Day 12 of 12 Days of Christmas: Christmas in Holly Springs by R. Castro

Christmas in Holly Springs by R. Castro
Published: September 29, 2017
Format: Kindle buy
Rating: 4/5

Regina Blackwell didn’t know her father. At the age of sixteen, she lost her mother. There’d always been a sense of emptiness and a yearning for belonging, that she could not placate. Of course, her mother’s estranged family didn’t help. But, Stephanie, Regina’s best friend, did her best to fill the void.

College took Regina to Seattle, and her career kept her there. However, a change was in the air when her employer was forced to make drastic cuts, which resulted in her taking unexpected time off. Coincidentally, this led to a chain of events that had her packing and on her way to unravel the mystery that was her father. Soon, Regina was on her way to Holly Springs, Arkansas, a small country village in the middle of nowhere USA, at least that was how she’d perceived it.

Holly Springs held more than just the answers she’d been looking for; it held a chance encounter with one, handsome, Charles Vandermark.

My Thoughts
Christmas in Holly Springs is the enduring tale of Regina who goes on the search for the father she never knew. She doesn’t have much to go on since her mother didn’t speak of him much and her family disowned her mother when she was pregnant. Until one day when she meets up with her mother's old friend and finds some clues that might help her find what she is looking for.

Her search leads her to a small town and hopefully her father. What started out as a curious search leads to way more than Regina could ever imagine. Not only does she find her father but finally she feels that she belongs somewhere not to mention maybe even find the man of her dreams. Christmas in Holly Springs is a wonderfully written tale of family and love and of course the magic that can only happen at Christmas.


Day 11 of 12 Days of Christmas: I'm Scheming of a White Christmas by Kate O'Keeffe

I’m Scheming of a White Christmas by Kate O’Keeffe
Published: January 30, 2017
Publisher: Wild Lime Books
Format: free Kindle read
Rating: 4/5

Tilly Grayson is finally back in the city she loves, New York. She's exactly where she wants to be and is loving every moment as a personal shopper at the prestigious Marlowe Department Store. That is until Brady McKinnon walks in one cold December day. Brady may have been Tilly's high school crush, but he publicly humiliated her back in the day. Something she's never been able to forget. So, when the perfect opportunity presents itself - a Christmas party at a chic New York apartment - it could be time to get her revenge... But has Brady changed? And will Tilly realize it before it’s too late?

My Thoughts
In I’m Scheming of a White Christmas we meet Tilly who one day at work meets up with her old high school crush who of course has no idea who she is. They talk and he invites her to a Christmas party. With the help of her friend, she decides its time to pay him back for being very mean to her in high school. What happens at the party is funny but as we learn who we were in high school isn’t really who we are now.

This book is about sweet revenge but its also about learning how we grow as a person as we get older. We can't just assume that the person who was mean in high school is the same person today and hopefully they realize how wrong they were back then. This is a cute and funny read one that is definitely worth the read.


Day 10 of 12 Days of Christmas: My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff
Published: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Format: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

Charlotte Charlie Donovan knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: Teo Ortiz. He s the school s star athlete, in the National Honor Society, invited to every party, contributes to the school paper (where Charlie is co-editor), and is about to be featured as One to Watch in a teen magazine basically, he's exactly the type of guy Charlie s meant to be with. The only problem he barely knows she exists.

But Charlie is determined to be Teo's date to the Christmas ball. And she has a plan: To rig the paper s Secret Santa so that she can win his heart with five perfect gifts. But to do that she needs help. Enter J.D. Ortiz Teo s cousin, and possibly the most annoying person on the planet. He s easy going, laid back, unorganized, spontaneous, and makes a joke out of everything the exact opposite of Charlie (and Teo). But he s willing to provide insight into what Teo wants, so she's stuck with him.

Yet, the more time Charlie spends with J.D., the more she starts to wonder: Does she really know what, or rather who, she wants for Christmas?

My Thoughts
Is it possible to love a book, its storyline and supporting characters yet dislike the main character? Well, this was my dilemma with My New Crush Gave to Me. You see I fully enjoyed this book with its predictable storyline but that’s ok what wasn’t was my dislike of Charlie. Why is that? Well, I just felt she was a tad annoying and so blind cause she couldn’t see that J.D. not Teo was the guy for her! I wish I could’ve leaped in the book and shake her silly. I know its just a book but geez can anyone be so blind to what was clearly right in front of them?

So why despite all my yammering did I give it 4 stars? Well like I said I did really love this read. I thought it was cute and funny and yes despite Charlie not being able to realize who was the right guy for her right away I did love the interaction between her and J.D. their chemistry was off the charts and the slow built up of that was well worth it. So if you want something fun and flirty to read this Christmas pick it up it's definitely worth the time.


Day 9 of 12 Days of Christmas: The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily [Dash & Lily #2] BY Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Published: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Knopf BYR
Format: audiobook via Overdrive
Rating: 4/5

Dash and Lily have had a tough year since readers watched the couple fall in love in Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. Lily's beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition. Lily's spark has dimmed so much that Langston, her brother, has put aside his grudge against Dash to team up and remind Lily what there is to love about life.
With only twelve days left until Christmas--Lily's favorite time of the year--Dash, Langston, and their friends take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday spirit of New York City in December, a time and place unlike anywhere else in the world. Told in alternating chapters, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily is bound to be a Christmas favorite for seasons to come.

My Thoughts
Oh, Dash & Lily how I have missed you! I instantly fell in love with these two a few years back in the first book in the series and was finally excited that I finally got to read the follow-up. We catch up with Dash & Lily a year later but this time it’s Dash who has set out to bring Christmas cheer to Lily’s life. She has had a hard year with dealing with her grandfather’s heart attack, her brother who has moved out and now her parents who want to move out of state for their jobs, how could a girl not feel a bit blue?

Both are wondering if they can get over this hump or are they just not connecting anymore as a couple like they use to? Dash tries his hardest to get Lily back in the Christmas spirit and to show her how much he loves her. All the while Lily wonders if Dash even still wants to be together, talk about miscommunication! I’ve always loved the alternating chapters because I feel we see both sides of the story as each one sees it. Of course, I will always root for these two they had me from the very start with their red moleskine notebook! So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I, of course, enjoyed this read just as a much. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Dash & Lily what are you waiting for? Go get both reads and snuggle in for some delightful Christmas reading time.


Day 8 of 12 Days of Christmas: What Light by Jay Asher

What Light by Jay Asher
Published: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Little Brown and Co.
Format: audiobook via Overdrive
Rating: 4/5

Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

My Thoughts
In What Light we met Sierra and her family who own a Christmas tree farm and every Christmas they go down to California to sell their trees. Sierra has had a double life of sorts since she splits some time between her Oregon life and her California life. She has two sets of friends but all of that is in danger when this might be the last Christmas her family goes down to California due to problems with the business.

When she is in California she focuses solely on helping her family and spending time with her friend, she rarely thinks of dating especially since she is never there long enough to think about getting involved with anyone. However all of that changes when she meets Caleb someone she never saw coming and of course, he captures her heart quicker than she could ever imagine. There is a chemistry between them that either can deny but there is a rumor out there that she soon finds out about that could end things before they even begin.

I listened to this on audiobook and found it to be a quick and easy going read. I really liked this story and found Sierra to be the nice girl who always played by the rules but when others don’t agree with her choice of guys she stands up for herself and her gut feelings about Caleb. She believed in him from the start despite what others think and was determined to get to know the real person behind the image and not just rely on rumors.

This was the typical tale of young love with that dash of Christmas magic that I love so much. The real stars were the romance between the two but also the tale of growing up and finding ourselves, finding who they are and what they ultimately what to become. There is nothing better than a coming of age tale but add Christmas time as the backdrop and well you have a winner of a read.


Day 7 of 12 Days of Christmas: Children's Christmas reads

During my holiday reads I like to look for children’s books that I think will be entertaining for the little ones and I found three I thought you might what to check out for the kiddos.

The Warm-Hearted Snowman by Sigal Adler
This is a tale about a friendship between a snowman and rabbit and how the magical sense of Christmas means everything. I really enjoyed this cute read and the illustrations are so beautiful! My little cousin really loved this book. A cute read with a great message.

Snowflake and Christmas by Ezra Monson
I must admit this cover got me, I’m a sucker for a cute cover and I was so happy that the book was just as amazing! This is the story of Snowflake and her wanting to know everything about Christmas. She soon finds out that its true meaning is being together and the love we have for one another.

Santa Ate my Gingerbread House by Mark I. Sutherland
This is the tale of Tommy who loves Christmas more than everything but when Santa mistakenly eats his gingerbread house Tommy is determined to be the naughtiest boy ever. This was an okay read for me mainly because I found Tommy to be a snotty kid. My little cousin also said she didn’t like Tommy either because he was just plain mean.

I hope you check out any of these reads, these were all free kindle reads when I got them so hopefully, they still are so you can check them out as well.


Day 6 of 12 Days of Christmas: The Reading Group by Della Parker

The Reading Group: December by Della Parker
Published: December 1, 2016
Publisher: Quercus
Format: free Kindle read
Rating: 4/5

Meet the Reading Group: six women in the seaside village of Little Sanderton come together every month to share their love of reading. No topic is off-limits: books, family, love, and loss . . . and don't forget the glass of red! Grace knows that the holiday season is going to be different this year. No turkey, no tinsel, no gorgeously wrapped gifts under the tree . . . how on earth is she going to break it to her little boys that Christmas is effectively canceled? And can she bear to tell anyone her embarrassing secret? Enter the Reading Group: Grace's life might have turned upside down but there's no problem they can't solve.

My Thoughts
I really enjoyed this short story about a group of friends who initially came together for their love but books but soon realize that this group was much more than that. This story is about friendship and their support of one another and that it can pull them through anything that life throws at them.