Review | All I want for Christmas by Claudia Carroll

All I want for Christmas

Title: All I want for Christmas
Author: Claudia Carroll
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Short Story
Publishing date: 25th November, 2014
Published by: Avon
Pages: 21

My Rating: 2/5 stars  

 


Synopsis:

Christmas with the one you love. It’s going to be perfect … isn’t it?

Three couples. Three Christmases. One perfect day!

In three days Lucy and Andrew will to fly to Mexico for their beautiful wedding. What’s a twenty-year age gap when you’re this in love? Christmas dinner feels like the perfect occasion to introduce the two families to each other. What could possibly go wrong?

Workaholic Jo Hargreaves spends most of her Christmas day wondering where her unreliable new husband is.

Dawn and Kirk spend hours slaving over a mung-bean based vegan festive lunch – but Dawn’s mum is struggling to keep her true feeling to herself.

Can these three couples manage the magical Christmas they’ve been dreaming of?


My Take:

It’s a quick and easy read. The summary is very intriguing. I was really looking forward to reading it. What I didn’t realize was that this was a prequel to another book- Love me or Leave me.

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So, we get a glimpse of all the three stories, the Christmas time in the lives of these 3 couples. As prequels go this book did the job right of building the excitement for the actual book. 😀

I really want to know where the stories go. All the couples visit the first ever divorce hotel in the book Love me or Leave me. That’s interesting! 😀

A proper disclaimer about this being a prequel, actually teaser, should have been given. :/ It was a huge disappointment on that part but then again it wasn’t that long so it was okay.


Why would I pick it up?

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To build up excitement if I was reading the actual book.

 

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Review | A Cowboy For Christmas by Jennie Marts

A Cowboy For Christmas (Page Turners, #3.5)

Title: A Cowboy For Christmas (Page Turners #3.5)
Author: Jennie Marts
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Short Stories
Publishing date: 1st December, 2014
Published by: CreateSpace
Pages: 71

My Rating: 3/5 stars  

 


Synopsis:

Holly Adams returns to her hometown with a simple to-do list from her therapist: 1) Return to your roots, 2) Face your fears, and 3) Listen to your heart. But Holly hasn’t been back since a tragic accident claimed the life of her young husband. Returning home is one thing. Facing her fears and giving her bruised heart a voice are quite another. Cowboy Levi Garrett remembers Holly as the brazen girl who once stole a kiss at a high school party, and barely recognizes the heartbroken young widow who ends up stranded at his ranch on Christmas Eve. All he wants is to remind Holly of the fearless girl she used to be. It’s holiday magic when a winter storm traps the pair together, but will Holly be able to hear her heart when it asks for a Cowboy for Christmas?


My Take:

A perfect holiday read! ❤

Light and heart touching. The reading is light but the emotions are not. You will feel deep emotions as you keep proceeding. You can feel Holly’s grief, her struggle with moving on, her efforts in trying to move on, her inner self giving her strength when she tries to chicken out, you can feel her defenses weakening, you can feel her falling in love with Levi, you can feel her fear for what she is feeling, you can feel her hesitance, in short you can feel a lot of things in this book.

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Levi is such a sweet character. If it wasn’t for Levi, Holly might not have been able to accomplish the list her therapist gave her. Sure, she returned to her hometown, ticking off the first thing in the list. The second thing is facing her fears, she has a fear of horses because her husband died riding one. Levi helps her get over it. He is so patient with Holly that you can’t help liking him. With the second thing ticked off there’s only one thing  left on the list.

Listening to her heart. Will Levi help her achieve that. Him being sexy is a great help along with being a nice person.

“What was it about guys in jeans and cowboy boots.”

I enjoyed reading this book. The writing is simple and it compliments with all the feelings in the story. Overcoming the fears, getting a grip of yourself, learning to deal with grief and moving on, falling in love…

She remembered the Barista asking her what she wanted for Christmas.Would a cowboy be too much to ask for?

A little co-incidental magic seals the deal. 😉 Some predictable proceedings help set the plot but it still plays out beautifully. ❤ 🙂

“It’s a special bell. It’s got Christmas magic. You can only hear it when you listen with your heart.”


Why would I pick it up?

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For all the feels! 😉 😛

Review | Making Room at Christmas by Olivia Stowe

Making Room at Christmas A Charlotte Diamond Mysteries Special

Title:  Making Room at Christmas (A Charlotte Diamond Mysteries Special)
Author: Olivia Stowe
Genre: Fiction, Short Story
Publishing date: 2012
Published by: CyberWorld
Pages: 12

My Rating: 2/5 stars  

 


Synopsis:

Charlotte and Brenda are now facing their second Christmas together. Last year’s Christmas and New Year were spent on a Rhine River cruise with Charlotte’s doctor brother and his minster wife, as told in An Inconvenient Death, but this year the pair are off to a mountain retreat so Brenda can promote a film to movie financiers. Of course all is not smooth sailing for the pair in this small Christmas gift from Olivia.


My Take:

This is a sweet little tale wound around the spirit of Christmas. Brenda and Charlotte along with two other travelers are snowbound en route to a mountain lodge and have to take cover in a B&B.

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This is a short and simple read that ends with a wedding. Despite of being so short you can still connect with the characters the best a short story can allow.


Why would I pick it up?

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For a quick read. 😀

Review | The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Account of the Visit from St. Nicholas

 

Title: The Night Before Christmas
Author: Clement C. Moore
Genre: Classic, Children’s Fiction
Publishing date: 16th December, 2014 (first published 1823)
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 9

My Rating: 3/5 stars  

 


Synopsis:

Once upon a time, children imagined St. Nicholas as a stern, skinny bishop who was as likely to dole out discipline as Christmas presents. But thanks to the anonymous publication of the poem “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” in the TROY SENTINAL in 1823, a plumper, merrier St. Nick was born, transformed into the sleigh-riding, chimney-diving, jolly old elf we now call Santa Claus.


My Take:

I remember reading this last Christmas and I only got around talking about it one year later.

This is a classic Christmas read. I am so glad that I read this. There isn’t much for me to say that’s going to be any different from what a lot of people have said.

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I didn’t read an illustrated version but there are lots and lots of illustrated versions available by various illustrations.

This is one of the books that can be read as a tradition every Christmas. I really enjoyed reading this.


Why would I pick it up?

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As I said, “can be read as a tradition every Christmas.”

Review | Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble by M.C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble

Title: Agatha Raisin and the Christmas Crumble
Author: M.C. Beaton
Genre: Fiction, Short Story, Mystery
Publishing date: 6th December, 2012
Published by: Robinson
Pages: 33

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

 


Synopsis:

The bossy, vain and irresistible Agatha is back in this latest short story.

Agatha is spending Christmas at home in the Cotswolds – and in a fit of goodwill towards all men (and women) she invites six of Carsley’s oldest residents to come around and share Christmas lunch with her.

Christmas jollity soon turns to disaster as Agatha accidentally kills one of her guests with a gruesome homemade Christmas pudding… so will it be Christmas in the cells for Agatha? Or can she fix an escape out of this particular festive mess!


My Take:

I liked reading this short story.

Agatha is spending the holidays alone so she decides to hold a dinner party for six of the other lonely elders who would otherwise have been spending the holidays alone. She refers to them as ‘crumblies.’

She is a dysfunctional cook who shouldn’t be actually cooking but does that stop her from cooking for others, that to for a dinner party. Nope. 😛 Her dinner preparations are hilarious to read about.

Image result for a cooking mess gifIf it wasn’t for the fact that this book falls under the mystery category, I would’ve liked the book more. Considering how small the book is, there isn’t much time to build up the mystery.

Given the length of the book, the author does a good job.


Why would I pick it up?

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For the quick read.

 

Review | Hark- A Christmas Collection by Justin Bog

Hark---A Christmas Collection

 

Title: Hark- A Christmas Collection
Author: Justin Bog
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction
Publishing date: 14th November, 2014
Published by: Booktrope
Pages: 134

My Rating: 2.75/5 stars  

*e-copy received from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

A beautifully written collection of short stories from critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest writer Justin Bog, Hark—A Christmas Collection explores the range of emotions surrounding the holidays. From melancholy to madness, loss and despair to hope and forgiveness, these six tales shimmer with feelings, some we’d rather stuff away, that Christmas can evoke.

Within Hark—A Christmas Collection, a retired police officer faces another Christmas Eve while bitter recollections haunt his every turn, a lonely businesswoman plans to seduce Santa Claus one Christmas Eve, a widow grows anxious searching for a misplaced present she intended to send to her ungrateful sister, a woman can’t keep the images of her past—these ghosts—from haunting the life she chooses to live; while attending a Christmas party in Sun Valley, Idaho, a bookstore clerk and his partner are taught a lesson most un-holidaylike, and, in the final story, a couple portrays Mr. & Mrs. Claus in their small island town holiday festivities and face a grim diagnosis together.

Set in colorful locations around the United States, from Anacortes, Washington, to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Sun Valley, Idaho, each tale focuses on people who struggle to make good choices, learn lessons, and maybe even find peace during the holiday season.


My Take:

It has six short stories in it. Namely, Hark, Seducing Santa, Bracelet, Everyone wants me to, Snow Globe, The Heralds.

My advice would be to go into this book without any expectations because when we think of Christmas, we associate all the happy and mushy emotions with it but this isn’t your typical Christmas joy stories. This book portrays much deeper emotions, the underlying emotions to the joyous cover we display.

The stories are well thought and well written. When I began writing this review, I planned to give a summary of every story but then thought above it. I think this book is to be enjoyed with no prior knowledge of what the book contains.

When you look at the pretty cover and the title, you think, this is going to be one of those sweet, bubbly, syrup induced story but boy! you sure are in for a ride. This book explores the emotions that we don’t usually associate with Christmas but they are well and true to show their presence somehow. Not everyone gets into the festive hype, for some the festivals bring out their thoughts that might have a tinge of darkness.

All the stories explore different types of emotions and show us that Christmas is not the same for everyone but I feel that the dark thoughts are wrapped in the blanket of compassion and hope because that is what life is about. Getting over the negativity and embracing the positivity.


Why would I pick it up?

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For the unconventional concept.