Friday, December 31

Book Review: Countdown to a Kiss

Author: Colleen Gleason, Holli Bertram, Mara Jacobs, Liz Kelly
Title: Countdown To A Kiss
(Heroes of Henderson #0.5)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Anthology, Fiction
Format: ebook
Pages: 300
Published: November 24th 2012
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Four stories by four authors…one fateful New Year’s Eve
Four kisses at midnight…
Three different sisters…
Two old flames…
One bet that drives it all!
The Devine sisters return to their hometown for New Year’s Eve each year to attend the annual ball. Part of the tradition is their decade-old bet: whoever has no date at midnight has to kiss their nerdy neighbor Lewis Kampmueller.
Tess—burned by love, the glamorous Broadway star isn’t interested in a repeat performance…until she encounters an old flame.
Annabelle—when the local etiquette expert gets caught breaking the law, her heart might have to pay the price.
Grace—the tough FBI agent has an easy time being one of guys, but is she woman enough to keep a man?
Lewis—the shy nerd has made millions over the years…but is he smart enough to catch the woman of his dreams?
Who will lose the bet but win out in love? Four charming stories written by four different authors about one fateful New Year’s Eve.
The champagne is poured. The clock is ticking. Join the countdown!

Been saving this for the last book of the year!! How could you not? 

We have four different stories for four different people but they are all connected and the same location....The Devine Ball. 

Story 1 - What are You Doing New Year's Eve

First, we follow Tess who is a Broadway star. She has been burned by love so many times that she has lost count. She is part of the tradition between her and her sisters. Whoever has no date at midnight has to kiss their school friend and neighbor Lewis Kempmueller. Sadly, it looks like Tess may not have a date this year, which goes against her plans to have Lewis and her sister, Grace, kiss. Luckily...or unluckily an old flame shows up.

I did not like Tess at all. 

Honestly? I am not 100% liking the other sisters either. I think they are mean to Lewis. Sure he's agreed to this decades-old bet. But still....he doesn't deserve to be a "punishment". Sighs. 

Anyway...Tess bumps into her old flame. Which, of course, she'll end up with him. Second chances and all that. I hope it works out. I kinda liked Johnny and I personally think he deserves better, but hopefully, this works out for them.

Ya - this wasn't my favorite. It was hard to look past my dislike of Tess though. 2 stars

Story 2 - The Keeper of the Debutantes

Now, we follow Annabelle. She is the perfect doll and perfect southern belle. She is even the local etiquette expert, but she got caught breaking the law. She doesn't have time to be dealing with this ticket. She has to get to the party early and she has to get a date before midnight. 

I liked Annabelle much more than Tess. Thank goodness. I still think it is mean to treat Lewis like that. :/ 

Can I just say I'm jealous that she got pulled over by Duncan?? ;) BUT they are perfect for each other!! They are so sweet and so funny. Their quips were amusing. 

The ending was fun. This is my 3rd favorite one. 3 stars from me. 

Story 3 - Kiss of a Lifetime

Best sister saved for last!! Grace!! She works for the FBI and is coming home with a date so she doesn't have to kiss Lewis this year. Maybe this is the year she breaks it...especially when Leo, her partner, shows up too. Two dates! One of them has to kiss her at midnight! Right? 

Loved Grace. I even was happy when she admitted she didn't really mind kissing Lewis. So that added a few points to her. 

There was so strong chemistry between Leo and Grace. I loved them as a couple!! Took a long time for Leo to get over his dumb rules. No long-term relationships and no dating co-workers. Booo! But he does get over it....of course...took a minute though. 

Loved them and I loved this story the most. 5 stars. 

Story 4 - The Perfect Kiss

Last, but not least, is Lewis' story! He is one of the biggest nerds in town. So much of a nerd that he capitalized on that and created his own company. He has been in love with Grace for years and this is the year - when he kisses her again - that he will tell her his feelings! Until he gets stuck with taking care of Darcy who is his bestie's little sister. Maybe it won't be that bad...she is now fully grown and they have a lot of similarities. 

Yayy nerdy Lewis! Loved him from the others and I was hoping he would get a HEA. He certainly does deserve it after being used for years and trying to hide his feelings for Grace. Bless his little heart. 

I liked Darcy and it broke my heart she has been in love with Lewis since she was like 4. Poor thing. He never noticed her, but this year he for sure does! Yayy. They are perfect for each other. 

Def my 2nd favorite. 

This was a good way to end the anthology! 4 stars. 

Overall - 

Overall, this was a good anthology. I struggled with book 1. I really could not get myself to like Tess. Maybe if I had a longer book? IDK. It was nice seeing Lewis, who was the butt of the bet, actually get a HEA. That was a nice touch and it wrapped up their stories perfectly! 

After doing complicated mathage, I'll stamp this with an overall........3 stars. 

Wednesday, December 29

Yet another 2-in-1 Short Story Review: Christmas in Venice & Christmas Car Kerfuffle

Author: Meadow Taylor 
Title: Christmas in Venice
(Olivia Moretti #1)
Genre: Chick Lit, Short Story, Novella, Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Format: ebook
Pages: 100 
Published: December 4th 2012
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Olivia's Christmas trip to Venice, Italy should be a holiday dream come true. But when she’s confronted by a handsome Italian cop about her unattended luggage, she worries she won't even make it out of the Marco Polo Airport…

I want to read the book after this one but realized there is this prequel-type book before that seems kinda important to read first. 

Olivia is traveling to Venice, Italy for the holidays. She wants to get away and enjoy the city where her father is from. This holiday dream is dashed right away when she is confronted by an Italian cop. She had asked someone to watch her bag for just a minute, but that person left and now her luggage is unattended and she could be facing some big trouble.

OooOOOoooo Olivia. Poor naive thing. Never, ever ask a stranger to watch your bag lol! Even an elderly old lady. Airports are so particular. 

I do really want to read the next book. This was for sure a prequel. We leave off with a huge cliffie. No - no she does not get arrested or anything, but there is a cliffie for sure. But I really want to read the next because I do not like our guy. Granted....he is just doing his job....but he was a poop. 

This was fun. I'm not seeing the love yet but this is just a prequel. Can't wait to start that book. I have hope. 3 stars from me. 

Author: Jessie Gussman
Title: Christmas Car Kerfuffle
Genre: Contemporary romance, holiday, Short story
Format: ebook
Pages: 80
Published: September 12th 2021
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Two days before Christmas, single mom Blythe Mason is stunned when her car is not at the mechanic’s shop where she dropped it off.

Her surprise soon gives way to panic when they figure out that an employee gave her car to the wrong person and it is now five hundred miles away. All the Christmas gifts that she’d carefully budgeted out for her children since July were in the trunk.

Zayden Crile can’t believe his employee made such a huge mistake. And of all people it had to be his former sister-in-law. She’s still upset that his brother ran off with the nurse, leaving her with two small children. She has struggled, and to make things a little easier Zayden takes care of her car as a favor. He certainly never intended to make a mistake which could ruin Christmas for his niece and nephew.

Been seeing this all over the place, so I downloaded it. 

It is two days before Christmas and Blythe Mason is stunned to find that her car is not at the mechanic's shop where she dropped it off. She is a single mom and all the gifts she had for the kids are in that trunk. Her surprise soon turns to panic when they figure out that the employee gave her car to the wrong person and it is now 500 miles away. Luckily, Zayden owns the shop and is her ex-brother-in-law and he will do what it takes to make this right. 

WHAT a scumbag that ex of Blythe is!!! F that guy. Terrible. She for sure picked the wrong brother. He lies, manipulates, and is so selfish. Bad guy. I hope he gets his heart destroyed. 

Loved Zayden and Blythe. They are perfect for each other. It was nice seeing them finally get their feelings out and fall in love. Adorable. 

I did adore the grandparents. They were adorable too. I did question the portrayal a little bit. The author made it seem like they were in their 90s...but they were barely in their 70s. They seemed overly frail. I's possible, but if they are that fragile and frail they shouldn't be making out and dancing like they are teens ;) 

But yes - this was adorable and will make you cheer when they finally admit their feelings. 

A goodie for the holiday season. 4 stars from me. 



Tuesday, December 28

Another 2-in1 Short Story Review: A Curse for Christmas & The Ghost of Christmas Past

Author: P.A. Mason
Title: A Curse for Christmas
Genre: Urban Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Cozy mystery, short story
Format: ebook
Pages: 75
Published: November 5th 2021
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Christmas back home in Arkansas sounded like a chance to put my feet up for a few weeks. Little did I know that a magical calamity would threaten the big day.

You know the real kicker? It was Mom—a renowned magical healer—who came down with a mystery malaise on Christmas Eve. I couldn’t remember a time where she had anything worse than a sniffle. To see her bedridden scared me to my core.

To examine the facts and solve the case, I had to think fast before Mom’s condition got any worse. With a new werewolf beau in her life, half the town of Tumbling Springs were whispering behind Mom’s back, the loudest of them a hex witch with a nasty view of weres. On the other hand, a new business rival in the next town over had Mom’s healing services on the rocks. The question was—did either witch have enough motive to do something as awful as all that to Mom?

Clearing out a lot of these Xmas shorts I downloaded (and yesss I downloaded a lot for my vacation!) 

Kat is back home for the holidays. Little did she know that a magical calamity was going to be waiting for her. Kat's mom - who is a renowned magical healer - has come down with a mystery sickness. Along with her family, they have to find who did it and how to cure her...before it is too late. There are a lot of suspects from Mom's new werewolf beau to the hex witch who hates weres. Maybe it is her Mom's rival? It can be literally anyone. 

Hadn't read a cozy mystery in a hot min so this is precisely what the doctor ordered. A mystery and a small town with paranormal elements. 

I am curious about this world. The author talked a little bit about it, but I am curious to learn more. I wonder if there will be more books down the line. I wouldn't mind following Kat around more and another character. I'm game! 

But yes - I good mystery and I wasn't sure how they were going to resolve this. I certainly did worry for good ol' Mom!! Poor thing didn't deserve the curse. 

Overall, this was a fun holiday read. Magic, curses, werewolves, and a mystery. I want to understand more about the world. More please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll give this 4 stars. Very good, but it needs more.  

Author: Angie Fox
Title: The Ghost of Christmas Past
(Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries #8.5)
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Cozy Mystery, Romance, short story
Format: ebook
Pages: 152 
Published: November 29th 2019
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Verity Long is ready to deck the halls, jingle some bells, and maybe, just maybe have a merry Christmas with her boyfriend’s stuffy family. Truly, if she doesn’t extend the proverbial olive branch to the overbearing Wydells, she’s afraid she’ll hit them over the head with it.

But when her boyfriend’s mother pulls a shocking stunt, Verity finds herself with a big decision to make. And if that’s not enough, there’s an unexpected guest at her door. It’s the ghost of the woman who helped rescue Verity’s pet skunk three years ago that very night. And now she’s there to change Verity’s life as well.

Ope! I swore this said book 2.5. Which, whatever...only skipping 2 books. Whelp this is 8.5 *questions my ability to read properly). Oh well.

We follow Verity Long as she is ready to deck the halls, jingle some bells, and maybe have a good holiday with her boyfriend and his stuff family. She is prepared to extend an olive branch and hold her tongue. Until her boyfriend's mother pulls a shocking and offensive stunt. Verity has had enough and decides she is done and will not go to the family party...after some choice words with that woman. While enjoying her loneliness on Christmas, the ghost of a woman she adored and who helped rescue Verity's pet is knocking on her door. Verity finds herself on a rescue mission, but she will also face a decision to make that can change her life forever. 

This did very, very well as a standalone. Some references that I could ignore or make assumptions about, but overall I felt like I wasn't missing anything. Which yayy, but I am curious about going to book 1. I have heard great things about this series. I have book 1 on my maybe-someday list, but I since have moved it to my TBR list.

I adore Verity and I applaud her for standing up for herself! That dang MIL deserves a few choice words from everyone. Maybe if everyone grouped up and belittled her for an hour...maybe she would see the light and change her ways. She needs something. Sadly, she reminds me a tiny bit of my MIL-to-be. WHICH no one in her family ever stands up to her. I did once and now she keeps her comments to herself and talks behind my back. At least she is scared to come at me face-to-face. Hopefully, that will be Verity's future too. LOL

But the mini twist had me angry at first. I did get WHERE they were coming from and Verity's role and how important it is....buuuuuuuut that shouldn't fall on her shoulders. That isn't fair. The family needs to fix themselves. Her boyfriend's mom is a cancer to everyone around her. BUT I get it and grew to accept these things told/shown to Verity. Okay, okay. 

Anyway (sorry I can ramble on and on about it).....

Yes - I enjoyed this. I loved Frankie and the skunk. Such a fun group of sidekicks. 

Loved Verity. I am unsure of her beau though. Maybe I will appreciate him once I read past books. 

All-in-all, this was a fun read for the holidays and it was a good standalone. Now I am curious about the past books. I adored Verity! I'm annoyed she has to be the hero to that family, but it is what it is. I shall give this 4 stars though! I couldn't stop reading and now I wanted moreee. 



Romance Reading Challenge for 2022

Hosted by: Blodeuedd @ Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
           Jen @ That's What I'm Talking About
                                                                             Carole @ Carole Rae's Random Ramblings

We are hosting another Romance challenge! Instead of the "bingo sheet" from the past. We are shaking it up a bit. The challenge is to read a book and check all the boxes! 


– It HAS to be a romance novel (HFN/HEA). 

– One box per book (if your book meets a couple of these, you have to pick just one)

– No changing the box. Once you put a book in a box, you can’t move it.

– Books can be used in other challenges (examples: Goodreads, Library Love, TBR, Audiobook, etc.)

– Gotta try to check all the boxes!

– Starts 1/1/2022 and ends 12/31/2022

– Join whenever

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, December 27

B's Monday Review: Lying Mirror by Eve Langlais

Narrated by: Carly Robins

Series: Mist and Mirrors, Book 2

Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins

Release date: 01-04-22

Publisher: Tantor Audio


To review

This is really good, but I do confess confusing at times too. See, Agatha has some years uncounted for so as she is trying to figure it out, I am also trying to figure out how it all comes together. Not to mention that is is not Agatha either. Oh yes, quite the ride.

Agathe lives in a world that is getting overun by the mist, and in the mist there are monsters. But this books shows that who are the monsters really? And whose fault is everything? Everything is not as it seems to be.

With her she has her fellow sisters in arms, and Meric, her lover.

Though one thing that I guessed back in book 1 showed to be true. I can't say I am glad to say I was right. It was quite the shock.

It is such a fun book. Adventure, danger, some love, betrayal and monsters. I am really looking forward to the conclusion.

Great narration. She did a good job with keeping the book alive and making all characters pop

Despite her best efforts, Agathe didn't kill the King, but she did escape with something even more valuable. Stealing back her magic was a good start. Now, she must find a way to save the Kingdom from the rising mist and the threats within. The spells that used to protect are fading fast with deadly consequences.

After more than a century of peace, the monsters have returned to attack the towns and villages, but they're not the only danger. A sickness in the mist mutates everything it touches-except for Agathe. She's special. If only she knew how to use that to her advantage.Who can she ask for help? Who should she believe?

Maric, the King's most valued soldier-and her lover-wants her to return to the Citadel and join forces with the monarch who stole her magic once before. Then there's Zanir, a smooth-tongued liar who taunts her via a mirror. He promises her answers. Demands that she come to him so he can show her the truth. The fact is, both men want to use her, and the wrong choice might mean the end of Agathe-and the Kingdom.

Sunday, December 26

2-in-1 Short Story Review: All She Wants for Christmas & A Countess for Christmas

Author: Amy Rose Bennett
Title: All She Wants for Christmas
Genre: Historical Romance, Short Story
Format: ebook
Pages: 88 
Published:  May 8th 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

A frosty bluestocking and a hot-blooded rake. A stolen kiss and a Yuletide wedding. Sparks fly, but will hearts melt this Christmas?

When confirmed bluestocking, Tessa Penrose, is thoroughly compromised at a Yuletide ball by Jasper, the Earl of Arlington, she is none too pleased to have to marry him. But not only her reputation is at stake. Can Tessa trust this disreputable rogue with a secret she will do anything to hide?

One thing is certain: she dare not trust her husband with her heart.

I like this author a lot and I randomly found this one as a freebie on Amazon so of course, I had to read it!

We have Tessa who is a confirmed bluestocking who doesn't want to marry...ever. And we have rakehell Jasper, the Earl of Arlington. At the Yuletide ball, Jasper accidentally compromises her after she discovers him with someone else. Whoops. Can the two find common ground? Can they trust each other with their secrets or their heart?

Silly, silly Jasper. LOL I do not think he has an ill-willed bone in his body, but he is a dumb-dumb. On top of that, he is just a rake doing rakish things, but this time he got caught kissing Tessa. 

Their secrets were not bad, but you for sure do not want the ton knowing about it. It actually made me smile because it was something they could really find common ground about. I won't say, but the secrets were sad about how they came across. 

This was a quick read and it was good. There was a little bit of drama, but it was easily solved when they talked. Cute and quick and I loved these two as a couple. 5 stars from me. 

Author: Anthea Lawson
Title: A Countess for Christmas
(Noble Holidays #1)
Genre: Historical Romance, Short Story
Format: ebook
Pages: 55
Published: December 3rd 2013
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Miss Cecilia Fairfax dreads the upcoming holidays. Between caring for her elderly father and managing a household barely out of mourning, she has no time for the softer things in life.

Liam Barrett, the Earl of Tarrick, is certain he will not accept Marcus Fairfax's invitation to spend Christmas at the Fairfax family's estate - and the man's tales of a family ghost have nothing to do with his decision.

Of all the blessings of the season, sometimes the most unexpected is love...

This was a recommendation from Amazon so why not! Another regency romance during the Xmas season. 

Here we have Miss Cecilia Fairfax who is dreading the upcoming holidays. She is caring for her elderly father and managing a household barely out of mourning. She really has no time for anything especially love. In comes Liam, the Earl of Tarrick, who is certain he will not accept Marcus Fairfax's invitation to spend the holiday at the Fairfax family's estate, but he can't help himself. Will there be a Christmas miracle and they will have the most unexpected gift of all.

I struggled a little bit with this one. I didn't connect with Cecilia or Liam. Maybe I needed more time and to watch more interactions between the two? It felt forced...kinda. I don't know. 

Even though I didn't buy them as a couple, they both deserved love so, in the end, I was happy they found each other. 

I did love the format. We got to see some letters. That was fun! 

Not a bad read for the holiday season. Quick and two characters who need love. I'll give this 3 stars. 


Friday, December 24

Book Review: The Heir by Grace Burrowes

Author: Grace Burrowes
Title: The Heir
(Windham #1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: paperback
Pages: 471 
Published:  January 1st 2010
Where I Got It: My shelf (Walmart)


Gayle Windham, Earl of Westhaven, is the first legitimate son and heir to the Duke of Moreland. To escape his father's inexorable pressure to marry, he decides to spend the summer at his townhouse in London, where he finds himself intrigued by the secretive ways of his beautiful housekeeper...


Anna Seaton is a beautiful, talented, educated woman, which is why it is so puzzling to Gayle Windham that she works as his housekeeper.

As the two draw closer and begin to lose their hearts to each other, Anna's secrets threaten to bring the earl's orderly life crashing down - and he doesn't know how he's going to protect her from the fallout...

I adore this author and I have never had an issue with her books so I've been itching to start this series. I think I may have read one later on in the series....who can remember!

Here we follow Gayle Windham who is the first legitimate son and heir of the Duke of Moreland. His father is pressuring him to marry and make an heir. To escape him, Windham decides to spend the summer at his townhouse in London. There is finds himself intrigued by the secretive ways of his housekeeper. Anna is a mystery indeed. She is not only beautiful, but she is talented, smart, and seems to be hiding something. As the summer goes on the two become closer and begin to lose their hearts to each other. However, Anna's secret threatens to bring chaos to both of their heads. 

I was hooked from page one. I really had some doubts about this couple and I was curious how they were going to make it work. Normally men of his station don't look twice at the help. If they do... it's normally a tumble in the sheets and that is it. I had my doubts. BUT the author stripped away those doubts. 

Yessss there is insta-lust. But he seems genuinely intrigued by her and wants to get to know her. That melted my heart. He was so very kind to her. Loved that. 

I liked Anna and her secret was not THAT bad. Sure, yes, bad, but it had multiple ways to solve. I wish she had come to him sooner. 

Speaking of one and only issue was how long it took things. This seemed to ramble on and on. And Anna was SO stubborn and refused to marry him even though it was clear how much they loved each other. I wanted to smack her!!!!!! Idiot girl. The guy loves you and you love him. It would solve pretty much all the issues 100000%. SIGHS. 

Overall, I did enjoy this quite a bit. I liked our characters...even the side characters were fun! My only issue was how long this was. It seemed to drag on and the secret reveal was annoying. But yes, this was a nice read! I'll give this 4 stars. 


- 'One Word Title ("The" is allowed) - FINISHED!

Thursday, December 23

Audiobook Review: Wild Irish Christmas by Tricia O'Malley

Author: Tricia O'Malley
Narrator: Amy Landon
Title: Wild Irish Christmas
(Mystic Cove #9)
Genre: Novella, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Published: December 18th 2020
Where I got It: Audible 

Celebrate Christmas in the cove with this enchanting novella. A crossover between two bestselling series - The Mystic Cove Series and The Isle of Destiny Series!

Lily Walden finds herself inexplicably drawn to the small village of Grace’s Cove where she retreats to heal from a broken relationship as the lonely Christmas holiday looms. Escaping each evening into dreams more vivid than life, Lily nurtures a secret desire to write the fairy tales she lives each night. If only the fae prince of her dreams could rescue her from her haunted past.

Prince Callum, head of a secret faction of Fae protectors, is desperate to find his fated mate as each night she sings their lovesong to him in his dreams. One fateful night, he takes to the seas to find her, only to land catastrophically at the shores of an enchanted cove.

With Prince Callum near death, only Lily can save him in time, forever sealing their fated bond – but first, she must bring herself to believe in her own fairy tale…

Eeeee! I had no idea that this was released last year. Totally missed those announcements!! Yayy! Love this village and this world. Looks like this is a crossover novel. I'll have to check out the other series one day. 

We follow Lily Walden who finds herself drawn to a small village called Grace's Cove. This is the perfect place for her to retreat and heal from a bad relationship. She might be alone for the holidays, but she feels safe. She dreams of writing a fantasy book about the dreams she has. Prince Callum is the star of her dreams, little does she know though, he is real. He is the prince of the Fae world. He is also head of a secret faction of Fae protectors. He is desperate to find his fated mate. He calls to her every night in his dreams. One fateful night, he decides to stop waiting and go find her. Only to land on the shores of an enchanted cove and Lily is the only one who can save him. 

This was simply adorable. I would've loved this to be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer. I want to know more about Callum and Lily. They are adorable. I would love a mini prequel or something. Just more. I'll take what I can get. 

I do want to try out the other series. I want to learn more about the Fae of that world. They seem fun. Can I get a Callum ;) ??? 

It was nice seeing some old faces from previous books like Kate. I literally jumped for joy. Love her. 

Sounds like there might be Mystic Cove books! Huzzah! 

What a fun tale for the holidays. You have magic, holiday joy, and love. Beautiful combo!

And my favorite narrator returns. Team Amy! She is simply the best! She is perfect and has the best voices for our males and female. Magic and non-magic. Irish...not Irish. Love it. 

In the end, this was awesome. My favorite Xmas tale of the month for sure. I could be biased since I adore this series ;) 

5 stars. 

- #87 for Audiobook challenge

Wednesday, December 22

Audiobook Review: The Best Worst Christmas by Kate Forster

Author: Kate Forster
Narrator: Amy Landon
Title: The Best Worst Christmas
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Novella, holidays
Format: Audiobook
Published: December 1st 2021 
Where I got It: Audible 

Lily is back from Australia for the first time in seven years to spend Christmas at her mum’s house in a small, gossipy English village. To her surprise, she returns to find that her mother is dating the man next door, who also happens to be the father of her ex-boyfriend Tom. Tom, who broke Lily’s heart all those years ago. Tom, the real reason Lily fled to the other side of the world and stayed there. Tom, who is also home for Christmas and right there, next door.

In what is shaping up to be the worst Christmas ever, somehow Lily and Tom have to try to get along and play happy families, but living with the man who she is clearly not over is proving to be difficult, and tensions are high. Add in some drunken caroling, a reindeer bite, a potent Christmas pudding and some meddling parents and Lily’s trip home will turn her entire life upside down.

Jen was the one who got me to listen to this! Plus it's a freebie on Audible so why not ;) 

We follow Lily who is back from Australia for the first time in 7 years. She is going to spend the holidays with her mom in their small English village. To her surprise and horror....her mom is dating the man next door who happens to be the father of Tom....her ex. This ex had broken Lily's heart many years ago. Tom is the real reason why she fled to the other side of the world and tried to make a new life for herself. Now...she is stuck with him through the holidays. This is shaping up to be the worst Christmas ever. The two will try to get along and maybe there will be a miracle.

This was a lot of fun. Poor, poor Lily. I would be LIVID at my mom. HOW CAN YOU DO THAT!? UGH.

However, it was good for Lily and Tom to hash it out. It ended bad. Like super bad. The two really needed to talk even if it is just to move on. They have both been holding onto grudges and hatred. How can you live your life with that? So it was a good thing. But UGH darnit parents. 

I enjoyed watching Lily and Tom hash it out. It was fun watching them fall in love. It did take FOREVER, but it was worth the wait when they finally decided to give it a second chance. I do get nervous with second chance romances...but this was perfect. They talked it out. Vented their feelings and mended the hurts. Loved it!

Plus I love this little village. Small and everyone in everyone's business. So cute!

The scene with the reindeer had me in tears laughing. Yes, yes, there is a lot of humor here too. 

There was ONE reveal that had me seriously mad. Sure, I get it, but I was super annoyed. I didn't think it was needed. 

The narrator was good. Perfect voices. All different even the men had slight differences. 

In the end, this is a quick, fun Xmas romance. My only beef was the one reveal near the end. Not needed. I'll give this 4 stars though!

- #86 for Audiobook challenge

Tuesday, December 21

Audiobook Review: Wild Irish Heart by Tricia O'Malley

Author: Tricia O'Malley
Narrator: Amy Landon
Title: Wild Irish Heart
(Mystic Cove #1)
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, Contemporary
Format: Audiobook
Published: September 12th 2014
Where I got It: Amazon

It is time…

An ancient book, a power untouched, and a heart unloved lead Keelin O'Brien from her graduate studies in Boston to a small village on the coast of Southern Ireland. Determined to unearth the secrets lying hidden in the enchanted waters of the cove, Keelin has little time for a surly Irishman who infuriates her during the day and haunts her fantasies at night.

Inexplicably drawn to the woman who has stepped from his dreams and into his world, Flynn fights a stubborn battle against his increasing attraction for Keelin. Forces unknown have better plans for the two.

Only the secrets of the cove can show Keelin who she really is, the beauty of her mysterious power, and a love that will break the bounds of what she knows.

Re-read time! Especially since I have the audio version now so why not!

Keelin comes to Ireland to meet her granny and learn more about her Irish roots and her mysterious powers. Along the way she is enchanted by the waters of the cove and the surly Irishman who infuriates her. 

This was fun and made me miss this world and want to re-read the rest of the series. Such a good series. I especially love the audio versions because I adore the narrator. She is fantastic! Perfect accents....perfect voices for all the different characters. 

I still am not happy with all the lies and BS from Keelin's mom. Sure, we get to learn more about her later on in the series, but even with that knowledge I am still not happy with her. SMH. 

But yes - I still adore this book even when doing the audio version. Maybe even more so because I adore the narrator. 

5 stars of course.  

- #85 for Audiobook challenge

Monday, December 20

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: A Lot Like Christmas by Jennifer Snow


Narrated by: Charlotte Claremont

Series: Blue Moon Bay, Book 2

Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins

Release date: 12-14-21

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Contemporary romance

to review

Jessica is tired making wedding cakes for exes, and damn that last bride did her dirty. Jessica wants to find someone nice, and keep him.

Mitch is busy, and suffering some trauma since his last mission with doctors without borders. He has to spend xmas with his family, and he wants to get back to work quickly (and also doesn't want to go because of trauma.)

They meet, they hit it off. But yes there is that thing that he only has a few weeks before going back. There is also this silly issue of him being to old for him. She is 29 and behold, he is 39. Yes I do not see the problem.

But it was cute, they liked each other fast, they want more, but she has her entire life there, and he can't stand still.

A good holiday romance. 

Good narration, she set the mood well, and had good voices for all. I felt right at home.

For Jessica Connolly, there is no better place than her coastal hometown of Blue Moon Bay. She has a wonderful family, supportive best friends, and a successful bakery on Main Street. Unfortunately, every time she designs one of her ex-boyfriends' wedding cakes, she's reminded just how unlucky she is with love...and that she's a good luck charm for men to find their happily ever after. With someone else. The minute they break up. So she's decided to be done with love.

Dr. Mitch Jameson is more comfortable traveling the world with Doctors Without Borders than staying in one place. He just needs to survive the holidays in his small hometown before he can leave again. The beautiful, intriguing bakery owner with an aversion to dating might be just who he needs to occupy his restless heart.

From sipping hot chocolates at the local festival of lights to early morning dessert deliveries, Jessica and Mitch rediscover the spirit of the holidays. But when the 25 days of Christmas are over, will their romance be over, too?

Sunday, December 19

Audiobook Review: What I Carry by Jennifer Longo

Author: What I Carry
Narrator: Reba Buhr
Title: Jennifer Longo
Genre: YA, Romance, Realistic Fiction, & contemporary
Format: Audiobook
Published: January 21st 2020
Where I got It: Borrow from Library

Growing up in foster care, Muir has lived in many houses. And if she's learned one thing, it is to Pack. Light.
Carry only what fits in a suitcase.
Toothbrush? Yes.
Socks? Yes.
Emotional attachment to friends? foster families? a boyfriend? Nope!
There's no room for any additional baggage.
Muir has just one year left before she ages out of the system. One year before she's free. One year to avoid anything--or anyone--that could get in her way.

Then she meets Francine. And Kira. And Sean.

And everything changes.

Oh the holidays have me so busy!! I should've written down my thoughts right away. Mmmm. So I did read this for book club. It was picked by another member. I didn't really know what this was about until I actually started. 

We follow Muir who grew up in foster care. She is so close to freedom...her 18th birthday. One last house and one last school. She has always been reluctant to the idea of being adopted and only carries a few objects. However...this house can change everything. Maybe actually have some friends and a foster mom who will love her? 

I really enjoyed this. I loved watching Muir slowly let down her walls and accept love and find her happiness. Poor thing went through a lot especially when we find out about her mom and then her first foster family. Grrr to her mom. And bigger grrrr to that foster family. No wonder WHY she had such animosity to adoption and strong walls of distrust. Of course, it took some special people and lots of love. 

Muir's love of nature made me happy. The scenes during the hikes or just even scenes talking about facts....made me happy. Made me want to go out and walk. I love nature hikes! 

Oh! I loved the social issues addressed here. Not only adoption, but we touched on what the US did to the Japanese back during WWII and how that still is something families are dealing with today. We deal with bullying and racism as well. It all made sense and seemed to fit in well with our overall plot and character stories. 

Loved Kira and I loved seeing her become the bestie Muir needed, but I also loved watching Kira grow and deal with her own and her family issues.

There is romance here, but it didn't dominate the story which made me happy. It took a while for the two to really trust each other (esp Muir's fear of love) and I'm glad there. He was adorable and so dang patient. What a good kid. 

This wasn't all about feelings and it wasn't all dark and moody....which there are times and scenes of course...but I loved the happy and silly moments. I loved the calm moments like Muir cuddling with that puppy!! Adorable. It was much needed and it made me extra happy seeing Muir find these moments of peace with her friends and foster mom. 

I started reading this but switched to audio when it became available at the library so I was able to get a taste of both. I think I liked both equally from what I read (about 35% give or take) so you can't go wrong! The narrator was great and did well with the different voices. 

Honestly, there are a lot of talking points here that I can't wait to discuss at book club, but I'll stop while I'm ahead! This is a great book for book clubs. I highly recommend it. I'll stamp this with 5. 

- #84 for Audiobook challenge