Tag Archives: Christmas

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

The Nutcracker Sweet by Nancy Warren

Overview
Image result for jingle bell rockbook cover

Title: The Nutcracker Sweet
Author: Nancy Warren
In: Jingle Bell Rock (Lori Foster, Janelle Denison, Susan Donovan, Donna Kauffman, Alison Kent & Nancy Warren)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: He stomped two steps to her door and turned back as though an invisible rope had yanked him.

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

Synopsis

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

This was cute, fun and quirky. The kind of novella that was very quick and easily read. And left me smiling. But not necessarily one that I would read again and again and again. After all, it’s just an easy read. Not one that is earth-shatteringly amazing.

I loved the feeling of sexual tension throughout this whole story. Daniel and Tara have sparks flying from the very beginning. My favourite thing to do is argue with my partner on a frequent basis and know that I have one person in my life that I don’t have to hold back on. That definitely seems to be the case with this couple. And combine that with the lust and sexuality of the story? Wow, it worked… a little too well.

Tara as a “nutcracker” / ball buster made me very, very happy. I always love stories that feature a strong, independent woman. One who is unafraid to lay it all out there and take everyone on. The fact that she continues to be this way, even after she realises she loves Daniel… most definitely the kind of woman that I like to feature in my romances.

<- A Blue ChristmasJingle Bell Rock ->

Image source: Goodreads

Seducing Scrooge by Katherine Garbera

Overview
The Night Before Christmas by Lori Foster

Title: Seducing Scrooge
Author: Katherine Garbera
In: The Night Before Christmas (Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Kathy Love, Jill Shalvis, Kylie Adams & Katherine Garbera)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novella
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: “Not anymore than I do Santa Claus.”

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

Synopsis

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…

Thoughts

This story was alright. I would probably read it again next Christmas, but that has more to do with the fact that it’s kind of eh and forgettable than the fact that I would actually look forward to it. There was just something… not quite as awesome about this novella. Particularly when compared to some of the other Christmas novellas I’ve read this season.

That being said, I did still enjoy this story. I like the idea of trying to get someone to be excited about the Christmas period. I mean, after all, it’s what I tend to do with my partner every year. The fact that it thus far hasn’t happened in real life but did happen in the novella may be a reason why I feel a bit “eh” about this story. It sucks when a literary character can do something that you’ve been trying to do for years.

All in all, this was a fun contemporary romance. It was enjoyable and cute. With just enough sass to make it interesting. A nice, easy read for the insanity of the Festive Season.

<- I’ll Be Home for ChristmasThe Good Girl’s Guide to a Very Bad Christmas ->

Image source: Goodreads

Human Error by Eileen Wilks

Overview
Tied With a Bow

Title: Human Error
Author: Eileen Wilks
Series: World of the Lupi #8.5
In: Tied with a Bow (Lora Leigh, Virginia Kantra, Eileen Wilks & Kimberly Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Animagus, Christmas, Paranormal romance
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: That is not the same thing as can’t.

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

Synopsis

Benedict is finally meeting the family of his life mate. All he wants is to make a good impression over Yule. But things most definitely don’t go as planned.

Thoughts

I’ve read this a touch early in my read through of the World of the Lupi series. But, considering I read this around Christmas, I am most definitely glad that I did start it kind of early. There was something about the idea of a Yule celebration, family and all sorts of typical mayhem breaking free that made me absolutely inhale this story. It was great, fun and had just the right amount of lust and sweetness to leave me feeling happy and content.

Reading this early means that it has been revealed a little earlier than I would like that Benedict finds himself a Life Mate. But, I love them both anyway, so I look forward to how this actually happens in either Blood Challenge or Death Magic. I know how nerve wracking it can be to bring someone home, hope that he’ll be accepted and wanted. The fact that the stakes are higher for these two, and Benedict is trying so damn hard to fit in… well, it made me love all of this all that much more.

The blend of Wicca, Christmas and Native American mythology was surprising. In the best way possible. I love when there is a blend of mythologies in a story that I didn’t quite expect but find that I seriously enjoy. This definitely did that for me. It also made me feel like picking up Blood Challenge as soon as feasible… although I swore I would try not to have a huge pile of unread books next to me at the turn of the year…

<- First LightAn Inconvenient Mate ->

Image source: Amazon