I knew I couldn’t go wrong when I saw Christmas, Vicarage, and Kate Hewitt all on the same cover. Then to find out there are four sisters in the family… I was delighted! So this first book in a series is Anna’s story. She reluctantly returns home for the holidays – home to the vicarage where her parents live. When things at home get too overwhelming, Anna’s introverted self traipses down to the local pub to get a moment of respite. She finds some kind of respite alright – on a barstool next to a handsome, witty, sensitive, take charge kinda guy – and from there on in her life has changed.
Obvi I love the superficial parts of this book, but I also enjoyed the sister dynamics, the push and pull of a long-standing marriage, and the self-discovery of a woman who spent quite a many years avoiding her feelings. And I’m pretty excited to read three more! I think this quadogy or whatever it’s called really works for me: enough of a series to motivate me to get invested, but not too long of a series where storylines seem to repeat after a while. So fun.
This month I’m making a nice dent in the “Christmas” folder on my kindle… and although I probably bought Christmas Roses years ago, I’ve just gotten to it this week. I’m glad I did!
This is a Christmas story set in the 1800s. Celia is a young widow, raising her infant alone, and running a boardinghouse out west for a living. Though life isn’t easy for anyone living in the copper mining town, Celia struggles to deal with her baby’s health issues, the stress of staying financially stable, and the affections of too many men who just aren’t right for her.
Enter Mark, a wandering carpenter looking for a lost relative.
I loved how Mark’s presence changed everything in subtle ways, and how the Reverend compared Mark’s compassion for people and fear of the unknown to that of Mary’s husband Joseph in the story of the Nativity.
Though slightly predictable, I also enjoyed the ending that demonstrated the importance of communication, attentiveness, and honesty. This is a quiet, traditional story that highlights the best in people, and the endless possibilities when you reach out in love.
Celia had a very merry Christmas, as did so many of the characters, which is even better than a regular happily ever after.
As we fly through the holiday season, I like to pick up a few different holiday themed books to keep me in the mood. When I saw this one, I knew it would be something right up my family’s alley. All things political are the theme around here lately, so I figured we could use a dose of the goodness, from a few of the past presidents, to bring a bit of positive back in.
Christmas greetings is a compilation of various Christmas addresses from Coolidge to Obama. Inside you’ll find tidbits about the world at the time, from the Depression to 9/11. It also includes pictures of the National trees and some of the activities that were happening at the White House. My favorite pictures are the family pictures, whether staged or candid. They show the lighter side of the presidents.
If you have a history buff in your family, or perhaps you have a little Christmas nut, like myself, grab this book.
This is a quirky little story about Sarah who leaves her high-stress tv show career, and decides to start her own baking business. The focus is actually on the next newest thing in Sarah’s life… a dog! If you’re an animal lover, you’ll be charmed by Sarah’s comings and goings with sweet yet demanding Malteaser at her side. He follows her to the cafe where she gains a few clients… and new friends. He also gives her a run for her money at the park!
What I enjoyed most were the baked goods and coffees, the meeting up with friends, and the new beau… all fulfilling Sarah in a way her old life never could.
November means Christmas reading, so I hunkered down the past couple nights with two novellas in my Kindle’s “Christmas” folder.
These charming and heartfelt stories felt like full-length novels in that the characters were many and varied, the plots had time to twist and meander a bit, and the main characters were wonderfully developed.
In Forever Christmas, Kristianna tries to live out her own authentic life, fighting through family pressures and a stressful romantic past. I loved that Kristianna’s best friends never wavered in their love and loyalty to her. I enjoyed Kristianna’s fun dates, her surprise gifts, and the relationships she had with the quirky townspeople. Although saving her town of Jingle Bells from corporate intrusion was top of mind, Kristianna eventually got the message that working together for a solution is more effective than cutting off your nose to spite your face.
In My True Love Gave to Me, loving wife and mom of two Penny has had it up to here with her newly-unemployed husband’s moping. But when he finally does something to snap out of it, she’s not truly on board with that either. The plan? A family RV trip. The reaction? Horror, as you might guess. However, in the spirit of a good Christmas story, the lessons are in the journey. Lynxwiler gives us an entertaining road trip where relationships are strengthened, trust is built, and true love abounds.
Both novellas have a Christian perspective, with a mentions of “God’s plan” and positively describing other characters as Christian. They both have a happily ever after, too.
You’ll be glad to know my Kindle’s Christmas folder is full of myriad holiday novels. These were only the tip of the iceberg!
This quick and easy holiday romance was cute, but not as satisfying as I’d hoped. Maybe its brevity precluded some of the depth I’ve come to appreciate in cozy romance novels.
Anna heads to the Cotswolds from New York City, hoping for a respite from the pressures of life: relationships, work, and family. What she finds is no room at the inn, and a second-rate offer by the innkeeper’s cousin Colin. Colin is a happy go lucky guy who forms an attraction for Anna.
I won’t spoil it, but when two roads diverge in a yellow wood, Anna and Colin don’t have too many choices: they fall for each other or they don’t… someone moves halfway around the world or someone doesn’t.
This is book one in a series, and it definitely seemed like an introduction. I wanted more substance, some subplots, and a more memorable hero. But it was charming and well-written, and a nice way to familiarize readers with a new setting… especially for the price ($2.99). Here’s hoping book two hits me right in the heart!
Today I saw someone wearing Christmas socks, despite the unseasonably warm weather we are having, so I thought it would be appropriate to review a Christmas book today!
Penny lives alone and creates beautiful ice sculptures in solitude … until Henry and daughter Daisy start renting out the annex, and Penny feels compelled to be social. The quirky characters quickly connect with each other and make for a pleasant, predictable romance.
But it all seemed a bit contrived. My eyes rolled at the cliched tropes and the running into each other too many times to be serendipitous. I like my chick lit light and fluffy, but with enough substance to draw me in and make me believe it’s real.
If you need a quick Christmas romance in between serious reading, the price is right here at $2.99, but don’t expect substantial character or plot development.