Craving-Heart Christmas by Mariah J. Roberts

An untimely homecoming brings back painful memories for Mariah, but a chance meeting with her high school hero changes everything.

What’s it About? 51+HXim4RGL

James rescued Mariah from the worst moment of her life, but that night still affects her life ten years later. After what happened to Mariah that night she’ll never be whole again, and she has to keep moving. Then the hero who saved her walks back into her life and she agrees to couch surf at his place during the holidays. Sparks ignite, winter heats up, lust roars and cravings bloom but both her career and her past demons drive her to keep moving; if she’s never still, she’ll never get hurt… so how can she stay?

First Impressions

Mariah has returned to Indiana to care for her sick father, and shortly after arriving back into town she runs into a man who she hasn’t seen in years. A man who changed her life. A man she’s never had the chance to thank…until now. Years before, James rescued Mariah from a traumatic rape at the end of their high school careers. After that fateful night she fled this small town for the wide open roads of the country where nobody knew the troubles of her past. She’s avoided coming home for years. There’s simply too many painful memories of that night, not to mention an unloving father who doesn’t seem to give a damn about her.

DSC_0107

She’s always remembered James as the man who rescued her, and he’s always thought of her in the back of his mind as well. Seeing each other again after so many years, James has some initial difficulty placing this young woman who seems so familiar to him for some reason, and then the event comes flooding back into his memory. His instinct to protect and care for Mariah comes back full force, especially when he discovers she’s only in town for a short time, and living out of the van she travels around the country in. Will he be able to convince her to spend the rest of her visit in the safety of his home, and will he have enough time to show her that she really belongs in his bed?

sex-make-out-kiss-tangle-bedroom-intimacy-sexy-cuddle-lazy-afternoon-happy-home

A Slow Burn

The connection between Mariah and James is strong and immediate, but they are surprisingly slow to cross the line into a physical relationship. You’d think that James’ invitation for Mariah to stay with him in his apartment for the rest of her visit would have quickly resulted in a tumble under the sheets. James can’t deny that he’s drawn to her, but he’s insistent that they not take things too far too quickly to a point where she’s no longer comfortable with him. After all, Mariah has never been intimate with another man before, and the only physical experience she’s encountered in her past was an extremely traumatic one. That last thing he wants to do is scare her off. That being said, the prospect of taking that next step with Mariah fills James with excitement, and he desires to teach her all there is to know about pleasure. He’s also determined to show her how he likes to be touched, stroked…and even sucked.

tumblr_mtdyx0sns71r4oq9eo1_500-3313-3161

From the Hospital to the Bedroom

Surprisingly, the thing that sort of kick-starts their physical relationship into high gear was the continuously failing health of Mariah’s father. The two have never had a strong or loving relationship, and it’s in those moments when he is so near death that Mariah wants to find a way to celebrate life. In her mind, the best way to do that is to develop a physical bond with James. I will admit it was kind of shocking to see a sad hospital scene followed so closely by a sex scene filled with some rather explicit dirty talk. It’s sort of an emotional whiplash to go from crazy sad to crazy sexy so quickly, but in a bizarre way you can kind of understand it in the same vein.

JUSTIN CHAMBERS, JAMES REMAR

While neither necessarily admits to themselves that this is just a passing fancy or one-week fling, in the beginning they both sort of agree to just live in the moment. To be with each other and have fun. Yet again, we see that Mariah’s father has an unexpected influence on changing the outlook of their relationship. It’s in the moment when James is first introduced to this gruff and unloving father of hers that he realizes how important Mariah is to him, and that he wants to be her protector from now on. He’s falling for her, and he wants to keep her in his life from here on out. There’s just one major problem with his plan of a happily ever after. Mariah is a traveling musician. Her life is one on the road, and her time in Indiana is limited, which means that her time in his life has a fast-approaching expiration date.

1

On the Road

I do wish we had learned more about Mariah’s pursuit of a musical career. Apparently back in high school she was more artistically driven in terms of drawing. She always carried around a sketchbook that she’d constantly pull in and out of her backpack. The night when James rescued her she left her backpack and drawings behind after fleeing the pain of that night. When James sees her again all these years later she’s suddenly a musician, and has apparently given up drawing. That’s pretty much the end of the discussion, and I just wish we could have brought things back around to that switch from drawing to singing. Especially considering that James had found and kept her backpack of sketches from that sad night. If we could have seen him reunite her with that sketchbook again? My goodness I would have died!! This area, and a few others as well, could have used an added layer of depth and exploration to bring the story fully to life.

download

When James ultimately discovers that Mariah intends to leave town right after the New Year he is desperate to try and change her mind into staying with him. In his mind the best way to do that is to give her as many orgasms as possible. He assumes that by keeping her pleasantly satiated she won’t want to leave him. As his best friend so intelligently tells him though, women don’t think like that. James doesn’t want her to leave, but the last thing he wants is to prevent her from following her dreams to be a musician. How can he support her career aspirations, yet also convince her to stay with him at the same time? A puzzling conundrum to be sure, and you can’t help but admire that he simultaneously wants to keep Mariah in his life, but still encourage her to follow her dreams.

dreamstime_s_42790997

*A copy of this audiobook was provided for an honest review*

Series: Stand-alone

Final Impressions: This is a quick holiday romance between two lovers who come together years after a traumatic event. I appreciated how James never pressured Mariah to move their physical intimacy at a speed she was uncomfortable with. Normally I love when a book alternates between the male and female points of view, but surprisingly enough I think I almost would have preferred if we’d only had James as our storyteller. His scenes often provided more of a struggle between his inner desires and how he wanted to act in front of Mariah. He was a captivating narrator, and at times I even wondered if his physical urges would override his common sense. I do wish we could have brought certain elements from their high school interaction back full circle into their time together as adults. Perhaps we could have seen an added exploration into the immediate aftermath of how they dealt with such a jarring and frightening experience. It could have helped to add one more layer of depth to their relationship.

Smut Level: They may have taken their sweet time before finally deciding to engage in a physical relationship, but once they do? Holy crap, let’s just say Mariah is a fast learner, and James is an avid teacher. He also has a dirty little mouth on him 😉

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price or $6.95 Audible Price. Eminent Press. 140 Pages or 2hr 20mins Audiobook.

Advertisements

Christmas on the Beach by Tori L. Wilson

Well I’ll be a son of a gun! We have a male lead with the name Erik, ending in a ‘k’. Just like my brother! It’s such a rarity to find an Erik that doesn’t end in a ‘c’. Oh boy, and now I’m thinking of my brother in reference to the male lead of a romance novel. Great, can’t wait to see how long it takes me to separate that concept!

What’s it About?36535856

Aria spends her days living in a small one bedroom apartment on Jekyll Island with her adorable cat, Salem. Every day, she lives out her dream creating new paintings and selling them to customers online. Despite all of this, however, she still feels as though she is missing something. One crisp December morning, she meets a man on the beach by chance. Erik, a handsome Korean man, is visiting the island for Christmas. Will their love blossom regardless of the freezing weather or will tragedy grip Erik’s heart in its icy clutches?

First Impressions

Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s May, why the hell am I featuring a romance novel set during Christmas?! I can’t even use the whole excuse of it being Christmas in July, or something silly like that. Well, what can I say? This is what happens when you host a romance novel blog, and you get severely behind on reading through your author review requests! Only 26 more to get through and I’ll be officially caught up. Which means…yeah I’ll probably never get caught up, and next thing you know I”ll be reviewing a book set around Halloween in June. Anywho, let’s get down to the nitty gritty details of this little novella, shall we?

st-joseph-penninsual-state-park

First things first, “little novella” is about as accurate as a description as we can have here, seeing as this tale is just 49 pages in length. That miiiiiight just be a record of the shortest story I’ve ever featured. Although we are dealing with a short novella, this story incorporates quite a lot of heavy subject matter involving the feeling of loneliness which can surround the holidays. Aria is experiencing Christmas alone in her beach house, and we are reminded that during winter the beach can be a cold and foreboding place. For Erik, it’s an extremely sad and solitary family Christmas vacation by the beach seeing as the rest of his family isn’t actually present. His parents both met an untimely death the week before during a home invasion gone wrong, and the rest of his family is all back in Korea for the funeral. Man, I feel like I need a shot of tequila to make it through this one! Despite the sad premise, these two lonely souls are able to come together to find a moment of happiness, and maybe even love during the holidays.

the-walking-dead-saison-6-video-trailer-bande

Finding Love on the Beach

This novel starts off very strong! I always get worried when we have a romance set in such a limited number of pages, as it usually feels like our lead couple comes together way too quickly for my liking. However, when it came to this tale of woe, you really are rooting for Erik and Aria to come together so that they can provide comfort for each other during such a difficult time. The setting of the beach also provided some very interesting symbolism towards the beginning, as we open on the cold gray of the ocean which surrounds our characters during their lonely holiday, but as their time together progresses they are able to rediscover the beauty of the island. They also spend a delectable amount of time together drinking hot chocolate, and cuddling under blankets on the couch whilst watching Christmas movies. Honestly, I see nothing wrong with this.

I3Mp1zg

Tapering Off at the End

Unfortunately, there is one crucial scene in this novella which wasn’t my favorite, and it surrounds the discussion we all knew was coming: Erik’s inevitable return to Korea. Erik admits the day after he and Aria first have sex that he’ll be headed home within 24 hours. In my humble opinion, Aria gets a bit overly emotional when he reveals this little detail. She accuses him of just using her for sex, and proceeds to kick him out of her apartment. And he just leaves. Mkay, a few issues here. First of all. The dude’s parents were just murdered! He’s heading home to be with his family. Give the guy a break!

IMG_2284-1170x480

Now, to be fair, Aria quickly realizes her mistaken overreaction later that evening, but my goodness in the moment it just made me cringe. And then there’s Erik. When Aria told him to leave, he just put his head down in sadness and left. Again, to be fair, I can’t really blame the guy. He’s got other more worrisome things on his mind right now than to argue with a woman he just met two days ago who is upset he has to go home to grieve with his family. I just wish that he would have fought just a bit more for their relationship. Yes, they came together very quickly, but if he had stayed back to try and make any kind of argument for why she shouldn’t throw him out in the cold, I think I would have warmed to this relationship even more.

ccimage-shutterstock_238059490

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Part of the Snowman Anthology.

Should you read it? I just love that we have a male lead who can make bibimbap. I’ll take him for myself if you don’t mind! Would have preferred a Korean male for the cover art, but what can ya do? This novella has a strong start, but as the story goes on there is quite a lot left unexplored. For example, we never really learn why Aria was alone for Christmas, seeing as she mentions her parents and sister at multiple points throughout the story. Also, even though I was rooting for these two to get together, I couldn’t help but wonder how much of their emotional connection was based on true love, and how much was because Aria happened to be there to comfort Erik at a difficult time in his life. Will this be a forever romance? I’m not 100% sure as of right now, but I would absolutely love to get a follow-up to this tale. I’d definitely read it, no question.

Smut Level: We don’t really have any explicit detail when it comes to the sex scenes in this one. There’s several kisses, waking up the morning after tangled together in the sheets, and even the discussion of whether or not to take a shower together. Nice!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $1.99 Kindle Price. Books to Go Now. 49 Pages.

The Attraction Equation by Kadie Scott

Alright folks, it’s official, I am totally in love with this series, and all of the characters. Not to mention the iddy biddy widdle puppies!

What’s it About? 

36406869

FBI agent Max Carter lives his life by a strict set of rules–rules that don’t allow for distraction, deviation…or a relationship. But tell that to his matchmaking mama. To avoid yet another set-up, he announces he has a girlfriend. And now has to produce said girlfriend at Christmas dinner. Maybe Santa has a suitable actress in that red bag of his…

Gina Castillo is about to break her building’s iron-clad “no pets” policy to give her little brother the perfect Christmas gift–a dog. Too bad Max, the most inconveniently sexy tenant in the building, catchers her red handed. Gina expects to be evicted, but instead finds herself blackmailed into playing the role of his girlfriend. Two lies plus one dog should equal a hot mess of a holiday, but attraction and Christmas magic might just defy the rules…

First Impressions

I can’t help it guys and gals, I love, love, LOVED this book! Let me put it to you this way, I absolutely hate New York City (psychotic, I know), and yet if it were in any way possible I would want to live in this world, and have a glass of wine with all of the characters. Maybe two glasses. Ok…a bottle. In my opinion, this is the perfect example of a quintessential beach read. Although, considering this novel takes place at Christmas time I guess it’s technically a better snowy cabin read. It’s quick, cute, funny, sexy and endearing. You can’t ask for much else. And did I mention there’s a puppy?!?! Squeeee!!! This was such a fun read I found it hard to put down. Seriously, the number of times I considered going in late to work with the excuse of “sorry, I was stuck reading a good book”, was too many times to count. Actually, come to think of it, it happened approximately three times, as I finished it in just as many days.

chihuahua_terrier

A Colorful Fake Girlfriend

So let’s start with the premise of the novel; we’re dealing with a fake girlfriend tale here. When Max discovers Gina is keeping a puppy in a no-pets allowed apartment building, he blackmails her into being his fake lady love over the holidays to keep his matchmaking mother off his back. Honestly, fake girlfriend romance novels can really be hit or miss. Let’s face it, we all know how they’re going to end. Playboy guy will fall for said fake girlfriend, and before you know it their phony relationship isn’t so fake after all. But here was the absolute brilliance of this book; Gina fully acknowledges the ridiculousness of the situation.

Booth-and-brennan-kiss-under-the-mistletoe-in-season-3s-the-santa-in-the-slush

Gina even warns Max that according to every romance novel ever, if she accepts this ploy they’re bound to fall in love. In my view, the best sure-fire way to make a cheesy story line work is to highlight the fact that it’s cheesy. Don’t hide it people, revel in it! The other positive aspect of how this rather common romance novel trope was handled was the fact that it doesn’t take long at all before both Max and Gina admit they’re not only attracted to each other, but also that their feelings extend beyond the physical. Their continued hesitation to transition from fake to real deals with the mutual assumption that they’re too different to ever fit into the other person’s life. It adds another layer of depth to the traditional fake GF story line.

tumblr_mp43kctUky1s841o0o3_250

Obsessively in Love

Now while I really enjoyed the approach to the blackmail story, the absolute standout feature of this novel was the incorporation of Max’s OCD. On the surface, that actually sounds really insensitive, and makes me sound like a weirdo, so let me delve deeper into why I enjoyed this aspect so much. I have read many a romance novel featuring a lead with OCD, and many of them default into treating it like a kind of humorous character trait. Only meeting the love of his life does the male lead magically learn to unwind and not be so obsessive. This novel sort of starts off that way in that Gina’s carefree and colorful nature is at odds with Max’s structured life, and their little arguments over it are kind of silly and quirky.

maxresdefault

However, after a while we see how deep Max’s OCD runs, and how it impacts his relationship with not only Gina, but his family as well. He knows that his need for organized structure is on the unhealthy side, and he feels Gina deserves better than that. He doesn’t want his obsessive nature to squash her zest for life, so he draws away from her. But the most heartbreaking moment had to be when Max finally confronts his family for all their teasing about his obsessive habits. He insists that he doesn’t need fixing, and that he’s not some sideshow to be laughed at. During this passionate scene there is one person who fully understands what he’s saying and is willing to stand by his side: Gina. That is why when push comes to shove this book is so much more than a simple fake girlfriend tale.

tumblr_m1rs7xLjXQ1qanxyso1_500

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Love Undercover, book 2. Yeah so I need an ETA on book 3 like, yesterday. Also, be sure to check out book 1 in the series, The Wrong Kind of Compatible, on sale for $0.99 on Amazon from Feb 12-16!

Should you read it? This is one of those few moments where I think I like the sequel even more than the first book in a series. And I liked book 1! I understand how fake girlfriend novels aren’t necessarily for everyone, and this one does have quite a few moments of cheesiness, but I definitely think it’s one worth reading. It starts off adorably silly, but as it goes on we uncover a surprisingly sensitive and vulnerable side of Max that is so heartfelt I couldn’t help but fall in love. As for Gina, she pushes Max’s buttons, but also brings out the best in him. Again, love, love, LOVE!!

Smut Level: Hot damn! I was wondering at first if this was going to stay mainly on the cutesy chick-lit side, but this baby is brimming with passion. We’ve got some action up against a door, in bed, and even a late night naked workout in the apartment building gym. Yummy!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Lovestruck. 197 Pages.

A Heavenly Christmas by Patrice Wilton

You know, whenever I think of a Christmas romance novel, I think of a light-hearted, swoon-worthy read with enough cheesiness to keep you warm for the rest of the year. This one had a more somber note featuring a widow and her two young daughters facing their first Christmas without their husband/father. Tis the season to be jolly?

What’s it About? heavenly

Jennie Braxton and her two small children are traveling to Philadelphia for Christmas with her family. Car trouble lands them in a magical town called Heaven, P.A. Everything about this sweet place seems too good to be true, especially Nick Ryan, a local chef with a heart as big as her own. His sensual smile tempts her from mourning the loss of her dear husband, to look into the future. Can her dreams of finding happiness again come true, or will her heart hide safely in the past?

First Impressions

Now, don’t get me wrong, this book did have it’s moments of cheese. From a late-night romantic horse-drawn carriage ride to puppies frolicking in the snow. Unfortunately, the rest of the book was kind of a downer as Jennie struggles with the guilt of feeling attracted to another man within one year of her husband’s death. I realize that this is a sad part of life that many people face; having to go through the death of a loved one and experiencing that first important holiday alone. Whether we want to admit it or not, death is a part of life. I’m just not a huge fan of it being part of my cheesy Christmas romance novels. It’s really the only time of year when I will willingly put up with that much fluff.

mistletoe-getty-jpeg

Too Soon?

This novel raises a very interesting question of time. How soon is too soon before you start to move on after the death of a spouse? There’s a definite attraction between Jennie and Nick, but is that enough to pursue something more permanent? The fact that Jennie is just passing through town makes things even more complicated.

romance-snow

Sort of Pushy

Jennie and Nick have a pretty adorable chemistry, and the fact that Nick can cook means he’s one of the good ones. That being said, there were a few moments in this book that I found to be rather uncomfortable, specifically when it came to people pressuring Jennie to give Nick a chance.From her parents to her sister, and even Nick himself!

He realizes that Jennie is still mourning the loss of her husband, and she’s extremely hesitant to start anything with him romantically considering that she’s only in town because of car trouble. But that doesn’t stop him from constantly pursuing her, calling her at all hours of the day, randomly showing up at her hotel, telling her over and over again to stay in town,  and if she doesn’t he has  a pretty convincing pouty face.

pouty

Considering how vulnerable Jennie was at spending this first Christmas without her husband and the father of her two children, I just couldn’t help but feel that Nick’s actions were somewhat manipulative. Especially considering it was only after he got her into bed that he started to consider if he could, or ever would want to be a new father to her children. Umm…maybe something to ponder before getting the single widow into the sack? After all, Jennie did bring it up numerous times as a concern beforehand!

Series: Heavenly Christmas, book 1.

Should you read it? Definitely not the light-hearted Christmas read I was hoping for. It deals with rather heavy subject matter, and you can’t help but feel compassion for Jennie and her children. Nick was adorable and could really be a cheesy romantic at times. That being said, it didn’t really seem like Jennie was ready for such a serious relationship. I worry if it’s something she’ll come to regret later, even though I did like Nick for the most part. Just not his constant persistence!

Smut Level: When Jennie wasn’t thinking of her husband, her attention was solely focused on Nick. And his willy ding dong.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Dreamscape Press. 179 Pages.

inspiring-romantic-christmas-tree-light-for-room-decorations

 

 

Christmas From Hell by R.L. Mathewson

xmas-from-hell

When the power goes out in the midst of a snow storm, and you’re trapped in a house with your sexy neighbor, there’s one sure-fire way to stay warm!

What’s it About?

Duncan Bradford is used to putting other people first even the annoying little jinx that lives next door, but when the unexpected happens and he starts to see her in a whole new light, he decides that it’s time that he acts more like a Bradford and takes what he wants.

First Impressions

The neighbor series is back y’all, and with all the silliness and sexiness of the first few books. I’ve been a huge fan of this series for quite some time now, but the last book took on a bit of a serious note. In this novel however, we are once again privy to a feel-good story that will make you laugh, yet also blush from some steamy scenes between a clumsy female lead, and a sexy Bradford with quite the appetite. For both food and the horizontal mambo!

smooch-kiss-day-lip-bite-hd-wallpaper-300x203

The Dance of the Neighbors!

This couple has got some pretty big shoes to fill when compared to all of the lovable characters who have come before them in this series. I’m happy to say that they don’t disappoint! Duncan is a fireman, so that’s automatically a plus in my book. As for Necie, she’s a talented baker, which seems like a rather dangerous profession when you live next door to a Bradford.

ck-blog-12-25-2

Shockingly enough, Duncan wants nothing to do with his beautiful neighbor, as she is perhaps the biggest jinx alive, and unfortunately her ill-timed klutzy mishaps often result in Duncan getting injured. Although these mishaps are pretty outlandish, and at times rather repetitive, you can’t help but let out a laugh when they happen. You’ll also feel as though they are fate’s way of ensuring the two are brought together whether they like it or not.

‘Tis the Season for Sexy Times

Duncan and Necie definitely know how to ignite a fire between the sheets. Her grandfather might keep his many guns polished and at the ready in order to keep the dashing Bradford out of his granddaughter’s bed, but even he can’t prevent these two from coming together in a tangle of limbs.

98472182-legs-of-man-and-woman-intertwined-in-bed-gettyimages_original

Funnily enough, a large portion of the overly sexual scenes presented in this book don’t actually happen, but rather are Duncan’s own thoughts on what he’d love to do with the gorgeous jinx living next door. Don’t be disappointed though! He carries out plenty of those desires in reality, and me oh my does that man have a dirty mouth. But hey, Necie doesn’t seem to mind!

Series: Neighbor from Hell, book 7. I can’t wait to read the next book, as our tales of Bradfords continue!

Should you read it? A light-hearted read filled with lovable characters who are guaranteed to make you chuckle, especially Necie’s sweet yet threatening grandfather. And of course, any Neighbor from Hell book would not be complete without a good ole fashion Bradford kidnapping of his one true love. I do wish there had been a bit more tie in with Christmas though beyond just snow and a chapter-by-chapter countdown to Christmas.

Smut Level: When Duncan kidnaps Necie away to a romantic mountain cabin to “get to know each other”, well let’s just say they get to know just about every inch of each other. And get rather sore in the process!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Smashwords. 229 Pages.

large

Wrapped Up in You by Erin Bevan

Nothing like a little romance at the North Pole to get you in the holiday spirit!

What’s it About?

wrapped-up-in-you

Princess Jenny Claus has thirty suitors to choose from to take on the role of Santa and her husband, and only three weeks to do it. When an outsider crashes into and destroys the toy factory, her Gala and the prospect of Christmas for children everywhere are ruined.

Logan Moss awakens from his plane crash, suffering from partial amnesia. Surrounded by a world he always considered make believe, he has a hard time accepting his new surroundings. Except for one snow princess who he’s deeply fascinated with. And when Logan realizes she only has three weeks to pick a husband, he begins to feel compelled to be that man. Problem is, he can’t remember if he has a wife. With Christmas getting closer, Jenny has to make the hardest decision of her life…duty or love.

First Impressions

Before reading this novel, all I had to go on in considering the possible content was the title, and the cover. No synopsis to speak of was available at the time! I figured I’d be dealing with some kind of light-hearted romance à la Hallmark channel. Well, you can imagine my utter surprise when I cracked open the cover of my Kindle to discover we were dealing with a romance between Santa Claus’s daughter and a pilot who crash landed in the North Pole. To say I was surprised is the understatement of the entire holiday season! We’ve got a competition for who will be Head Elf, a magical peppermint potion, Dasher’s sassy reindeer wife Marcy, and just a tad of amnesia thrown into the mix. I gotta say though, I absolutely fell in love with this story!

reindeer_xmas_620

A Magical Christmas Romance

I love a good Christmas romance, and this one is about as magical and cheesy as you can get. I mean, we’re in the North Pole for crying out loud! I think it’s important to go into this novel with as carefree and as open a mind as possible. After all, it is the holidays. Try to just relax, have some fun, and not worry about taking things too seriously!

wine

In hindsight I’m absolutely thrilled I hadn’t read the synopsis beforehand, as I went in with zero expectations, and just let the story take me where it wanted to go. Yes, it’s a pretty silly premise, but underneath all the holiday cookies and sprinkles it’s actually a very sweet read that will make your cheeks rosy, and your toes curl in delight. I felt the ending did lay on the X-mas magic a bit too thick, but overall it’s a unique holiday romance unlike any other.

snow-kiss

Some Drama Mixed with the Magic

It’s clear pretty early on that Jenny and Logan have chemistry, but his inability to remember the details of his life (specifically whether or not he has a wife and children back home) prevent them from taking things too far in the romantic sense. Their hesitancy surrounding the mystery of Logan’s past creates just the right amount of fabulous tension to the story. It provided an interesting mix of drama and romance that I simply wasn’t expecting, but ultimately really enjoyed. There’s also the slight mishap over the fact that Logan’s plane crash-landed into the toy factory one month before Christmas, and Princess Jenny must choose a husband who will become the new Santa in that same amount of time. Things are extra busy at the North Pole this year!

elf-gif

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: One and done

Should you read it? I was drawn into this story right from the get-go, and thought it was a fun and unique read. I understand it might not be for everyone, and you kind of have to prepare yourself for some silliness. That being said, beneath the tinsel and ice sculptures lies a tale about love at first sight, family, honor and the delights of Christmas magic.

Smut Level: No sex I’m afraid, but that doesn’t mean these two don’t get up to some crazy antics in the toy storeroom.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 234 Pages.

The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire…with two very aroused individuals pursuing a sexual interaction with each other under the stars. Nice!

What’s it About?

troublewithmistletoe-lighter-with-ribbons-250x403

If she has her way …

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her …

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him …

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice …

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work …

First Impressions

This book has “Hallmark Christmas Special” written all over it, and I will go toe-to-toe with anyone who says otherwise. I mean, you’ve got a pet shop, Christmas decorations up the wazoo, a quarreling couple filled to bursting with sexual tension, and enough holiday cheer to make you wanna go out and buy a cup of peppermint hot cocoa as soon as possible. And I don’t even like peppermint hot cocoa! I much prefer a shot or two of Kahlua.

peppermint

Naughty or Nice

If I had to describe this book in a word, it would be “adorable”. From Willa’s rapport with her close group of friends, to her initial hatred of Keane for forgetting that he stood her up at a school dance years beforehand. Then you’ve got Keane’s dislike of his great-aunt’s cat Petunia, and it’s all presented with a light-hearted sheen you can’t help but giggle at. Be forewarned that you might look like a grinning idiot for a large portion of this book.

grin

But don’t let the comparison to a Hallmark movie and light-heartedness fool you though! These two can be very sexually fabulous with each other. I’ve already mentioned the roof, but then they also do some naughty activities in her office, kitchen, and shower. There’s a bit of shoving up against some walls/doors, and plenty of scenes where one or the both of them has just come in from the rain. There’s no overly explicit dirty talk, but in hindsight this novel is probably too sexy for the Hallmark channel.

Holiday Whiplash

The one aspect of this novel which wasn’t my favorite was that there’s a lot of back and forth between them over whether or not to call their sexual escapades a relationship, or just a fling. At first, she’s looking for love, but he feels he’s incapable of getting attached. Then they realize he’s more than capable, which makes her hesitate to take things further. Then when she’s ready for more, the situation reverses itself once again. I’m getting whiplash here!

back-and-forth

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Heartbreaker Bay, book 2. There are hints of the relationship from book 1, but you can definitely read this as a stand-alone. I’ll probably keep reading this series.

Should you read it? A fun, cute read to save for the month of December. The scenes between Keane and his aunt’s cat were hilarious. It’s a sexy read as well, but towards the end of the 2nd half I did feel like the story dragged a bit. But then everything comes together at the end for an adorably cheesy ending, complete with a Christmas tree delivery.

Smut Level: Willa works in a pet shop. Pussy innuendos are basically required.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $6.99 Kindle Price. HarperCollins Publishers. 384 Pages.

jsimage6

Author Bio: New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Jill Shalvis’ Social Links: 

Website: http://jillshalvis.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JillShalvis/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JillShalvis