Home for the Holidays

What I read: Home for the Holidays by Sara Richardson

Why I picked it up: I got the second in this series weeks ago from the library and decided to read number one first.

How I read it: On paperback in just a couple of sittings.

What it’s about: Three flowers, three sisters: they’re invited to their aunt’s inn out in Colorado for Christmas and each say yes for a different reason. A rough engagement, a holiday when her ex has the kids, a broken heart for a baby that just won’t come. They reconnect with their aunt and each other.

What I liked: There are some aspects of a love story here but it’s really about the sisters, which I loved.

What I disliked: Their mother never redeemed herself, and that made me sad. I’m sure she and the one daughter’s fiancée will find much to complain about together.

Genre: Sisters, family saga, Christmas.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and yes, even in July when Christmas is months away!

A Very Merry Princess

What I read: A Very Merry Princess by Susan Mallery

Why I picked it up: It’s the 2.5 installment in the series with Cade as the main character (Pallas’ brother).

How I read it: On Kindle in about an hour or so, it’s a short novella.

What it’s about: Cade is buying a stallion from the King in a small country in the Middle East. His princess daughter delivered it but didn’t want anyone to know she was the princess. She and Cade end up falling in love but he feels betrayed when she reveals her true identity.

What I liked: Their love story is sweet and it’s also closed door, which makes for an easy read.

What I disliked: The king does not help the situation. In the name of protection he steps in at exactly the wrong time.

Genre: Romance.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and not as a stand alone!

The Christmas Wedding Guest

What I read: The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery

Why I picked it up: Someone I follow on Goodreads must have liked it so I put this 2021 release on hold.

How I read it: In hardcover in about a day. I got engrossed last night before bed and stayed up past midnight finishing it.

What it’s about: Dena and Reggie (short for Regina) are from Wishing Tree, a town devoted to Christmas with rules about snowman and the “first official snowfall.” Dena inherited the B and B and teaches 3rd grade. A long term guest, Micah, and she become friends and more. She’s all but given up on finding her great love, but even a pregnancy on her own won’t keep Micah away from her. Reggie’s home just for a month or so to help her mom plan their renewal of vows. Her high school boyfriend, the great love of her life, has moved home too. They still have chemistry!

What I liked: I loved the town and its Christmas charm. I also loved the sisters, their bravery, ability to just tell the truth about what they were feeling, and the ways they treat everyone with great kindness.

What I disliked: There were just a few lines where I was like “why did that need to be here?”

Genre: Christmas romance, closed door, with a touch of sisters!

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and absolutely!! This was a delight and not super Christmasy, so you can read even outside of the season.

Christmas by the Book

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This is such a delightful Christmas story. About bookstores and book lovers and friends and what happens when kindness comes first.

It’s just the most delightful Christmas read. It has a happily ever after and great couples but it’s not a romance. It’s an ode to books and all those who love them!!

“Nora had learned from a young age that as long as you had a good book for company, you never needed to feel lonely.”


The Santa Suit

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I listened to this on the drive home, and it was a delight. A sweet Christmas story that included a farm house, some fixing up, a few chickens, and the handsome realtor next door.

Although who buys a house without even speaking to the agent or seeing the house, even by video call?

“It’s not me, it’s the Santa Suit.”


Dear Santa

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What if you got everything you asked Santa for? Lindy comes home for Christmas and her mom shows her the letters she wrote to Santa as a kid. Her wishes were always granted.

So when she can’t sleep that night, she writes another letter. Three wishes, all granted, but they’re incompatible so she needs to choose.

It’s a sweet story and makes me want to write my own letter!

“Gotta say, Santa. You’re good. You’re really good.”


The Christmas Bookshop

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Books about bookshops are one of my favorite things and Jenny Colgan does them well!!

This is a stand alone that Zoe, from another series, shows up in so is it really stand alone? Or are all of her books just set in the same world?

An overall delight!! And the setting is so nice, I want this to be made into a movie so I can see Sofia’s house, the bookshop that just keeps going, and the amazing tree!!

“Why, she found herself thinking, did she always have to settle for the last minute invitations? Why couldn’t anyone ask her out on a property date, give her time to get dressed up, excited about things? Why wasn’t she any one’s first choice?”


Christmas at the Island Hotel

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I was excited about another installment in this series, but I was a bit disappointed. The story is about every character on Mure and feels a bit disjointed.

I liked seeing what was going on with my friends on Mure: Flora, Joel, Isla, Lorna. We also got to see what happened with Colton’s hotel. It just felt all over the place.

The previous books, in my opinion, are necessary to read before this one – or it’ll be even more disjointed for you.

“He could see, somehow, how this place could get under your skin. I mean, it wasn’t Norway, but it was beautiful in its own way.”


Manchester Christmas

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This was a Hallmark movie in a book that has yet to been made into a movie by Hallmark. A serious oversight they could consider correcting!

Chase moves to Manchester for a few weeks to write and discovers a hurting town in need of a heart. She meets Gavin, Owen, Tommy, Harlan, Ned and the rest of the town.

Some strange things happen that lead to something amazing. It’s a delight!!

“It’s strange, it’s everything I expected and yet nothing like what I thought it would be.”


The Holiday Swap

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This was my pick for our December read for book club when a “sweet Christmas book” was requested. It definitely delivered!! Along with so many great food scenes!!

Cass and Charlie decide to swap lives for a week. The identical twins haven’t done this in years, and for good reason! They’re both pastry chefs/bakers. Each find a new voice during their time as the other. The ending is super delightful and definitely something I’d be interested in watching!!

I also composed a book club menu inspired by their pastry creations!!

“Oh no, she thought. We could have a problem here.”