Here’s the second edition of Christmas books for this year. The third and final blog will be next Wednesday of all the Christmas books we received. So get ready for some great holiday reading.
Read by joysann
Angela Knight resolves an annual holiday heartache with another Mageverse tale in Vampire’s Ball; in the winning A Little Night of Magic, Allyson James brings a tale of love and loyalty to the Arizona desert; Yuletide celebrations mark a story in which long-separated Fae lovers get a chance to reunite in Anya Bast’s Sweet Enchantment; and Lora Leigh mates another Breed couple that have faced adversity for far too long with A Christmas Kiss.
With two of these stories related to long standing series, and two hinting at the delights of series starting soon, Hot for the Holidays brings some of my favorite authors together, making it a real treat. Charming, romantic, sexy, satisfying, I know readers who’d love this as a stocking stuffer.
Plum Pudding Murder by Joanne Fluke
Read by Heidi Hannah Swensen’s bakery – The Cookie Jar – is in full production mode for the holiday season. With all of the delicious cookie deliveries; she still finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery. She is determined to find the killer fast, become the yuletide season comes to a close. I was trying to figure out who, besides Hannah was my favorite character in this book. BUT there were so many favorite characters of this book for me, it was too hard to pick my number one. It could be Hannah’s Mom and her "bowl-you-over" questions until you have to say yes. Or it might be Hannah’s cat Moishe who is determined to destroy the brand new Christmas tree in the living room. Maybe it’s the recipes themselves that is my favorite. Not only does each chapter end with one, but there is a whole Christmas dinner menu in the back. Nope. I won’t pick. There’s too much to do before Christmas arrives.
Holiday Brides by Jewel Amethyst, Farrah Rochon, Stefanie Worth
Read by Felicia
From SKB With Love by Jewel Amethyst: Venetta David, a young widow is grieving her late husband MJ who died of leukemia a week before Christmas three years ago. Her “pity party” is interrupted by one of her college friends Kerina who invites her and two other girlfriends away for Christmas to the Caribbean. She meets Sean Kevin Bryan, a young man also grieving over the loss of his girlfriend. The two embark on a Caribbean romance that leaves both of them wondering how they can fall in love with each other while remaining faithful to their past.
I loved the way the author was able to develop this story in just 110 pages! I could really visualize the two of them building their trust and love for each other. It grew and grew over that week long Christmas break into a long distance relationship. I felt what they were truly feeling for, not only each other but for what they felt for their past loves too. I rooted for this couple all the way!!!
No Ordinary Gift by Farrah Rochon: Kemah Griffin and Tyson Crawford broke up just six months ago but see each other every Saturday at the community center where they volunteer. They still have feelings for each other but it’s up to Tyson to win Kemah back since he gave no real reason for why things had to end between them. Tyson has to find the courage to open his heart fully to Kemah in order for Kemah to truly believe his intentions are real.
This was a real page turner! I really wanted to see these two get back together. I liked the way the author weaved in the activities at the community center and the struggles the children went through at home to show how committed Kemah and Tyson were to the center and to each other. Once Tyson revealed his true feelings to Kemah, she was ready to accept him back. No games, no frivolous banter back and forth-just a true love for each other. It was enjoyable and intensely romantic (especially the Kwanzaa celebration).
HeavenSent.com by Stefanie Worth: Brenna has used this dating website for just under a year and her subscription is about to expire. Brenna has had no real prospects and has no intentions of renewing. Everything else in her life is going well-her work, financial arena, and spiritual life. That is until she is laid off from her job and her male friend and coworker Evan helps take her work belongings home one day. This three year work friendship turns romantic and soon fizzles to nothing. Two guardian angels named Kay and Jay must enter their lives to help get this romance back on track.
I thought this story was a lighthearted look at love. It was short, sweet, kind and gentle. It shows that when others intervene, no matter whom it is, love can flourish.
There Be Dragons by Heather Graham
Read by Maddy
Marina parents Nico d’Or and Princess Elisia were killed when she was young. Now older she is arranged to marry Carlos Baristo, her step mother Geovana’s son, on Christmas Day. He is a rotten person just like his mother, who cares nothing of her but the power he can get from marriage. One day when Marina was trying to avoid Carlos, she meet a falcon. A magical one that talked and told her that she can have three wishes.
Showing the magic that love and Christmas can bring, reading this got me into the Christmas time mood. I really love how there were color photography artwork that showed the characters in the beginning of the book and what was happening throughout.
Read by joysann
The Christmas Heart by Janet Eaves – In December 1944, after having already lost a young beau to the war, Mary El
len Chambers is fearful of giving her heart to anyone, especially another man in uniform, one just passing through Legend. A Groovy Christmas by Jan Scarbrough – Christmas 1968; content small town girl Kathleen Fields is discombobulated when a boy she’d loved as teen returns as a man, bringing long hair, liberal views, and San Francisco flower-child experience to conservative Legend. Under the Mistletoe by Magdalena Scott – After spending the 1975 holidays with his family, Charles McClain planned on heading back to his new life in Los Angeles, not expecting to find someone as compelling as Dorothy Robbins to make him reconsider life in Legend.
Legend Tennessee is the imaginary small town where everyone wishes to live at some time. During the holiday season when nostalgia tugs at my heartstrings, I’m drawn to good, sweet and romantic fiction stories, and Three Decades of Love suits my sentimental spirit.
Read by Heidi
Lock, Stock and Jingle Bells- Holly despises the holiday season and now she has to sell off her mother’s Christmas novelty store. Her childhood crush Sean has the restaurant across the street. He may still have some power to warm up her Scrooge heart. Bah Handsome! – Hope is looking for a miracle to help save her B&B from going under. Danny is the man who can make her go out of business. Hope may be too stubborn to save her business to see the sparks flying between them. It’s Hotter at Christmas- All Marissa wants is a white Christmas in Philadelphia with her family. It seems to become an impossible task for her with many challenges happening her while in Hawaii. Local police officer Ted wants nothing more than to get Marissa on the plane back home. The sun and sand could be just the thing to melt her frozen East Coast heart. I truly enjoyed all the female characters of all three stories. Strong, independent, determined and romantic. Stir in some hot men and this book is a delight for everyone who is looking for a little extra spice to go with some sugar!
Read by Stacey A classic tale of love between the jaded Heir to an Earldom and the woman who’s decided to become his mistress during a Christmas getaway. A request to be tutored in ways to avoid being captured by a fortune hunter puts a young heiress in the sights of the man who places her heart in the most jeopardy. A tale that explores the ties that bind a young woman and the man who has the potential to save her family’s Christmas. My favorite part of this anthology, is the new story Courtney Milan has contributed. Her characters are amazing(and made me cry), and with deft strokes of her keyboard she has made me extremely excited to read her debut, Proof of Seduction. Of course, I always love Mary Balogh’s stories, and I’m going to investigate Nicola Cornick’s backlist now that I’ve read this anthology.
Angel Lane by Sheila Roberts
Read by Sheila
Jamie, Emma, and Sarah live in Heart Lake, Washington, where Jamie owns a chocolate shop, Emma a quilt shop, and Sarah a bakery. Jamie is recovering from a hurtful relationship, Emma is lonely, and Sarah misses her grandchildren. The three women band together for support and then, noticing changes in their town, decide to put the Heart back in Heart Lake. They each commit to one good deed per day. The results have a big ripple effect in the town and their personal lives.
The story starts in Autumn and goes through Christmas. It’s a great book to read this season. I could really relate to the characters and I am a big sucker for small town charm. As a bonus, recipes are included at the end! (I love the rosemary herbed biscuits.) The minute I saw this book I knew it was for me. Reading it felt so intimate. Roberts’s writing is funny and heartfelt. Now I can read her earlier books, Love in Bloom, Bikini Season, and On Strike for Christmas, while I wait for her new book to come out.
Bottom Line: I just heard that there will now be Black Fridays on the Saturdays leading up til Christmas. Does this mean that Black Sundays are not far behind?