Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
I rate this a whopping 5 Glasses of wine!
Now most of you know, I am not a novella fan, in fact, I tend to avoid them, but my opinion on this is quickly changing. I’ve read so many fantastic novellas in the past two weeks, that I’ve completely changed my view on novellas. And let me tell you, this book is quickly heading onto my top ten lists of holiday books.
I know we’re only a little more than week into November, but this book has so much holiday cheer, that I am already in the Christmas spirit. When I finished this book, I was all ready to get out our Christmas decorations and put it up. That’s how much this book affected me. I wanted it to be Christmas last week.
And I admit, I only signed up for this ARC, because the awesome and amazing Cindi Madsen wrote one of the stories. But everyone one of these authors blew me away with their holiday stories. And I felt a special little tug at Colleen Kwan’s story White-hot Holiday. All the Christmas books I normally read, are full of snow and hot cocoa, whilst sitting by a fire and watching the snow fall and as a South-African, our Christmases are blazing hot, and instead of hot cocoa, we usually pick an ice-cold glass of Coke. And Colleen’s Australian Christmas, embodied our Christmases here almost to the tee. The characters are well-written. I especially liked the way that Aaron is such a Christmas downer and Naomi the enthusiastic holiday person. The fire between them fits the heat of an Australian summer perfectly. Such a sweet romance that had me caught up at the first sentence.
Karen Erickson’s Loving Mindy had me completely sold. It’s the first story in this book and it grabbed me right at my heartstrings. Mindy’s character has such a lot of shit to deal with from her ex-husband, and then her old best friend from high-school nearly runs over her cat and gets stuck in the snow. They have a bit of hard feelings between them, but the hunky Josh has never truly gotten over Mindy. When a huge snow storm hits and the snow covers everything outside Mindy’s house, they have no choice but to work through their bad blood, and that leads to an amazing romance story. It melted my heart.
In Roxanne Snopek’s Saving the Sheriff we have a magical story where Frankie Sylva, does her best to protect five reindeer and saves them from a meat farm. She ends up releasing them on Three River Ranch, but she also ends up getting stuck in the snow. The sexy deputy sheriff Red LeClair ends up helping her, but he still thinks she’s a bit dodgy. I mean, who could blame him? She is dressed as elf, trespassing on private property and he is damn certain that she’s not telling him the whole truth. His chivalrous side wins out though and he helps her for the couple of days that she is stranded there. With the chemistry between Frankie and Red and Red being a little bit of an Ebenezer Scrooge, this story has all the Christmas cheer you could ever want.
And finally Cindi Madsen’s An Officer and A Rebel had me laughing out loud and crying ALL the happy tears in the world. I just adored both characters. Kelsey Cooper swerves for a deer and her crappy little car gets stuck. The only person on the road is Nate Walsh, police officer and also big brother to Kelsey’s ex-boyfriend. Nate has always nursed a crush on Kelsey, who is a bit of a wild child and Kelsey has no clue. Kelsey, on the other hand, isn’t very fond of cops, but she’s taken quite a liking to her rescuer. It made for a nice twist, and I might be crushing on Nate a bit, but it’s like Kelsey says, he does look good in uniform. In fact, most men look good in a police uniform. This story just tickled my senses in all the right places. It gave me butterflies in my stomach and made my head dizzy and my world spin. The emotions of Kelsey and Nate jumped off the pages and I felt like I lived in the story. The few pages before the ending had me crying ugly tears and the ending had me crying all sorts of happy tears. Once again Cindi managed to reduce me to a happily crying, aww-ing, feel good mess and I hope she continues to do so.
All of these novellas are amazingly written. Each of these novellas are part of a series that the authors have worked on, and I haven’t read any of those books yet. But I will now. This is a perfect romantic Christmas read and it put me in the best holiday spirit. It’s a pity Christmas is still more than a month away.
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