Tag Archives: Christmas books

Holiday Books

Barbara Vey -- November 1st, 2013

Well, Halloween is a thing of the past for 2013 and it’s November.  You all know what that means…time for Christmas books.  There is a whole slew of them this year, so we will have them today and next Wednesday.   These books will definitely put you in the holiday spirit.  BTW, the winner of Tuesday’s giveaway by Kensington is Jenny St. G. Please send my your street address bvey@ publishersweekly.com

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joysann

joysann

Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

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Lady Jenny Windham has longed to be taken seriously as an artist and allowed to pursue her painting passion, but that’s just not what ladies do. When famous portrait artist Elijah Harrison is commissioned to take family portraits, it’s not just Lady Jenny’s charms that enthrall him, but the genuine quality of her talent and skill. But endorsing and encouraging the talent of a mere woman may force him to relinquish his dreams of a seat in the Royal Academy of Artists.

Lady Jenny’s story must not have been uncommon in centuries past, and Grace Burrowes has well described the heartache of a young woman unable to achieve her dreams because of her gender. The touching story of the growing respect between these two characters is heart-warming and romantic. Wrapped around the holiday traditions of Regency England, it’s a lovely read for this season.

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joysann

joysann

The Christmas Cookie Collection by Lori Wilde

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Twilight, Texas is a small modern town whose tourist popularity is based around a legend of romance and a penny in a fountain, that young lovers will be reunited in love. These four stories of members of the town’s Christmas Cookie Club show that true love might take more than a wish.  Carrie and Mark went their separate ways after high school so Mark could follow his dreams of big career; after a long, happy marriage, Earl left Raylene after she told him a 35 year old secret; bakery owner Christine has resigned herself to never having a family of her own when high school crush Eli waltzes in the shop door; and after long years of hard separations Flynn and Jesse are expecting their first baby, but it can’t be that easy.

Good contemporary romances woven around the holiday season in a small town always touch a soft spot in my heart, and this Christmas Cookie Collection made for a sweet treat. The interwoven stories makes one remember that everyone has a story, and in these, they are all about love.

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Joan

Joan

A Cowboy Christmas by Janette Kenny

Read by Joan

In 1894 Wyoming, Reid Barclay is trying to save the only home he has known. When Eleanor Jo Cade shows up to temporarily replace his cook, he is shocked that she is not at all what he expected. Eleanor, raised to be a lady, is praying she will be able to pull off the role as a cook; how hard could it be? She had taken the job hoping to be able to spend a Christmas with her horse thief of a father, thought to be making off with Reid’s prized thoroughbreds, and the salvation for the Crown Seven Ranch. Eleanor wants this to be a wonderful Christmas, however, Reid could care less – after all, he is to be married on Christmas Day.

This book was fun to read. I love Christmas myself and could understand Eleanor’s need to see her father and to decorate Reid’s home, to make the holiday special. I could also identify with her trying to follow a recipe and still burning the food.  Marvelous!

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joysann

joysann

The Christmas Cuckoo by Mary Jo Putney

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Tired and disheartened, Major Jack Howard has just returned to England from the Peninsula and winds up at a country inn in an inebriated state. Miss Meg Lambert’s brother writes that his fellow soldier and best friend Jack would arrive before he does and she should pick him up at the inn to spend the holidays with the family. So Meg brings Jack home where he enjoys his best holiday ever, only he’s the wrong Jack.

Mary Jo Putney has totally charmed me again. This delightful short is a re-release from an older anthology, but even if you read it several years ago, you’ll love again. The unlikely zany circumstances of mis-identity and miscommunication can be easily overlooked as these wonderfully splendid characters come together in love and good cheer.

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Joan

Joan

The Christmas He Loved Her by Juliana Stone

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Jake Edwards and his fraternal twin brother Jesse grew up in Crystal Lake doing everything together, including loving the same girl. However, Jesse was the one that married Raine. When Jesse is killed in Afghanistan, Jake returns for the funeral, unable to be around his family or Raine. When Jake returns over a year later, he brings the sister of one of his unit’s members. Her brother was left in a coma by the same attack that killed Jesse. Raine sees Jake’s absence and bringing home this “girl” friend as a sign of betrayal. Was he with her when she needed him to be there for her?

I sort of wish I lived in Crystal Lake at Christmas time. This was a very good book to read, showing what some of what our soldiers and their families go through. Though parts of it were sad, it left me feeling happy and hopeful. This is a happily ever after with room for more stand-alone stories that I  hope Juliana Stone will write.  Heartwarming and uplifting.

Bottom Line:  Only 53 days until Christmas!

WW Ladies Book Club Christmas Books

Barbara Vey -- October 25th, 2012

Well, the Christmas commercials are already popping up on television, so it’s time for Christmas books to make their appearance.  I love books about the holidays and have my special ones I read every year, but I’m always happy to add new favorites to the collection.

Heidi

Heidi

Holly Lane by Toni Blake

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Read by Heidi

Sue Ann Simpkins is facing the holiday season with her biggest challenge of her life. Newly divorced and alone from her daughter, Sue Ann decides to escape to a remote cabin near Bear Lake. Solitude and peace is what she is looking for, until Adam Becker opens the door stating the cabin is his. Adam is looking for the same type of solitude but becomes trapped in the cabin during a snowstorm with Sue Ann. Both struggle with their own feelings and past experiences to look at a possibility that a future could happen for the both of them.

I found the whole story an interesting twist of circumstance that leads two lonely people together. I really enjoyed how the characters struggled with their own feelings and keep questioning whether or not it’s love or infatuation. Sue Ann is a true example of perseverance under pressure, and I admired that.

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Joan

Mistletoe Cowboy by Carolyn Brown

Read by Joan

Sage Presley, a young up and coming western artist, is furious when she finds out that her Gran is selling the family ranch to a complete stranger. She drives home in a blinding snowstorm to have a heated discussion with her Gran and talk her out of the sale, arriving at the ranch just before a snowstorm causes the electricity and phone lines to go down and the roads to be closed. Sage discovers that her Gran has gone for three weeks and will not be returning until Christmas. To make matters worse, she finds Gran has allowed handsome cowboy Creed Riley, the prospective buyer, to move in for the three weeks and run the ranch.

This book as it was very fun to read and had the needed components for a good holiday read. Entertaining and I read it straight through. If you love a good story with animals, falling in love and finding a soul mate, then this is a book you should read, especially before Christmas.

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Heidi

Heidi

What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander

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Read by Heidi

Camille, Lady Lydingham has one desire for the holiday. She wants to give Prince Nikolai Pruzinsky a traditional English Christmas. Her entire family has left Milton Manor except for her twin sister Beryl, so she hires an acting crew to play her family and staff. One thing she hasn’t counted on is Grayson Elliot coming back after 11 years, when he left with her broken heart. Grayson finds out about the ruse and decides to play along. Even with Camille wanting to marry Nikolai, she realizes her heart has always been with Grayson.

This historical had everything you could want for a holiday: mystery, intrigue, an English Manor, Love and Christmas. You will feel cozy and happy after reading this book. I hope I can read more about this unusual family in future novels.

 

joysann

joysann

Together for Christmas by Lisa Plumley

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Casey Jackson views the holiday season with antipathy, so when he’s sent to troubleshoot a pop star’s TV Christmas special in her Michigan home town, he is dismayed to find the snowbound community all dressed up like Santa’s North Pole. The star sets her ordinary sister, Kristen Miller, the task of distracting the agency’s “hatchet man” however she can to keep him out of the way, and Kristen realizes she isn’t going to have the Merry Christmas for which she had been hoping. But Casey and Kristen discover new reasons to celebrate, giving them both a chance for a happy holiday season, and more.

I found Lisa Plumley’s new book very entertaining. The story is humorous, the characters are likable, and the romance is sweet and satisfying. Together for Christmas is a charming and light-hearted contemporary romance that would be perfect for a cold snowy afternoon heading into the holidays.

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Heidi

Heidi

Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsay

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Read by Heidi

Lark Chaikin arrives in Last Chance with one goal in mind. To put her father’s ashes to rest. But since her father caused such a stir in the tiny town, her goal may not be met. Stone Rhodes is the town sheriff and is trying to keep the peace among the residents who don’t want Lark in town, and keep the Christ Church Ladies’ Auxiliary from being a pain in their matchmaking. When a murder happens right before Christmas, it seems that Stone, Lark and their families need to not only solve the crime, but heal themselves before it’s too late.

This is the second novel I have read about Last Chance and I love this quaint little town!! It’s so fun to see the gossip fly through the town faster than a text message! I think what excites me the most is when there is a little mystery and intrigue mixed up with the town secrets as well as love during the holidays. It makes a happy mix to read and get ready for the holiday season, just like hot cocoa on a cold night.

We’ll be doing another blog on Christmas books, but feel free to post any Christmas books coming out this year in the comments section.  I know the readers appreciate hearing about them.

 

Bottom Line:  It’s always the right time to read a book about Christmas.