#Blogmas Christmas In Vermont by Anita Hughes

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Christmas In Vermont by Anita Hughes. I spotted this out of the corner of my eye on a evening trip to Barnes and Noble. Mom trip, just wanted to get out of the house. The cover is stunning and although I knew I didn’t need anymore holiday romances, I couldn’t leave the store without it.

Emma is our heroine in Christmas in Vermont. It is just days before Christmas, and she surprisingly finds a jewelry store open in Manhattan. She goes in, wanting to get some cash for a bracelet her now ex boyfriend gave her. Once in the store though, she sees a watch that she gave to her boyfriend from college, Fletcher. She trades the bracelet for the watch and goes straight to her best friend Brownyn.  Brownyn believes in synchronicity, does some digging and learns that Fletcher is visiting a bed and breakfast in Vermont. She handles all the logistics for Emma and off she goes for Vermont!

signature5da8e3b9ed56dOkay, I didn’t hate this book, but I had more issues with it than I expected. Is it cozy? Yes. It is a good read to cozy up with, warm drink in hand and your favorite winter blanket? Yes. One of the biggest issues I had with this book, is one that I have had with a few other books I’ve read during this holiday romance binge I’m on. The issue is this: I don’t mind a romance where the hero is engaged to another person when the story initially kicks off, but I feel like this can be a tough story line to deliver well on. This is the second book I read, where our hero, Fletcher, is engaged and he’s engaged more than halfway through the book. Obviously, the author has to create some issue that arises that ends the engagement and now creates the part of the story where he and our heroine, Emma, can now pursue their relationship. In their case though, this is a second chance romance because the two dated in college, and I feel the author tried to make it work by giving us flashbacks between then and now. In my opinion though, it just didn’t work.

Was Fletcher’s fiancé just the worst person ever? Not really. She is a young actress trying to make a come up and Fletcher is a Broadway producer. It is obvious she has motives behind being with him, but the reasons why the two parted ways felt she obvious, like obviously this is where the story would go. It was so obvious, it didn’t feel believable.

So, now Fletcher is without a fiancé and realizes what he wants is Emma. By this time, the story feels rushed because there are like 50ish pages left in it. Maybe the author felt like, by giving us the time hopping, it would be enough, but for me it wasn’t.

Another issue I had with the book was in regards to Fletcher’s daughter. When Emma arrives in Vermont, she learns that Fletcher is not only engaged but he has a 9 year old daughter. Emma and his daughter grow very close, because Fletcher and his fiancé are constantly leaving her at the bed and breakfast. As a parent, I was just a tad uncomfortable with this. It felt irresponsible and regardless of your relationship status, the welfare of your 9 year old daughter should be number 1, and I’d think any woman who isn’t on board with that, shouldn’t be your fiancé. Personal opinion, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.

If you can get past all of that however, it is a nice look at the belief that things happen for a reason. A series of events can be happening because they are leading up to something big. It was really interesting.

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#Blogmas A Coldwater Christmas by Delores Fossen

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A Coldwater Christmas by Delores Fossen is book four in Fossen’s Coldwater Texas series. I read last year’s holiday romance in this series and had every intention on backtracking through the series in 2019, but failed to do so. *cringe* In my attempt at holding myself accountable however, I will make it a priority in 2020.

What this books is about: Recently separated from her husband Janna, returns to her hometown of Coldwater, Texas to speak to her previous ex-husband and first love Kace about the fact that his father and her mother are engaged. This is sour subject being that Kace and his brother’s cannot stand their father due to him walking out on the family and the boys ending up in some really crappy foster care situations. Twist to the story? Janna has recently left her jerk of a husband Dominick and he is out to drain her bank accounts.

A Coldwater Christmas is hilarious! I adore Delores Fossen’s sense of humor, it truly shines through in this story with roaming Texas longhorns throughout the town streets, flying pink penis’s with smiley faces on them and vibrators sent in the mail. As I read the book it felt like a solid five star read. I was convinced I was going to love it..

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My issues with the book lie with a few things at the end of the book and the second chance romance between Janna and Kace.  When reading a second chance romance, I tend to pick sides. You read from a specific character’s perspective (in this case, Kase’s) and it’s usually the character who has blasted in from the past who I feel like has to earn my trust and help me feel that the connection is genuine (in this case Janna!). I didn’t feel a connection between Janna and Kace, especially with the way the ending happened. I felt like if the road we took was the road we were going to take, I should’ve felt more than just these two old lovers have linked back up and are again having amazing sex. The way the book ended felt like a let down because I was loving the book so much in the beginning and middle half.

I have also been pondering on, if a romance is a Christmas romance, how much of the Christmas aspect do I need? The mention of Christmas in this one is very brief, so if that is something you need more of in your books..just throwing it out there, you don’t get much!

xx.

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Weekly Wrap Up

Weekly Wrap Up

Happy Sunday Friends. I hope your week has been amazing. This past week was my last week in my current two courses. Last week I had a research paper due for each class and this week was *sigh* final exam week. I won’t get into specifics of how bad it sucked, but I will leave you with this: I’m glad it’s over. 

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I am currently in the middle of 2 audiobooks and loving them both despite the fact that I have been too busy to listen to them these past few days. I did manage to read one book this week, and that was Low Country Christmas by Lee Tobin McClain. I rated this holiday romance 4/5 stars. It was may first romance by the author, and I really enjoyed it. I began reading this while participating in TisTheSeasonAthon and finished it up this week.

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The only thing I listened to this week was one episode of the Fated Mates podcast, where hosts Jen and Sarah chatted about their favorite romances of 2019. You can find that episode here.

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Last night, I introduced my daughter to the beloved holiday family film, The Santa Clause. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I watched that movie but I had obviously blanked at some point on how hilarious it is. It was so good, I am so glad after all this time, I finally rewatched it! And my daughter Loved it!

Over on Youtube, Vlogmas is in full effect! I am patting myself (tiredly) on the back because your girl has posted a video everyday in the month of December. I don’t want December to go, but..Vlogmas is exhausting! It’s fun, but exhausting. It definitely challenges you creatively. I may do a post about it at some point, but yes, fun and exhausting!

One of my favorites to keep up with during Vlogmas is my friend Michael, from the channel Michael Reads. I am always so interested in seeing what he’s reading, especially his short story collections, he has the cutest niece  and I love his coffee shop visits!

I just wanted to pop in and say Hey this morning. I hope your December has been amazing so far.

*for more content, make sure if you are a YouTube fan, you hit the subscribe button on my channel. I’ll leave one of my latest videos here!

#Blogmas 12 Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber

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Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber was a reread for me. I read it for the first time November of 2018 and loved it. It is with great joy, to say that I enjoyed it just as much this go around as I did the first time.

This is the enemies to lovers, holiday romance between Julia and her jerk of a neighbor, Cain Maddox.  Julie works at Macy’s and is up for a promotion where she could be working in the store’s social media department. It is between Julie and another employee for the position and the deciding factor boils down to, who can create a blog and generate the biggest following in the allotted time. Julie has no idea what she would create a blog about, until her best friend recommends starting a blog about killing her jerk neighbor Cain with kindness.

Cain’s last relationship dealt with him falling for an employee who used him to gain a promotion then ditching him once he got it, so this obviously causes some issues when he learns that Julie has basically done the same thing (minus the ditching part!)

What I find lovely about rereading is the comfort in returning to a story you’ve already grown to love and knowing that it is still going to come through for you. That’s what this story represents for me. I just know I will return to it every holiday season. At the core of this story is kindness. Julie literally starts a project to be kind to Cain, regardless of how much of a jerk he is to her. I like that. I like how Debbie Macomber makes that the center of the story and sticks with it.

xx.

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#Blogmas A Wedding In December by Sarah Morgan

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“Do you ever read a feature praising a woman whose life is to care for her disabled child or parent with Alzheimer’s? No, you don’t. When someone talks about ‘achievement’ they’re talking about Salary and Status, not the fact that you actually managed to take a shower and change your clothes after being in the hospital with your child for two nights straight even though, believe me, that’s an achievement. You read about Hedge Fun Managers who get up at three in the morning so they can get their workout done, use the gym, clear their emails and make a healthy breakfast for the whole family before putting in a full day of work in the city and returning home in time to read bedtime stories and then do another few hours of work before having perfect sex, three hours undisturbed REM sleep and waking up and starting again. You read about women who were at home with children and suddenly realized that if they started charging for all the cupcakes they made for their children’s friends and school events, they could turn their baking skills into a profitable business. And, by the way, the woman I read about didn’t look as if she’d ever baked a cupcake in her life and she certainly  hadn’t eaten one. What you never read about is the millions of normal women who are struggling to hold it all together and don’t own a planner because we don’t exactly know what we’d write in one.”

A Wedding In December was a five star read from me. I like that the holiday romances we are getting from Sarah Morgan are more women’s fiction yet still have a love story at it’s core. A Wedding In December all centers around Rosie getting married and her parents and sister traveling to America from Europe for her December wedding. The family doesn’t just show up however, they come with secrets tucked away. Sister Katie who is a doctor back in Europe is hiding a work place situation from her family which really has her on the fence as to if she wants to continue with her current career. Rosie’s parents are faking a happy marriage when in reality they have been separated for months. Katie arrives with every intention of digging up skeletons from Rosie’s fiancé’s closet because being the big protective older sister she is..she doesn’t want to see her sister get hurt.

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I think Sarah Morgan did a fantastic job of keeping the central story line in the forefront, while also weaving in the emotional journeys and issues that each woman was dealing with and not leaving any loose ends in the end. Also at times when reading a book following different main characters, I find that certain characters can be overshadowed but I didn’t get that with A Wedding In December. Each character was well fleshed out and very well developed.

This book delves deep into the relationship between sisters. What it’s like to be the oldest and have a younger sibling who is sick a lot. We see Katie have to learn to lean on her younger sister for a change. Now that they’re grown women Katie has to learn that their relationship can change, can be different.

I think for most of the book we put Rosie into this needs protection box because that’s how her family views her and treats her, but she has this moment of defiance towards the end of this book where she sticks up for herself and has to remind her sister that her decisions, are her decisions!

The Mother, Maggie, was kind of my favorite character. I adored the fake marriage, but really married trope. It was interesting to see how long Maggie and her husband could pull it off but in the course of being a fake couple, things are set up for them to do as a couple which I really enjoyed seeing. It puts them in this predicament where you either continue to try and fake the funk or..you know, maybe work things out.

I could go on and on but what it boils down to is, treat yourself to Sarah Morgan’s writing. This was a wonderful, wonderful read that I absolutely adored. This is what women’s fiction should read like. This one is part of my Holiday Romance 5 Star Predictions list and I am so thrilled to say it lived up to my expectations.

xx.

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#Blogmas Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz

Her Naughty Holiday

by Tiffany Reisz

#2 in the Men At Work series

Goodreads Rating: 4.08 Stars

Plot:

Clover Greene would sooner crawl into her oven than host family for Thanksgiving dinner. Yet another annual ritual of too much food, served with a side of criticism over “Clover’s Bad Life Choices.” This year, she needs to distract them all—with a handsome fake boyfriend. And she has the perfect guy in mind.

Contractor Erick Fields is the poster boy for sexy single dads, and Clover has been secretly crushing on him for ages. She certainly wasn’t expecting Erick to agree to her insane charade…or to add lots of hot, wicked sex to the deal. If they can pull it off, the worst Thanksgiving ever might give them something to be really thankful for!

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Why Read This Book:

Her Naughty Holiday was a funny as hell, super sexy, fake dating holiday romance. This is my first Tiffany Reisz romance and will definitely not be my last. I really enjoyed that the heroine and the hero were a tad bit older. Erick is actually the Dad of Ruthie, who works for Clover, our heroine. Ruthie is a total force herself to be reckoned with. I adored her. She is this total 17 year old feminist and I couldn’t get enough of her scenes.

The entire beginning and middle half of this book is build up for Thanksgiving day where Clover and Erick prepare for Thanksgiving dinner with Clover’s terrible, so terrible, family. Clover and Erick agree to ‘fake date,’ so that there is a possibility that Clover’s family will back off and give her a break about being single. These people are hilariously terrible people. They give Clover a hard time about being a college drop out, despite the fact that she is still a successful business woman. They want her to settle down and have kids, but not with Erick who is the father of a 17 year old daughter because “step kids are second best.”

I was expecting a very passive scene that I see in a lot of books where the heroine is “the bigger person,” and doesn’t say anything but oh boy, was I wrong and a total Stan for it. This book had one of the best stick up for yourself scenes I’ve read in a book and it didn’t stop there. After Clover is done with everyone’s crap, she kicks THEM ALL OUT, even Erick. Her family is stunned and stubborn and doesn’t seem to get the point, so Erick has to help them understand why Clover is so pissed.

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I loved his scene alone with Clover’s family just as much, if not more than I did hers.  It was great, and in true romance fashion, she heard it all while standing in the background on the stairs unnoticed.

You have to add this holiday gem to your tbr. If you can snag a copy of the audiobook, I can’t recommend it enough. Erick is very sarcastic and uses a lot of jokes, and it just translates so well via audio.

I hope you read it and I hope you love it.

xo.

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#Blogmas Christmas With the Marine by Candace Havens

‘You don’t know how Beautiful you are, do you?’

Christmas With the Marine

by Candace Havens

Published October 18, 2016 by Harlequin Blaze

Goodreads Rating: 3.69 Stars

Plot:

Mission: To make one sexy civvie’s Christmas wish come true 

Christmas is almost here, and guys are the last thing on personal shopper Ainsley Garrett’s list. But her icy resolution melts when she sees an incredibly hot Marine shopping for toys. A man in uniform with a hot bod and a heart of gold? Maybe a gal can believe in Santa after all… 

Major Ben Hawthorne has his career to think about, but when it comes to Ainsley, he’s willing to break his own rules, at least for one night—provided they can get this insanely wicked attraction out of their system. Only, once isn’t enough. Now Ainsley’s checking her list twice…before she falls for a Marine who’s naughty and nice.

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‘I’ve just never met a selfless man before. You’re an anomaly.’

Christmas With The Marine was my first ever read from the Harlequin Blaze series.

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It was fun, and sexy as hell. Ben meets Ainsley while being tasked to buy toys on behalf of his unit for Toys For Tots. Their running into each other was totally meant to be, because Ainsley is a Professional Shopper.

This was a fun holiday romance because the meet cute and so much of the story is about these two getting gifts for other people but in the end, their meeting each other is the gift neither one of them expected or thought they needed.

Both have their reasons for trying to convince themselves that they can only be friends; Ainsley is trying to get her business off the ground and Ben wants to progress to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and knows the hard work and sacrifice that will go into that.

The fact that Christmas With the Marine takes place in Texas was a bonus. The city I live in was mentioned a few times, so I loved that. The story has a twist to it too that I actually enjoyed seeing. Marines are so proud of being Marines, but Ben definitely has to humble himself; Ainsley’s father is constantly trying to set her up with these big time business guys who behind the scenes are total jerks, but her dad doesn’t think Ben is good enough for her. It was a different kind of spin on the story. You have the guy who serves his country in probably the proudest branch of the military, but he’s made to not feel good enough.

The writing was easy. The pacing felt right, and I overall really enjoyed this story. I think if you want a holiday romance that is going to easily hook you from the first page and move quickly, I can’t recommend Christmas With The Marine enough.

xo.

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Weekly Wrap Up

Weekly Wrap Up

November came and went so quickly, and I can’t believe it. I literally still feel the excitement over knowing Halloween was coming followed by the excitement of knowing November was coming along with my birthday.

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I literally only read one book this week and that was Little Miss Perfect by Julia Kent which is a novella. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars. It is the 0.5 in the Fluffy series which I have the audiobook for the next book on audible escape. I really can’t wait to read it!

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This week I mostly listened to Podcasts, in particular, the Fated Mates podcast. The episode I want to highlight is their most recent episode which is where Sarah and Jen discuss The Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. I have not read this historical romance and probably would have never even considered it, but hearing what these ladies have to say about it, has me very intrigued!

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This week I watched a few Hallmark movies, and really loved them. If you haven’t watched A Christmas Duet, I highly recommend that one and last night I watched Christmas In Rome which was so, so good! I love a good destination Christmas romance.

It is December and over on Youtube, I will be participating in vlogmas!! My first video is up!

That’s all from me friends, I will chat with you later!

 

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WEEKLY WRAP UP

Happy Sunday friends, time for another weekly wrap up!

Weekly Wrap Up

I had a pretty good reading week this week. I finished Christmas In Vermont by Anita Hughes which was a book I picked up on a haul due to it’s really beautiful cover and hello! I’m totally in holiday romance binge mode. I ended up not loving this one as much as I’d anticipated though. You can see more of my thoughts on it my most recent holiday romance wrap up, here.

I also finished This Christmas by Sarah Spade, which you can also see my thoughts on in the video! I highly recommend this series by Sarah Spade, and last I checked, all of the books are part of Kindle Unlimited if you subscribe to it.

I finished F*Ck and Fall In Love by Nicole Falls. I chatted a bit about this in my recent Kindle Haul post. I enjoyed it. It was a short novella, basically showcasing two characters who meet, fall in love and pursue what they’re feeling.

I also finished The Loner’s Lady by Jessa Kane, another new to me author. Basically what happened was, I woke up really early on day 1 of the weekend edition of ContemporaryAThon and wanted to completely deviate from my to be read list and add some novella action into it, so I picked this up. LOVED IT! Totally taboo and so damn sexy. 

Yesterday, I finished The Corner of Holly and Ivy by Debbie Mason which I rated four stars and Shopping for the Billionaire by Julia Kent which I rated three stars.

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Have I been living under a rock? I don’t know, it’s totally questionable. What has taken me so long to listen to the Fated Mates podcast? The hosts of this podcast are Sarah Maclean and Jen Prokop. I am absolutely a fan of the discussions these two ladies have. They are so engaging and so insightful. I listened to two really good episodes this week; first is season 2, episode 11 where they give recommendations based off emails and tweets they received. Click here to check it out. The other episode I listened to and LOVED SO MUCH was Season 2, episode 9 which you can click here to check out. In this episode, the ladies chat about Priest by Sierra Simone which if you don’t know, is one of my all time favorite books. Period.

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My friend Amanda posted her response to the Get To Know The Romance Reader tag, and it is a must watch! I really love seeing how different all of my friends’ answers are. It is a true testament to just how huge the romance genre is and how there is something for everyone; you just have to find what works for you.

Also, this week my husband and I sat and watched The Apollo documentary on HBO. It is so good. So insightful. Having never been to New York City, the Apollo theater is only an entity I know of because of television and just hearing people discuss it. This film really opened my eyes and educated me on its cultural importance; the entertainment it provided for people of color during times when we weren’t allowed to go into just any location for entertainment and how it has survived time. It was beautifully shot and such an eye opener.

I am slipping on my Hallmark movie watching. Last night, my hallmark app reminded me there were two films premiering and I could have swore I had them recorded. Well, I ran to the grocery store under the assumption that I was okay, my DVR was recording the movies, I’d only be about 45 minutes and could come home and watch them. nope!   I don’t know what I saw, but I didn’t see that I had them recorded! I have already searched to see when they come on again and have them both set to record. I did watch Write This Christmas which was okay and Small Town Christmas which was also okay. I am looking forward to this upcoming week because we are getting some Thanksgiving films, so that’s exciting!

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I hope your week was amazing and your weekend has been full of relaxation. We will chat again soon,

xx.

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WWW Wednesday: 20 November 2019

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Every Wednesday, we participate in a blog post known as ‘WWW Wednesdays.’ This was originally hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm before moving to Taking on a World of Words. 

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading two books.

F*ck and Fall In Love by Nicole Falls which is a novella. I am a girl who loves a story where the heroine travels to another city for whatever reason (typically work) and while there finds herself growing feelings for someone. In this case, our heroine travels to NYC and finds herself to Nigel, who works at the hotel she works out. Things get pretty hot and intense pretty quickly. I was reading last night completely hypnotized! Nigel’s charms were completely rubbing off on me!

My other current read is The Corner of Holly and Ivy by Debbie Mason which I am reading for my holiday romance binge. This is my first ever Debbie Mason romance and so far I am really enjoying it. I will definitely have to backtrack and read the previous books in the series because there are a few things that have been mentioned in this book that I’d like more clarity on, but so far, so good.

For what I recently finished,

I recently posted a holiday decor haul/wrap up video over on my Youtube channel which I will leave here. Towards the end of the video, I wrap up my most recent five reads.

 

What I plan to read next

This weekend I am participating in the weekend edition of ContemporaryAThon hosted by Chelseadollingreads and Julie from Pages and Pens over on Youtube. I will leave my to be read video for that here:

 

That’s what’s up with me today reading wise! Let me know what you are currently reading or plan to read next. There are a ton of readathons happening in December, do you plan to participate in any?

xx

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