Just a few days to go until Christmas! Are you all feeling festive? I’ve been enjoying getting through lots of Christmassy reads, some new and a couple re-reads from previous years – so I thought I would share reviews on a few of my personal favourites, in case you’re looking for a bit of inspiration 🙂
The Perfect Gift (3 Wise Men) – Serenity Woods – 4 star
This was an enjoyable and sweet read about two people with troubled pasts who come together. Brock is just passing the two year anniversary of his wife’s death from cancer, he always swore that he would never love again, but single mum Erin makes him question that vow. Erin has always had terrible taste in men, ending with her son’s father who left them when she was pregnant, and has tried to focus on her son since, especially with him having life-threatening asthma attacks. While drawn to Brock, a doctor who has helped with her son’s treatment, she struggles with self-esteem in wondering what a billionaire doctor would see in her.
The struggles of both the characters were done well, and were relatable to. Brock’s guilt over moving on after his wife, and Erin’s struggle to accept being with someone rich after scrimping for every penny for years. It was nice to see them both working through those though and coming together. Could have maybe done with a little more conflict, but then I’m maybe a bit evil and like my characters to suffer a bit for their HEA lol!
I did really like the background of Brock in particular, he and his two brothers combine their very different skills to help sick children, calling themselved the ‘Three Wise Men’. The insight into the other two brothers was interesting and I’m assuming they will have their own stories to follow. I also liked a lot of the secondary characters, and Erin’s son was really cute, would have been nice to see more of him.
Overall, a fun and sweet story about people finding love when they had both given up on it. I will be looking out for more in the series.
Frosty Relations – Tara Quan – 4 stars
Mina is a familar while Jack Frost (as you might guess by the name lol) is a frost mage/warlock. They’ve known each other since childhood, Mina has always been in love with him and was destined to be Jack’s familar, instead he rejected her and that life and now they both work in ‘normal’jobs. When they both sign up for a paranormal one-night stand service they end up matched with each other.
It’s hard to find something a bit different when reading PNR but this managed it. Mina and Jack were both quite different kinds of paranormal creatures to the usual and I liked the details on their powers and the way they complemented each other magically. Mina was a great character, strong and independent, not afraid to stand up to Jack and their banter was fun and amusing. Jack initially came off as a bit of a petulant child, used to having his own way in everything, but you saw more to him as the story went on and he became a much more likeable character. It was also fascinating to see him using his powers in the bedroom – it certainly made things interesting 😉
Overall, a really enjoyable and fun story. Will definitely look for more in this series.
Blame it on the Fruitcake – Pat Henshaw – 4 stars
Sam is a working-class mechanic who has no family and was raised in a children’s home. When he arrives home to fruitcake on his doorstep and an invite to his new neighbours party he isn’t going to bother going – until he tastes the fruitcake! When he meets his new neighbour, Jay, he doesn’t understand why someone so hot, with a fancy job and a loving family would be interested in him.
This was a really fun and sweet read. Sam’s obsession with fruitcake was hilarious, as well as his despair with Jay’s meddling family. They were a lovely couple and you did slightly want to shake Sam sometimes for his insecurities, but it was nice to see him starting to work through them. I’m not always a fan of first person narrative but it did work well here, Sam’s internal voice was really funny and I loved some of his turns of phrases. It might have been nice to get a little more insight into Jay’s side of things, but that’s the trade-off I suppose.
Overall, this was a really sweet and funny romance that will def get you in the Christmas mood – and probably wanting fruitcake! Will def look for more from this author.
Not so Silent Night – Sheri Velarde – 4 stars
Anna is a witch and a Christmas cynic so is not looking forward to the holidays – all that changes when a gorgeous Russian bear shifter shows up at her flower shop. There’s instant sparks between them but they will have to deal with trouble from the local werewolf pack.
This was a hot and steamy romance, with a nice Christmas theme. I liked Anna as a character and her powers were fascinating, it also was interesting to see them growing as the story progressed. Alexander was a scrummy shifter hero, but it was nice to see a change from the over-the-top alpha personality that often seems to go with that. While he was protective of Anna, he was also sweet and believed in her own abilities. The sex scenes were well-written and definitely fan-inducing 😉
Overall, a fun paranormal read, with a good mix of sweet and sexy.
Buy link: Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Not-Silent-Night-Sheri-Velarde-ebook/dp/B0187T305M
Heart of the Season – Julianna Douglas – 5 stars
This really did have it all in a Christmas story, gorgeous yet scarred military hero, sweet yet strong animal activist, adorable hero dog, and a few Christmas miracles 🙂
Zach would never have survived the bomb blast that scarred his body and took his leg if it wasn’t for Akilah, the dog he befriended in Afganistan. When he wakes up back in hospital in the US, it’s not his leg he misses the most, but his furry best friend. He’s been desperately trying to get her out of there, but with military regulations and the remote location of the base it’s been an impossible task. Enter Jeannie, who runs an animal shelter in Afganistan, specialising in helping military personnel get their animals home.
The relationship development between them was really well done, being on opposite sides of the world they initially can only communicate over email and skype, which was a little unusual and allowed you to see the emotional attachment growing between them even before they had ever met in person. Jeannie was a really sweet and caring person, passionate about her work and protective of the people she cares about. Zach – well, what can I say?
Gorgeous army hero with a love for animals – yes please. I liked that the author didn’t make him too perfect though, his insecurities about himself after his accident, as well as issues from a past relationship give him a vulnerability, and it was nice to see him starting to get some self-esteem back by the end, with Jeannie’s help.
This was a well-paced story, great characters, including some good supporting players, a sweet and well-developed love story, some steamy sex and a strong belief in Christmas miracles. Really enjoyed it and will definitely be looking for more from this author.
Holidays in Hell – Erzabet Bishop – 4 stars
Jonas is an incubus, trapped into a deal with a demon, he has to deliver a certain number of souls within a timeframe or he’s dead. There’s just one soul to go, but time is running short. When he meets Holly, a erotica reading book-seller who is still mourning her husband and dom, they have an instant connection. Will Jonas be willing to sacrifice her though?
This was a fun read, short and steamy. Jonas was an interesting character, the big bad demon with a secret love for all things Christmassy. Holly was sweet and endearing, trying to come to terms with the loss of her beloved husband, while struggling with the guilt of being able to move on. The sex scenes were steamy and well-written, and though I would personally have liked a little more on the relationship development side, I appreciate you don’t always get that in a short story.
I thought some of the secondary characters were interesting, and would be intrigued to see more of them in further books. They did all suddenly seem to appear out of nowhere at the end though, and the ending for me did feel a little rushed, I would have liked it to be more of a confrontation between Jonas and Bael. Personal preference though I suppose.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read, hot demons, some steamy sex, and a good dose of Christmas spirit.
Ribbon of Darkness: The Trouble with Elves, Book 1 – Decadent Kane – 4 stars
Ribbon lived a perfectly normal life, working in her parents bookstore. But now, weird things are happening to her ears, the hot and mysterious Draven keeps showing up, and before she knows it Ribbon is finding out that not only is she not what she seems, but that her and her family may be the only ones who can save Christmas.
I’m a big fan of Decadent Kane’s elves and this delivers a fun and sexy short read with a nice dose of Christmas spirit. Ribbon is an endearing and relatable character while Draven takes Santa’s elves in a whole different direction 😉 Enjoyable read, and will definitely warm you up on cold winter nights!
Am sure there’s something there to tempt you! And if don’t forget I have a Christmassy read out as well, if you haven’t checked it out already, An Angel for the Tree is at these links 🙂
Hope you have a lovely and festive week 🙂