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Release Day Review! A FAMILY BY CHRISTMAS by Viv Royce

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Author: Viv Royce
Pub. Date: October 14, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Bliss)
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 200

Chocolatier Emma Miller has a new business selling bonbons to the residents of the quaint town of Wood Creek. When a tiny visitor stops by her shop with an interesting request, Emma is intrigued. The young girl needs chocolates that will help her widowed dad fall in love, preferably with her teacher. What Emma didn’t count on was Casey’s ever so charming and handsome dad, Grant, stepping into her life. She has to remind herself to be cautious because the one thing she learned in foster care is that people always leave.

Pilot Grant Galloway is touched by his daughter’s gift and is curious about the person who made the world-class chocolates. But when he steps into Emma’s shop full of delicious smells and tasty morsels, he forgets to breathe. And it has nothing to do with his favorite dessert. She’s pretty and kind, and when she has to deal with a difficult client, his protective instincts kick into high gear. But he risked his heart once. When his wife died, it left him broken. He’s just now beginning to pick up the pieces, and he and his daughter will be leaving town once the holidays are over.

Thanks to some Christmas wishes, though, these two might discover that their carefully laid plans are about to change.

A Family by Christmas cover

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A Family by Christmas is a sweet, holiday romance. Emma, Grant, and Casey are all likable characters, and it’s easy to root for them to find their HEA together in time for the holiday. The setup was adorable–little Casey, looking for a way to make her father happy again, somehow decides that “magic chocolates” are the way to go and goes to Emma’s shop in search of some. Emma gives her way more than Casey’s few cents could have afforded, Grant loves them and decides to meet the chocolatier, and a romance novel reminiscent of a Hallmark holiday movie ensues.

Most of the romance is in Emma and Grant’s heads until the very last chapter–there’s plenty of loaded looks, but nothing actually happens until literally the last minute. They both spend an inordinate amount of time in their own heads, agonizing over their feelings rather than talking to each other, which was a bit frustrating at times. I would have liked to have seen more page time devoted to them working things out as a couple, rather than waiting until the end to kiss and make everything magically better.

Interesting start to a new series–the next book (Cleo’s, the bookstore manager and Emma’s friend) sounds promising–I’ll be keeping an eye out for it. Because, books. 🙂

Rating: 3 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

"What exactly do you want?"
"A dozen chocolates to make Daddy fall in love."

About the author:

With the same trademark atmospheric settings, relatable characters and cute canines that made several of her cozy mysteries #1 Amazon US and Canada bestsellers in multiple categories, Vivian Conroy pens romance as Viv Royce, creating heartthrob heroes ranging from rugged pilots to royals reluctant to believe in true love who meet their match in that girl next door or the co-worker with the business ideas exactly opposing their own – happy endings guaranteed! When not frequenting fictional worlds, Viv loves to hike (especially in the mountains), craft with paper, felt and clay, and hunt for the perfect cheesecake. Quite active on Twitter, she’s the founder of #HistFicChat, a live Twitter chat about historical fiction, featuring authors like Kate Quinn, Anna Lee Huber and Susan Spann, and would love for readers to follow her and connect via @VivWrites.

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