Tag: Christmas (page 1 of 4)

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!

GRINCHY REVIEWS: The Clause in Christmas & Kissmas Eve

GRINCHY REVIEWS: The Clause in Christmas & Kissmas Eve The Clause in Christmas by Rachael Bloome
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

An unexpected inheritance. A pesky clause in the will. And 25 days to avoid falling in love.

Cassie Hayward hates Christmas. Especially this year.

No job. Flat broke. And an ex most definitely on the naughty list.

The unexpected inheritance of a charming Victorian cottage in the small town of Poppy Creek may be the Christmas miracle Cassie needs.

Except for one itty-bitty problem: a clause in the will.

To inherit the house, Cassie must complete a series of festive tasks every day in December leading up to Christmas. All overseen by the handsome, Christmas-loving lawyer Luke Davis.

Luke is as strong and steady as the bespoke furniture he crafts as a hobby. He has to be. Stepping into his late father's shoes as the town lawyer comes with a sleigh full of responsibilities. Which mean the captivating stranger collecting her inheritance is a distraction he can't afford.

As the unlikely pair complete the daily tasks, fighting their attraction becomes more futile than putting jolly ole St. Nick on a diet. But when someone from Cassie's past reappears with the offer of a lifetime, Cassie will have to choose between love and the life she always wanted.

Review:

The Clause of Christmas felt like an adorable Hallmark movie.  There was a woman who didn’t believe in Christmas, a man who was a pillar in his community and a quaint small town filled with lots of charm and quirky people.  Add in a Christmas calendar that had a different festive task from December 1st to December 25th and this book seemed to have it all!

But ultimately I DNF this book at 46% because I couldn’t connect to any of the characters.  Cassie was anti-Christmas because of her childhood and never seemed to give it a chance as an adult, until now.  I was happy to see the joy she found in something so simple as decorating a tree to sledding.  But with only a small glimpse into her past, I never felt as though I knew Cassie.  She was someone who was emotionally out of reach for me and I couldn’t ever connect with what she felt.  And since I didn’t share her love of coffee, I unfortunately couldn’t even make that connection with her.

With Luke, I liked him right away and he made me laugh.  But the more time I spent with him, and heard his thoughts, I lost that connection. And when I got to the scene where he was talking with his guy friends, I closed the book.  It was a little too tender for my liking, and I’ve never said that before.  But regardless of my lack of connection, I believe that a lot of people will adore The Clause in Christmas.  All the elements are there for a wonderful Christmas tale.  If you end up picking this one up, here’s hoping you enjoy it more than me!

 

GRINCHY REVIEWS: The Clause in Christmas & Kissmas Eve Kissmas Eve by M.E. Carter, Sara Ney
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Christmas… Bah Humbug…

Sports agent Adam Roberts hates Christmas, hates cheer, and just about anything tied with a bow. What he does love is sports, the thrill of a competition and the mysterious identity of the woman he’s been flirting with on the company messenger.

He doesn’t know her name, but he’s determined to find out. Even if it means attending the Christmas party he’s dreading.

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Meg McClane loves everything about Christmas, from her festive Ugly Sweaters, down to her candy-cane striped toenails. But not everyone appreciates her holiday cheer; not her co-workers, not her bosses, and certainly not Adam Roberts, the senior agent she’s had a crush on for as long as she can remember.

But now a new man has caught her eye, or maybe just her interest with his kind and witty conversations on the company messenger. It’s just her luck that when they finally decide to meet up, she gets stranded with a stranger in the elevators on their way to the company Christmas party…

Review:

Kinsman Eve had the cutest premise ever!  But unfortunately this was another book where I couldn’t connect to any of the characters.  And some of them felt over the top, like Sheila.  She worked right next to Meg…..and I just wanted to shove a candy cane in her mouth so she’d stop talking. #BadJen 

I did enjoy that we got to hear both of the main characters thoughts.  Meg was adorable and loved everything Christmas.  And I didn’t care what her co-workers said about her outfits.  I thought they were perfectly festive!  Meg had been crushing on Adam, a guy that worked in the same office.  If only she knew that Adam was interested in her too.

Both Adam and Meg were characters I’d normally adore, so I’m not sure what went wrong.  Especially since it was oh so sweet how they ended up getting together.  But it took over halfway for me to be somewhat invested in the story.  And I finally cracked a smile when I was close to the end.  There were a few grammatical errors, but ultimately this book just didn’t elicit much emotion from me.  Since the characters and story line were something I’d typically fall for, I will be picking up another book by each of these authors.  I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that I like them a lot more.

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