Mistletoe Mansion – Samantha Tonge

Mistletoe MansionTitle: Mistletoe Mansion
Author: Samantha Tonge
Publisher: Carina Press
Format: Kindle
Pages: 384
My rating★★★✫✫

This Christmas novel was on my to-read-list for 2014, but I never actually finished reading all the books on my list back then. That’s alright, as there is always a next year and a new holiday season! This year I only read four Christmas novels, so once again I am saving the rest for next year.

What the book is about

Kimmy Jones has three loves: cupcakes, gossip magazines and dreaming of getting fit just by owning celeb workouts.

When Kimmy’s Sensible Boyfriend told her he didn’t approve of her longing for the high life or her dream of starting a cupcake company Kimmy thought she could compromise – after all, she did return those five-inch Paris Hilton heels! But asking her to trade in cake-making for a job sorting potatoes is a step too far.

So, newly single – and newly homeless – Kimmy needs a dusting of Christmas luck. And, masquerading as a professional house sitter, her new temporary home is the stunning Mistletoe Mansion. Soon she’s best buds with glamorous next door golf WAG Melissa, and orders are pouring in for her fabulous Merry Berry cupcakes! The only thorn in her side is handsome handyman Luke, a distraction she definitely doesn’t need. And talking of distractions, something very odd is going on at night…

Kimmy is finally living the life she’s always wanted. But will her glimpse into the glittering lifestyle of the rich and famous be as glamorous as she’s always imagined?

What I think about the book

I enjoyed myself while reading this novel, but it wasn’t my favorite. Mostly because I don’t really believe in supernatural stuff. So when Mistletoe Mansion seemed to be a haunted house, I was like “Whut?! That’s not possible.” But then I thought about all the fantasy novels I am reading. Yeah. Right. Do vampires, werewolves and faeries exist? How about ghosts or spirits? It’s not all that different. So with a different mindset I went back to reading the book and just enjoyed what was there.

It wasn’t your average romance novel. Well, that’s also a good thing of course. It is nice when a story is different from others. In the beginning I didn’t really like Kimmy, the main character. She was a bit of a dreamer and her goals and thoughts weren’t very realistic. I thought she was a spoiled little girl. Her sensible boyfriend was a bit too sensible though, so I didn’t like him either. With him out of the picture, she seems to start thinking for herself and that made Kimmy a much nicer person. I liked how she changed a bit throughout the book, into someone smart and more responsible. She was still a dreamer, but it is okay to have a dream and work for it.

In the end the book also made me a bit hungry. Kimmy and her cupcakes… all those flavors, I could almost taste them. She inspired me and I ended up baking some chocolate cupcakes for myself as well.

Make My Wish Come True – Fiona Harper

Make my wish come trueTitle: Make my wish come true
Author: Fiona Harper
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Format: Kindle
Pages: 400
My rating★★★★✫

I randomly picked another one of the Christmas novels on my Kindle. This one didn’t have Christmas in the title, so I was wondering if it would put me in the right mood for the holidays, but since it was still November, it didn’t really matter whether that was the case or not.

What the book is about

Family-orientated and Christmas-dinner cook extraordinaire Juliet is trying to keep it together in the wake of her marriage breakdown two Christmases ago, but the cracks are beginning to show. Bright and vivacious Gemma was always the favourite daughter… So she has no qualms about leaving Christmas in her sister Juliet’s capable hands; and escaping the pressures of her glamorous job, and the festive madness by jetting off to somewhere warm.

When Gemma shirks responsibility once too many and announces she’s off to the Caribbean (again!); Juliet finally snaps. Gemma offers her sister the perfect solution – to swap Christmases: she’ll stay home and cook the turkey (how hard can it be?) and Juliet can fly off into the sun and have a restorative break.

In the midst of all the chaos, there’s Will, Juliet’s dishy neighbour who’s far too nice to float Gemma’s boat and may secretly harbour feelings for her sister; and Marco, the suave Italian in the villa next door, who has his own ideas about the best way to help Juliet unwind. Will the sisters abandon caution and make this a Christmas swap to remember?

What I think about the book

In the beginning this novel didn’t give me the happy holiday feeling that other Christmas novels did. The story is about two sisters who are not getting along. They’ve got their reasons, for sure, but they hardly want to spend Christmas together. In the end they don’t have to. Gemma is giving up her fancy holiday in the sun and sends her sister Juliet to the tropical island instead. Gemma will stay at home with Juliet’s four children. A swap that will ask for certain problems.

Juliet and Gemma both get to overthink their life away from where they were supposed to be in the first place. That gives them a new perspective on life. It changes them, which is a good thing. Still it does not seem to be enough to bring the two sisters back together. In fact, it even seems to screw things up worse for them. The end of the book is really sweet though and that brings back the Christmas spirit to this story.

Christmas at the beach café – Lucy Diamond

Christmas at the beach cafeTitle: Christmas at the beach cafe
Author: Lucy Diamond
Publisher: Pan
Format: Kindle
Pages: 100
My rating★★★★✫

This summer I have read The beach cafe. When I finished it I saw that there was a Christmas novella that belonged to the book and I decided to put that one on my Kindle to read when the holidays were coming up. The holiday season is coming closer now and since I’ve got many Christmas novels waiting on my Kindle, I have decided to start reading some already. Maybe I can read them all this year, or at least most of them.

What the book is about

After a hectic summer running her beach café in Cornwall, Evie Flynn is looking forward to her first Christmas with new boyfriend Ed – she’s determined that it’s going to be the most perfectly romantic one ever. Cosy nights in front of the fire, spicy mulled wine, mince pies . . . what’s not to love? But the peace is shattered when Ed’s ex suddenly gets in touch again, and then some unexpected guests arrive: Ed’s surly brother Jake and Evie’s heartbroken best friend Amber. Add in the stress of trying to finish her very own recipe book, snow blizzards and family dramas and Evie’s Christmas starts to look as if it’ll be a total turkey. Will any of her festive wishes come true . . . or is this Christmas just a recipe for disaster?

What I think about the book

Often when I finish a novel I wonder what will happen next. I mean, the story is over, but where will the characters go from that point on. Will they fall out of love or stick together? So it is nice to read a novella every now and then to catch up with the characters and see what the author thinks will happen next.

So in this case we get to go back to Evie and Ed at the Beach Café. The cafe is closed and Evie and Ed have planned to spend some time together. Evie has pictured a very romantic Christmas and she is working on the perfect gift for Ed. While she is preparing for the holidays, everything seems to go wrong. At first Evie hates that her plans are being disturbed, but she has changed a lot since we first met her in the Beach Cafe. Yes, she sure knows how to make the best out of things and she is trying real hard, even when it all seems to get worse all the time.

In the end everything is alright, just like one would expect from a Christmas novella. In the end the holidays aren’t just about romance, but also about friends, family and the community and Evie seems to realize that in time to enjoy herself. Her auntie Jo would be so proud of her.

I think Christmas at the beach cafe is a lovely and fast paced read for everyone who has read The Beach Cafe already.

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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Roxanne has read 0 books toward her goal of 50 books.