Christmas Review and Giveaway

Christmas at Lilac Cottage Review and Giveaway

By Holly Martin

Genre: Romance, Christmas, Chick Lit

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I was given a copy of this book and am voluntarily reviewing it. 3.5 out of 5 chickadees singing! Main character Penny is an ice sculptor in the tiny town of Cliff Bay. She realizes she has become a bit of a hermit living on a hill away from town and decides to rent out part of her home to Daisy and Henry, who she found through an agency. Things are not off to a great start when Penny assumes that Daisy is Henry’s wife when she is actually his daughter. She can’t understand why she has such an attraction to a married man and why he seems to be flirting with her as well.

Eventually, Henry and Penny can’t deny their pull toward each other. Penny has been burned in the past, though, and she’s afraid of being hurt again. Henry has a bit of a playboy past and doesn’t want to do anything that would put his relationship with his daughter in jeopardy, like what happened with his last girlfriend.

I liked the cozy little, although nosey, town of Cliff Bay. I thought that Penny had a fascinating job I enjoyed reading about. I liked that all three main characters- Henry, Penny, and Daisy- were complex with complicated histories and back stories that continued to affect them today. That was very realistic and relatable. I’m not usually a fan of straight romance, but there were other subplots going on that helped keep my interest. For example, Penny confronts someone from her past that she thinks played a role in hurting her and Henry has to deal with a complicated situation at his workplace. There were also a few absolutely hilarious (although very awkward- this is definitely an adult book!) moments in the book that cracked me up! I loved seeing the relationship between Penny and Daisy grow.

This was a sweet, light Christmas story. I would definitely recommend it for fans of romance. The characters are interesting and it keeps your attention the whole time with a good pace.

Good news, readers! I have three paperback copies of this book to give away! The giveaway ends on Christmas! Enter below! *US residents only

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Mistletoe at Moonglow Review

Mistletoe at Moonglow

By Deborah Garner

Genre: Christmas novella, women’a fiction

4 out of 5 singing chickadees! Although this is technically part of a cozy mystery series, it’s not a mystery and it can be easily read as a stand alone novella. Main character Mist sees the world a little bit differently than everyone else- some say she has magic. She looks for ways to brighten up others’ lives and has an uncanny ability to figure out what they need. She has a cafe inside of a bed and breakfast type establishment. Betty and Clive run the hotel. This Christmas, a variety of people are coming who have all experienced some sort of loss and loneliness this past year. Mist takes it upon herself to make sure everyone has a magical Christmas.

This was everything a person wants a Christmas novella to be. It was a very light, sweet, and charming story. It had an uncomplicated plot- no major drama- just smooth sailing. This book also had a surprisingly large number of cookie recipes at the end! It is the kind of story you would read sipping cocoa by the fire. If you need to get in the Christmas mood, I would recommend this story.

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Mixing It Up Review

Mixing It Up

By Tracie Banister

Genre: Chick Lit, Romance

4.5 out of 5 singing chickadees! I have loved Tracie Bannister’s work and was excited when I found out about her newest novel. I was given the book and am voluntarily reviewing it.

Main character Cecily loves being a TV Chef on her show, “Serving Romance.” When a new CEO takes over, he wants to make changes and she wants to keep everything the same. The CEO is a smooth-talking, persuasive man named Devlin Hayes, who tries to convince Cecily he has her best interests at heart. Did I mention he’s also super handsome? Eventually, he wants her to start a whole new show called “Mixing it Up” with her ex-boss (the one she hated), Dante Marchetti. Marchetti is a notorious womanizer who tries out his ways on Cecily and enjoys throwing wrenches into her plans.

In the meantime, Cecily is trying to keep a friendly relationship with her ex-fiancé, Bryce. Easier said than done when she isn’t completely sure about why they broke up in the first place. As if her work and love life weren’t enough to deal with, Cecily is from an upper-class family that isn’t impressed by anything she attempts. Her cousin, Dina, is the new-age-y, free spirit, black sheep of the family and also one of Cecily’s best friends. On a family vacation to see the horse races, new family drama is unleashed.

I loved that this story had three very different love interests for Cecily. She had different experiences with each of them. She isn’t even looking for love, just trying to keep her TV show together, but romance finds her nevertheless. Other secondary characters, like her grandmother and Dina, were unique and added interest. I think a lot of readers can relate to Cecily as someone who is finding success, but not the way she wants to. How much can you compromise before you’re giving up your core values?

My only con with this book is that I felt it dragged a little in the middle. It seemed like a lot of subplots were being thrown in and I wasn’t sure where the main plot was heading. It picked up speed again soon. It was definitely worth continuing to read!

I really liked the ending of the story and felt like everything was tied up nicely. The writing style was engaging and the characters likeable. It had a good amount of romance, but also focused a lot on character development and other issues young women face. Overall, this was a really enjoyable read that I would definitely recommend to fans of chick lit!

 

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Murder at Mistletoe Manor Review

Murder at Mistletoe Manor

By Holly Tierney-Bedord

Genre: Christmas novella, mystery, chick lit

4 out of 5 chickadees singing! This was a fun Christmas mystery that reminded me of the great novel- And Then There Were None. Klarinda owns Mistletoe Manor, an inn that never seems to have enough guests or enough money. Klarinda is shocked when the inn is full on a Tuesday evening by people who don’t seem to be traveling together. Soon, she finds out they all got mysterious envelopes inviting them to the manor and that almost all of them know each other from boarding school. One by one, guests mysteriously die and Klarinda tries to investigate. 

I thought the story moved at a very good pace and I liked all the mysterious happenings. There was a lot of humor interspersed with the deaths, which made it more entertaining than macabre. I wish there had been more clues along the way so that the reader could have figured out the mystery ahead of time- I guessed at who it was, but there wasn’t a lot of hard evidence presented until after the murderer had been revealed. Overall, it was a very entertaining mystery story!

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Laura Briggs’s Christmas Novellas

Laura Briggs’s Christmas Novellas

Laura Briggs asked me if I would review her latest Christmas novella and when I found out it was a sequel, I asked if I could review both! I absolutely love Christmas novellas and try to read at least one every holiday season. Thanks to Laura, I’ve already got one crossed off my list this year!

A Wedding in Cornwall

4 out of 5 chickadees singing! I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This was a sweet, romantic novella about a girl who leaves America to take a job as an event coordinator in Cornwall, England. She has never planned a full event by herself before, so she sees this as her big break! I always thought it would be so fun to be an event planner, so I really enjoyed that part of the story. At her new job, she meets a handsome gardener named Matt and just when they are getting close, a secret about his past is revealed. All of the main characters are really likable and relatable. If you’re looking for a quick romantic chick lit, I would recommend this story!

A Christmas in Cornwall

4 out of 5 chickadees singing again! I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this sequel to A Wedding in Cornwell! Julianne is still with the handsome gardener, Matt, and she’s trying to figure out the right time to say those three magic words. In the meantime, an ex-boyfriend shows up at her workplace and begs her to help out a friend with his wedding when their event planner canceled last minute. Julianne agrees, but then her ex wants to do all the wedding stuff with her. Matt is contemplating a move back to Boston to start teaching college again. In the midst of all this, Julianne has to plan the annual Christmas dinner.

I liked seeing Matt and Julianne’s relationship grow. One thing I really liked about this book was that whenever there was a misunderstanding between the couple, one of them tried to clear it up right away. I hate when you’re screaming at the main characters to stop being dumb and just communicate. Lol. They were both very mature and likeable characters. I loved reading about everything that goes into planning events, as well. Lots of romance and sweet moments in this story, too!This is a very cozy Christmas read that I would highly recommend! :-)!

Summary

I would highly recommend both of these novellas and suggest that you read them in order, or you may be a little confused during the second book! They are sweet, fun, charming, and romantic! I would love to read more Laura Briggs’s books in the future!

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