival. The story happens over the course of one night, which I also love. Some of my issues were surrounding the romance. The first thing, kind of related to that, is that the book is very short – just barely over 200 pages. This almost puts it in novella territory and I tend to struggle with rushed romances. Another issue with the romance was that the couple spent quite a bit of time either focusing on an ex (Jean-Luc) or debating a new-ish flame from home (Serena). I understand creating some conflict for the sake of a story but I just didn’t get on board with actually shipping the couple as a result. There was too much time in their heads thinking about […]

Holiday Reviews: We’ll Always Have Christmas and The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Posted December 24, 2017 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Holiday Reviews: We’ll Always Have Christmas and The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Story Tis the season for my favorite holiday author! I always wait until it’s VERY close to Christmas to embark on my Jenny Hale book of the year, because they’re usually the most atmospheric. This one was a little different, which I’ll get into later. Noelle takes on a new job helping an elderly man in a local mansion while trying to fix up her family’s bakery to improve business. She falls for Alex, the man’s grandson, while staying there with her son. She has mixed feelings because Alex is the landlord for the bakery and is the one “pushing them out” with higher rent. Noelle has close friends, Phoebe and Jo, and a tight-knit family between her parents, grandfather, and sister. It was a  really well-rounded story, even if some of the plot pieces were kind of annoying. There was a whole side thing that I predicted earlier with the grandfather’s lost ~first love~ and the fact that Noelle was thinking of moving to LA with Phoebe. The second thing there wasn’t needed in the story and took up an unnecessary amount of her headspace. The first one made sense even if it was predictable. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels I feel like this is the first time I’ve given a Jenny Hale book less than “full-on holiday cheer” on my cheer-o-meter. The book takes place in the month or two leading up to Christmas, so there were bits of the holiday sprinkled throughout. The cozy bakery setting and […]

Holiday Reviews: My New Crush Gave to Me and Winter Solstice

Posted December 15, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Holiday Reviews: My New Crush Gave to Me and Winter Solstice

Story I was really hoping for something cute and Christmassy, which I got in some ways. Unfortunately I spent most of the book incredibly frustrated by the clueless yet often bitchy and domineering main character. I like predictable holiday stories because they’re comforting but there was literally no surprise for any element of the plot. By a quarter of the way through the book, I knew every detail about how it was going to end. The side characters were fun and nice people who definitely put up with Charlie FAR longer than I would have. Her best friend was too understanding but it helped that there wasn’t a best-friend-fight subplot. The general storyline is that she is determined (with absolutely no actual evidence) that Teo is the perfect boyfriend for her, so she stops at nothing to make this happen… and I mean nothing. She refuses to see any kind of sign that maybe he’s not the right guy for her and ignores the compelling evidence that perhaps someone else is. I definitely wanted to give her a swift kick in the ass 99% of the time, which doesn’t make for the most fun holiday read. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels The book took place in Connecticut, which I love, but they didn’t really make it a point to reference that too much. The main character has (in the past) loved Christmas and she celebrates pretty hard with her mom when she’s not working. (I literally can’t even remember if […]