Tag Archives: Christmas

An O’Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods

Overview
An O'Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods

Title: An O’Brien Family Christmas
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: Chesapeake Shores #8
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 23rd September 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: It’s recently been suggested to me that dating is highly overrated.

Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods takes the O’Briens to Ireland for a family Christmas they’ll never forget!

Dating Matthew O’Brien – a playboy and a younger man – cost Laila Riley her career and her parents’ respect. A high price, even for love – and when Laila decides it was just a fling, she breaks it off, despite Matthew’s objections.

But the O’Brien family has other ideas, and they conspire to get Laila to join them on a Dublin holiday. It’s a great time to get away from it all, but Laila has reservations about the trip. Matthew’s bound to be there, and she’s far from immune. What if she can’t resist temptation?

Meanwhile, the O’Briens are in an uproar over matriarch Nell’s unexpected romance with an old flame. Will she follow her heart, despite the risks? And will Laila discover that some risks are actually once-in-a-lifetime opportunities?

Thoughts

Alright, it’s a little weird reading a Christmas book in December. But I seem to be doing that a bit lately. And, honestly, it mostly works. I think because the whole Christmas spirit thing is around and kicking, regardless of what time of year. And although I’d probably smile a lot more about actual Christmas if I read this at the right time of year… I still loved this romance.

Matthew and Laila came as quite a surprise when it was revealed in Beach Lane. As does the way their story ended on a bit of a cliffhanger in the novel. Which, of course, meant that I just had to pick up An O’Brien Family Christmas immediately. I just HAD to know what was going to happen next.

The weight of parents’ expectations can be intensely difficult. Particularly if they are then weighed against a lack of respect and recognition when you do hold up against their hopes and dreams. I truly felt for Laila throughout this. She was constantly being placed in situations of doubt by her parents. The very people who are supposed to support her. It would have been heart breaking. If not for Matthew, Trace and the rest of the O’Briens rallying about her.

This is yet another beautiful, sweet Chesapeake Shores story. It also sets up the next book (which I believe features Luke and Moira), whilst rounding out Susie and Mack’s story. That, and Nell, the most perfect matriarch gets her own taste of romance. All completely sweet and adorable.

<- Beach LaneThe Summer Garden ->

Image source: Goodreads

Bring Me Home for Christmas by Robyn Carr

Overview
Bring Me Home for Christmas, Virgin River by Robyn Carr | 9780778317630 |  Booktopia

Title: Bring Me Home for Christmas
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #14
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 5th – 8th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Something like maybe we’d better get this settled between us and move on.

Synopsis

Welcome back to VIRGIN RIVER with the books that started it all…

This year, Becca Timm knows the number one item on her Christmas wish list – getting over Denny Cutler. Three years ago Denny broke her heart before heading off to war. It’s time she got over her silly college relationship and moved on.

So she takes matters into her own hands and heads up to Virgin River, the rugged little mountain town that Denny calls home, as an uninvited guest on her brother’s men-only hunting weekend. But when an accident turns her impromptu visit into an extended stay, Becca finds herself stranded in Virgin River. With Denny. In very close quarters.

As the power of Christmas envelops the little town, Becca discovers that the boy she once loved has become a strong and confident man. And the most delicious Christmas present she can imagine.

Thoughts

Denny’s story was something that came a little put of left field in Wild Man Creek. It was incredibly unexpected, but you immediately fall for the happy, easygoing young lad. I didn’t realise that Bring Me Home for Christmas would be about him. But when I realised that it would be… oh, my heart melted.

Becca is a great female lead. She has so much gumption and independence. The fact that she tricks her brother into doing what she wants to start her whole adventure just made me love her even more. She is so fun and independent. And the perfect woman to go toe to toe with Denny.

I was expecting there to be a bit more of a hang up with Becca’s current boyfriend. But, that whole relationship just kind of… dissolved neatly. It was pretty much no hurdle at all. I’m not even entirely sure why he was there as a plot line. But, it still worked and the angst really wasn’t there. So I suppose it’s not too bad.

This is yet another beautiful Virgin River Christmas story. Its simple and sweet. About two people finding their happily ever after, but also about community spirit and supporting one another. Its always the kind of story that just makes you want to live in a small mountain town in a great community.

<- Harvest MoonHidden Summit ->

Image source: Booktopia

A Chesapeake Shores Christmas by Sherryl Woods

Overview
A Chesapeake Shores Christmas, Chesapeake Shores Novel by Sherryl Woods |  9780778312628 | Booktopia

Title: A Chesapeake Shores Christmas
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: Chesapeake Shores #4
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 30th June – 3rd July 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Lawrence chuckled.

Synopsis

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Sherryl Woods brings the O’Brien family home for a heartwarming Christmas…

After years apart, Mick and Megan O’Brien are finally ready to make it official… again. Most of their grown children couldn’t be happier about their rekindled love and impending marriage this holiday season. Only Connor is a holdout. Driven to become a divorce attorney after what he views as his mother’s abandonment of their family, Connor’s not about to give his blessing to this reunion romance

The last thing Megan wants to do is hurt her family again. After all, is she really sure she and Mick can make it this time around? And when an unexpected delivery causes chaos, it seems only a miracle can reunite this family.

Of course, it II is II Christmas – the season of miracles.

Thoughts

This was one of those fun, cute and easy reads. It’s been a while since I’ve visited Chesapeake Shores (because I didn’t have any more of the books, rectifying that situation immediately). So it was nice to just slip right back in… like putting on a well loved coat.

Megan and Mick are a good lead for the chaotic of the family of O’Briens. I enjoyed their reconciliation and how it kind of closed off the first three siblings with their happily ever afters. All the while setting up the next two Chesapeake Shores books perfectly.

I may have read this Christmas story in the middle of the year… but I do always love a good Christmas tale. They just have this extra layer of hope that always seems to surround the season. It’s that feeling of family and together-ness that Woods is able to capture in this story. The story becomes less about Megan and Mick, more about family. Connor and Megan in particular.

This was such a happy feel good book. One I very much enjoyed. And one that was a great reminder of how much I love my family. And Sherryl Wood’s romances.

<- Harbor LightsDriftwood Cottage ->

Image source: Booktopia

Oklahoma Christmas Blues by Maggie Shayne

Overview
Oklahoma Christmas Blues (The McIntyre Men, #1) by Maggie Shayne

Title: Oklahoma Christmas Blues
Author: Maggie Shayne
Series: Bliss in Big Falls #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 18th – 24th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: eBook, Novella
Publisher: Thunderfoot Publishing Inc.
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: How the heck do you know that?

Synopsis

Darryl is on a quest for peace. His chance at fatherhood was taken from him long ago, and an IED in Iraq ensured he’d never get another. In Big Falls, the McIntyre brothers hire him to keep an eye on their beautiful cousin Sophie in case her criminal ex shows up. He doesn’t expect to fall head over heels.

Sophie McIntyre’s life was blown apart by a drug dealing ex who cost her her job and nearly her medical license. She comes to Big Falls because she has nowhere else to go. And the minute she gets there, things start to get better.

Is it because of that letter to Santa her Aunt Vidalia convinced her to write?

Within days she meets a beautiful man with a deeply wounded soul. And oddly, she finds herself giving him the same advice the town Santa gave to her—try believing again, and if it’s too much to believe, then just try hoping.

Love, magic, and miracles ensue.

Because this is Big Falls, Oklahoma. Miracles are an everyday occurrence around here. Especially at Christmastime.

Thoughts

This is an incredibly cutesy and easy read. It’s simple, fun and just all round enjoyable. Just the kind of thing to read on the kobo late at night. The fact that it has the backdrop of Christmas and a gorgeous little town… well, that made everything all that much better for my happiness.

I really enjoyed how Sophia found her own place in a new world that she’s created. It’s hard to start over and carve out your own reality, and Sophia’s ability to do so is a thing to behold. There are also all of the wonderful little miracles that help her along the way…

This story is all about romance and Christmas miracles. It was a bit of a weird time of year to be reading this… but I really liked the way that miracles and that feeling of hope were inspired throughout this story. It was all very good fun and incredibly… innocent.

I struggle with reading ebooks. But this is one that I enjoyed. And I’ll definitely be adding more of the series to my wish list… I can’t wait to see what else happens in Big Falls!

<- More Maggie ShayneOklahoma Moonshine ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Bite Before Christmas by Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost

Overview
The Bite Before Christmas Large Print :HarperCollins Australia

Title: The Bite Before Christmas
Author: Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost
In: The Bite Before Christmas (Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Paranormal fantasy, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 20th – 26th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: He’d worked with Mabel to try to find Elvi a mate, had planned and arranged local fairs with Elvi.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

This holiday season, two of today’s most popular paranormal authors invite you into their worlds—where creatures are always stirring . . . and no one sleeps through the night.

Thoughts

I was surprised that this “collection” only contained two novellas. I had half expected it to have more like most of the other collections of this varietal. But somehow it just worked perfectly. I love that both stories are Christmas vampire stories. That they feature long nights and a whole lot of love. And lust. Because there should always be some lust involved…

Both of these stories are so different from one another. The Gift is a beautiful, slow burn romance that leaves you feeling very happy, and just a little bit tingly. Home for the Holidays on the other hand is a little bit more of an action-packed story. One that constantly gets your heart racing and leaves you turning the pages at record speed.

These two novellas were wonderful Christmas stories. They were fun and intriguing. Engaging and definitely a collection that I will be reading again and again in the future.

<- Home for the HolidaysThe Gift ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

Tied With a Bow by Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks & Kimberly Frost

Overview
Tied With a Bow

Title: Tied with a Bow
Author: Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks & Kimberly Frost
In: Tied with a Bow (Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks & Kimberly Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Paranormal romance, Short story collections
Dates read: 18th – 26th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Her face, her chest, her whole body burned with humiliation and frustrated desire.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

For the holidays, giving can bring as much pleasure as receiving.

Come, as these four bestselling authors invite you to savour the sweet anticipation of unwrapping these never-before-published novellas of searing sexuality, rapturous romance, and paranormal pairings.

Experience the feral fire of #1 New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra’s tale of the Children of the Air. Explore the outer limits of carnal craving in USA Today bestselling author Eileen Wilks’s world of the lupi, and enter national bestselling author Kimberly Frost’s all-new world of desire and devotion.

As intimate as they are imaginative, these unique holiday stories reveal the flush of surprise and joy when the most unexpected package turns out to be just what you always craved…

Thoughts

I had assumed from the cover of this book that this was going to be heavily Christmassy. It wasn’t. there were hints of the holidays throughout. And for some of the story, this was much more than a hint. But, ultimately, it had just enough Christmas feeling that it was a great read in the holidays when I was feeling very uninspired by the holiday season.

Of the holiday anthologies that I read this year this was most certainly the most lustful one. It was deliciously fun and wonderfully toe tingling. There was also the usual tales of love and romance. But, for me, I loved this collection because of the erotic aspects of the storyline. Not so much the sappy love stories. I had other collections for that.

Tied with a Bow is a great collection. One that takes place in a couple of series and worlds that I already love. And took me to a few new realities that I haven’t had the pleasure of adding to my shelves yet. The perfect mix for any anthology that I have on my shelves. A mix of startling new discoveries, and wonderful old favourites.

<- An Inconvenient MateUpon a Midnight Clear ->

Image source: Amazon

The Night Before Christmas by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Kathy Love, Jill Shalvis, Kylie Adams & Katherine Garbera

Overview
The Night Before Christmas by Lori Foster

Title: The Night Before Christmas
Author: Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Kathy Love, Jill Shalvis, Kylie Adams & Katherine Garbera
In: The Night Before Christmas (Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Kathy Love, Jill Shalvis, Kylie Adams & Katherine Garbera)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romanceShort story collections
Dates read: 17th – 26th December 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: “Why, for God’s sake?”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Tis the night before Christmas and all through the house, things are definitely stirring… because if you’re going to wait up for Santa, you might as well have some very sexy company…

“White Knight Christmas” is by “New York Times” bestselling author Lori Foster.
Officer Parker Ross hates Christmas; Lily Donaldson lives for it. She’s determined to introduce him to the pleasures of the season, and he’s looking forward to being deliciously converted…

“Snowed Under” is by Erin McCarthy.
Justin Fairbanks has always been attracted to Claire Robbins. When she gets soaked by a snowplough and asks him to help remove her wet clothes, well, what sane man could possibly say no?

“Ms. Humbug” is by Jill Shalvis.
Wild, daring, a complete rebel, Matt is the man no woman can tame – until he kisses his nemesis, Cami, at the office holiday party, and suddenly, all bets are off…and running…

“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is by Kathy Love. Seven years ago, Rob Marsten chose work over the love of his life, Erica. Now, a snowstorm and a car rental mix-up leads to a reunion, and this time, Rob will show Erica exactly how much he wants her…

“Seducing Scrooge” is by Katherine Garbera
It’s Christmas Eve, and workaholic Jackson Peters is annoyed that his staff has left early. Only Krista Miller is still there, but from the look on her face, she doesn’t seem to have work on her mind…

“The Good Girl’s Guide To A Very Bad Christmas” is by Kylie Adams
Peri Knight has had it with being good. She’s made a list of her top five sexiest fantasies, and in the week before Christmas, she’s going to live out every single one…

Thoughts

I read a few Christmas anthologies at the same point at the end of 2020, and this was most definitely the sweetest of them. It was very cutesy. And kind of completely adorable. There is something hopeful about Christmas Eve, or the night before Christmas. Something that always feels filled with potential. I feel like it never truly is… but it always feels like it could be.

I only knew two of the authors when I started this collection. It was a lovely, pleasant surprise when I discovered the other four. I’ll most definitely have to do some research and add some more of their books to my wish list. Not that I really need to add any more to my wish list… considering how damn big and kind of out of control that thing is…

The Night Before Christmas helped to cure a little bit of that humbug in me and remind me what it is about Christmas that I normally love. It was filled with more cute and sweet stories than lustful ones. And was just generally a seriously enjoyable and easy way to spend a few nights in the lead up to the festive season.

<- The Good Girl’s Guide to a Very Bad ChristmasWhite Knight Christmas ->

Image source: Goodreads

Jingle Bell Rock by Lori Foster, Janelle Denison, Susan Donovan, Donna Kauffman, Alison Kent & Nancy Warren

Overview
Image result for jingle bell rockbook cover

Title: Jingle Bell Rock
Author: Lori Foster, Janelle Denison, Susan Donovan, Donna Kauffman, Alison Kent & Nancy Warren
In: Jingle Bell Rock (Lori Foster, Janelle Denison, Susan Donovan, Donna Kauffman, Alison Kent & Nancy Warren)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romanceShort story collections
Dates read: 17th – 26th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: He had the hotel employee set the packages on the floor in the living room, then tipped him generously for his time, service, and just because it was the giving season.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Skip the mistletoe – you won’t need it after you indulge in these six tempting tales of romance filled with the sort of naughty-but-oh-so-nice men who make the season so bright it’s downright hot…

He See You When You’re Sleeping – Lori Foster
What Booker Dean wants for Christmas isn’t under the tree, it’s right next door. Frances Kennedy is everything Booker desires…and the gift he has planned for her involves a lot of delicious unwrapping…

All She Wants for Christmas – Janelle Denison
When sexy pediatrician Matthew Carlton plays Santa, pulling Faith Roberts on his lap, he has no idea what’s on her Christmas wish list…or how much he’ll enjoy fulfilling every bit of it…

Turning Up the Heat – Susan Donovan
Being stood up on Christmas Eve is bad enough, but now Valerie’s furnace is broken, too. Good thing that sexy repairman is available to raise the temperature dramatically…

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Donna Kauffman
It’s been ten years since Suzanna York left Jace Morgan. Now, as fate reunites them during a holiday snowstorm, they’ll have plenty of time to discover that distance only sharpens certain hungers…

A Blue Christmas – Alison Kent
Thomas “Blue” Miller never expected to see Jessie Buchanan on his Christmas Tree farm again. But now that she’s here, he’s ready to show her exactly what she’s been missing…

The Nutcracker Sweet – Nancy Warren
Co-workers Daniel and Tara couldn’t hate each other more. So when they end up as Secret Santa partners, it’s a perfect chance for revenge and a dare that just may ignite the steamiest night of their lives…

Thoughts

What a fun and glorious little collection. Jingle Bell Rock is filled with six wonderful novellas that remind you that around Christmas time…anything is possible.

These are incredibly light-hearted and fun novellas. They feature people from all walks of life. People with different goals, desires and love. The thing that unites them all? Love and the festive season.

This year, I really needed something to get me feeling a little more of that holiday spirit. So I picked up a collection of anthologies off my shelves which feature Christmas and the holidays. This was most certainly one of the sweetest and cutest of the collections. There was a little bit of lust, but, ultimately I loved the fact that this was just so incredibly cute.

<- The Nutcracker SweetHe Sees You When You’re Sleeping ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Good Girl’s Guide to a Very Bad Christmas by Kylie Adams

Overview
The Night Before Christmas by Lori Foster

Title: The Good Girl’s Guide to a Very Bad Christmas
Author: Kylie Adams
In: The Night Before Christmas (Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Kathy Love, Jill Shalvis, Kylie Adams & Katherine Garbera)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novella
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: Chase gestured to the bar.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Peri Knight has had it with being good. She’s made a list of her top five sexiest fantasies, and in the week before Christmas, she’s going to live out every single one…

Thoughts

There’s nothing like having a crush on someone and thinking that they don’t even notice you. Particularly if said person is just gorgeous and dreamy. I love that this story features such a cute little love story. But with that extra splash of Christmas, and the idea that the love interest also helps the lead female to get a job. I mean, show much more delicious can it get?

This was a really fun way to round out the The Night Before Christmas collection. It’s funny, enjoyable and light. Plus, it kind of wraps up all the fun of the collection. All of the stories in this are light and fun. Enjoyable and seriously cute. There isn’t much lust throughout any of them, and The Good Girl’s Guide to a Very Bad Christmas most definitely reflects the tone from the rest of the book.

This might not have been my favourite Christmas novella of 2020, but it was most certainly fun and unique. I love how each chapter was prefaced with a snippet of script, a newspaper article, an email. Something to give further context to what’s happening in the chapter, without giving anything away.

<- Seducing ScroogeThe Night Before Christmas ->

Image source: Goodreads

An Inconvenient Mate by Lora Leigh

Overview
Tied With a Bow

Title: An Inconvenient Mate
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #17.5
In: Tied with a Bow (Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks & Kimberly Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, EroticaParanormal romance, Romantic suspense
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Sometimes, to protect others you love, you have no choice but to put on a brave face and hide your horror or your pain to ensure the protection of others.

Synopsis

Isabelle Martinez was instantly fascinated by the sexy Coyote Breed she met at the bar, but her sensual flirtation with him was cut short when she saw the man who’d attacked her arrive at the bar.

Breed enforcer Malachi Morgan was entranced by Isabelle’s mix of shyness and boldness, and he was determined to chase and play with his sensual prey. But he could tell she’d been hurt before by a man, and he vowed that Isabelle was now his to protect and love, even as if it meant going against her family and his orders.

Thoughts

I always find the Breeds stories a little bit intense. I mean, Leigh is a master of erotic penmanship. But then, every time I read a novella in this series, I can’t help but race to pick up the next book in the series and get myself all hot and bothered again. There is just something… incomparable to this series. And An Inconvenient Mate is no different.

This was my first introduction to the Coyote Breeds. I’m completely intrigued, and can’t wait to get into Soul Deep, the first novel in the series which focuses on the Coyote Breeds. I love how they are formulated and created in this world. It is very different to all of the shapeshifter lore I have sunk my own literary teeth into.

Ultimately, this was a fantastic, wonderful story. One that I will probably reread when I get up to that point in the series. It is wonderfully lustful, and yet kind of sweet. There is something about the idea of a perfect mate that makes me smile. I didn’t really get a Christmassy vibe from this. But I did most definitely get one of love.

<- Human ErrorTied with a Bow ->

Image source: Amazon