Tag: Christmas (page 1 of 4)

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: A Christmas at Gingerbread Falls by Katie Mettner

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: A Christmas at Gingerbread Falls by Katie Mettner

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: A Christmas at Gingerbread Falls by Katie MettnerA Christmas at Gingerbread Falls by Katie Mettner
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Actress Carrie Murray’s films are a Christmas lover’s delight. Filled with twinkling lights, festive carols, and happy endings, they’re the perfect escape from reality—for her and the audience. Then Tinseltown calls.

Braxton Timothy is Hollywood’s biggest action star. Handsome and talented but decidedly on the naughty list, no one can fathom his sudden desire to produce a feel-good Christmas movie—least of all, his no-name co-star.

Alternating between scenes reminiscent of everyone’s favorite made-for-TV movies and unexpected, off-screen chemistry, Gingerbread Falls has surprises in store this holiday season. The question is, will there be enough Christmas magic to convince two imperfect people that they’re perfect for each other?

Review:

A Christmas at Gingerbread Falls was an adorable and emotion filled Christmas story.  With snow falling, a Christmas town setting, and filming a Hallmarkish movie there was a lot of heart in the pages.  If you enjoy Christmas stories, then you may want to put this one on your tbr list!

“I do enough of these movies, I should be overflowing with the stuff,” she huffed, her breath puffing frosty white rings into the air.
“Overflowing with what stuff?” a voice asked.
Carrie whirled around and slipped on a patch of snow, falling right into the waiting arms of Braxton.
H
e grinned down at her cheekily. “This is getting to be a habit.”

This was unlike any other Christmas story I have read, it was truly unique!  Carrie Murray and Braxton Timothy were filming a movie that screamed Hallmark Christmas movie.  And we not only alternated between Carrie and Braxton, but also between their real lives and the scenes they filmed in the movie too.  The scenes they were filming were heartwarming, delightful and the perfect amount of cheesiness!  But while they were filming, it was hard to keep their real lives from bleeding into their characters’ lives and vice versa.  There was heat between them and quite possibly more!

While the crew worked around them, neither Brax nor Carrie moved away from the front of the tree. Carrie felt him lean into her ear and held her breath, wondering what he was about to say. “That was one of the best Christmas memories I’ve ever made.”
“That wasn’t real, Brax,” Carrie answered with her gaze fixed on the tree lights.
“It felt real to me,” he promised, his breath warm on her cheek.

But Carrie and Braxton in real life?  They were sexier and way more heart broken and jaded then their Hallmark counterparts.  While they were attracted to one another, Braxton had a playboy past and Carrie was the queen at keeping those around her at arms lengths away.  As the story unfolded, we get to see that they were both haunted by their tragic pasts.  And both of their pasts were extremely heavy, very dark and intense on the heart.  So I kept hoping they could help one another heal, they both needed that.  With some light hearted humor, some sexier moments, and heart wrenching back stories, this book thankfully sailed us into a happily ever after!

“CUT!” Simpson yelled, whipping the earphones off his head . “What the hell, Brax? This movie is for The Christmas Channel! You can’t kiss her until the very end!”
Brax finally tore his gaze from Carrie’s to address the director. “What happens if I don’t wait?”

A Christmas at Gingerbread Falls was a fun Christmas tale!  But unfortunately for me, I was never able to connect to either of the characters.  For me to love and enjoy a story with my whole heart, I desperately need that connection.  And I wasn’t able to find that click with either Carrie or Braxton.  So if you pick this one up, fingers crossed you click and I can’t wait to hear all of your thoughts and your emotions while reading this story!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

About Katie Mettner:

Katie Mettner writes small-town romantic tales filled with epic love stories and happily-ever-afters. She proudly wears the title of, ‘the only person to lose her leg after falling down the bunny hill,’ and loves decorating her prosthetic with the latest fashion trends. She lives in Northern Wisconsin with her own happily-ever-after and three mini-mes. Katie has a massive addiction to coffee and Twitter, and a lessening aversion to Pinterest — now that she’s quit trying to make the things she pins.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

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BOOK REVIEW: 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

BOOK REVIEW: 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship.

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents' house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That's when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she's started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever . . . or is it?

Review:

10 Blind Dates was laughter inducing and the perfect lighthearted read!  With family, friendship and blind dates galore, this story was so much fun.  So if you love ya romance and books set around the holidays, you’ll definitely want to add this one to your tbr.

“Is there no privacy in this family?”
Everyone at the table answers, “No.”

Sophie was to spend the holidays at her grandparents’ house, while her parents left to go take care of her pregnant sister.  Before leaving town, she found out her boyfriend wanted to take a break from her.  So when she arrived at her grandparents’ house, it set off a chain of events.  What entailed was ten blind dates, by ten different family members, and I had no clue what to expect next.

He nods, then cocks his head to the side. “I think Nonna was right.”
My face scrunches up. “Right about what?”
“This dating thing. You look good.”
I can feel my cheeks warm. “Well, I must have really looked like crap earlier.”
Wes laughs. “I didn’t say that. I’m just glad you’re smiling.”

I loved Sophie’s huge Italian family and how involved they were in each other’s lives!  Sophie’s mom was one of eight, so there was always a ton of them at her grandparents’ house.  And while I’m not the greatest with names, shockingly I didn’t have an issue with this large family.  I loved that they were with her every step of the way.  Even when she didn’t want them to be lol.  Some of the dates they set her up on were smile inducing with snowball fights, hot cocoa and ugly sweater parties.  But others were horrifically awful!  So of course I laughed a lot, sorry Sophie!

“Just when I think we’re good again, you shut me out,” she says. “Just like before.”
I whip around. “Excuse me? I shut you out? Are you kidding me?”
Charlie steps in between us. “Hold on, hold on,” he says, his hands extended. “Let’s not say anything we’re going to regret.”

Her cousins Olivia, Charlie and Charlie’s best friend Wes, use to be her best friends.  But over time, Sophie drifted away from them.  They always had each other’s backs and cared so deeply for one another. So while their friendship felt seamless, there was issues that needed to be work through. I loved watching their relationship slowly mend back together, it warmed my heart.  And I loved that they were always by her side, whether it be blind dates, to dealing with her ex, to even her own personal journey.  Sophie could always count on Olive, Charlie and Wes.

I just have three more dates to get through, I realize. Then Christmas break will be over and everything will be back to normal.
Just what I wanted when all this started.
So why am I dreading it all ending?

I don’t want to give anything away, but my guess for who she was supposed to end up with was right.  I was over the moon happy it was who I liked.  Together they were beyond sweet and adorable, just like this story.  But while I loved Sophie and her dates, family, cousins and friends, I wasn’t the hugest fan of the side story with Sophie’s sister.  It’s personal reasons and because of that, that part of the story rubbed me the wrong way.

We move with the music, and I don’t dare look around the room to see which of my family members are watching us. I wish more than ever that we were somewhere else. Somewhere that we weren’t the subject of no less than five different conversations right now.

But still, I enjoyed this book so much!  With Christmas sprinkled within the pages, the warmth you got from her family and hints of romance, 10 Blind Dates was such a feel good story!  Plus in those final pages we got to jump three months into the future and it was soooo adorable. I loved what the future seemed to have in store for them!  I’ll definitely be looking out for any future release from this author!

Before I can say anything else, the doorbell rings and a quiet hush falls over the crowd.
“This is getting ridiculous, people,” I say as I push through my family to get to the door. Several family members scramble to finish placing their bets.

PS I loved the betting!  That was soooo bad yet oh so funny!

BOOK REVIEW: Christmas Cliche by Tara Sivec

BOOK REVIEW: Christmas Cliche by Tara SivecChristmas Cliche by Tara Sivec
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

‘Twas the week before Christmas
and all through L.A.,
Allie Parker’s famous twin sisters
were driving her cray.
She fled to the mountains
with a hostage in tow,
hoping to sleep through the holidays,
which were a sh*t-show.
A crash in a blizzard,
and a hot mountain man,
definitely wasn’t part
of her evacuation plan.
Santas, and stockings,
and creepy nutcrackers too,
everywhere she looks,
it’s a crazy Christmas zoo.
But there are hugs, and smiles,
and a beautiful view,
kisses and laughter,
and no time to be blue.
Maybe this family,
with their hot mountain man,
will make this a Christmas
Allie can actually stand.

Review:

Christmas Cliche was laugh out loud hilarious and filled with all the cliches.  Celebrities, snow storms, sexy mountain men, best friends and tons of Christmasy vibes filled the pages.  So if you’re looking for a Christmas story that is lots of fun, with romance in the pages, then take a look at adding this one to your tbr.

I just wanted to get away from the chaos and not think about Christmas. Was that too much to ask?

The prologue jumped 17 years into the past, when Allie’s life was simpler, and she still loved Christmas.  But in present day LA, there was nothing heartwarming or loving about the holidays.  Her twin sisters had a reality TV show.  Christmas Eve was to be filled with an over the top celebrity party and lavish items.  It felt like they were living the life of the Kardashian’s, but even crazier.  And Allie was in charge of it all.  Dealing with her superficial sisters and their constant schedule and needs, seemed overwhelming.  So when the straw finally broke the camel’s back, Allie bolted with her best friend in tow to West Virginia.  To where she used to spend the holidays with family, when she was younger.

“This isn’t Christmas magic. It’s just insane. I’m insane. I’m seriously thinking about never, ever going back to California after only being here for four days.”
I laugh, and it comes out a little high-pitch and hysterical.

I adored Allie, she was kind and down to earth. But everyone seemed to have a preconceived notion of who she was.  Even the man who ended up rescuing her.  Jason was the sexiest mountain man and Allie and Jason’s meet cute was one of the funnier ones I’ve read.  It was so smile inducing and unique lol!  And I loved Jason too.  He was helpful, loving, sweet and oh so thoughtful.  The two of them together were perfect.  It didn’t matter that she was only supposed to stay at his parents bed and breakfast until her cousin came back home, after the holidays.  It felt like they were meant to be together forever.  So there was definitely an insta-attraction mixed with insta-love.  And let it be known that I don’t like insta-love, but in this cliche filled story I enjoyed it so much.

“You were adorable half-dressed for a blizzard, and when you had to borrow one of my sister’s ugly Christmas sweaters,” he tells me honestly. “But you’re goddamn stunning when you’re relaxed and laughing, and I think being here in my family’s Christmas wonderland has something to do with it.”

The side characters rounded out this story so well.  I loved Jason’s sister and mom, who had more game then him ha.  His relationship with the both of them warmed my heart.  And I loved how they played such a big part of story.  But the one who continually stole the spotlight was Allie’s best friend, Millie.  She was a celebrity who was over the top ridiculous and such a good friend to Allie.  I’m pretty sure I said OMFG out loud a hundred times because of Millie.  She shocked me!  Her observations, random comments and questions killed me!  Sometimes she was too much, but it was impossible not to love her.  Especially as we saw her learn about life as the story progressed, heaven help her lol.

“That was so cliché.”
“This whole thing is cliché,” Millie complains, leaning over on the couch to whisper to us. “Can we just get to the part where you guys profess your undying love for each other?”

Christmas Cliche was an over the top story filled with humor, friendship and love, cliches and all.  Even the titles of the chapters were hilarious.  It almost felt like a crazy, outrageous Hallmark movie, that was definitely not PG lol.  So I was surprised that the sexy moments weren’t descriptive.  But I enjoy books with our without them, I just wasn’t the hugest fan of the location when it did happen….you’ll see what I mean lol. But all in all I enjoyed this book so much!  Plus that ending was perfect!  I’ll definitely be checking out Tara Sivec’s other books!

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!

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