Saving the Best for Last! Day 25 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale

A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale
Published: October 10, 2014
Publisher: Bookoture
Format: via NetGalley
Rating: 5/5

A beautiful story about the magic of childhood Christmas memories, the strength of family and falling in love when you least expect it.

Everyone loves Christmas – don’t they?

Carrie Blake loves her job as a nanny but, while her friends are settling down, all of Carrie’s spare time is spent with other people’s families. Though it breaks her heart, her New Year’s resolution is to embark on a new career and fix her love life.

As Carrie starts her last job, she’s sure she’ll be going out on a high – the house is amazing , the kids are adorable, and she’s in charge of decorating the tree!

The only problem could be her boss… single-dad Adam Fletcher might be both handsome and successful, but he’s always working. Doesn’t he realize he’s missing out on precious moments with his son and daughter?

As Adam’s family arrive for Christmas including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realizes that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. There’s still time for Carrie to make this the best Christmas ever… after all, Christmas is the time for miracles, isn’t it? Let the festivities begin!

My Thoughts
I left this one for last because this one is indeed my favorite book I read this holiday season! I loved the story of Carrie who goes to work for single dad Adam. Carrie is the perfect nanny she loves kids and can definitely see things through their eyes. So when she comes to work for them over the holidays she knows instantly that something is off. These kids are different than any others that she has cared for in the past. She doesn’t see the light in their eyes like so many kids have during Christmas. She also realizes that they don’t have a close relationship with their father. Yes he is a good father but one who has sacrifice family for his job. He’s a believer that it’s better to provide than to just spend time with them. So Carrie is head set to make this Christmas one that the kids and Adam will remember. She makes sure that the kids have the full on Christmas experience that she did as a child and in the process is going to show Adam that the kids need him. She wants him to understand that these are the moments that will go so fast and there is nothing better than making these memories...now.

This book to me is one that fully embodies what the holidays are truly all about. While family is the main message here I loved the underlying relationship between Adam and Carrie. I love how she brings out this other side of Adam one that hasn’t been around in a while or maybe even ever. The best thing she could ever give him for Christmas was that bond with his children and maybe just maybe a new view on love. This is one read I highly recommend, Jenny Hale is an amazing writer and one that I love to pieces!


2 for 1 Day 24 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: Dashing through the Snow by Paige Rion and All I Have to Give by Melody Carlson

Dashing Through the Snow by Paige Rion
Published: December 9, 2014
Format: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

Wynn Murphy has been in love with Zane Anders since the day she laid eyes on him. But just when she begins to hope their causal relationship might turn into something more, a misunderstanding pushes her away.

At first sight, charming and handsome, ad executive, Zane Anders has been secretly infatuated with bake shop cutie, Wynn Murphy. This Christmas, he's determined to tell her.

Join Wynn and Zane in this delightful holiday novelette as Zane goes dashing through the snow in an effort to capture Wynn's heart.

My Thoughts
Dashing through the Snow is a quick sweet read that’s perfect for a cold winter’s night. Wynn and Zane are two people who have been admiring each other from a far for over 5 years. Neither one knows that the other is crushing on them, Zane finally tries to make his intentions clear but his sexy ex reappears and Wynn thinks Zane isn’t single anymore. What I loved most about this read is that it is so sweet and innocent. I personally love a clean read sometimes. I love the innocence of it and just reminds me of first love when everything is so new and you have all these new feelings you just don’t know what to do with. I especially loved the ending and how Zane was determined to let nothing come between him and Wynn any longer…aww the perfect movie ending.

All I Have to Give:  A Christmas Love Story by Melody Carlson
Published: July 15, 2008
Publisher: Revell
Format: free Kindle read
Rating: 4/5

Anna and Michael have been trying for years without success to have a baby. Now in her late thirties, Anna has given up on the hope of motherhood after heartbreaking miscarriages and shattered dreams. As Christmas nears, she has to consider the possibility that it might be time to empty out the nursery and convert it to a guest room. Amidst her heartache, Anna secretly struggles with strange health problems that have her very worried. But, as often happens at Christmastime, there are miracles in store for Anna and Michael. As each tries to give the other the perfect Christmas gift the magic of Christmas is working its way into their lives. And what each of them unwraps for Christmas will surprise everyone.

My Thoughts

I love Melody Carlson’s books especially her Christmas reads! This one is about Anna and how after years of trying to have a baby she has finally just given up the dream. As Christmas comes up she finds herself convinced that she is sick and will suffer the same thing that ended her mother's life. She sets out determined to make this one or in her opinion her last Christmas one to remember. She wants to make this one memorable for her husband and family. Little does she know that this Christmas will indeed be memorable and it shows that miracles really can come true at Christmas! While it's a bit predicable it is a wonderful heartwarming read that really can make you believe that anything can really happen during the holidays.


Day 23 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: Holding Holly by Julie Brannagh

Holding Holly by Julie Brannagh
Published: December 2, 2014
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Format: Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5

Holly Reynolds has a secret. Make that two. The first involves upholding her grandmother’s hobby of answering Dear Santa letters from dozens of local schoolchildren. The second ... well, he just came strolling in the door.

For the last two years, Holly has not been able to stop thinking about gorgeous Seattle Shark Derrick Collins. His on-field exploits induce nightmares in quarterbacks across the NFL, but she knows he has a heart of gold.

Derrick has never known a woman he wanted to bring home to meet his family, mostly because he keeps picking the wrong ones—until he runs into sweet, shy Holly Reynolds. Different from anyone he’s ever known, Derrick realizes she might just be everything he needs.

When he discovers her holiday letter writing, he is determined to play Santa too. And as the pair team up to bring joy to one little boy very much in need, they discover the most precious Christmas gift of all: love.

My Thoughts
Omg! Where has this series been all my life? It combines the two things I love must in life… football and Christmas! Derrick is the star of the Seattle Sharks and Holly is a girl who has come back to town to help out her grandmother. Derrick is a good guy who is instantly attracted to Holly from the moment he saw her. Holly on the other hand is a little scared to let Derrick in not wanting to get hurt. Little by little Holly realizes despite is tough persona Derrick is an honest to God good guy who is simply trying to love her.

This is just the perfect book for me as you might know I am a HUGE football fan, and when I came across this series I was ecstatic! Needless to say I’m going back and exploring this series, however this book is so great. I loved how it shows a different side of the sport but for those who don’t like football it isn’t overbearing to turn you off on it. It’s a simply good romantic read on two people who find that right person for them. This is one book that’s worth the read.


2015 Goals and Reading Challenges

It’s that time again; as the year draws near the end I want to take the time to set my goals and reading challenges.

My Plans for 2015
-Only truly request books from NetGalley/Edelweiss that I will actually read. I know it’s easier said than done but it’s all about quality and quantity in 2015!

-Comment more on blogs. I do read a lot of blogs I just don’t comment I will do more next yr.

-Go back to really enjoying books. I kind of let the pressure of reviews get to me. I want to fully enjoy a book again even if that means less posts on my blog.

2015 Reading Challenges
Goodreads – My goal is 75. I did 60 in 2014 but actually read 90 so it’s very doable.

2015 NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge hosted by Emily @ Falling for YA. Once again I’m going for Silver. Its 25 books which I think it a good because I have so many I want to get it.

2015 TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Evie @Evie-Bookish. My goal is a firm handshake which is 1-10 books. I have a tons of paperbacks I so want to finally get the chance to read.

2015 Audio Book Challenge hosted by The Book Nympho and Hot Listens. My goal is Newbie [1-5]

Here are  the books according to Challenge I plan to read…
[subject to change but if so this will be updated]

2015 NG/EW Reading Challenge
Goal: 25 Books
[no order]

The Grown –Ups by Robin Antalek
Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
The Start of Me & You by Emery Lord
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
The Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry
Every Last Promise by Kristin Halbrook
When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase
The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Guest Cottage by Nancy Thayer
The Lake Season by Hannah McKinnon
Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting
Before I Go by Colleen Oakley
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer
Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
Slow and Steady Rush by Laura Trentham
Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
The Summer's End by Mary Alice Monroe
Again Alabama by Susan Sands
Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
[subject to change]

2015 TBR Pile
Goal: 10-12 Books
[no order]

Loving Lauren by Jill Sanders
Summer Breeze by Nancy Thayer
Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews
Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
South Bound by Susan Rebecca White
Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand
Sweet Memories by Steena Holmes
Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
Me before You by JoJo Moyes
The Secret Life of Vivian Grant by Beatriz Williams
[subject to change]

2015 Audio Book Challenge
[Goal 1-5]

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline
The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
Family Pictures by Jane Green
Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand
[subject to change]

Day 22 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: How to Bake the Perfect Christmas Cake by Gina Henning

How to Bake the Perfect Christmas Cake by Gina Henning
Published: December 3, 2014
Publisher: Carina
Format: via author [thank you!]
Rating: 5/5

A delicious cake. A guy who is late. Merry Christmas to all.

After the best Thanksgiving of her life, Lauren Hauser can’t wait to see Jack-the-pecan-hoarder so they can finally be in the same place at the same time. Long distance really doesn’t work when you’re head over heels! But when Jack doesn’t turn up at the airport Lauren is left wondering if their relationship is really as great as she thought? Sure Jack’s kisses were delicious and when he looked at her, her knees felt weak, but what did they really know about each other? A big Hauser family Christmas is just what is needed for this situation. Not only will her mom be decking the halls with boughs of monstrous-Christmas-decorations, but Lauren is baking a Christmas cake to once again claim dessert queen of the family! Will Jack fit in with the Hauser clan? Or will Lauren have to face the music…and accept that not every holiday romance was made for a happily ever after.

My Thoughts
This book leaves off where How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie left off, however book can be read as stand alones.

I was a big fan of the last book and I loved and enjoyed this one as well. What makes this book so wonderful are the characters. I fell in love with Lauren and Jack they are just plain cute and fun as a couple. This one focuses on the crazy adventures of Jack and Lauren during Christmas. Lauren’s family is one of my favorites; they are fun and crazy but oh so adorable and fun loving. I love how they interact with one another and when they get together you can truly feel the love they have for one another. I honestly just loved how this was just a great read; it shows you don’t always have to have drama or conflict to have a good story. But what truly is the main theme of this book is the romance. While Jack can be sort of a mystery I though Jack’s 12 days of Christmas gifts was just plain awesome and so cute! This is one series I advise everyone to read. I promise you will love these characters as much as I do. So do yourself a favor and grab the series and sit back and fall in love with Jack and Lauren just like I did.


Day 21 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: Candy Cane Kisses by Elle Rush

Candy Canes Kisses by Elle Rush
Published: November 3, 2014
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Format: free Kindle read
Rating: 4/5

All bakery-owner Lindsay Leeds wants for Christmas is for her former high-school crush Sheriff Keith “Bodey” Bodewell to quit playing games. The sheriff has been dancing around asking her out for months and Lindsay is tired of it. His “fake girlfriend” ploy was cute and it was sweet that he recruited her friends to find out what she likes, but enough is enough. She’s a busy woman and he needs to step up or he’s going to lose his shot.

How can a woman who runs two businesses be so clueless when it comes to managing her heart? Bodey has dropped more than enough hints that he’s interested, but Lindsay isn’t catching them. Just when the sheriff is running out of ideas on how he can convince her to be his for Christmas, Lindsay gives him a clue about what it will take for him to get a date. And the answer is pretty simple. At least, it was supposed to be. Christmas is days away and his plays keep failing on a spectacular level.

My Thoughts
Talk about mix signals! This is the story of Keith and Lindsay two old high school friends who both have feelings for one another yet don’t know that they do. Both are throwing hints that they are into each other however both are too blind to figure it out. Each one is trying to outdo the other trying to get the other to notice them that they don’t see what’s right before their eyes. While at times I found this annoying I did find it funny at times. It’s like I was constantly shouting “Hello! He/she likes you!!” I loved the banter between these two I found them to be the perfect playful and fun loving couple to be. While it might take awhile for these two to finally see the light when they do man is it magical wonderful!


Day 20 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: A Christmas Wish by Evie Knight

A Christmas Wish by Evie Knight
Published: November 23, 2014
Publisher: ILwR
Format: free Kindle read
Rating: 4/5

Christmas hasn’t been the same for Dr. Jasmine Lamont ever since she lost her parents in a car accident ten years ago. She avoids romantic relationships and the holiday spirit like the plague. This year is no different and she knows exactly what she doesn’t want for Christmas: Ethan Sinclair, the sexy pediatrician, that won’t leave her alone.

Ethan isn’t one to give up easily. No matter what it takes, he’s determined to break down the walls she hides behind and heal her heart—if only she’d let him. And all it will take is a Christmas wish.

My Thoughts
There is nothing like a good man to make you believe in romance again. Dr. Jasmine Lamont hasn’t celebrated Christmas since her parents passed away and this year is no different. Dr. Ethan has been trying for what seems like forever to get Jasmine to go out with him to no prevail. Jasmine doesn’t want to be another notch on his belt but little does she know that he isn’t want he seems. He is determined to make her see him for who he really is and to make her believe in the spirit of Christmas again. This is a wonderful written short story that is bound to warm your heart this holiday season.


Day 19 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: Unexpectedly Yours by Melody Grace

Unexpectedly Yours by Melody Grace
Published: December 4, 2014
Format: Kindle purchase
Rating 4/5

Sophie Young has been dreaming about the perfect Christmas in New York ever since she was a kid. But when her boyfriend bails on their romantic trip for two, she finds herself stranded in the city on Christmas Eve, with only a holiday-hating smooth-talking, utterly sexy stranger for company…

Rock-star Austin Kelly is fed up with Christmas – he’s more interested in who’s going to be cozying up under the mistletoe. But when his little black book comes up empty, he finds himself on a whirlwind tour of the city with the most unlikely partner in festive fun…

The snow is falling, but things are definitely heating up inside. And by the time the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, there will be plenty to celebrate with old friends and familiar faces back in Beachwood Bay.

My Thoughts
All Sophie wants for Christmas is a real New York Christmas with her boyfriend but when he dumps her and leaves her alone what is she to do? She finds herself trying to fend off the advances of Austin who is alone and lonely on Christmas. Little does Sophie know that the guy is none other than the famous rock star Austin Kelly who is surprised and intrigued by Sophie since his charm isn’t working on her, which is a first for him. Sophie refusing to let her ex ruin her Christmas figures why not and enjoy some time with this sexy stranger. They set off for an amazing adventure in New York wandering the streets both just having fun and enjoying the now. Sophie finds herself attracted to Austin but knows he isn’t looking for something serious, while Austin who wasn’t looking for anything serious is seriously falling for her. Miscommunication ensues and both end up feeling hurt and realizing they are missing each other more than they ever imagined. Come a week later and both find themselves at the same New Year’s Eve party but will they allow themselves to fall for each other or will they simply just part and continue to their lives like they never met?

I will say this is one of my favorite recent reads, I loved everything about it. I loved how Sophie didn’t let some sorry guy ruin her Christmas and that she took a chance on Austin. Austin on the other hand had me from the start, I loved that he was confident but not too cocky as they say there is a fine line between the two and he was towing it! Sophie was so different than girls Austin had dealt with in the past and the fact that she didn’t know who he was made her more attractive to him. Plus the fact that she didn’t back down from him really got to him, he’s use to getting what he wants when he wants no excuses. I think both balanced each other so well he gave her confidence and she keeps him grounded. They are definitely one of favorite couples! This book has what it takes for a magical Christmas read: snow, NYC at Christmas time, a great couple and an awesome romance what more can you ask for?


Day 18 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: Christmas Angel by Regina Duke

Christmas Angel by Regina Duke
Published: April 8, 2014
Format: free Kindle read
Rating: 4/5

Laura is fired a week before Christmas and walks into Angel Temps looking for work. She didn’t expect to find life’s greatest gift.

My Thoughts
This is a very light and great book about believing that life has a way of always working out. Laura is fired and by circumstances finds herself steered toward this temp agency looking for work. Not only does she find work but maybe even something she least expected…maybe a little something called love. Nothing is better than love, believing and magic during the Christmas season.


Day 17 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer

An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer
Published: October 28, 2014
Format: via NetGalley
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Rating: 4/5

As Christmas draws near, Felicia returns to her family’s home on the island to marry her adventurous, rugged boyfriend, Archie. Every detail is picture-perfect for a dream wedding: the snow-dusted streets, twinkling lights in the windows, a gorgeous red and white satin dress. Except a lavish ceremony is not Felicia’s dream at all; it’s what her mother, Jilly, wants. Jilly’s also worried that her daughter’s life with daredevil Archie will be all hiking and skydiving. Wondering if their handsome neighbor Steven Hardy might be a more suitable son-in-law, Jilly embarks on a secret matchmaking campaign for Felicia and the dashing stockbroker.

As the big day approaches and Jilly’s older daughter, Lauren, appears with rambunctious kids in tow, tensions in the household are high. With the family careening toward a Yuletide wedding disaster, an unexpected twist in Nancy Thayer’s heartwarming tale reminds everyone about the true meaning of the season.

My Thoughts
This is another winner from Nancy Thayer this one focuses on a Christmas wedding. Felicia comes home to marry her fiancé in a big wedding which either one wants except her mother Jilly. Felicia is an outdoorsy girl who loves the simple things in life and that doesn’t include an over the top wedding which is starting to put a wedge between her and her fiancé. Her mother Jilly has other plans which include trying to push her new neighbor Steven and Felicia together days before the wedding. Little does Jilly know that Felicia isn’t Steven’s type…at all!

A wedding and Christmas all rolled into one…talk about stress! This read has some great characters and storyline plus it’s very fun and witty. I love that it focuses on family and also on how Felicia tries to figure out what she really wants in life. While at times I found Jilly a little overbearing I know that some people could really relate to a mother like that. As much as she is pushy I know she only comes from a place of love, but at some point she must learn to let go and realize her children knows what is best for them. All in all this is a great quick story of family and love during the holiday season. 

WoW [102]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
Expected Publication: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Harper

At the end of a long winter, in bucolic Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of an infant is discovered in the woods near the town’s prestigious university campus. No one knows who the baby is, or how her body ended up out there. But there is no shortage of opinions.

When freelance journalist, and recent Ridgedale transplant, Molly Anderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the story for the Ridegdale Reader, it’s a risk, given the severe depression that followed the loss of her own baby. But the bigger threat comes when Molly unearths some of Ridgedale’s darkest secrets, including a string of unreported sexual assaults that goes back twenty years.

Meanwhile, Sandy, a high school dropout, searches for her volatile and now missing mother, and PTA president Barbara struggles to help her young son, who’s suddenly having disturbing outbursts.

Told from the perspectives of Molly, Barbara, and Sandy, Kimberly McCreight’s taut and profoundly moving novel unwinds the tangled truth about the baby’s death revealing that these three women have far more in common than they realized. And that their lives are more intertwined with what happened to the baby than they ever could have imagined.

Why I Can’t Wait…
I was a HUGE fan of her last novel Reconstructing Amelia and this one seems like another winner. I can’t wait to dive into this book!

Feel free to link me to yours.


Day 16 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
Published: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Little Brown and Co.
Format: ARC via publisher
Rating: 4/5

Kelley Quinn is the owner of Nantucket's Winter Street Inn and the proud father of four, all of them grown and living in varying states of disarray. Patrick, the eldest, is a hedge fund manager with a guilty conscience. Kevin, a bartender, is secretly sleeping with a French housekeeper named Isabelle. Ava, a school teacher, is finally dating the perfect guy but can't get him to commit. And Bart, the youngest and only child of Kelley's second marriage to Mitzi, has recently shocked everyone by joining the Marines.

As Christmas approaches, Kelley is looking forward to getting the family together for some quality time at the inn. But when he walks in on Mitzi kissing Santa Claus (or the guy who's playing Santa at the inn's annual party), utter chaos descends. With the three older children each reeling in their own dramas and Bart unreachable in Afghanistan, it might be up to Kelley's ex-wife, nightly news anchor Margaret Quinn, to save Christmas at the Winter Street Inn.

Before the mulled cider is gone, the delightfully dysfunctional Quinn family will survive a love triangle, an unplanned pregnancy, a federal crime, a small house fire, many shots of whiskey, and endless rounds of Christmas caroling, in this heart-warming novel about coming home for the holidays.

My Thoughts
Winter Street is Elin Hilderbrand’s first dab into winter reads and all I want to know is what has taken her so long?! She’s the master when it comes to summer reads and now I hope we get more winter reads to come.

Winter Street is the tale of the Quinn family over Christmas and how the family is literally falling apart at the seams. Kelley finds out his wife Mitzi has been cheating on him and has now told him she is leaving him. Kelley who brought the inn for Mitzi now doesn’t know what he wants to do and wants to cancel the annual Christmas party. Not only is his life falling about but each of his children’s lives seems to be as well. Throw in famous his ex-wife who has come back to be with their children for the holidays and this is a Christmas to remember. When everyone comes together to Christmas dinner talk about tension! All the secrets come out and things will never be the same.

I enjoyed this read because it shows how Christmas isn’t as perfect as many of us dreams it should be, its dysfunction at its best! There is nothing like the holidays to bring out the craziness. While all through the craziness what I love best about the Quinn’s is that despite everything they are family first. They will work through it all with the help of each other, and isn’t that what family is all about? Oh and by the way all I have to say is that ending??!! I need to know!

Blog Tour Review: The Resurrection of Tess Blessing by Lesley Kagen

The Resurrection of Tess Blessing by Lesley Kagen
Published: December 9, 2014
Publisher: SparkPress
Format: copy via BookSparks
Rating: 5/5

After she's diagnosed with breast cancer, forty-nine-year old Tess Blessing sets forth on a mission to complete her TO-DO List before, what she's sure is her impending death. She needs to make peace with her estranged sister, Birdie, scatter her mother's long-kept ashes, rescue her daughter, Haddie, from the grip of an eating disorder, guide her teenage son, Henry, through a bumpy adolescence, and reignite the spark in her almost thirty-year marriage to her husband, Will.

Tess is aided on her quest by narrator, Grace, who lends the story its most brilliant elements: subtle magical realism and deep psychological complexity. Is Grace an imaginary friend, guardian angel, or a part of Tess that knows better than she?

My Thoughts
Wow that’s all I can honestly say after I read this wonderful book.  I’m a huge fan of Lesley Kagen she writes in a way that is magical, heart wrenching and simply just gets down deep in your bones and this book just continues in the tradition in how I view her books.

This book is about Tess and once she is diagnosed with breast cancer how she is determined to tackle the issues in her life. I love she told hold of her life and didn’t let the cancer take her over. While this could’ve been a sad story I actually found it the opposite. I saw it as soul touching and uplifting not to mention funny, yes I said funny! Sometimes we have to just laugh at things if not we are just bound to sulk and cry and like they say sometimes laughing is the best medicine. I love how Tess is strong while she could’ve easily been weak, she chooses to try and fix her life when she could’ve easily give up, she is definitely one of my favorite characters I’ve read about in a long time. So PLEASE do yourself a favor and read one of the best books I’ve this year. It’s a touching tale that will make you cry and laugh all at the same time. Simply perfection!


Day 15 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: The Red Mittens by Jaime Sommers

This weekend I recently babysat my little cousin and she wanted me to read her a bedtime story. I quickly looked up some cute Christmas-y short reads for my Kindle and I thought I would share some the ones my cousin enjoyed!

The Red Mittens by Jaime Sommers
Published: November 21, 2013
Publisher: Createspace
Format: Free Kindle read
Rating: 5/5

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wore a pair of warm, woolly red mittens. In her soul lived the spirit of giving. Armed with no more than an open heart, she changes the lives of those less fortunate, and in doing so, receives a gift much greater than the ones she had already given. Join Annie next to the Christmas tree while she listens to her Grandmother tell the tale of 'The Red Mittens'. A holiday story for all ages, The Red Mittens shares the lessons of kindness and love for others.

My Thoughts
This is one that all kids should read. It shows in my opinion the real spirit of Christmas. It shows what really is important, it isn’t the material things but that giving to others truly is much more rewarding than receiving. This story will truly touch your soul and brings all the magic that is Christmas.

Here are the other reads that I found for the kiddies!

All of these are super cute and my cousin found them very funny and enjoyed them a lot especially the Disney book, a Frozen fan of course!


Day 14 of Day Days of Christmas Reviews: Christmas Town by Shawn Inmon

Christmas Town by Shawn Inmon
Published: December 20, 2013
Publisher: Pertime Publishing
Format: Free Kindle read
Rating: 3/5

Pete Kelly is preparing to leave everything he loves behind and move cross-country when he makes a fateful wish. Transported by one Christmas miracle, he looks desperately for another to find his way home.

My Thoughts
Pete finds himself transported into a Christmas village and must now found out a way to get back into the “real” world. While this concept is a bit far-fetched I liked it. I enjoyed the magical Christmas feel of it. Plus it also has an important message which is to realize what the most important things in life are. Sometimes we get so involved in everyday life or our jobs that we don’t take the time to live in the moment. This is a very imaginable tale, one that will make you remember what we truly should be thankful for.


Day 13 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: The Return of Kris Kringle by Caroline Mickelson

The Return of Kris Kringle by Caroline Mickelson
Published: October 10, 2014
Publisher: Bon Accord Press
Format: Free Kindle read
Rating 4/5

After years away from the North Pole, Kris Kringle happily accepts her Uncle Santa’s offer to move back to Christmas Central as head chef. With her young daughter in tow, Kris returns home with two objectives in mind. Goal number one, bring her love of healthy eating and nutritious fare to the North Pole dining service. Goal number two, recover from heartbreak and forget Kyle Masterson, the man who broke her heart. But when Santa hires Kyle as a new co-chef for the holiday season, Kris suddenly realizes that replacing the elves’ beloved sugar cookies with carrots is going to be a piece of cake compared to working alongside her ex-fiancé.

My Thoughts
A very cute light and funny holiday read. Kris has come home to the North Pole to help her Uncle Santa and to hopefully to get everyone back in shape and healthy. Following her there is her ex Kyle who is determined to win her back. She learns it isn’t easy trying to make a bunch of elves and Santa healthy, all they want is their sweet treats and sugar. I found this short story refreshing and funny especially when it came between the interactions with Kyle and Kris. I love how they bump heads but at the end of day they wanted what was best for everyone. Not to mention I loved the nice and cute romance these two had it was really sweet. This is one of those quick reads that will fit perfectly when it comes to your busy holiday schedule.


Day 12 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby

A Christmas Prayer by Kimberla Lawson Roby
Published: November 4, 2014
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

Alexis Fletcher hasn't had a merry Christmas since losing her mother. Every December she remembers the joy her mother brought to everyone during the holiday season, and wishes her family could be whole again. And even as Alexis prepares to start a new family with her fiancé, Chase Dupont, outside forces threaten to destroy her potential happiness. But fate has one more surprise in store for Alexis, and it might be exactly what she needs to finally embrace the one holiday that has brought her nothing but heartache.

My Thoughts
Man did this book touch my soul. I had so many feelings while reading it; I was mad, sad then happy talk about a rollercoaster of emotions! I felt a connection to Alexis, while I am still blessed to have my family; I still understood why she didn’t want to celebrate the holidays after losing her mother. The holidays are meant to be with family and with her mother not around and a sister who wasn’t fond of her who could blame her. Although she has a wonderful fiancé his mother has been a thorn in her side since day one. She has always looked down at Alexis for not being good or proper enough for her son. Alexis has bent over backwards trying to be nice but nothing she does can make his mom happy. One day his mom tries to break them up and sets in motion a set of lies and actions that finally is the last straw for Alexis. Can she get over this and can her love for Chase be strong enough to survive this?

Man is this the meanest mama I’ve ever seen! I know sometimes no one is ever good enough for your child but this mama plays just down right dirty. Not to mention I was a bit mad because it seemed that Chase wasn’t ever going to grow a pair and stand up to his mother. No disrespect but when you’re grown you have to live the life YOU want and not how others want you to live. What I loved the most was when some secrets were revealed and it definitely put that person in their place! I was left with my jaw on the ground, I didn’t see that coming. I love a read with some good juice from time to time. Haha! In the end I loved how this read came full circle. The things that truly mattered came to light and good did prevail. 


Day 11 of 25 Days of Christmas Reviews: This Christmas by Katlyn Duncan

This Christmas by Katlyn Duncan
Published: November 18, 2014
Publisher: Carina UK
Format: via NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

This year, if Hadley wrote her dream Christmas list, it would go something like this:

1. Spend every waking – and sleeping – moment with her incredibly gorgeous boyfriend, Will.

2. Figure out what’s been bugging him lately. Yes, going away to college has been tough…but it’s time they reconnected.

3. Enjoy a sparkling Christmas in New York City, gazing at the Rockefeller tree, going ice skating, and drinking steaming mugs of cocoa in Central Park.

So, driving off to spend Christmas in a rustic cabin in the woods wasn’t exactly the plan. But when it comes to her irresistible, and at times, impossible boyfriend, nothing’s ever that simple. And as fantasies of an icy Times Square are replaced by a clumsily decorated tree, making snowmen and the warmth of a log fire, Hadley feels herself falling in love all over again.

Except does Will have something to tell her that could change Hadley’s happily-ever-after Christmas dreams into a not-so-winter wonderland after all?

My Thoughts
*This is a festive sequel to This Summer; it definitely can be read as a standalone.

We catch up with Will and Hadley who are trying to reconnect after spending time apart with Hadley’s busy college schedule. They had plans of an NYC festive filled Christmas taking in all the sights but plans change and they decide on a cabin that belongs to Will’s stepdad. While Hadley loves the cozy small town fill of it, Will has been less than in the Christmas spirit. Nothing it seems that Hadley does can make him happy, making her Christmas less than bright she wanted this time with Will to be magical even choosing him over her family to spend the holidays with. She knows that Will never had many Christmas memories growing up so she takes it upon herself to make this one special.

I loved these characters from This Summer so I was so happy when I saw there was a Christmas novella. However I must admit I was a little mad at Will in the beginning. I was like where's my Will that I fell in love with? This guy was all sour and gloomy I didn’t like him one bit! But as the story went on I totally understood why he was the way he was. Can’t expect someone who never had a very merry Christmas in his life to be full of jolly now can you? This is why I’ve loved this couple from the start. They balance each other out so well you can’t help but fall them, they bring out the best of each other. They are always trying to help the other before themselves. This is one read that is bound to break the shells of the meanest Scrooges out there.