Home for Christmas – Camilla Isley

This book contains:

  • References to deceased parents
  • Difficult divorce involving a spiteful ex-wife.

Riven is an award-winning author going through a difficult divorce while trying to write his latest book. He’s hurting and he’s struggling to get more words on the page to keep his story’s going while his family is pestering him to spend Christmas with them since he’s hiding away from LA in a Ski Resort.

Wendy is a playwright from New York City, with a boyfriend who’s not around much and doesn’t fully support her career as being serious. With Christmas coming up and her mum not wanting to host the family Christmas, she takes charge to book a family get away for them in a Ski Resort.

When there’s a mix up about the lodge Riven is renting and both his family and Wendy’s arrive days before Christmas to spend a week there, all hell breaks loose. Suddenly two big families need to spend a week in 1 cabin that was already going to be tight fitting just one of them.

As the families spend the week together, Riven and Wendy struggle to get along and fight their growing attraction towards each other.

Riven and Wendy’s relationship with the will-they-won’t-they, getting together and how they work through things is amazing. It felt so insightful and had me siding with Riven when I’m often left siding with the female in the relationship.

I was often laughing at all the antics, but I was also loving the slow development of their relationship. The thoughtful speed at which Riven moves had me wishing more men could be like that. When in reality I’m sure there are plenty that do and that’s part of what infuriates us about them.

It’s a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed reading the whole time.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Giveaway – Win one of 5 ebook copies of Fool Me Twice at Christmas (open internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

The Amsterdam Affair – Kate Frost

This book contains:

  • references to a cheating spouse
  • behaviour that borderlines on emotional abuse/family violence
  • references to legal drug use.

Iris works as an Executive Assistant in York, although she wishes she had more time for her art. She studied art at university but never gave herself the chance. Instead, she settled for a 9-5 job that pays the bills including her mortgage.

Will, her boyfriend of 6 or 7 years, has just gotten a promotion that takes him to Amsterdam for a year. So of course, he accepts it and doesn’t tell Iris until they’re just a few weeks away from moving.

Iris is surprised when Will tells her they’re moving to Amsterdam, especially since she was expecting a marriage proposal. But she accepts it and moves with him deciding to use this surprising new year to figure out what she wants to do with her life.

Once there, Iris meets several new people, including Bram, and is reintroduced to her passion for art. When Will’s job takes a surprising turn, Iris is forced to make some tough choices, and all in the space of a few months, that will impact her life forever.

I always enjoy a story that involves the woman taking control of her life with the things that really matter to her. Especially at Christmas time.

The thing that I enjoyed the most, was the fact that all of Iris’s decisions were based on what would make her happy and feel satisfaction in what she was doing. Not love. While I of course love romances, I love it even more when the romance is an added bonus to making yourself happy.

At the end of the day, this is the best message I think we can pass on to anyone and everyone to help them have the best life possible no matter what else happens in their lives.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Kate Frost is the author of best-selling romantic escape novels (The Baobab Beach Retreat, A Starlit Summer, The Greek Heart, The Love Island Bookshop and The Amsterdam Affair), character-driven women’s fiction (The Butterfly Storm series and Beneath the Apple Blossom), and Time Shifters, a time travel adventure trilogy for children. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, where she also taught lifewriting to creative writing undergraduates.

Kate lives in Bristol with her husband, young son, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Frodo. As well as writing novels, she’s also the Director of Storytale Festival, a new city-wide children’s book festival that she co-founded in Bristol in 2019 with the ethos of making books accessible to all and encouraging children and teens to read, write and be creative. Kate feels incredibly lucky to spend her days writing and being immersed in books. Her first book with Boldwood will be published in March 2022.

Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of The Amsterdam Affair along with a bag of mini Stroopwafels (UK only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Fool Me Twice at Christmas – Camilla Isley

Chuck and Kate grew up in the same town with their families running their small towns major business, a chocolate factory. They were destined to marry and join the families while taking over the family business, just like their families want.

Leading into Christmas, Chuck and Kate head home to break the news to their families that they’ve broken up. Four months prior.

Except, with surprise after surprise, they can’t catch a break and keep delaying telling them. But with a family that keeps digging the hole deeper and deeper, it’s harder getting harder and harder to tell them the truth.

I had an absolute blast reading this. I love the Christmas season so that was always going to make me happy. Then add onto that a romance where the couple clearly wants to be together, yet with so many other competing forces, can’t be together.

As they muddled their way through the whole Christmas season, we saw them work through things no one was expecting and eventually figure out what they really wanted. It stirred up a lot of feelings, mostly because the emotions they were working through are ones almost all of us can relate to at one point in time or another.

Being able to experience them growing, changing, challenging their beliefs and being better as individuals and a couple felt magical. Definitely worth reading for that Christmas and romance magic.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading–duh!–cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies–popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Giveaway – Win 3x e-copies of A Christmas Caroline by Camilla Isley (open internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

A Christmas Wedding in the Cotswolds – Lucy Coleman

This book contains:

  • Mention of addiction and mental illness
  • Description of fraudulent activities.

Immi and Gray return to the Cotswalds with new drama now they’re engaged. We’re picking up about 6 months after the first book, Christmas at Lock Keeper’s Cottage, where Immi and Gray are juggling planning their wedding, planning the 10-year anniversary of the Santa Ahoy Cruises and the refurbishment of Lock Keeper’s Cottage.

While the first book spanned just a few weeks, this one spans the 6 months leading up to their wedding. We follow along as Immi and Gray manage their various workloads, grow as a couple and individually.

And of course, along the way there are some rocky patches that they have to work through.

I found this one to be quite an improvement on the first book. My main issue with the first book was the believability of Immi’s personality because she was just SO NICE.

Now, we see her make decisions, make a stand and in some circumstances, lose a little of that nice-ness I’ve come to associate with her. These small changes are all I needed for Immi to be more believable. And because of that, I was able to really relax and enjoy the story.

Not only did I get to enjoy the story, I got to experience the emotional turmoils you want to experience in a romance. And in this case, it was on so many fronts that it was hard to keep up with everything!

Yet it was balanced without becoming stressful.

And yes, I really did read a Christmas book in AUGUST! And yes, it’s Christmassy enough to start to get me in the spirit months out from the season!

Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

Worth Fighting For – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Welcome back everyone, I seem to be scheduling most of the AJ Williams trilogy on Saturdays!

We continue the story by picking up with AJ midst depression crash. In Lisa’s books all we knew was that he wasn’t responding to her and that his phone was broken, and his wife took his laptop charger with her. Reading AJ’s perspective was kind of shocking.

I know down swings can be bad, but I had no idea loss of time etc could be a part of it. The was Lasairiona was able to describe his emotional state of mind, his physical reactions and his general surroundings made me feel like I was standing next to him, seeing his house and what he looked like.

One of the things I liked about his opening book Game Changer, was that we got to see his thoughts throughout everything. That gave us the difference between Lisa’s trilogy and his. Yet it felt like we didn’t get as much of his thought processes this time.

When we did, it was usually him talking to himself to try and behave better, especially in his reactions to Lisa. Yet he often ignored his own advice. At least that’s what it felt like to me.

If you know you should act a certain way, or say certain things, then why would you? That reasoning was missing and jarred me a little bit coz it just made me hate AJ a little bit. Knowing what’s coming (kind of) in the final book next month means I can’t totally hate him. But I honestly couldn’t comprehend how someone could be so selfish and self-absorbed, yet somehow have so many friends and family love him so much.

It just didn’t make sense to me. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years.

Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation.

With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

A Stolen Christmas Kiss – A Collection of Short Stories

I was asked to review this book as part of Zoe Ann Wood’s collection of book bloggers. I decided to give it a read because I do love a Christmas romance, so having 8 short ones sounded pretty cool.

I’m going to review Zoe’s short story first, and in more depth because I wouldn’t have read it if it wasn’t for her. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love the others! I’ll also add, I had a hard time trying to pick a favourite. So hard in fact, I never ended up picking one!

Give me Snow and Mistletoe

I think the first thing we need to acknowledge with this story is that cyber stalking is very much a thing we’re all guilty of having done at some point. So it’s no surprise that both Eva and Noah participated in some light cyber stalking before a meddling grandmother conspired to get them on a date before Christmas comes.

I found myself laughing at some of the antics that happened while also feeling like the openness of the characters would never happen in real like. But hey, that shouldn’t get in the way of a sweet, short Christmas romance story! You know it’s going to be a bit faster than normal coz it’s a short story. It just wouldn’t work otherwise.

My only disappointment was the epilogue not giving me a description of the final local. That’s probably because I love reading those kinds of descriptions and love it when it can be described vividly. But that’s nothing compared to the rest of the book and purely a personal thing, nothing against the story.

Melting Mr Grinch’s Heart

I was a little hesitant about this story, but I ended up quite liked it. I’m with Amelia that Grinch’s should be made to love Christmas, so her battle to get Samuel to love Christmas is something I can totally relate to. This goes into my top 4 short stories for this collection.

Christmas of Second Chances

Sandra and Nick are more mature than most romances but at the same time, so sweet! It’s even a second chance romance! How many of those do you see? This goes into my top 4 short stories for this collection.

Christmas Chicken Ballad

Who falls in love with their best friends’ brother? Well, in this case it’s a big issue and the younger brother is pursuing his older sisters’ best friend. The fact that he’s a hot, bass guitarist for a successful band makes things a bit easier doesn’t it? This goes into my top 4 short stories for this collection.

Cruise Ship Christmas

When you go on a singles cruise you probably think you’re gonna hook up with some other cruiser’s yea? You don’t expect to fall for the staff and see a whole different side to a cruise while avoiding your family. This goes into my top 4 short stories for this collection.

Nipping at your Nose

I think this was my actual favourite story out of all of them. If I could have had this in a novel length story, I would totally read it. The way Austen and Zach immediately connect, but not necessarily on a sexual level is great. The way it develops was so sweet and so on point that I wanted more.

Santa Beastly

As sweet as this story is, I just didn’t buy into it at any point. I was left disconnected and left thinking that it was completely implausible. I find I can’t connect with a story if it’s not plausible. For me, it just didn’t quite make it.

On the Christmas Market

After losing her parents, it’s probably not the best idea to be jetting off to Slovenia. Especially at Christmas time with a group of seniors. The instant attraction and appreciation between Evie and Keller is amazing. But it’s their intellectual conversations that challenge each other that really makes this story. Although there’s some good lessons that can be learned from this short story.

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