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Happy Harlequin Holidays! (Mini Reviews + Giveaway)

Tis the season to be jolly! Hi, friends! Today kicks off a fun month for Magan and I. We shake up our schedule like our favorite snowglobe and sprinkle in a ton of fun posts including ones like this — holiday themed! Woo. I cannot wait. We have a ton of great stuff for you (and on our other social media platforms) but what’s better after a long weekend than a fine romance with a bit jingle thrown in? We also have an amazing giveaway provided by Harlequin at


Harlequin Holiday Romances Reviews at Rather Be Reading Blog

Tis the Season by Robyn Carr ( web | tweet )

Unlike other holiday romances I’ve read so far this year, Tis the Season is made up of 3 novellas — 2 of which are holiday themed and the other is a bonus set in the spring. Carr presents great stories about second chances; one taking place during Christmas and the other on New Year’s Eve. Newborn puppies are involved. Do I need to say more?

Even though the extra novella didn’t fit the theming of the book, it was an adorable story of a cunning mom who tries her hand at matchmaking her daughter and her handy guy. Turns out the two have a history they thought no one knew about. Whoops! The zany antics in this one made me smile.

For a quick read to get you into the Christmas spirit, Tis the Season means three times the kissing, the snowflakes, and small town charm.

Add TIS THE SEASON to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Buy on B&N

Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan ( web | tweet )

I don’t ski, and I have no plan of ever skiing but a ski resort sounds like a place even I would like to hang out during the winter months — as long as I was drinking hot cocoa near a fire in very warm socks. Snow Crystal Resort has faced some challenges of late, and the O’Neill family hopes the season will not only bring good cheer but lots of business. Maybe making ex-professional skier Tyler and his best friend, Breanna, faces of the slopes will help, amongst other things. Tyler can’t imagine anything better than working side by side with his oldest friend, but Breanna is a little shaken up because she cannot control her feelings for him anymore.

Who doesn’t want best friends to fall in love during the holidays? Thanks to some interference from Breanna’s friends; she suddenly finds herself homeless with the only solution to take a room in Tyler’s house with his teenage daughter. It’s been so long since I read a romance novel about a single dad, and, oh my god, I loved Jess and how funny she was. She was always busting her dad’s chops and making him uncomfy with girl talk. Made me laugh out loud plenty of times.

Unbeknownst to Brenna, Tyler has been fighting his attraction to her for a long time too but he’s scared to ruin their solid friendship. After all they have been through, he fears getting serious with the one person he could always depend on to be there for him is just not the answer. Or is it? Morgan gives us a great slow burn romance against the backdrop of a bustling ski slope and some really great side characters. (I loved the French cook.)

I’m ashamed to say I bought one of Sarah’s books last winter and I have yet to read it, but you better believe, I’m moving it to the top of my pile.

Add MAYBE THIS CHRISTMAS to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Buy on B&N

The Christmas Wedding Ring by Susan Mallery ( web | tweet )

Nothing says the holidays like bumping into old friends, although… it’s not merely a coincidence when Molly sets out to find Dylan, her sister’s high school boyfriend she was always crushing. Way back when, he promised her an adventure when she needed one most and she hopes he’s ready to pay up. In a stroke of perfect timing, Dylan is ready to take a break from civilization too and agrees to accompany her out of town so they both can catch the breather they need.

Even though Molly keeps a few secrets under her belt, her and Dylan fall into an easy friendship sprinkled with moments of chemistry. Don’t be grossed out. She may have been too young for him when he was dating her sister, but their relationship is definitely a possibility now. A fact that scares both of them. But with Molly dealing with a lot of insecurity and Dylan worrying about his future, will they ever get it together?

As always, Mallery creates a sweet love story and deals so sensitively with a sub-plot line — I was totally impressed by how well-detailed it was. With sweet Christmas details and the drama you would expect from any romance novel, it was definitely worth the one-sitting read.

Add THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING RING to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Buy on B&N

The Mistletoe Melody by Jennifer Snow ( web | tweet )

I’m officially a Jennifer Snow fan. Country music, holidays, strong characters, and a great story = The Mistletoe Melody. Melody is a single mom raising her twins; her husband was killed a few years ago in a car accident caused by his best friend, Brad. After years of ditching his hometown during the holidays, Brad is back in town filming a special for a country music special and is still reeling from this tragedy head-on. Running into Melody is never easy because even though she was so in love with his best friend, they had always been close friends, and also worked together musically. Neither of them can forget about the accident.

Melody is a pretty private person and it’s not easy for her to ask for help, even when the bank is threatening to foreclose on her house. But even when Brad asks her to pen a song for him, she’s reluctant to say yes and starting dreaming some of her old dreams. Can she move on from the past and put her faith into her music and Brad? I love how devoted Melody was to making a great life for her sons, and how Snow folded in a sub-plot featuring the kids too. The romance was slow and sexy, and super well done for a book where a widow falls for her dead husband’s best friend and vice versa.

If you are looking for a book that is charming and sweet and almost-Christmas Carol-esque (especially from Brad’s point of view), The Mistletoe Melody is a must.

Add THE MISTLETOE MEDLEY to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Buy on B&N


The lovely & generous folks at Harlequin have an amazing prize for one of our readers: a pack of 5 holiday paperbacks, an eBook, and ornaments. Perfect for a cozy winter night of reading.

Harlequin Books Winter Reads Prize image

This giveaway is open to U.S. & Canadian residents. Go forth & win win win!

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All books supplied by publisher / author for honest review. (Thank you!)

February 17, 2015 - 8:00 am

It's Snow-ing Heroes | A Peek at the Brookhollow Series - […] of two of her heroes. I had a great time reading one of the books in the Brookhollow series over the holidays, and let me tell you, Snow can write complex yet sweet romances and nails the small town […]

December 14, 2014 - 11:44 pm

Alexa S. - Seriously, how adorable is this post? And so fitting for this holiday season too! I haven’t quite gotten started on my holiday reads, but I’ve found a few awesome suggestions, thanks to your post 😉

December 7, 2014 - 11:48 pm

Ada - I love the holidays, my family always decorate the tree together and we have afternoon movie time. We watch movies like Elf and Home Alone complete with popcorn and drinks. So much fun! Thanks for the chance to win this awesome prize!

December 7, 2014 - 10:16 pm

Kelvin - I love just being with my family and reading with them! We choose a book to read together and then we celebrate with food and desserts 🙂

December 7, 2014 - 10:13 pm

Daiane - My favorite holiday traditions is baking cookies and just being together with my family. I love when we are all gathered together and having a good time. I just love the spirit of the seasons 🙂

December 7, 2014 - 1:14 pm

Esperanza Gailliard - One of my most treasured holiday traditions is having a warm holiday meal with extended relatives. I miss each and everyone of them these days!

December 7, 2014 - 6:14 am

Anita H. - We drive around to the different neighborhoods looking at all the beautiful lights displays and Christmas decorations. Thanks for the chance to win this awesome giveaway! 🙂

December 7, 2014 - 2:14 am

Laura J - Oh December 1st we leave 24 wrapped books for Carter under the tree. Every night he gets to unwrap one book for us to read at bedtime! We love doing it every year and he loves getting new books!

December 7, 2014 - 12:40 am

bn100 - decorating the tree together

December 6, 2014 - 4:21 pm

Jillyn - Going from our house (in Illinois) to our favorite tree farm in Michigan to pick out a Christmas tree!

December 6, 2014 - 1:22 pm

Lucy - Watching holiday movies and reading holiday books. I’ve had my eyes on a few of these!

December 6, 2014 - 9:22 am

Leah - Okay Estelle, you broke me. You know I swear off all holiday-themed stories…but. BUT. I’m now in the mood for some and it’s entirely your fault! (also: puppies!!)

December 4, 2014 - 11:26 am

Daphne - I used to love going to my grandmas for Christmas to spend with my cousins & family. with my boys, we’re making new traditions, like shopping for presents for less fortunate kids and attending Christmas church service. This year I am wrapping PJs and dvds for the boys to open on Christmas eve, we will watch a movie and then put out milk & cookies for Santa. I also really love time with my BFF at her annual Corndog Christmas party, where there is plenty of alcohol & too many cameras.

December 3, 2014 - 11:51 pm

Alyssa Hamilton - I’d have to say re-watching all of my favourite Christmas movies with my family and lots of hot chocolate 🙂

December 1, 2014 - 7:20 pm

C.M. - One of my favourite holiday traditions (though it’s a new-to-our-family tradition we started for our children, not one I did as a child) is our Advent calender of books. I wrap up 24 Christmas-themed children’s books, and each evening we open one and read it together.

December 1, 2014 - 11:45 am

Monica @ A Southern Girls Bookshelf - Love the time spent with family, those are the best memories.

December 1, 2014 - 11:44 am

Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit - Holiday traditions – this sounds kind of gross, and it’s kind of a Canadian thing, but there’s this festive special at a chain restaurant in Canada called Swiss Chalet. It’s basically just a turkey dinner with some Lindts for dessert. It’s not particularly good, but every year, I go with one of my friends I’ve known since birth and we get it – it’s our special holiday time, and a time for us to chat about how our year went. =)

December 1, 2014 - 10:49 am

Ashley C - Gathering with my family on Christmas Eve. Drinking hot chocolate and opening 1 Christmas gift each.

December 1, 2014 - 10:22 am

Brianna - We used to get together with family every year when I was a kid. I miss a house full of people and good food.

December 1, 2014 - 10:10 am

Meg - Oh! And one of my treasured holiday traditions is definitely spending Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ house after church, where we would always be treated to one present before Santa got on his way. We still make time to go by every Christmas Eve — and Gram still has a bag of treats for us, even though I’ll soon have a little one myself! 🙂

December 1, 2014 - 10:09 am

Meg - I’m always looking for warm, cozy reads at this time of year — and these definitely fit the bill!

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