Month: December 2020

2020 End of Year Book Survey

Posted December 31, 2020 by Jana in About Me / 4 Comments

I love doing Jamie’s End of Year Book Survey every year! It helps me look back and remember all the wonderful (and terrible) books I’ve read throughout the year! Also… buh bye 2020. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Can 2021 please be better?

2020 Reading Stats

Number of books you read: 57
Number of re-reads: 0
Most read genre: Adult contemporary romance (I read 38 of them).

Best In Books

1. Best book you read in 2020:
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t:
In a Holidaze by Christinas Lauren. I love CLo and I love Christmas, but I realllly didn’t like this one bit.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read:
Rolling In the Deep by Mira Grant. I started it on a whim because I needed something to break to romance monotony so I tried this and I was HOOKED. And then I started the second book as soon as I was done!

4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did):
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler. I’ve been pushing this on everyone and have forced quite a few people to read it!

5. Best series you started in 2020. Best sequel of 2020. Best series ender of 2020.
Started: The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Sequel: Well Played by Jen DeLuca
Ender: Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2020:
Sarah Morgenthaler!!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone:
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. I’m not one for horror, but this was great!

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year:
Whiteout by Adriana Anders. I couldn’t stop reading!

9. Book you read in 2020 that you are most likely to re-read next year?
I can think of several I would re-read, but not next year. I want to wait longer!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2020:

Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kylie Dunbar

11. Most memorable character of 2020:
Janie Morris of Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid. She’s hilarious.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2020:
Christmas At Frozen Falls by Kylie Dunbar. The descriptions of Lapland are stunning!

13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2020:
N/A

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read:
Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

15. Favorite quote from a book you read in 2020:
I rarely mark my favorite quotes. I should change that.

16. Shortest and longest books you read in 2020:
Shortest: The One Night Stand Before Christmas by Jana Aston (84 pages)
Longest: Love and Olives by Jenna Evans Welch (512 pages)

17. Book that shocked you the most:
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware shocked me at the end and… made me so mad but I still loved the book? I dunno.

18. OTP of the year (you will go down with this ship!):
River and Easton of Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year:
Lana and Zoey have the sweetest friendship in The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler. Graham and Easton also have a really amazing friendship, which is more prominent in Enjoy the View. Sarah is just great at friends!

20. Favorite book you read in 2020 from an author you’ve read previously:
Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely helped me stop blushing so much during romance audiobooks! And it was so much fun.

21. Best book you read in 2020 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else:
Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2020:
Easton of the Moose Springs books by Sarah Morgenthaler.

23. Best 2020 debut you read:
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

24. Most vivid setting you read this year:
Lapland makes the best setting! Christmas At Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar.

25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read:
Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec and Andi Arndt. SO funny.

26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2020:
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

27. Hidden gem of the year:
Eight Winter Nights by Liz Maverick. A really fun Hanukkah romance!

28. Book that crushed your soul:
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager was a HUGE disappointment. I have loved all of his books, but this one went in a direction I absolutely hated. It was so boring.

29. Most unique book you read in 2020:
Halloween Boo by Sarah Spade. It’s… a woman in love with the ghost who haunts her apartment. There was some weird stuff. lol

30. Book that made you the maddest (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it):
I DNFed a lot of books this year that did that, but of the ones I finished… Home Before Dark by Riley Sager.

My Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2020:
I didn’t venture outside my usuals this year. It was just too exhausting.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2020:
Nothing is standing out, to be honest.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog:
All of the TTTs, really.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.):
Ha! There was nothing. I was supposed to sit at Tessa Dare’s table at the Utah Readers’ Luncheon this year, but COVID happened. I was so excited to meet her. I even bought ALL my favorites of her books so I could have her sign them.

6. Most popular post this year on your blog (whether it be by comments or views):
Top Ten Tuesday Is 10 Years Old! Updates to Many of My Old TTTs got 44 comments.

8. Post you wished got a little more love:
All my reviews, pretty much. lol

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.):
Audible Plus! Not really a discovery, just a new service, but I love it anyway.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year:
I completed my Goodreads goal of reading 52 books this year. I read 57!

Looking Ahead

1. Book you are most anticipating in 2021 (non-debut):
Well Matched by Jen DeLuca

2. 2021 debut you are most anticipating:
The Layover by Lacie Waldon

3. Sequel you are most anticipating in 2021:
The Bride Bet by Tessa Dare

4. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2021?
Read what I love and DNF faster. I need to stop hoping things get better. There’s too many books for that!

Do we have any answers in common?
Pick a question or two and answer them in the comments! Let’s discuss!


My Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2020

Posted December 28, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 29 Comments

Welcome to the very last TTT of this dumpster fire of a year that is 2020! This year was HARD, but that doesn’t take away from all the amazing reading that happened! I know many people who read way less than usual, but I read more this year than I have in a few years and so many of the books I chose were really good! It’s going to be hard, but I’m narrowing my list down to my top ten favorites. I’m presenting them in the order in which I read them because you can’t ask me to rank my favorites. That’s just mean. I’m excited to see which books made your top ten of 2020!

 

Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar
You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
Whiteout by Adriana Anders
Well Played by Jen DeLuca
Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morgenthaler
The Sun-Down Motel by Simone St. James
Heidi’s Guide to Four-Letter Words by Tara Sivec and Andi Arndt
Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

What are some of the best books you’ve read this year?
Here’s to a better 2021, full of even more amazing books!


Letters from Deborah Rose of You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle | Author Guest Post

Posted December 28, 2020 by Jana in Guest Post / 2 Comments

I’m so excited to have Sarah Hogle, author of You Deserve Each Other, on the blog today to share with us letter from the bookish world’s worst mother-in-law ever. YDEO was one of my favorite books of 2020, and I’m so excited to read what Sarah writes next (it’s called Twice Shy, btw)!


Letters from Deborah Rose

Hello, readers! I’m Sarah Hogle, and my debut novel is YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER, which published on April 7, 2020. For those unfamiliar with the book, it’s a lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romcom about an engaged couple who have been pretending to be the perfect couple but are actually sick of each other. With the big, elaborate wedding just months away, neither of them want to get married and neither of them want to be responsible for the steep costs of canceling the wedding, so they begin a game of pranks to annoy each other into calling it off and, inadvertently, fall back in love in the process.

Besides Nicholas and Naomi’s issues, the biggest villain in this book is Nicholas’s mother, Deborah Rose. Deborah is what you’d get if you combined Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development and the worst Karen you’ve ever seen. She’s domineering. She’s manipulative. She doles out questionable advice in a newspaper column, Dear Deborah, and guilts her son into shoveling her driveway every winter. For A Bookish Little Christmas, I thought it would be funny, and maybe slightly horrifying, to take the lid off Deborah Rose’s deluded brain and see what her outgoing emails might look like. Chronologically, these come right after the last chapter of You Deserve Each Other. If you haven’t read the book but plan to, there are some major spoilers in here and I’d recommend waiting!

If you haven’t read You Deserve Each Other and don’t plan to, you can still enjoy these emails. You will probably say, “Oh, no, I know somebody exactly like her.” It will not be complimentary. XD

To: Rise and Smile Dentistry

Subject: Important

Dear Nicky,

Have I not given you everything you’ve ever wanted? Is there something I should have done differently? Maybe I should have forced you to pay your own way through college, and then you wouldn’t resent me for aiding your success. I can think of no other reason for this punishment. I have taken to my bed, as nowadays all I can do is cry and think miserably about the joyous occasion of my only son’s wedding, that I’ve missed out on. Tell your wife I said congratulations, and I’m so very glad she’s gotten what she wanted.

Confused and sad,

Mom

To: Susan Ratcliffe

Re: Would like to volunteer for bake sale

I couldn’t help but notice on Sunday that you were wearing a very familiar dark green Paige sweater with a turtleneck and shoulder cut-out. You have, no doubt, seen me wearing this same sweater on occasion and have, no doubt, heard the compliments paid to me. I bought it at Neiman Marcus last year and, I must say, this “look” has become somewhat iconic to the Deborah Rose personal brand. A great many people have complimented my sense of style, so I understand why you would try to emulate it. However, this particular sweater is inappropriate for church and makes you look like you’re hunting for an affair with one of your divorced son’s thirty-something pals. You are such a dear friend, which is why I must tell you that when you sneak into church two minutes into the sermon, drawing attention to yourself and your semi-bare shoulder, your choices are frowned upon by Jesus.

I am putting you down for six dozen peanut butter chocolate cookies. I understand that you are diabetic, but please do not make those sugar-free rocks you bring to potlucks. We need the best of the best to spread a heavenly message.

Mrs. Deborah Rose

Popular Advice Columnist and Bake Sale Coordinator

To: Joyce

Subject: Another day passes…

My dearest friend, you are absolutely right. Someday soon, Nicky will see how much he has hurt me and he’ll regret it. Hopefully I’ll still be alive to accept his apology with open arms. But, one never knows when the lord is ready to take them, and I’m gravely worried about the new neighbors who moved in two houses down. They are from California, where ANYTHING goes. Twice now I’ve noticed visitors parking in their driveway after eleven PM, staying for not even half an hour. The wife is a hippie with two eyebrow piercings and she wears HEMP. Do you know what hemp is? Hemp is drugs.
I’m thinking about getting a saltwater aquarium, but I don’t trust Harold with it.

Deborah

Bake Sale Coordinator

To: Rise and Smile Dentistry

Subject: You do not have enough parking spaces

Dear Nicky,

Now on top of the pain I already feel, I have to put up with the yard looking like a catastrophe. I just find it disgraceful that after everything we’ve done for you, this is the heartless treatment we receive. Your father hasn’t left his chair in days. The only thing he has energy for is watching television. This tragedy has turned him into a shadow of his former self—if you’re not going to apologize for my sake, apologize for your poor father’s. I assume you no longer want to come over for Christmas, which means I have no reason to put up the tree or decorate. Your sister refuses to come because she thinks my remarks about her girlfriend having a degree from an online university were “insensitive,” so I will probably just sit by myself and look through photo albums to remember happier times.

Please tell your wife to stop coming over and shoveling our driveway. Her services are not needed or asked for, and she appears to not know what she is doing.

I found a screwdriver in the garage, if you want it. All the bird seed is gone. I don’t know why it’s so warm this week.

Mom

To: Magnolia Rose [BragnoliaRoseSwagShop@hotmail.com]

Re: for the love of god stop contacting me

MY husband smells like someone else’s Febreze. This is a confidential, legally binding petition for you to submit, as evidence, one of your recently worn (clean) outwear garments such as a jacket, cardigan, or scarf for testing purposes. You are lawfully obligated to comply within 10 business days, and must get in touch with my legal representative, Joanne P. at State Farm.

MRS. DEBORAH ROSE

Rose Brand Manager

Dear Deborah

Re: Submission: My Father in Law Goes To Brothels

Hello Seymour Butz,

Your father-in-law is a troubled man, but unfortunately I am not surprised. The destruction of the nuclear family has resulted in husbands and wives neglecting their proper roles. From what you say about your mother-in-law, she ought to mind her business. It is my experience that people who are happy with their own lives don’t stick their noses into others’! We must rise ever above.

To: Nick Jr. Contact Support

Area of Concern [write-in]: You’ve just lost a viewer

I am disappointed that you’ve chosen to give Ariana Grande a wider platform to corrupt our children. I just read an article that said Ariana will be voicing a guest character on your show “Bubble Guppies” next week and am APPALLED. You are supposed to be role models for our children, and this angelfish who teaches the Guppies to reach for their dreams is going to convince preschoolers to get tattoos and date Peter Davidsons. I have twelve grandchildren who have been loyal Nick Jr. watchers, but in all good conscience I can no longer air this channel in my home. I will instead give my patronage to the unproblematic Disney!

Deborah R

To: Star Magazine Tips Hotline

Subject: Kate Middleton

Message: I do not care for Kate Middleton.

To: Joyce

Subject: What sort of world are we living in?

I am in tears, I am shaking. Something truly terrible has happened. Do you remember the new neighbors I was telling you about? They reported me to the police for harassment, and only because I knocked on their door and asked them to take a polarizing “Spread Love Not Hate” sign out of their yard.

Make no mistake, I will not let these people bully me. I am going to have a discussion with the HOA about that sign, along with the poppy seed muffin gift basket they gave to the Harrisons. We all know what poppy seeds are really for!

My Amazon packages are late again. I’ve been looking at the tracker and it said expected delivery was yesterday, but now they’re suddenly delayed. I think someone is tampering with my packages.

I heard from Judy that your sister passed. How unfortunate! Would you mind getting the funeral home director’s information for me and forwarding it to my son? I feel incredibly unsafe with these neighbors around, and if I am killed I just want to make it as easy on Nicholas as possible to make arrangements, as he will be mourning his decision to let that wife of his come between us in my final days. Please also forward your divorce lawyer’s number to him. Are you still bringing German chocolate cake to the bake sale? The funeral isn’t until 3, from what I heard, and the bake sale starts at noon, so you should be able to help out for most of the day and your brief absence won’t affect us too negatively.

Deborah

Popular Advice Columnist and Bake Sale Coordinator

To: Arby’s Customer Feedback

Subject: The Beaufort Arby’s on Walter Drive

Hello, Arby’s. This evening I ordered two large curly fries and two roast beef sandwiches through the drive-thru. I have not had Arby’s in quite some time because my last experience was unsatisfactory (only one restroom, which meant having to wait a ridiculously long time to use it), but was willing to give you another chance. Well, you blew it. I drove home, opened up my bag, and discovered that one of the fries was a medium.
The worker who gave me my food is named Rhonda. (In case there are multiple Rhondas at the Arby’s on Walter Drive, this one has untidy red hair and is pregnant but isn’t wearing a wedding ring).

Mrs. Deborah Rose

Popular Advice Columnist, Food Connoisseur, and Book Club Leader

To: Diana

Subject: Well I am sorry if you were offended

Actually, I am not sorry at all. If you didn’t want me to talk about you on public radio, you shouldn’t have left that explicit calendar in my guest bathroom. I will be deleting the series recording of The Masked Singer.

To: Pastor Thomas

Subject: Another one of God’s children has lost her way

I have reached out to Susan Ratcliffe regarding her disrespectful church attire, with no luck. I think you should have a conversation with Susan about showing off her shoulders when she is supposed to be Praising Him. I also think you should consider replacing her as a first-row choir singer, since right now she is front and center in front of impressionable young children. Coincidentally, I sang in the choir in college and would be willing to step in.

I am putting you down for six vanilla and chocolate marble cakes.

Mrs. Deborah Rose

Popular Advice Columnist and Bake Sale Coordinator

To: Rise and Smile Dentistry

Re: Customer Satisfaction Survey

Dear Nicholas,

I suppose this means you don’t want me to be your mother anymore. If you do not come to my Christmas party, everyone will speak ill of you, and I can’t bear the thought of hearing my oldest friends and family call you a disrespectful, ungrateful son who has been brainwashed by his wife to care only about her and hasn’t even asked about his parents’ beloved housekeeper’s health scare (not that you probably care at all, since you are so busy, but the results came back and whatever it was is benign, which we all prayed for because otherwise this might have cast a dark shadow on our party and her ability to pull off a halfway decent one for once).
There is no need to bring a dish, since there isn’t enough time between now and Christmas for Naomi to learn how to cook.

Also, I need help blocking Diana’s number from my phone.

To: Amazon Support

Subject: Please transfer me to Jeff Beezus

Someone is sabotaging my packages and I want them fired. On December third, I ordered a waffle iron with two-day shipping, but it arrived a day late and there wasn’t even a refund. On December eighth, I ordered the “First Hill Storage Ottoman in Gray Linen” from BMXSHIPPINGINC, who is one of your middlemen, or perhaps a Russian, and my order took three days for them to ship. Then it simply disappeared somewhere, because the tracker showed no further developments. The ottoman arrived within the window it was supposed to, but I don’t appreciate the shady conduct here, not knowing what was happening to my package in the interim and who was handling it. I want one of your workers to come take it back, and replace it with “Hummel figurine Just Dozing, original MI Hummel Collection, gift-boxed.”

My husband is a very powerful man, and my son is a prominent figure in the health field, putting his life on the line every day. If your business continues to tamper with my purchases, I will take legal action and take my fight public.

Mrs. Deborah Rose

Popular Advice Columnist and Bake Sale Coordinator

Applebee’s Grill & Bar (Marshall, TX) on Facebook

Now offering a contactless menu option! Also NEW Berry Merry Colada and NEW Reindeer Punch!
74 Comments

Deborah and Harold Rose WHEN IS American idol coming back on

To: Rise and Smile Dentistry
Re: Appointment Confirmation (no-reply)

Dr. Rose,

I believe you still have my cardboard box from when I sent a few of your old school assignments and other trinkets home with you on August 13th. There are other things that I need this box for. I find it highly unlikely that you’ve even opened it since the items within are reminders of your terrible childhood and your family that has never done anything but love you, so I would like it back.

You may leave it on the porch, if it is too much to ask for you to come inside.

To: Facebook Support

Area of Complaint (other)

Dear Mr. Mark Zuckerberg,

My daughter-in-law posted something that I am unable to view. It says the post is only viewable for a select group of people and I would like for you to tell me what is in this post. There could be defamation in it, so I believe it is my right as a citizen to see. For more information: her name is Naomi Rosefield and her profile picture is Elmo from Sesame Street, and he is on fire. I believe it is a reference to the movie St. Elmo’s Fire. She lives in Morris, Wisconsin.

She is unemployed.

Sincerely,

Deborah Rose

Deborah Rose for City Council

To: MAILER-DAEMON

Re: Failure Notice

I don’t know WHO you are or WHO provided you with my private email information and judging by your name, I assume you are satanic. This is your final warning to cease contact. These “failure notices” intended to intimidate me will NOT WORK and if you continue this harassment I will get the authorities involved!!!! My husband is a cop.

To: Naomi

Subject: NO SUBJECT

I saw that video of what you’ve been doing with my priceless heirloom salt and pepper shakers. Your childish behavior is an insult upon this entire family and I want them back. I also find it rude that you haven’t invited us over. It is lucky that my calendar is too full for a visit, or else I might feel slighted.

Mrs. Rose

Rose Matriarch

To: Community of Sycamore Lane HOA

Subject: We’re all in danger!

We’re all in danger of getting migraines from the excessively flashing Christmas lights the Harrisons have put up. I’ve checked with all the neighbors and they didn’t consult a single one of us before subjecting us to that enormous inflatable Grinch. It is spoiling the holiday atmosphere. When I am sitting in my upstairs guest room facing the northern window, half of my view is that awful Grinch and I feel no peace because of it.

Deborah Rose

Deborah Rose for City Council

To: viewers@crownmedia.com

Subject: important!!!

WHY are Andrew Walker and that woman from Full House in every single Hallmark movie and WHAT can I do to end it

To: Nicholas

Subject: emergency

NICHOLAS, YOU MUST MAKE HER STOP. I HAVE HIRED A SNOWPLOW MAN. I AM TOO OLD TO LIVE LIKE THIS.


You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons on April 7, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Add to GoodreadsAmazon

When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.

Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.

Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves–and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.

About Sarah Hogle

A mom of three in southern Ohio, Sarah Hogle spends her free time planning weird pranks and hoping for a haunted castle to call her own. She is the author of You Deserve Each Other.


One Christmas Eve by Shannon Stacey | Book Review

Posted December 24, 2020 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review, Bookish Little Christmas / 2 Comments

One Christmas Eve by Shannon Stacey | Book ReviewOne Christmas Eve by Shannon Stacey
Series: Cedar Street #2
Published by Carina Press on November 11, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Holiday - Christmas, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
Add to Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

They couldn’t be more different. Or more perfect for each other.

New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey returns with a warm and cozy opposites-attract Christmas story.

Zoe Randall is busy living her life as she damn well pleases. She’s back in her favorite town, her divorce in her rearview mirror, and living out her childhood dream of running a bookstore with her cousin. She has no interest in the uptight nerd who opened his boring-ass business next to her shop…until he complains about one of her sexy window displays.

Then it’s game on.

Preston Wheeler knows he takes life a little too seriously. But when the saucy bookseller next door starts pushing his buttons, he can feel that changing. Beautiful, vivacious Zoe challenges him in all the best ways, and soon he’s pushing her buttons right back: teasing and flirting all the way through the holiday season.

As Preston loosens up and Zoe is treated to the man behind the suit (particularly his forearms), she realizes she’s more interested than she cares to admit. And Preston comes to see the beauty—the absolute delight—in adding Zoe’s bright splashes of color to his once very black-and-white existence.

What better day of the year than Christmas Eve to review this darling Shannon Stacey novel, One Christmas Eve? This one was described an opposites attract love story, and I love this trope so much in romance novels. We’ve also got a fun, outgoing, bookish heroine named Zoe that I really loved. She has the best job ever. She runs a bookstore with her cousin, and spends her days recommending books and designing elaborate window displays. Sounds perfect to me! Nerdy, uptight Preston Wheeler moves in to the office next door. He’s an estate planner, and gets offended by one of her displays because he thinks it’s tasteless. He doesn’t want his clients having to walk past the, so he pops into the store to complain. What follows is a bit of a cat and mouse game, where Zoe does everything she can to push his buttons. She knows he’s secretly following the store’s Instagram page, so she posts about how they’ve got books on estate planning and even though they’re boring people might want to come check them out. She also gets even more obnoxious with his window displays. The banter back and forth is so much fun, and the tension is top notch! I loved the small town and the cute little streets. The people are all great, and I loved this festive love story so much! Highly recommended.

 

5 Stars

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings: 2020 Edition

Posted December 21, 2020 by Jana in Bookish Little Christmas, Top Ten Tuesday / 17 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! Can you believe Christmas is this week?? I keep saying this, but this year has simultaneously flown and dragged. I feel like Christmas 2019 was 45 years ago, but I also wonder where this year even went. Does anyone else feel this way? This week’s topic is books I hope Santa brings on Christmas Eve.

1. The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
2. The Winter King by C.L. Wilson
3. Break and Enter by Lori Matthews
4. Hotshot Doc by R.S. Grey
5. Untraceable by Laura Griffin
6. The Wedding Date Disaster by Avery Flynn
7. The Sapphire Affair by Lauren Blakely
8. Nala’s World: One Man, His Rescue Cat, and a Bike Ride around the Globe by Dean Nicholson
9. A Beastly Kind of Earl by Mia Vincy
10. The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey (finished copy for my bookshelves)

What books do you hope to get for Christmas this year?


My Favorite Things About Christmas

Posted December 18, 2020 by Jana in About Me, Bookish Little Christmas / 8 Comments

Ok, so if it wasn’t completely obvious by now, I love Christmas more than most things. Today I’m sharing my very favorite things about Christmas!

Memories

Here is my little sister, me, and my mom baking cookies together.

The magic of Christmas always makes me look back on my childhood. I grew up a Navy brat, so I moved every 2-3 years growing up as my dad received orders for new duty stations. As such, I’ve spent many Christmases in many different places. My fondest memory is of when we were living on base in California. Someone had sleigh bells and walked through our neighborhood ringing them on Christmas Eve. I bolted out of bed and squealed with glee because Santa was here! I also have many happy memories of hanging out in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies with my mom and little sister.

Coziness

Don’t you think Christmas is a super cozy time of year? I love curling up by the fire with a fuzzy blanket and hot chocolate, reading while Christmas instrumentals play in the background. I also love sitting by the tree watching it snow outside.

Music

One of my Christmas pageants! These people are some of my very dearest friends.

I LOVE Christmas music, but I’m a major traditionalist. My very favorite Christmas song is It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year, but only if it’s sung by Andy Williams. Find the Christmas Traditional Radio station on Pandora and you’ll hear all my favorites! I also love singing Christmas music. I was in choir my entire life, and in college I was in three Christmas pageants. I drew arrows pointing at me above!

Books

I spend all December reading Christmas books, mostly romances, and I love them so much! A few of my very favorites are Starry Night by Debbie Macomber; Christmas At Frozen Falls by Kylie Dunbar; Operation White Christmas by Nikki Edwards; and Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morgenthaler.

Movies

I’m one of those Hallmark Christmas movie people… My mom and I record all the new ones and then watch as many as we can before Christmas. Some are way too cheesy and we make fun of them relentlessly, and some of them make us swoon and even get a little misty. Some of my favorites are Finding Father Christmas, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Window Wonderland, and One Starry Christmas. I also love The Holiday, The Santa Clause, and Polar Express.

Lights

I love Christmas lights a lot. Some might say too much. The tree has, like, 12 strings on it every year, and I put thousands up on the house. I also love going to see Christmas light displays with my mom and sister. We go to two drive-through displays that are amazing (one of them is synchronized to Christmas music). We also go see the lights at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, the lights at my city center, and two pretty amazing displays at a couple local shopping centers.

Ornaments

I have way too many favorites, so here are a few of them.
L to R: A stack of books for my blog, the year I started kindergarten, Florence, Italy, and Bellagio, Italy.

I collect Christmas ornaments! I buy one from every pace I travel, for milestones in my life, and ones that relate to my hobbies. My tree is basically a scrapbook. I also collect the lighthouse series from Hallmark because they make the tree twinkle beautifully.  It’s so much fun to put them up every year and remember all the fun things I’ve done and all the good things that have happened to me.

Baking


I love baking Christmas cookies! My sister helps me, and we spend an entire day or two baking all of our favorites. I particularly love spritz cookies and whipped shortbread cookies.

Snow

I’m always dreaming of a white Christmas. I find snow to be so invigorating and beautiful. I love it when the world looks like Narnia outside. Things seem quieter and cleaner and brighter when it’s snowing.

Happiness

We all struggle. Life is hard, and it’s gotten harder for me as I’ve gotten older with health issues and other personal trials. Christmas has the power to make me happy, though, and it’s a combination of everything I’ve listed here that makes me so happy and gives me hope for a better tomorrow.

I hope you have a very happy holiday season, filled with magic, love, and happiness. 

What are some of your favorite things about this time of year?

Header photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 


A Moose Springs Secret Santa by Sarah Morgenthaler | Author Guest Post

Posted December 17, 2020 by Jana in Bookish Little Christmas, Guest Post / 7 Comments

I’m so so SO excited to have one of my favorite authors, Sarah Morgenthaler, to the blog today to share what the people in Moose Springs gifted each other for Christmas this year! I have read and loved all three of the Moose Springs novels this year, and they have been the perfect escape. I would LOVE it if this trilogy became a series (you hear that, Sourcebooks?? I don’t want to leave Moose Springs yet!).

Thank you for inviting me to guest post today for A Bookish Little Christmas! My name is Sarah Morgenthaler, and I’m the author of the Moose Springs, Alaska series. Moose Springs is a tiny, picturesque mountain town in Alaska, where the moose and the tourists run amuck while the quirky locals just try to get through the holidays. In true Secret Santa style, I pulled random names for each of the main characters. The rest was entirely up to them. :)

My Alaskan Christmas romcom MISTLETOE AND MR. RIGHT is available now. I hope you check it out!

A MOOSE SPRINGS SECRET SANTA

Graham Barnett

They’ve been best friends their whole lives, so when Graham draws Easton as his Secret Santa, he’s tempted to tease the quiet mountain man with a joke gift. Instead Graham works every night for a month on an intricate chainsaw carving of Easton’s favorite place on the mountain. He wordlessly leaves it on Easton’s truck bed with a six pack of beer. They never talk about it, but the carving is the most prized possession Easton will ever own.

Zoey Caldwell

Rick’s been a little down because his cat Roger has been particularly disdainful of him this holiday. Zoey gives him a self-help book called “My Cat and Me, A Journey to Becoming Your Cat’s Best Friend” for Christmas, even though Zoey thinks Rick’s great just how he is.

Lana Montgomery

Lana has a habit of worrying too much about picking a good Christmas gift for her best friend. Zoey knows this, and while she’s happy with just a hug, it means more than she can say when Lana brings Zoey’s grandmother to visit her for a surprise Christmas present. Time with family and friends is the best gift.

Rick Harding

True to form, nothing goes right in Rick’s quest for the perfect Christmas gift for Lana. He decides to swallow his pride and puts on the too-tight Santa suit. After a few glasses of eggnog, he doesn’t even mind how often she pinches his rear end or how hard his nephew is laughing at him.

Jake Barnett the Border Collie

Somehow Jake always ends up pulling Graham for his Secret Santa, but he’s a good dog and he orders (with a little help) a mug covered with pictures of himself. After all, Graham will only drink his coffee from a “Happy Jake Mug” and they both know better than to steal Zoey’s favorite coffee cup.

Easton Lockett

Having drawn Ulysses the moose, Easton feels like this year they might be taking the Secret Santa thing a little too far. Still, he dutifully buys the moose a bun at Frankie’s and hikes halfway up a mountain in the snow because it’s less work than listening to Graham complain about Ulysses getting forgotten this Christmas.

Ulysses the Moose

No one knows how Ulysses draws Ash when he wasn’t even a part of the official Pre-Secret Santa Planning Committee, but his taste is impeccable. She’s not really sure what to do with the three gift-wrapped pine cones she finds on the porch but the plushy moose sitting with them is pretty cute.

Ash Lockett

Everyone wants to get Jake for their Secret Santa, but there can only be one winner. Ash might have cheated a little, but he’s completely worth it. She’s not sure what’s better: buying Jake untailored clothes that’ll drive Graham nuts or spending Christmas with the blind border collie in her lap, both of them munching on holiday treats and happy to be with the people they love the most.

Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morgenthaler
Series:
Moose Springs, Alaska #2
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on October 6, 2020
Add to GoodreadsAmazonIndieBound

How the moose (almost) stole Christmas.

Lana Montgomery is everything the quirky small town of Moose Springs, Alaska can’t stand: a rich socialite with dreams of changing things for the better. But Lana’s determined to prove that she belongs…even if it means trading her stilettos for snow boots and tracking one of the town’s hairiest Christmas mysteries: the Santa Moose, an antlered Grinch hell-bent on destroying every bit of holiday cheer (and tinsel) it can sink its teeth into.

And really…how hard could it be?

The last few years have been tough on Rick Harding, and it’s not getting any easier now that his dream girl’s back in town. When Lana accidentally tranquilizes him instead of the Santa Moose, it’s clear she needs help, fast…and this could be his chance to finally catch her eye. It’s an all-out Christmas war, but if they can nab that darn moose before it destroys the town, Rick and Lana might finally find a place where they both belong…together.

About Sarah Morgenthaler

Geologist and lifelong science nerd, Sarah Morgenthaler is a passionate supporter of chocolate chip cookies, geeking out over rocks, and playing with her rescue pit bull, Sammy. When not writing romantic comedy and contemporary romance set in far-off places, Sarah can be found traveling with her husband, hiking national parks, and enjoying her own happily ever after. She is the Indie Romance Bestselling author of THE TOURIST ATTRACTION.

Find out more at: www.sarahmorgenthaler.com

Header photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Top Ten Books On My Winter 2020-2021 To-Read List

Posted December 15, 2020 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 22 Comments

Welcome to another TTT! We’ve made it to another seasonal TBR, which is very exciting. I love sharing what books I’m looking forward to reading over the next few months! Some of these are advance copies I received for review and some are ones I’ve been wanting to get to for a while! I can’t wait to see what you’re excited about.

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart.

Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall–with hopes that Reena will marry him.

But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-jour that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren’t enough, the man appears to love eating her bread creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? And when Reena’s career takes a nosedive, Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams.

As cooking at home together brings them closer, things turn physical, but Reena isn’t worried. She knows Nadim is keeping secrets, but it’s fine— secrets are always on the menu where her family is concerned. And her heart is protected… she’s not marrying the man. But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved.

The Layover by Lacie Waldon

After ten years as a flight attendant, Ava Greene is poised to hang up her wings and finally put down roots. She’s got one trip left before she bids her old life farewell, and she plans to enjoy every second of it. But then she discovers that former pilot Jack Stone–the absurdly gorgeous, ridiculously cocky man she’s held a secret grudge against for years–is on her flight. And he has the nerve to flirt with her, as if he doesn’t remember the role he played in the most humiliating night of her life. Good thing she never has to see him again after they land….

But when their plane encounters mechanical problems, what should have been a quick stop at the Belize airport suddenly becomes a weekend layover. Getting stuck on a three-hour flight with her nemesis was bad enough. Being stranded with him at a luxury resort in paradise? Even with the sultry breeze and white sand to distract her, it will take all the rum punch in the country to drown out his larger-than-life presence.

Yet the more time Ava spends with him under the hot Caribbean sun, the more she begins to second-guess everything she thought she knew about him…and everything she thought she wanted from her life. And all too soon, she might have to choose between keeping her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds….

Love at First by Kate Clayborn

Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw–or rather, heard–the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It’s a memory that’s never faded, though he’s put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who’s uncannily familiar…

No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won’t let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by her loyalty to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting–maybe it’s the kind of story that can’t work out in the end. Or maybe, it’s the perfect second chance.

Piece of My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke

In the latest thrilling collaboration from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, television producer Laurie Moran must solve the kidnapping of her fiancée’s nephew—just days before her wedding.

Television producer Laurie Moran and her fiancée, Alex Buckley, the former host of her investigative television show, are just days away from their mid-summer wedding, when things take a dark turn. Alex’s seven-year-old nephew, Johnny, vanishes from the beach. A search party begins and witnesses recall Johnny playing in the water and collecting shells behind the beach shack, but no one remembers seeing him after the morning. As the sun sets, Johnny’s skim board washes up to shore, and everyone realizes that he could be anywhere, even under water.

A ticking clock, a sinister stalker, and fresh romance combine in this exhilarating follow up to the bestselling You Don’t Own Me—another riveting page-turner from the “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and her dazzling partner-in-crime Alafair Burke.

Cupids Anonymous by Lila Monroe

Poppy Hathaway is a professional Cyrano – minus the honking great nose. Need a love note, raunchy sext, or apology letter so epic that your other half will forget you hesitated a beat too long when you asked, ‘does this make me look fat?’? She’s got you covered. But when her most frequent client, the annoyingly charming (or is that charmingly annoying?) Dylan Griffin comes to her with an unconventional new job, Poppy discovers that three little words can add up to one big complication.

Because Dylan doesn’t want help seducing another swimsuit model (for once in his life). He wants Poppy’s help winning over her his high-school crush (aka, his one true love) – and he’s prepared to make it worth her while. Throw in a summer Catskills trip that’s equal parts ‘Dirty Dancing’ and dirty-talking, and this Cupid is soon out of her depth – and head over heels with the last man she expected. But can she find the right words when it comes to her own heart? Or will this happily ever end in disaster?

The Trouble with Tabbies by A.G. Henley

The cats are here to stay. But is he?

Beatrix Fuller’s income as a romance writer keeps her dozens of rescue cats in food and kitty litter, but she dreams of using a promised family inheritance to help build a state of the art cat adoption facility. To get the money, she has to present her fiancé to her father for approval at the family estate in Aspen, Colorado.

The kink in this cat tale? The fiancé Bea’s told her family about for years is as fictional as the oh-so-perfect leading men in her books. She needs a fake fiancé fast, and she has two requirements: 1) must love cats and 2) no getting involved. Bea’s written romance long enough to know that false engagements lead to real relationships and she’s not interested.

Although photographer Sebastian Ross spends every morning shooting in the gorgeous Colorado mountains, buyers aren’t exactly lined up to purchase his work. After Seb responds to Bea’s posting for a fake fiancé, they make a deal: pretend to be madly in love for the sake of her cats and his ridiculously high rent. But if they so much as kiss, Bea will give up her favorite fur baby and Seb will sell his beloved Canon.

A foolproof plan . . . until something grows between these fools that looks a lot like love.

Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she’s unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello—her former nemesis—she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding a Nico charisma-electrocution or, worse, falling in love.

 

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers. 

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy.

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.

Remedial Rocket Science by Susannah Nix

Opposites attract when a computer geek meets billionaire bad boy.

The last thing Melody expects when she accepts a dream job offer is to run into her college one-night stand again. Not only does the hunky blast from her past work at the same aerospace company where she’s just started in the IT department, he’s the CEO’s son.

Jeremy’s got a girlfriend and a reputation as a bad boy, so Melody resolves to keep her distance and focus on building a new life for herself in Los Angeles. But despite her good intentions, she can’t seem to stay away from the heavenly-smelling paragon of hotness.

As the two begin to forge an unlikely friendship, Melody’s attraction to Jeremy grows deeper than she’s ready to admit. Can the woman who always plays it safe take a risk on the man who’s all wrong for her in all the right ways?

 

What books are you excited to read this winter?


Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar| Book Review

Posted December 14, 2020 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review, Bookish Little Christmas / 5 Comments

Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar| Book ReviewChristmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar
Published by Hera on September 4, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Holiday - Christmas, Romance
Pages: 273
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

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 fiancé 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?

This is a very hard book to review because I loved it SO MUCH. Everything about Christmas at Frozen Falls was so unbelievably perfectly wonderful that I don’t even know where to begin! Rather than writing a few paragraphs explaining my love, I’m going to make a long list of reasons why you need to read it. Plain and simple.

1. Christmas. This book is sooooo Christmassy, yet not in the way that makes it wrong to read it in July. The festive feelings are there, but the Christmas decorations and typical Christmas story elements/tropes are very understated. You can read this anytime and get all the feelings.
2. Lapland. I’ve never read a book set here, but it’s magical. It’s isolated and empty, but so unbelievably alive. There’s frozen waterfalls and wide open snowy tundra and forests. It sounds beautiful.
3. Snow. There’s so much snow and ice, but it’s so warm and cozy!
4. The Frozen Falls Resort. It’s so dreamy. Can I visit? Sylvie and her friend Nari each have their own cabin! The bedroom has a glass ceiling so you can stay up all night and watch for the Northern Lights. There’s a big fireplace and a fully stocked kitchen. Each cabin also comes with a Christmas tree and a basket of decorations. Sylvie and Nari are right next door to each other, and then down the path is a place to eat and a spa and all that cool stuff. It sounds like a place worthy of being put on my Bucket List. If this place is inspired by a real place, I must know!
5. Reindeer live ON THE PROPERTY. Actual reindeer. And they take you on sleigh rides.
6. But also… the resort has HUSKY PUPPIES. This is not a drill. Sylvie falls in love with one of the puppies and goes to visit him when she needs to think. Puppies.
7. There are also adult Huskies that give sled dog rides. You guys! And Sylvie’s beloved puppy friend gets trained one day, and he’s so excited and I could just cry about how cute this scene in the book is.
8. Nari is a travel blogger, and every once in a while we get a chapter that’s comprised of her latest blog entry. I thought that was fun!
9. We get a double dose of romance, with Sylvie and Stellan getting reacquainted and Nari meets a special someone too.
10. I really loved Nari. What a great best friend!
11. And I loved Nillo, who is such a unique guy and a wonderful friend to Stellan. Nillo is very traditional and devoted to his ancestry, which I loved. He lives a simple, slow kind of life that was so refreshing to read about.
12. There’s a lot of self-discovery that happens in this book. All the characters grow and discover who they are and what they want.
13. The writing is gorgeous. The descriptions of the scenery and the feelings of the characters made the entire book come alive. Can this please be a movie? Although, that’s a scary idea because it’d never be as good as the book.
14. So many swoons. 
15. The ending is sweeping, and so much better than I could have hoped it would be. 

I LOVE this book. I love it so much that I immediately went and ordered myself a paperback for my bookshelves. I think re-reading this at Christmastime might become a tradition of mine. It’s everything I want from a Christmas romance, but with so much more depth and beauty than I’ve found lately. Do yourself a favor and buy this for yourself and everyone you know. A little hot chocolate and a fuzzy blanket would make the perfect accompaniment.

5 Stars

2021 Resolutions for Readers by Melinda Curtis | Author Guest Post (+Giveaway)

Posted December 13, 2020 by Jana in Bookish Little Christmas, Giveaway, Guest Post / 3 Comments

I’m happy to welcome Melinda Curtis, author of A Very Merry Match, to the blog today to share her 2021 resolutions for readers! Who can relate to these??


2021 Resolutions for Readers by Melinda Curtis

I will do other things than read on weekends. Like watch movies and TV shows made from books, such as:

  • Bridgerton (Netflix) based on the Julia Quinn Bridgerton series
  • Virgin River (Netflix) based on the Robyn Carr Virgin River series
  • Love in Harmony Valley (Up TV) based on the book Dandelion Wishes

I will show up extra early for appointments in January. And finish reading all the holiday books I didn’t get to or may have missed, like…

  • Season of Joy by Annie Rains
  • A Very Merry Match by Melinda Curtis
  • A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale

I will trim off excess books weighing down my bookshelf. Of course, I’ll do a book exchange with a friend, sharing books I enjoyed and putting books she enjoyed on my TBR. (TBR piles don’t weigh down bookshelves if they aren’t mine.)

Suggested trades:

  • Can’t Hurry Love by Melinda Curtis for Starting Over at Blueberry Creek by Annie Rains
  • Second Chance on Cypress Lane by Reese Ryan for A Very Merry Match by Melinda Curtis
  • The Happily Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez for Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson

I will be adventurous and expand on the types of books I love to read. One of the things I enjoy about small town romance is the sense of community, which you can also get in other romances, such as medical romances, sports romances, or a “community” of sisters/girl friends.

  • The Single Dad’s Holiday Wish by Susan Carlisle (medical)
  • Just a Boyfriend by Sariah Wilson (football)
  • The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon (girl friends)

A Very Merry Match by Melinda Curtis
Series: Sunshine Valley #2
Published by Forever on September 29, 2020
Add to Goodreads | Amazon

This holiday season, kindergarten teacher Mary Margaret Sneed never imagined she’d be unwrapping…herself. But a burlesque side gig is the young widow’s only hope of paying off her late husband’s substantial debt. With her reputation and career on the line, she performs in disguise, under the stage name Foxy Roxy. But her secret identity is threatened when Roxy’s biggest fan turns out to be Mary Margaret’s biggest crush — the handsome-as-sin mayor of Preston!

Newly divorced single dad Kevin Hadley is prepping to make the jump from mayor to state assemblyman. He knows he should be settling down with someone quiet and practical, someone like Mary Margaret Sneed. The last thing Kevin needs right now is a steamy scandal. But he just can’t stop thinking about Foxy Roxy…and if Preston’s matchmaking Widows Club has their way this Christmas, Kevin won’t have to…

About Melinda Curtis

Prior to writing romance, award-winning, USA Today Bestseller Melinda Curtis was a junior manager for a Fortune 500 company, which meant when she flew on the private jet she was relegated to the jump seat—otherwise known as the potty. After grabbing her pen (and a parachute) she made the jump to full-time writer. Between writing sweet romance and sweet romantic comedy, Melinda finds time to bond with her husband over home remodeling projects. She recently came to grips with the fact that she’s an empty nester and a grandma, concepts easier to grasp than jet-setting on a potty.

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