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Posted December 8, 2013
Plot spoilers, we dont care that you got your book from the publisher, or from arc or wherever, please stop revealing the entire story in your review. You may have gotten your book for free, but we have to buy our book, and when you tell everything, you ruin the book for other readers. Please stop.
11 out of 16 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 3, 2013
Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream:
REVIEW: A cute little feel-good story. Although predictable, it still made me go all teary-eyed one moment and smile the next. I enjoyed this quick read with its steamy romance.
Kristen Ashley, Every Year
REVIEW: This lovely story was about 24 hours of a CHAOS family Christmas. For those who have read the books, it is Shy and Lan’s first happy family Christmas since they were children. The story was warm, heartfelt and still packed in some hot romance. I loved it.
Hope Ramsay, Silent Night:
REVIEW: This was a rather melancholy story with a happy hopeful ending. If you like stories about fate and destiny, then you will like reading how they found not only each other on Christmas Eve but that dreams do come true.
Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas
REVIEW: This was a cute little story showing how opposites do attract. I liked it but wish the characters were more developed.
Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas:
REVIEW: This was one of those little romances that make you go awww and leaves you smiling.
NOTE: Each author also added an excerpt from their upcoming novels. They were a nice little peek into what is coming.
***ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 5, 2013
Posted April 11, 2014
My past rps: <br>
~ Jaystorm of StoneClan<br>
~ Ivytalon of EverClan <br>
~ Coalflare and Eagleflight of LavaClan<br>
~ Kourra and Vorruna of several Star Wars rps<br>
~ Summer Dawn of 'ism'<br>
~ Dashwind of LightningClan<br>
~ Raptor (several places)<br>
~ others I can't remember<p>
Current rps: <br>
~ Ashenheart of BirchClan<br>
~ Dusk Shadow of 'ism' and 'patb'<br>
~ Dusk (anywhere else)
Posted February 17, 2014
I just love Christmas anthologies and A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER was better than most. It starts off strong, sweet and romantic with Jill Shalvis's DREAM A LITTLE DREAM (Lucky Harbor novella) where broken-hearted firefighter Ian O'Mallery gets a second chance to prove their love is worth keeping to salon owner and commitment phobic Melissa Mann after a near fatal accident.
Next in EVERY YEAR (A Chaos novella) by Kristen Ashley we're given a great story about the happy, healing power of the Christmas spirit and the love of family as the Allen's share their Christmas traditions with Shy and Landon Cage.
Then in SILENT NIGHT (Last Chance novella) by Hope Ramsay she offers a sweet story of two people, Maryanne Carpenter,a young homeless mother and attorney, Daniel Jessup, who has lost everyone he loves, alone and lost in the world. The miracle of them finding each other is well-written and very touching.
Then in Molly Cannon's HAVE YOURSELF A MESSY LITTLE CHRISTMAS (Everson, TX novella) was a cute story about bachelor Lincoln Jones. An accountant with a sharp eye for books but scattered house in need of professional organizer, Dinah Mason. This one was a little rushed at the end, but sweet.
Lastly in A FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS(Tallgrass novella) by Marilyn Pappano gives a story about cute little Christmas elf and war widow, Ilena Gomez who expects to spend Christmas alone with her infant son. But when handsome new pediatrician, Jared Connors moves to town he is immediately smitten and despite his parents plans for his future, he has other plans in mind with her and her son.
~ I received this ebook free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Posted January 26, 2014
These were good and fun to read, but not great. I really enjoyed Kristen Ashley's part, but the others were just okay. It's always nice to catch up on your favorite people, though.:)
+Copy provided via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Posted January 10, 2014
I purchased this book for the Kristen Ashley story and was a little disappointed. I realize it was a short story, but it lacked the depth that makes Kristen Ashley's stories so great. I read a couple of the other stories and had no problem switching to another book. Luckily it wasn't very expensive.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 30, 2013
Dream a Little Dream (Lucky Harbor #8.5) by Jill Shalvis ~ 5 stars
I loved, LOVED this story!!! Then again I'm a fan of Jill Shalvis and especially her Lucky Harbor books.
Melissa is not one to commit and even though, or maybe especially because, she has developed some feelings for Ian she wants to keep her distance from him. Fate had other plans, unfortunately. After a rather dangerous turn of events Melissa admits she needs Ian in her life. Now the problem was in trying to convince him of getting together with her after she rejected him.
Through funny moments, entertaining dialogue and inner musings, Jill Shalvis brought Ian and Melissa's connection to the page. They already had the basis of it, they just had to admit to what they were feeling and let it bloom. And bloom they did! Their chemistry jumped off the page and when they finally, FINALLY got together it was as wonderful as all the other events that took place throughout the story.
Short, but sweet with all the elements I've come to expect of her stories, Dream a Little Dream was my favorite of the set of stories.
Every Year (Chaos #2.5) by Kristen Ashley ~ 5 stars
I enjoyed visiting Shy and Tabby and the Chaos family, including Shy's brother, Landon. It was good to see Shy and Tabby moving forward in their relationship, but I mostly enjoyed knowing more about Shy and Landon.
As told in Own the Wind , Shy and Landon didn't have the greatest moments after their parents' murder. It was touching to see how deeply their hurt was, especially over the holidays. I was especially glad to see how they made the effort to let go of the past and enjoy the moment they shared with their new-found family.
All in all, a great addition to the Chaos series with sweet, tender moments and of course some funny and lustful one's too!
Silent Night by Hope Ramsay ~ 2 stars
I had a hard time getting through this story. Maybe is was the insta-love concept, the setting or the characters, I can't put my finger on it. On the one hand it was sweet and 'holiday-ish' with its barn and the baby and Mary, which set the mood. But on the other there was the conflicting emotions of two characters that spent most of their time thinking for themselves and not communicating with each other. And if they did, it was implied which kind of turned me off the story because I had nothing to hold on to when I was looking to connect to them.
Although the story was not for me, Silent Night was still a sweet story about a man and a woman finding a chance to start anew together.
Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas by Molly Cannon ~ 3 stars
This was a fun story. I enjoyed the heroine's humor and watching Lincoln all flustered over his attraction to her and having his stuff organized. I wish I had seem them interact a bit more, but at least their chemistry was great. Although I didn't connect to them fully, their banter was entertaining and enough to keep me interested in the outcome of their story.
All in all, a fun holiday read.
A Family for Christmas by Marilyn Pappano ~ 4 stars
This was a nice story to read. I enjoyed learning Ilena's story and watching her open up to new possibilities with Jared, the new doctor in town. Their interactions were fun and entertaining and their connection although not completely explored, was developed enough for me to at least believe that they had a chance at something. I would have preferred to see them interact a bit more before emotions came into play, but other than that I wouldn't change anything about them coming together.
All in all, a heartwarming story of new beginnings for two people who were not looking for a relationship.
*I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.
Posted December 30, 2013
Reviewed by Kim
for Read Your Writes Book Reviews
Dream a Little Dream ~ REVIEW
I will admit, I'm behind on reading the Lucky Harbor Series. But I must also admit that this was a really good read to return to Lucky Harbor with. I don't know if Melissa and Ian have been mentioned in the other books, but I immediately fell in love with them.
Melissa and Ian share a history. In fact, up until six months ago, they were friends with benefits until Melissa broke things off out of fear of committing too much to Ian. But when tragedy strikes, Melissa starts to question her past and decisions that she has made. Now, she's on a mission to win the heart of the man she loves and knows will always be there for her. This Christmas, Melissa and Ian's hopes and dreams are about to come true.
Every Year ~ REVIEW
Every Year is the first book I’ve read from Kristen Ashley. I have to say, I like her writing style, but I’m not a fan of the story. While I found the story to be enjoyable, I think I would have liked it better if I would have been familiar with the characters, from reading the first book in the Chaos Series, Own the Wind.
Told in first person by Tabitha (aka Tabby), Every Year is more of the story of Tabby and Parker’s (aka Shy) first Christmas together as a couple. I have a feeling that I’m missing a lot of background info, since these two have some sort of past that maybe they saved each other from. What I do get is that Shy and his brother Landon had a less than ideal childhood, after their parents were killed. As a result, Christmas wasn’t always good for them but they are slowly working on being happy and realizing that they have a right to be happy.
Another thing that I’m sure of is that Tabby is extremely thankful and in love with Shy, just as he is she.
Silent Night ~ REVIEW
Taking a wrong turn is about to lead Maryanne Carpenter to the man of her dreams. Maryanne is a single mother who is more than down on her luck. She doesn’t have any money, she has a crappy old car and has just been kicked out of her apartment in Alabama. With no where else to go, Maryanne is making a Christmas Eve journey to Last Chance, South Carolina hoping that her cousin, whom she hasn’t seen in twenty years still remembers her and will allow her to stay with her.
Daniel Jessup is a divorced lawyer living in Atlanta. Originally from Last Chance, Daniel is back on this Christmas Eve to just escape Christmas and the ghosts of his past. He’s also preparing to put his family’s farm on the market. All in all, Daniel is just a man who is more or less just surviving life instead of living it.
After running out of gas, Maryanne ends up walking to what she believes is the Carpenter farm, only to find no one home. When the rain becomes heavy, Maryanne takes shelter in a cold drafty barn. Maryanne and Daniel’s paths cross when Daniel hears baby Joshua’s cries and goes to investigate. Upon seeing the strangers, Daniel invites the two into the house. By Christmas Day, these two strangers will realize that the other is just who and what they need for their lives to be happy and complete.
While in the end Maryanne and Daniel don’t proclaim their love to each other, you do get the feeling that one day down the road once they’re lives are sorted out they will. And surprisingly for me, that’s good enough at the moment.
Hope Ramsay’s Silent Night is a wonderful read. The story will tug at your heart, but in a good non-heartbreaking way.
Posted December 29, 2013
I am a sucker for Down and Out Christmas stories. I don't particularly like this holiday but I love HEA stories. These stories don't let me down. I am glad I read them because I found 2 new authors. Now to keep my eyes peeled for more books by these authors!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 28, 2013
***This book was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***
Dream a Little Dream by Jill Shalvis
Mel and Ian were both likable characters who were good together, but they’d met at a time when they needed different things. But things change, and when their paths cross again six months later, Mel and Ian are given a second chance.
This was such a sweet read about how one moment can make you rethink the path your life has taken and what you could have done differently. Mel and Ian had obstacles in their personal life they needed to overcome. Ultimately, it was Ian’s patience with Mel and Mel helping Ian see that it’s not his job to save everyone that allow them to heal.
This was my first Jill Shalvis book, and I’ve been wanting to try something of hers. I will definitely be delving into her back list!
Every Year by Kristen Ashley
And that’s how it’s done.
I should have know that if anyone’s Christmas story was going to really move me, it would be Kristen Ashley’s.
This may have been Shy and Tabby’s little story, but The Christmas Spirit really stole the show in this one. It was such a heart-warming story about restoring that feeling Christmas brings for people who’ve lost it, and in typical KA fashion, she’s done it flawlessly. And with steam! Lord knows how much I love my KA steam!
KA fans aren’t going to want to miss out on this one, as she still brings that depth that’s in her longer stories to this one!
Silent Night by Hope Ramsay
While I enjoyed this story, I couldn’t help but think it was a bit of a missed opportunity.
Both characters had pasts that were quite traumatic, and had they been given a longer story, I think I would have enjoyed it more. Maryanne was quite judgmental. I understand why, to a degree, given her past, but I needed more information in order for her character to become likable. I just never quite got there.
I did appreciate the message in the story: no matter how bad you think things are, they could always be worse–and usually are–for someone else.
Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas by Molly Cannon
I thought the concept of this story was cute, but the heroine was too wishy-washy for me and the love scenes were more PG that I prefer. I don’t think there was much depth here, or rhyme or reason to why the her and heroine fell in love.
A Family for Christmas by Marilyn Pappano
I’m sorry to say this last story just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t feel a connection between the characters; it felt almost like anyone would do for Ilena, and Jared just happened to come along. There was no chemistry between the characters.
I do, however, think Jared was very likable and had an interesting backstory.
Overall, this was simply an OK read for me. The only standout in the bunch was Kristen Ashley’s story. I thought that one was a five star read. Jill Shalvis definitely got my attention with her short story, so I’ll definitely be checking more of hers out!
Posted December 27, 2013
Posted December 27, 2013
Title: A Christmas to Remember
Authors: Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsey, Marilyn Pappano, Jill Shalvis, & Molly Cannon
Publisher: Forever Yours
Genre: Romance, Anthologies, Women Fiction, Chit Lit, Novellas
Tags: + Anthologies / Collections, + Seasonal / Holiday
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Series: Chaos #2.5-Last Chance #6.5-Lucky Harbor #8.5-Everson, Texas #0.5-Tallgrass #1.5
"A Christmas to Remember" by four various authors was a short sweet Christmas anthologies that will really get you in mood for this holiday season. We are presented with five wonderful heartwarming Christmas reads as each of these authors will put you right into there unique stories. I found each character was very well developed, colorful with only one thing...a message for all.
Here are the titles:
Dream and Little Dream: Jill Shalvis...Will Melissa be able to get her sexy friend Ian back?
Every year: Kristen Ashley...Will the Cage brothers finally get a gift of lifetime?
Silent Night: Hope Ramsay...Will Maryanne be able to start over in "Last Chance?"
Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas...Will Lincoln finally let the professional organizer do her job?
A Family for Christmas: Marilyn Poppano...When the new doctor comes to town will Illena be able to get her secret Christmas wish?
To get the answers to all of these question you must pick up the beautifully written stories to see how each author will present it to the readers.
Be prepared for some wonderful stories that are so perfect for the Christmas holiday season and that I would definitely recommend to you.
Posted December 26, 2013
This is just parts of books so if you want to pay for a forward of a book than pay for this. I wanted a book to read not parts of other books. Didn't even finish it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 25, 2013
"A Christmas To Remember", an anthology of short holiday stories by Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon and Marilyn Pappano.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this anthology via NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest reviews.
"Dream A Little Dream" by Jill Shalvis
This short story is set in Lucky Harbor, WA. I am a fan of the Lucky Harbor series and I always enjoy visiting this little town. Melissa and Ian had a "friends with benefits relationship until Mellissa called it off because she was scared to risk her heart by taking the relationship to the next level. I an is in love with her and regrets her breaking it off. There's a fire, a rescue, soul searching for both of them and a Christmas puppy to help them celebrate their love.
"Every Year" by Kristen Ashley
I found this story to be a little confusing as I haven't read any of the Chaos books before this story. The cast of characters is quite large and any backstory would have been too lengthy to get a reader up to speed. Also, I got tired of Tabby calling Shy "my man". The best part of the story was that Tabby's family was able to give Shy and his brother, Landon, something they hadn't enjoyed for many years - a family Christmas.
"Silent Night" by Hope Ramsay
A sweet story that is set in South Carolina. Maryanne is a broke single mom who decides to take her son, Joshua, to visit her cousin Jennie in hopes of a fresh start. She hasn't visited Last Chance in years so she's not really sure where she is going. She runs out of gas and takes refuge in a barn that she thinks is her cousin's. Danile Jessup is visiting his family home for one last Christmas before he sells it. He is along and lonely with no to share Christmas. Two people who have been hurt find love and a miracle in this story.
"Have a Messly Little Christmas" by Molly Cannon
Accountant Lincoln Jones and Organizer/Decorator Dinah Mason don't hit it off at first. Linc lives in his mom and dad's family home. His mom hires Dinah to organize and decorate the house for Christmas before they come back for the holidays. Linc and Dinah spend a lot of time together while she is working in the house and the chemistry begins to build. Molly did a good job of developing the characters in a short time. This story was cute and funny; and I enjoyed reading it.
"A Family For Christmas" by Marilyn Pappano
Dr. Jared Conors and Ilena Gomez are total opposites but when they meet the chemistry between begins. Jared has been guided by his doctor parents; but did rebel a little when he pick pediatrics and a small town practice. Ilena is a widow with a six month old son. She is practical;; and though still mourning her husband, she knows that she needs to move on with life for both her and her son. They hit some bumps along the road to getting to know each other; but the story is a Christmas story that does lift the heart.
Each of these stories was followed by the author adding a blurb about a new book that will soon be released or a previously written book in the series. This anthology is a great opportunity for avid readers to find new authors. Some of these stories I enjoyed more than others but it was well worth my time to spend Christmas in these small towns.
Posted December 24, 2013
Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, 'tis the season for giving love a chance . . .
My Thoughts: I recently discovered Jill Shalvis and quickly became a fan, which is the main reason I wanted to read this Christmas collection. Dream a Little Dream was probably my favorite story in the book. It is short, sexy, romantic, and is quite a satisfying and complete story, despite its novella length. I mean a hot sexy firefighter....um yes!
Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don't come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .
My Thoughts: This little story was actually the first thing I've read by Kristen Ashely and I must say that I loved it. I have been hearing about her - especially from one of my favorite bloggers - Andrea at The Bookish Babe - and I knew I wanted to read one of her books and this little novella was the perfect story to wet my appetite and make me want more. I've already gotten Own the Wind because I couldn't wait to read more of Shy and Tabby's story. Every Year is another little novella that packs a punch in a small space and definitely made this worth reading.
Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.
My Thoughts: This was a sweet story, even if a little cheesy, but I enjoy cheesy sometimes. I did like the feel of the nativity story it had.
Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who's set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .
My Thoughts: This little story was a fun, cute, and entertaining little read. The synopsis pretty much sums it up.
Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn't mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?
My Thoughts: This little story had the military angle with the war widow aspect. It was okay.
Posted December 23, 2013
Okay I have to admit that I’m a holiday short story book junkie. I love them especially if they’re written well. All these stories were and I got introduced to several series that were not even on my radar. Which was a crying shame. My big plus is even though these short stories are part of series they were whole and you didn’t feel lost. I would not have known they were a part of a series if not for the small previews into their other books. I would recommend for anyone one who likes Contemporary Romance and/or Holiday Romance books. For me there is nothing better than reading a good Holiday book this time of year. Dream a Little Dream by Jill Shalvis 5 Stars Every Year by Kristen Ashley 5 Stars Silent Night by Hope Ramsay 3 Stars Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas by Molly Cannon 4 stars A Family for Christmas by Marilyn Pappano 5 Stars ARC courtesy of Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalleyWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 22, 2013
NUMBER OF HEARTS: 3 1/2
I enjoyed 3 of the 5 stories in this book. 3 of the authors were new to me. While I enjoyed all but 1 of the stories it was fun reading these quick christmas novellas. It is always hard to review novellas because the are so short. But if you love any of these authors or looking for some quick christmas reads I would suggest picking up a copy of A Christmas to Remember.
I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley & Forever (Grand Central Publishing) in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
Posted December 18, 2013
~This UTC Team Review is also posted at Under the Covers Book Blog
Dream A Little Dream by Jill Shalvis – 4 stars
Shalvis’ sweet contribution to the anthology is part of her LuckyHarbor series. Now if you know me, then you know I adore this series. This features Melissa and the sexy fireman, Ian. Though shorter than I expect, Shalvis is able to pack all the goodness that I love about LuckyHarbor and the holidays in this story. Sweet and sexy – a fabulous combination when it comes to Shalvis!
Every Year by Kristen Ashley – 5 Stars
I have given this one full marks, but I do this having read everything that Kristen Ashley has written, if I didn’t know the characters and the background, this probably wouldn’t have got a high rating. But I do, so I loved it! We get to see our favourite biker family have a beautiful Christmas as they welcome some new people into the fold. It has left me with lots of warm fuzzies and a craving to read more Kristen Ashley!
Silent Night by Hope Ramsay - 4 Stars
I haven’t read Hope Ramsey before but I am definitely going to have to give her books a try. I really enjoyed this novella, it was about two lonely people, who seem to have nothing in common coming together and finding a small slice of happiness and hope for the future. It was sweet, and throw in a new born baby it was just downright adorable! This was a great feel good story and I can’t wait to read more from Hope Ramsey.
Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas by Molly Cannon – 3 stars
This is the first I’ve read of Cannon before. This features Lincoln and Dinah Mason. Dinah is a professional organizer and when Lincoln’s mother pushes her through his front door to try and clean up his life a little bit, Lincoln is a little grumpy at the thought of some stranger touching his stuff. However, that soon changes once Cannon brings in the Christmas spirit. While sweet and charming, I think I’ll need to try another one of Cannon’s books to make a decision.
A Family for Christmas by Marilyn Pappano – 3 stars
Pappano’s story touches on war and the important of being home for the holidays. Jared Conners was an interesting character to read about. In addition, war widow Ilena also intrigued. However, I think this might be my least favourite story in the collection. It just didn’t spark my interest further than I had hoped.
I think a lot of these stories were really, really short and only gave you a taste of the holidays. I wouldn’t use these stories as a way to determine the writer’s style since all the stories are quite short. But they are fun treats for the upcoming holidays and I think readers should just enjoy the slices of life that each author provides in this anthology.
*ARC provided by publisher
Posted December 16, 2013