A sweet holiday romance!
Ms. James did not disappoint with her latest story of small-town love and romance. Julia Bailey lost her husband and toddler son in one dark night, and shortly after left the town she’d called home since high school. Now she’s back, and her husband’s family–and his best friend–have welcomed her with open arms. But Julia’s just staying for the holidays…isn’t she?
I loved Chase, Julia, and Maggie, Chase’s seven-year-old daughter; they were absolutely magic together and it’s pretty much impossible to not be cheering them on from the very first chapter. This is a second chance romance of sorts–Chase has always had a thing for Julia, but never acted on it because she was his best friend’s girl. Throw in the magic of Christmas, and I’m not sure what else you could possibly need… 🙂
Chase is rock solid from the prologue to the epilogue, and Maggie is absolutely adorable and precocious. Reading her bits made me twice as anxious for Thanksgiving to get here, because I clearly need mroe quality time in with my niece and nephew. I wanted the two of them to have a happy ending more than anything, because boy, do they ever deserve it. I could totally relate with the single-parent schedule of assistance he had going on–been there, done that!
Julia was a sympathetic character too, of course, though she could be inconsistent at times. I understood her hesitation, I really did, but her ups and downs with regard to what she wanted, what she was going to do, and exactly what “moving on” looked like for her were a bit frustrating. I was a little disappointed that once again the route of [spoiler]the widow finding out her husband wasn’t what she thought he was, and realizing that her new romance was something she’s never felt before with anyone else, ever, including said dead husband[/spoiler] was taken here, but as always I freely admit and accept that is 100% my pet peeve and the rest of the world doesn’t seem to have a problem with it.
I was super excited to see that this is the first book in a new series, because already Ms. James has managed to pique my interest with a few characters who clearly need their own HEAs. Hopefully Lily and Jack (Julia’s husband’s twin) will have their story next, because do they ever have some big-time backstory going on…
Rating: 4 stars / B
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Victoria James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.
Victoria always knew she wanted to be a writer and in grade five, she penned her first story, bound it (with staples and a cardboard cover) and did all the illustrations herself. Luckily, this book will never see the light of day again.
In high school she fell in love with historical romance and then contemporary romance. After graduating University with an English Literature degree, Victoria pursued a degree in Interior Design and then opened her own business. After her first child, Victoria knew it was time to fulfill her dream of writing romantic fiction.
Victoria is a hopeless romantic who is living her dream, penning happily-ever-after’s for her characters in between managing kids and the family business. Writing on a laptop in the middle of the country in a rambling old Victorian house would be ideal, but she’s quite content living in suburbia with her husband, their two young children, and very bad cat.
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Snowbound with Mr. Wrong
by Barbara White Dailee
A Snowflake Valley Novel
Publication Date: November 7, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Bliss, Holiday, Romance
Worst. Day. Ever. After Lyssa Barnett’s sister tricks her into reprising her role at Snowflake Valley’s annual children’s party, she doesn’t think anything can be worse than squeezing into her too-small elf costume. Then tall, dark, and way too handsome Nick Tavlock shows up to play Santa…and an unexpected storm leaves them snowbound in the isolated lodge.
The last thing Nick wants is to spend a cozy Christmas Eve with a trio of kids and the woman who dumped him. But as much as Lyssa frustrates him, he can’t stop thinking about her. And soon, he’s fighting very un-Santa-like thoughts of kissing a certain sexy Miss Elf under the mistletoe. As Nick starts to fall for Lyssa all over again, he knows it will take nothing short of a miracle to have Lyssa in his arms on Christmas Day.
Lyssa plopped the large bowl of popcorn in the middle of the coffee table and distributed the thread and needles she had found in the linen closet upstairs. At this rate, she would have to make a list of items to replace for Amber.
Mollie and Tommy went to work enthusiastically, and even Brent pitched in without a word of complaint. It was watching Nick, though, that made her heart melt. Making Christmas decorations might not have been his “thing,” but he definitely had some skill at working with kids.
He helped Tommy thread a needle, guiding the little boy’s hand until he had slipped the thread through the needle’s eye. Flushed by his success, Tommy proudly insisted upon threading everyone’s needle himself.
When Mollie groaned in frustration after trying to add a half-dozen kernels to her thread, Nick showed her how to pierce the thickest part of the popped corn to prevent it from breaking.
And when it came time to drape the strands on the tree, he asked Brent’s opinion as to the best placement. She had never heard the quiet teen talk and laugh as much as he had in this short time.
She could so easily see Nick with children of his own…and hers… But she had already decided there was no point in dreaming about a future with him. Considering his single-minded focus on work, he could never be the man for her.
She got to her feet and, forcing a smile, said, “I think it’s time for some hot chocolate.”
Four voices rose in agreement, and she escaped gratefully to the kitchen. The more she saw of Nick connecting with the kids, the harder it was for her to watch and the more she wanted to stay away. Yet she knew this trip to the kitchen was only a temporary reprieve.
She just hadn’t realized how temporary.
She had barely started heating the milk in a pan on the stove when Nick entered the kitchen. He came to lean against the counter beside her. “Need something?” she asked brightly.
“Yeah. To tell you I forgot how much fun it is being around you. It’s been a great afternoon.”
She flushed. “No thanks to me. That’s all on the kids. They’re quite a bunch.”
“And you’re quite a woman.”
He reached up and touched his finger to her lips. “Don’t do that, Lyssa. Don’t sell yourself short.” He moved his hand to trace her chin. A shiver tickled along her jaw. “You know what else I need?”
“That, too. And this.”
He leaned down and brushed his mouth against hers. He tasted so like the man she had fallen for months ago. His kiss was so tender, so sweet, she couldn’t help but want more. Another thought hovered at the edges of her mind, a thought she felt sure she didn’t want to know. Not now. Not here. Not when his taste and his touch and his total concentration on her were all exactly what she needed.
One dizzying kiss led to another and then another, until she had to curl her fingers in the fabric of his T-shirt to keep herself standing upright. But finally she forced herself to come to her senses. She tilted her head back and whispered, “Stop.”
“Why?” he murmured.
“What would we say if one of the kids walked in?”
“That the chocolate will be ready as soon as I’m done kissing the cook.”
ABOUT BARBARA WHITE DAILLE:
From the time she was a toddler, Barbara found herself fascinated by those things her mom called “books.” Once she learned the words between the covers held the magic of storytelling, she wanted to see her words in print so she could weave that magic spell for others.
After much hard work at her craft, she achieved her longtime dream when she began selling romance and mystery fiction to national and regional publications. Not long after, she received “The Call” from Harlequin Books and sold her first two novels. Since then, her books have garnered many positive reviews, appeared on numerous bestseller lists, and won a number of awards.
Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they don’t mind the lizards in their front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.
Barbara hopes you will enjoy reading her stories and will find your own storytelling magic in them!
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