Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Christmas Kiss by Susan Hatler


Synopsis:

Harper Avery is a jaded divorce attorney who loves helping her clients move on to better things. After all, they’ve struggled enough being in an unhappy marriage. When one client’s soon-to-be ex-husband suddenly says he wants a second chance with his wife, Harper’s dubious, certain that her client is just going to get hurt again.

Despite his career as a divorce attorney, Gabriel Hart still believes that love can work miracles. Sure, there are no guarantees, but he totally supports his client’s efforts to reconcile with his wife—even if it means Gabriel has to go head-to-head with Harper to keep her from ruining the couple’s chances.

With the holidays approaching, husband and wife set out to see if they can work through their issues, while Harper decides to spend the long Christmas weekend at her friend’s cabin in Lake Tahoe. Only when she gets there, someone is already occupying her last-minute rental—Gabriel Hart. Both refuse to give up their holiday retreat. Will their adversarial working relationship make for a stressful weekend? Or will the magic of Christmas sprinkle them with a love that can beat the odds?

My Review: 4 Stars

Jaded divorce attorney, Harper, does not believe in love or happily ever afters. There's a reason for the wall she's built around her heart. In her experience, love always ends in hurt. It should be no surprise that she is pro divorce. Why be married and miserable? So when her client's soon to be ex decides he still loves her and wants another chance, Harper will fight with everything she has to make sure that doesn't happen.  

Despite being a divorce attorney, Gabriel believes in love, second chances and happily ever afters. He doesn't see the harm in giving his client and his wife another chance to talk and work things out. No one is perfect and you don't always get things right the first time around. He will do everything he can to make sure his client has every opportunity to work things out with his wife. 

Harper cannot stand Gabriel. Who does he think he is? A second chance is not what their clients need! They need to sign those divorce papers ASAP so they can both move on with their lives. But when her client goes against her wishes, Harper decides she needs a change of scenery. She needs to get away from it all and recharge.

So when her old college friend reaches out letting her know her cabin is available for Christmas, Harper jumps at the chance to get away from the city. But she's not the only one the cabin was offered to. Enter Gabriel. This just can't be happening. Now what is she going to do?!

Neither Harper nor Gabriel are willing to leave the cabin. They will just need to make the best of it. Harper will have to do her best to stay as far away from Gabriel as possible. But when the magic of Christmas fills the air, Harper feels herself softening towards Gabriel. 

Will her client's circumstances remind her why she's stayed away from relationships all these years? Or can the magic of Christmas and Gabriel change her mind on love, second chances and happily ever afters? 

*dreamy sigh*

I really need to get caught up on my Susan Hatler books! This is the first book I have read in the Kissed by the Bay series and I'm excited to read the rest of them! Ms. Hatler is a genius when it comes to swoony books! I have loved every one of hers that I have read! 

And these two.. *dreamy sigh* I think I love them! 

Tradition Tuesday - Week 1


We are so excited for our first annual
Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas event,


Traditions are what really make the holidays memorable!
Each Tuesday we will be posting about some of our
favorite Christmas traditions.

Katie will be posting about one of her family's
favorite traditions for Week 1.

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I don't watch a lot of TV because I'd rather be reading, but one of my
favorite Christmas traditions is watching Christmas movies and TV shows.
Every few days, we sit down as a family, grab some popcorn and treats,
and watch some of our favorite shows by the twinkling lights of the tree.

Our Top Ten family favorites are:

Elf
The Polar Express
White Christmas
A Christmas Carol
A Charlie Brown Christmas
It's a Wonderful Life
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Home Alone
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Frosty the Snowman

Of course, I also LOVE many Hallmark Christmas movies as well,
but my husband and kids aren't really into those. 😊

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Sweet Morsels Monday - Week 1


We are so excited for our first annual 
Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas event,


Welcome to Sweet Morsels Monday!
Mondays can be rough, but nothing can make it better than something sweet.
Each Monday, we'll be sharing a Christmas treat recipe.
Aren't Christmas treats the best?!

For the first week,
Katie will be sharing one of her family's favorites.

**I'm not sure where I got this recipe, but it was about 10-15 years ago.
Not only do we love to eat it, but we love to deliver it to neighbors as well.**

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Christmas Chex Mix

9 cups rice Chex cereal
9 cups corn Chex cereal
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups Christmas colored M&M's

Directions:

Heat oven to 250 degrees F. Spray roasting pan with cooking spray. Put cereals in pan. In medium saucepan, mix brown sugar, karo syrup, and butter. Cook and stir for 8-9 minutes over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Boil for 1 minute, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour over cereal and gentle mix until coated. Bake 40-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then stir in M&M's. Spread mixture onto waxed paper and let cool for 10 minutes. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

*Makes 18 cups

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Home for Christmas by Melissa McClone


Synopsis:

Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon...the smells of Christmas. The smells of home.


Rachel Murphy longs for home and family. Since childhood, she's dreamed of owning her own pastry shop, but after being burned by a celebrity chef and losing her new bakery in Arizona, Rachel's spending the holidays with her brother in Montana. To keep her dream alive, she's creating custom gingerbread houses and selling them around town. All she needs is a bigger kitchen...and to stay away from her brother's handsome boss.

Former venture capitalist Nate Vaughn has embraced his inner cowboy and now runs a successful dude ranch where Rachel's brother works. Nate's commercial kitchen is perfect for Rachel's baking needs, and seeing the cute blonde's business acumen, Nate knows she'd be the perfect partner for a new venture. When he makes her an offer she can't refuse, he discovers he's interested in more than her gingerbread.

While Nate could make her dreams come true, Rachel's heart, as well as her head, tells her mixing business with anything else could be a recipe for disaster. Should she return to Arizona, and leave Nate and her new eager-for-more customers behind? Or can Nate convince her that, here with him in the mountains of Montana, she's already home? For Christmas...forever.

My Review: 4 Stars

Rachel has been hurt, betrayed and had her dreams ripped right out from under her. Longing for home and family, she heads to Montana to spend Christmas with her brother, Ty. Determined to keep her dreams of owning her own bakery alive, she sets out to make customized gingerbread houses to sell all over town. Hopefully she can earn enough money over the holidays for a new lease deposit. 

But if she's going to do this, she needs a bigger kitchen than the one in her brother's apartment. Enter Nate, her brother's boss and best friend. He'll do anything he can to help out his best friend's little sister. From the moment he lays eyes on Rachel, he knows he's in trouble. He's definitely going to need to keep his distance. Best friend or not, there is no way her overprotective brother will ever see Nate as good enough for his baby sister. 

But the more time the spend together, the closer they become, and the stronger their feelings grow. Nate knows that Bar V5 is not only where Ty belongs, but where Rachel belongs as well. He needs to help change her mind and get her to stay in Montana. He can't take the chance of losing his best friend, or his little sister. The businessman in him sets out to make a plan that she won't be able to say no to. 

However, he takes his plan one step too far and does the unthinkable. He has hurt Rachel and sent her running in the opposite direction. He's going to have his work cut out for him if he's going to prove to her what she really means to him and what he's willing to sacrifice if she'll just give him one more chance. With a little Christmas magic and help from the Santa of What Could Be, Rachel and Nate just might get their happily ever after after all. 

Home for Christmas was such a cute book! It's perfect for an afternoon read to help get you in the Christmas Spirit. If I have only one complaint it would be that it just ended! I really, really wish there would have been just one more chapter... or even an epilogue! I was left wanting more! 

This is my first book by Ms. McClone and I already have others on my list to read! And I will definitely be reading the remaining books in this series. I love adding new authors to my list! 

And of course we can't forget my casting! I am loving these two! 


Content: Mild swearing. Mild innuendo. 

The Bookworm and the Beast by Charlee James


Synopsis:

When quiet, bookish Izzy Simon accepts a two-week assignment as an assistant for an author of children’s books, it seems like the perfect way for her to make some much-needed extra money, but the grumpy author claims he doesn’t want or need her services. He might be as handsome as a storybook prince, but his prickly personality and resistance to all things Christmas are sure to make for a chilly holiday season.

Derek Croft never agreed to the cheery temp his staff arranges for him while they’re on vacation. Izzy is his polar opposite, but Derek soon realizes she could be the perfect solution to his interfering family…if he can get her to agree to pretend to be his live-in girlfriend. Before long Izzy’s sweet disposition and unflappable optimism has him decorating a tree and looking forward to late night hot cocoa, but he’s all too aware their time together can’t last.

My Review: 4 Stars

When Izzy accepted a two-week assignment as a personal assistant to a children's author, she never expected the man to look like Derek. Nor does she expect him to be such a grump. But she needs the extra cash this assignment will bring. She can't let him dismiss her without even giving her a chance. But how can she convince him that he really does need her? 

Derek is none too pleased when he discovers Izzy standing on his doorstep. He does not need a personal assistant.. he needs peace and quiet if he's ever going to meet his deadline. But when his stepmother calls, determined to set him up yet again, he lies and tells her he's already dating someone... and it's serious. Now all he has to do is convince Izzy to be his live in girlfriend. 

Izzy can't believe her ears. One moment Derek is trying to throw her out of his house. And now he wants her to be his live in girlfriend? If she didn't need the money so bad she would tell him no. But this will definitely help her get ahead. She has no other choice but to agree to this fake relationship. 

But the more time Izzy and Derek spend together, the closer they become, and the more the walls both of them have built around their hearts slowly start to fall. Can they really let go of past hurts and move forward together? Or will one choice made out of love on Izzy's part ruin any chance they have at a happily ever after? 

I am a sucker for a beauty and the beast retelling. They have always been on of my favorites. The Bookworm and the Beast was a cute read. I really enjoyed watching Izzy and Derek's relationship grow from friendship into something more. If anyone deserves a HEA it's these two! 

And let's not forget my casting! I saw these two from the very beginning... *dreamy sigh*


Content: Sketchy clean. Semi detailed fade to black scenes. Mild swearing. Moderate innuendo. 

*I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.*

Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas is HERE!


TODAY IS THE DAY!

We are so excited for our first annual 
Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas event,
hosted by KJ's Book Nook, Bookworm Nation, and Katie's Clean Book Collection!

Have you guys made your lists yet? Are you like me and have already started your reading? Which book are you looking forward to reading the most? Inquiring minds want to know!

Eeeeeeeeek! Guys! This is going to be AMAZING! I hope you guys have as much fun during Christmas Swoon Fest as we did planning it! 

Now... let the SWOONING begin! 



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas - Reading List


I am SUPER excited for our "Have Yourself a Very Swoony Christmas" Swoon Fest! I have been DYING to start reading these books!

So... without further adieu... I give you my list!

1. More Trouble in Loveland by Jennifer Peel
2. A Christmas Kiss by Susan Hatler
3. Mistletoe Wedding by Melissa McClone
4. A Christmas Homecoming by Melissa McClone
5. The Christmas Groom by Taylor Hart
6. The Chef, the Holidays & the Husband by Erica Penrod
7. The Bookworm and the Beast by Charlee James
8. Marrying Miss Kringle: Lux by Lucy McConnell
9. Christmas Secrets by Donna Hatch
10. Sawdust and Mistletoe by Michelle Pennington
11. The Lumberjack's Yuletide Bride by Kimberly Krey
12. Keeping Christmas by Rebecca Blevins
13. Home for Christmas by Melissa McClone
14. Forever Yours in Christmas Falls by Susan Hatler
15. How to Kiss a Billionaire by Cami Checketts
16. Hot Cocoa Wars by Christene Houston
17. One Enchanted Christmas by Melissa Tagg
18. One Enchanted Eve by Melissa Tagg
19. One Enchanted Noel by Melissa Tagg
20. A Sugar Creek Christmas by Jenny B. Jones

Yes... this is a very ambitious list! Cross your fingers that I can read them all!

What are some of the books on your Christmas reading list?