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Of a self professed bookworm and geek girl.

Romancing the Holidays at Kensington, With Reviews

 
It's the most wonderful time of year... 
 
To be a book lover!  
 
And Kensington has a holiday romance to fit everyone's preference.
 
Make sure to scroll all the way to the end for a fabulous giveaway from Kensington.
 
 
Listed below are 6 Romantic Reads, 
3 even have Reviews!
 
 

 

All He Wants for Christmas

 

 


Kismet, Michigan, #4
Lisa Plumley




Genre: Contemporary Romance/Holiday
Publisher: Zebra Books
Date of Publication: September 30, 2014
Number of pages: 367

 

 

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe     eBooks
     iTunes
In Kismet, Michigan, Christmas is special: big fluffy snowflakes, sleigh bells, carolers singing. It’s a picture-perfect holiday—you just have to choose who’s in the frame…

Jason Hamilton is on thin ice with the board of his toy company. The young CEO may be a kid at heart, but his party boy reputation requires damage control. So Jason’s off to Kismet to inspect a model store, stay on Santa’s Nice list, and stick to business—no goofing around. Which is too bad, because the store manager, Danielle Sharpe, is the definition of what makes Naughty fun…

Danielle is thrilled to show off her thriving little toy store—especially if it’s her ticket out of Kismet. The single mom is tired of manufacturing cheer solo while her ex-husband has all the fun. But if she’d known Jason was this hot, she wouldn’t have offered to host him. With Jason in her house, Danielle is getting warmer than spiked cider. She’s supposed to impress him with her expertise, not daydream about catching him under the mistletoe. Now whatever she does, she can’t get swept up in the magic…

Review: 

I am a sucker for Christmas stories and though I don't normally like to pick up in the middle of a series, I figured I would give this one a go when I saw it on Netgalley. I just fell in love with that snowman and his purple scarf on the cover. Living in Florida means that we don't experience the joys of building snowmen, so I have to enjoy them vicariously.

This was a great feel good Christmas read. We have the womanizing bad boy CEO Jason, who though he plays up the image, is much more of a good family guy than he likes to admit. Then there is Danielle, divorced single mom, who likes to downplay that she is a bit of a rebel. She disregards irrational company policies and uses her organizational skills to make her tiny store one of the best in the country. There is even an evil villain in the mix; the head of the board of directors of the toy company out to oust Jason and has no problem using Danielle to get the job done.

Take two people highly attracted to one another, make them keep secrets from one another while trying to withstand the machinations of the board of directors. Add three cute kids, a town full of classic holiday activities and mix thoroughly. It's a combination for a great story. Other couples are mentioned, hinting at some back story, but it wasn't enough to feel like part of the story was missing. On a personal note, like Danielle's oldest daughter, I too got a 'Mom's New Boyfriend' at about that age, and it was amusing to see some of the same attitude and stunts that I played on my soon to be step-dad. This really helped to ground the story in reality for me, while losing non of the holiday charm. I gave it 3 stars.

Author Bio:

 


When she sat down to write her first book, LISA PLUMLEY expected the process to be easy. Three tries and several years later, she realized it’s not easy—but it is the most fun to be had outside of shoe shopping. Now the bestselling author of more than a dozen books, Lisa lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and two children. She invites readers to visit her website, www.lisaplumley.com, for previews of upcoming books and more.
To connect with the author online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



 

No Christmas Like the Present

 

 


Sierra Donovan



Genre: Contemporary Romance/Holiday
Publisher: Zebra
Date of Publication: October 7, 2014
Number of pages: 256

 

 

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe     eBooks
     iTunes     
Lindsay Miller is knee-deep in Christmas cards and homemade fudge, but she’s never felt more like a Grinch. Why can’t Christmas be full of magic, like in her favorite movie, A Christmas Carol…?

…Enter Fred, a sexy and eccentric stranger who arrives at Lindsay’s door out of the blue. Dressed like he just stepped out of a Dickens novel, complete with British accent, Fred claims he’s a Messenger, sent from “Headquarters” to help her discover the joy of Christmas. But is Fred an angel from above—or just stone cold crazy?

Fred’s used to dealing with skeptics. Telling a stranger you’ve been ordered to inspire holiday cheer is a tough sell. But there’s a further complication. Fred’s mission is to help Lindsay right the wrongs from her past that have been holding her back. But somehow along the way, they’ve become wildly attracted to each other—and falling in love is not part of the plan. Fred only has ‘til the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve to guide Lindsay to the magical future she deserves—even if it’s a future without him…


Author Bio:

Sierra Donovan lives with her husband and two children in Victorville, California. Readers can visit her website at www.sierradonovan.com.
To connect with the author online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Christmas in Cowboy Country

 

 


Janet Dailey



Genre:  Contemporary Western Romance/Holiday
Publisher: Zebra
Date of Publication: September 30, 2014
Number of pages: 336




Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe     eBooks     iTunes
The greatest gift is love…

Ski instructor Annie Bennett doesn’t have time to miss the twinkling lights and holiday parties in Aspen and Vail. With her older brothers gone and winter just around the corner, her parents need help with their sprawling Colorado ranch. The most wonderful time of the year isn’t always easy for a lot of the folks in their town, but Annie does her best—until the tall, dark, and rugged surveyor on their neighbor’s land becomes a potent distraction…

Wyoming born and bred, Marshall Stone is a practical man. But there’s something about Annie that’s as wild and sweet as the mountain wind. He doesn’t want to tame her. Just love her. Annie Bennett is all he wants for Christmas. And for always. But she’s too wary to believe he means it. Until he takes her in his arms and explains without saying a single word…

Review: 

Janet Dailey is one of the iconic writers of the western romance. I read in an interview that she was one of the first American authors to be signed to England based Harlequin romance and helped create the strong, independent leading ladies we all know and love today.  And that's what this book was about: stong, independent ladies.  This is the story of the romance of Annie Bennett and Marshall Stone, mostly yes.  But it's all the story of Nell Dighton, Elsie Pearson, Cilla Rivers and Bree Rivers. Strong women all.  Through their relationships with one another, they support one another and remind us that we are stronger together.

After recently reading a fairly disappointing holiday western romance, I will admit to being a bit gun-shy with this one.  And there were a few times where the character change wasn't smooth or I felt like not enough time/detail was spent on a scene. But on the whole, it was enjoyable.  The romance developed over several weeks from a little before Thanksgiving through Christmas.  They did have a couple of heated moments, but other than that, the smexy was limited.

Not only was this a holiday western romance, but there was a tiny bit of suspense as well.  So while we know much of what is going on, most of the characters are piecing things together and remain in the dark for most of the book.  This added a bit of zing to the book, watching the misunderstanding and missed opportunities happen. If you are wanting to be able to share a book about love, family, and sisterhood with a woman in your life, be it your mother, grandmother, aunt or sister, I would give this book a try. I gave it 3 stars.

Author Bio:

Janet Dailey’s first book was published in 1976. Since then she has written more than 100 novels and become one of the top-selling female authors in the world, with 300 million copies of her books sold in nineteen languages in ninety-eight countries. She is known for her strong, decisive characters, her extraordinary ability to recreate a time and a place, and her unerring courage to confront important, controversial issues in her stories.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Goodreads


 

Huckleberry Christmas

 


Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill, #3
Jennifer Beckstrand




Genre: Amish Romance/Holiday
Publisher: Zebra
Date of Publication: October 7, 2014
Number of pages: 352

 

 

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe     eBooks     iTunes
Now that they’ve happily married off two of their grandchildren, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next matchmaking challenge. What better way to celebrate the most heartwarming of seasons—and make Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, the place for unexpected love…

A difficult marriage has left the Helmuths’ widowed great-granddaughter, Beth, finished with wedlock. She’s content to live with them and make a life for herself and her toddler son. But once she turns down handsome Tyler Yoder’s proposal, it seems only fair to encourage him to find a suitable wife. Trouble is, his gentleness and generous ways are showing her how joyous a real meeting of hearts can be...

After a failed courtship, Tyler thought the best he could hope for in a wife was mere companionship. But spirited Beth is the one he longs to protect, and hold close. Earning her trust is the hardest thing he’s ever had to do. And soon, both will discover that forgiveness and understanding are gifts that only rekindled faith—along with the happiest of holidays—can bring.

Author Bio:

 

Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and the Forever After in Apple Lake series, set in two Amish communities in beautiful Wisconsin. She has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth. Jennifer has a degree in mathematics and a background in editing. She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and two adorable grandsons, whom she spoils rotten. Readers can visit her website at www.jenniferbeckstrand.com

To connect with the author online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


 

Santa's Secret

 

 


Serenity Woods



Genre: Contemporary Romance/Holiday
Publisher: Kensington
Date of Publication: December 1, 2014
Number of pages: 153

 

 

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe     eBooks     iTunes
Will the magic still be there when they wake on Christmas morning?

Having long since lost his Christmas spirit, Rudi comes to Santa’s Secret Village looking to sell the resort. His seven-year-old daughter already knows the truth about Santa, and neither of them is particularly in the mood for the festive season.

Practically a recluse since the death of her husband, Eva’s not looking for romance. Her trip to Santa’s Village is for the sole purpose of making Christmas more festive this year for her young son. But Eva brings an unexpected sparkle to Rudi and Isabel’s lives that renews their belief in the spirit of Christmas. As the weather grows colder, things heat up between Rudi and Eva. But will the magic still be there when they wake on Christmas morning?

Review: 
I am a sucker for a good holiday book. I can't help it. The holidays are the one time that I am totally okay with a good smaltzy read. I saw the cover of this book on Netgalley and after reading the blurb went ahead and grabbed it, being auto approved for Kensington books.

What the blurb doesn't say is that this story is set in Finland. The male protagonist is Finnish and the female is from New Zealand via the UK. Rudi has a 7 year old daughter and Eva has a 3 year old son. Rudi is divorced and Eva is widowed. They are at Santa's Secret Village for very different reasons. Rudi is there to reconnect with his daughter and evaluate the resort, deciding whether or not to sell it Eva is there to escape from the mildly suffocating presence of her In-Laws and enjoy a quiet Christmas with her son. Neither was expecting to find love.

This was a surprisingly sweet yet steamy read. The tone of the book reminded me very much of the old Betty Neels books that I used to read, but with much more explicit smexy times. It was a refreshingly different read. Enough so, that I will be taking a look at some of the author's other works; specifically her 2 free reads: Stranded With a Scotsman & Treat with Caution. This earned 3 stars from me.

Author Bio:

Serenity Woods lives in the sub-tropical Northland of New Zealand with her wonderful husband and gorgeous teenage son. She writes fun, flirty, sweet and sexy contemporary romances. She would much rather immerse herself in reading or writing romance than do the dusting and ironing, which is why it’s not a great idea to pop round if you have any allergies.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads




If the Shoe Kills

 


Tourist Trap Mystery, #3
Lynn Cahoon




Genre: Cozy Mystery/Holiday
Publisher: Kensington
Date of Publication: November 10, 2014
Number of pages: 216

 

 

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     OmniLit     eBooks     iTunes
The tourist town of South Cove, California, is a lovely place to spend the holidays. But this year, shop owner Jill Gardner discovers there’s no place like home for homicide…

As owner of Coffee, Books, and More, Jill Gardner looks forward to the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers. But when the mayor ropes her into being liaison for a new work program, ‘tis the season to be wary. Local businesses are afraid the interns will be delinquents, punks, or worse. For Jill, nothing’s worse than Ted Hendricks—the jerk who runs the program. After a few run-ins, Jill’s ready to kill the guy. That, however, turns out to be unnecessary when she finds Ted in his car—dead as a doornail. Detective Greg King assumes it’s a suicide. Jill thinks it’s murder. And if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, a spoiled blonde wants to sue the city for breaking her heel. Jill has to act fast to solve this mess—before the other shoe drops…


Author Bio:

Lynn Cahoon is a multi-published author. An Idaho native, her stories focus around the depth and experience of small town life and love. Currently she lives in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and two fur babies.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Giveaway: 

Six Book Bundle of all the above Contemporary titles in either Print or Digital Format




Source: http://judy-ree.blogspot.com/2014/12/romancing-holidays-at-kensington-with.html