His Christmas Gift by Sarah Mayberry
My rating: 3 of 5 cups
This was a fun and poignant holiday romance about two unlikely people, clearly attracted to one another but needed a boost of the chicken pox to keep the ball rolling. This is actually a novella that runs parallel to another Montana Born Christmas novel, Three Nights Before Christmas by Kat Latham and although it can be read as a stand alone its actually much better if the other book is read first. I had fun reading Sawyer and Jenna's story and although it was short it did give me that warm happy feeling most holiday romances do. This is low heat however and had some insta love happening but I found the time jump in the end quite satisfying.
The Christmas Secret by Jeannie Watt
My rating: 3 of 5 cups
This was a holiday centric small town romance about second chance at love and a very convoluted family connection. In The Christmas Secret we meet Lil Reynolds who is hiding away in her small cabin up in the woods the night before Christmas Eve because she's trying to avoid her ex-fiance's wedding the next day. Its a small town, nearing Christmas and she definitely couldn't take the pitying looks of the people in her small town. But a snowstorm during the night gives her an unexpected present, the blizzard seems to have brought Casey Lanigan to her doorstep. Her first love, the first guy to disappoint her and of course her ex-fiance's best man who also happens to be his brother. Casey is running away from home again. Tis the season to be jolly but he and his dad haven't really been having a great father son bonding in forever. So he's leaving town after the wedding and maybe never coming back. But then a Montana snowstorm brings him to the vicinity of the only women he's ever loved. So what's a guy to do? Why take advantage of this gift and try to win her back. I found this book quite poignant, lots of regrets and lots of things to rehash but it always has that tone of hope permeating all throughout the story. Casey and Lil were great characters, well developed and flawed in the right way. Its a wonderful Christmas romance about hope and love, perfect for the season.
Three Nights before Christmas by Kat Latham
My rating: 4 of 5 cups
Three Nights Before Christmas by Kat Latham is part of the Montana Born Christmas series but can be read as a standalone. Its a small town romance set in Marietta and is a romance between an ex-con and the officer who was part of her arrest and trial. And that alone makes this holiday romance quite unique. Lacey Gallagher has spent three years in prison for a crime she didn't commit. But now she's out on parole and is trying to piece her life together again, which is never easy. Its even becoming difficult when your arresting officer keeps popping up and reminding you of all the things you've lost and might lose again. Austin Wilder didn't expect to see Lacey again, much less asking her for a big favor in fixing the steam train thats going to make a young boy's Christmas. As Austin and Lacey get to know each other more, the resulting attraction is quite hard to ignore. Pretty soon they're going at it hot and heavy. But how long before Lacey's little bubble of happiness burst and she is once again doubting herself and her choices? This was a heartwarming read, often times making you tear up with what the character of Lacey had gone through and is still going through, but you definitely will enjoy how she just decided to go for it and try living her life joyfully. Excellent holiday reading.
A Bad Boy for Christmas by Kelly Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 cups
A Bad Boy for Christmas was unexpectedly a very humorous and quite charming short romance despite the almost very serious plot and its all due to the main romantic couple's humorous interactions. From first sight Mia and Cutter's attraction to each other was quite obvious and quite inconvenient since they are kind of loosely related. Thankfully not by blood, as Cutter states but all the same hitting on your long lost brother's foster sister isn't really something to be proud of. The family situation was tense, however, its Mia and Cutter's witty repartee and Mia's exuberant laissez-faire attitude that makes this book simply engaging and highly entertaining. Both Mia and Cutter's personalities are just so different and so fresh that you just keep turning the pages because they really carried the story. A Bad Boy for Christmas is definitely a recommend for those who likes a lot humor and sexiness in their romances.
*This novella is part of the Jackson Brothers Series by Kelly Hunter but can be read as a standalone*
The Runaway Christmas Bride by Scarlet Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 cups
This was one of those stories just makes you really smile and laugh and had holiday cheer all over it. The characters of Mitch and Emma had that old fashioned meet cute at the start (granted Emma did steal that what with the wedding dress and hiking boots attire!) All American meets Scottish Lass should be the alternative title for this one but that nearly old fashioned courtship and that hesitation of approaching someone you like, you don't really read that a lot these days. Add the charm of good old small town Christmas celebration makes this book one of the most charming reads for the holidays.
*The Runaway Christmas Bride is part of the Montana Born Christmas series but can be read as a standalone.