I’ve Got The Holiday Reads For You…

Posted December 11, 2017 in Review / 7 Comments

I’ve Got The Holiday Reads For You…

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

by Melissa de la Cruz
Published by Macmillan, St. Martin's Press on October 17th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 240
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her dad and little brother.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32 and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

Holiday Fun Page-Turner Romance Swoon

I started my holiday reading blitz this year with this cute almost-retelling of Pride & Prejudice set during the Christmas season. What attracted me to this story was the whole “opposites-attract” scenario. And before y’all get your feathers all in a tussle, no, this is NOT an exact re-telling of Pride & Prejudice. Honestly, I haven’t read the original but I can tell from this distance that this story isn’t even close to the original’s story structure or depth. This is a light, fun, play on role reversal.

Darcy Fitzwilliam left home and never looked back when she realized she could never make her father happy with her choices. She made it big in New York in the finance industry but hasn’t been home in eight years. When she runs into an old “nemesis” by the name of Luke Bennet, Darcy has an epiphany….  she just isn’t sure what it is, though. And she’s going to either bring down everyone around her or it’s going to be an awesome Christmas.

What I liked about Darcy was that she had it together with her career but she completely lacked “love” skills. And there was a thread to the story about self-esteem that I could totally get behind 🙂 And I loved how smartly she put Luke in his place. Luke was a wee-bit weak on the character side but, meh, what are you going to do? There were enough supporting characters to completely distract me from that. It’s only looking back at Luke to write this review that I realized he’s kind of shmucky (I stand by my word).

I peeked at some of the reviews on Goodreads *shakes fist* and I have no clue what’s up with comments like ‘poor writing’. Didn’t see any of that. I actually thought this was a smart, short, fun holiday read that gave the lonely girl from the city a chance to look at life differently.

Not every book IS for everyone 🙂

About Melissa de la Cruz

In addition to her literary work, Melissa is the co-founder of YALLWEST, and the co-director of YALLFEST, two of the largest teen book festivals in the country. She is also on the Advisory Board of Facing History, which reaches five million school children nationwide with a curriculum devoted to teaching empathy and social justice.

She grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. At Columbia University, she majored in art history and English.

Melissa de la Cruz lives in West Hollywood, California with her husband and daughter.



I’ve Got The Holiday Reads For You…

Holiday Wishes

Series: Heartbreaker Bay #4.5
by Jill Shalvis
Published by HarperCollins, Avon Impulse on November 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 128
Format: eARC

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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It’s Christmastime again in Heartbreaker Bay!

When Sean O’Riley shows up at the Hartford Bed & Breakfast for his older brother’s bachelor weekend, he’s just hoping to make it through the weekend. What he’s not expecting is to come face to face with the woman he lost his virginity to a decade ago—a woman he’s never really forgotten.

The last time Lotti Hartford saw Sean, she told him she loved him while he said nothing. Now, ten years later, she’s just looking for a good time. For once, she wants to be the wild and free one, and Sean – the good time guy – is the perfect candidate.

But as the weekend continues, Sean realizes that after a lifetime of being the hook-up king, he’s ready to find happily-ever-after, and he wants it with Lotti. But will she open her heart to him again? As Christmas sweeps through the little B&B, he can only hope love and magic are in the air.

Holiday Fun Page-Turner Romance Swoon


Who doesn’t love Jill Shalvis? Okay, if you raised your hand, you’re wrong. Ha, just kidding!! Again, not every book is for everyone (where have I heard that before?) but Ms. Shalvis is consistent in delivering sweet and sexy romance that swoons in all the right places. I’m just perplexed by her recent holiday titled books that really don’t have a lot of holiday IN them. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Holiday Wishes is a novella from her popular Heartbreaker Bay series. In the case of this novella, I’m going to recommend that you have read at least a few of the previous books in the series. Yes, yes, you could read this novella all by itself. But the story revolves around the past couples…

Pru and Finn from Sweet Little Lies are close to getting married and Finn’s brother, Sean, wants to throw them a bachelor/bachlorette party. Sean plans a bachelor/bachelorette weekend for all their friends at a bed & breakfast where he runs into the girl he hooked up with when he was a teenager. Sean had to move away shortly after that, so they never spoke again… until now. Awkward! 🙂

I liked Lottie a lot because she was spunky and would not be walked over. And I liked Sean because he tried so hard to be sweet and nice to Lottie. I thought having the past couples in this story would distract me but it turned out that they didn’t. This is definitely just Lottie and Sean’s story.

Finally, that ending… I virtually turned the page and BAM! It was over! I think it was the most sudden ending I’d ever read. No lead up, no ease me into it. Just walk out the door and all is good.

Well, okay then…

About Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.



I’ve Got The Holiday Reads For You…

An Ex for Christmas

by Lauren Layne
Published by Loveswept, Random House on November 17th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 218
Format: eBook
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She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.

Lauren Layne’s USA Today bestselling Love Unexpectedly series can be read in any order

This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Holiday Fun Page-Turner Romance Swoon

If there’s one holiday book I can truly recommend this year, it’s THIS one. An Ex For Christmas by Lauren Layne wasn’t even in my plans for the HoHoHo Read-a-Thon. At the last minute, I went out and purchased this title after I read Rainy Day Rambling’s review (actually her early comments on Goodreads if I’m being technical). I had been wanting to read one of Layne’s books for some time. I just hadn’t gotten to it yet.

The trope is your typical girl and guy best friends since they bonded over a shared class in high school. Kelly and Mark remained best friends throughout college and after. Now they have an unusual relationship where they share a dog.  During the week, when Kelly leaves her house to work in New York City, Mark takes the dog. She comes back home on weekends and claims the dog again. It works well, especially since they live right behind each other 😉

Kelly gets it into her head to visit all her exes after a “fortune teller” tells her that she’s already met her soul mate. You know this won’t end well. But surprisingly, you haven’t read this story before, trust me!

Ms. Layne is great at writing a witty tale of looking back at the mistakes you made and risks not taken.  You will love Mark. He is freaking awesome. As I was reading, I kept thinking that I wanted his side of the story but I quickly realized that the story wouldn’t have had the charm it did if we had his “voice” right after Kelly’s scenes.  Mark does have one scene at the end and I thought that was perfect. And I normally prefer dual POV romances… go figure.

And go read this!

About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she's written over two dozen books, many of which have hit the USA TODAY, New York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.




About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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7 responses to “I’ve Got The Holiday Reads For You…

  1. Oh some good suggestions. I haven’t read a holiday themed one yet. I’m bad this year. 🙂 I do think I need to read that P&P retelling. I love those. And yep, not every book is for everyone but I have a feeling I’d enjoy that one too. Jill Shalvis is on my must read list and I’ll have to check out An Ex for Christmas… dog! LOL
    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden