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Monthly Wrap-Up: December

During our Monthly Wrap-Up, we’ll take a look at what has happened around here in the last month. That’ll include what’s happened in my life, what we’ve read, any other posts we may have had, our most popular Instagram posts, and books that I’ve added to my ever-growing TBR.

*We linked this post to the December Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up Link-Up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction*

 

Jen’s Life:

So this is kinda scary to share…..but the reason I disappeared at times and stopped doing these posts for the latter half of the year was because emotionally I was very broken.  I started and ended the year losing those I love, my Grandma who I was extremely close with my whole life.  And my little dog, who was more like a child to us for the last 14 years.  When you throw in a serious health issue that I still haven’t mentally dealt with yet.  To some of our family and friends getting scary sick from COVID.  And to me switching to being a teacher to our 2nd and 4th grader since there was no way I could subject them to distance learning again…..well I was an emotional mess to say the very least.  So this year I’m trying my best to heal or I guess start the path to healing.  This week I’m starting back up my 3+ mile walks and exercise to give myself sanity, spending all the quality time with those I love and just trying to find the joy in simple every day things like I use to.  I’m normally a person who is overly bubbly, talkative and smiles wayyyyy too much and I’d love, love, love to find that person again *fingers crossed*.  So if you’re working on yourself in 2021 too, hugs and here’s hoping we can get to where we want to go ♥.  Now onto all the bookish stuff…….

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What We Read:

5 Stars:
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
The Boss Who Stole Christmas (Reindeer Falls #1) by Jana Aston
The One Night Stand Before Christmas (Reindeer Falls #3) by Jana Aston
A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Saaba Tahir
Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
A Crown For Christmas by Rachel Van Dyken

4.5 Stars:
The Darkest Temptation (Made #3) by Danielle Lori

4 Stars:
Holiday With You by Claudia Y. Burgoa & Grahame Claire
If You Give A Jerk A Gingerbread (Reindeer Falls #2) by Jana Aston


3.5 Stars:

Let It Snow by Cassie Cross

2.5 Stars:
Kissmass Eve by M.E. Carter & Sara Ney

DNF:
The Clause in Christmas byRachael Bloome

 

 

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Our Favorite Books of the Month:

 (Arielle’s Choice) – A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Saaba Tahir
I can tell you with 100% certainty that these books and these characters will stick with me in my heart and soul until I die. While this isn’t a light and fluffy series that can be re-read at any time during any mood, I know that I will be revisiting them for years to come. I really hope more and more people discover these books and you had better believe that once I start being able to see library patrons face-to-face again that I will be shoving this series at anyone who asks for a fantasy recommendation.

 
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  (Jen’s Choice) In a Holidaze, The Boss Who Stole Christmas & A Crown For Christmas

I’m totally cheating by picking three, but oh my gosh I desperately needed help finding the joy in Christmas last year.  And each of those books helped me immensely.  If you ever need help finding joy and Christmas cheer around the holidays, definitely pick up one of these.

 

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Instagram:

We thought it would be fun to share our most popular posts for December. And they were….

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Star-Crossed Book Blog (@starcrossedbookblog)

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Star-Crossed Book Blog (@starcrossedbookblog)

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Star-Crossed Book Blog (@starcrossedbookblog)

 

 

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Books Added To Jen’s TBR This Month:

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So this was our December….did you read any of the same books that we did? Or share the same favorite book as us? If not, then what was your favorite book? Or have you read any of the books I just added to my TBR?

Here’s hoping you all had a wonderful December. And cheers to January being fabulous for all of us!

 

BOOK REVIEW: A Crown For Christmas by Rachel Van Dyken

BOOK REVIEW: A Crown For Christmas by Rachel Van DykenA Crown For Christmas by Rachel Van Dyken
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The first time I met Fitz or to most of the world Duke Fitzegerald Heraldo Belleville, I punched him in the throat.
I was actually aiming for his chin, but he was a few years older, clearly not wiser, but at least taller.
He started wheezing on his candy cane.
And well, the rest is history.
Hate replaced what could have been friendship, and for the rest of my teen years, I watched him flirt with every single breathing female.
I hated him.
Plotted his death with a smile on my face.
And knew that my first decree as Queen would be to chop off his head.
Except now that I'm finally old enough to inherit the title, there's one tiny little slip-up.
I need a man by my side.
The problem?
I may have accidentally scared them all away.
I have no options.
Until the devil rings my doorbell with a wicked grin on his face and revenge dancing like sugarplums in his gaze.
I hate that I need him.
It's a serious problem.
We have twelve days before we say I do.
I just pray we survive without killing each other first.

Review:

A Crown for Christmas easily became one of my favorite Christmas books!  With enemies to lovers, irresistible banter, a forced marriage and snow falling how could I not fall madly in love with this story?!  The prologue pulled me in and I was so addicted that I didn’t put my kindle down until I read that last page.  I can’t recommend this book enough!

He stared at my mouth and then licked his lips like he wanted a taste, but that would be ridiculous. He hated me. I loathed him. It worked for us.
I shivered and looked away.

Princess Phillipa was expected to be Queen, but the law dictated that she had to be married first.  Unfortunately she had run all of the possible suitors away, except one.  Duke Fitzgerald Heraldo Belleville, aka Fitz.  But where Fitz was concerned, there was one tiny problem.  They had been enemies since they were children.  We got to watch them, in the past, and the things they did and said to one another was horrifically awful.  Yet I laughed so much.  And in the present day, we witnessed a proposal and Phillipa being informed that a wedding would take place in twelve days.  To her archnemesis.  What’s a princess to do?

I hated the way he stared at me too long.
The way his perfect emerald eyes lingered like he was mentally mocking me and doing a bang up job of it.
But most of all, I hated that he was beautiful.

The story alternated between Phillipa and Fitz and I loved them both so much!  Phillipa was strong and level headed.  She was a generous and loving princess.  And I could easily see her being a role model and someone others could look up to as their Queen.  Yet the moment Fitz was around, she couldn’t help but find herself butting heads with him.

Her grin was pure evil. I had half a mind to kiss it off her face just to even the playing field, shock the hell out of her, and get to taste the peppermint all in one fell swoop. Pity her lips were probably poison.

Fitz could be such a trouble maker, but the man was as clever as he was seductive.  He just had this way with people that made you instantly like him.  Well except Phillipa lol.  Fitz was thoughtful, witty, smart, devious and oh so quick with his replies.  I was obsessed.  And to Phillipa’s dismay, she started to see those qualities in Fitz too.  Especially when he helped her get her way at times.  It was impossible to ignore his charm, even if Phillipa was bantering with Fitz in that next moment.

My body tightened. “I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to pull someone’s hair more in my entire life, not in an effort to chase them, but to pull them so closely to my chest that all I feel is their skin, their breath, and maybe a soft moan of pleasure.”
Her eyes flickered to my mouth, and her lips parted. “This is crazy.”

Regardless of how much they hated each other, you could still feel the attraction burning between them.  But when the gloves came off and they played nice, was it truly sincere?  Could they really trust each other?  I loved watching the intricacies of their relationship unfold.  Together they were swoon worthy and I was addicted with all of their interactions.  It was so easy to fall for them!

“What changed?” I hooked my arm in his as we started walking.
“Everything,” he whispered under his breath.

If you’re looking for a romantic and hilarious Christmas story, then definitely add A Crown for Christmas to your tbr!  This may be RVD’s funniest book yet, but there were also a few moments I didn’t see coming…..so there was no stopping my gasps.  With fabulous characters, addictive banter and a wonderful story line, this book was such a winner!  I loved it so much!

BOOK REVIEW: Let It Snow by Cassie Cross

BOOK REVIEW: Let It Snow by Cassie CrossLet It Snow by Cassie Cross
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Amy Winstead is a twenty something video producer who loves Christmas more than anyone she’s ever known. This year, the holidays are gonna be a lot less happy because she can’t afford the plane ticket home to celebrate with her family, and her best and oldest friend Josh is moving halfway across the country for a new job that he couldn’t turn down.

When Josh asks her to accompany him on his road trip from Texas to Connecticut and offers to pay for her plane ticket back home, how could Amy say no? He’s promised some fun surprises on the trip, and more time with him could never be a bad thing.

One surprise Josh hasn’t planned on is the record-breaking blizzard heading their way. They decide to wait out the storm in the charming town of Holly Hill, where a little holiday magic and a lot of snow combine to help Josh and Amy realize that the something that’s always simmered between them could easily become something more...

Review:

Let it Snow was a feel good, heartwarming Christmas story.  With a road trip, snow storm and a cute little town, this book was so enjoyable.  If you’re looking for a friend to lovers Christmas story, with a little bit of sexy mixed in, then take a look at adding this one to your tbr.

If I didn’t know any better, I could swear that Josh wants to kiss me. But I need to get foolish thoughts like that out of my head, so I turn back to my laptop.

Amy Winstead, aka Ames, and Josh Abbott had been inseparable for the last 26 years.  They were the bestest of friends who grew up together, went to same college and even got their first jobs in the same town.  But with Josh moving back home to New York and Ames staying in Texas, she was emotionally struggling.  They’d never been apart.  On top of that, she was head over heels in love with her best friend.

“You’re woven into the fabric of my life.”

While Ames was unsure of where she wanted to go with her life, Josh seemed to know exactly what he wanted.  When he surprised her with a road trip back home for the holidays, and a plane ticket to get her back to Texas, I was overjoyed.  I love road trips!  We got to see how strong their friendship was and how well they knew each other.  I loved watching how affectionate and thoughtful they were to each other.  And when they got stranded in a blizzard, things started to storm in the best of ways between the two of them.

“What do you need?” I ask, confused by the giant shift in the room, of this overwhelming sense of possibility in the moment.
He lifts his head, eyes half lidded.
“To kiss you,” he replies.

Let it Snow was a delightful book that was so easy to devour.  And for those that love happily ever afters, that last chapter is for you.  The story jumped ahead four years and I loved seeing how the future panned out.  So with snow women building, snow ball fights and getting stranded in a hotel room with one bed, it was fun watching Ames and Josh’s relationship develop.  If you’re a fan of friends to lovers, with Christmas sprinkled in the pages, then this book may be just for you!

2019 Favorites From A Series

Sooooo……we’re a little late to the game for sharing our favorites from 2019 *covers face*.  Even though it took us till the end of the year, we are so excited to share our favorite books in a series! We read them in 2019, but they could have been released a previous year.

Click our reviews to learn more about each book, or click on the cover to go to Amazon. We organized our favorites by age and genre categories so it would be easier to find exactly what you want. We hope you enjoy!
♥ The Star-Crossed Ladies

YA Dystopian


Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review
 

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Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review

 

YA Fantasy


Cassie’s Choice

Cassie’s Choice
 

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Arielle’s Choice
Chelsea’s Review

Arielle’s Review
Chelsea’s Review

Arielle’s Choice
Chelsea’s Review

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Arielle’s Review
Cassie’s Choice

Arielle’s Review
Cassie’s Choice
 

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Arielle’s Review
Chelsea’s Review

Arielle’s Review
Chelsea’s Review

Arielle’s Choice
Chelsea’s Choice

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Chelsea’s Review

Chelsea’s Review

Chelsea’s Choice

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Cassie’s Choice
   

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Arielle’s Review

Arielle’s Review
 

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Arielle’s Review
   

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Arielle’s Choice

Arielle’s Review

Arielle’s Review

Arielle’s Review
   

 

YA Mystery


Chelsea’s Review

Chelsea’s Choice

Chelsea’s Choice

 

 

YA Science Fiction


Arielle’s Review
   

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Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review
 

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Arielle’s Review

Arielle’s Review
 

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Arielle’s Review
Cassie’s Choice

Arielle’s Review
 

 

NA Romance


Arielle’s Review
   

 

 

NA Paranormal


Jen’s Review
   

Adult Romance


Arielle’s Review

Arielle’s Review

Arielle’s Review

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Arielle’s Review
   

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Arielle’s Review
   

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Arielle’s Review

Arielle’s Choice

Arielle’s Choice

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Arielle’s Review
   

 

Adult Fantasy


Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review
 

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Cassie’s Review
   

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Jen’s Review
   

 

Adult Historical


Chelsea’s Review

Chelsea’s Choice
 

We hope you had fun looking through our 2019 Favorite Series! Are any of these your favorite books too? If not, what was your favorite series from last year?

 

You can see more of our yearly recommendations for Favorite Single Books HERE.

You can also find our yearly recommendations for Favorites From a Series Books HERE.

2019 Favorite Singles

Sooooo……we’re a little late to the game for sharing our favorites from 2019 *covers face*.  Even though it took us till the end of the year, we are so excited to share our favorite books that are stand alone! They may be part of a series or have a spinoff, but they read so you are given closure upon completion. We read them in 2019, but they could have been released a previous year.

Click our reviews to learn more about each book, or click on the cover to go to Amazon. We organized our favorites by age and genre categories so it would be easier to find exactly what you want. We hope you enjoy!
♥ The Star-Crossed Ladies

YA Romance


Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review
Chelsea’s Review

Chelsea’s Choice

Jen’s Review

Chelsea’s Choice

Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review

Chelsea’s Choice
   

 

YA Fantasy


Cassie’s Review

Cassie’s Choice
   

 

YA Thriller


Cassie’s Choice
     

 

NA Romance


Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review

Jen’s Review

Arielle’s Review
Cassie’s Review

Chelsea’s Review

Chelsea’s Review

Jen’s Review

 

NA Paranormal


Jen’s Review
     

 

 

Adult Romance


Jen’s Review

Arielle’s Review

Jen’s Review

Arielle’s Review
Chelsea’s Review

Arielle’s Review

Jen’s Review
   

 

Adult Fantasy


Chelsea’s Review
     

Adult Thriller


Cassie’s Review
   

We hope you had fun looking through our 2019 Favorite Singles! Are any of these your favorite books too? If not, what was your favorite standalone book last year?

You can see more of our yearly recommendations for Favorite Single Books HERE.

You can also see more of our yearly recommendations for Favorites From a Series HERE.

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