Book Review, Christmas Recommendation

2014 Christmas Contemporary Recommends!

Can you believe it?! It’s Christmas time already and once more I have a few reads that I think are responsible for getting me in a celebratory mood. I’ll start with a genre that I don’t often read, which is contemporary. I only read four this time around and I loved them all.

In my next couple of posts I’ll bring you a few more of my Christmas reads but as usual, they’ll be historical.

By the way, have you read any Christmas stories this year? What are they? Please feel free to chime in!

Okay, ready for my 2014 contemporary Christmas recommends? Here they are …

‘Ring in the Holidays’ by Katie Lane

rith klSTORY: The Best New Year’s Eve . . . Ever

Psychologist Ellie Simpson is about to get a healthy dose of sex therapy. Leaving her cheating boyfriend behind, she has everything she needs for a quick rebound: Vegas, plenty of champagne, and a proposition from the sexiest man she’s ever seen. As her handsome stranger helps her ring in the New Year-over and over again-Ellie finds herself blissfully losing all of her inhibitions.

Attorney Matthew McPherson is good at making women lose things, like their minds and underwear. With his athletic build and soulful eyes, he doesn’t need to use his powers of persuasion or famous last name to get a woman into bed. But when morning comes, Matthew finds Ellie is the only woman he can’t bear to leave-ever. It’s enough to make him wonder if what happens in Vegas really has to stay there.

REVIEW: I first read Kati Lane book last Christmas when I picked up her ‘Hunk for the Holidays’ and I was hooked on her writing voice [my review here], so when I saw that this was the second book in the series I grabbed it right away. This is the story of Cassie McPherson’s brother, Matt and I loved it as much if not more, as her story in the earlier book.

Matthew McPherson is bored to tears with his job, his condo, his car and the women he’s been dating. Life was one big HUGE bore to him and he needed something or someone to kick-start his life or he’d die of boredom.

Enter Dr. Ellie Simpson, a sex therapist who is virgin and woman who’ll finally break the cycle of boredom of our hero!

Both characters are in Vegas and both are in a need of a one-night stand that neither really wants or needs yet they are in it for their own reasons and the rest is as they say serendipity!

Once more Katie Lane brings in the slew of secondary characters that are fun and entertaining and just a delight to visit with.

Big Al and Mary Kay, Matt’s mom and dad; Patrick, his brother whose story I’m looking forward to next Christmas [yeah, Patrick, you may run but you can’t hide from Wheeze!]; Cassandra and James, his sis and brother in law and Great Aunt Louise, Wheezie to all her family and the greatest matchmaker that ever lived.

I enjoyed the pace and the dialogue almost as much as the sensual part of the book. Reading this well written story was such a pleasure and everyone in it is relatable, real and just simply fun. Highly recommending it to all of you!

‘Sleigh Bells in Valentine Valley’ by Emma Cane

sbivv ecSTORY: Return to Valentine Valley, where Christmas lights are twinkling and first love burns brighter the second time around…

When Tony De Luca’s ex, Kate Fenelli, waltzes through the door of his tavern and pulls up a bar stool, she turns his balanced world on end. Once they’d been each other’s first love, first everything. But then life happened, and they walked away with broken hearts. Now Kate is back in Valentine, and they can’t seem to stay out of each other’s way. When Tony begins wondering what would happen if they rekindled the sparks, he knows he’s in big trouble.

Kate can’t believe she’s sitting at Tony’s bar spilling her life-changing problems to him. He’s as gorgeous as ever, and she can’t seem to forget how incredible he always made her feel. Still, the door on that chapter of their lives closed long ago. Yet with Christmas buzzing in the air, Kate can’t help wondering if anything is possible—even a second chance with the only man she’s ever loved.

REVIEW: The only story I ever read from this author was last year’s Christmas read, ‘The Christmas Cabin’ [my review here] and I loved it so I’m not surprised to love this one too.

I’m a sucker for second chance stories so when I find one, I just have to go for it. What attracted me most about this story was the twist on the second chance these two were given.

Both characters were solid and very realistic which made the story relatable and likable.
This is a great holiday story and I hope you’ll pick it up.

‘Christmas at Twilight’ by Lori Wilde

cat lwSTORY: It’s Christmas in Twilight, Texas. The Cookie Club is baking, the town is decorated, and Delta Force Operator “Hutch” Hutchinson has finally, reluctantly, returned home . . .

. . . only to get pepper sprayed by the delicious- looking stranger who’s taken over his house. She says her name is Jane, and she immediately sets down ground rules. Top priority: no touching. For Hutch that isn’t easy—he was wounded in action, but one part is still working very well.

Then Hutch learns the truth. Jane harbors a frightening secret—she’s really Meredith Sommers, on the run from a dangerous ex-husband and desperately in need of the safety Hutch can provide. In that moment, he vows he’d do anything in his power to protect her. And as Christmas approaches, they discover that their love can conquer the past and overcome any obstacle—but what price will they pay?

REVIEW: Am I the only one that has never read this author or this series?! That was an omission I must correct and soon.

It is the cover and the title that attracted me to this book and I haven’t bothered to read the blurb so color me surprised as I delved deeper into it. Talk about complex characters and stories! There are so many things happening all at once here that my adrenaline was pumping from start to finish.

In the end, I was glad not to have read the blurb because that way I was kept in the dark throughout the story. It really was interesting, heartwarming and such a great story.

If you’re Lori Wilde fan, this is no brainer, but if you’ve never tried this author, you may as well start with this one. It matters not that this is book six in the series. It stands all on its own and what a great way to be introduced to a new author.

‘The Heart of Christmas’ by Brenda Novak

thoc bnSTORY: Just call her Christmas Eve… 

Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn’t have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that’s what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B and B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining.

Eve’s worried that her future will simply be a reflection of her past. There’s no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband—until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve’s definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve’s happily ever after—just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she’s counting on the best Christmas of her life!

REVIEW: This is the sixth book in the Whiskey Creek series and I have yet to read the previous books in it. Regardless of this oversight on my part, I was able to enjoy this story because I read ‘Take Me Home for Christmas’ [my review here] in which this books heroine Eve loses her boyfriend Ted Dixon to another woman, so it was cool to find out what happened to her happily ever after.

I liked Eve’s character and her independent streak. She so reminded me of my daughter!

Rex McCready was such a strong Alpha male and a man of real mystery with a mystery to solve. By slowly revealing his story, I got to like him more and more. The chemistry between the two characters was electrifying!

I was always impressed by Brenda Novak’s writing voice and I adore her historical romances to no end, but reading her contemporary stories can make one feel like she’s writing about a member of your own family, that’s how realistic they are. The characters are complex and the plots entertaining so the story feels like you’re watching a “dramady” movie.

This one is for all of you Whiskey Creek lovers and for us that need to get with a program and track the previous books in the series!

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copies provided by the publisher


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