Category Archives: Christmas

Once Upon a Dickens Christmas by Michelle Griep

Publication Date: 1 September 2019

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

ARC Copy from the author, NetGalley.com and Barbour Publishing

 

A delightful trio of tales from the Victorian Era with a bit of a Dickens’s essence to each one! Each of these stories, two of which are previously published, are filled with eccentric characters, subtle twists,  and a cameo appearance by none other than Charles Dickens himself. The themes of second chances, hope, forgiveness, family and friends run through each of the stories tying them up with pleasing endings for the holidays.

12 Days at Bleakly Manor

Clara Chapman, Ben Lane, and a handful of quirky personalities find themselves spending the 12 days of Christmas at Bleakly Manor together, each in search of a special prize significant only to them. However, they must last the entire twelve days which may be more difficult than it seems initially. Read this tantalizing little story to find out who makes it to the twelfth day and who doesn’t.

A Tale of Two Hearts

William Barlow, a young law clerk with a bit of a wild past, crosses paths with Mina Scott, a free thinking young woman who loves to read Dickens when she’s supposed to be waiting on tables at her father’s inn. When Will needs to come up with a bride quickly, who better to ask than his friend Mina who waits on him! As Mina and Will begin their journey along a path twisted with tall tales and some outright lies, they find their situation more complex than they planned.

 The Old Lace Shop

My personal favorite of the three stories is this third tale. In her search to become self-sufficient, Bella White, a lovely young woman coming from an extremely difficult home life, encounters Edmund Archer, a former old love from her distant past. Bella and Edmund end up as partners in the Nottingham Lace and Hose factory. Sprinkled with interesting historical detail about the manufacturing of lace, this story draws the reader right into the world of Victorian manufacturing with all its intrigue, turmoil, and heartbreak.

 Don’t miss these intriguing short stories tied up nicely in one volume for easy reading! Great book for readers of historical fiction, Victorian fiction, or Christmas fiction!

This ARC copy was received from the author, Barbour Publishing and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh

Series: A Westcott Novel, #5

Publication Date: 27 Nov 2018

Publisher: Berkley

ARC from Netgalley.com and Berkley

“No one escapes, even those who may appear to others to live charmed lives. But we all have the choice of whether to be defined by the negatives in our lives or to make of our present and future and our very selves what we want them to be.”    
               -Elizabeth

Mary Balogh continues the captivating Wescott family saga in this fifth novel set at Christmas time in the English countryside. After a Christmas holiday that begins with an unexpected wedding, the entire Westcott family, plus a few additions, are assembled at Brambledean Court to celebrate. Alexander Westcott, Earl of Riverdale, and his new wife, Wren, are doing their best to promote solid, loving familial relations among their mixed clan during this holiday.

The story centers around Colin Handrich, Baron Hodges, a pleasant, good looking young man of twenty-six with a title and a nice fortune, and Elizabeth Westcott Overfield,  the widowed Lady Overfield, a slender, fair haired beauty in her mid-thirties. As these two young people move through their holiday slightly at a distance from the others due to their own particular circumstances, they find themselves frequently in each other’s company. A blithe promise is set between the two to dance the first waltz of every ball of the coming Season.

Thus begins a Season filled with adventure and turmoil for Colin and Elizabeth. Read the story of this older woman and younger man to see if they can find a way through the very difficult maze of society and familial chaos that ensues. Rich with romantic detail and filled with the love of family, this book is a delightful read to get you in the Christmas spirit.

This ARC copy was received from Netgalley.com and Berkley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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A Tale of Two Hearts by Michelle Griep

Publication Date: 1 September 2018

Series: Once Upon a Dickens Christmas

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

ARC Copy from the author, NetGalley.com and Barbour Publishing

 “You see, my dear, real joy is not found in the best moments of life, but in trusting that God is making the best of every moment…even those as dreadful as death.”

–Miss Whymsy

A delightful Christmas tale that centers around two engaging young people living in Victorian London in 1853! William Barlow, a young law clerk with a bit of a wild past, crosses paths with Mina Scott, a free thinking young woman who loves to read Dickens when she’s supposed to be waiting on tables at her father’s inn.

As Mina waits on William day after day, her romantic imagination gets the best of her. When Will needs to come up with a bride quickly, who better to ask than his friend Mina who waits on him! As Mina and Will begin their journey along a path twisted with tall tales and some outright lies, they find their situation more complex than they planned. This story confronts the dilemma of whether or not it is ever okay to lie, even if you are doing it for the best of reasons.

The short novel is charming with an interesting cast of secondary characters to entertain the reader. Some of the characters you will like and some you will find to be perfect villains. Get an early jump on your Christmas spirit with this quick holiday read!

This ARC copy was received from the author, Barbour Publishing and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#ATaleOfTwoHearts #NetGalley

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If Not For Thee by Amber Lynn Perry

Series: Daughters of His Kingdom Series, Novella

Publication Date:  December 2017         

Publisher: Liberty Publishing

ARC copy from author

 “…God might have a simple solution for your problems—and I believe I know what that is.”

Adam Galloway, cousin to Maggie Main

If Not for Thee is a delightful historical fiction novella set in December 1775 making it a perfect read for the season. Meet Maggie Main, an independent, spirited young woman, and Marcus Wells, a charming young man and old friend,  just returned from doing his familial duty in England. Maggie grew up with a huge crush on Marcus until he left for England, and then she lived with her daydreams.

Both Maggie and Marcus find themselves forced in to a situation where only marriage will solve their problems. Necessity often creates relationships we could only imagine. That is definitely the case for Maggie. A marriage between Marcus and Maggie solves their most immediate problems, but opens up heartache for Maggie as she imagines herself needed, but unloved. Find out how independent Maggie resolves her dilemma with Marcus by reading this charming, romantic novella!

I received this book free from Liberty Publishing and the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

hauck-rachel-a-royal-christmas-wedding

 

Series:  The Royal Wedding Series

Publication Date: 2016

Publisher: Zondervan and the Fiction Guild

 

 

“You’re redeeming the curse of Prince Michael, bringing the tradition back to life.”

                                                                        -Edward Tattersall

There is nothing like a good Christmas book filled with a real live prince, a beautiful young American woman, and a bell ringing tradition to spice up one’s holiday season. An entertaining read sprinkled with fairy tale romance, Christmas balls, and a Royal family!

After being dumped by Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom five years previously, Avery Truitt is hesitant to encounter the young man again. However, in order to see her favorite sister, Avery must endure the company of Prince Colin during the holidays.

The story follows Prince Colin as he learns to stand up for himself and act on the wishes of a power higher than himself and his rather overbearing father.  Avery reaches deep to find the faith and trust she will need to change her world and to truly believe in Colin again.  Will Avery show up on Christmas morning after the bell rings?

A fun and engaging story! Perfect holiday reading!

This ARC copy was received from Zondervan and the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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