Tag 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.”    

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 Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck



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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Amish North Star by Cindy Woodsmall, Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark, Amanda Flower, and Katie Ganshert

Woodsmall, Cindy Amish Christmas at North Star


Publication Date: October 2015

Publisher: Waterbrook Press, a division of Waterbrook Multnomah

ARC Copy from Blogging for Books.com



A collection of heartwarming Christmas tales centered on a group of four young people called Rebekah’s Babies unfolds around the holidays as each young person’s special story comes to light. Katie Ganshert does a great job of introducing the main storyline and tying it all together at the end.

Guiding Star by Katie Ganshert

Chase Wellington, a young man who writes for the North Star Tribune in his spare time and manages a construction business, comes across a newspaper story from 25 years ago about Rebekah’s babies and decides to check out a follow up article. His first visit to Rebekah’s birthing center uncovers the mystery of baby Anna and her mother, Ruth. Chase’s investigation leads him to a young woman named Elle, who was adopted as a baby. The story opens the reader’s heart to the conflict involved in deciding to pursue birth parents.  I enjoyed the blending of Englisch life and Amish family. Katie Ganshert does a wonderful job of exploring these deeply emotional conflicts at a special time of the year.

Morning Star by Amanda Flower

An Amish mystery surrounds this tale of the second of Rebekah’s babies, Eden Hochstetler. Eden spends her days reading Jane Eyre and making fudge for her father’s candy shop. When her best friend, an Englischer named Gina, talks her into sneaking around and investigating the death of her friend, Isaac Yoder. Isaac was like the grandfather that Eden did not have and she had treasured their daily visits. While exploring the farm where Isaac died, the girls meet Jesse Yoder, the young Amish man who inherited his uncle’s property. The more they explore; the deeper the mystery becomes. Read this quick little mystery and find out who murdered Isaac!

In the Stars by Cindy Woodsmall

Two young Amish people are torn apart by a lack of faith and trust in each other. Kore Detweiler and Savilla Beiler are in love and headed towards marriage when Savilla unexpectedly pulls away. Kore leaves North Star for Virginia and a new life. However, as much as he would like to forget Savilla and North Star, Kore is pulled back into life in North Star as a result of a family emergency. Can Kore find out why Savilla left him? Can Savilla keep her secret? Read this story to find what happens when faith and trust open your heart.

Star of Grace by Mindy Starns Clark and Emily Clark

This delightful story touched my heart with its tale of a younger brother’s love for his older brother. Sam, an enterprising young Amish boy of twelve, challenges his older brother, Andy, to come home for Christmas. The challenge involves a girl, a train ticket, and a job. Sam has a great sense of family and an innocent trust. In his quest to bring his brother home, Sam takes a job with a crusty old English man in town who fires him on his first day for being Amish. Crushed, Sam steps back and revises his plans. A wonderful tale of forgiveness and faith!

This ARC copy was received from BloggingforBooks.org and Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

Starry NightStarry Night by Debbie Macomber

Publication Date: October 2013

Ballantine Books

Library Copy


“Yes?” Her heart was in her eyes. Could it be possible that he would ask her to stay? Did it seem wrong to him as it did to her that they should part now? Surely he felt the very things she did.

     Leaning in close, he kissed her one last time and then said, “Don’t write the article.”

How does a newspaper reporter choose between love and the biggest story of her career? The decision Finn Dalton, an eccentric reclusive author, forces Carrie Slayton, society page writer, to make is a difficult one. To compound the issue, Finn lives in Alaska and Carrie works for the Chicago Herald. Utilizing her best sleuthing skills, Carrie hunts down Finn and ends up trapped in Alaska during a snow storm.

Since this is Debbie Macomber’s 2013 Christmas novel, the setting has to have snow and the time frame covers Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, a slightly eccentric reclusive author would bear a  resemblance in personality to the Grinch. The fun begins during the snowstorm and continues through to the Christmas holidays.

The books is a delightful story full of family, fun, love, and the holidays. The characters are entertaining and give the reader a spectrum of emotion. The plot is a bit predictable, but isn’t that why we read Christmas romance to begin with! I liked this book. A fun holiday read that put me in just the right mood to start prepping for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays!


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