Review: Three Christmas Book Reviews (The Christmas Wish, Christmas at the Chalet, Cupcakes for Christmas)

A trio of reviews follows… Merry Christmas!

The Christmas Wish is a story of new beginnings. When Esme’s finds she can’t take her grandmother on a trip of a lifetime to see the Northern Lights in Lapland, Esme goes alone. Loved the quirky trip-mates, the little obstacles Esme overcomes to find herself again, and Esme’s newfound friendships, bound under snowflakes and starry skies.

Buy THE CHRISTMAS WISH

Cupcakes for Christmas is ostensibly about a baker, her shop, and a new special someone who comes in to buy cupcakes. But really it’s about the fear of loneliness and sadness that may drape over people during the holidays. While the story wasn’t a sad one, we see through Olivia’s eyes the challenges that Christmas brings for some. We also see how acceptance, love, and the Christmas spirit can help bridge the gap between two lonely hearts.

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Ever wanted to spend Christmas at a chalet? Here’s your chance. Anita Hughes transports you to the land of snow and apres-ski in the Swiss Alps. Wedding gown designer Felicity, her assistants, and her models spend a week among the jet set in St Moritz – and you’re along for the ride. This is a fun, superficial, exciting, bright read. I loved the snowy settings, the wedding gowns, and the glitz and glamour on the slopes. I didn’t love all the reminiscing and flashbacks, but I did like the side story of re-uniting a bride’s parents.

Buy CHRISTMAS AT THE CHALET

-calliope

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Review: The Wish Collector by Mia Sheridan

“I would’ve looked twice at you,” he said. “Then. Now. In any lifetime, and under the brightest of skies.”

Mia Sheridan does it again. The Wish Collector is a story about love, history and curses. The setting is New Orleans with all it’s magic and mysteries swirling about. From the very first page I was swept up into this story. The scenes were ripe with excitement and angst. And with the ghosts from the past they make this story even more mysterious.

Jonah made some wrong choices in his past that drastically changed his future and believes himself unworthy of forgiveness. He remains behind the walls of his home and keeps everyone a part from him. That is until one girl starts showing up at his wall and slowly starts to chisel away at his heart.

He looks like a man who’s been terribly hurt by the world and believes there is nothing left to love about him anymore.

Clara is new to New Orleans and discovers there’s a mystery behind the walls of Windisle plantation. When she goes there to see if she can uncover the truth she finds that there’s more than just ghosts haunting this plantation. Jonah is hiding from his past but she won’t let him. While trying to learn more about Windisle she learns what happened to Jonah and is determined to help him discover his past.

I loved Clara. She’s this tiny ballet dancer but has a fierceness about her. She won’t give up. Jonah is scarred inside and out and she’s the balm that’s needed for healing. When he finally accepts that there’s more he can do besides stalking behind his walls, the world better watch out. Jonah is ready to change it and make it better.

He was beauty and pain, glory and suffering, vengeance and grace, and all the things made stronger and more meaningful because they have an opposite.

~Melpomene
Buy The Wish Collector https://amzn.to/2ztKSU2

Review: The Light Before Day by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The saga continues! Siblings Hetty and Henry love their home on Nantucket, but it all goes topsy turvy when their stern grandmother leaves them her fortune upon her passing – with stipulations, of course.

It was fun to read about how Henry and Hitty wanted to spend their inheritance – and eye opening to watch progress create division among the islanders. I also enjoyed watching that progress – from muddy paths to cobblestone streets, from no safety protocols to lightships and fire supplies. As usual for the Nantucket Legacy books in this series, I learned a few things about the Quaker religion, and how non-Quakers were drawn in to the light and spirituality they saw in the Friends.

My favorite parts of the book were the tender moments between couples who didn’t even consider themselves couples – but as the reader I could see the love between them.

Engaging and entertaining historical fiction, with comedy, tragedy, and a happily ever after.

-calliope

Buy THE LIGHT BEFORE DAY

Review: Driven to Distraction by Lori Foster


It seems like I haven’t read a Lori Foster book in forever. But this is just what I needed. So many books lately have shown strong women, to the point that they don’t need or want any help, but I love the books that show strong women who actually need help.

Mary lives her life alone. Her job is everything to her, she has nothing and no one else. But when she meets Brodie, and has to see him multiple times a week, she realizes that she’s been missing something.

Brodie has been raised to be the strong man and take care of those around him who are smaller and weaker. When he meets Mary, his instincts fire up and protection mode kicks in. trouble is that Mary doesn’t want his help, even though she actually needs it.

I loved how Brodie was able to get through to Mary and show her that she isn’t alone and it’s okay to have help from others. The secondary characters were so loving and wonderful. Everyone is a family, even if they’re not blood related. I love homemade families like that. And I’m looking forward to next books in this series.

~Melpomene

Buy Driven to Distraction https://amzn.to/2RPJ2DH

Review: A Miracle on Hope Street by Emma Heatherington

Everyone loves a Christmas miracle, and though agony-aunt columnist Ruth Ryans has advised many a citizen on how best to obtain theirs, she has no hope for her own. It all started when Ruth’s dad died, and her zest for life, her job and her friends kind of just went kaput.

But a couple of pals unexpectedly lift her up, and Ruth muddles through the letters for her column, realizing that the loneliness of her readers jibes with her own. She tries reaching out to others – and it works, nudging her out of her own head. There’s one big hurdle — finding her mom — and that thread carries throughout most of the book, providing a backbone for the subplots.

This is a feel-good book that gives hope to people missing their loved ones — without being contrived or syrupy sweet. I pegged the ending way back in the mid to early chapters, but that’s okay, because a happily ever after is a happily ever after… and that’s what I’m looking for 6 weeks before Christmas!

By the way, you’ll meet the most beautiful people in this book. My favorites are Gloria – what an angel – and Nicholas, the pianist. They spread joy far and wide, and Emma Heatherington is wonderful for writing them.

-calliope

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Quick Review: Kiss Me at Christmas by Valerie Bowman

I love Christmas. And when you combine that with historical romance, it’s a match made in heaven.

I loved watching Daffin and Regina. They had this connection, from the first time they met, but never acted on it. And when they meet up again it’s under rather embarrassing circumstances that was awkward to watch. But true love has a way of working through embarrassments and making all things right.

I am fairly new to this series. It’s quite fun that these stories are interconnected standalones. Seeing past characters join in make the stories much more enjoyable. And of course when the men step in, to put things to right, it makes me smile.

I can’t wait to read the next book!

~Melpomene

Buy Kiss Me at Christmas https://amzn.to/2z6kIqz

Review: Picture Perfect Cowboy by Tiffany Reisz

A sweet and sexy cowboy who likes to give a little pain with his pleasure? Yes, please!!

I love Jason. He was raised, by his super conservative family, to be a “proper gentleman”. But the downside of that is that he can’t be true to himself. And when he’s filling in for a friend, for a naked photo shoot, he meets the sexiest, and cutest pink haired girl that turns his world upside down. She shows him that what happens between two consenting adults is nothing to be ashamed about and that there is nothing wrong with him.

Simone is a pro sub who never imagined a photo would change her life. But who can deny a sexy cowboy? Definitely not her.

It was fun watching this cowboy fall over for this cute girl. It was hot as he learned how to be more physical with a girl who wants and needs it. I could watch him all day long.

“It is weak to let someone else tell you how to live your life when you know better.”

It was nice to see Søren and Nora make an appearance also. I about swooned when S called Simone “Jellybean”. I mean how sweet is that‽‽ plus we get a bonus chapter with Jason getting flogger lessons from them. They are the best after all.

I will say that I hope a certain friend gets a story soon. I feel like there’s more there and he needs to find someone also. *crossing fingers*

Tiffany Reisz is the master, or I should say mistress, of the sweet and saucy erotica. Whenever I see a new book has released I know that it will be original and keep me begging for more.

~Melpomene

Buy Picture Perfect Cowboy https://amzn.to/2oMSP1a