‘Take Me Home for Christmas’ by Brenda Novak
STORY: Christmas is a time for remembering
Too bad all memories aren’t pleasant. Everyone in Whiskey Creek remembers Sophia DeBussi as the town’s Mean Girl. Especially Ted Dixon, whose love she once scorned.
But Sophia has paid the price for her youthful transgressions. The man she did marry was rich and powerful but abusive. So when he goes missing, she secretly hopes he’ll never come back—until she learns that he died running from an FBI probe of his investment firm. Not only has he left Sophia penniless, he’s left her to face all the townspeople he cheated
Sophia is reduced to looking for any kind of work to pay the bills and support her daughter. With no other options, she becomes housekeeper for none other than Ted, now a successful suspense writer. He can’t bring himself to turn his back on her, not at Christmas, but he refuses to get emotionally involved. He learned his lesson the last time.
Or will the season of love and forgiveness give them both another chance at happiness?
REVIEW: This Christmas I ventured to read some more contemporary novels, and here are some of my recommendations…
I don’t remember reading any of Ms. Novak’s Whiskey Creek novels but I just might track them down now.
First, it wasn’t easy liking Sophia DeBussi and at the start of this novel I even had issues with the hero of this piece Ted Dixon, but you know what? I warmed up to them as their story developed and in the end I ended up rooting for them to finally get all that ‘baggage’ they carried resolve and let the ‘cupid’ win the day.
There’s a lot happening in this novel and I hope you give it a try as a second chance in love is offered these high school sweethearts.
Brenda Novak can write a very realistic, passionate love stories with some complex characters and great plots and this book is no exception to that rule.
‘The Gift’ by C.J. Carmichael
STORY: A heartwarming Christmas novella set in Bandit Creek Montana.
When is the wrong thing, the right thing to do?
What would you do if a little girl in need showed up on your doorstep on Christmas Eve?
Amy Gold, Bandit Creek’s kindergarten teacher, is not the sort of person to flout the law. Especially since she’s dating the local deputy, Gray Cassidy. But an unexpected Christmas gift is about to change everything – not just Amy’s plans for a traditional Christmas, but her entire future, and Gray’s as well.
REVIEW: I never read this author before, but after reading this heartwarming story, I’m going to try to stock up on her other titles.
Who doesn’t want to believe in Christmas miracles? I know I can’t help but believe…
The heroine, Amy wants so badly to have kids, but the reality is cruel and she knows that wish would never come true so she decides to spare her boyfriend this pain by setting him free so he can have a family he deserves.
On Christmas Eve everything changes as a bedraggled little girl shows up at her house and Amy has no choice but to help this little girl and by choosing that path, everyone’s destiny will change.
There’s no way you’re going to not love this story. It has everything in it for this season of God’s miracles. Go for it!
‘A Second Chance for Christmas’ by Nashin Sadeer
STORY: When Nathan Wyler’s adored wife Emily dies tragically in a car accident in December his entire world collapses around him. He immerses himself in work, doing everything he can to escape the grief and ends up neglecting his young son, Stefan, in the process – alienating himself from everybody he loves. Things are made worse still by Emily’s father, Xavier, who blames his son-in-law for the death of his brilliant young daughter.
As the years pass, Stefan is denied contact with his grandparents and starved of his father’s affections. As a result he becomes increasingly close to Kate, a substitute teacher at his school. An understanding and gentle woman, Kate is quick to identify the impact of Nathan’s selfish actions on his young son. As her bond with the Stefan flourishes, she visits Nathan at work in an attempt to make him aware of the emotional strain he’s been inflicting on the innocent boy. Preparing herself for a tempestuous encounter with Nathan, Kate is shocked to instead find a vulnerable, grief-stricken figure desperate to be saved, and a potent mutual attraction becomes clear to them both.
Nathan finds solace in the calming influence of this mysterious young woman, and, with her help, begins to reconcile his relationship with Stefan. Unbeknownst to him, Kate even brokers a successful meeting with Emily’s father and the two settle their differences over Christmas dinner. All may not be as it seems with Kate though, as Nathan slowly begins to piece together the feeling of familiarity he had experienced when they first met. As her good deeds continue and Christmas draws closer, the Wyler family begin to realise that she may not be who she claims to be. But who else could this ethereal samaritan be, and why does she seem so familiar to Nathan?
REVIEW: My, but this story almost broke my heart!
I dare you to read it and NOT shed a few tears!
The above blurb is very good in giving you the gist of the story, so I’m skipping on all that, but I do ask you to get this one if you like your Christmas story to be about forgiveness, and second chances at that elusive thing called love.
I’m very impressed with this author’s portrayal of such deep emotions such as loss and grief of and for a loved one; denial and acceptance of love that was a blessing to find second time in one’s lifetime.
This is another story with a miracle just waiting in the wings and I hope you give it a try.
‘All I Want for Christmas is a Cowboy’ by Jennifer Ryan, Katie Lane, Emma Cane
STORY: From Emma Cane, Jennifer Ryan, and Katie Lane come three wildly romantic holiday stories featuring snowstorms, proposals, a sleigh ride … and, yes, cowboys.
‘The Christmas Cabin’ by Emma Cane
Sandy and her young son, Nate, are Christmas tree–hunting when a snowstorm strikes and an old ranch hand points them to an abandoned cabin. Little does Sandy know he sent cowboy Doug Thalberg to the same place. It’s a Christmas all of Valentine Valley will remember.
‘Can’t Wait’ by Jennifer Ryan
Before The Hunted Series began …
Though she is the woman of his dreams, Caleb Bowden knows his best friend’s sister, Summer Turner, is off limits. He won’t cross that line, which means Summer will just have to take the reins if she wants her cowboy for Christmas.
‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ by Katie Lane
Alana Hale hits the internet dating jackpot when she finds Clint McCormick. He’s sensitive and responsible—not to mention wealthy. When he invites her to spend the holidays on his family’s ranch, she readily accepts. But on the way there, a blizzard strands her with a womanizing rodeo cowboy who could change everything …
REVIEW: I must say all three stories were very entertaining to read and I liked them all equally. They were well written, plotted and had a fast pace so I didn’t have a chance to be bored.
All were different in plot so that helped, but one thing they all had in common besides romance, was hot dudes in chaps. Now how can you pass up on that?!
The Christmas Cabin by Emma Cane
This story is all about making lemonade when life dumps you a lot of lemons.
Everything in this story worked for me, from the plot to the wonderful characters such as Sandy and her little boy, to Doug who needed them s much as they needed him.
This story will make you stop and appreciate the simple things in your own life that you may have taken for granted.
Can’t Wait by Jennifer Ryan
This was a fun and frustrating story. Many times I wanted to pull a Cher [from Moonstruck] and slap Caleb, telling him ‘SNAP OUT OF IT’!
You see, Summer loves him to pieces, but for some reason this Dude is not allowing himself to love her because she’s his best friend’s sister.
Once she breaks down his defenses, we’re in for a treat and a love story that is sweet, poignant and entertaining.
Baby It’s Cold Outside by Katie Lane
I like this author and I think she can write comedy very well. Honestly, I think some of her stories are better written than those Hallmark movies!
If you want to find out what happens when Alana finds that ‘perfect’ man online, you need to read this story.
She acts impulsively by wanting to surprise him for Christmas, and instead gets stuck with a hot cowboy and can’t keep her hands to herself.
All three stories are different in plot and feel, but all of them have one thing in common-a cowboy who’ll make their dreams come true! Now, how can I not like that?!
*Melanie for b2b.
*Books provided by the authors and publishers through Edelweiss & NetGalley.