Review: It Started One Christmas, by @SusanMallery

Title: It Started One Christmas
Author: Susan Mallery
Rating: 4/5 stars

One crisp December night, Keira Carlesso takes in yet another stray—this time, a man. Dalton is a brilliant scientist with no home for the holidays. As Christmas works its magic, two strangers become friends, then best friends, then something much, much more…

Susan Mallery’s heartwarming charmer proves that true love is the greatest Christmas gift of all!” (description from Goodreads)

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It’s coming up on that time of year when I slip in some holiday novellas into my reading. Having finally gotten my hands on a copy of this Susan Mallery novella, it seemed appropriate to start the “season” with it.

I first read of the main character Keira Carlesso in Mallery’s novel When We Found Home earlier this year. This novella continues her story a few years later in her freshman year of college. She was a bit too young in the novel to have her happily ever after like her siblings did. This is novella is her chance.

It’s a quick read. But it’s an enjoyable and light read. Just what I look for with a holiday story. I especially like that the novella jumped time as it went along, but it didn’t feel like it was rushing things. Time went by for good reasons, while not making it feel like the author avoiding writing more. It was natural to the way the two characters’ lives here going and how they were to get to their HEA.

I don’t know if readers who haven’t read the novel will appreciate this novella as much as I have. But it make spark their interest to pick up the novel if they read this first. It’s definitely a nice addition/continuation if you’re feeling like you need more of the Carlesso family.

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You can buy this book from:

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

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About the Author:

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived.

Find out more:

New Release: Colorado Cowboy, by @SaraR_Books (w/ bonus novella from @JayCrownover)

Come home to Topaz Falls, Colorado where a down-on-her-luck bull rider falls for the cowboy she can’t resist in this heart-warming western romance!

As a champion barrel racer, Charity Stone has learned to hold her own in the male-dominated rodeo world. There’s no cowboy she can’t handle…except for one. Officer Dev Jenkins has made it clear he doesn’t look at her like one of the guys. He’s caught her attention but Charity doesn’t do relationships–especially not with a cowboy. When she suddenly finds herself in charge of her thirteen-year-old nephew, who’s had a few brushes with the law, Charity has no choice but to ask for the deputy’s help.

Dev hasn’t stopped fantasizing about Charity since she moved to Topaz Falls, but she’s been hell bent on keeping her distance. When she comes to him for help with her nephew, he finally has the chance to make his move. Winning her over won’t be easy, thoughespecially when her nephew’s mistakes start to threaten his town. How can he do his job and still convince Charity he’s the cowboy for her?

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Contemporary romance author Sara Richardson has been a communications manager, copy writer, magazine editor, and whitewater rafting guide. The day after graduating with a master’s degree in journalism, Sara realized she was too empathetic to be a journalist and starting writing her first novel instead. A lifelong fascination with true love quickly led her to the romance genre.

Her Heart of the Rockies series was published by Grand Central Forever in 2015. In 2016, her debut novel, No Better Man, was nominated for a RITA in the best first book category. Sara is passionate about writing stories that inspire people to believe in love and always enjoys connecting with readers.

Find out more:

A little about Jay Crownover too…

Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point Series, Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

Themed Book Recommendations: Romance Novellas

Novellas. Why did I make a list of novellas? Who reads them anyway? Well…I real novellas. And short stories. And just about anything. Some people stick to novels, but there are some of us who like to read some shorter works every once in a while. I’ve found some of the best stories in novellas and they have stuck with me longer than some novels have.

For the latest (and long overdue) Themed Recommendations post, I bring to you over a dozen romance novellas from all over the sea of subgenres! Historical? Contemp with some royalty or some bakers? A mechanic? Shifters? This list has you covered and then some. While the novella length definition isn’t a set amount, you’ll find these to be short reads. At most around 150 pages, many well under that.

I couldn’t have made this list without the help of Christine Maria Rose, a long time Twitter friend and source of great recs. Find her @cmhrose and reviewing at All About Romance. Other recs came in from @NanReinhardt and @jessmichaelsbks

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Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

 

Review: Meant to Be, by @AlisonBliss2

Title: Meant to Be (Perfect Fit #3.5)
Author: Alison Bliss
Rating: 4/5 stars

Alison Bliss returns with a novella in her popular Perfect Fit series. These laugh-out-loud romantic comedies feature curvaceous heroines finding love and convincing us that confident and sexy comes in all shapes and sizes.

Sidney Larson always thought dark-haired, blue-eyed Brett Carmichael was sinfully sexy, to say nothing of the muscular mechanic’s talent with his hands. But Sidney so didn’t have time for Brett’s overbearing tendencies when they were together so she broke things off. Now a chance encounter brings Brett back into her life, and Sidney can’t help but notice intriguing changes in her ex. So what’s stopping her from revisiting their scorching-hot chemistry?

Since Sidney dumped him, Brett’s made major life adjustments, thanks to therapy and a long, hard look at himself. Sure, he’s still intense but he knows how to focus his energy on his career, not on trying to control a fantastic woman like Sidney. Brett finds the sweet, generous brunette more seductive than ever, but now that he’s finally worthy of her, will she be willing to give him a second chance?

24,000 words” (description from Goodreads)

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I wanted to read this novella almost on a whim. I know of Alison Bliss and I own two of the three Perfect Fit novels. I just haven’t read them yet. When Meant to Be jumped in front of me I figured it was the best way to dive into Bliss’ series. I was definitely right to do so.

Like many novellas, for me, Meant to Be gives me both a taste of the author’s writing and a taste of the series in a short amount of time. I read this one fairly quickly for me and it was hard to put down when life told me to. I really enjoyed Brett and how Bliss wrote him. He’s flawed, he knows it, he’s making a constant effort to change for the better. Sidney is a strong woman, doesn’t want to give into her heart for good reason. These two have been apart for a year, but as the title suggests, some things are just meant to be. The journey won’t be easy, but reading that journey was a great Valentine’s Day treat for me!

I’ll definitely be visiting this series again soon.

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You can buy this book from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Alison Bliss is a best-selling, award-winning author of humorous, contemporary romances. A born and raised Texan, she currently resides in the Midwest with her husband, two kids, and their dogs. As the youngest of five girls, she has never turned down a challenge or been called by the right name. Alison believes the best way to find out if someone is your soul mate is by canoeing with them because if you both make it back alive, it’s obviously meant to be. She writes the type of books she loves to read most: fun, steamy love stories with heart, heat, and laughter. Something she likes to call, “Romance…with a sense of humor.”

Find out more:

HRM – Not Even a Mouse, by @DahliaDonovan

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A Christmas Shifter Story.

Katherine “Kat” Strudwick convinces herself this Christmas will be like all the other ones before it where she is stuck in the middle of the hell of purgatory that is unrequited love. At twenty-four, she avoids the object of her affection by remaining in her shifter form—a feather-tailed glider. She has no idea this Christmas is going to be different from all the others.

Declan Garrett is a man who knows who he is and what he wants. He’s known for several years Kat is his mate, but rather than pursuing her, he honoured his best friend’s request to wait. As a scientific researcher, he knows all about the value of patience.

This Christmas, Declan is ready to show Kat that they belong together by courting her polar bear shifter style.

The gifts are purchased. His plans are set. Now he can only hope the little mouse doesn’t lead him on too long of a chase.

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Dahlia Donovan wrote her first romance series after a crazy dream about shifters and damsels in distress.  Dahlia is an autistic who prefers irreverent humour and unconventional characters.  She has found great happiness with her husband, her tiny dog Bacon, and her collection of books and video games.

Dahlia has worked over the years as a teacher, insurance adjuster, and even had a brief stint as the pianist in a band–very brief, like three weeks. She uses her experiences over the years travelling around the world and working to add spice to her stories.

An adoptee, TCK (third culture kid) and survivor of childhood abuse, Dahlia uses a pen name to avoid her technically unsavvy adoptive family. Her story is all her own, though.

She’s proud to be a survivor, a writer, and one of the odd ones.

She hopes one day to write about her experiences.

She is currently obsessed with Destiny 2, the Mass Effect world, books, the ukulele, rugby, tea, and attractive men.

Find out more:

New Release: It Started One Christmas, by @SusanMallery

 

 

One crisp December night, Keira Carlesso takes in yet another stray—this time, a man. Dalton is a brilliant scientist with no home for the holidays. As Christmas works its magic, two strangers become friends, then best friends, then something much, much more…

Susan Mallery’s heartwarming charmer proves that true love is the greatest Christmas gift of all!

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

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About the Author:

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived.

Find out more:

#Review: In Walks Love, by @romafrosthart

In Walks LoveTitle: In Walks Love (Evergreen Valley Flirt #1)
Author: Roma Frost Hart
Rating: 3/5 stars

“Return to the beloved, quaint town of Evergreen Valley for an enemies to lovers flirt romance and discover how your favorite side characters find their sweet happily-ever-afters along side the Hallidays in these novella-length stand-alone flirt romance books!

Hudson Deveroux is proud of the billion-dollar developmental corporation he’s built from the ground up. Blueprints, contracts, and cold-hearted board members have filled his life for the past five years. So when the fun-loving and beautiful Avery challenges his decision to demolish an old building holding back a major project he’s equally irritated and intrigued by her beauty and wit. He tells himself it was only a sweet kiss one heart-warming afternoon, but he never anticipated the power of a woman on a mission.

In desperate need of a story, award-winning journalist Avery Grant returns to Evergreen valley in the hopes of refilling the creative well while visiting family. Only the quiet getaway she’d hoped for is upended when a roguishly handsome Hudson steps into her family’s floral shop with an ultimatum and an impossible deadline. Never did she think her next piece would fall into her lap, but she senses there’s a bigger story behind those sexy hazel eyes and she aims to find out before her family loses everything they’ve worked years to build. Renewed with a goal and armed with an arsenal of sweet kisses and small-town persuasion, Avery sets out to prove even the ice-cold heart of a bigwig can be melted in a small town like Evergreen Valley. ” (description from Goodreads)

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In Walks Love is what the series name suggests. It’s a flirt of a novella. A hint at a small town called Evergreen Valley. I haven’t read Hart’s main Evergreen Valley series yet, but having read this novella, I want to.

While I didn’t think this was the best novella I’ve read, it was still a good quick read. It was cute and light-hearted. I feel that the characters and the story itself weren’t able to be fleshed out enough to do them justice. There’s a good start here. It was just over fast and done a bit shallowly. Rewrite this as a novel and I think it’ll be amazing. I’m intrigued by Avery and the town.

Having read this novella, the Evergreen Valley main series is now on my radar. I think it’ll be well worth my time to visit this small town again.

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You can buy this novella from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Roma Frost Hart is the sweet ‘n flirty pen name for bestselling author Talina Perkins.

Roma writes fun and flirty contemporary romances that capture the hope of the four seasons with heartwarming stories while embracing family and friendship. Her stories are filled with love and laughter as every character finds true love and their happily ever after–without the steamy scenes.

Originally from the Carolinas, Roma traded her inner country girl for year round flip flops and sundresses at a young age. Married to a former U.S. Recon Marine, she currently resides in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where the sun is always shining and the beaches are a constant lure to her muse. When she’s not at the keyboard or mastering her skills as a wicked sand castle extraordinaire, Roma Frost loves spending time with her four kids and enjoys the wild ride of raising four teenagers.

Roma Frost also writes steamy paranormal and military romances as Talina Perkins and you can find out more about both of her incredibly popular Hex My Heart and Wylde Den series on her website.

Find out more: