You know I can’t resist a HP reference 😉 I hope you’ve all had a good week and are all prepared for Sunday – eek, where has the time gone? As you may know I’ve had a lovely time this month working my way through my Xmassy to-read list. I absolutely love Christmas reads at this time of year and since I’m hoping you might do too, I thought I would share a few of my favourites and where you can find them. There’s paranormal, historical, sweet reads and steamy scenes – so something for everyone!
Mistletoe Kisses: A Westmore Christmas – Erzabet Bishop – 4 stars
This was a really fun paranormal romance. Gargoyles aren’t something you see very often in these type of stories but the author has built a very rich and varied paranormal world, with shifters, demons and even a pink dragon all mentioned. This is obviously part of a series and it probably would have benefitted me to read earlier ones first as some of the background details were a little brief and I feel some of the secondary characters probably had their own stories already. That said, the main story was followable and I liked the characters a lot.
Jess is a very strong character. She’s gone through some terrible things and although she’s still traumatised in many ways, she hasn’t let it break her. She’s constantly trying to give back and help others, but I liked that she also had a sassy and sarcastic side (woman after my own heart lol).
Thorne was initially very reluctant to be stuck babysitting what he thought would be a spoilt princess but the relationship between them quickly develops. While I liked Thorne as a character, the relationship progression from his own point of view did feel a little jumpy at parts. He seemed to go from ‘he wanted her but needed to move on and he was no good for her anyway’ to ‘refuses to leave her’ pretty abruptly and I would have liked to see a little more of his internal journey there – especially with the back story that was only really hinted at.
This story could have easily been expanded for me. I would have loved to have seen their relationship progression in more detail and there were quite a few unanswered questions still left at the end (though perhaps they get resolved in a later installment). Overall though I really enjoyed the story, great characters and chemistry and a sweet Christmas backdrop. Will definitely be checking out others in this series.
The Wrong Kind of Angel – Ruby Moone – 4 stars
Charles is resigned to a lonely Christmas alone, when a stranger collapses on his door in the middle of a snowstorm. The beautiful young might share his sexual tastes but despite what he says, Charles knows he’s no angel. Harry has secrets of his own, that mean he can’t stay with Charles, no matter how tempted he may be, and ones that could very well get them both killed.
I really liked both characters in this. Charles initially comes across as very shy, quiet, even a little meek, but it quickly becomes apparent that he has hidden depths and is very capable of taking care of himself – and those around him. Harry has had a rough life and has had to do things he isn’t proud of to survive, but you can see that he has kept a core decency in the way he’s tried to save Julian. It was nice to see how they balanced each other out and the relationship development was really sweet.
Steamy scenes, gripping actions and a Christmas backdrop – what more could you ask for?
Secret Santa – Lichelle Slater – 4 stars
Bell is a Secret Santa elf, tasked with helping people to rediscover their Christmas spirit. Unfortunately she’s failed with bar owner Drake the past years, but she’s determined this year she will find exactly what he needs for Christmas. Turns out it might just be her 🙂
This was an adorable little Christmas story. Bell is a really sweet character who genuinely cares about the people in her small town and goes out of her way to try and find what they need and to make their lives that little bit better. There was a great cast of secondary characters and a real community feel to the story. Drake wasn’t quite as well-developed for me – it might have been nice to see a bit from his point of view to help with that – but it was nice to see his progression from grumpy Scrooge to someone who was opening up to the festive season.
I did like their relationship development. The angst with Kristi did come across a little over-the-top at times and some of Bell’s assumptions didn’t really make sense to me – but the fact that she was a little naive in some ways didn’t make it seem as unbelievable as it otherwise might have been. Overall a really sweet Christmassy read. Would look for others from this author.
A Family for Christmas – Jay Northcote – 5 stars
This was a great read, just overflowing with Christmassyness (it’s a word!). Rudy has a crush on his co-worker Zac but is convinced it’s all one-sided. When he learns Zac is spending Christmas all alone though, he can’t resist asking him along to his own crazy family festivities. When his family all assume that he’s finally found a boyfriend he doesn’t have the heart to upset them at Christmas – and Zac agrees to go along with the pretence. Soon though it’s feeling a little more real than either of them expected.
I really liked the characters in this story. Rudy was sweet and shy, with an endearing habit of always putting his foot in it. Zac has obviously had a hard life and a tough outer shell to show for it. It was really lovely to see that breaking down though under the onslaught of Rudy and his whole family, and to see that there was a softer interior that was desperate for something more out of life. The relationship between them both was believable and I enjoyed the progression.
This was just brimming with lovely Christmas details, and I especially loved Rudy’s family with all their warmth, openness and occasional complete inappropriateness 🙂 Not a lot of angst along the way but a feel-good romance, perfect for the festive season.
Merry Christmas Mr Miggles – Eli Easton – 5 stars
I just adored this book. Sweet, feel-good romance with just the right amount of Christmas spirit.
Toby is the junior librarian and loves his job. At the start of the story he has a horrible boyfriend and an ever-growing curiousity about his boss, the head librarian Mr Miggles. The older man is quiet, reserved, keeps himself to himself and Toby feels there’s always a sadness about him.
When Mr Miggles is wrongly arrested not only Toby but the whole town comes to realise just how much they miss him, and how much he quietly does behind the scenes for everyone.
This was a lovely story, there was a real small town community feel to it, with lots of interesting secondary characters. I loved the slow burn on the romance side, and the relationship development was sweet and believable. Both were well-developed characters; it was nice to see Toby growing and finding the strength to stand up for both himself and people he cared about, while Sean had to learn to loosen up a bit and let people in again. They were a great couple who really complemented each other well.
Overall, really enjoyable festive read. Will definitely be looking for more from this author.
And if you’re still looking for something I may have an angel themed Christmassy romance out myself 😉
He was sent to judge her… not fall for her.
As a justice angel, Jeremiah had been dispensing heavenly judgement for millenia. While he used to love his job, take pride it, then centuries of watching humans turn to selfishness and greed had left him cynical and bitter. These were no fit emotions for an angel and when he is summoned before the Archangel Council he is willing to accept his fate. Instead he is given one final task, one last judgement.
Holly was used to being alone. It didn’t mean she didn’t love her life, her friends, her work at the shelter. For Christmas though, she just wanted one thing; hope. Hospital tests were never fun and Holly had spent enough time being poked and prodded to never want to go through it again. When she encounters the mysterious Jeremiah she knows there’s something different about him. Something that has her inviting him in out of the cold and into her home, where the fire isn’t the only thing keeping them warm.
As secrets pile up faster than the snow outside, and lives hang in the balance, can Holly and Jeremiah both manage to get what they really want this Christmas?
Have a lovely Christmas weekend. Take care x