Sunday, December 12, 2021

Advent Reads Day 12: A California Christmas by Brenda Novak

 Welcome to Advent Reads!

This is an event I have had on my blog for several years running now.  Each evening I feature a different holiday themed book. Think of it as your Book Advent Calendar! I post a variety of holiday books including romance, children's, middle-grade, mystery, paranormal, and I try to find some that are other holiday celebrations than Christmas too. I hope you will stop by each evening to see what new book I have for you!

Synopsis: "Up-and-coming TV anchor Emery Bliss can’t imagine anything more humiliating than the sex tape her ex revenge-posted online. That is, until it causes her to lose her job on top of her self-esteem. Seeking solace—and anonymity—in Silver Springs, Emery isn’t looking to get involved with another man anytime soon. But when she’s thrown back into contact with Dallas Turner, she sees something that his many detractors have missed.

Being home for the holidays and his adoptive mother’s wedding isn’t where mountain climber Dallas feels most comfortable. Thanks to his troubled childhood, he’d rather be on a rock face alone than trying to connect with people. Emery, however, makes him want to overcome his past…somehow.

Both Emery and Dallas had been planning on a quiet, solitary Christmas, but the sparks between them are lighting a fire strong enough to last—possibly forever."

My Review: My sweet little Peanut knew I liked Christmas books so picked this one out as a present, so I have been waiting all year to read it. I have not read the rest of this series and maybe I should have before picking this one up. While it isn't super necessary, it would have been easier to keep all the character straight, because this involves a pretty big family with what seems like a lot of backstory. This one also has a lot more of a heavy undertone than I was expecting, it handled some pretty tough subjects and a lot of the emotions that go with them. I did enjoy Emery as a character, she seemed a little soft at the beginning but I enjoyed watching her get a bit of backbone. Dallas was a difficult character for me to like, most of the time he was just too perfect and other times it was like a switch was flipped and he was completely different. I also didn't get a lot of Christmas vibes in this one, the focus more on other events in the characters lives and Christmas only made an appearance here and there as a background thing for the characters to do and a reason for things to be pushed along.

My Rating: This one was a bit difficult for me, I was struggling to get to know characters and with the heavy subjects involved I didn't get the warm fuzzies that I prefer in my holiday books.  I think a lot of the issues were just me, and would definitely be great for fans of the series or of Novak's writing but for me it was a Two Paw read.


  1. Sorry it was hard to keep track of all the characters. I struggle with that in a lot of books too. It is so sweet that Peanut picked this out for you.

    1. I am not a huge fan of holiday books in the middle of a huge series, it makes it so difficult unless you are a fan. I am all for standalone holiday books or holiday books that are all in a series of only holiday books.