A Christmas Affair by Jodi Thomas

  • Title:  A Christmas Affair
  • Series:  Ransom Canyon #6.5
  • Author:  Jodi Thomas
  • Pages:  90
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  October 2017 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

My take:  This novella picks up a short time after book 6, Indigo Lake, ends. In that book we met Maria  Davis who had come out of a tragic car crash being completely blind. Before the crash she had a promising career as a chef in her future. Now she lives at home with her sister and grandmother in Crossroads, Texas. She makes jams and jellies and sells them at the local market which is owned by Wes. He fell for her the first time they met but was too shy or scared to act on his feelings. Only when Maria decides she wants more than a working relationship with him does anything happen. Wes can’t believe his life has changed in such a wonderful way. He keeps waiting to wake up from his dream. It was hard not to chuckle as these two figured things out.  Another storyline is about Travis, a 15 year-old boy who comes to live with his three bachelor great-uncles when his home situation is deemed unsuitable. Once again, Crossroads is a place that welcomes all and saves most. I hope Travis’s story will continue in a future book. Jodi Thomas inserted her usual charm and humor in all of her characters and settings. Grab a cozy blanket and settle into your favorite comfy chair to spend an hour or two with the folks of Crossroads. Recommended to fans of Jodi Thomas, the Ransom Canyon series, and novellas with a Christmas theme.


 

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Sweetest Regret: A Novella by Meredith Duran

  • sweetest-regretTitle:  Sweetest Regret: A Novella
  • Author:  Meredith Duran
  • Pages:  98 – Kindle edition
  • Genre:  Historical Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  November 2016 – Pocket Star
  • Source:  purchased

My take:  This novella was originally part of the anthology: What Happens Under the Mistletoe and was recently released as a single short e-book.

Georgiana and Lucas find themselves together at a Christmas house party that was supposed to have been hosted by her father. They haven’t seen each other in two years and are not on good terms because of what happened two years ago. Lucas works for or with Georgiana’s father and has been given an assignment that involves the house party. There’s some animosity on the part of both and each feels justified in feeling that way. Their repartee was enjoyable. I normally find novellas lacking but I thought Meredith Duran did a great job developing her characters and story. If you enjoy historical romance novellas with a Christmas theme you might like Sweetest Regret. I’d love to read one of her full-length novels.

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman

  • and-every-morningTitle:  And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
  • Author:  Fredrik Backman
  • Genre:  Fiction
  • Pages:  96
  • Published:  November 2016 – Atria Books
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

My take:  This is a novella about a boy and his Grandpa. Noah and Grandpa have a wonderful relationship – one that Grandpa considers his second chance since he wasn’t always around for his son, Noah’s dad. Grandpa and Noahnoah (that’s what Grandpa calls him) “get” each other. They like the same things. When Grandpa starts forgetting things Noah reassures him even though he’s not quite sure what’s going on.

Fredrik Backman’s characters get to me every time. This time it’s a tale about life through the eyes of an old man and a little boy. Maybe it’s because of where I am in my own life that I could relate. Backman had me smiling on one page and tearing up on the next.

I liked the simple illustrations that were sprinkled through the novella. It took only an hour or so to read and I was left smiling as I turned the last page. It was lovely. Recommended.

 

If Only In My Dreams by Mariah Stewart

  • If Only In My Dreams 11:30Title:  If Only In My Dreams
  • Author:  Mariah Stewart
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Pages:  112
  • Published:  November 30, 2015 – Pocket Star Ebooks
  • *Originally published as part of Upon A Midnight Clear anthology 1998 – Pocket books
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

My take:  If Only In My Dreams is a heart-warming Christmas novella about two people whose lives were changed by a misunderstanding. And now, twelve years later, will Cale and Quinn get a chance to set things straight?

Also featured in the story are Cale’s two young sons and Quinn’s family who are gathering to celebrate the holiday at their parents’ home. It’s time to reminisce and look forward to new beginnings.

Mariah Stewart wrote a sweet Christmas tale that’s filled with the charm of the season and even a little magic. I enjoyed it and recommend it to fans of the author and a Christmas romance.


About the Author:

Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas and short stories.  A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs amid the rolling hills of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she savors country life and tends her gardens.  Visit her website at www.mariahstewart.com, and like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorMariahStewart.


Buy buttons for If Only In My Dreams:  $.99 in the US!

 

 

#FitWalkers Weekly Check-in and a review: Candle’s Christmas Chair by Jude Knight

  • FitReaders2015Sat:   10,657
  • Sun:   6,463
  • Mon: 10,494
  • Tue:    11,935
  • Wed:   12,725
  • Thu:    12,576
  • Fri:      10,097

Another week of indoor walking. I try not to wish time away but Spring can’t arrive soon enough. Hoping all my New England friends are well and have dug out from the blizzard. You’ve been in my thoughts.

Read on the treadmill:

candle's christmas chair  Little Beach Street Bakery (3:31:15)


 

  • candle's christmas chairTitle:  Candle’s Christmas Chair
  • Author:  Jude Knight
  • Genre:  Historical Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  December 2014 – Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Source:  Author

Synopsis:  When Viscount Avery comes to see an invalid chair maker, he does not expect to find Min Bradshaw, the woman who rejected him 3 years earlier. Or did she? He wonders if there is more to the story. For 3 years, Min Bradshaw has remembered the handsome guardsman who courted her for her fortune. She didn’t expect to see him in her workshop, and she certainly doesn’t intend to let him fool her again.  (author)

My take:  When author Jude Knight let me know her novella was free on Amazon I checked it out and promptly downloaded it to my Kindle. I enjoy historical romances and love when there’s a Christmas theme.

Candle is a nickname for Viscount Randall Avery. He’s quite tall and has red hair, hence the nickname. He met Minerva at a house party three years ago and couldn’t forget her even though it seemed she wanted nothing more to do with him. Min had been told, by an unreliable source it turns out, he only wanted her for her money. She quickly left the party without saying goodbye. What a shock for both when they met again in Min’s workshop. Candle was there to order a wheelchair for his mother.

Min was determined not to get involved with Candle. The differences were too much to overcome – he a peer and she a shopkeeper’s daughter. Candle took that as a challenge and set to work at winning Min’s heart and trust. This part was so charming that I don’t want to spoil it for other readers except to say I learned quite a bit about the language of flowers. I also found the wheelchair aspect of the novella quite interesting.

Knight included a bit of drama that I was happy didn’t go down a predictable road. I enjoyed this novella and recommend it to fans of the author and historical romance.

Note:  Check Jude Knight’s website for buy links for various retailers and to read about her other books.


 

#FitReaders Weekly Update and a review: The Gift by Margaret Mallory

FitReaders2015Fitbit steps:

  • Sat:   10,814
  • Sun:   7,967
  • Mon: 11,816
  • Tue:   9,820
  • Wed:  11,375
  • Thu:   6,838
  • Fri:    11,437

I was able to get a couple of walks outside last weekend. We had temps near 40°F – balmy 🙂


Read while on the treadmill:

The Wednesday Group (March3)   Hero (Feb3)


 

  • The GiftTitle:  The Gift: A Highland Novella
  • Author:  Margaret Mallory
  • Genre:  Historical Romance
  • Published:  December 2014 – Margaret Mallory
  • Source:  Author Newsletter win

My take:  Lily is a healer who flees London when the burning of witches is becoming commonplace. She trusts no one but herself and fears she’ll be mistaken for a witch so she disguises herself and heads north.

Roderick has been sent on an errand for his chieftain. On his way home he discovers a boy on the side of the road, almost frozen and near death. He then discovers the boy is a woman, Lily, and takes her with him to his home. Could it be she’s the one with “the gift” his grandmother predicted he’d find? And will he be able to convince Lily to stay?

I thoroughly enjoyed Margaret Mallory’s Highland novella. Her descriptions and well-paced plot made the characters and setting come to life and kept me turning the pages. This is a stand alone story but, as noted by the author at the end, has appearances of characters from past novels. Recommended.

Christmas at Copper Mountain by Jane Porter

christmas at copper mountain

  • Title:  Christmas at Copper Mountain
  • Author:  Jane Porter
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Christmas
  • Published:  November 2013 – The Tule Publishing Group
  • Source:  Kindle download

Synopsis:  Since the loss of her family in a plane crash, Harley Diekerhoff has led a quiet life and keeps to herself. Taking the temporary job at the Copper Mountain Ranch as widower Brock Sheenan’s housekeeper seems perfect for her. But her calm cocoon is invaded with the arrival of Brock’s pre-teen twins, Mack and Molly who’ve never experienced a proper Christmas and before she knows it, Harley’s determined to make their holiday perfect. 
Annoyed at first by Harley’s interference, Brock is secretly pleased she’s changed Mack and Molly’s world. It doesn’t hurt that he finds Harley incredibly attractive, fierce, smart and passionate. It’s also an added bonus that she’s not afraid to challenge him and get his blood heated! But when sparks fly and the attractions sizzles between them, Harley’s not so sure she can handle something permanent with this dark, taciturn cowboy who doesn’t know how to let her in. But Brock is determined to hold on to her and praying for a Christmas miracle…   (publisher)

My take:  Christmas at Copper Mountain is a sweet Christmas novella about two people determined to keep going after suffering unimaginable loss years earlier. This is a contemporary romance so there are the usual predictable scenes that seemed to rush the pace a bit – but it’s a novella so I guess that has to happen. That said, I thought the author revealed details about the main characters’ lives at a perfect pace – little by little.

I think a novella works when it makes me wish it was a full length novel. That was the case with this novella. I enjoyed Porter’s writing, the characters and the setting.

Recommended to fans of Christmas romance and Jane Porter.