3 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Christmas · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · Holidays

Magic Under the Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman | #Holiday #BookReview

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Magic Under the Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman

Rating: 3 stars

Published: September 5, 2019

Publisher: Aria

Pages: 300?

Genres: romance, contemporary, holiday, Christmas

Recommend to fans of: books by the same author, winter wonderland romances, holiday romances, difficult family times with happily ever afters
Synopsis:

Christmas and romance are in the air…
It’s December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn’t relishing spending Christmas at his family’s country estate either.
So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They’ll spend half of the holidays with each other’s families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten…?
Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed… It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!
Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Aria, and Lucy Coleman for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

Like:
– fun, sweet wintertime romance
– Still realistic because there are some family and life struggles presented (allows the characters to be well created) but also still retains its romance novel quality
– The author writes consistently good winter holiday romances

Love:
– one of the main characters is a romance author
– Picturesque setting

Dislike:
– wasn’t as captivating for a holiday romance as I had hoped – simply put, it didn’t pull me into the story, wrap me up in the holiday feels and make me feel a part of the festive holiday season
– The family tension – there’s not a lot of it but any will always take away from the enjoyment of a book for me, due to personal triggers

Wish that:
– I wasn’t so busy so I could take time to truly enjoy this wonderful novel
– I related more to the main characters

Overall, a decent holiday romance novel but definitely not my favorite that I’ve read recently. I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed another book by this same author, so I have high hopes for her next book. To be fair, I was very busy and stressed while reading this book, so I couldn’t relax and become immersed in the world like I usually do.
Add to your Goodreads TBR here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45442136
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Bookish Posts · Holidays · What You Missed Wednesdays

What You Missed Wednesdays – Holiday Edition

adult beautiful blue eyes book
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

What You Missed Wednesdays is exactly as it sounds!

Book reviews of each week’s genre of choice that you might have missed, and I think you should really hear about.

3 Books a Week with 3 Words/Phrases to Describe Them 

Click on the title of each book to be taken to my full review.

I hope you find new books that you’re excited to add to your TBR!

 

Bonus Books this week as a special gift to you, for the holidays!

 

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Christmas in Cape Code by Nan Rossiter

4.5/5 stars

Gives us the true meaning of the season, short story, filled with quintessential holiday moments

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle 

4/5 stars

Slow burn holiday romance, quaint family owned business, excellent holiday descriptions to get you in the mood for the season 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Mutts and Mistletoe by Natalie Cox 

3.5 stars

A dog filled Christmas, cute holiday romance, fun ending 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Oh My Stars by Sally Kilpatrick

 4/5 stars

A Southern twist on the typical holiday books, realistic family moments, a real life Christmas miracle 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman 

4.5 stars

A relaxing holiday vacation, set in a picturesque Christmasy beachside cottage, my FAVORITE holiday book this season 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

___________________________

Well there you have it!

Another edition of What You Missed Wednesdays.

Keep coming back each Wednesday for more Can’t Miss Books!

Which book(s) are you now adding to your TBR?

___________________________

 

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Instagram: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Follow Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: Follow @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

3 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Christmas · contemporary romance · Holidays · Medical · romance

New Release | The Army Doc’s Christmas Angel by Annie O’Neil

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The Army Doc’s Christmas Angel by Annie O’Neil

Published: December 1, 2018

Publisher: Harlequin Medical Romances 

Pages: 256

Genres: contemporary romance, romance, medical, holidays

Rating: 3 stars

Recommend to fans of: sweet holiday romances with a medical setting, caring people

Foodie Vibes: hot chocolate with marshmallows 

 

Synopsis:

Letting go of his past…

…to embrace their future!

In this Hope Children’s Hospital story, pediatrician Dr. Finn Morgan keeps himself fiercely private—after losing his leg in Afghanistan, he pushed everyone away. So his unexpected attraction to colleague, physiotherapist Naomi Collins, infuriates him! Something in her stunning eyes tells him she’s a survivor too. Christmas is a time for healing, maybe they’ll both find what they’ve both been looking for—in each other’s arms…

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin Medical Romances, and Annie O’Neil for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

A story about kind medical professionals, the holidays, and romance will almost always make for a nice read. I enjoyed the book but didn’t love it. The main characters were great – caring, competent, and complex. However, I never really got into the book. Maybe because the writing makes me very aware that I’m reading words instead of fully pulling me into the story. To be fair, I was very tired while reading this book so my focus wasn’t as great as usual.

There’s plenty of holiday spirit packed into this fairly short read. If you like medical romances that are great for the holidays, consider giving The Army Doc’s Christmas Angel a read. 

 

Share your favorite holiday beverage in the comments.

 

Add to your Goodreads TBR

 

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Twitter: @BooksAndLife1

Instagram: @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

Goodreads: Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)

Facebook: @BooksLifeAndEverythingNice

4.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Christmas · contemporary fiction · Holidays · Short Stories

ARC Review | Christmas in Cape Cod by Nan Rossiter

Answer me this: 

What’s your favorite holiday tradition? 

 

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Christmas in Cape Cod by Nan Rossiter

Published: October 30, 2018

Publisher: Zebra

Pages: 79

Genres: Christmas, holiday, short stories, contemporary fiction

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: feel good holiday reads, the true meaning of the season, short stories for a bad day 

Foodie Vibes: mulled wine, homemade Christmas cookies

 

Synopsis:

With Christmas just around the corner, Asa Coleman has his hands full keeping up with his young son Noah’s rambunctious spirit. Whether he’s playing Santa or keeping a furry surprise under wraps, the joy Asa feels in Noah’s delight is all he could ask for as a single father. His best friend Maddie Carlson has been more than helpful throughout the season’s sometimes overwhelming rush of activities, and she can’t help but see how well she fits into their lives. But as always, something holds Asa back from accepting the happiness he deserves. Except this year, when it’s time to open gifts, something special might surprise them all . . .

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Zebra, and Nan Rossiter for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

Christmas in Cape Cod is the perfect short book to curl up with after a stressful day during the holiday season. The story takes place on Christmas Eve and Day. It’s such a perfect feel good holiday read, that you can’t help but be in a better mood after reading. The author shows us the true meaning of the season with these characters. Filled with all the quintessential holiday activities: baking homemade cookies, mulled wine, leaving food for Santa, going to church, exchanging gifts, and decorating the Christmas tree, you can’t help but enjoy yourself. So I say get a cup of hot cocoa, a few Christmas cookies and curl up with this great book on a chilly night. 

 

Add to Your Goodreads TBR

4 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Christmas · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · Holidays · romance

Release Day | Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle

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Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle

Published: October 16, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 352

Genres: Christmas, holiday, contemporary romance, contemporary fiction

Rating: 4 stars

Recommend to fans of: cozy reads, small businesses, books that remind you of the reason for the season

Foodie Vibes: hot chocolate with a fire roasted marshmallow and beautifully decorated Christmas cookies

 

Synopsis: 

A holiday retelling of You’ve Got Mail that will make you fall in love with the Christmas Season!

Angela Carson wants nothing more than to be the third-generation to run her family’s holiday store, Heart of Christmas, successfully. They’ve weathered over sixty tourist seasons, major hurricanes, and urban sprawl, in their old decommissioned lighthouse. But the national chain that set up shop in their small North Carolina town of Pleasant Sands may be more than Heart of Christmas can survive.

Geoff Paisley has been at his mother’s side running the mega-chain Christmas Galore for the last ten years. When his mother falls ill, Geoff promises to answer the town’s Dear Santa letters in her stead. Soon he realizes the woman he’s been corresponding with on Dear Santa is Angela. How could the woman that grates his every last nerve in person have intrigued him so deeply through those letters?

Encouraged by her niece to ask Santa for help, Angela gives in and lets the words fly in a way that, if Santa were real, would no doubt land her on the naughty list. What’s the harm when it’s just a computer-generated response?

When Geoff reveals that he’s her Dear Santa, will Angela be able to set aside their very public feud to embrace the magic of the holiday and possibly find true love?

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Griffin, and Nancy Nail for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

Dear Santa is a sweet heartfelt Christmas story that reminds you of the true reason for the season. Angela owns the Heart of Christmas, a one of a kind shop that’s been in her family for years. They sell high quality hand made Christmas decorations. When a new big box style Christmas store comes into town, Angela’s business takes another hit on top of her already foundering business. The book encourages us to look at what’s really important to us, our families and our communities. Will Angela get some help from Santa this year?

I loved the setting. A quaint beachside town isn’t what you first think of for a Christmasy book, but it works perfectly. The passion Angela has for her town, the history and townspeople absolutely makes the book so special. You can feel the true magic of the holidays on each page. The descriptions of her Christmas store made me feel as if I was right there, surrounded by all the twinkly lights, fresh cut trees, and handcrafted ornaments. The scent of gingerbread and peppermint mochas waft through the air. The book is such a cozy holiday read that I can’t get enough.

However, there isn’t much romance. The story focuses more on Angela’s love for her family, business, and town than a new love interest. At least until the last, maybe 20%. It’s very sweet and happily ever after, so that helps. Also there was a lot of tension and arguing in parts. Completely authentic to the story, but sometimes you don’t want to read about stress and tension. Luckily most is about the wonderful moments of Christmastime. 

All together, Dear Santa captures the true magic of Christmas with all the cozy feels. 

 

What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

3.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Christmas · contemporary romance · Holidays · romance

Release Day | Mutts and Mistletoe by Natalie Cox

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Mutts and Mistletoe by Natalie Cox

Published: October 9, 2018

Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Pages: 320

Genres: romance, contemporary romance, holiday, Christmas

Rating: 3.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: lots and lots of dogs, feel good but slightly grumpy holiday reads, ridiculous holiday sweaters

Foodie Vibes: eggnog because what else?

 

Synopsis:

Her boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, her mother has absconded with her latest husband for the holidays, and–adding insult to (literal) injury–her London apartment has just been destroyed by a gas leak. Single, mildly concussed and temporarily homeless, Charlie realizes there’s only one place to go: Cozy Canine Cottages, where she’ll spend the season looking after her cousin Jez’s doggy day care center. And if she’s not exactly a dog person, well, no one has to know…

But her plans for a quiet Christmas in a quaint country village are quickly dashed. Peggy the pregnant beagle and Malcolm the anxious Great Dane seem determined to keep her up all night. A strange man has been casing her cousin’s house. And where is Cal, the unbearably patronizing but disturbingly handsome local vet, when she needs him?

As the days tick down to Christmas, Charlie’s life has never felt so out of control–but with some help from her new four-legged friends, she just might learn a thing or two about living in the moment, embracing the unexpected and opening herself up to love…

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Natalie Cox for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

What’s not to like about lots of dogs, their cute antics, and a very attractive local vet, while you’re on vacation for the holidays? Except the fact that the vacation is being forced to care for your cousin’s dog kenneling business when you have no idea how to care for a dog, much less 7 of them including a very pregnant pooch. And that you’re forced to live here for the time being, because your apartment is completely uninhabitable at the moment. Needless to say Charlie isn’t in the mood for Christmas this year. 

So it’s your typical Hallmark over the top sappy holiday romance. In theory I liked that the characters and circumstances were more relatable. But in reality it became a bit annoying hearing the complaining after awhile. The cute antics and faux pas didn’t last long. I think my biggest issue is that I didn’t really connect with the main character. I was hoping for more of an escapism type holiday book, not a problem filled reality of the typical holidays. 

Over time the characters did grow on me. Also the last 50 pages almost completely made up for the negatives. I can’t say what happens, but it’s so cute and fun. 

Overall, a mix Christmas stocking of a book. A realistic version of the holidays that to which many people can probably relate. 

 

Question: What is your favorite holiday tradition?

4 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Chick Lit · Christmas · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · Holidays · romance

ARC Review | Oh My Stars by Sally Kilpatrick

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Oh My Stars by Sally Kilpatrick

Published: September 25, 2018

Publisher: Kensington Publication Corporation

Pages: 352

Genres: contemporary romance, Christmas, holidays, contemporary fiction

Recommend to fans of: cute Southern/country living romances, books about relationships between moms & daughters, adult siblings, happily ever afters with a lot of work along the way

Foodie Vibes: honey buns 

 

Synopsis:

A heartwarming, hilarious Christmas story with a Southern twist.

Like most things in Ellery, Tennessee, this year’s Drive Thru Nativity is a little unconventional. The Dollar General parking lot doubles as a Bethlehem stable, and widowed writer Ivy Long, who’s been roped into playing Mary, sure as heck isn’t a virgin. But then comes an unexpected development: a genuine, real-life baby left in the manger, with only a brief note. And somehow, in the kerfuffle that follows, Ivy finds her life is about to
change . . .

The holidays are a bittersweet time for Ivy–filled with memories of her beloved late husband and reminders that life doesn’t always offer the happily-ever-afters her readers expect. So when Ivy ends up with custody of the baby, she can only chalk it up to a Christmas miracle. She doesn’t know if it will be forever, but with help from family, she’ll make little Zuzu’s first Christmas a good one. The nativity’s Joseph, aka Gabe Ledbetter, has a pediatrics background that’s coming in mighty handy. In turn, Ivy is helping Gabe find his place in the quirky community. If that place turns out to be somewhere near Ivy, well, maybe this particular Christmas story will turn out to be merry and bright after all . . .

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me. 

How can you go wrong with a real life Christmas miracle? A baby found in the manger of a modern day nativity scene. Romance, from a kind, well educated, handsome guy, after years of heartache. Finally attempting to patch up your relationship with your mom and sister. All good things that made for an enjoyable read. 
Bonus! The sisters’ names are Holly and Ivy. It doesn’t get more Christmasy than that.

At first I wasn’t a huge fan of either sister, but over time I grew to understand and like them. Ivy is a romance writer. Writers, bloggers and author as characters in books are all good thing in my opinion. I really enjoyed the relationships between parents and their children and also the siblings. One of my favorite aspects of the book.

The romance is good but not an over the top sweeping romance. There were so many other strong storylines vying for dominance along with the romance, which makes for a realistic complex novel. The book also didn’t gloss over some of the downsides to living in a small Southern town. 

The story isn’t all fairytales and roses, but it is realistic, hard work, with a happily ever after.

 

Do you prefer your romances to be more realistic or epic sweeping happily ever afters? 

No judgment either way. Just genuinely curious.

 

4.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · Christmas · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · Holidays · romance

New Release | Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman

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Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman

Published: September 18, 2018

Publisher: Aria 

Pages: 426

Genres: contemporary fiction, contemporary romance, romance, Christmas, holidays 

Rating: 4.5 stars 

Recommend to fans of: sweet holiday romances that aren’t over the top Christmasy, the movie The Holiday, relaxing beachside vacations that make you so badly want to be there 

Foodie Vibes: mug of hot cocoa and homemade Christmas cookies ~ so cozy 

 

Synopsis:

The perfect Christmas romance for fans of Karen Swan.

As the snowflakes start to fall, the village of Holly Cove welcomes a new tenant to the beautiful old cottage on the beach…

For lifestyle magazine journaist Tia Armstrong, relationships, as well as Christmas, have lost all their magic. Yet Tia is up against a Christmas deadline for her latest article ‘Love is, actually, all around’…

So Tia heads to Holly Cove where the restorative sea air, and rugged stranger Nic, slowly but surely start mending her broken heart.

Tia didn’t expect a white Christmas, and she certainly never dared dream that all her Chiristmas wishes might just come true…

Set in Caswell Bay on the stunningly rugged Gower Coast, the cottage nestles amid the limestone cliffs and the woodlands; the emotions run as turbulently as the wind-swept sea.

As cosy as a marshmallow-topped cup of cocoa, fall in love with a heart-warming festive story from the bestselling author of The French Adventure.

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Aria Books and Lucy Coleman for the ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

My rating is actually 4.5 stars, but since there aren’t half stars I always round up.

Please transport me to Holly Cove right now! The beauty and unpredictability of the ocean, the picturesque views, kind people, and relaxing atmosphere is amazing. It sounds like the perfect place for me.

Tia is sent to Holly Cove by her boss months before the holiday season. She works at a magazine that’s planning to feature couples in love in a series of articles around the holiday season. Tia’s also had a rough time in her personal life and even had to take time off of work. She’s given six weeks to relax, recharge and also interview the couples/create all of the magazine content. It’s a sweet gesture by her boss, but is it only that?

I loved the people in Holly Cove. They’re nice, introverted, private and a little awkward but mean well. All in all, they’re my kind of people. The setting is gorgeous beyond gorgeous. Seriously, take me there! The relationships are slowly revealed over time, unravelling the nuances and hurt from many years.

The book is so lovely. However, if I’m being nit picky, Tia’s relationship with Nic was not surprising, but the readers needed more hints as to what she was thinking. It seemed to happen quickly, even though it didn’t.

All in all, Snowflakes Over Holly Cove is a wonderful book to read anytime of year. The holiday season will make it extra special. I definitely recommend this cozy relaxing read.

 

What’s your favorite winter holiday tradition?