Meet the McBride sisters who are preparing for Christmas at home in Scotland. Beth is married and a stay at home mother to two small children but contMeet the McBride sisters who are preparing for Christmas at home in Scotland. Beth is married and a stay at home mother to two small children but contemplating a return to an outside career. Oldest sister, Hannah, has a highly successful career that seems to keep her from the family but they believe she’s deliberately choosing to stay away. Both she and Beth live in New York but rarely see each other these days. The youngest sister, Posy, hasn’t strayed from home, helping their mother Suzanne run the local café and serving on the alpine rescue team. She’s getting itchy feet to spread her wings but doesn’t want to disappoint her parents by leaving.
I fell in love with this story and the McBride family. Mom Suzanne was counting on the holidays bringing the family together for the first time in two years but completely unaware of the conflicts her children were experiencing. Compounding all of that was the season being the anniversary of a tragic event that seems to have profoundly shaped all of them and continues to plague them. Each sister’s story was extremely interesting and combined just made for an intriguing experience. The event that had such a tremendous impact was revealed slowly, adding even more tension.
The narrator managed each character skillfully, including accents and dialects, creating distinctive individual identities. She added verve to a well written story that I just loved. It’s a delightful tale that deftly used the Christmas season to add emphasis to important themes regarding family, communication and self worth. I don’t normally re-listen to books but I think I will with this one. It clicked on every level and I didn’t want it to end.
(I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)...more
Margaret (Maggie) Carr is the housekeeper of Thornton Hall, located in the isolated woods of a small town in Yorkshire. It belongs to her deceased motMargaret (Maggie) Carr is the housekeeper of Thornton Hall, located in the isolated woods of a small town in Yorkshire. It belongs to her deceased mother’s cousin, Dr. Thomas Black, who’s supported her over the last five years. Maggie’s facing another pretty lonely Christmas until architect Josiah (Joss) Hale shows up in the middle of a snowstorm. See, Dr. Black is trying to do a little matchmaking at the request of Joss’s mother. He just forgot to let Maggie know a stranger was coming.
If you’re in the mood for a sweet but sensual romance story set during the Christmas season, this will warm you inside and out. Maggie’s an innocent but she’s also bright, witty and resourceful. Joss is a big man with an outsized personality, a talented architect who’s lived life fully. I wouldn’t characterize him as your typical rake as he’s unmarried only because he hasn’t found a woman who didn’t bore him to death. Things between the two of them do progress quickly as they’re stranded in the house for days but it worked in this story.
Campbell has created two interesting and likable characters that you want to be together. Their fun in celebrating an old-fashioned Christmas evokes all the right emotions for the season. I enjoyed everything about this one.
(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)...more
Edmund Sherritt, Major Lord Canforth, married his wife, Felicity eight years ago and two weeks later left to serveOriginally posted on The Book Nympho
Edmund Sherritt, Major Lord Canforth, married his wife, Felicity eight years ago and two weeks later left to serve in several war campaigns. Now he’s returning to a woman he fell in love with but was unsure of her feelings for him. It’s been a long time and he doesn’t know if she’s even interested in continuing their relationship.
This is such a lovely story, the Christmas season being an ideal setting for Edmund and Felicity to reunite. Their first encounter upon his return was also fitting, with no one else around and both "unarmed" as it were as neither was prepared for the moment. I liked how we were given both points of view to see where each was coming from as they sometimes awkwardly reacquainted with each other, taking small and tentative steps forward. It felt natural, authentic and endeared them both to me. In a short time, I got fully invested in these two and rooted for their relationship.
Edmund and Felicity's story was the perfect start to the holiday season. There’s nothing forced about their love for one another and it was poignant that these two were separated so soon after their marriage and not given time to express their feelings to each other. As usual, Campbell gives us some sensuality with her romance, making this an all around gem of a story.
(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review)...more
Serena Talbot has only had eyes and heart for golden boy Paul Garside as far back as she can remember. Now that she's twenty-one, he's finally payingSerena Talbot has only had eyes and heart for golden boy Paul Garside as far back as she can remember. Now that she's twenty-one, he's finally paying her the attention she's always wanted but the dark and broody Giles Farraday is distracting her from the man who's ready to marry her...in person and in her dreams.
Serena's grown up with both men as they were her brother's friends since childhood so she's knows them well, or so she thinks. The sprig of mistletoe she placed under her pillow brought the romantic dreams she was hoping for but not of the man she imagined.
I really liked this story, especially Serena. She's bright, resourceful and witty, easily someone that you can imagine both men finding appealing. She now sees the focus of her childhood affections through adult eyes and he's not so shiny. Her change in perspective made this feel like a modern story though it was very much a regency period piece in vernacular and setting. The banter between Giles and Serena was well written and pithy, the real heart of this tale of unrequited love that gets life. And, the spirit of the Christmas season was an important part of the story since everyone was under one roof for the holidays. That made for some very interesting interludes.
Short and lovely, this was a delightful story for the holiday season.
(I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review)
I only read You Can Count on Me by Roxanne St. Claire
This was a cute, snappy little story involving Lucy Sharpe's assistant, Raquel Durant, who has beI only read You Can Count on Me by Roxanne St. Claire
This was a cute, snappy little story involving Lucy Sharpe's assistant, Raquel Durant, who has been training to become a Bullet Catcher. Her first assignment is the protection of the 8-year old daughter of Grigori Nyekovic, a former Russian spy now an investor. She gets swept up in more intrigue when a priceless Fabergé egg in Grigori's custody turns up missing. It's part romp and suspense that escalates quickly. It's short and a perfect story for the very skilled Raquel and her new Russian interest. ...more