Tag Archives: Contemporary romance

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

I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Kathy Love

Overview
The Night Before Christmas by Lori Foster

Title: I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Author: Kathy Love
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: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: But he just nodded and bowed his tall frame into the small waters, wincing.

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

Synopsis

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…

Thoughts

This has a very simple, easy going Meet Cute feeling to it. Alright, it’s not quite a Meet Cute, since this isn’t the first time that the two leads have actually met. But it still has that seriously wonderful RomCom feel to it. The kind that you just absorb in the Festive Season… because I’m not really sure why.

I must admit, that although he does eventually grow on me, Rob is not my favourite character in the world. He’s honestly kind of a dick. And, although he admits his failings and the ways in which he’s a dickhead, he still doesn’t make me feel all that endearingly towards him. There is just something… not my favourite about him. And therefore a little bit about Erica, because she takes the fool back.

These two may not be my favourite holiday couple of the year, but they do work together. And I did seriously like this story, just not enough to rant and rave about its awesomeness. But that’s alright, because I would still read it again.

<- Ms. HumbugSeducing Scrooge ->

Image source: Goodreads

A Blue Christmas by Alison Kent

Overview
Image result for jingle bell rockbook cover

Title: A Blue Christmas
Author: Alison Kent
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 romance
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: She knew he’d heard her join him, but he didn’t even look around when she made her request.

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

Synopsis

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…

Thoughts

Reuniting with lost love ones seems to be a bit of a theme throughout the Christmas novellas I read for 2020. And this novella was no exception. You knew that the two would end up together by the end but discovering the whys and how’s of their past. And how they are going to get over the bitterness of rejection… again, that was just a little bit different.

Whilst I’m enjoying pretty much all of the Christmas novellas I’ve been browsing over lately. I did prefer the personalities of Blue and Jessie a little more. Mostly because Jessie is an incredibly go-getter, one that had me smiling and laughing throughout. There is something wonderful about a woman who is unafraid to go for what she wants. Even if she knows she’ll probably regret it in the future.

The thing about this novella that I love the most is that it drives home the fact that you really shouldn’t let go of the people you love. Alright, there’s a happy ending in spite of the fact in this, but I always find it tragic that the leads have gone 10 years without one another. That just feels like such wasted time, something I’m just not willing to risk.

<- Baby, It’s Cold OutsideThe Nutcracker Sweet ->

Image source: Goodreads

Ms. Humbug by Jill Shalvis

Overview
The Night Before Christmas by Lori Foster

Title: Ms. Humbug
Author: Jill Shalvis
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: 24th December 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novella
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: “You.”

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

Synopsis

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…

Thoughts

This was such a great Christmas novella. Not that I’ve ever been to a work Christmas party, but this one sounded like great fun. And a great way to begin a relationship. Or at least, it is when it’s in a novella and there is all sorts of potential in the air. I’m not so sure about what it would truly be like in reality, but isn’t that the reason that we read?

I didn’t really get the title containing humbug for this story. I was expecting someone who was just totally anti-Christmas. But Cami in this story really isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not exactly Christmassy, but she’s also not grinchy. I wanted a little more resistance to the whole Christmas thing in this story, but it all worked out alright in the end.

This was, honestly a fairly typical Christmas, contemporary romance novella. It was cute, sweet and kick. A pleasant read. And one that I wouldn’t mind revisiting next Christmas, but also nothing ground shaking and impossible to forget.

<- Snowed UnderI’ll Be Home for Christmas ->

Image source: Goodreads

Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Donna Kauffman

Overview
Image result for jingle bell rockbook cover

Title: Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Author: Donna Kauffman
Series: Men of Rogue’s Hollow #1
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 romance
Dates read: 24th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: They hadn’t pawed.

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

Synopsis

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…

Thoughts

This is such a wonderfully cute and sweet reconciliation story. There’s a bit of a tragic backstory to Jace and Suzanna, but somehow there isn’t any kind of bittersweet feeling to this storyline. Which somewhat surprised me. After all, teenage sweethearts suddenly losing contact with each other, and not seeing each other for ten years? That kind of sucks. Actually, it really, seriously, and truly sucks if I’m being honest… so I was surprised that this was such a light-hearted and enjoyable story. Filled with that extra bit of lust.

I loved the premise of this story in that the four Morgan brothers are returning to their home and facing their demons. It’s the kind of introduction to a series that I generally lap up completely. So I can’t wait to not only add more of these stories to my shelves… but also I just loved this great introduction to a fun new world.

This story is kind of sweet, but mostly I just love that it’s got a lot of lust and forgiveness in it. I don’t know if I could be brave like Jace or Suzanna, and it’s such a hopeful story. one that warmed my Grinch-like heart at Christmas.

<- Turning Up the HeatA Blue Christmas ->

Image source: Goodreads

Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Overview
BOOK REVIEW & EXCERPT: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh : Natasha is a Book  Junkie | Romance Book Blog

Title: Cherish Hard
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceSport
Dates read: 22nd – 23rd December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Nalini Singh
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Still, she couldn’t stop second-guessing herself as Sailor led her out of the house through a side entrance that opened out into a small, manicured garden.

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

Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh kicks off her new Hard Play contemporary romance series with a sizzling story that’ll leave you smiling…

Sailor Bishop has only one goal for his future – to create a successful landscaping business. No distractions allowed. Then he comes face-to-face and lips-to-lips with a woman who blushes like an innocent… and kisses like pure sin.

Ísa Rain craves a man who will cherish her, aches to create a loving family of her own. Trading steamy kisses with a hot gardener in a parking lot? Not the way to true love. Then a deal with the devil (aka her CEO-mother) makes Ísa a corporate VP for the summer. Her main task? Working closely with a certain hot gardener.

And Sailor Bishop has wickedness on his mind.

As Ísa starts to fall for a man who makes her want to throttle and pounce on him at the same time, she knows she has to choose – play it safe and steady, or risk all her dreams and hope Sailor doesn’t destroy her heart.

Thoughts

I’ve been hanging to get to the Hard Play novels ever since I read Rock Hard. After all, Gabe is absolutely drool-worthy. And the brief glimpses you get into his family are absolutely brilliant… they’re such a beautifully, wonderfully close knit group that I can’t help but feel I would love to be a part of. Which left me grinning when I finally managed to get around to this novel.

Isa has such a sad little backstory. She’s most definitely the kind of girl that is searching for love and family. And, although she’s often described as a little shy, I loved her backbone and gumption throughout this. She may not be the most outgoing person, but she’s definitely able to stand up for the people that she loves. And, as Sailor quickly finds out for himself throughout their love story, she’s more than capable of standing up for herself.

I’ve not read very many stories in which the lead male is actually a few years younger than the woman he falls for. It’s not really such a well-known / accepted trope. Which meant that having Sailor a few years younger than Isa left me feeling very happy and content. I love storylines that feature couples who aren’t exactly within the normal limits that we place on society. And the age difference in this was pretty much negligible and reminded us all that you can find love no matter what your differences.

Isa and Sailor are a fantastic couple. Throughout this novel, they both decide to sacrifice things they didn’t think they would give up. They both grow together, and ultimately find a new, better version of happily ever after. Then, there’s the hints of Nayna and Raj’s relationship which are making me seriously keen to pick up Rebel Hard

<- More Nalini SinghRebel Hard ->

Image source: Natasha is a Book Junkie

Snowed Under by Erin McCarthy

Overview
The Night Before Christmas by Lori Foster

Title: Snowed Under
Author: Erin McCarthy
In: The Night Before Christmas (Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Kathy Love, Jill Shalvis, Kylie Adams & Katherine Garbera)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 22nd December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: I mean, the whole building was glass.

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

Synopsis

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?

Thoughts

Everyone has a teenage crush that the sometimes wonder “what if?” And although mine chopped and changed a lot, I like the way that in this story, the couple have always been more than a little sweet on each other. But they’ve waited until they’re grown enough to actually enjoy their courtship. After all, what is okay as an adult, is kind of icky for a child…

This story was seriously fun from beginning to end. It was a little bit humorous, and a whole lot enjoyable. I also loved Claire’s go-get-them attitude. After all, she figures out exactly what she wants (Justin in her bed), and just goes for it. I have experience working around men who are kind of difficult and annoying to shift into the decisions that you want, so I completely adored Claire’s methodology.

Snowed Under is fun and very, very enjoyable. It’s a nice novella that makes you believe in true love and just generally enjoy the process of a romance developing. It’s incredibly cute, and most definitely a novella that I will read again.

<- White Knight ChristmasMs. Humbug ->

Image source: Goodreads

Turning Up the Heat by Susan Donovan

Overview
Image result for jingle bell rockbook cover

Title: Turning Up the Heat
Author: Susan Donovan
In: Jingle Bell Rock (Lori Foster, Janelle Denison, Susan Donovan, Donna Kauffman, Alison Kent & Nancy Warren)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 22nd December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: The walls were caving in.

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

Synopsis

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…

Thoughts

At first, it did take me a little bit to get into this story. Mostly because I didn’t quite understand how the couple in this could go from zero to lust in pretty much no time at all. Particularly when there is pretty much no talking, and very little emotional discussion throughout this story. And then, at the completion of this story, I understood why it goes that quickly, and it becomes a beautifully and wonderfully romantic tale.

I love that this story has a whole happily ever after / perfect couple feel to it at the end. Plus, there is a heck of a lot of lust throughout this story. I love how Donovan is able to make you feel a little naughty whilst reading this, whilst also being very vague. It just lends everything to the imagination, which makes it all that more enjoyable and happier.

I can’t really rant and rave about how much I enjoyed this story without giving away the twist at the end. So, suffice it to say, that this was a great and amazing novella. One that didn’t necessarily make me think all that much about Christmas. But did certainly make me think about what makes a perfect relationship.

<- All She Wants for ChristmasBaby, It’s Cold Outside ->

Image source: Goodreads

All She Wants for Christmas by Janelle Denison

Overview
Image result for jingle bell rockbook cover

Title: All She Wants for Christmas
Author: Janelle Denison
Series: Wilde #1.1
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 romance
Dates read: 19th December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Brava
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: “Is Tracy your only sibling?”

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

Synopsis

When sexy paediatrician 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…

Thoughts

I absolutely adored this novella. It was all about letting go and accepting your feelings. And lust. There was also lots and lots of lust. Which I feel like it kind of important in a contemporary romance story if I’m being honest.

I’ve never really thought of Santa as an attractive or sexy character. After all, he’s… well, Santa. But, in this story… he somehow gains a bit of sex appeal and gorgeousness that I just wasn’t expecting. I’m still not sure that I would proposition Santa like the lead woman in this story does, but I most certainly found the idea fun and entertaining.

All in all, I really, really enjoyed this novella. A bit like One Wilde Weekend, I found this fun, engaging and very, very cute. Also a little lustful and sinful. Which, honestly, is what I love in a good contemporary romance.

<- He Sees You When You’re SleepingTurning Up the Heat ->

Image source: Goodreads