Category Archives: Romance

A re-telling of “You’ve Got Mail” with a Christmas flair

Dear Santa: A Novel

By: Nancy Naigle

Rating: 4 of 5

I had not read very far into this book when I realized why the story line was so familiar. It is the same story as that of “You’ve Got Mail”. If this wasn’t done intentionally, I can’t explain the similarities. Everything from a young woman with an inherited business going under to a conversation between strangers carried out over email.

Just as with the movie, the story was fun and heart-warming. The two main characters have good impressions of each other when they spy one another from afar. When they find out who the other is, prior prejudices take over.

The story is set at Christmas time and the title points to one my favorites parts of the story. Each chapter is begun either with a bit of history of their town or, more fun, letters from children to Santa. Those letters made me laugh more than once.

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Another great adaption of a Hallmark movie to a book

A Dash of Love

By: Liz Isaacson

Rating: 4 of 5

I watch many Hallmark movies as they are both wholesome and leave you with a good feeling. In transitioning these movies to books, Hallmark is providing a great reading selection for those who want a love story with a clean story line.

When I read romances, I prefer this format. This book follows the format of the screenplay of the movie but branches out into the thoughts and feelings of the characters. When get to see into the minds of several of the characters as the POV changes quite often.

The story is about a young woman, Nikki, who is trying to establish herself as a chef but who lacks the culinary school credentials to be hired by the formal restaurants in her town. She does get hired to assist a very well-known chef and celebrity but only as an administrative assistant. There is also a hunky and sweet chef named Paul who is intrigued more and more by Nikki.

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A sweet and heart-warming book based on the Hallmark movie of the same title

Moonlight In Vermont

By: Kacy Cross

Rating: 5 of 5

I’m a real fan of Hallmark movies both mysteries and romance. They are always clean and wholesome stories with a happy ending. Perhaps not as life-like as reality but certainly what we all hope and long for.

Hallmark has recently been releasing books which are based on their movies. “Moonlight in Vermont” is just such a book. I definitely enjoyed the movie, which starred Lacey Chabert who is a favorite of mine. Because of seeing the movie, I continue to see the character of Fiona (in the book) in the guise of Lacey.

The book reads like the movie but with a deeper feeling as, in the book, we are privy to the thoughts and feelings of the characters. This is something, in a movie, that an actor has to relate by expression or tone of voice and that is something I can miss seeing/hearing as a viewer. In a book, I can mull over the thoughts to see the why of what happens and not just the consequences of the action.

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Beautifully written love story to start this new series

Beautifully written love story to start this new series

By:May McGoldrick (Nikoo & Jim McGoldrick)

Rating: 5 of 5

I recently read a short story by the writing team that makes up May McGoldrick (Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick.) It has in a book called “Christmas in Kilts” and was by far my favorite short story in the book. I was so impressed that I wanted to read the first in their new series, “Romancing the Scot”. I was also pleased to find the writing team has an older series that will ties in as well (previous generations of The Pennington Family.)

The story in this book is beautiful and lyrical, frankly one of the best that I have read in years. There is intrigue and plot points and the romance is lovely. However, there is even more to the story. The writing team has taken the time in blend into this story true events about the time. From the sad deaths on the battlefield to the plight of the deaf/mute and the Irish, there are events that actually took place which are melded seamlessly into the storyline.

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A little heavy on the drama but otherwise a good read

The Bride Who Got Lucky (The Cavensham Heiresses)

By: Janna MacGregor

Rating: 4 of 5

I must admit I prefer historical romances which have a little levity in their story. I’ve now read two books by Janna MacGregor and I realize that she writes very dramatic books without much by way of humor. That’s fine and the story progresses well; however, as I said, I like a little fun thrown in.

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Starts slow but progressively improves throughout

Christmas in Kilts: A Highland Holiday Box Set

By: May McGoldrick , Bronwen Evans, Lecia Cornwall, Terri Brisbin, Lavinia Kent

Rating: 4 of 5

This is a group of short stories by various authors who specialize in Scottish historical romances. I found that the first story, A Highlander’s Hope was difficult to read because it seemed so improbable and because it was heavy laden with sex scenes. It was difficult to see the romance due to all of the physical and graphic descriptions. I was put off finishing the book but I am glad that I took a chance on the remaining four stories.

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Fun romance with a great mystery

The Scandalous Flirt (Cinderella Sisterhood Series)

By: Olivia Drake

Rating: 5 of 5

This is both the first book I have read in this series as well as the first book I have read by Olivia Drake. The book can easily be read stand-alone though I am looking forward to going back and reading the earlier books in this series to see the back story on the slippers.

I started the book expecting an historical romance (which it delivered) but was really surprised to find that it had a wonderful mystery embedded as well. That brought together my two favorite genres in novels and did it very well.

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Quick read re-make of classic Pride and Prejudice with adult themes

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

By: Melissa de la Cruz

Rating: 4 of 5

I am a huge Jane Austen fan with “Pride and Prejudice” being one of my favorites of her novels. In “Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe”, author Melissa de la Cruz does a modern re-telling of the story (though turned pretty much completely 360), sets it at Christmas time and incorporates considerable adult themes into the tale.

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A well written historical romance Christmas novella

With This Christmas Ring

By: Manda Collins

Rating: 5 of 5

This is the first book (albeit a shorter one) that I have read by author Manda Collins. I was impressed with her ability to convey the characters depth in a shorter form book as well as laying out a plot that made sense.

The story is set at Christmas time and Merry Parks has just left the deathbed of her best friend Charlotte. Charlotte has tasked Merry with uniting Lotte (her newborn and now motherless daughter) with the William, the husband who abandoned her months before.

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Funny and Heartfelt Christmas novel

Merry and Bright: A Novel

By: Debbie Macomber

Rating: 5 of 5

I so enjoy reading a Debbie Macomber novel and her Christmas oriented ones are some of the best. “Merry and Bright” warmed my heart and gave me some chuckles and laughs along the way.

Merry Knight is a young woman who has set most of her dreams aside while she struggles to help out at home. She has a wonderful mother and a younger (though adult) brother with Down’s Syndrome to help support.

At work, she has a semi-tyrant of a boss (thank goodness the job is a temporary one that is coming to a close following Christmas.) What she doesn’t have is a social life. Her mother and brother decide, much to her initial dismay, to give her an early gift by signing her up for a dating site.

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