Friday, December 31, 2021

First Book of the Year

As I did last year, I am making my first book of the year a book that will hopefully set the tone for the rest of my reading year.  

I am picking a book that I both own and is on my netgalley to do list!  I want to read books to increase my netgalley completion percentage while also reading books that are taking up some physical space in our house.  I love to read and pass on, don't keep many, so I want to read this one and pass it along!  

As in last year, I will be tracking this and hope that my numbers are better this year than last!




December - the final month


Only with the help of a vacation with a lot of books loaded on my kindle did I end December with this stack of reading.  So thankful for some quiet time at the end of the year to spend time with my nose in a book (or kindle!)


1. Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
2. A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing
3. The First Christmas by Stephen Mitchell
4. An Eggnog to Die For by Amy Pershing
5. The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman
6. Christmas in Rose Bend by Naima Simone
7. Sleigh Bells Ring by RaeAnne Thayne
8. The Girl From Paris by Ella Carey
9. A Stranger's Game by Colleen Coble
10. My Darling Husband by Kimberly Belle
11. Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall (audiobook)
12. The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan
13. The German Wife by Debbie Rix


Total pages read, clicked and flipped: 4,601


Where Have I Been Reading?:
Cape Cod (2)
Massachusetts
Wyoming
New York City, NY
Atlanta, GA
Jekyll Island, GA
Flagstaff, AZ
Germany




Sunday, December 19, 2021

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

Another full week and full weekend with little moments of reading!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Christmas in Rose Bend by Naima Simone
Sleigh Bells Ring by RaeAnne Thayne

Currently Reading:
A Stranger's Game by Colleen Coble

Next on the TBR pile:
The Girl From Paris by Ella Carey

Friday, December 17, 2021

Review: Sleigh Bells Ring by RaeAnne Thayne

Sleigh Bells Ring
by RaeAnne Thayne

Publisher: HQN
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Ranch manager Annie McCade thought her twin niece and nephew could join her at the Angel View Ranch for Christmas with her absent employer being none the wiser. But when the ranch's owner, Tate Sheridan, shows up out of the blue, Annie's plans are upended. Soon she finds herself helping Tate make a Christmas to remember for his grieving and fractured extended family.


Kritters Thoughts:  Annie McCade is back on the property that she knew very well as a kid and is now the manager and during this holiday season she has custody of her twin niece and nephew as their mom passed away suddenly and her brother is in jail.  She is surprised when Tate the grandson of the late ranch owner ends up on property and announces that the whole family will be in town for the holidays and they will turn her world upside down.  

RaeAnne Thayne does romance so well.  I love when she does a stand alone and when the story feels so full within the pages of the one book.  Not only were Annie and Tate great characters to enjoy in this one, but the secondary characters were fantastic two and some had substantial storylines that I loved following.  There was another couple (no spoilers) that I loved seeing quietly fall in love just in the background of Annie and Tate's story.  I also love a romance where the characters have some previous history then what is in the book, so it doesn't feel like instalove and instead it can feel like a REALLY slow burn!

RaeAnne Thayne continues to be a romance writer that I love and I extra loved cuddling up with this one this holiday season with the sleigh rides and snow storms!


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 155 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Review: Christmas in Rose Bend by Naima Simone

Christmas in Rose Bend
by Naima Simone

Publisher: HQN
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Grieving ER nurse Nessa Hunt is on a road trip with her sullen teen half sister, Ivy, and still reeling from her mother’s deathbed confession: Nessa’s dad wasn’t really her dad. Seeking answers, they arrive in Rose Bend to find a small town teeming with the kind of Christmas cheer Nessa usually avoids. But then she meets the innkeeper’s ruggedly sexy son, Wolfgang Dennison.

Wolf’s big, boisterous family is like a picture-perfect holiday card. Nessa has too much weighing on her to feel like she fits—even though the heat between her and Wolf is undeniable. And the merriment bringing an overdue smile to Ivy’s face is almost enough to make Nessa believe in the Christmas spirit. But with all her parental baggage, including lingering questions about her birth father, is there room in Nessa’s life for happy holidays and happily-ever-after?


Kritters Thoughts:  Nessa Hunt has been grieving for a long time with the recent deaths of her mother and her father figure.  When her mother passed away she left Nessa with more questions than answers about the truth of her past, so she goes to a small town in Massachusetts for the holiday season with her half sister to regroup and decide what her next steps are.  

For me, this book had a great plot and I loved the moments in the book where the plot was moving forward, but there were some moments where the book didn't work for me.  From the beginning, I felt as though both Nessa and Wolf were unnecessarily literally lusting after each other, like from first sight and it was awkward and honestly took away from a great plot.  THEN the sex scene(s) that went on for 10% of the book.  For me, I am fine with a little love and sexy times, but this part of the book was distracting and went on for what felt like forever and I wanted to get back to the heart of the story.  If you are a reader who likes an open door and some sexy times in your book, then you will probably feel very differently from me.  

Because of these things, I am not sure if I would read this author again.  I was so disappointed because the plot seemed like it was going to be so engaging and I did love the characters, but the lusting and sexy times were so distracting that they took away from the flow of the story.   


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 154 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Review: The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman

The Secret of Snow
by Viola Shipman

Publisher: Graydon House
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Sonny Dunes, a SoCal meteorologist who knows only sunshine and seventy-two-degree days, is being replaced by an AI meteorologist, which the youthful station manager reasons "will never age, gain weight or renegotiate its contract." The only station willing to give the fifty-year-old another shot is one in a famously nontropical place—her northern Michigan hometown.

Unearthing her carefully laid California roots, Sonny returns home and reacclimates to the painfully long, dark winters dominated by a Michigan phenomenon known as lake-effect snow. But beyond the complete physical shock to her system, she's also forced to confront her past: her new boss, a former journalism classmate and mortal frenemy; more keenly, the death of a younger sister who loved the snow; and the mother who caused Sonny to leave.

To distract herself from the unwelcome memories, Sonny decides to throw herself headfirst into all things winter to woo viewers and reclaim her success. From sledding and ice fishing to skiing and winter festivals, the merrymaking culminates with the town’s famed Winter Ice Sculpture Contest. Running the events is a widowed father and chamber of commerce director, whose genuine love of Michigan, winter and Sonny just might thaw her heart and restart her life in a way she never could have predicted.


Kritters Thoughts:  Sonny Dunes has been living and working in Palm Springs as a chief meteorologist when the station manager decides to take things in a new direction and Sonny has a viral reaction and decides to go home to Michigan to regroup.  She ends up at her home tv station with a demotion, but maybe it will help her confront some things from her past and maybe even find a little love!  

This book started out slow, but once the ball got rolling it kept getting better and better.  Sonny was a fun character to follow as she definitely stumbled over her own two feet, but other characters sure also didn't help!  I am not sure I have read any book that takes the reader behind the scenes of the newsroom, so I enjoyed those bits a lot.  With more of a focus on the weather, it was interesting to hear how it all comes together with the staff and the graphics and all of the other details.  

Of course, there was a love story in this book and it fit in just the right spots.  While it may have felt a little rushed, it was still nice and sweet and added to the story.  I wouldn't mind a sequel to this one that focuses on Ron/Icicle because seeing where he goes beyond this story would be so much fun!


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 153 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

Two weeks worth of reading because lack of reading and lack of time!


A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Christmas Wish by Melinda Curtis
Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing
An Eggnog to Die For by Amy Pershing
The First Christmas by Stephen Mitchell (audiobook)
The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman

Currently Reading:
Christmas in Rose Bend by Naima Simone

Next on the TBR pile:
Sleigh Bells Ring by RaeAnne Thayne

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Review: An Eggnog to Die For by Amy Pershing

An Eggnog to Die For
by Amy Pershing

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  It's Santa Claus, she says tonelessly. Santa Claus is dead.

Food writer Sam Barnes wants a lot of things: a quiet Christmas at home with her dog and the town's handsome harbormaster, to never be in a viral video again, and to stop finding dead bodies. Unfortunately for Sam, her parents are coming to visit, she's often around cameras for work, and she just found the town Santa dead in the storage room of the cocktail bar she was profiling.

Although she was only interviewing the owners of the Ginger Jar in hopes of getting the recipe for their Coquito Eggnog cocktail for the friends and family Christmas Eve dinner she's hosting, Sam quickly finds herself taking on the role of investigator once again. She needs to find out who slayed this Santa--but with holiday stress already building, will Sam be able to pull off a perfect feast and nab a killer?


Kritters Thoughts:  The second in a series and while the mystery is self contained within each book, I would absolutely recommend you start with book one before diving into this one as there is so much back story with the main and secondary characters that you will want to know before diving into this one.  

Sam Barnes is back in this book and she is working on a video series for the local Cape Cod newspaper when Santa Claus is found dead in the up and coming bar that is serving fun cocktails along side some unique eats.  Unfortunately, the victim is not well liked and quite a few people in town may have a reason to want him dead, so Sam must figure out who had reason and motive and ability to kill him.  

Comparing this book to the previous one, I didn't love this one as much.  Sam was in and out of investigating and juggling with hosting her parents for the holidays and for some reason the flow of the story just didn't work for me as well as it did in the first one.  I know that there is another one to come in 2022 and am excited to read it and see where the author takes Sam Barnes.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 152 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Review: A Side of Murder by Amy Pershing

A Side of Murder
by Amy Pershing

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 313
Format: ebook
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Samantha Barnes was always a foodie. So when the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) came calling, she happily traded in Cape Cod for the Big Apple. Soon the young chef is a rising star in the city’s food scene—until a feud with another chef (her ex) boils over and goes viral. So when Sam inherits her Great-Aunt Ida’s house on the Cape and lands a job writing restaurant reviews, it seems like the perfect pairing. What could go wrong? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

The dilapidated house comes with an enormous puppy. Her new boss is, well, bossy. And the town’s new harbormaster is none other than her first love. Nonetheless, Sam’s looking forward to testing her inner food critic at the Bayview Grille—and indeed the seafood chowder is divine. But the body floating in the pond outside the eatery was not on the menu. Though the drowning is called an accident, Sam is certain it's murder. And as she begins to stir the pot, it becomes terrifyingly clear that she may be writing the recipe for her own untimely demise.
 


Kritters Thoughts:  Samantha Barnes was an up and coming chef in the New York restaurant scene when she unwittingly goes viral from a fight she has with another chef so she retreats to Cape Cod as it was always a place of refuge in her life.  Thankfully she has a house she has inherited from her Great-Aunt Ida, so she has a place to land and quickly she has a job writing restaurant reviews and is surrounded by friends who stayed in the area and are glad she has returned!

In this first book in a series, Sam is at a restaurant with friends working on a review when she happens upon a drowned body and must work to help solve the crime.  This book was so fun with the combination of Sam trying to start up a career combining journalism and food while also being a amateur investigator when she is convinced that the body she found was murdered and wasn't an accidental drowning.  

The mystery itself was self contained in this book, but I would absolutely suggest starting with this book before diving into the sequel that I will review next.  It is nice to have the foundational knowledge of Sam and those who surround her who will be present in the next book.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 151 out of 100



Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Review: Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis

Eight Perfect Hours
by Lia Louis

Publisher: Atria
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On a snowy evening in March, 30-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone. All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear.

The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again, but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence. 


Kritters Thoughts:  Noelle Butterby was trying to go to a college reunion to reconnect with the memories of a friend that she lost a long time ago, but on her way she gets stuck in a snow storm and American Sam Attwood ends up helping her.  Sam is able to calm down Noelle and one evening sets their lives off in different directions.  As said above, fate will set them on a course where they will question what is next for each of them, both personally and professionally.  

For some reason when I have gone to talk about this book with friends in my life, I have had a hard time telling them anything because I just don't want to spoil a thing about this one.  Of course, I can say that this is a romance book and if you are a reader of this genre, then you know where it will end, but this journey is so worth the ride.  I can say that I loved these two main characters - they each had things going on in their life beyond each other, so they felt like really good well rounded humans!  I don't love it when a book only has romance in a character's life because it just doesn't feel right.  

While the book does take place in a town in England, if you are an American reader that doesn't tend to read the books set across the pond, I can say this book is too sweet to miss and I would recommend you read this one this winter season.  Maybe not a holiday romance, but with a car stuck in snow to start the book, this is a great romance to curl up with under a blanket! 


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 150 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Atria.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Review: The Island We Left Behind by Kate Hewitt

The Island We Left Behind
by Kate Hewitt 

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 347
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  “I love you. Of course I do. But we haven’t any choice in the matter, do we? If our little boy’s health, even his survival, is at stake, we have to do whatever it takes.”

1928, New York City: Ellen and Lucas Lyman have made a heart-wrenching decision to leave their beloved Amherst Island behind in search of a new life. The island was once the home of their hearts: where they had met as children, become friends, and over time found love.

But New York City was calling, and it was everything they’d hoped for and more. With Lucas making money on the stock market, and Ellen finding fulfilment as a mother, at first they are happy raising their family, together, in the most exciting city in the world.

Until their beloved son Jamie becomes perilously ill, and Ellen is given an impossible choice. With Lucas unable to leave his job, it is down to her to take Jamie to a place he might recover even if it means making the journey across America without him.

Ellen knows what she must do. What every mother would do to save their child. Even if it takes her further away from the man she loves — and every place she has called home ‑ than ever before.


Kritters Thoughts:  The fourth book in a series and I haven't read the previous three books, so I can give honest opinions on how I feel about this book and this book alone.  

Ellen and Lucas Lyman left their family on Amherst Island for his job/career in New York City, but the city has been the best for the son's health, so they make an even harder decision to split the family and Ellen will take the kids to California in hopes that their son can grow and overcome this health obstacles and Lucas will stay behind to keep his career moving forward in NYC.  

Knowing history and Lucas' career in the financial world and knowing that the fall was about to happen caused me some anxiety as I knew where this family would end up and wondering how it was all going to go down.  I loved the dynamic between Ellen and her cousin, Gracie as they were figuring out how to survive in California.  It was fun to see them interact with real historical figures and weave in and out of fact and fiction.  

Starting midstream with this series was definitely weird and I felt as though I was missing out on some of the needed history about these characters, but even still the story was self contained within these pages.  BUT I finished wanting to go back and start at the beginning, so I think that is a good sign and something that I hope to do soon.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 149 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Review: The Winter Berry House by Caroline Flynn

The Winter Berry House
by Caroline Flynn 

Publisher: HQ Digital
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  It’s the beginning of December, and the town of Port Landon is covered with snow and glowing with festive cheer. Working at the Port diner, Kait Davenport is counting down to Christmas the same way she does every year, serving fruitcake and cinnamon flavored coffee.

But when she unexpectedly runs into her high school sweetheart, Branch Sterling, she knows this Christmas is going to be different.

The holiday season marks the first anniversary of his beloved Grandma Addie’s passing, and Branch must face the task he has been putting off for so long… It’s time to return to the house he’s inherited – the house he once called home – and make peace with his loss.

Branch is determined to lay his painful memories to rest and finally move on. But he has rekindled a fire in Kait’s heart, and when she offers to help him recreate Grandma Addie’s legacy Christmas dinner for the whole town, their hope for a second chance burns bright.

Will Kait convince Branch that he belongs in Port Landon, and that their love is just as strong as their Christmas spirit?


Kritters Thoughts:  Kait has stayed in the small town that raised her, even after a lot of drama could have driven her to run and start over.  She is working at a diner in her small town of Michigan and in walks a former love who was a part of the drama and is back to take care of a house he inherited, will the past be rekindled or have they both moved on?

I love holiday romances because they still follow the romance guidelines, but everything just seems a little extra (in a good way) with the heightened addition of a holiday season.  This book felt like it could have taken place at any time of year, but I liked it more because it had Christmas lurking in the background.  

For me there were a few moments where I literally rolled my eyes at the main character, Kait.  A few moments she just wasn't believable and I wanted her to act differently and more so then I feel with a typical fictional character.  Without completely spoiling the book, there were things said by another character that she took as truth and I just wanted to say - "Hello girlfriend, really, you are trusting him!"  Those moments made me distracted, but overall she was a fine character to follow.  

I would read more by this author in hopes that this character trait would not show up again in another story.   


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 132 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

November - reminder to be thankful

A shorter reading month due to the big life changes and December is looking just as busy, but will end with a vacation hopefully with some sunshine and some kindle time!

1. Bells Are Ringing by Lacey Baker (audiobook)
2. Celebration at Christmas Cove by Carrie Jansen
3. The Missing Piece by John Lescroart
4. Her Silent Husband by Sam Vickery
5. From the Dark We Rise by Marion Kummerow
6. Forever Home by Elysia Whisler
7. Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins
8. The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery
9. Keep Me Warm at Christmas by Brenda Novak
10. Meet Me in London by Georgia Toffolo
11. A Magical New York Christmas by Anita Hughes
12. The Island We Left Behind by Kate Hewitt
13. The Christmas Wish by Melinda Curtis

Total pages read, clicked and flipped: 4,160


Where Have I Been Reading?:
Massachusetts
Vermont
San Francisco, CA
Notting Hill
Germany
Virginia
New York
Washington 
Northern California
London
New York City, NY
Pasadena, CA




 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Review: A Magical New York Christmas by Anita Hughes

A Magical New York Christmas
by Anita Hughes

Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  It’s Christmas week when 26-year-old Sabrina Post knocks on the door of the Vanderbilt suite at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, ready to accept the ghostwriting position for the memoir of Grayson Westcott—a famous art dealer.

A struggling journalist, Sabrina can't believe her luck: a paycheck and six nights in her own suite at the Plaza. She feels like Eloise, the heroine from her favorite children’s books. To make the job even more exciting, Grayson recounts how he worked as a butler at the Plaza sixty years ago for none other than the author of the Eloise books, Kay Thompson.

What promises to be a perfect week is complicated when Sabrina meets Ian Wentworth, a handsome British visitor, at the hotel bar. When Ian assumes Sabrina is another wealthy guest at the hotel, she doesn’t correct him —a decision she doesn’t regret after learning that Ian is a member of the British aristocracy. But, things are not what they seem. The truth is: Ian is not a wealthy lord; he’s actually the personal secretary of Lord Spencer Braxton.

As the week unfolds, will Sabrina and Ian learn the truth about one another?


Kritters Thoughts:  Sabrina Post is an aspiring writer.  She enters the Plaza Hotel to be a ghost writer for Grayson Westcott who is a famous art dealer, but there is more to him than his current job description.  While at the hotel, she runs into this guy who intrigues her, but the reader of the book knows the truth behind this guy that she is spending her time with.  Ian is at the Plaza hotel with a college friend who has also become weirdly his employer as he works for a foundation that is in the name of his friend's last name as he is an European Lord.  

Both Ian and Sabrina don't know the truth about each other and this goes on throughout the whole book and while that got a bit old for me, it was entertaining.  Their story had great ups and downs and was quite the journey throughout the book.  While there may have been a moment or two where I sweetly rolled my eyes as I knew the truth that neither of them did, it never made me want to put the book down. 

There is another storyline going on as Sabrina is meeting with Grayson and hearing his stories, so she can write his memoir.  I loved how seamlessly the book moves into his stories and of course, I loved that they were labeled, so the reader knows when we are headed into the past.  Grayson's stories were so great to go back in time in the Plaza hotel as he tells his story and I loved reading his origin story.  

While I loved this romance book, for me it honestly could have taken place at any time of the year and I didn't see as much holiday seasonal spirit as I would have hoped.  There was some chatter about the holidays and some activities, but when I read a holiday romance, I like the holiday cheer packed in every page!  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 148 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Review: Meet Me in London by Georgia Toffolo

Meet Me in London
by Georgia Toffolo

Publisher: HQN
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  What do you do when your fake engagement starts to feel too real…

Aspiring clothes designer Victoria Scott spends her days working in a bar in Chelsea and her evenings designing vintage clothes, dreaming of one day opening her own boutique. But these aspirations are under threat from the new department store opening at the end of her road. She needs a Christmas miracle, but one is not forthcoming.

Oliver Russell’s Christmas is not looking very festive right now. His family’s new London department store opening is behind schedule, and on top of that his interfering, if well-meaning, mother is pressing him to introduce his girlfriend to her over the holidays—a girlfriend who does not exist. He needs a diversion…something to keep his mother from meddling while he focuses on the business.

When Oliver meets Victoria, he offers a proposition: pretend to be his girlfriend at the opening of his store and he will provide an opportunity for Victoria to showcase her designs. But what starts as a business arrangement soon becomes something more tempting as the fake relationship starts to feel very real. But when secrets in Victoria’s past are exposed, will Oliver walk away, or will they both follow their hearts and find what neither knew they were looking for…?


Kritters Thoughts:  Another holiday romance that was great to get me in the holiday spirit.  Victoria Scott is working in a bar, but this isn't the career she dreams of for the long term.  Victoria wants to be a clothing designer, but that isn't paying any bills at the moment.  An encounter at the bar she works at and then a literal run in on the streets, she meets Oliver Russell who is the heir to a large store brand who is opening a new store in her neighbor - ala You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks.  

What I loved about this book compared to the Tom Hanks movie is that Oliver's identity comes out early in the book, so you don't have to stress about this secret being kept from our main character, Victoria.  She finds out early, so this isn't a big part of the plot and instead they get to work together for the good of the community that this large store is invading and bettering the community at the same time.  

This is the first in a series and while the rest of the series moves to other potential couples, I wouldn't mind another book that focuses solely on this couple as I loved their journey in this book and would love to see what happened after this book ended. 


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 147 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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