Category Archives: Holiday Romance

Review: ‘Twas the Night Before Mischief by Nina Rowan

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About the book:

Twas the night before mischief and all through the house, a lady was plotting-it was time to break out!

When Penelope Darlington is persuaded to elope with a most unsuitable suitor, she wastes no time. With visions of passion and adventure dancing in her head, she steals away in the middle of the night, just before her father’s Christmas feast.

Fearing for his daughter’s reputation, Henry Darlington begs Darius Hall, the Earl of Rushton’s daring yet discreet son, to bring Penelope home. When Darius finally catches up to Penelope he is shocked. She’s not the silly little girl he expected, but a beautiful woman with a sharp mind and an allure that cannot be ignored.

Now forced to kidnap Penelope in order to bring her home, Darius and his new charge spend the next several days-and nights-in very close quarters. Penelope wanted passion and adventure, but she never could have imagined the pleasures Darius can provide . . .

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MISCHIEF is a delightful holiday read with wonderful characters and a romantic happily ever after. Penelope doesn’t want to be invisible. She wants more than the life she thinks that she will end up living. Darius is the one man who really sees her, but she doesn’t think that he sees her as anything other than his friend’s daughter. I loved their connection and how their feelings for each other change and evolve as they really get to know each other. Their romance is sweet and sexy. This is a great novella to read on a cold winter night.

the book girl gives ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE MISCHIEF a 5/5

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Review: Kisses, She Wrote by Katharine Ashe

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About the book:

Christmas in town has never been so steamy . . .

Handsome as sin and scandalously rakish, Cam Westfall, the Earl of Bedwyr, is every young lady’s wickedest dream. Shy wallflower Princess Jacqueline of Sensaire knows this better than anyone, because her dreams are full of the breathtaking earl’s kisses. And not only her dreams—her diary, too.

But when Cam discovers the maiden’s not-so-maidenly diary, will her wildest Christmas wishes be fulfilled in its pages . . . or in his arms?

I loved this story. Shy Princess Jacqueline and her diary of fantasy was the perfect match for Cam, the rake who takes care of those in need. Jackie is in need – in need of someone who sees the real her and Cam does after finding her diary. I love how they circle around each other as Jackie learns to flirt and becomes more confident and Cam realizes what he really wants. They both have external forces telling them what they should want, who they should be with and it isn’t who or what will make them happy. There romance is slow and takes awhile to come to fruition, but when it does it is magical. I loved them together and the fact that although they don’t seem to be the most logical fit and no one else thinks they should be together they both follow their heart and find each other.

the book girl gives KISSES, SHE WROTE a 5/5

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Review: Ripped by Sarah Morgan

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About the book:

“Wardrobe malfunction” doesn’t begin to cover it.

With a rip louder than the “I dos,” Hayley’s hideous bile-yellow bridesmaid dress explodes. She’s always had enviable curves, but nearly naked wasn’t quite the look she’d been going for at her ex’s wedding.

She’s rushed from the altar under the best man’s designer tux jacket. Hayley’s expecting a blast of icy disapproval from sexy, sophisticated Niccolò Rossi—his usual reaction to anything she does. What she gets is a kiss that nearly melts what’s left of her polyester nightmare gown.

It’s impossible on a million levels. Exuberant engineer Hayley and buttoned-up lawyer Nico have never seen eye to eye—but skin to skin? Oh, mio… So when Nico shows up at her flat on Christmas Day to give her a fabulous gift—himself—Hayley’s delighted to do the unwrapping. But it’s just a holiday fling. By New Year’s Day, she’ll come back to her senses…unless Nico’s sensual skills tear away all her resolve.

Normally I’m not a fan of books written in first person, but after hearing lots of good buzz about RIPPED online I decided to give it a shot. I’m so glad that I did. RIPPED is a sexy, romantic, wonderful story. Haley had me laughing and cheering her on at the wedding from Hell and hoping that her sexy Christmas present, Nico, would be so much more than she thought. I did wish to know what was going on in Nico’s head, but his actions broadcast loud and clear what he wanted from Haley. If you are looking for a short, sexy Christmas read, RIPPED is the novella to pick up.

the book girl gives RIPPED a 5/5

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Review: A Christmas for Carrie by Alison Packard

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About the book:

The very thought of Christmas is enough to darken Carrie Jones’s day. “Jingle Bells” and eggnog? Not for this girl; not anymore. But running into a handsome old crush might make this year different…

Home to celebrate with his parents, Nick Johnson loves the holidays and all that comes with them, from trips to the tree lot to the very last strand of tinsel. Stunned to bump into Carrie while on a coffee run, he realizes that his former study buddy has grown into a drop-dead-gorgeous woman. One with whom he’d like to share all the joys—and hidden pleasures—of the season.

Spending time with Nick and his warm, close-knit family, Carrie can’t help but feel the very beginnings of that elusive Christmas spirit. She’s falling in love with all of them…until an unexpected visitor arrives. It will take putting her trust in Nick—and all her new found happiness—to overcome the ghosts of Christmases past.

First, I will say that I hardly ever read books where the heroine and I share a name. It tends to throw me out of the story and I find it weird. It’s a quirk of mine. BUT, I love Alison Packard’s writing and really wanted to read this book, so I decided to try to read it even with the name thing and just hope that it wouldn’t bother me too much. I really loved this story. Nick and Carrie’s romance is sweet, sexy, and highly emotional. Carrie hates Christmas and for a very good reason. She wants nothing to do with it, but one sexy blast from her past has her thinking that maybe a few little Christmas touches wouldn’t hurt too bad. Nick is drawn to Carrie when he sees her and hates that he didn’t see how gorgeous she was in high school. I love how they reconnect and the attraction between them builds. Nick is able to make Carrie see how the life she has been living isn’t the life she is meant to live and that Christmas isn’t the terrible season she’s been letting it be. A CHRISTMAS FOR CARRIE is a perfect holiday novella and one that will be added to my annual reread list (even with a heroine named Carrie)!

the book girl gives A CHRISTMAS FOR CARRIE a 5/5

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Review: The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby by Carolyn Brown

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About the book:

‘Tis the season for…

A pistol-totin’ woman who’s no angel
A tough rancher who doesn’t believe in miracles
Love that warms the coldest nights

After a year in Kuwait, Lucas Allen can’t wait to get back to his ranch for Christmas and meet his gorgeous Internet pal in person.

When he pulls in, there’s Natalie Clark right in his front yard with a pink pistol in her hand and a dead coyote at her feet.

Lucas is unfazed. But wait…is that a BABY in her arms?

I really enjoyed this story. It took a little while for me to like the characters – I think because it took a little while for them to warm up to each other – but once I did I couldn’t wait to see how the romance would play out. Natalie doesn’t take anything from anybody. When Lucas returns and is shocked to find Joshua in her arms, she basically tells him to accept the baby or watch her backside as she walks away. Lucas was looking forward to moving his internet relationship with Natalie forward when he came home from Kuwait, but her having Joshua changed his plans in a big way. Lucas doesn’t want for things to be any way but how he pictures them, but as he gets to know the real Natalie and baby Joshua he realizes that he wants both of them to be part of his life forever. I loved Natalie and Lucas both. They are both such strong-willed characters that don’t put up with any nonsense. However, I think that my favorite part of THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY are the secondary characters – especially Lucas’s grandpa, father, and surrogate uncle. These men add so much to the story and help move the romance along with the matchmaking efforts. This story is a sweet and sexy holiday read.

the book girl gives THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY a 4/5

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Review: Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

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About the book:

A freshly wrapped Regency Christmas romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes.

What Lady Jenny wants for Christmas…

For Christmas, soft-spoken Lady Jenny Windham craves the freedom to pursue her artistic ambitions, though it will mean scandalizing her ducal parents and abandoning all hope of a family of her own. She confides her plans to successful artist Elijah Harrison when he’s commissioned to paint a portrait of her small nephews, because assisting Elijah will bring Jenny that much closer to her heart’s desire–won’t it?

…Will break both their hearts

Elijah Harrison finds in his unlikely assistant not only an inspiring muse and unappreciated talent, but also a lovely and passionate woman. If Elijah supports Jenny’s career, his own professional interests will suffer, but more significantly, he will lose Jenny forever. Both Jenny and Elijah must choose between true love and a lifelong dream.

Lady Jenny is lonely in a family full of people. She is the “maiden-aunt” and shuttled around from sibling to sibling to dote and love on all of her various nieces and nephews. Everyone assumes that she is happy and doesn’t pay much attention to her true love – art. I really liked Jenny. She puts on a brave face and really does love her family, but inside she is dying a little each day. Then she makes a decision, thanks to Elijah, that changes the course of her life. Elijah Harrison is the perfect partner for Jenny. He sees right into her heart and wants everyone to know how important her art is to her and just how good at it she really is. I love how he sticks up for her to her family and how he tells her that she must make them see how important it is to her. Their relationship is a wonderful partnership and they have great chemistry. This is the last book in the Windham family series and I love how we were able to see little glimpses into each of the siblings lives and how they are still as happily in love as they were at the end of their books.

the book girl gives LADY JENNY’S CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT a 4/5

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Review: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

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About the book:

Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green’s favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.

Jackson O’Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family’s resort—it’s in his blood, and he can’t let it fail. Now that he’s got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she’s out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it’s terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?

I loved the characters in this book. Jackson is a swoon-worthy hero. He leaves his lucrative business to come home and help the family business after his father’s death – even though his Grandfather does everything to make him feel unwelcome. I love how honorable he is and how he does what’s right for his family even though he doesn’t necessarily want to be there. Kayla is a tougher character to love, but I did come to love her. She hates the holidays. She thinks going to Snow Crystal will keep her away from all of the trapping associated with the holidays, but it lands her right in the middle of a real family Christmas. The chemistry between Jackson and Kayla is instant and off the charts. They both try to deny it, but it is inevitable that they give in to the pull. Kayla changes a lot through the story – she learns to open up and really share herself with someone else. Jackson teaches her that not everyone is going to let her down. Kayla is also able to give insight into what other people around Jackson might be feeling and help him deal with his family better. I love how their relationship was a partnership. I can’t wait for the next two books in the O’Neil brothers series!

the book girl gives SLEIGH BELLS IN THE SNOW a 5/5

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Review: ‘Tis the Season to Kiss Santa by Kate Hardy

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About the book:

With the help of a sprig of mistletoe and some snow angels, a recently single pastry chef teaches a highly successful and sexy Scrooge the true meaning of the holidays on a snowy Christmas Eve that quickly heats up.

I enjoyed this holiday novella. Ellie and Mitch share a connection that isn’t instantaneous, but strengthens as they get to know each other. Ellie is spending her first holiday in the US to help her Godmother recover from surgery. Mitch hates the holidays, but knows that he must put on the Santa suit if he wants to impress his boss. I liked Mitch, but didn’t find his Grinch-like turn around about the holidays very believable. He changed his attitude almost completely in the course of one afternoon. ‘TIS THE SEASON TO KISS SANTA is a cute, quick read.

the book girl gives ‘TIS THE SEASON TO KISS SANTA a 3/5

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Review: The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex

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About the book:

’Tis the season for a new holiday novella from acclaimed author Elizabeth Essex! The Scandal Before Christmas is romance so good it’s scandalous…

Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas, and he can’t afford to be choosy. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea—all within a matter of days.  

Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, and nothing and no one to recommend her but her own self. She accepts the lieutenant’s hasty offer only for the comfort and security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm snows her and Ian in, they both find they got much more than they bargained for—laughter, light, and a Christmas filled with honest to goodness true love…

Ian needs a wife, but he doesn’t want one. Anne doesn’t want a husband, but marrying a man who will be at sea for a good part of the year – leaving her alone – seems about as good as it can get for a plain girl with nothing to recommend her. I loved how these two meet and think one thing about each other and then quickly change their opinion. Ian didn’t expect to be attracted to the plain Anne, but he quickly sees her as beautiful. Anne overcomes her shyness and learns to assert her true self. I loved these two as a couple. Their romance is both sexy and sweet.

the book girl gives THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS a 4/5

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Review: Santa to the Rescue by Adele Downs

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About the book:

Firefighter Jamey Tucker knows three things in life to be true: an honorable man doesn’t go back on his word; never hurt a woman; and lasting love isn’t a myth. But with his recent move to a new job at Appleton Fire Station, the long hours don’t offer hope of finding the love he’s looking for.

When Jamey meets beautiful pediatric nurse Heather Longhurst after hearing her sing Santa Baby in a supermarket aisle, he offers her a promise he discovers he can’t keep. Heather has been betrayed by men in the past, making it hard for Jamey to gain her trust. Determined to find a way to win her heart, Jamey uses firefighter engine-uity and Heather’s favorite song to prove he’s got Christmas spirit she can believe in all year.

SANTA TO THE RESCUE is a cute, romantic short story. Jamey and Heather have great chemistry when they meet. The story is short, but the author does a great job of building a believable relationship between two strangers. Heather has trust issues and Jamey is able to overcome them by being honest with her and working to make sure he doesn’t let her down. SANTA TO THE RESCUE is the perfect read when you want something quick and sweet.

the book girl gives SANTA TO THE RESCUE a 4/5

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