Snowball’s Christmas by Kristen McKanagh

Snowball’s Christmas by Kristen McKanagh

A delightful Christmas romance to get you in the holiday spirit! Believe me when I say, this year especially, it’s not too early to pick up this read.

What’s it About? 

Snowball—an aptly named bundle of feline fluff—is thankful to be spending her first Christmas in the comfort of Weber Haus, the Victorian B&B run by Miss Tilly. Emily Diemer, who cooks for the guests, dotes on Snowball, but she’s not thrilled about another new arrival at the B&B: Miss Tilly’s nephew, Lukas. Which is odd, because Snowball’s animal instincts tell her that Lukas and Emily should definitely be friends. Everything Emily needs is in this quaint community—including, she hopes, the chance to open her own bakery one day.

She doesn’t think much of Lukas for leaving his aging aunt to struggle while he jets around the world taking photographs. But now that he’s here, helping to spruce up the property and getting mixed up in Snowball’s antics, she begins to soften a little. Until she learns what he has planned . . . Lukas is going to sell Weber Haus so that Miss Tilly can retire. But Snowball is certain that this B&B, and these people, are supposed to be her forever home. Somehow she has to get these stubborn humans to see things through the wisdom of a cat’s eye and a kitten’s loyal, loving heart . . .

First Impressions

In this enchanting Christmas romance we see a small snippet of each chapter told from the point of view of an adorable kitten. I mean, just look at the fluffy wuffy cuteness that is the cover art, and tell me you’re not intrigued! As if that wasn’t enough, we have a snowy landscape at a picturesque Inn, two people who fall in love, and German Christmas traditions and food on top of everything. When I told my friends these fabulous details they all said the same thing: “This book was made for you”. While reading this book, believe me when I say it will leave you with a smile on your face pretty much from start to finish, and for a few days afterwards. You’ll probably chuckle aloud a time or two, and your toes will curl with glee. If it doesn’t? Well you just might be the Grinch of the holiday season.

A Personal Connection

This was exactly the kind of romance book I didn’t know I needed right now. Initially I thought it was way too early in the season for a snowy Christmas read, but it was simply the perfect amount of light-hearted fun and romance necessary to escape all the stresses of the world. And my goodness there’s seemingly too many stresses to count! I also felt a personal connection to this read, not just because I can’t say no to a book featuring a fluffball of fur as one of the characters. As someone who lost her own Oma earlier this year, it was special for me to read about the connection between the character of Emily and her own Oma who recently passed. To witness another woman who had such a loving relationship with her Oma, and one who also had a culinary influence on her life dang near brought tears to my eyes!

My sister and I basically grew up in my Oma’s kitchen. She taught me how to make spaetzle, kartoffelsalat und blaukraut.

A Pinch of Love, a Scoop of Fun

This novel presents us with the perfect recipe of a romance: the book has soul, and these characters have heart. Even during moments which cause friction, we can see that the decisions of Emily and Lukas come from a good place. For example, the synopsis introduces us to the fact that Lukas wants to sell his aunt’s Inn, and while I went into this read expecting to see him as a somewhat selfish character, I was surprised to find that his goal of selling the Inn was bred solely from the desire to ensure his aunt was being taken care of. Emily was also intent on hating Lukas for a good portion of the read, as she couldn’t help but see him as a neglectful nephew to the woman she’s come to love as family. Her oftentimes childish fixation to dislike Lukas became a bit easier to understand when we see it was due to her love of Aunt Tilly.

Even Snowball the kitten had the best of intentions during her moments of craziness! Sure, she could be such a little troublemaker at times, but she just wanted these silly humans to fall in love and kiss already! For those of you who aren’t cat people (firstly, how dare you?), don’t let that deter you from this read! Snowball was unbelievably adorable in all her fluffy cuteness, and at times even took on the characteristics of a dog. She would fetch things (even if not asked for), she was snuggly and affectionate, and could even follow direction…kind of.

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

Series: Stand-Alone.

Final Impressions: This is a must-read for the holiday season! For those of you who might not be in the mood for a Christmas read at this point of the year, at least be sure to add this to your holiday “to be read” pile. I didn’t want to put it down, whether I was in the bath, it was before bed, or I needed to hop on a zoom call for work!

Smut Level: This is a sweet read without any hanky panky.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $9.99 Kindle Price. Kensington Publishing. 240 Pages

Starting Over by Pamela Q. Fernandes

If you’re looking for a sweet fall romance that you can finish in one sitting, then this is the book for you!

What’s it About?

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Cara Wallace is stunned to find Nathan Reynolds back in Henderson County. His sudden arrival brings to the fore unresolved questions of what might have been.
How could she unwrite the past?
How could she undo the mistakes?
How could she unlove him?

Nathan Reynolds can’t understand why Cara chose to stay in this small town. How could she sacrifice her career, her future and their love for a small run-down cottage in the middle of nowheresville? Whatever her reasons, Nathan intends to find out and start over again!

First Impressions

This is a short read, at just 64 pages, which means this review here is gonna be brief, or else I’ll risk spoiling the entire sequence of events! In spite of it’s short length, I was surprised to find out how much story and emotion could be packed into this novella without it feeling rushed. We have the opportunity to really get to know our characters, as well as the tragic reasons behind their break-up years before on the cusp of going away to college. Back then, Cara gave Nathan minimal excuses as to why there was no point in continuing their relationship, but when they reconnect after all these years he is determined to figure out the real reason behind her withdrawal. The details are devastating, but beyond them all we see a second chance at love which was seemingly lost years ago. Their years apart and previous misunderstandings can’t stop their old feelings from coming back to the forefront.

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Overcoming the Past

The bulk of this novella observes Nathan and Cara finding their way back into each other’s lives, and overcoming the ghosts of their pasts. Everything comes together to end on a big note which is so freakin’ adorable (bonfire included), but I think we needed just one more scene of Cara and Nathan connecting in the present. There’s such a focus on their past, and on how Cara’s niece, Brooke, might fit into any relationship Cara chooses to explore with Nathan.

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If we push all of that aside though I think we needed one more moment of them falling back in love after so many years apart to highlight their current emotional connection. Not only could it have allowed them to fall in love with who the other person is today rather than focusing on memories of the past, but it also could have helped to compliment the big ending scene. Because we didn’t get that the end scene felt slightly rushed in regards to the progression of Cara and Nathan’s relationship, but I don’t want to give too much away! You’ll just have to pick this book up and read it for yourself 🙂

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

Series: A Sweet Fall Romance. Personally I would love if this turned into a series which highlighted every season of the year. Mkay, now I definitely want to see that happen. I’d read every single one.

Final Impression: For those of you looking for a sweet, short read as you wait for trick-or-treaters to arrive, or for your turkey to finish baking, or heck if it’s just a cold, grey fall day and you don’t feel like getting out of bed until noon, this would be the perfect solution for you. It’s a beautiful look at second chances, coming home, and recognizing that the love of your life is right in front of you. I always worry that short novellas of this length will result in us receiving just a preliminary glimpse of the characters and story, but this one presents us with almost the perfect blend of character development, romance, and the importance of family.

Smut Level: A steamy kiss here or there, but overall a clean read.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. Self-Published. 64 Pages.