Random Acts of New Year – #10 The Random Series by Julia Kent

REVIEW

What a wonderful way to see in the New Year.  If you are a fan of Julia Kent and have read even one of the Random Series books then you want to read this.  Laugh, cry and cringe your way to the Ball Drop in Times Square.

This story is focused on Liam and Charlotte, don’t worry though because all the gang is here,  which means nothing is going to run smoothly.  Liam has something very special on his mind and big ideas for New Year’s Eve.  Will his well laid plans go smoothly or will some Random Act of Crazy happen?

I don’t think I have laughed so hard whilst reading a book in long time (well, probably since Feisty!) I love Darla and although this story wasn’t focusing on her she still managed to steal the limelight with Joe’s ‘issue’ and Mavis’s choking.  It’s amazing how this band stays together with all the arguing and bitching  but,  they do and we all very grateful.  Charlotte shows a new side to herself – literally! And both Liam and Charlotte find out that there’s more to their parents than meets the eye.

This book is being released on New Year’s Eve.  Grab it, read it, and let yourself have laughter-filled new year!

ARC courtesy of Julia Kent

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

New Year’s Eve. Times Square. I booked the room over a year ago, with the view of the ball dropping. I’ll propose to Charlotte and drop to my knee at the stroke of midnight.

At least, that’s the plan.

But nothing in my life ever goes as planned. Between a last-minute gig that takes me away from her, a blast-from-the-past boyfriend of Charlotte’s, and the resurrection of Esme the blow-up doll, I have to fight for my right —

To make her my wife.

Charlotte. Not Esme. Because that’s just gross, man. What’s wrong with you?

(https://www.prosaicpress.com/jkentauthor/books/the-random-series/random-acts-of-new-year/)

Miracle on 5th Avenue – From Manhattan with Love #3 by Sarah Morgan

REVIEW

I read the first two books in this series earlier in the year, but knowing that this was set at Christmas time I wanted to leave it until the season was right and I could get the full experience of it. I am so glad I did.  Curled up on the sofa with a blanket and hot chocolate, while festive decorations adorn the room and the feeling of holiday spirit is in the air is the perfect way to enjoy this book.

Eva Jordan is a life-long romanticist, she believes that there is someone for everyone and, even if you have found them and lost them, then someone else could be the one.  Christmas is her time. The decorating, the cooking, the feeling of closeness from family and friends. This year, however,  she is struggling with the lose of her Grandmother, fortunately she has a job that will keep her occupied and friends to keep her from falling apart.

Lucas Blade hates everything about Christmas. The joy, happiness and get-together’s couldn’t be furthest from his mind.  Holing himself away for the winter on the pretense of writing his book, Lucas delves into a world of misery and suffering over the death of his wife. When an unexpected house-guest arrives he knows there is more to her than meets the eye.  With the weather worsening, Lucas has no choice but to allow Eva to stay.

Can an overly enthusiastic, Christmas loving woman be what Lucas Blade needs to thaw his wounded heart or will the season of good-will be nothing more than cold and miserable.

I adored this book. I think out of the three girls, Eva is my favourite. She is a hopeless romantic with such a positive outlook on life. She knows her faults and is not afraid to own them.  She feels empathy for those around her and although it may appear that she lives in a bubble where nobody can do wrong, she is not completely naive about the world. Her passion and loyalty are something that Lucas needed to see and grab hold of because that type of love certainly does not come around very often.  Mitzy, Lucas’ Grandmother, is an awesome character. Devious in her plans to get Lucas out in the world again and seeing the potential that Eva can bring to her plans…naughty Mitzy!

Christmas must read!

Rating 5/5

Miracle on 5th Avenue

 

Alternate Cover

Synopsis

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn’t appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28590927-miracle-on-5th-avenue)

One Day in December by Josie Silver

REVIEW

Beautifully heartbreaking and heartwarming all in one.

Jack and Laurie’s story is a bittersweet love-triangle that becomes a complicated friendship.  Laurie is in love with a mystery man who she sees waiting at a bus stop and spends the next 12 months searching for. When Sarah, Laurie’s best friend, brings home her new boyfriend who she is head-over heels in love with, new boyfriend turns out to be mystery man. Jack and Laurie both deny knowing each other and try to be friends for Sarah’s sake. Not an easy task when feelings are involved.

Laurie is a steadfast friend and although she may have slipped up a couple of times, her heart was always in the right place.  Her friendship with Sarah holds a bond as strong as sisterhood and woe betide anyone who tries to get between them.

Jack tries to do the right thing.  He loves Sarah but he also knows that Laurie holds a certain place in his heart as well.  As the years progress, new loves are found and lost, friendships are broken and mended, and Jack and Laurie seem to be forever in the wrong places, both emotionally and physically, at the wrong time.

A beautifully written story that will leave you wanting more, or at least it did me.  Jack and Laurie embedded themselves into my mind and I could almost feel their pain and heartache with every year that passed. If this book was missing anything it was an epilogue.  I’m a sucker for wanting that final bit of happiness, the glimpse into the future, the happily ever after of all the characters and where they are one, five or ten years on, but that’s just me.  This is a definite winter warmer, curl up on the sofa with a mug of tea, book that you wont want to put down.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38255337-one-day-in-december)

No Match for Love Volume One Box Set: Miss Match, Not Your Match, Mix ‘N Match – No Match for Love #1-3 by Lindzee Armstrong

REVIEW

This is a lovely compilation of romance novels that begins the No Match For Love series.  Based around the workings of a match-making agency, Toujour, the stories bring together couples who may not have otherwise found each other.  Each story focuses on a different couple and follows the ‘will they, won’t they’ plot of a contemporary romance. You will also recognise characters from the other books and see them achieve their happily ever after.

If you want a series to get lost in on a cold winters day, curl up in front of the fire, pour a glass of wine and enjoy the flirty fun that comes when finding your ‘one’!

Rating 4/5

Synopsis

Miss Match Playing cupid may break her heart. With the matchmaking company she works for in decline, Brooke is desperate to sign Luke, her billionaire best friend, as a client. But Luke is more interested in capturing Brooke’s heart. Escape into this lighthearted romantic comedy today, which InD’Tale Magazine calls a “feel-good romance that will leave you swooning.”

Not Your Match Sometimes it takes dating Mr. Wrong to find Mr. Right. Dating the wrong people has convinced both Ben and Andi that what they really want is each other. All that’s standing in their way is a fake boyfriend, a jealous ex-fiancée, and being afraid to risk their hearts. Explore this emotionally-charged romance today!

Mix ‘N Match Fire and ice aren’t meant to mix. Zoey and Mitch couldn’t be more opposite. One passionate kiss has convinced them they’d never work. But two weeks in Paris could change everything. Take a trip to Paris in this fun-filled romantic comedy!

The No Match for Love series follows the matchmakers and clients of Toujour on their journeys to love. Each story can be read as a stand-alone, so start with whichever book catches your interest the most!

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31816677-no-match-for-love-volume-one-box-set)

The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

REVIEW

A truly stunning story of family unity, unconditional love, and facing untold fears.

Suzanne and Stewart used to love nothing more than climbing rock faces and mountains and delving into adventures unknown, that is until an horrendous accident claimed the lives of four people leaving three little girls with no parents. Moving back to Scotland, Suzanne and Stewart embark on the next adventure in their lives, following through on a promise and raising the girls as their own.

Hannah, Beth and Posy could not be more different if they tried.  Hannah is a workaholic with her head either in a book or staring at a spreadsheet. Beth is a stay-at-home mum with two young girls, a husband and what appears to be the ‘perfect life’.  Posy is the adventurer – who has never left home.  Each sister envies the others for the lives they live, their confidence and knowing just what they want from life. But, with the 25th anniversary of their parents death looming, the girls are going to find that what is shown on the surface is rarely what lies beneath.

I adored this book.  The bond between the sisters may appear strained and ready to snap but when they are needed they are there for each other.  The lives that they lead are so different but in the end they all want the same thing… to be loved. I really sympathised with Beth. Raising two boys there were many times that I wish I’d done what she did (I didn’t), being a mum can be very daunting but the rewards vastly outweigh the pressures and working as a team is vital. I never gave up work so I still had that adult contact but the overwhelming worry and protectiveness is always there. Hannah’s fears of love and rejection stem back to her early childhood and have ultimately effected her relationships with her sisters, parents and men. Posy is fiercely loyal to the only parents she has ever known, so much so that she dampens down her own wants and desires in favour of theirs. And all Suzanne wants is to see her children happy.

The story is beautifully written with wonderful characters that are easy to relate too. The men in the story are adorable! And each is perfectly suited to the woman they love. My heart did go out to Jason but he stepped up to mark and did Beth proud.

This is only the second book I have read by Sarah Morgan – ‘How to keep a secret’ was the first – but she is fast becoming one of my favourites. There is love and romance in this story but the main premise is the relationship between the sisters and overcoming the tragedy that shaped their lives.

Get the fire going, snuggle up with a hot chocolate and let the lives of The Christmas Sisters into your heart.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

The McBride sisters all have different reasons for finding Christmas challenging, but their adoptive mother is determined this year will be different. As the countdown to Christmas Day begins and the sisters return to their childhood home in the Scottish Highlands, arguments, connections and secrets start bubbling to the surface. The McBride family was made, not born – but will the sisters be able to make this the magical family Christmas their mother has always dreamed of?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39775954-the-christmas-sisters)

 

 

Christmas in the Snow by Karen Swan

Allegra Fisher lives for her career.  She works all the hours she can only taking time out to visit her sister or her mum.  No man deserves her time unless he can improve her profit margin.  When she meets Sam Kemp on a business flight she gives in to her basic needs with no intention of ever seeing him again, only to find out his is to work alongside her.

The town of Zermatt in Switzerland, holds more secrets than anyone realises.  When their lives become entangled again Allegra finds that she must keep her head both professionally and personally around Sam or she could lose her heart.  Trust versus loyalty. Who do you trust?  Who should you be loyal to?

 

REVIEW

Having to deal with arrogant men on a daily basis and being disappointed by men in the past, Allegra Fisher does not trust easily.  When Sam enters her world both personally and professionally she finds that the two worlds collide and not in a happy way.  Secrets are being kept and Allegra does all she can to find out the answers.  Her character is jaded and filled with mistrust but through the course of the story she has to learn to let go and trust in herself.

This is almost like two books mixed into one.  The story around Sam and her work makes for an exciting read and a good story in itself.  When you then mix in the story about her grandmother and the whole incident relating to her family in Switzerland, which again could be a book by itself, you have an intriguing and thought-provoking story. The relationship between Allegra and her sister Isobel is lovely.  After everything they have been through they know that they still have each other.  Their mother has Alzheimer’s and I found that this was written in well and conveyed the effects that the disease can have on the family.

A beautiful story set mostly in the picturesque background of the Swiss Alps with secrets revealed and love conquering all.

Dying For Christmas by Tammy Cohen

When Jessica Gold meets the enchanting Dominic Lacey on Christmas Eve she does not realise the course of events she is about to set in motion.  Now, trapped in his apartment, no way out, no communication with the outside world, and with no-one knowing where she is, Jessica is about to have the worst Christmas of her life.

 

REVIEW

I love a good psychological thriller, mainly because I like seeing if I can work the plot out before the reveal, and this one had me guessing most of the way through.  It is set in two parts – The time of Jess’s kidnapping and the time after she is found.  The series of events that unravels in the second part has you seeing the first in a whole other light but there is more hidden behind the scenes than is originally thought.

Needless to say, Dominic is not a nice guy. Yes, he has his kinky perversion which in itself is fine, each to their own, but as you find out more about him you realise that he really is just not nice.

Jess is not the sweet and innocent she makes out to be either, the mere fact that she goes with Dominic in the first place when she has a boyfriend at home leads to this conclusion. I wouldn’t say that she deserves what she gets but as learning curves go, it’s a huge, wide arc.

The introduction of the detective and following her thoughts and feelings is an interesting side story.

The only complaints I have about this book is the ending. I like a book to finish (unless it is a series).  What I don’t like is being left with questions and although there weren’t many I had to read between the lines to figure out the ending. For some it might ruin the feel of the story but for me I would have liked to have had a bigger epilogue, focusing on the Detective, as she does become a large part of the story, explaining what happened to some of the other prominent characters in the story, and also a bit more of Jess, not just the teaser we get.

An interesting, intriguing read with a Christmas twist.