WWW Wednesday: October 16th, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

Christmas Angels: A Novel by [Naigle, Nancy]

The next heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story by USA Today Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle.

Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents inn located in the small mountain town of Angels Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there she finds the property in significant disrepair.

When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.

While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Angels Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well?

I am about a chapter into Christmas Angels and so far I like it. I needed to read a sweet romance and this seems to be what I needed.

Christmas Angels is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.


I recently finished reading:

Followers

An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.

Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

This was an interesting book to read. Not going to get into the plotline but I can see something like what Marlow was doing happening in real life. And that is scary.

Followers is currently on pre-order. It’s expected publication date is January 14th, 2020. Be on the lookout for my review after that date.


What books I think I’ll read next:

A Hundred Suns by [Tanabe, Karin]

An evocative historical novel set in 1930’s Indochine, about the American wife of a Michelin heir who journeys to the French colony in the name of family fortune, and the glamorous, tumultuous world she finds herself in—and the truth she may be running from.

On a humid afternoon in 1933, American Jessie Lesage steps off a boat from Paris and onto the shores of Vietnam. Accompanying her French husband Victor, an heir to the Michelin rubber fortune, she’s certain that their new life is full of promise, for while the rest of the world is sinking into economic depression, Indochine is gold for the Michelins. Jessie knows that their vast plantations near Saigon are the key to the family’s prosperity, and while they have been marred in scandal, she needs them to succeed for her husband’s sake—and to ensure that her trail of secrets stays hidden in the past.

Jessie dives into the glamorous colonial world, where money is king and morals are brushed aside, and meets Marcelle de Fabry, a spellbinding French woman with a moneyed Indochinese lover, the silk tycoon Khoi Nguyen. Descending on Jessie’s world like a hurricane, Marcelle proves to be an exuberant guide to ex-pat life. But hidden beneath her vivacious exterior is a fierce desire to put the colony back in the hands of its people, starting with the Michelin plantations, fueled by a terrible wrong committed against her and Khoi’s loved ones in Paris.

Yet it doesn’t take long for the sun-drenched days and champagne-soaked nights to catch up with Jessie. With an increasingly fractured mind, her affection for Indochine falters. And as a fiery political struggle builds around her, Jessie begins to wonder what’s real in a friendship that she suspects may be nothing but a house of cards.

Motivated by love, driven by ambition, and seeking self-preservation at all costs, Jessie and Marcelle each toe the line between friend and foe, ethics and excess. Cast against the stylish backdrop of 1930s Indochine, in a time and place defined by contrasts and convictions, A Hundred Suns is historical fiction at its lush, suspenseful best.

Fever: A Dark Kings Novel by [Grant, Donna]

His kiss was fire and passion. She shivered, wondering how he knew just how to touch her, to send her spiraling into an abyss of pleasure…

For centuries, the Dragon Kings have lived among mortals, forsaking their true selves. But for Kelton, hiding in the realm of shadows—and existing only in the world of dreams—is no longer an option. A human woman claims to know that he, like other dark warriors of his kind, is real. That the legends about these powerful, seductive men with hearts ablaze are true. And that, with just one embrace, Kelton could destroy her…or love her until the end of time.

Bernadette Davies is an anthropologist who knows better than to fall into the arms of a Dragon King. But how can she resist Kelton when he’s so willing to share his secrets and bear his soul? He hasn’t met a beautiful, trustworthy woman like Bernadette in…forever. But once they give into their mutual desire, their worlds will never be the same. Soon Bernadette must face her dilemma: Should she expose the truth about Kelton in the name of science? Or join him in his battle with the dark forces—in the name of love?

Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore (A Twisted Fairy Tale: A Young Adult Fantasy) by [Märgen, Birgitte]

“We all need someplace to escape, and sometimes the mind is just as good of a place as any.”

A trailer park Alice. A hole that traps souls. The white rabbit’s a tricky hare. And the world is upside down. This fairy tale just got twisty . . .

Rule One: Don’t eat or drink.
Rule Two: Never, ever tell anyone your name.
If ya do – your soul will be lost there forever.

How do I know? I been there myself. This is my story.

There was a full moon brimmin’ that night, and that meant strange things could happen. As I walked through the woods, I reckon I shoulda known by the way my hair stood up on end like Uncle Red’s toupee —that I shoulda coulda stayed home. I call it the willies, but grandpappy calls it premonition. One thing I can tell ya as a girl from the wrong side of the tracks: If you’re fix’n to wander way over yonder —it’s important to know the right direction.

What direction ya ask? Well, ya have to read the story to find that one out.

* * *

AFTER FALLING INTO a dark hole when she was running through the forest, Evie finds herself trapped in a strange new world that mirrors our own. Her only guide is a compass stick given to her by an angry gnome who lives in an ancient knobby tree. As she travels through the lands of this upside-down world she happens upon creatures that are twisted versions of fairytale folklore. A place where fairies bite, unicorns charge, mermaids are menacing, and nightmares are more than dreams. A world where the souls of those who could not follow the unspoken rules are trapped forever.

As a southern girl born on the wrong side of the tracks, Evie relies on the wisdom passed down by her grandpappy and the haunting memories of her mama to teach her perseverance of the soul. She learns that things are rarely what they seem as her world is turned upside down.

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter by [Hutton, Robert]

This is the incredible tale of Operation Fifth Column, a Second World War MI5 operation so secret that its existence was only revealed by the National Archives for the first time in 2014.

It’s the true story behind Kate Atkinson’s “Transcription” and Anthony Quinn’s “Our Friends In Berlin”.

Throughout the war, “Jack King” – in reality, a bank clerk named Eric Roberts – pretended to be a Gestapo agent to whom hundreds of British-based Nazi sympathisers and informers passed their secrets, thinking that he was sending them back to Germany. Many were put on a salary by what they thought was the Third Reich and some were even ‘awarded’ Iron Crosses for their services to the Fatherland; they never found out the truth.

Among the secrets they tried to pass were: a tip-off about Bletchley Park; details of the deadly Mosquito bomber; complete plans of a highly effective anti-radar technology codenamed WINDOW. The larger-than-life characters who populate the book include Roberts himself, the deceptively ordinary-seeming bank clerk; Maxwell Knight, who recruited Roberts; Victor Third Baron Rothschild, Roberts’ spymaster, who did a sideline in bomb disposal using his Cartier screwdrivers; Theresa Clay, the distinguished biologist who co-ran the operation with Rothschild, but because she was a woman was only ever classified as an ‘assistant’; Marita Perigoe, possibly the most dangerous of the fascists, who despite having her suspicions about Roberts, continued to recruit spies for him and pass him secrets to the end of the war.


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WWW Wednesday: October 9th, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I am currently reading:

Christmas in Harmony Harbor: Includes a bonus story by [Mason, Debbie]

Fans of RaeAnne Thayne and Debbie Macomber will love this USA Today bestselling author’s latest holiday romance about enemies-to-lovers who fall for each other in a small Massachusetts coastal town.

Evangeline Christmas will do anything to save her year-round Christmas store, Holiday House, when high-powered real-estate developer Caine Elliot uses his money and influence to push through his competing property next door. When her last desperate attempt to stop him fails, she gambles everything on a proposition she prays the handsome, blue-eyed player can’t refuse.

Caine agrees to Evie’s bargain because how hard can it be to fulfill three wishes on the Angel Tree at Holiday House? The wishes have him reliving the Christmases of his past and taking part in the holiday festivities of Christmas present. But just when he begins to believe Evie might be his Christmas future, dark secrets from his past are revealed.

Will the last wish on the Angel Tree be enough to give Caine and Evie the happy ending they deserve?

I started Christmas in Harmony Harbor last night but didn’t get far into it. I read about 2-3 pages before falling asleep. But, from what I read, I like it.

Christmas in Harmony Harbor is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.


I recently finished reading:

Lethal Nights: A Brute Force Novel by [Leigh, Lora]

Ilya Dragonovich is no stranger to the dark side. As a safe-house owner for security agency Brute Force, Dragon knows that the battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man―and, sometimes, a beautiful woman…

Emma Jane Preston needs help. After her marriage crumbled, she believed she could get back to a normal, happy life. But her ex-husband moved among some shady characters, and now she needs the kind of protection that comes at a cost―one that only someone like Dragon can provide. But can Emma Jane trust this handsome, undercover operator to keep her safe when she is in danger of falling into the arms of the deeply seductive, fiery Dragon. . .and never letting go?

I had to fan myself after reading Lethal Nights. Talk about steamy!! Plus, I liked the storyline.

Lethal Nights is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.

Cilka's Journey: A Novel (Tattooist of Auschwitz Book 2) by [Morris, Heather]

From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.

Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.

Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival.

After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia. But what choice did she have? And where did the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was sent to Auschwitz when still a child?

In a Siberian prison camp, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she makes an impression on a woman doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing. Cilka begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.

Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she daily confronts death and faces terror. And when she nurses a man called Ivan, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.

Be prepared to have your heart ripped out of your chest and trampled upon. Cilka’s Journey did that to me. I wasn’t expecting to stay up until 11pm reading this book.

Cilka’s Journey is currently available for purchase. Be on the lookout for my review within the next week.


What books I think I’ll read next:

Small-Town Secrets (Door County Book 1) by [Watson, Margaret]

KENDALL’S IN FOR A SHOCK. TWO, ACTUALLY.

Gabe Townsend has a lot of nerve to show up after seven years and book in to her B and B. It hadn’t been easy for Kendall Van Allen to move on after her husband was killed. But she’d persevered, picking up the pieces, running a successful business and raising two girls on her own. She’s put aside the guilt over her part in Carter’s death. But she’ll never forgive herself … or Gabe.

And Gabe hasn’t even told her the whole truth. But the more he’s around Kendall and the children, the more he grows to love them and want what’s best for them. Can he really tell them the truth?

Snowfall on Cedar Trail: Two full books for the price of one (Sweetwater Springs Book 3) by [Rains, Annie]

From a USA Today bestselling author comes a heartwarming holiday romance between the a small-town florist and the handsome chief of police. Includes a bonus novel by Miranda Liasson!

Last Christmas was tough for Halona Locklear and her seven-year-old son Theo, who hasn’t spoken a word since his father’s death. This year, Halona wants nothing more than to give him a good holiday and to hear his sweet voice again. Enrolling him in the Mentor Match program might help, but when Theo gets matched with Sweetwater Springs Chief of Police, Alex Baker, Halona realizes that the handsome hero might know secrets about her past that she is determined to keep buried.

Chief of Police, Alex Baker, re-opens his father’s hit-and-run cold case every December, hoping to finally solve it. This year, his plate is full with being a Mentor Match to a young seven-year-old boy as well. His biggest obstacle, however, is fighting his attraction to the boy’s mother, Halona. As Alex gets close to solving his father’s cold case, he learns that those closest to him may be in danger — including Halona. Alex has already lost one of the most important people in his life; he isn’t about to lose her too, even if it means walking away to keep her safe.

Ice Hard: A New York Nighthawks Novel by [Goodwin, Tracy]

Hockey’s resident bad boy is hell on skates. But when he falls in love, he falls hard.

“Tracy Goodwin is an author to watch.”—Kelly Jamieson, USA Today bestselling author of the Aces Hockey series

Nick: As one of the New York Nighthawks, I’ve got it all: fame, success, wealth, plus I’m handsome as hell.
As for my relationships? They could be better.
I know how to do one-night stands, but I’m starting to crave something more.
Then I meet Camille Benetti.
She’s sexy, smart, sarcastic—totally my kind of girl.
The only problem? Cami doesn’t date hockey players.
But she’s never met me. . . .

Cami: Nick George is impossible to resist. Not only is he scorching hot, he’s kind, he’s funny, and he wants me bad.
But I learned my lesson the hard way: no jocks.
So why do I agree to be Nick’s date to the wedding of the year?
One night . . . that’s our deal.
He is the best man, after all.
But Nick is crystal clear about his intentions. He wants a relationship.
And he’s tempting me to break all my rules. . . .

Tracy Goodwin’s seductive New York Nighthawks novels can be read together or separately:
ICE HOT • ICE HARD

This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

My Best Friend's Sister: A Forbidden Romance (The Masons Book 1) by [Kelly, Hazel]

I’m not an anxious person, but Quinn Draper has always made me nervous.

Okay, so that’s a lie. I am an anxious person. Always have been. And no one reminds me of that more than my brother’s best friend.

He’s the walking, talking opposite of my comfort zone, and he sees through my false bravado. Senses my insecurities. I think that’s why I feel so vulnerable when he’s around. So…under-clothed.

Which is ridiculous. He doesn’t even know me.

Still, every bone in my body senses danger when he’s around. Like he’s always about to push me under a spotlight I’m not ready to squint into, a spotlight that would expose me for the awkward introvert that I am.

Yet he never says more than two words to me. As if he knows that’s the surest way to drive me crazy.

And I hate him for it. Always have.

Always will.

Author’s Note: This standalone romantic comedy is the first book in a new series by best-selling author Hazel Kelly. If you like feisty women and funny men, you’ll love this forbidden romance about two unlikely roommates and the trouble they get into when big brother stops watching…

Followers: A Novel by [Angelo, Megan]

An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.

Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

Christmas Angels: A Novel by [Naigle, Nancy]

The next heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story by USA Today Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle.

Growing up, Liz Westmoreland dreamed of taking over her grandparents inn located in the small mountain town of Angels Creek only for it to be sold before she ever got the chance. While browsing the internet, she stumbles upon a listing for what looks to be the picturesque inn and it’s set to go to auction. Liz places a bid, and by a miracle, wins the auction. But when she gets there she finds the property in significant disrepair.

When Matt Hardy narrowly lost the inn and property that butted his land, he just hoped it wasn’t another city slicker coming to make matters worse after the previous owners gutted the place for an art gallery. But the minute he recognized the sweet, freckle-faced girl from his childhood and heard her plans to reopen the inn, he jumps at the chance to help his childhood crush restore a place where he made so many fond memories.

While working on repairs, Liz and Matt discover her grandmother’s collection of angels in one of the cabins. When the angels start mysteriously showing up all over the inn, she begins to look at them as reassurance—that restoring the inn is what she’s meant to do. But when an accident leaves Liz feeling like she made a mistake, will Matt—and the residents of Angels Creek—be able to show Liz that she’s found a home? And possibly true love as well?

The Widow of Rose House: A Novel by [Biller, Diana]

A young widow restores a dilapidated mansion with the assistance of a charming, eccentric genius, only to find the house is full of dangerous secrets in this effervescent Gilded Age debut novel

It’s 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.

Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva’s new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva’s history―and her heart.

Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers.

Weekly Wrap Up: June 30th through July 6th, 2019

Clicking on titles under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on titles under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on titles Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz will take you to that specific blog post.

Clicking on links under Giveaways I’ve Entered will take you to that giveaway

Clicking on the titles under Freebies I Scored will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the links under Weekly Posts will take you to that specific blog post.


Books I’ve Read:

An Unorthodox Match

A Highlander Walks into a Bar

29 Seconds

Books with pending reviews:

29 Seconds—review coming September 10th, 2019

The Truth Behind the Lie—review coming August 27th, 2019

Books with published reviews:

A Highlander Walks into a Bar—review here

Raze—review here

The Shadowverse—review here

We Went to the Woods—review here

NetGalley Haul:

Dark Alpha’s Redemption

Christmas Angels

Followers

The Wives

Email Haul:

Red Dawn Rising

Dirty Cooking

Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

Under the Skin—Excerpt

She’s a Spitfire—Excerpt

A Highlander Walks into a Bar—Blog Tour

Giveaways I’ve Entered:

Toxic Toffee—from Kensington Books

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Theme Thursday

Weekly Wrap Up: October 14th through October 20th 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

Limits

The Lost Thorn

Aaru: Halls of Hel (The Aaru Cycle #2)

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The Corner of Holly and Ivy—review coming October 30th, 2018

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

Dear Santa—-review coming October 16th, 2018

Dear Santa: A Novel

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Limits—review here

Limits

The Last Thorn—review here

The Lost Thorn

Dear Santa—review here

Rough & Ready—review here

Rough & Ready (Lightning Book 3) by [Wolff, Tracy]

Aaru: Halls of Hel—review here

Aaru: Halls of Hel (The Aaru Cycle #2)

The Christmas Star—review here

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

Mr. Nice Guy—review here

Mr. Nice Guy

 

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #13)

 

The Girl He Used to Know

 

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Dear Santa by Nancy Naigle

Dear Santa: A Novel

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: October 16th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Where you can find Dear Santa: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

A holiday retelling of You’ve Got Mail that will make you fall in love with the Christmas Season!

Angela Carson wants nothing more than to be the third-generation to run her family’s holiday store, Heart of Christmas, successfully. They’ve weathered over sixty tourist seasons, major hurricanes, and urban sprawl, in their old decommissioned lighthouse. But the national chain that set up shop in their small North Carolina town of Pleasant Sands may be more than Heart of Christmas can survive.

Geoff Paisley has been at his mother’s side running the mega-chain Christmas Galore for the last ten years. When his mother falls ill, Geoff promises to answer the town’s Dear Santa letters in her stead. Soon he realizes the woman he’s been corresponding with on Dear Santa is Angela. How could the woman that grates his every last nerve in person have intrigued him so deeply through those letters?

Encouraged by her niece to ask Santa for help, Angela gives in and lets the words fly in a way that, if Santa were real, would no doubt land her on the naughty list. What’s the harm when it’s just a computer-generated response?

When Geoff reveals that he’s her Dear Santa, will Angela be able to set aside their very public feud to embrace the magic of the holiday and possibly find true love?


My review:

What drew me to this book was that it was a holiday retelling of “You’ve Got Mail“. I loved that movie. I have lost count at how many times I have watched it. Put it this way, if it is on TV, forget what I am doing. I am watching it. As a blogger friend pointed out “There can’t be many book lovers that don’t love that movie“. So when Dear Santa showed up on my reviewing radar, I jumped at it. I am glad that I did. This was a cute romance.

Dear Santa is the story of Angela and Geoff. Angela runs a local holiday store, Heart of Christmas. Her business is struggling since Christmas Galore came to Pleasant Sands. She is sick over the possibility of her store closing. After starting a public feud with Geoff, the co-owner of Christmas Galore, she decides to vent on an app designed by them. An app that Geoff’s mother routinely checks. When Geoff’s mother ends up in the hospital, he takes over and answers a letter from Anita C. Miracle. He is taken by her emails and soon takes it off the app and into a regular email. Geoff soon realizes that Anita is Angela. He also realizes that he is falling for Angela. How can he break it to her that he is Guy? And will Anita return his feelings?


While I liked Angela, I did think that she was a pushover for the first few chapters of the book. She did end up growing a backbone but still. She cared deeply about that store and she didn’t want to let it go. It was her last connection to her grandmother. I thought that her marketing schemes to get people to go to the store was fantastic. I loved the idea of Snow Valley!! I liked how she stood up to Geoff. She was funny. I also like that she was honest with herself about her feelings about letting go of the store and Geoff.

I thought Geoff was a jerk for the first half of the book. He didn’t like being in Pleasant Sands and he made no effort to cover it off. He even gloated about putting Angela’s store out of business. I did start to like him after his mother was in the hospital. He started to see how his superstore affected local businesses in the area. He also started to see that his feud with Angela wasn’t going to do him any favors with the locals. I liked that right around that time, he started having feelings for her. And what he did to try to win her over…sigh. That gesture put him on my good side.

As always, the secondary characters made the book. Angela’s niece was adorable. I liked Geoff’s mother. But, I couldn’t stand Angela’s sister. OMG, I wanted to strangle her. She did nothing but put Angela down. I wanted to smack her. I did. There was nothing redeeming about her.


I liked the plotlines in Dear Santa. The two major plotlines were cute. There was no lag in either plotline. The author did a great job at bringing them together at the end of the book. She also did a great job at incorporating the secondary plotlines in with the major ones.

The first plotline was Angela’s closing of her store. That was heartbreaking because her grief came off the pages in waves. In the book, she said it was like losing her grandmother all over again. I wish that her sister understood. I also wish that Geoff could have taken what the family-run/smaller businesses were going through went such a store moved into the area. Not only was Angela losing her store but the local artists that she supported were losing a place to showcase what they made.

The second plotline was Angela and Geoff’s email relationship/their feud. I thought the feud was a little overdone. He could have been nicer to her at the snowball event. She didn’t have to go to the local news and basically call the stuff his store sells cheap. I did wonder when their hatred was going to turn to love. I liked how the email relationship evolved. I didn’t know how he didn’t figure out that it was Angela sooner. The hints she left in her messages weren’t exactly hard to decipher.


I liked how the author wrote the romance part of the book. It wasn’t Instalove (thank you!!). Angela and Geoff had to find common ground and then work their relationship up to that. What I also enjoyed is that there was zero sex. ZERO sex in the book. Another thank you. I like hot, sweaty sex scenes as much as the next person but sometimes I need a break. And I got that with this book. I was able to focus on the story and enjoy it. Not to worry that Angela and Geoff would start tearing each other’s clothes off and do it under a Christmas tree.

The end of Dear Santa was great. I liked how the author wrapped up the storylines. She ended them in a way that satisfied me as a reader. I also loved the epilogue!!!

I gave Dear Santa a 4-star rating. This is a sweet romance. I came to care for the characters. The book was a fast read too. A great book to read to get you in the Christmas spirit.

I would give Dear Santa an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is mild violence. There is mild language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Dear Santa. I would also recommend it to family and friends.


I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Dear Santa.

All opinions expressed in this review of Dear Santa are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read Dear Santa?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Weekly Wrap Up: October 7th through October 13th 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Dear Santa: A Novel

Tetterbaum's Truth (Just Call Me Angel Book 1)

Days of Reign

 

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):’

The Christmas Star—review coming October 16th, 2018

The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Tetterbaum’s Truth—review here

Tetterbaum's Truth (Just Call Me Angel Book 1)

Days of Reign—review here

Days of Reign

The Forbidden Door—review here

The Forbidden Door (Jane Hawk, #4)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Little Darlings

The Storyteller's Throne

A Nanny for Harry

The Reckoning: A Thriller

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Accidents Happen

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

WWW Wednesday: October 10th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Nothing much going on in my personal life right now. Reading wise, it took me forever to get through The Forbidden Door. I wasn’t expecting that.


What I am currently reading:

Tetterbaum's Truth (Just Call Me Angel Book 1)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Angel Martin plans to marry Tony and live happily ever after until Tony disappears. Nursing a broken heart, she takes a job at Tetterbaum’s Pub, unaware it is the most prestigious Mafia hangout in Chicago. She finds herself suddenly caught in the middle of a revengeful scheme from a past she’s never known and a blackmail scandal that has left several dead, and she’s next on the hit list. Racing to find answers, Angel’s life is left hanging in a twisted balance of deception and revenge, and the only way out is to expose the truth… TETTERBAUM’S TRUTH.


What I finished reading:

Days of Reign

Click on the picture for Amazon link

Zelenka is an outcast. Tormented by the harsh rules and punishments of Eldon, she will soon be imprisoned in the horrifying government factories. Her lover, the charismatic Fraco, may be her one chance to escape. But Zelenka is drawn to the dangerous and elusive world of the Amaryllians. Only through them can she triumph in her two dreams: freedom, and survival.


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

Dear Santa: A Novel

A holiday retelling of You’ve Got Mail that will make you fall in love with the Christmas Season!

Angela Carson wants nothing more than to be the third-generation to run her family’s holiday store, Heart of Christmas, successfully. They’ve weathered over sixty tourist seasons, major hurricanes, and urban sprawl, in their old decommissioned lighthouse. But the national chain that set up shop in their small North Carolina town of Pleasant Sands may be more than Heart of Christmas can survive.

Geoff Paisley has been at his mother’s side running the mega-chain Christmas Galore for the last ten years. When his mother falls ill, Geoff promises to answer the town’s Dear Santa letters in her stead. Soon he realizes the woman he’s been corresponding with on Dear Santa is Angela. How could the woman that grates his every last nerve in person have intrigued him so deeply through those letters?

Encouraged by her niece to ask Santa for help, Angela gives in and lets the words fly in a way that, if Santa were real, would no doubt land her on the naughty list. What’s the harm when it’s just a computer-generated response?

When Geoff reveals that he’s her Dear Santa, will Angela be able to set aside their very public feud to embrace the magic of the holiday and possibly find true love?

The Lost Thorn

The Lost Thorn is a science fiction novel, with a strong and unstable female protagonist, that fuses the ideas of cyberpunk with dashes of urban fantasy. It’s a heart-pounding adventure told from the perspective of a highly chaotic girl who has lost everything she held dear, leaving her with nothing but a powerful drug as a means to cope with the inescapable pain.

Cyberpunk meets psychological thriller. The Lost Thorn deals not only with mega-corporate thugs and gang politics, but it also follows Samantha’s spiral and constant clash with the demons of addiction and madness.

The novel is a grim and depressing social critique that often becomes a foil for the protagonist, whose voice we hear guiding us through her story. She is spunky, easygoing, careless, and terrible at making puns. This is an adventure of contrasts from beginning to end, one that will leave you hanging and asking for more!

Limits

For as long as she can remember Millie has had her limits. Staying within them keeps her isolated, safe; helps her to cope. Why then have they started to feel so stifling? Why is her loneliness starting to rival her fears?

When she watches him she wishes she could be normal; she wishes she could be like the people he interacts with so seamlessly. Pavlos Martakis is her complete and total opposite: physically intimidating, likable, naturally attractive, extremely confident, sexually promiscuous: the most uninhibited, charming, outgoing and free person she has ever encountered in her life. He fascinates Millie; thrills and intimidates her in equal measure.

But, as the culprit behind the invention of her nickname Nuclear Winter, Millie knows that if Pav feels anything for her it is more than likely contempt. Cold, boring, robotic: that is how the rest of the hospital sees her. So she can safely watch him from afar. He would never notice her … would he?

This book is a full-length contemporary romance of approximately 90,000 words with no cliffhanger and its own HEA. 

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

Sometimes love is just around the corner . . .

With her dreams of being a wedding dress designer suddenly over, Arianna Bell isn’t expecting a holly jolly Christmas. Instead, her heart feels about three sizes too small. That is until her high school sweetheart Connor Gallagher returns to town and she finds his mere presence still makes her pulse race. But just when she starts dreaming of kissing under the mistletoe, he announces that he will be her opponent in the upcoming mayoral race…

Hot-shot attorney Connor Gallagher has something to prove. He’s tired of playing runner-up to his high-achieving brothers. So when the opportunity to enter the campaign comes up, he takes it. Even if it means running against the only woman he’s ever loved. But with a little help from Harmony Harbor’s local matchmakers and a lot of holiday cheer, Connor and Arianna may just get the happy ever after they both deserve.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!