Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses – Jenny Hale

christmas wishesTitle: Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses
Author: Jenny Hale
Publisher: Bookouture
Format: Kindle
Pages: 305
My rating★★★★★

It’s not Christmas yet, but since Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses came out last week, I just had to start reading it right away. Last year I have read a few Christmas novels. Two of them (Coming Home for Christmas and A Christmas to Remember) were written by Jenny Hale. They were lovely so I could not wait to start reading this one.

What the book is about

An uplifting, beautiful story about never letting go of your dreams, the special magic of a family Christmas… and the rush of falling in love under the mistletoe.

Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be?

Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if it is Christmas.

When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble…

With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take the chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick to finally enjoy the magic of Christmas?

What I think about the book

Once again a great novel by Jenny Hale. I really enjoyed it and I was seriously getting in a festive mood. I will have to wait a while before I can start decorating our flat, but at least I can read more Christmas novels until then. Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses was a great start of my Christmas reading.

This story has wonderful characters. Not just Abbey and Nick, but I loved little Max as well. Now that I am a mother, it was as if I could actually see Max through Abbey’s eyes. I finally realize what it is like to love your kid like that and what it’s like when others (especially the man you love) are nice to him. I can’t wait for my baby boy to be bigger so we can start our own traditions together. Reading this story definitely gave me some great ideas for the future.

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses is the perfect story if you are searching for something romantic. It is a classic girl meets boy story. You know they will fall in love, but that is exactly what I wanted from this novel. I wanted them to fall in love and see what challenges life would throw at them. It’s not just about love though, it is also about living your dream, whether that would be starting your own business or learning how to relax and enjoy your family. These are challenges that most of us can relate to in a way. Following your heart can be scary, but I also know what it’s like to be super busy and forget to enjoy life as well. Not that I’ve got millions on my bank account to show for it…

Speaking of millionaires… I’ve got one small remark. Once again the female main character in the book is thinking about the future and a possible career change and the male main character is a rich man who seems to be a complete workaholic. The stories are different and I really enjoy all of them, but it was something I noticed. It is not the kind of man I would fall for, as I am usually more into artistic and quirky guys. Still Jenny writes those characters so well that they do become attractive. And since the story is super romantic I didn’t really mind who the characters were. I just wanted them to be together. Therefore I still think that this book deserves five stars.

Coming Home for Christmas – Jenny Hale

Coming home for christmasTitle: Coming Home for Christmas
Author: Jenny Hale
Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 304
My rating★★★★✫

On Christmas Eve I started reading this story and my idea was to finish it during the holidays, but then I stopped reading for a couple of weeks. Recovering from surgery, being pregnant and getting the flu weren’t very helpful. It had nothing to do wiyh the book though. I thought it was wonderful. Now that I have read it I still want to share my review, even though the holidays season is over already.

What the book is about

Christmas is a time for family – isn’t it?
Allie Richfield loves Christmas, so when she lands a job as House Manager for the amazing Ashford Estate—which includes organizing the Marley family festivities—she is in her element. With a budget bigger than her life savings and a team of staff, how hard can it be?

As one-by-one she meets the Marleys, she’s about to find out…

Allie’s new boss, Robert, might be gorgeous, but he’s also colder than the snow outside and refuses to come home for Christmas. Robert’s playboy brother, Kip, flirts with her relentlessly; and his sister, Sloane, arrives home with baggage—both the divorce-kind and the Louis Vuitton kind. Their ninety-two year old grandmother, Pippa, spends her day grumbling at everybody from her mobility scooter.

With Robert intending to sell Ashford, it’s the Marley’s last chance to create some happy memories in their family home—and Allie is determined to make it happen… even if it takes a little Christmas magic! With the festive spirit in full swing, she might even discover a little happiness of her own…

What I think about the book 

The characters Allie and Robert make an appearance in ‘A Christmas to Remember‘ as well and that made this story a little harder for me to read. I kind of knew where the story would end up and I somehow wanted to fly straight to the end. I knew that I needed to let that feeling go in order to enjoy this book. So I put it away for a few days and then picked it up again. That really helped me see the actually very sweet story that was inside this novel.

What I love about Jenny Hale’s characters is that they are genuinely open to any changes that come along. That’s life. People enter our life and that often means that something will change. In this case the family was driven apart by some tragic events in the past. Money did definitely make their lives any better. But having Allie around makes it much easier, she seems to be the glue that puts this family together again, even if it’s just for one Christmas…

So if you need a sweet holiday story for next December, I would definitely recommend this one.

The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas – Julia Romp

The Cat Who Came Back for ChristmasTitle: The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas
Author: Julia Romp
Publisher: Plume
Pages: 288
My rating★★★★★

I saw this book on a book fair a couple of months ago. The cat on the front caught my attention and when I read it was not just about the cat, but also about an autistic little boy, I wanted to read it.

What the book is about

The heart-warming true story of a little boy and the cat that changed his life.

Julia’s nine-year-old son George was autistic. Quiet and withdrawn, he appeared lost in his own world. Then one day a small black-and-white stray cat appeared in her garden and George’s face lit up.

George bonded with Ben and began to open up to his mother as well. For three happy years, the trio was inseparable and George made remarkable progress. But then disaster struck—Ben went missing and George regressed.

The weeks turned into months, and Christmas was fast approaching, but on December 21, Julia got a call from a family more than fifty miles away, which finally offered a ray of hope . . .

Genuinely touching, The Cat Who Came Back for Christmas is a story about devotion, love, and a holiday miracle.

What I think about the book

First of all, I suspected that the book would be all about Ben, the cat. That wasn’t true. Julia first tells the story of how her son George was born and how the first years of their lives together were. I really liked that though. Being a partner of someone who is diagnosed with ASD I am really interested in autism and the stories of real people. It was heartwarming to read what Julia has done for her son George to make him happy, even if he didn’t always respond to her actions. I am not sure if I’d have the energy to do that, but maybe it’s different when it’s your own kid.

When Ben, the cat, walks into their lives, everything changes. George opens up a little and as reader you get to know him better. It is really sweet that this furry friend makes life so much better for both of them. I really get that, because I love cats and they are amazing friends for humans of all shapes and sizes. They can really steal your heart with their tiny paws and sweet eyes. Ben sounds like a real winner when it comes to cats.

I am really glad that Julia gave me a look into her life with George and Ben with her book. It was good to read that she still thinks that George is perfect and unique as a son. That was so endearing.

Even though the title makes you think it’s a book about Christmas, I would say that you could read this book in any season. Christmas is definitely part of the story, but in my eyes the main theme of this novel is raising a child with autism and the special bond that one can have with a feline friend.

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2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
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