Wednesday, October 31, 2018

2018 HoHoHo Readathon Goal Post

Kimberly @ The Caffeinated Reviewer is once again hosting her HoHoHo Readathon and I’m so excited. I love this challenge because it’s my time to unwind before the holiday craziness starts. I set down with a pot of hot tea and delve into all the Holiday/Winter books that I’ve amassed (and there’s plenty of them because I cannot say no to these types of books).

The goal of this Readathon is to read/listen to as many Holiday or Winter themed books as you can. There’s mini challenges along the way and so many fun ways to interact with other participants.

The readathon starts November 9th 12:01 am (your time zone) and ends on November 18 at 11:59 pm (your time zone).

Find out more or sign up HERE
Here’s a list of books I’m planning to read (I’ll add more as I dig them out)

1-Christmas at Copper Mountain by Jane Porter
2-Rocky Mountain Christmas Cowboy
3-Christmas Glitter
4-Christmas in Kilts
5-A Hummingbird Christmas
6-The Doctor’s Christmas Proposal
7-A Brammble House Christmas

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale

An uplifting, beautiful story about never letting go of your dreams, the special magic of a family Christmas… and the rush of falling in love under the mistletoe.

Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be?

Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if it is Christmas.

When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble…

With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take the chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick to finally enjoy the magic of Christmas?
Publisher: Forever | Release Date:  10/30/2018 | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4 Cups

Challenges Read For: Literary Pickers  - Pots/Pans
When the woman Abbey’s been caring for offers her the chance to fulfill her dream of becoming an interior decorator, she jumps at the opportunity to decorate Nick’s home. The only problem she didn’t plan on was falling for the handsome, broody, and somewhat reclusive millionaire. Nick’s always been work-driven and nothing or nobody has been able to draw him away from it until he encounters Abbey and her son. The more time they spend decorating his home, the more he finds himself drifting away from his work. Now he must decide which is more important: allowing himself to fall for Abbey or chasing after the next deal.
Okay, so this one started a bit slow—give it a few about three or four chapters to start going—but once it picked up the pace I was hooked. Although this one’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Yet I did enjoy this one. It’s a bit different from the normal Christmas romance but there’s still fluff and joy and cheer mixed in with a bit of gruff.
Abbey’s a single mom trying to keep her head above water while caring for her family. Instead of following her dreams, she went into nursing and stuck with it to be able to support her family. She’s very family focused and caring and I was rooting for Abbey to succeed.
Nick’s very driven and very work-focused—he has a reason for this—and he’s determined not to let anyone distract him from what he feels is his duty and this cost him his first marriage. Because of how work-driven he is, he comes off as a bit cold and distant but he’s a man of action and his actions shows a caring side, he just not sure how to express what he’s feeling. I felt bad for Nick, he’s caught in a web of his own making and he’s not sure how to change.
The romance between Abbey and Nick was interesting. While there was an attraction and a certain degree of chemistry, it felt a bit stilted at times and I think that had to do with the fact we never get Nick’s POV. Although as the book progresses, I felt like more of the romance was coming to light.

I really liked the relationship/bond between Nick and Max (Abbey’s son). Max pulled Nick out of his comfort zone and Nick was there when Max needed him. There was also a bit more warmth to Nick in the moments when he was interacting with Max.
The only problem I had with this one was the fact that we only get Abbey’s side of the story. Given that Nick has more to tell and readers really need to be able to warm up to him, I feel that by not having his side the book is lacking a bit and comes off as one sided.
Overall, this one does have a few flaws but I found it to be a nice little Christmas read.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Christmas on Mistletoe Lane by Annie Rains

Christmas is coming to the North Carolina mountains, and the air is fresh and crisp and filled with promise. After the devastating loss of her job in the big city, the small town of Sweetwater Springs feels like heaven to Kaitlyn Russo. She's inherited her grandparents' charming (if a little rundown) bed and breakfast, and it's just the new lease on life she needs. Only "heaven" comes with a catch-and a handsome and completely infuriating one at that.
After what he hopes will be a quick trip, Mitch Hargrove wants nothing more than to put his hometown in the rearview mirror. But his plans get derailed when he learns he's now half-owner of the Sweetwater B&B. The fact that he's given only two months to make the inn a success is a huge problem, but it's his pretty-and incredibly headstrong-partner who's the real challenge. With the holiday fast approaching and a grand re-opening looming, will Mitch keep running from the ghosts of Christmas past . . . or will he realize the true gift he's been given?

Series: Sweetwater Springs #1 | Publisher: Forever | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Source: Publisher | Rating: 3.5

Challenges Read For:  Literary Pickers: Quilt
How could I resist a charming Christmas romance about two stubborn strangers inheriting a small town inn?
When Kaitlyn inherits her grandparent’s small town inn, she finds it to be the perfect solution after losing her job until she realizes that she only owns half the inn and her co-owner does not intend to become an innkeeper. Mitch has no desire to stay in his hometown but Kaitlyn is making it nearly impossible to leave. Now he finds himself stuck between the promise he once made and the woman who has intrigued him.
I really liked Mitch and Kaitlyn and I really enjoyed them together. They’re both damaged and they’ve been carrying it around for a bit so when they inherit the inn they both view it as something different. She sees it as her comfort zone and a place to start over; he sees it as a reminder of the mistake he made in his past and he’s desperate to escape. Little by little, they start to trust each other and allow themselves to act on their attraction. Although Mitch still has some things to figure out before he’s willing to fully commit.
Mixed in is a cast of fun secondary characters, a tad bit of a mystery, and a whole lot of Christmas cheer.
Okay, so this sort of reminded me of a cross between the Inn BoonsBoro series (Nora Roberts) and Inn Love (the Hallmark movie series) but set at Christmas with a broody hero. While it could have felt a little overdone, I thought this one still had a fun freshness to it.
If I loved the book, why the 3.5 rating? She kept using ‘marine’ instead of ‘Marine’ when referring to Mitch.
Overall, the book was good and I find myself eager to see if Paris is going to get a story of his own, but using ‘marine’ nearly ruined it.
This book also includes a bonus short story "Midnight Clear" by Hope Ramsay, which was released as an e-book in 2015. You can read my review of that HERE.

Christmas 2018