Bring Along the Mistletoe | 2015 Romance Wish List

I’m giddy with excitement to present my first HOLIDAY POST OF 2015. Whew! I’ve been preparing for this for twelve months. Well, kind of. We have about a week to go before Thanksgiving so I thought it was safe to talk about holiday romances. (I swear on Santa’s sleigh I’ve only listened to two Christmas carols so far — one accidentally.) With the end of year getting super busy with presents, parties, and good cheer, there’s nothing like relaxing with a quick read that keeps you interested and relaxes you. (They are especially great when paired with sparkly wine or some hot cocoa.)

First, a glimpse at the two I’ve sampled so far:

Christmas in Mustang Creek by Linda Lael MillerChristmas in Mustang Creek by Linda Lael Miller (9/29 from HQN Books): Charlotte is back home in Mustang Creek for good, and she’s surprised to find her ex, Jaxon, there too. The surprises don’t stop coming with the mysterious Mrs. Klozz, who has been taking care of Charlotte’s ailing aunt. For a cute story about second chances and true holiday magic, Christmas in Mustang Creek is sweet and sure to get you in the mood for a beautiful home cooked meal with only the best sweets. (Seriously, the menu in this book is fit for royalty.)

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Evergreen SpringsEvergreen Springs by RaeAnne Thayne by RaeAnne Thayne (9/29 by HQN Books): A single dad with two kids; a doctor who is so used to taking care of everyone else that sometimes she forgets about herself. This is what holiday dreams are made of. Cole and Devin have that opposites attract vibe, and this story is so much about how the spirit of the holidays uplifts the most downtrodden. I love how the town of Haven Point bands together to help their own (even those least likely to be joiners), the holiday traditions (peppermint cotton candy!), and the all around kindness expressed in this book. It’s everything I’d want a holiday romance to be — complete with a hot spring and a tree from the middle of the woods.

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And now, a few romance picks I’m curious about:

2015 Holiday Romance Picks

9/29: Marry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery

10/20: Wrapped in Red two stories by Nana Malone & Sherelle Green

10/22: Christmas Ever After by Sarah Morgan

10/27: Bring Me Home For Christmas by Robyn Carr

11/1: A Copper Ridge Christmas a novella by Maisey Yates | Love, Lies, and Mistletoe by Jennifer Snow

11/11: A Cowboy Under the Mistletoe by Vicki Lewis Thompson

11/17: A Cold Creek Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne

12/1: A White Wedding Christmas by Andrea Laurence

Whew! Are we in the spirit? Just in case you might possibly need a few other suggestions, I had a blast throwing together a similar post last year. Happy reading, shopping, loving, and romancing! Until next time! – e

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!)