Tis the season for Christmas romance books! I have quite a few to review and lots of them are sweet. Oh, and one Halloween story, too.
Halloween at the Graff
The thing I loved about Halloween at the Graff is that it is told mainly from the thoughts of the main characters, Calum and Walker, rather than from dialog and third person voice. This concept of writing made the story so interesting as you are clued in on both character’s emotions, feelings and thoughts at that moment and following.
Walker is desperately trying to hide from the fiasco she fled in Washington, DC, where she was a high powered political assistant. No one but her former assistant knows about her recent past and that is perfect for Walker. She now works at the restored Graff Hotel in Marietta as the public relations manager and Calum Quest represents a chance to get a level of high publicity for the hotel. He has a television program devoted to ghost hunting and Walker is going to hook him into doing a show on the Graff. Surely there must be a ghost somewhere in the Graff’s history.
Calum is really only interested in doing the last show of the season and being done with it all. He is really only in Marietta to visit his former partner, Laird Wilder, to talk to him about how Laird left all the hoopla of television. Little does Calum know that Laird is a lost cousin to Walker and she would really like to investigate that side of her family.
It is a fun story with lots of great reading!
The Sheriff’s Christmas Angels
This is an excellent book that darn near brought me to tears. It contains wonderfully written characters, very relatable and true emotions, and a lovely story line.
The Sheriff’s Christmas Angels relates the story of a woman needing love, security, and family as she comes to embraced by a family which needs her as well.
Cole Crayton has been raising his daughter, Charlie, alone since his wife left them when she was six months old. He has been fortunate to have the love and support of his parents in this. Cole has shut off his heart to love or relationships to prevent ever experiencing heartbreak again. His life is full of work to the dismay of his mother, Mae, who sees how his working absence is hurting his five year old daughter.
On a fluke, chance evening, Mae meets Emma who is trying to get to Austin for job interviews. A broken down truck, a puppy, and a job offer from Mae changes the course of her intentions and, ultimately, of her life. As she brings love and care to Charlie, Cole finds himself drawn to Emma. Events and miscommunications drive Emma away from the family and home she had hoped for her entire life.
The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride
Such a charming story, well thought out and executed about a second chance at love that surprises the characters involved.
Ryder and Cassidy were once deeply in love until she decided to end it all. Cassidy had a budding country music career that she knew would interfere with Ryder’s rodeo goal to earn enough money to help his aging foster parents.
When vocal surgery is coupled with a mess from her manager bring Cassidy back to Honor, TX to recuperate and rest, she literally runs into Ryder and the life he now has, six years later. Plus, he has a daughter, Molly, and a deceased wife. All the trauma from the past break up and the emotions remaining haunt both Ryder and Cassidy but Molly has other plans for them.
If you are looking for a fun read with a ton of humor Southern style and a sweet romance, Christmas, Alabama is the book to get. Susan Sands writes with such a flair that you fall into the novel easily and stay there with joy.
Rachel moved with the rest of her small family (mother and sister) to Ministry, Alabama after the disaster her father wrought in his New Orleans scandal. She is establishing her photography business in the small town and loving its warmth and inclusion. Nick Sullivan has been coerced into coming to Ministry as a trauma surgeon and doctor in order to hopefully achieve his ultimate dream later. He has no intention of staying in Ministry after his six weeks are done. He finds that both Ministry and Rachel grow on him against all his former protestations. Rachel is guy-shy and is so drawn to Nick that it scares her. There is a lot to work out if their budding romance is to survive.
You might also check out the whole Alabama series by Susan Sands. The books are great!
The Jingle Bell Bride
This is the cutest story of finding unexpected love over the course of four days in remote Alaska. The sheltered and sequestered heart of a man, Matt Horton, is reached by a delightful but list driven wedding planner, Jessica. She is on a last minute mission to obtain a high-maintenance client bride’s request for a particular flower only obtainable in remotest Alaska. As happens in Alaska in the winter, snow storms have closed the tiny airport of Corona Creek where Matt lives and works as a botanist who has the Jingle Bell flower-the client’s request.
Jessica is stranded with no hotel or place to stay when Matt offers her a place at his home. He is an absolute gentleman-more than Jessica is prepared for and his personality, manner and just self work a way into her heart. Her life is in New York, his in Alaska. Is there an in between spot to meet?
A Chance this Christmas
What an enjoyable book to read that tackles the age old drama created when he “done her wrong” causes an entire small town to ostracize and alienate an innocent girl.
Rachel left Yuletide amid intense criticism and scrutiny because of her father’s criminal actions coupled with her denial of proposal to the hometown hero. The hero, Luke, then failed miserably to defend her because he was mad at her and deep down thought she enabled her father to make a get away. No matter that she had broken off with him. Luke just never forgave her for this (and for being caught in the arms of his best friend, Gavin.)
Rachel answers the dare of a girlfriend pact to set the wrongs of her past right. She bravely travels back to Yuletide to face Luke and set things right with the town. Little does she know that Gavin has bought the house next door to her mother and he still harbors feelings for her. It is a probable, possible mess in the making for Rachel.
A Vicarage Christmas
Kate Hewitt writes such engaging and charming novels and A Vicarage Christmas is right there with an inviting story drawing out stirring emotions for the main characters and for those surrounding them.
Sadness and remorse fill the heart of Anna Holey as she returns to her home in Cumbria after a long, self-imposed absence. The home is warm and loud and loving but for Holly, it is a place of sadness that she cannot forget. Many years prior, her only brother was killed in a car accident and Holly feels that no one in her family continues to feel the deep emotions that she does. To her, her the incident surrounding her brother’s death is never spoke of, never dealt with. She carries a burden within her that has tempered her life ever since.
On her first night in Cumbria she ventures to a local pub to escape the turmoil she feels at home and meets a man she instantly warms to and shares her woes to him. Simon is warm and friendly and draws Anna out of herself, if only for the time spent in the pub. It is later that she learns that he is the new curate for the church where Anna’s father is the pastor. Will this knowledge send Anna away or is there more to Simon than meets the eye?
A Hummingbird Christmas
This is an appealing Christmas romance with a cute story and very likeable characters. The locale is Glacier Creek, Montana, in the winter with snow and beautiful scenery abounding. A sweet child, Piper, is intending to ask Santa for a daddy for Christmas much to the discomfort of her mother, Joy. Visiting her deceased husband’s parents for Christmas and to spend the holidays in Montana is a gift to them long deserved. It’s been four years since their son died in a fire fighting battle, four years that have pained them in feeling his loss.
Living in the closest home to them is Cole Tanner, the boy Matt’s parents raised as their own since he was nine. He was Matt’s best friend and cohort in all kinds of mischief. When Matt married Joy, he left Montana to live in California with his bride, a decision Cole resented from day one. Now that Joy is back in Montana, Cole finds he must reevaluate his feelings when faced with her genuineness and pull. Plus, the draw to Piper, a cute, fun and loving child, is present.
Joy finds herself in the undercurrents of a strong emotional draw toward Cole-the same pull he senses. But, there’s the possibility of causing hurt to Matt’s parents if they act on the attraction. Then there’s the hummingbird that mysteriously appears whenever they need some guidance and clarification.
Capping off the Texas Legacy series by Holly Castillo is the final story set in the time of the newly independent Texas a frontier state, wild and untamed. Holly Castillo writes pleasing historical novels, touching on the realities of the harshness of the Texas terrain and the wildness of the surrounds.
Gabriella (Gabby) Torres is a healer seen as a blessing by most, a witch by others. She follows in the footsteps of her mother as she works wonders on many with natural cures and a gentle touch. Doctor Luke Davenport is a London trained doctor new to the San Antonio town where Gabby’s relatives reside and a blessing to the doctorless town. When he first meets Gabby, she immediately resents his brand of medicine and all that he represents: doctors who have no real training and who are ruthless in their care for patients. It takes time and patience but Gabby comes to see that Luke is not one of those doctors at all. He does, however, have a past that haunts him and causes him to hide from the public and its intense scrutiny.
A disaster brings Gabby into the care of Luke where she learns much more of his background than she could ever imagine.
This is a nice book loaded with Christmas tempered by dismay. Best intentions are thwarted by the actions of others and cause hurt feelings and confusion.
All Nell intends to do is create the best Christmas ever for her two nest leaving daughters, Molly and Felicity. But, Molly is determined to end her six year relationship with Mick and Felicity is planning to spend the holidays in Switzerland with her father and step-mother. Nell reconnects with her first love, Eric, which adds some romance to the plot.