Once Upon a December

Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert

Published: October 4, 2022 – Berkley

Review galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

With a name like Astra Noel Snow, holiday spirit isn’t just a seasonal specialty—it’s a way of life. But after a stinging divorce, Astra’s yearly trip to the Milwaukee Christmas market takes on a whole new meaning. She’s ready to eat, drink, and be merry, especially with the handsome stranger who saves the best kringle for her at his family bakery.
 
For Jack Clausen, the Julemarked with its snowy lights and charming shops stays the same, while the world outside the joyful street changes, magically leaping from one December to the next every four weeks. He’s never minded living this charmed existence until Astra shows him the life he’s been missing outside of the festive red brick alley.
 
After a swoon-worthy series of dates, some Yuletide magic, and the unexpected glow of new love, Astra and Jack must decide whether this relationship can weather all seasons, or if what they’re feeling is as ephemeral as marshmallows in a mug of hot cocoa. (publisher)

My take:

Amy Reichert’s Once Upon a December is a sweet romance filled with hot cocoa (sometimes spiked), yummy kringle and an intriguing hero and heroine. It is a magical story and especially enticing to me because it’s set in my area with mentions of familiar landmarks which made it even more fun to read. Astra and Jack live their lives separately each year until their paths intersect at the annual Christmas Market. They seem to enjoy their lives but also experience a certain loneliness that disappears at this special time of year when they meet up again. They definitely have a special attraction to each other but can they overcome the obstacles that could prevent a HEA? You’ll have to read to find out! Now is when I tell you that there were moments when I was pulled out of the story by having to figure out logistics. That’s could be just my issue but I felt I needed to give a heads up. It was a bit distracting. Ultimately I found Once Upon a December to be a frothy, magical story that takes a few unexpected turns making it quite different from others I’ve read in the Christmas Romance genre.


About the author:

Amy E. Reichert is an author, wife, mom, Wisconsinite, amateur chef, and cider enthusiast. She earned her MA in English Literature and serves on her library’s board of directors. She is a member of Tall Poppy Writers. Learn more at: www.amyereichert.com.


 

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

  • the coincidence of coconut cake (July21)Title:  The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
  • Author:  Amy E. Reichert
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  July 2015 – Gallery Books
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  What happens when the chef of a small restaurant is scathingly reviewed by the local newspaper’s food critic on one of the worst days of her life? And then what happens when the two meet after that but don’t know who the other is?

I found The Coincidence of Coconut Cake to be a charming story that fans of chick lit and foodie fiction will probably enjoy as much as I did. Being from Wisconsin I also enjoyed the Milwaukee spots that Amy E. Reichert described in detail. Yes, I’m a fan of squeaky cheese 🙂

Reichert’s characters are relatable and I bought the misunderstanding between the two principal characters. Their relationship developed slowly and I was invested in their story. There are interesting and sweet supporting characters that added to the emotional aspect of the novel.

I’m craving all kinds of comfort food after reading this novel. It began with the luscious cake on the cover and progressed from there. Recommended.