Tag Archives: holiday romance

A California Christmas (Silver Springs #7) by Brenda Novak Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young woman in hiding after a public humiliation finds solace with the family of a former high school friend, who grows closer with her over the holidays in author Brenda Novak’s holiday romance, “A California Christmas”, the seventh in the author’s “Silver Springs” series.

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The Synopsis

Up-and-coming TV anchor Emery Bliss can’t imagine anything more humiliating than the sex tape her ex revenge-posted online. That is, until it causes her to lose her job on top of her self-esteem. Seeking solace—and anonymity—in Silver Springs, Emery isn’t looking to get involved with another man anytime soon. But when she’s thrown back into contact with Dallas Turner, she sees something that his many detractors have missed.

Being home for the holidays and his adoptive mother’s wedding isn’t where mountain climber Dallas feels most comfortable. Thanks to his troubled childhood, he’d rather be on a rock face alone than trying to connect with people. Emery, however, makes him want to overcome his past…somehow.

Both Emery and Dallas had been planning on a quiet, solitary Christmas, but the sparks between them are lighting a fire strong enough to last—possibly forever. 

The Review

A fantastic holiday-themed romance that can be read all-year-round! Author Brenda Novak writes a brilliant tale that explores themes of sexism in both a professional and social setting, unexpected friendships turned romances, and using the roadblocks and hardships we face to find a better, more true path for ourselves than we ever thought possible.

Character growth is the key to this novel’s allure, as the protagonist’s Emery and Dallas are both relatable and do a wonderful job of showcasing their individual personalities as well as the bond they form together. As a Southern California guy myself, I could relate to the overall setting of the story, while longtime readers of the author will appreciate the established series setting that keeps the story both fresh and familiar all at once. 

The Verdict

An intriguing, well-written, and evenly-paced romance novel, author Brenda Novak’s “A California Christmas” is a must-read novel this holiday season and beyond. Filled with tension, passion, and hopeful storytelling, this is the romance-inducing story that everyone will enjoy as we close out 2020. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.

“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.

Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.

“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”

Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Now a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, she continues to publish two or three novels a year, in a variety of genres.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. Now that they are empty-nesters, she spends her free time babysitting her two grandchildren.

When she’s not with her family or writing, Brenda is usually raising money for diabetes research. To date, she’s raised almost $2.6 million. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking–she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!

https://www.instagram.com/authorbrendanovak/

Happily This Christmas (Happily Inc. #6) By Susan Mallery Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A strong, independent woman and single mother finds herself trying to help bring together the man she is attracted to and his pregnant daughter in an effort to thaw the daughter’s heart and bring their family closer together in author Susan Mallery’s “Happily This Christmas”, the sixth book in the “Happily Inc” series!

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The Synopsis

Treat yourself this Christmas by staying in with this holiday read!

Susan Mallery, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool’s Gold romances, proves there’s no place like Happily Inc for the holidays…

There’s no place like Happily Inc for the holidays…

Wynn Beauchene has a thriving business, a great kid and a mildly embarrassing crush on the guy next door—local cop Garrick McCabe. She’s a strong, independent woman who can’t help dreaming what-if about a man she barely knows. Until he needs her help…

Garrick’s pregnant daughter will be home for Christmas, and his house needs a woman’s touch. Garrick and his little girl were tight once and he’s hoping a small-town Christmas will bring her back to him. But thawing his daughter’s frosty attitude will take more than a few twinkle lights. Maybe sharing the holiday with Wynn and her son will remind her of the joy of family.

As the season works its magic on these wounded souls, Wynn realizes it’s time to stop punishing herself for a painful secret, while Garrick remains haunted by the ghosts of past mistakes. Will he allow Wynn to open the only gift she truly wants—his heart?

Don’t miss Susan Mallery’s most irresistible novel yet, The Vineyard at Painted Moon, and join one woman as she searches for the perfect blend of love, family and wine.

Read more in the reader-favorite Happily Inc series:

Book 1: You Say It First

Book 2: Second Chance Girl

Book 3: Why Not Tonight

Book 4: Not Quite Over You

Book 5: Meant to Be Yours

Book 6: Happily This Christmas

The Review

This was such a passionate read. Author Susan Mallery does a great job of interweaving the characters of previous entries into the series into a wholly original novel, while also crafting two great protagonists that feel real and vulnerable yet incredibly strong. Their pasts are thoroughly explored in the actions of the modern-day storyline, and highlight their individual struggles as well as the impact it has on their own shared experiences, making for two incredibly flawed yet well-rounded characters readers can get behind.

The twists and turns that each character’s past takes are truly engaging and highlight the scars both physically and emotionally each has. The setting itself feels alive and vibrant, and the author’s previous novels when combined with this one make the feeling of a true community setting feel even more real and relatable all at once. 

The Verdict

Entertaining, romantic, and a dramatic holiday must-read, author Susan Mallery’s “Happily This Christmas” is a brilliant novel and great entry into the “Happily Inc” series. With well-rounded characters and a vivid sense of imagery that brings this town and it’s inhabitants to live, this is the author at her best and is not to be missed this holiday season. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. She’s best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.

Critics have dubbed Mallery “the new queen of romantic fiction.” (Walmart) Booklist says, “Romance novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling,” and RT Book Reviews puts her “in a class by herself!” It’s no wonder that her books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list.

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool’s Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

https://www.facebook.com/SusanMallery

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The Last Christmas Cowboy (Gold Valley #11) by Maisey Yates Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A cowboy still dealing with the loss of his family finds himself drawn into an unexpected mission of romance for his best friend’s sister and discovers instead a chemistry and passion he never before imagined in author Maisey Yates’s “The Last Christmas Cowboy”, the eleventh novel in the “Gold Valley” series.

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The Synopsis

Will this brooding Gold Valley cowboy find redemption this Christmas?

This Christmas, cowgirl Rose Daniels is determined to play matchmaker to ensure her beloved sister will meet someone under the mistletoe. She enlists the reluctant help of family friend Logan Heath, but his insistence that she doesn’t understand chemistry is exasperating. Until they share one electrifying moment that shows her exactly what chemistry is all about, and it becomes outrageously, irresistibly intriguing…

Logan hates the holidays. They are a painful reminder of the family he lost and a time of year he always wants to spend on his own. But Rose refuses to let him. Logan’s worked for years to keep his attraction to her under wraps—she’s his best friend’s youngest sister and she couldn’t be more off-limits. He’s the last cowboy that innocent Rose should ever kiss, but this Christmas, will Logan become the only cowboy she’ll ever want?

The Review

While the notion of reading the eleventh book in a long-running romance series can feel daunting, the author does an amazing job of crafting a narrative that feels both recognizable to longtime readers and wholly new and original to newcomers, creating a story that can work as a standalone novel. 

The chemistry and tension between Rose and Logan is definitely heated, and fans of more adult romance won’t be able to get enough of this story. The story does a great job of incorporating both graphic and intimate scenes between the characters and deep, emotionally-driven narratives that delve into the lives of the characters themselves, creating a perfect balance that fans of the romance genre won’t be able to get enough of. 

The Verdict

A lengthy, engaging, and intimate modern-day cowboy romance, author Maisey Yates’s “The Last Cowboy Christmas” is a must-read this holiday season! The history these characters share with one another and the approachability for readers both new to the series and well established will both be able to enjoy, this is a heat-inducing and romantic novel that readers can’t help but enjoy, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit. In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book.

Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard.

She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.

https://www.instagram.com/maiseyyates/

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A Princess By Christmas (A Royal Wedding #3) by Julia London Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young widow seeks to turn her late husband’s gossip and fashion rumor gazette into a serious source of journalism, and in doing so finds her first real story as a hidden and lost Prince seeks to root out corruption within his home in author Julia London’s “A Princess by Christmas”, the third in the “A Royal Wedding” series. 

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The Synopsis

She’s discovered his secret.

Now the trouble really begins…

After three years of mourning—and turning her dear deceased husband’s gazette into the ton‘s sauciest source of fashion and gossip—Hollis Honeycutt feels her life has been strangely bereft of late… Her sister is living abroad, and her best friend moved to the country. What must a young widow of rank and reputation do? Why, transform her society gossip sheets into serious investigative news, starting with a rumored coup…and the rather dashing, mysterious gentleman whom Hollis suspects might be the villain of her first real story, and she is the only one who can write it.

Marek Brendan is investigating terrible rumors of treachery and treason that threaten his home country of Wesloria, but he must proceed with caution. No one can discover the truth. After all, who would ever believe he is Wesloria’s lost crown prince? Only Hollis Honeycutt’s cerulean-blue eyes seem to know more than she’s letting on—and worse, Marek can’t seem to resist her curious charms. But even as betrayal threatens a nation and a throne, nothing is quite so dangerous as the lovely young widow who’s determined to find the truth…and a prince of her own.

The Review

A fantastic blend of Victorian-era scenery and social interactions amongst the characters blended with a holiday style romance narrative and political intrigue, this latest entry into the Royal Wedding series definitely is an attention-grabbing and entertaining read. The author beautifully brings to life the budding romance and emotion that all classic Victorian Romances hold, while also crafting a memorable reading experience.

The protagonists and the characters overall really helped bring this story to life, especially the historical setting and the Kingdoms involved in the narrative. The loss and loneliness that Hollis deals with when combined with her determination and passion despite the negative reactions others have to her writing make her a well-rounded character, while Marek’s passion to root out injustice while maintaining his life on his farm is a welcome journey for a young royal to take, making this a truly engaging plot and equally engaging characters to follow.

The Verdict

A heartfelt, emotional, stylistic, and lengthy read, author Julia London’s “A Princess by Christmas” is a must-read romance this holiday season. The story is breathtakingly beautiful and does a great job of drawing in readers with memorable characters and an inviting era of history, making this a must-read holiday romance. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today best selling author of more than two dozen romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular historical romance series, the Cabot Sisters, including The Trouble with Honor, The Devil Takes a Bride, and The Scoundrel and the Debutante. She is also the author of several contemporary romances, including Homecoming Ranch, Return to Homecoming Ranch, and The Perfect Homecoming.

Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. To keep up with all the Julia London news, please visit http://www.julialondon.com. Follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/julialondon

https://www.instagram.com/julia_f_london/