Minute Reviews [20]

Posted December 10, 2017 by Kim in 3 Stars, 4 Stars, 5 Stars, In Review, Minute Reviews / 0 Comments

Minute Reviews

Today’s edition of Minute Reviews (aka Kim catches up on all the reviews she hasn’t written over the last two months or so) is all about holiday romance!

And if you want to do reviews like this REALLY easily, check out the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin! It’s amazing. Seriously.

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Minute Reviews [20]Our Totally, Ridiculous, Made-Up Christmas Relationship by Brittainy Cherry
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Holiday
Publication date: December 13, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 228 pages
How I got it: Kindle Unlimited
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

All families have secrets, and Jules Stone’s is no exception. Deciding not to follow in her family's Oscar-winning footsteps, Jules chooses to take a more behind-the-scenes career in one of the Top 10 Talent Agencies in Chicago. After being dumped five hours before spending Christmas with her dysfunctional family, she needs a plan to avoid their judgmental eyes.

Enter: Kayden Reece.

Kayden is the black sheep of his family, being the one actor drowning in a world of doctors and lawyers. Never really getting a jumpstart at his acting career or landing a big time role, he can feel his dad’s disappointment soaking into his spirit.

When Kayden gets a chance to meet and sign with a big name agent at Walter and Jacks Talent Agency, he’s ready to prove everyone wrong. Jules stumbles into the building in shambles, ugly crying, and begging to pay an actor a big sum of money to be her made-up boyfriend for five days, Kayden jumps at the opportunity—finally able to say he landed a role.

When secrets start to unravel, Kayden and Jules must learn that all families have their baggage, sometimes co-stars fall in lust, and it’s important to always have invisible mistletoe hanging around.

This holiday season join the two fake lovebirds as they partake in the role of a lifetime.

In Review My Thoughts

What could make a fake relationship book even better? Having it take place during Christmas, of course! This was my first Brittainy Cherry book, but I guarantee it won’t be my last. Our Totally, Ridiculous, Made-Up Christmas Relationship was so fun and delivered the feels I wanted so badly. If you’re looking for a holiday romance to make you smile and swoon, put this one on your list.

Jules and Kayden — what a great pair! Now, if I’m totally honest, Jules bordered on obnoxiously naive and maybe overly needly at times, but I still really liked her. It took me some time to get a read on Kayden, but even in the beginning I liked how he gave Jules the reassurance she needed. Jules’ family is beyond quirky — they really were something else. Somehow, despite their differences and even with dealing with her bonkers family and all their drama during the holidays, Jules and Kayden were a perfect fit. I just really enjoyed them and their story and all the feels that came with it. One of my favorite holiday discoveries of the season so far!

FAVORITE QUOTES

“Ha! See that’s the problem! When you guys are having meaningless sex, we girls are having hopeful sex! Hoping for a second date, a second call, and a second everything! You guys are making us hopefuls meaningless.” 

“I hate how they make you doubt how amazing you are.”

“So from the head master of the Meaningless Club to the head mistress of the Hopeful Club, I apologize on behalf of all the losers, users, dumbasses, dicks, fuckers, meatheads, nerds, liars, cheaters, and just plain idiots.”

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About Brittainy Cherry

Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing--poorly of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in! Brittainy lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family. When she's not running a million errands and crafting stories, she's probably playing with her adorable pets.

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Minute Reviews [20]I'll Be Home for Christmas by Jen McLaughlin
Series: Out of Line #5.5
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Holiday
Publication date: November 21, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Nothing could make me leave my family alone for Christmas—except maybe my father-in-law. I swore to Carrie I’d make it home in time, and I’m keeping that promise. One way or another…

I’ll be home for Christmas.

Some promises can’t be kept, and sometimes things just don’t work out. Finn is my world, my life. But when my worst nightmares come true, I’m faced with the impossible truth. Without him…

I'm lost.

In Review My Thoughts

It’s been years since I fell in love with Finn and Carrie and quite awhile since I caught up with them, so I was ridiculously excited to learn Jen was publishing a Christmas novella for them. It was SO GOOD to check in with them and see how their relationship has progressed over the years. The fact this checkin takes place at Christmas just makes it that much sweeter.

If you’ve read their story, you know these two haven’t exactly had it easy over the years. Their relationship was dramatic and fraught with oh so many bumps along the way. It’s nice to see them overcome all the things and still be deeply in love. The events of this novella threatened that once again, but it ended with happiness instead of tears. And feels. It had plenty of those, too.

If you’ve been a fan of the Out of Line series up until now, you’ll want to pick I’ll Be Home for Christmas up. It’s a short, sweet and sexy holiday book you won’t want to miss. Now I just need to make time for the next one in the series, On the Line. After getting a small taste of Ben and Sarah in this book, I’m ready for their story!

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About Jen McLaughlin

Jen McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes steamy New Adult books for the young and young at heart. Her first release, Out of Line, came out September 2013. She also writes bestselling Contemporary Romance under the pen name Diane Alberts.Since receiving her first contract offer under the pen name Diane Alberts, she has yet to stop writing. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

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Minute Reviews [20]I Will by Lisa Kleypas
Genres: Historical Romance, Holiday
Publication date: December 13, 2016
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Format: eBook, 96 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Andrew, Lord Drake, has been cut out of his father’s will because of his dissolute manner of living. To be reinstated, Andrew decides to pretend that he has changed his wicked ways.

As part of his plan, he wants to convince his father that he is courting a respectable woman with the intention of marrying her. The problem is, he doesn’t know any decent women, except for his friend’s spinster sister, Miss Caroline Hargreaves. He blackmails the reluctant Caroline into helping him, and so the charade begins...

In Review My Thoughts

I am so conflicted by my feelings for I Will. I think Lisa Kleypas is the queen of historical romance and I was so excited for this Christmas novella and I was loving it for the first, oh 70% or so. Spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.

I enjoyed Andrew and Caroline so very much… right up until the borderline non-consensual (almost) sex scene. It didn’t fit, it was unnecessary and it pulled me out of the story. I know this book is a reissue of a story released in a different time, one where readers might not react the same way I did now, but it’s still tough to look past. No means no, no matter who is doing the pushing and why someone is resistant. This isn’t the first time I’ve come across a similar storyline in an older HR novel, but it always surprises me and turns me off to the book. This time the heroine stopped short of actually assaulting the hero, which made it *somewhat* better, but it left me feeling pretty icky.

The events after that scene, and through the end of the novella, made me feel better about the whole thing. I just can’t entirely shake the way that scene made me feel. It really is a very good story overall, though.

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About Lisa Kleypas

Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She is a RITA award winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women's fiction. Her novels are published in fourteen different languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.

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Minute Reviews [20]Moonlight Over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan
Series: From Manhattan with Love #6
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Holiday
Publication date: November 28, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Format: eARC, 384 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

She'll risk everything for her own Christmas miracle...

Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list--dealing with Madi's temporary dog sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry.

Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi--how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple--he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide twenty-four-hour care. But there's nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel.

Ethan's kisses make Harriet shine brighter than the stars over moonlit Manhattan. But when his dog-sitting duties are over and Harriet returns to her own home, will she dare to take the biggest challenge of all--letting Ethan know he has her heart for life, not just for Christmas?

In Review My Thoughts

Sarah Morgan’s books just make me happy. I’ve only read a handful of them — something I need to work on — but the From Manhattan with Love series is everything I want in a romance novel. The latest book, Moonlight Over Manhattan, was absolutely no exception.

It’s no secret I think New York City is one of the greatest cities in the world. I’d live there in a heartbeat if I thought I could actually handle it. There’s a reason some of my favorite books and movies are set in NYC and that’s because it’s such a perfect romantic setting. It certainly was perfect for Harriet and Ethan’s story in this book. I absolutely adored Harriet. Ethan took a little more time, but I was happy to give him a chance because I am a total sucker for a grumpy hero.

I could spend a long time talking about how much I adored everything about Moonlight Over Manhattan, but I’m not going to. It was utterly delightful, leaving me with smiles, swoons and feels for days.

FAVORITE QUOTES

Optimists are like Christmas lights. They brighten everything around them.

“Quiet doesn’t mean you don’t have important things to say. Just that you might take your time saying them.”

“I don’t believe in ‘the one’. How can there only be one person for us? What if ‘the one’ lives in Peru and I’m in New York? How am I supposed to find him? I don’t think my internal GPS is that reliable.”

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About Sarah Morgan

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. She has been nominated 4 times for the prestigious RITA Award from the Romance Writers of America and has won the award twice. Sarah lives near London, England, and when she isn't reading or writing she loves being outdoors.

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Minute Reviews [20]Holiday House Call by Jen Doyle
Series: Calling It #3.5
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Holiday
Publication date: October 23, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press
Format: eBook, 149 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Dr. Karen Carmichael prides herself on being capable, optimistic and always in control. But even neurosurgeons have breaking points, especially as the holidays approach. When Karen finds herself on the side of the road, explaining to a cop that her less-than-stellar driving was due to stress and tears rather than too much booze, it's humiliating. When that cop turns out to be a one-night stand from her past, it's icing on the bad-day cake.

Officer John "Tuck" Tucker didn't expect to see Karen again after their night together. The circumstances may not be ideal, but convincing this beautiful, stubborn woman to get to know him with his clothes on is more fun than he could have imagined.

Karen swore she'd never fall for someone who risks his life for his job. She sees enough heartbreak at work without inviting it into her personal life, and she has no interest in becoming involved in the small town Tuck calls home. But despite valiant efforts to keep her walls up, her affection for Tuck is growing into something much stronger. With a life built around work alone looking less appealing by the day, Karen will have to take a leap of faith—and trust that Tuck will leap with her.

In Review My Thoughts

I’ve been in love with Jen Doyle’s Calling It series since I first picked up Calling It way back it 2016. (That seems SO LONG ago, y’all.) When I saw she was releasing a holiday novella, I knew I had to read it. It’s totally a read-in-one-sitting-with-a-giant-smile-on-your-face type of story and I just loved it.

Doctor Karen and police officer John originally met before this book starts, when they had a one night stand. The universe keeps putting them in each other’s paths and the chemistry between them is undeniable. But it’s just not that easy — is it ever? In a bit of a twist, Karen is the one who wants to keep things light and uncomplicated between them and John is the one looking for a relationship. I enjoyed that a lot. What ensues is a short but sweet and sexy romance between these two, who are perfectly suited for each other IMHO. It even nicked my feels a little bit along the way!

Fans of the Calling It series should definitely read this one, especially if you enjoy holiday romance. It can also be read as a standalone if you’re just looking for some swoony Christmas feels.

FAVORITE QUOTES

“I’m not asking for forever. I know we’re not even close to that. But I really like the idea of waking up next to you tomorrow morning. And maybe on other mornings after that.”

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About Jen Doyle

A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. Jen is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as a member of the New England Chapter, New Jersey Romance Writers and Music City Romance Writer chapters of RWA. She is represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

She has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as a Communications and Enrollment administrator in both preschool and higher education environments (although some might say that there is very little difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of the "some").

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Let's Chat

Have you read any of these books?
What’d you think?

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