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?

About Me · Bookish Posts

My Most Important Book Goal

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Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

 

For the last few years I’ve set reading goals for myself at the beginning of January. I guess you could call them Bookish New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t take them too seriously, but more as guidelines of what’s important to me as a reader. 

Goals such as reading diversely (POC, female authors, LGBTQIA+, settings in other countries), completing my Goodreads challenge, completing the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, reviewing every book I read, and participating in the BookTube-A-Thon. 

 

This year I decided to add a very important goal to my list. 

 

For 5 months or more in 2018, I want my average book rating to be 4.0 stars or higher.

 

At the end of each month I total up the star ratings I’ve given books and average them. I find it interesting to see the stats at the end of each month/year. In 2017, most months were an average of 3.5 or so. Rarely hitting that magic 4.0 stars rating average. 

 

Now you might be thinking, so what? It’s just a bunch of numbers. But the reason this goal is so important to me is that reading is supposed to be enjoyable! 

 

I created the goal to make it a priority to read books that I love. 

 

Unfortunately I’ve only had one month so far this year when I hit my goal. I’ve started rating books with 1/2 stars, so my ratings have been a bit lower than before. The rounding would bump it up, but that kind of feels like cheating to me. Since this goal is for me, I don’t want to cheat myself out of enjoyable reading. 

 

So I’m going to keep choosing books I think I’m going to love, rather than ones I think I should be reading. 

With 4 months left in the year, I’m making enjoyable reading a big priority for me. 

I’ll let you all know how it goes!

 

What are you reading goals this year?

Are you achieving them? 

Book Tags · Bookish Posts

Reader Confessions Tag

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While I didn’t get officially get tagged for this, Life Should Be Lit said anyone who wants to do the tag, can … so here we go

Don’t forget to check out her blog here: Life Should Be Lit

 

My Reader Confessions

 

  1. Have you ever damaged a book?

Probably … I’m fairly careful with my books so I don’t damage them too much. Although a few days ago I knocked over a mug of tea and spilled some on the front cover of a paperback. Not cool. Dried it off, and the book’s okay in case all of were wondering. 

2. Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

Nope. One of the books I spilled water on was a library book, but it was hardcover with a plastic covering on it, so no harm done. 

I have lost a library book though … left it in my human anatomy lecture hall in college. Definitely had to pay the $25 to replace it.

I’m fairly careful with my books and items in general, so no horror stories here.

  1. How long does it take you to read a book?

That completely depends on how many books I’m reading at once. I usually read 2-3 books at a time. If I’m only reading one book, then 3-4 days for fiction or memoir. A non fiction book will probably take me about a week. 

  1. Books that you haven’t finished?

Check my DNF list on Goodreads here: DNFs on Goodreads

I used to rarely DNF books, but I’ve learned that life is too short to read books that I’m not enjoying. 

  1. Hyped/popular books that you didn’t like?

The Hunger Games and Twilight Series

Truthfully, I’ve never read them so I can’t officially say that I didn’t like them …. but no matter how many people have absolutely raved about them, I’ve had absolutely no desire to read either series. 

  1. Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?

No, I don’t think so. I might not tell every person, every book I’m reading, but I put it all on Goodreads, so it’s pretty much an open book.  Pun intended.

Am I going to tell my Dad about the romance novel I’m reading? Errr, … probably not, but if he asked me, I wouldn’t lie either.

  1. How many books do you own?

Books from my childhood: a lot, probably over 200. My sisters and I shared them, so they’re not all strictly mine. 

Books I’ve acquired as an adult: maybe 50. I rarely reread books, and I borrow a lot from the library so I don’t have a huge physical collection. I think I’m a rarity in this case.

  1. Are you a fast or slow reader?

Fairly fast 

  1. Do you like to buddy read?

No!

Probably an unpopular opinion, but I don’t like feeling pressured to read a specific book in a certain time period as to not let someone else down. 

Also, reading is my escape from other people and the stress of the world, so I don’t really want to make it a social thing for me. Which makes no sense, that I’m blogging about reading, active on Goodreads, and social media talking about books … but I think it’s because I can choose when I want to share my reading experiences. 

  1. If you were only allowed to own one book, what would it be and why?

Doesn’t really matter to me. I rarely reread books, so there’s not one specific book that I would have to reread again and again. Maybe a cookbook, that seems practical. 

Now, that I keep thinking about it, I would own a Kathy Reichs book. She’s the author that got me back into reading as a late high schooler/early college student. So here books will always hold a special place in my heart.

 

I tag: all of you

I want to hear all of your responses to this book tag! So if you write a post about it, send me the link in the comments so I can check it out.

Peace and love,

Amanda