Saturday, December 11, 2021

Advent Reads Day 11: Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday

 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: "Maximillian von Hansburg, Baron of Laudon and heir to the Duke of Aquilla, is trapped. Under pressure from his domineering father, he must marry a suitable bride before he inherits a title that feels like a prison sentence. In New York to meet a prospective wife, he ditches his responsibilities and appears on Dani Martinez’s doorstep. He’s been intrigued by the no-nonsense professor since he met her at the Eldovian royal wedding and is determined to befriend her.

Newly single Dani is done with love—she even has a list entitled “Things I Will Never Again Do for a Man”—which is why she hits it off with notorious rake Max. He’s trying to escape relationships, and she’s resolved to avoid them at all costs. All they want from each other is friendship and a distraction from their messy lives.

As their bond begins to deepen, so does their attraction, until they end up in bed together. Falling in love was never part of the plan—Max’s family doesn’t see Dani as a perfect match, even as his heart tells him she’s the one, and Dani isn’t sure she can make it in Max’s world. Can they find the courage to live they life they desire, even if it means risking everything?"

My Review:  I honestly wasn't sure what to expect with this one, sometimes these royal holiday books don't work for me, but this one was everything I ever hoped for in a royal Christmas book! I loved the banter between Max & Dani, the transition from enemies to friends to lovers was so fun to read. I also like that there was a lot of time passing off page so it didn't seem so unbelievable with the sudden rush of romance. I also enjoyed the side characters a lot, turns out that this is the second book in a companion series, but you don't need to read the first one to enjoy it but I will definitely be going back to pick it up! If you are looking for a fun, romantic comedy for the Christmas season, go pick this one up and I highly recommend the audio book version too!

My Rating: This book was so fun to read, it gave me grown up Princess Diaries vibes with a Christmas flair and a lot more banter.  It was easy to slip into at the end of a long day and get a good giggle while at it. I give this one a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag! This is definitely a contender for top Christmas book this year and maybe even in the top books of the year over all!


I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Jenny Holiday and her Princess for Christmas series on her Goodreads page or Website.

Duke, Actually just released November 16th, so you can pick it (and the previous book) up now in print or digital format from Amazon and Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or bookstore.



Friday, December 10, 2021

Advent Reads Day 10: Charlie and the Christmas Kitty by Ree Drummond & Illustrated by Diane deGroat

 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: "In this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling picture book Charlie the Ranch Dog, Ree Drummond—the Pioneer Woman herself—delivers a story about getting into the holiday spirit and finding the good in all. Even though Charlie may not have put a kitty on his Christmas list, he learns that if you keep an open heart, new friends can come in unexpected packages."

My Review: Even though my son has long since outgrown children's picture books, I still love reading them and I particularly enjoy stories with animals. I have read a few in the Charlie the Ranch Dog series but you don't need to have read the other books to enjoy this one. It is cute and silly, full of animal antics. It is also the heartwarming story that I enjoy during the holiday season. The images are bright and colorful, full of vibrant holiday colors. A great little story for the littles during the Christmas season.

My Rating: This was such a cute little book and it will be great for any young animal lovers, especially if a little furry friend might be joining the family soon.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!



Thursday, December 9, 2021

Advent Reads Day 9: A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale by Karen Schaler

 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: "A charming Christmas village, a storybook castle, a royal ball, and a gorgeous prince are the last things New York City reporter Kaylie Karlyle expects to find on her holiday freelance assignment to Europe. But when the family she's interviewing turns out to be the royal family of Tolvania, Kaylie has a meltdown when the quirky queen wants her to write a Christmas fairy tale for the spunky, young princess. Kaylie must battle the princess's father, who doesn't trust the media, and her own insecurities about writing anything beyond the news.

To spark inspiration for the fairy tale, the queen recruits the prickly Prince Alexander to show Kaylie the family's most spectacular royal holiday traditions. And sparks definitely fly when the only thing Kaylie and the prince agree on is that they're both more "bah humbug" than "ho, ho, ho."

But somewhere between sleigh rides and snow angels, merrymaking and mistletoe, upside-down Christmas trees, and a legendary Christmas crown, Kaylie and the prince open their hearts to Christmas and start believing in themselves and each other. It's a real-life fairy tale in the making until Kaylie discovers a secret about a royal Christmas heirloom that jeopardizes everyone's happily ever after. Can the magic of the season save this holiday happy ending?

Bonus Content: Includes delicious royal Christmas recipes and holiday activities."


My Review:  I have read another book by Schaler before and I loved the focus on traditions, so I was really thrilled when I got into this one it also heavily featured family holiday traditions. Of course you can't go wrong with a castle setting with a bit of enemies to lovers romance thrown in and just a touch of mystery to fill out all the holiday moments. It was an easy book to settle into and picture. The characters did fall a little flat for me but all the descriptions of the holiday fun really pulls it together. If you are looking for a Hallmark style Christmas book to read, this definitely fits the bill.

My Rating: While this one was a bit predictable with characters that seemed a bit cookie cutter, it still pulls it off with all the wonderful holiday traditions and warm cozy feelings.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Karen Shaler and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website

A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale was just released on October 5th so you can pick up your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local bookstore or library.  It also is the Christmas book for the Once Upon A Book Club box, if any remain I recommend it for a little holiday treat. 


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Advent Reads Day 8: The Christmas Club by Barbara Hinske

 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: "Verna Lind expects Christmas of 1952 to be the best holiday she’s had since the war ended. But as she’s leaving the bank, a frigid wind off Lake Erie catches her hard-earned Christmas club savings, whisking the bills into the busy streets of downtown Cleveland and devastating her plans. Strangers come to her aid, though no one anticipates the power of their chance encounter or the seeds of happiness Verna’s lost money will sow."

My Review: I was looking for a quick holiday read while my son had a lesson when I found this one, I had no idea what I was getting into with it! This might end up being my favorite holiday read of this year! This book does jump around a bit as it follows how different characters react and use found money during the holiday season. It has such heartwarming moments that are exactly what I want to read during the busy Christmas season, and wish I saw more on a day to day basis. It restores a bit of your faith in people after trying to get through the busy stores and being stuck in awful traffic. As an added bonus it also has a touch of romance to sweeten the deal. This was a super quick read, I would recommend it for a drive with family when traveling to holiday gatherings, a bit of a reminder what the season is really about.

My Rating: I absolutely loved this book and will forever recommend it to everyone looking for a great holiday read! I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!



Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Advent Reads Day 7: Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar

 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: "Sylvie Magnusson is going to be lonely this Christmas. Instead of jetting off for her honeymoon, she’s freezing at home in Cheshire. Guess that’s what happens when your fiancĂ© dumps you a week before your wedding…

Sylvie’s best friend, Nari, plans a trip to see the Northern Lights and get Sylvie’s mojo back. But as their Lapland getaway approaches, Sylvie realises that Frozen Falls is the hometown of Stellan Virtanen, her dreamy Finnish ex-boyfriend, the one that got away.

When they meet, Stellan’s still gorgeous – and her heart is warmed when he shows her the romantic delights of Lapland (as well as some adorable Husky puppies). But when she returns to England, can she really leave Stellan behind? Or will she find that her heart belongs in the frozen North?"

My Review:  This cover absolutely drew me in, seeing the northern lights is a bucket list item for me so I thought I could live through the characters a bit with this story. I listened the audiobook version through Netgalley and it was really enjoyable. While I enjoyed the second chance romance between Sylvie and Stellan, I have to say the side characters, Nari and Nilo (and the pups), kind of stole the show for me. I really enjoyed the vivid snowy setting we get to enjoy and the bits of holiday that pop up here and there. It was a nice light holiday romance to carry you away while doing the baking or wrapping.

My Rating: I honestly got a little jealous of the characters while reading this one, I kind of want to be able to cozy up in a little cabin, watching the stars and decorating a tree with my handsome love! I give it a rating of Three Paws.


I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Kiley Dunbar and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website.


Christmas at Frozen Falls was just released on audio book on October 31st so you can pick it up from your favorite audiobook store or you can also read it in print or digital from Amazon or request it at your local library or bookstore. 






Monday, December 6, 2021

Advent Reads Day 6: The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck

 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: "When Eddie was twelve years old, all he wanted for Christmas was a bike. Although his life had gotten harder -- and money tighter -- since his father died and the family bakery closed...Eddie dreamed that somehow his mother would find a way to have his dream bike gleaming beside their modest Christmas tree that magical morning.

What he got from her instead was a sweater. "A stupid, handmade, ugly sweater" that young Eddie left in a crumpled ball in the corner of his room.

Scarred deeply by the realization that kids don't always get what they want, and too young to understand that he already owned life's most valuable treasures, that Christmas morning was the beginning of Eddie's dark and painful journey on the road to manhood. It will take wrestling with himself, his faith, and his family -- and the guidance of a mysterious neighbor named Russell -- to help Eddie find his path through the storm clouds of life and finally see the real significance of that simple gift his mother had crafted by hand with love in her heart.

Based on a deeply personal true story, The Christmas Sweater is a warm and poignant tale of family, faith and forgiveness that offers us a glimpse of our own lives -- while also making us question if we really know what's most important in them."


My Review: I am a bit obsessed with Christmas sweaters and so when I found this book at a second hand shop I just had to pick it up. It was a pretty easy read, but a bit of an emotional ride with plenty of heartbreak, anger, love and forgiveness. I was enjoying following Eddie's story, it was quite a journey he took us on as he struggled with things many kids struggle with and things no child should ever have to experience. The second half of the book definitely got a bit too heavy handed for my liking, it really pushed the religion aspect and got a bit carried away with the metaphors. I found the ending to be just a little too perfect, but for others they might be really happy with an ending that leaves the smile on your face and a breath of relief. There was definitely a good message in the story and it works well with the holiday season, so someone looking for these things may really enjoy it.

My Rating:  I really enjoyed the first half of this story but unfortunately the second half just really didn't work for me, but I wanted to share it with all of you in case it is something you are looking for this holiday season.  For me, I give it a rating of Two Paws.



Sunday, December 5, 2021

Advent Reads Day 5: An Eggnog to Die for by Amy Pershing

 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: "Christmas has come to Fair Harbor, but when the town's Santa is murdered, it will be up to Sam Barnes to find a killer in this newest installment of the Cape Cod Foodie Mysteries.

It's Santa Claus, she says tonelessly. Santa Claus is dead.

Food writer Sam Barnes wants a lot of things: a quiet Christmas at home with her dog and the town's handsome harbormaster, to never be in a viral video again, and to stop finding dead bodies. Unfortunately for Sam, her parents are coming to visit, she's often around cameras for work, and she just found the town Santa dead in the storage room of the cocktail bar she was profiling.

Although she was only interviewing the owners of the Ginger Jar in hopes of getting the recipe for their Coquito Eggnog cocktail for the friends and family Christmas Eve dinner she's hosting, Sam quickly finds herself taking on the role of investigator once again. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa--but with holiday stress already building, will Sam be able to pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?"


My Review:  I just read this first book in this series in anticipation of this one coming out, I am a sucker for holiday themed books. I enjoyed getting to know some of the side characters we were introduced to in the first book some more and we also got to see a bit more of the small town setting. I have to say, I struggled a bit with this one, it was a similar set up to the first book and I was hoping for some new way for Sam to be involved. I also think her parents kind of stole the show on this one, I absolutely adored her mom. Anyway back to the story, I did enjoy the unique ways of trying to figure out the 'how' Sam works through as she tries to solve the case. I like that things are lightened up a bit with almost a bit of comedy of errors type moment, it keeps the story nice and light. We got some interesting twists as we try to figure out the 'who' and we are kept guessing throughout the story. I will be continuing on with the series.

My Rating: I enjoyed the way this mystery was tied into the holidays, it was a fun way to break up all the more sappy Christmas stories (granted there is a bit of feel good to this one too). It was a good installment to the series and it did keep me guessing throughout but I am hoping for a bit more variety with Sam in the future. I give it a rating of Three Paws.


I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Amy Pershing and her Cape Cod Foodie Mystery series on her Goodreads page or Website.

An Eggnog to Die For was just released on November 9th so you can pick up your own copy today from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it from your local library or bookstore.