Yours For Christmas by Susan Mallery

  • yours for christmasTitle:  Yours For Christmas
  • Series:  Fool’s Gold #15.5
  • Author:  Susan Mallery
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  October 2014 – Harlequin
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Famous former NFL stars don’t date single working moms like Bailey Voss. She’ll allow herself to daydream about Kenny Scott’s muscles and killer smile, but wanting more would lead to post-holiday regret. Then Kenny volunteers to run a toy drive with Bailey, and she learns that he’s not just hot he’s also generous, funny, nice. The whole package tantalizingly out of reach.

The ache of past loss reminds Kenny why he needs to avoid getting too close to anyone. Especially to a gorgeous redhead and her adorable little girl. Mess it up, and he’d lose them both. Yet Kenny can only resist Bailey for so long. And as festive spirit spreads throughout the town, he’s all wrapped up in Bailey’s sweet, sexy kisses and determined to make this the first of many Christmases together.  (publisher)

My take:  Yours For Christmas is a novella featuring two characters that fans of the Fool’s Gold series have come to love. We learn that Kenny has issues stemming from an emotional event years earlier that prevent him from wanting to become involved with Bailey. Bailey is a widow with a seven year old daughter and they both have a huge crush on Kenny. Bailey wants to provide a safe and normal life for her daughter but she doesn’t want her to get too close to Kenny if there’s a chance he’ll leave – becoming yet another loss for the little girl.

Susan Mallery filled her novella with a lot of heart-tugging emotion but the title reminded me that things would most likely work out for Kenny and Bailey. I enjoyed reading how it all came about and recommend this novella to fans of the Fool’s Gold series.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

wondrous2

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at Bermudaonion where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Join in by writing a post and then add your link to Mr. Linky at Bermudaonion.


I came across one word I wasn’t sure of last week (although in context it’s not too difficult to figure out) while reading The Christmas Ranch by RaeAnne Thayne:

rictus – ric·tus –  a fixed grimace or grin.

By the time Monday morning rolled around, Hope was afraid her face had permanently frozen in that rictus of a fake smile.

 the christmas ranch (Nov18)

Make My Wish Come True by Fiona Harper

  • make my wish come true (Nov3)Title:  Make My Wish Come True
  • Author:  Fiona Harper
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction; Christmas
  • Published:  November 2014 – Harlequin HQN
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Family-oriented Juliet is a Christmas-dinner cook extraordinaire and is trying to keep it together in the wake of her marriage breakdown two Christmases ago, but the cracks are beginning to show.

Her bright and vivacious sister Gemma was always the favorite daughter. Gemma has no qualms about escaping the festive madness and the pressures of her glamorous job by jetting off somewhere warm and leaving Christmas in Juliet’s capable hands.

When Gemma shirks responsibility one too many times and announces she’s off to the Caribbean (again!), Juliet finally snaps. Gemma offers her sister the perfect solutionto swap Christmases. She’ll stay home and cook the turkey (how hard can it be?) and Juliet can fly off into the sun and have a restorative break.

In the midst of all the chaos, there’s Will, Juliet’s dishy neighbor who’s far too nice to float Gemma’s boat and may secretly harbor feelings for her sister; and Marco, the suave Italian in the villa next door who has his own ideas about the best way to help Juliet unwind.

Will the sisters abandon caution and make this a Christmas swap to remember?  (publisher)

My take:  I thoroughly enjoyed Make My Wish Come True. Fiona Harper’s story of two sisters, each thinking her  perspective of their life growing up is singularly correct, will probably resonate with anyone who has a sibling. It certainly did with me!

Yes, there are shades of the 2006 film The Holiday (it’s mentioned by name a time or two) but Make My Wish Come True is it’s own story. By swapping lives for two weeks the sisters are given a chance for some introspection and discovery about the other.

This Christmas story made me laugh, tugged my heart, and even had me reaching for a tissue near the end. Really, what more can one ask for in a Christmas book? Highly recommended.

Farewell to Cedar Key by Terri DuLong

  • Farewell to Cedar Key (Nov25)Title:  Farewell to Cedar Key
  • Series:  Cedar Key #6
  • Author:  Terri DuLong
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  November 2014 – Kensington
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Josie Sullivan adores her Cedar Key home. It’s been the ideal place to raise her daughter, Orli, who’s just turning sixteen. Now that Josie has realized her dream of becoming a registered nurse, she’s been offered the perfect job too–helping Dr. Simon Mancini run his new practice. 

Until the clinic opens, Josie is filling in at Yarning Together, where she launches a series of knitting classes for men. Yet for all the vibrant changes, there are some tangled threads. Josie’s romance-author mother, Shelby, receives a worrying diagnosis. And though Josie has always guarded her independence, her connection to Orli’s father, Grant, seems to be rekindling. Most of all, as Shelby’s college classmates rally around their dear friend, Josie begins to see that “home” is more than a place; it’s the relationships woven into each life, strand by strand…  (publisher)

My take:  Terri DuLong’s Cedar Key series is one of my favorites. I loved going back to the Florida island to see what’s up with all the characters I’ve come to know in the first five books. Farewell to Cedar Key could be my favorite of the series! I think that’s remarkable for a sixth book in a series.

This book features Josie, her daughter Orli and many more series regulars. The point that you never know what life will throw at you from one minute to another is the main theme. With the help and support of family and friends you can get through anything and that’s exactly what the people of Cedar Key prove to each other on an almost daily basis.

If you’re a knitter you’ll love that many of the Cedar Key scenes revolve around the local yarn shop. Terri DuLong also takes us to Boston for Christmas.

I enjoyed every page of this novel and recommend it to fans of the series and good contemporary fiction.

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

garden spells (audio)   the christmas ranch (Nov18)   Little Beach Street Bakery (3:31:15)

Whisper Beach (6:16:15)   First Frost (1:20:15)   frances & bernard (audio)

Last week on Bookfan:

  • Review:  School of Fish by Ben Pollinger
  • Review:  Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan

school of fish (Sept30)   Maybe This Christmas (Oct28)

Currently reading:

Makin' Miracles (Dec30)

Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan

  • Maybe This Christmas (Oct28)Title:  Maybe This Christmas
  • Series:  O’Neil Brothers #3
  • Author: Sarah Morgan
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  October 2014 – Harlequin HQN
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  This winter, ex-skiing champion, reformed heartbreaker and single dad Tyler O’Neil has only one mission—making sure his daughter, Jess, has the best Christmas ever. The fact that his best friend, Brenna, is also temporarily moving into his chalet at the overbooked Snow Crystal resort is a delicious distraction he’s simply going to have to ignore. Theirs is the one relationship he’s never ruined, and he’s not about to start now. 

Ski pro Brenna Daniels knows all about the perils of unrequited love—she’s been in love with Tyler for years. But living with him is absolute torture… How can she concentrate on being his friend when he’s sleeping in the room next door? Then when Tyler kisses Brenna, suddenly the relationship she’s always dreamed of feels so close she could almost touch it. Could this be the Christmas her dreams of a happy-ever-after finally come true? (Publisher)

My take: Sarah Morgan did a great job with the friends to lovers theme. That’s not always the case and usually I’m left wanting more from the story. She pulled it off though and I was sorry to turn the last page. I didn’t want to say goodbye to these people! I loved the give and take between Brenna and Tyler which was filled with so much familiarity, love and wit. It seemed everyone around them wanted to see the pair together but still they had to be thrown together under the pretense of a full house at the resort. Brenna had been living in one of the resort homes but it was needed for paying guests. The story took off from there and it’s an emotional story. It was fun to see characters from the two previous books – Kayla and Jackson, Elise and Sean. I didn’t expect the ending but I loved it. If you like contemporary romance with a Christmas theme you’ll want to read Maybe This Christmas.