Tuesday, November 30, 2021

A Little Christmas Spirit by Shelia Roberts

 Release Date - September 28, 2021

While there are romantic aspects to A Little Christmas Spirit, this really is just a warm-hearted holiday novel about a single mom and an older widower.

Since Stanley's wife died, he's been content to be a hermit within his home. Carol is tired of him hiding out and ignoring the holidays, so her ghostly self is ready to push him out of his comfort zone.

Single mom Lexi is doing everything she can to make her six-year-old son's Christmas as magical as possible. When Brock takes a big liking to their grumpy neighbor, Lexi gives up trying to stop it. If Brock sees Walter as his "grandpa," who is she to stop it?

While Walter begins filling the role of "Grandpa Walter" somewhat begrudgingly, Brock's persistence is starting to win him over. It may just be this young boy who will end up changing Walter's life and help him get back into an active lifestyle.

A Little Christmas Spirit is a delightful holiday novel. There is a touch of romance, but it's not the main focus. It happens later in the novel. It's really about Walter's growth and the realization that life has to go on with Carol's blessing. 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Forever Home by Elysia Whisler

 Release Date - November 30, 2021

After retiring from the Marines, Delaney is looking for a fresh start. Her plan is to open the motorcycle repair shop her dad dreamed of. With her plans laid out, she doesn't expect a neglected pit bull to become part of the deal, but the dog is as drawn to her motorcycles as she is, so it's hard not to fall for him.

When her late dad's vintage bike disappears, Delaney must turn to Detective Sean Callahan for help. The last thing she wants is to have to rely on him, but she must, and the attraction she feels is getting just as hard to ignore as her fondness for her new pet. Delaney's fresh start may have far more in store than she planned.

Forever Home is a soothing romance without a lot of added tension, which can get overplayed in some romances. That doesn't happen here. I loved that the focus is on character growth and not throwing obstacles in the way. 

It's more about Delaney finding her place in her new town and learning to rely on others. There's another character, who also starts to grow in this book, and I assume she'll have her own romance coming up. With the likable characters and quaint setting, Forever Home is the perfect romance for a cold snowy day.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins

 Release Date - November 30, 2021

After Sue Keller's father passes away, she struggles with grief. Her mother died when she was young, and her father was all she had left. She never had siblings or cousins to rely on. That's when she reunites with her nanny, Annie, a woman she barely remembers.

Annie is overjoyed to reunite with Suzy. Suzy was Annie's world, and she's missed her like crazy. Sue is happy to have someone from her past to talk to, but it's not long before Sue finds something that makes her wonder more about what Annie tells her. Is Annie really a kindly nanny, or is there a much darker side to this woman she barely knows?

The story is told from two viewpoints. Annie's side takes place in the late '90s, while Sue's recollections of the past mix with the current day. I found the switches were seamless and helped paint an intriguing look into both women's lives and emotional states.

I want to say that Nanny Dearest blew me away, but it didn't. It's a slow build to start, and there were times I really hated Annie, while other times, I simply felt sorry for her. Meanwhile, I often found myself perturbed by Sue's choices and naivety. The end is where I end up not loving the story. Without giving anything away, I wanted more. Read it, and you'll see what I mean.

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan

 Release Date - October 26, 2021

Christy and Alix have been best friends since they were young. When Christy's plans for the perfect Christmas in Lapland get a bit messed up, she does the best she can think of. She'll stay behind in England with her husband, Seb, until his business meeting ends and send her daughter to Lapland with Alix. Only, she also arranges to have Zac, Seb's best friend, accompany Alix and the rambunctious Holly.

Little does Christy know that Alix and Zac have a bit of a history together that has Alix panicking. The last thing she wants is to travel to Lapland with him. It's putting a strain on everything, including Christy and Alix's long-time friendship.

It's hard to find fault with this book's setting. As you read, you can imagine sitting in front of the fireplace with the snowy landscape just beyond the cottage window. I adored the setting, and it's not one that's often found in the romance novels I've read.

The characters are a little harder to like. There is a lot of drama going on. There's Christy and Alix's issues, Christy and her aunt's tension that seemed unnecessary to the overall plot, and then there are the challenges between Christy and Seb and Alix and Mac. It made what was aiming to be a light holiday romance into one filled with tension and so many misunderstandings.

I loved the setting and I liked seeing Alix grow, but I did find that Christy was a little harder to sympathize with for some of the story.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger

 Release Date - October 5, 2021

After a tragic childhood, Wren has reinvented herself. She has a popular advice column and supportive friends. All that's missing from her life is true love. When she connects to a man online, she thinks she's found Mr. Right. After meeting him and enjoying several dates, she thinks she's found the one. And then he disappears. All she has is a text message saying he's sorry.

Enter a private detective. Like Wren, he's trying to find this man. It turns out she's one in a long line of women who have been involved with this man and all have disappeared. Could her Mr. Right really be all wrong?

Last Girl Ghosted started strong. It bounced back and forth between Wren's past and present, but it's easy to keep up. Eventually, the story takes unusual turns and left me asking several questions as to whether I'd missed something while reading. 

It's still an absorbing suspense novel. For that, I can give it high praise. I just wish some aspects had been a little clearer.

The Road to Christmas: A Sweet Holiday Romance Novel by Sheila Roberts

Release Date - September 20, 2022  Sit down and explore the holiday season through four sets of eyes in Sheila Roberts' latest holiday...