Tag Archives: Contemporary

The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

Overview
The Player and the Pixie (Rugby, #2) by L.H. Cosway

Title: The Player and the Pixie
Author: L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
Series: Rugby #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceSport
Dates read: 25th – 28th January 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: And far too pitiful, aggrandizing, and introspective.

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Synopsis

How can someone so smokin’ hot be so bad in bed? I mean, Sean Cassidy is absolute rubbish. RUBBISH. He is the epitome of walking, talking false advertising and I want a refund! Plus he’s an arsehold. So… what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about him?

THE PIXIE

Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby.
As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

THE PLAYER

Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone.
His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard body make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sea has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

THE PLAN

Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world – and Lucy’s big brother in particular – that this is the real deal?

Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.

Thoughts

As with everything that involves Penny Reid, I was hooked from the very first moment of this story. The fact that it also introduced a new author to my happy little brain whilst taking me into this fun new world… it just made me much, much happier. I love that both Sean and Lucy appear to be a little mainstream… but end up being completely, totally and utterly unique, with some very fun little compulsions…

This may be the first romance that I’ve ever read which features a man who isn’t good in bed. The fact that he’s a player, sexy and just ridiculously well known for all of his conquests… well, it just made everything so much better. I love that Sean has absolutely no idea what he’s doing and ends up being the more vulnerable and kind of sappy one out of the couple. Which, you would think, would make him a bit of a less dreamy lead character. But, somehow it doesn’t. There is still something ridiculously drool worthy and dreamy about the character that still continues to pull you in.

The other aspect of this story that was a whole new experience for me was the fact that this tale features a kleptomaniac. Again, it’s a feature in a character that I’ve never come across. One that worked beautifully and gave Lucy a whole heap of new vulnerabilities that left me smiling. It also highlights how unhealthy some relationships with family members can be – and how we can struggle to manage them. I know that I have my own compulsions when I’m struggling, so it was lovely to read about someone who was kind of worse than me.

I pretty much inhaled this book. Actually, my partner tried to talk to me a few times whilst reading this, and I’m not entirely sure that he got any kind of response out of me. It’s just that good. You fall in love with Lucy and Sean from the beginning. You feel all of their emotions. And you just… enjoy the whole journey. From the very beginning to the very ending.

<- The Hooker and the HermitThe Cad and the Co-Ed ->

Image source: Goodreads

Kissing Tolstoy by Penny Reid

Overview
Kissing Tolstoy (Dear Professor, #1) by Penny Reid

Title: Kissing Tolstoy
Author: Penny Reid
Series: Dear Professor #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves:  Contemporary, Contemporary romanceRomance
Dates read: 25th January 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: I couldn’t bring myself to look at him again, so I directed a short wave at the room.

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

Synopsis

What do you do when you discover that your super-hot blind date from months ago is now your super-hot Russian Lit professor?

You overthink everything and pray for a swift end to your misery, of course!

Thoughts

I fell stupid, crazy in love with this novel. Like, completely, totally and utterly head over heels for it. Not only was it fun and brilliant. But, as with every one of Reid’s books, the characters were a little quirky and impossible not to love. Particularly Anna with her slightly zany and very unique outlook on life. And Luca? Oh my goodness! Completely drool worthy! (Nobody look at my book… there are drool stains through the pages).

Every time I read a story that features academia, I kind of want to return to that world. Although, this is a perfect way in which to return without having all of the crap that actually comes alongside a life in the area. It’s a great window into a world that is seriously intense and complex. One that is fascinating and intriguing. The fact that it’s the setting for this book, and series, but not really a feature of it left me thinking of all of those wonderful positives. Whilst not dwelling on any of the negatives.

This is one of those stories in which things seem to go wrong, one thing after the other. That no matter what Anna tries to do, she’s drawn into Luca’s orbit and just isn’t quite sure how she got there. But, she wants to stay. It’s got that fate kind of feel to it that makes you think that those who are meant to be together will be, even if they’re not quite sure how to go about it. Which, honestly is the kind of thing that I love in a good romance – that feeling of inevitability that lends itself to a happily ever after.

All in all this was a fantastic, fun and impossible to put down book. I completely fell in love with it and don’t know that it is one that I will forget anytime soon. I most definitely can’t wait to sink my literary teeth into Dear Galileo now!!!

<- More Penny ReidKissing Galileo ->

Image source: Goodreads

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Overview
Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel eBook: McQuiston, Casey: Amazon.com.au:  Kindle Store

Title: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance, LGBTQI
Dates read: 9th – 24th January 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: Shaan almost called in the sniffer dogs.

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

Synopsis

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President of the United States, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius – his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with an actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex / Henry altercation, U.S. / British relations take a turn for the worse

Heads of family and state and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: Stage a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instagrammable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the presidential campaign and upend two nations. It raises the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?

Thoughts

I bought this on an impulse because one of the book bloggers I love to follow had it on their reviews last year and said it was awesome. And you know what? They weren’t wrong! This book is amazing and wonderful. Unforgettable and left me feeling super happy, calm and complete. The kind of book that I will most definitely read again and again as the years go by.

I love that not only is this novel a romance, but it’s also a coming-of-age story. In a pretty major way. The whole time throughout this story, Alex is not only falling in love with Henry, but he’s also having to figure out his own identity and nonsense. That’s not exactly an easy feat. Making this an even mor amazing and impossible to forget story. Or at least, that’s what it was like for me – I love how Alex is constantly having new revelations and realisations throughout.

Reading this novel coming out of the shenanigans of what has been happening in America felt… time worthy. It felt poignant and perfectly timed. And, although I still know next to nothing about American politics, it did help to give me a little insight into some of the horrors that the poor Americans have been dealing with. Or at least, that’s how it felt. It highlighted the horrors, but also did so in a optimistic and somewhat positive manner.

All in all, I absolutely loved this novel. I can’t wait until McQuiston’s next book, One Last Stand comes out and takes it place on my shelves. There is something optimistic and brutally honest about McQuiston’s writing that draws you in completely from the beginning. It is impossible not to feel connected to both Alex and Henry as they try and negotiate their very public lives. And, just generally, leaves you feeling light, hopeful and believing in true love as you turn that final page.

<- One Last StopMore Casey McQuiston ->

Image source: Amazon

Otherhood by William Sutcliffe

Overview
Otherhood: William Sutcliffe: Bloomsbury Publishing

Title: Otherhood
Author: William Sutcliffe
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Book to Film, Contemporary, Family
Dates read: 5th – 22nd January 2021
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: He didn’t like the way she’d been able to say these things without allowing him any response.

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Synopsis

First published as Whatever Makes You Happy, the hilarious and touching novel about mothers and their adult sons that’s now a Netflix original movie starring Felicity Huffman, Angela Bassett and Patricia Arquette.

Three sons. Three mums. One week.

Matt, Daniel and Paul were childhood friends. Now in their thirties, they’ve lost touch and have only one thing in common: their mothers. Little do they know that, having spent a cardless Mother’s Day discussing how their emotionally dysfunctional offspring should be settling down, Carol, Gillian and Helen have decided to pay their wayward sons a visit. On the same day, they turn up on their sons’ doorsteps, uninvited and unannounced. Their plan is to re-establish the mother-son bond by moving in for one week. Just a week. Surely that’s not a lot to ask…

Thoughts

I love the movie on Netflix that is based on this book. It’s a great look at women’s relationships, motherhood and the relationships that you grow up with. I still enjoyed this book. But it wasn’t quite as wonderfully thought out and created as the movie. I just felt like Sutcliffe tried really hard to write wonderful mother characters, but mostly it came off as someone who doesn’t necessarily want his mother around either.

Overall, I did enjoy this story. But, honestly, I think that the movie is what helped bump up my star rating for this. Although I thought this novel was about the experiences of motherhood (or otherhood as it gets known), it felt more like grown men not loving the interactions and nagging of their mothers. Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes find my own mother a chore (who doesn’t), but I also examine why and don’t think that it’s a huge imposition to have her around. This whole novel kind of read as though that’s what mothers are when you are older – a bit of a pain and a bit of an imposition.

This was a fun novel. But I really don’t know what to write about it. I think that the point of view of the mother would have been better written by someone who has experienced motherhood. I found it kind of hard to connect with the sons because of their extreme dismissiveness and the callous way in which they seemed to treat their mothers. Whilst I enjoyed the storylines while reading the tale, I found it incredibly difficult to feel that connection that I was expecting. Particularly when I loved the movie so much…

<- More William SutcliffeMore Family ->

Image source: Bloomsbury

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Overview
The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2) by Helen Hoang

Title: The Bride Test
Author: Helen Hoang
Series: The Kiss Quotient #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Chic lit, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 5th – 6th January 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Corgi
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: Fortunately, this kind of firm touch was acceptable – he liked proprioception and deep pressure.

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

Synopsis

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, not big, important emotions – like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better – that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly refuses to consider a relationship, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. So when the opportunity arises to go to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down. This could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go quite as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working… but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

As Esme’s time in the United States dwindles, will Khai let his head catch up with his heart? Can he find the strength to let go, and let love in?

Thoughts

This was one of those books that I read cover to cover, completely unwilling to put it down. It was brilliant and clever. Cute and the kind of book that left me with a smile on my face. In fact, I was almost late to work the next day because I couldn’t put this down and stayed up way too late reading.

Khai is a great male lead. You don’t get many neurodiverse leads in books, so having one that featured so strongly was brilliant. The fact that Hoang is neurodiverse herself makes his differences all that much more realistic. Not only did I find it seriously relatable, but I also love how Hoang is able to use her work to bring autism to the forefront in a light and understandable manner. Add to that the fact that Khai is a gorgeous romantic lead, well, it made everything that much more… yummy. And sweet. And I just wanted to hug everyone on the pages!

I’ve read a few contemporary stories which feature immigrants. And even non-fiction books. I haven’t yet read one which features an immigrant. Someone from poverty who is travelling to another country to try and make their lives better. Particularly when that person is effectively a mail order bride. Again, Hoang is able to provide an educated insight into the unique challenges of finding oneself in this situation.

I love the romance that Hoang takes you on in her story writing. But, I think the thing that I love the most and keeps me coming back again and again and again is the way in which she is able to feature marginalised groups. And she doesn’t do this from her imagination, but, rather, she is able to create these amazingly diverse characters from her own experiences, or the experiences of those near her.

This novel melted my heart and left me grinning from ear to ear. It is cute and sweet. And most definitely impossible to forget. Definitely one that I will be rereading at some point in the future.

<- The Kiss QuotientThe Heart Principle ->

Image source: Goodreads

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Overview
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy - Penguin Books Australia

Title: Dumplin’
Author: Julie Murphy
Series: Dumplin’ #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Book to Film, Contemporary, Young adult
Dates read: 1st – 2nd January 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Penguin Books
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: And now I know.

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

Synopsis

Willowdean Dickson (Dumplin’, to her mum) has always been at home in her own skin.
Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body?
Really, the criteria is simple.
Do you have a body?
Put a swimsuit on it.

But life as Willow knows it is about to change. And when this happens, she suffers an unaccustomed and unwelcome attack of self-doubt. So in an effort to regain her confidence, Willowdean enters into the local Miss Teen Blue Bonnet beauty pageant.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs and a wildly unforgettable heroine – Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart. And send you out to buy the bikini.

Thoughts

I bought Dumplin’ a little while ago. Because I loved the Netflix movie, and, so far, all of the books that I’ve read which have been adapted into Netflix content has been glorious. And this was no different. Dumplin’ the movie was amazing, and Dumplin’ the book was also glorious. I read this cover to cover in about a twenty-four hour period, struggling to find a way to actually be productive in the meantime…

I should probably preface most of this review by stating the fact that I’m quite skinny. So the ways in which a “fat girl” or really any of the outcasts in this book feel is kind of foreign. Having said that, I was bullied, just for different reasons. But I love that Murphy is able to place you in Willowdean’s shoes. And show you all of the emotional and insane entanglements which come with being a plus sized girl. One with a beauty queen mother.

There is something that is always glorious fun about those fish out of water stories. The ones in which the outcast who doesn’t quite fit in chooses to stand up and stand out. Willowdean does this amazingly. And it is a great reminder that we should all jump up and grab what we want in life. Without waiting for someone else to tell us that it’s ours. It seems like such a simple choice, but no matter what your status or what the world tells you, sometimes you need that reminder that living your best life starts with putting your best foot forwards.

I absolutely loved this book. The older I get, the more my body changes, and the more I question what I see in the mirror. It doesn’t matter what size your body is, everyone has things that they love and don’t love about themselves. Murphy reminds us that we all have our own issues. And Willowdean is able to remind us that there are so many different ways to find our own strength and identity. Even on the days that we kind of hate the body that we find ourselves in.

<- More Julie MurphyPuddin’ ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

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

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