Monthly Archives: November 2020

Book Review: Christmas Ever After – Delightful Holiday Romance

Christmas Ever After by Karen Schaler

Author Riley Reynolds hasn’t celebrated Christmas since the year her father and sister died, even though she was only a child when it happened. This year she is dubbed Miss Christmas by her publicist in a last-ditch effort to save her romance writing career. Once a best-selling author, her last novel bombed. She has to get back on track with her Christmas romance novel or she will no longer have a contract to do what she loves best.

In desperation she agrees to host a Christmas Camp at Christmas Lake Lodge. Since the owner died and his wife retired to Florida, their son Luke has tried to keep it afloat. Competition from a new resort that is close by has taken its toll on the quaint lodge. Christmas Camp will be the last event held in it before Luke is forced to sell the family business.

The Scrooge Riley has become will soon be surprised when some of her ghosts of Christmas past turn up when she is least expecting them. Three ex-boyfriends have arrived at Christmas Camp, each of them convinced she still loves and has been pining for them. Now she has to decide if indeed one them is the man that will write the happily ever after ending to her story. But then there is Luke…could one of these four men ignite the spark she is looking for in her life and in her writing? It will take a Christmas miracle to find out.

This charming Christmas romance has everything readers love. Handsome men, a delightful setting and a dog that steels the show make Christmas Ever After the perfect holiday book. The characters are interesting and all have different thoughts and memories surrounding the holidays. They share the common goal of spreading the Christmas spirit with charity, kindness, family and friends – helping Riley rekindle her love for Christmas.

It is heartwarming to read a book that has a happily ever after ending. It is the first book I’ve read by this award-winning author, but won’t be the last. I have watched and loved her Christmas movies that can be seen on Netflix, Hallmark and Lifetime.  Be sure to check out the recipes and Christmas activities that are included at the end of the book. I can’t wait to add Christmas Lake Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls to our Christmas celebration.

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Book Review: The Nesting: Page- Turning Thriller

The Nesting

By C. J. Cooke

In desperation, Lexi tried to end her life. Even though a friend found her in time, Lexi’s life will never be the same. She lost her job, her eight-year relationship as well as her home when her boyfriend kicked her out of their apartment. Despondent and destitute, she overhears a conversation on a train regarding a job. One of girls in the seat in front of her has been called for an interview to be a nanny in Norway, but is going to turn it down. Before she can talk herself out of it, Lexi snaps a picture of the application and the woman’s resume.

Much to her surprise Lexi, now known as Sophie, lands the job and has made her way to Norway to join her new employer and his children. She is now working for Tom Faraday, looking after and his two daughters. Coco is only nine-months old and her sister Gaia is six. They are in Norway with their father while he builds a vacation home for them to escape London when the weather is inclement and the crowds overwhelming.

Sophie finds out Tom’s wife, the children’s mother, died recently. She is saddened by the family’s loss, but thrilled to be in Norway. She quickly settles down to the daily routine. Soon she begins to see and hear things that are strange. Gaia confirms sightings of what can only be described as supernatural beings that Sophie has encountered. Maybe the children’s mother, Aurelia, did not kill herself. Perhaps, as folklore predicts, the land and animals are getting even with those who disturb them and the death of Aurelia was just the beginning.

The characters are interestingly flawed, yet endearing at times. The plot twists and turns, taking the reader back to before Aurelia dies to present day. Ms. Cooke grabs readers, taking us along Sophie/Lexi’s journey from the first pages to the last. The Nesting is a page-turning thriller that keeps you guessing until the satisfying end.

This is the first book I have read by C.J. (Carolyn Jess) Cooke. A novelist and poet, she hails from Belfast Northern Ireland and has published several other books. This is the first one I have read, but will not be the last. I loved it.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Jingle All The Way – Delightful Holiday Tale

By Debbie Newcomber

Everly Lancaster has created the life she has always wanted from the time she changed her given name, Daisy, to something more sophisticated and worldly: Everly. A workaholic, she co-owns a top selling Chicago real estate company with Jack Campbell, a long-time friend and colleague. Everly shoulders the late nights, firings and problems that Jack finds distasteful. But when his niece, Annette is hired as Everly’s assistant with Jack’s recommendation, things go south fast.

Lazy, spoiled and incompetent, Annette bungles a very important event, so Everly insists on her termination. Jack balks, finding it distasteful to fire his niece. He insists Everly needs a vacation and demands she takes off the entire month of December. A contrite Annette books a cruise for Everly, who agrees she might need some time to unwind on a nice relaxing vacation. Unfortunately, the cruise is anything but relaxing. No internet, no telephone, no amenities and no way to leave the ship. But the good news is there is a naturalist onboard, Asher Adams, who is very handsome and very interesting. Maybe the trip won’t be as bad as it seems – or it might just be worse than she ever imagined.

From the first chapters, the interesting characters and unusual situations pulled me in and didn’t let go. Jingle All The Way is not your typical Christmas novel, which makes it interesting and charming with a satisfying end. It is the perfect holiday story that will make you chuckle; make you sniffle and make you want to read just one more chapter to see what is happening next. I highly recommend it.

Debbie Newcomber is a familiar name because she is a best-selling author with thirteen novels reaching #1 on the NYT bestseller lists. Five of her Christmas novels are now beloved movies that can be seen on the Hallmark Channel. Ms. Newcomber pulls readers into her books, with her heartwarming characters and stories.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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