Since I am currently watching a blizzard happening outside my house, I thought it would be a good day to share a few mini reviews of some Christmas novels that I read this past winter. It’s pretty much insane that it is snowing today. It is officially spring and almost April! But I have to admit, it’s not surprising. Oh weather!
I love a good cozy, holiday read and these are fantastic for Christmastime or anytime of year really. Two of these are part of the Christmas Escape series which features several different authors writing stand alone novels set during the holidays. And the last one is a novella that Emma St Clair surprised readers with this past Christmas. I am ALWAYS up for an Emma read and this one was so fun!
Without further ado, today I’m reviewing these three great novel(la)s:
Cotswolds Holiday by Kasey Stockton
Faking Christmas by Cindy Steel
A Holly Jilly Christmas by Emma St Clair
Cotswolds Holiday: “When my ex-boyfriend sends me his wedding invitation eight months after breaking up with me, and the bride expects me to be in the wedding party, it’s time for my tried-and-tested party trick: disappearing. And nowhere is better to escape to than the cozy English Cotswolds in the middle of December.
Everything goes according to plan until I arrive in the Cotswolds. Snow is more slippery than I expected, my room is nothing like the listing described, and my pub owner landlord—well, he steps directly from my lumberjack fantasies and into my heart.
The only problem? I can’t fall for an Englishman who lives on the other side of the world from me. Not even one who has Dr Pepper on tap and kisses like it’s an Olympic sport. It’s much harder to run across the pond, and all good things must come to an end . . . but what if I can’t say goodbye?”
This book had me at Cotswolds. If you’ve been here long, you know how much of an anglophile I am. Set in the beautiful Cotswolds countryside in England, this is such a fun read! I loved the details about England in the winter and the cozy pub Christmas. Also loved the instant chemistry between Luna and Rhys.
Luna is an interesting protagonist. She was frustrating at times. And at others so kind and thoughtful. I enjoyed her budding romance with Rhys and seeing how she gains self confidence and personal strength thru the story. Also I think I would really enjoy her yoga youtube channel.
Again, there was great chemistry between Rhys and Luna with the perfect amount of passion and tension. Love when he follows her home for Christmas!! Would love to hear stories of other characters like Ruby and Callie. A fun Christmas read!
Faking Christmas: “One little white lie. That’s all it took. Now I’m suddenly having to fake-date my work nemesis to get me through a week at a Vermont Christmas lodge with my family.
The problem? I can’t stand Miles Taylor. Not only that, but I don’t date people I work with. But I can handle it. I’ve had practice faking my emotions for years. So it shouldn’t matter that Miles never lets me get away with anything. And that he happens to boil my blood hotter than a steaming pot of wassail. So when he throws his annoying grin my way or forces me on dates he knows I’ll hate, I’ll just grit my teeth and smile.
Or maybe not. Did I mention that Miles is the one person in the world I can’t seem to fool?
When my emotions begin feeling less like a sham and his arms feel way too comfortable, it makes me think that maybe Miles had a plan of his own. And I’m starting to like it a lot more than mine.”
I loved this book so much!! It was so cozy and fun. The setting is absolutely fantastic. I want to go to this Christmas cabin/lodge in Vermont! Montpelier sounds absolutely charming!
Great chemistry between Miles and Olive. Love their banter back and forth and the teasing and pet names. Great slow developing relationship that turns into something more. Fake dating turned into real feelings is a favorite trope of mine. And Cindy does it so well! Also I love that there wasn’t a big romantic misunderstanding. Just time and communicating and sharing how they feel with each other.
This story balanced cozy holiday fun with discussion of real, hard issues so well. We have all the fun Christmasy traditions you can think of from gingerbread house making to sledding to Christmas movies. But Olive and Miles’ story also has depth and hardships. Serious topics are tackled with grace and poise. Olive has lost her dad and is grieving him. Miles has trauma of his own in his past losing someone he loved. Love how they build each other up. So many swoony moments!
Such a fun Christmas romcom to finish out my holiday season.
A Holly Jilly Christmas: “My life is nothing like the movies we make at the studio where I work–especially not when it comes to relationships. Which means that there will be absolutely NO romance between me and Case, the grumpy exec I’ve had a crush on from our very first not-so-meet-cute. We’re simply two coworkers scouting the town of Sheet Cake, Texas as a location for filming. That’s it. Though, to be honest, I’m suspicious of why Case came on this trip at all.
Whatever the reason, there will be no Christmas magic, and definitely NO mistletoe kisses. But when Case actually starts talking to me–gasp!–and reveals the humor and kindness buried beneath his gruff persona, my little crush explodes into something a lot harder to hide. Except he’s harboring secrets of his own. And I’m starting to wonder if his cagey behavior is because he’s planning to take credit for my (admittedly brilliant) idea to make this town our central filming hub. He’s not that kind of man … right? All I wanted for Christmas was a promotion, and now I’m falling for the man who might be trying to steal it.”
A fun Christmas novella! What a fantastic surprise to get to read a new story from Emma! The highlight for me was definitely the Sheet Cake, Texas setting. I loved being back in Sheet Cake and seeing Tank and a few other favorite Sheeters. There is soomething just so endearing about this town and the people in it. So fun to see them at Christmas and of course they have the most darling decorations and traditions.
Sweet romance (of course!) and I loved the secret pining for years twist. Great chemistry between Jilly and Case. Her bubbly, optimistic personality is a fun contrast to his prickly, serious demeanor. But then we get to know him and I think most readers probably fell in love with his sweet side. Love their first swoony kiss! The goat attack was too funny!
I would have loved a few scenes from Case’s perspective just to develop his character more. His feelings feel like they come out of no where since we don’t know what he’s thinking until the end.
Will we see these two in future Sheet Cake set books? Hope so! Maybe some behind the scenes action on a Hallmark inspired movie being shot there in future? 😀
Overall a fun, cozy Christmas read! Thanks, Emma!
Hope you enjoyed these reviews of these fantastic Christmas novels! For the record, I think Christmas romcoms are great all year round. So grab a cup of hot cocoa (or a diet coke if you’re actually in spring!) and enjoy these cozy Christmas reads.
What are some of your favorite holiday novels?
Any Christmas romcom fans out there? Which are your favorites?