book round-ups, Christmas books

Christmasy Books 2017

No Book of the Week this week, instead I have some Christmas-themed books for you to read that are not new.  Some of these may come up on offers as ebooks in the run up to the big day – so if they take your fancy it might be worth adding them to your watch list.

Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen

The sixth book in the Royal Spyness series (yes I still hate the name) sees Georgie acting as a paid hostess (not like that you filthy minded people) at a Christmas house party to escape from her own relations in Scotland.  But when there’s a spate of seemingly unconnected deaths in the village, Georgie is convinced that something more sinister is going on and starts investigating.  It would probably work best if you’ve already read some of the other books, but if you haven’t, Georgie is 30-somethingth in line to the throne, daughter of a newly impoverished Scottish Earldom and trying her best not to be married off to a chinless foreign prince by her royal relations.  In order to avoid this, she needs to find a way of earning some money of her own or find someone rich to marry herself. Trouble is she’s fallen in love with the equally impoverished and somewhat secretive heir to an Irish title and there’s not a lot of jobs suitable for an almost royal, especially an almost royal with a scandalous actress turned socialite for  a mother. Enjoy!

One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis

A short but sweet seasonal novella about to ex-schoolmates sharing a ride back to their hometown for Christmas.  She’s always had a crush on him but he has reasons why she’s the last person he’d want to be with.  But being stuck in a blizzard with only his dog as a buffer between them sees secrets come out and a new way forward emerging.  This is part of Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay series, but I hadn’t read any of the other books when I read this and I enjoyed it just fine.  If you haven’t read any Shalvis before, my version had lots of first chapter (or two) previews for other books of hers two if you like it and want to dip your toe in and try more.

A Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan

Jenny Colgan has a Christmas novel pretty much every year – although I’m running a few behind (it’s only a three years since I mentioned trying not to buy this…)- usually a sequel to one of her previous novels.  They work best if you’ve already read the first one – or in this case two – books in the series, but they’re better if you have.  This is the third book about Rosie Hopkins and her sweetshop in the wilds of Derbyshire.  Helpfully it has a story-so-far catchup section at the start for newbies.  Despite the title, it’s not all festive cheer – and covers a difficult, but ultimately rewarding year in Rosie’s life.  I had a little sniffle at a couple of points – and although I had a problem with the portrayal of one character (the social worker), it was ultimately an enjoyably Christmassy experience.

I’ve already mentioned a lot of Sarah Morgan books this year – and in the last few months – but her Christmas romances are rotating through offers at the moment – so here is my review of Moonlight over Manhattan – but the Snow Crystal Christmas books and the Puffin Island Christmas book are also very good.

Chick lit, new releases, reviews

Easter Bonus review: Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery

I know, I know, it’s Easter, and I’m reviewing a book with Summer in the title!  But Easter is often the start of the holiday season – and this is my first really beach-y read of the year.

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery is the sequel to last year’s Little Beach Street Bakery (which was one of my Summer Reading suggestions last June).  As per, I’m reluctant to say too much about the plot – in case you haven’t read the first book – but we rejoin Polly and all the crew in Mount Polbearne, where there is a whole new set of challenges for them all to face.

When I read a book and love it, I almost always want more – I want to see how they get on after the happily ever after so to speak.  So I love a sequel – but I do get frustrated when their plot is basically breaking up the beloved couple and getting them back together again.  I’m a big fan of Jenny Colgan, and what I really like is that her sequels don’t do that to you.  There’s plenty of plot and lots of drama, but her couples are usually working their way through things together – as a unit.  Much more fun.

The supporting characters in this are also great – Polly’s friends are a hoot and there are a few new characters in this who work really well as well.  It made me laugh and it had me in tears, on a train OVER A PUFFIN for crying out loud* – so it must  be good.

My copy of Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery came from NetGalley – but I’ll be buying my own paperback – because I need it for my shelf of Jenny Colgan books.  And I need to lend it to my sister.  If you’re not on a book buying ban** you can get your copy from Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones (who are doing an extra 10% off for Easter) or on Kindle and if you’re going to an actual shop, I would expect it to be in all the supermarkets and WH Smiths at stations and airports too.

Have a Happy Easter – I find the best accompaniment to an Easter Egg is a good book!

*And had me googling “sponsor a puffin” when I got home.

** The Boy wasn’t happy when some more paperbacks turned up in the post the other day, so I’m not buying any more paperbacks until he’s got over it!