April 23, 2014

25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18

25 Books for the Holidays 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18Source: Audiobook Purchase, Kindle Purchase

by Delilah Marvelle, Jill Shavis, Lisa Kleypas, Lorraine Heath, Sabrina Jeffries
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Romance
Narrator: Celeste Ciulla
Series: Friday Harbor, Hellions of Halstead Hall, Lucky Harbor, The Lost Lords of Pembrook
This year I have challenged myself to read 25 Holiday (Winter, Christmas, New Years) themed books. I am calling this my 25 Books for the Holidays personal challenge. It should be fun!

MC9000537211 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18

7863423 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 4.50

Audio Rating: 3.00 (not part of the overall rating)

Part of my 25 Books for the Holidays for 2012

How Simply Irresistible put me in the Holiday Spirit: I love stories about sisters and them coming together for the Holidays! Also I love books that spread the Mistletoe liberally and Simply Irresistible did just that :)

What I thought of characters/story: Simply Irresistible was such a fun read. I laughed out loud at times and wanted to bear hug the sisters at other times. This was just a wonderful character driven story with a hot romance between Maddie and Jax. Can I just say that Jax was a wonderful leading man: giving, caring, but with a past that he needs to work through. More importantly, he was the first to “get it” where he and Maddie were concerned. I love Maddie but her past was a little more to work through so I am glad it took her longer to get there. I loved the sisters and can’t wait to read their stories and I think Lucky Harbor will be a place that I will love. As I know that I am one of the last to start this series, I am sorry it took me so long!

What I thought of the audio: This wasn’t my favorite Audiobook but it wasn’t horrible. The narrator, Celeste Ciulla, did a decent job with the female voices but she was way off with the males. The pacing was excellent and her voice was very clear. Her voices may not bother others as much as they bothered me. My suggestion is to listen to a sample first to determine for yourself.

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MC9000537211 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18
7989800 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Listened for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 3.50
Story Rating: 3.25
Character Rating: 3.75

Part of my 25 Books for the Holidays for 2012

How Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor put me in the Holiday Spirit: Don’t stories that involve kids and rescue dogs always pull at your heartstrings? This one even started with a letter to Santa–how could you not be in the Holiday spirit after that?

What I thought of the characters/story: Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor was a pretty short listen for an audio book (5 or so hours) and in places I thought the story was a little rushed. I felt the break-up with the current girlfriend to the “I Love You” was to quick. That being said, I loved the characters. I thought each of them were unique, fun, and in their own ways lovable. I am pretty sure that I will be continuing the series to find out what happens with the other two brothers. I loved Maggie and her relationship with Holly and Mark. I felt that the story from her side was very organic and wonderful. I loved that Holly and Reinfield (the ugly rescue dog) were important parts of the story too. Overall, for a short story it was very heartstrings pulling even though it was a little rushed.

What I thought of the audio: Tanya Eby did the audio and she did a pretty decent job. I still have problems with her male voices but she is certainly growing on me.

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MC9000537211 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18
15820005 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18Deck the Halls With Love: A Lost Lords of Pembrook Novella by Lorraine Heath

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read for Review (Edelweiss)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 4.00

Part of my 25 Books for the Holidays for 2012

How the Deck the Halls with Love put me in the Holiday Spirit: This was a very quick read with just the right setting for a holiday romance.

What I thought of the characters/story: Deck the Halls with Love packed in romance, love, and some very swoon-worthy moments. Y’all I about cried when not only did he want all her dances but he also gave her choices. Oh my, I love when leading men are all about what is best for the leading lady. I loved that she finally saw through farce that was her current suitor and went with the far better man! In 100 pages this story made me fall in love with their love story. Not something that happens very often!

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MC9000537211 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18
13547392 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18‘Twas the Night After Christmas by Sabrina Jeffries

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read for Review (Edelwiess)
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.25
Character Rating: 4.25

Part of my 25 Books for the Holidays for 2012

How ‘Twas the Night After Christmas put me in the holiday spirit: I love stories about families reconnecting after misunderstandings and estrangements. Throw in a precious little boy who loves the season and this book is just perfect for a holiday read.

What I thought of the characters/story: ‘Twas the Night After Christmas was a wonderful combination of location, story, and romance to put me in the holiday spirit. I really felt drawn to Pierce from the beginning and wondered if/how he was going to reconnect with his mother. I had ideas about what the big secret was but I was totally wrong. I also really loved the romance “dance” (not literally) between Pierce and Camilla. They had a slow build to falling for each other (even though it was a short amount of time) and Camilla always kept what was important to her first (her son). This was such an accurate portrayal of a mother’s love for her son, a romance between two individuals of different stations, and the healing power of the Christmas season!

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MC9000537211 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18
15706303 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18All I Want For Christmas Is A Duke by Delilah Marvelle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read for Review (NetGalley)
Overall Rating: 4.25
Story Rating: 4.00
Character Rating: 4.50

Part of my 25 Books for the Holidays for 2012

*NOTE: I only read Merry Christmas, Mrs. Robinson by Delilah Marvelle*

How Merry Christmas, Mrs. Robinson put me in the Holiday Spirit: I am a SUCKER for second chance love stories that are led by the man! Throw in family reconnecting at the holidays and I am a goner.

What I thought of the characters/story: Merry Christmas, Mrs Robinson was a delightful read full of wonderful characters. From the mysterious Mister X to the jaded Mrs. Robinson (and all the characters in-between), you couldn’t help but root for them to reconnect, fall in love, and “do it up properly” this time around. I loved that it all started with Martin wanting to treat family (specifically an aunt he didn’t know) better than his father did. Martin was a beyond swoon-worthy leading man and I kind of hope we get to see a story for his brother!

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Felicia S

Felicia is just your average gal from Texas that loves Audiobooks with a passion! She can wine them, dine them, and love them forever. Her favorite genres: Cozy Mysteries, Thrillers, Romance of all kinds, Zombies, Urban Fantasy, and the occasional Historical Fiction. You may also find her reading on her kindle when a book hasn't been released in audio form yet! In her non-reading time you can find her hanging with her rescue furr children named after book characters: Tonks a beautiful Lab/Pyr mix (Farm Rescue), Lizzie a beautiful cattle dog mix (Pound Pup), and Cinder a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Pound Pup). She also spends times with friends, family, attending conventions, watching movies/tv shows, rooting for the 49rs, and crocheting.

In her non-reading time you can find her hanging with her rescue furr children both named after book characters: Tonks a beautiful Lab/Pyr mix and Cinder a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix.She also spends times with friends, family, attending conventions, watching movies/tv shows, rooting for the 49rs, and crocheting.

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16 Responses to 25 Books for the Holidays: Quick Reviews for books 14 to18

  1. Jennifer says:

    I really want to read a Lisa Kleypas book, maybe I should check out this one! I think I have All I Want for Christmas Is A Duke, but now I can’t remember….

  2. Amy
    Twitter:
    says:

    I need Christmas Spirit in my life. Lucky Harbor…I am most definitely headed your way.

  3. Thanks for the fab narrator notes as always :)

  4. Lucy
    Twitter:
    says:

    Love these holiday mini reviews. My holiday reading has been slow going so far but I’m hoping to sneak in a few this week. Simply Irresistible is one I have on my kindle, and Twas the Night & Deck The Halls sound appealing to me too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these!

  5. Considering I picked up Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor from audible this week, I’m glad you enjoyed it :) I have All I Want for Christmas is a Duke on my review list and plan to read it this weekend, I’m looking forward to it. Cheers for books that put you more in the holiday spirit– Book Savvy Babe

  6. Lily B says:

    I read Deck The Hall, I enjoyed some of the stories from that one :) have not yet read the rest

  7. aurian
    Twitter:
    says:

    I want to read them all, except for the Lisa Kleypas book, which I have read twice already. You know it is made into a Hallmark movie? Christmas with Holly. Glad you enjoyed it Felicia.

  8. Jenny
    Twitter:
    says:

    Oooo yes I discovered Jill Shalvis and Lisa Kleypas this year too! I’ve only read Lisa’s historical romances and I absolutely ADORED them, I think you’d enjoy them as well Felicia! I need to get caught up on the Lucky Harbor books, I’ve read the first three and need to read the newer ones!

  9. Diana Leigh
    Twitter:
    says:

    I agree that Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor was rushed. Makes me wonder why she didn’t make it a longer novel. Loved Reinfield!

  10. Mary
    Twitter:
    says:

    Looks like you had a fun run of books! All of them sound great — I really like a second-chance romance, too. Gonna have to check it out.

  11. Wow, you have to read so fast! Lovely books. :)

  12. Karen
    Twitter:
    says:

    I usually try to read a few holiday themed books every year but I just haven’t had time :-((( I should remedy this with at least a few novellas if I can’t find time for a full length book.

    Love the mini reviews!

  13. Heidi says:

    I am so impressed that you are keeping up with this challenge and there have been so many good holiday reads for you. I am looking hard at Twas the Night After Christmas. Thanks for the fun month of holiday reads!

  14. I’ve read a Jeffries historical romance and enjoyed it. I also need to read Shavis. Hm… you might yet get me to read a holiday one…

  15. blodeuedd says:

    Wow, lots of quickies, ok good..good, yes I do want to read them

  16. O.o *jumps up and down* you read the Hellions Christmas book..i so want that!!!
    You have no idea how many times i hovered over All I Want on netgalley, but I am booked, and double booked for books this month ..lol
    These are all awesome and I am totally jelly!