Come Tree! Holiday Book Shopping List

So last Friday, I talked about the seasonal creep and as Halloween gets that much closer (3 days!), candy canes and singing Santa Clauses will be exploding all over the place super soon.

When I started getting emails about seasonal books releasing in the last few months of the year, I realized a list might be handy. That is what I have compiled below. Books I am preparing to read during the holiday season; some that will end up as reviews on this very blog in December. If you like to be ahead of the game and get your shopping on, I’m hoping what’s below is helpful. In addition to these, I’m adding a few more recommendations with the text. (I’m a bad influence, I know.)

Merry, er, Tuesday! (Have a good Halloween if I forget to tell you!)

Holiday Book Shopping List from Rather Be Reading Blog

⇒ The Christmas Wedding Ring by Susan Mallery (Harlequin HQN)
Also recommending: A Fool’s Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery (there’s a cute cat in this one!)

⇒ The Reluctant Elf by Michelle Gorman (Notting Hill Press) Christmas in Britain anyone?

⇒ My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins (St. Martin’s Press Teen)
Also recommending: Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle

⇒ ‘Tis the Season by Robyn Carr (Harlequin MIRA) Three novellas!

⇒ Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan (Harlequin HQN)
Also recommending: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan (admit to owning this and haven’t read it yet)

⇒ Snowflakes on the Sea by Linda Lael Miller (Harlequin HQN)

⇒ The Mistletoe Melody by Jennifer Snow (Harlequin Heartwarming)
Also recommending: Cowboy, It’s Cold Outside by Katherine Garbera

⇒ Her Holiday Man by Shannon Stacey (Carina Press)

⇔

Would love to hear your suggestions below! Never enough holiday books, I say!

Thanks for reading! ♥

Passionate Online Love Advice from Lucy Robinson

Happy Friday, friends! WE MADE IT.

It’s a long weekend (for must of us) which means even more book reading so I wanted to refresh your memory. Last month, I told you (almost) all about A PASSIONATE LOVE AFFAIR WITH A TOTAL STRANGER by Lucy Robinson — a hilarious and sweet book about a main character who starts a business ghostwriting for people on dating websites. So today we are joined by the author herself who shares with us online dating advice via 2014 Lucy to 2005 Lucy.

Lucy Robinson Author

Checking out Lucy’s blog is a must. She’s adorable and hysterical.

Hope you get a kick out of this (maybe pick up a few pointers) and check out Passionate Love Affair, which is ON SALE FOR 99 CENTS (until 5/28) on your Kindle (then it’s back to also affordable $2.99)!

♥   ♥   ♥

2014 Lucy Robinson: Dearest twenty-five year old Lucy. Hello! I’ve noticed that you’ve started Internet dating. I’ve also noticed that you’re looking a bit wild about the eyes. And spending many hours in front of the computer. Is everything OK?

2005 Lucy Robinson: ARGHHH! Mummy! Help me! I’ve gone crazy! I was normal before I signed up for online dating! I was SANE!

2014 Lucy Robinson: Oh my love. I remember you. I remember feeling like that. It was nuts.

2005 Lucy Robinson: There’s this man . . .

2014: There’s always a bloody man.

2005: But he’s so perrrrrfect, big Lucy. He’s amazing. He’s set my world on fire. Nobody’s ever GOT me the way he does. I want his children.

2014: Stop RIGHT THERE. For starters, less of the ‘big Lucy’ please.

2005: *sighs* Right. Sorry.

2014: Secondly, darling, I am worried about you. I think you might be in Internet Love, and that is bad. Internet Love is NOT REAL, Lucy. It’s completely made up. You have no idea if the person you’re chatting to is a mad old hobo who smells of feet, but who happens to be very good at saying all the right things.

2005: NO, Lucy! It’s not Internet Love! It’s REAL LOVE!

2014: *Head in hands* Oh Lucy. I was you, remember? Trust me: STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER. He’s not what you want him to be. None of them are. If you were a bit calmer about this whole online dating thing then maybe you’d stand a better chance of meeting a nice man. But, my love, you’re madder than a box of frogs at this moment. Your whole life is centred round Internet dating.

2005: *wails* But I LOVE HIM . . .

2014: Lucy Robinson, listen to me. Listen hard. You are beautiful, lovely, smart and funny. But you are a bit lost at the moment; a bit insecure. You’re relying on some handsome stranger to fill all the little gaps in your happiness . . . But a man can never do that. Not permanently. Learn to love yourself, sweetheart. Learn to trust that you ARE wonderful, you ARE lovable and you WILL find love when you’re ready. All of the men you’ll meet will disappoint you. Not because there’s anything wrong with them, or with internet dating, but because you want more from them than they can ever give you. You’ll end up in a relationship with one of them in two years time, and he’ll break your heart. And you”ll spend months running around after another one who doesn’t even bother to take your calls.

Then in five years, when you’ve given up completely, a gorgeous, kind,silly man will walk into your life and you’ll fall in real love with him.You’ll move in with him, you’ll travel the world with him, you”ll buy a house with him. And your relationship will be easy from the very beginning because by the time you meet him, you’ll have learned to love yourself. So step away from the computer, my lovely. Go off and learn about how great you are - just as you are – and stay away from the internet until you truly believe that!

♥   ♥   ♥

Hugs & kisses to Lucy for stopping in today! This was so much fun!

A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson

Add to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon  Paperback at Book Depository

Estelle: A Passionate Love Affair With… by Lucy Robinson

A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy RobinsonA Passionate Love Affair with a Perfect Stranger by Lucy Robinson
( web | tweet )
Publication Date: May 2013
Publisher: Notting Hill Press
Pages: 434
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: dating websites, career, Edinburgh
Format read: ARC provided by author. (Thank you!)

Summary: A break from a bustling career for a workaholic is never a good thing. Charley is determined to make the most of her time, and decides to start her own business — ghostwriting for those on dating websites who need a little help making the initial connection. So what happens when she begins falling for one of the guys she’s writing to for a client? Things only get more complicated when she goes back to her “real” job, the guy she’s been in love with forever admits he’s getting a divorce, and a sneaky coworker is determined to take her job. And that’s only at her day job! Can she juggle it all?

Having the busiest week last week, it was a treat to pick up A Passionate Love Affair… during my down time. Charley is so zany, so intensely intense — she wormed her way into my heart and is one of the more memorable characters I’ve met in a long time. (I was reminded so much of reading Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin back in the day with this title.)

First of all, starting a company where ghostwriters are hired to help those who are having trouble on dating sites? Total genius. It seems like everything goes right for a person like Charley — she has the career, she makes good money, she has great friends, an awesome family — but the love part just hasn’t clicked for her yet. It’s not surprising either… she’s been crushing on a guy in her office for years (too many years) and his flirtation keeps her hanging on (even though he’s having an affair with a married woman).

Right off the bat I loved the premise, but it wasn’t until Charley starts writing notes for clients (specifically for a very very busy career woman named Shelley) that she starts a bit of self-actualization. Has she been ignoring friends and family because work is her life? Has she pretended to be someone else in relationships and that’s why they never worked out? So as she talks to William as “Shelley” and he starts hitting all the right buttons about letting her hair down, enjoying life, Charley gets a little smitten. Like, a lot smitten. To the point where you will NOT believe the lengths she would go to. (But I was along for the ride and loving it.)

I can’t tell you anymore.

I know.

I’m horrible.

But there’s  a surprise, and then another surprise and whoa, Robinson took this story to a whole different place than I would have ever thought. It was fantastic, though, because I had no idea how things would end, how all of this might blow up in Charley’s face, and what it would mean for her career, and her love life. It’s good stuff; I promise.

Clocking in at almost 500 pages (I’ll admit I was a little nervous about this), we get a full picture of Charley’s family including her banjo-playing dad and her two sisters. There are also her friends — Sam, her childlike but adorable roommate who is recently engaged, and her best friend, Hailey, who is the best kind of gal pal because she tells the harsh truth even it’s the last thing that Charley wants to hear. Of course, the work drama played a big part in A Passionate Love Affair too… the crappy coworker (in the inappropriate short skirts) who wants to usurp Charley’s job and most importantly, figuring out proper work/life balance. Was it even possible for her?

In her 30s, Charley was still someone trying to figure out who she was and I really liked seeing that, especially because so many experiences and such different people had an influence on her conclusions. We never know who is going to have that kind of effect on us, and it just goes to show that learning to love and trust yourself is an on-going life lesson. I couldn’t have asked for a more fun and charming book, and I loved the emphasis on dating in the digital age. (While I was reading this, quite a few convos popped up about dating websites and I couldn’t help but smile and think of Charley.) It’s such a relevant experience these days, and no matter how hilarious Charley’s experiences are throughout the book, it will no doubt give you something to think about how you approach relationships and balance work and play in your life.

P.S. I can assure you this review was not ghostwritten. 😉

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