Hello friends and fellow book lovers!! For this week’s review, I decided to go with three mini-reviews of some Christmas books I read. I had 2 out of these three books from the library and the other is one I bought recently. Plus I hope it’ll give you some recommendations for Christmas romances if you want them so let’s get into the three books and my thoughts on them.
These are my spoiler-free mini-reviews of Booked for Christmas, Sweet On You and A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas.
Novelist Sophia Hart (real name: Sophie Bartholomew-Kaur-Hughes, but try fitting that on a book cover) absolutely hates her loudest critic—Evan Wolfe, evil mastermind behind the Lone Wolfe book review column. They’ve never met, but Wolfe’s favorite pastime seems to be dumping on Sophie’s unapologetically happy, magical romances. Sophie, not one to be left behind, gets her revenge in her own ways (never annoy a writer in search of a villain).
When Sophie decides to throw a holiday party at her cabin, Wolfe is the last person on her mind. But the universe has a twisted sense of humor. Not only does Wolfe show up as someone’s plus one, but a massive snowstorm blows in, stranding them both alone together in Sophie’s cabin.
Over the next few days, Sophie begins to realize that Wolfe isn’t as odiously cynical a man as she’d originally thought. In fact, he’s kind of…sweet. And impossibly hot. But still, Sophie’s been hurt before and she has so much to lose. What she needs is one sure sign that she and Wolfe are meant to be together. Will Sophie and Wolfe get their Christmas miracle?
Starting off with the first book, I’m going to keep things similar to my other mini-reviews and talk about 2 things I liked and 1 thing I didn’t. For this one, I was cautiously optimistic since I’ve liked Lily Menon’s YA books but this one didn’t strike a chord with me as her YA works have done.
For the two things I enjoyed, I loved the premise of this as it’s a snowed-in romance between a romance writer and one of her critics. As for the second thing I enjoyed, I thought she dealt with a lot of intense topics in such a short novella which isn’t easy to do. This was such a short and sweet Christmas read which was great for this time.
As for the one thing I didn’t like, I just felt like the pacing or writing style didn’t jive with me. I’m not sure what it was but this book didn’t grab me as I hoped. Maybe it’ll be better when I read her full-length rom-com debut. Either way, it was still enjoyable so I gave it a 3/5 stars
Before I wrap up, I wanted to pair a Christmas song up with each of these and for this one, I’m pairing it up with “Christmas in the Country” by Thomas Rhett as they basically get stuck together in the middle of nowhere.
For barista and café owner Sari Tomas, Christmas means parols, family and no-holds-barred karaoke contests. This year, though, a new neighbor is throwing a wrench in all her best-laid plans. The baker next door—“some fancy boy from Manila”—might have cute buns, but when he tries to poach her customers with cheap coffee and cheaper tactics, the competition is officially on.
And Baker Boy better be ready, because Sari never loses.
Foodie extraordinaire Gabriel Capras wants to prove to his dad that his career choice doesn’t make him any less a man. The Laneways might not be Manila, but the close-knit community is the perfect spot to grow his bakery into a thriving business. He wasn’t expecting a gorgeous adversary in the barista next door, but flirting with her makes his heart race, and it’s not just the caffeine.
It’s winner takes all this Christmas. And more than one competitor might just lose their heart for the holidays.
Moving onto Sweet On You, this is my first book by Carla de Guzman and I say that it won’t be my last one. I didn’t even realize this one was a Christmas book as it isn’t really in your face but it ended up being pretty delightful.
Getting into the two things I liked, I really enjoyed the two main characters: Sari and Gabriel. Their banter was just out of this world and they did a great job of pranking each other without taking it too far. I also really enjoyed the setting as I rarely read books featuring foodies nor books not set in the US or Europe so this was a solid one if you’re looking for non-US set Christmas read.
The one thing I didn’t like was that I felt as thought this book was a little bit too long and could have used some editing. It felt like I was waiting for the book to end as each conflict was either resolved too quickly or just seemed to make no sense. Maybe it’s just me, but it didn’t bother me enough to impact my rating. 4/5 stars
For the Christmas song, I’d pair with this one. I have to go with a classic Christmas song and that’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey. Really reminds me of how Gabriel feels about Sari.
Greg Wong hates when things don’t go according to plan, so he definitely doesn’t appreciate it when his mother insists he drive Tasha Edwards back to Mosquito Bay for the Christmas holidays. He likes peace and quiet when he’s in the car, and that’s the opposite of what he’ll get with Tasha, his high school sweetheart. The first woman he ever loved.
Not that he has feelings for her now. Of course not. Though while he’s trying not to smile at her laughter and terrible singing, he can’t help noticing how beautiful she is.
And then his plans veer further off course when a snowstorm forces them to spend the night in an unheated motel room with only one bed…
The last book I’m talking about is A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas which is the second book in the Holiday With the Wongs series. This one focuses on Greg who was a side-character in book 1 and his second-chance romance with Tasha, his high school ex and it’s just delightful.
Getting into the two things I enjoyed, I really enjoyed the chemistry between Greg and Tasha as they were almost exact opposite but worked. It was really sweet seeing how well they were able to compliment each other despite their differences. I also really LOVED all of the tropes she packed in here especially the one bed trope and it was just so dang sweet.
As for the one thing I didn’t like, I really felt like this book could have wrapped up a little earlier or the ending could have been different. Overall though, this was easily my favorite of the bunch and I’m happy to continue this series in 2021. 4/5 stars
The Christmas song I’d pair up with this book is “Take Me Home for Christmas” by Dan + Shay as it goes perfectly. If you haven’t listened to this song, you need to because it’s one of my favorite Christmas songs.
Those are my mini-reviews of three Christmas novellas I’ve read so far this season and honestly, I’d recommend them all. I think if you’re a fan of Christmas novellas, then you’ll find something you like. Hopefully, you enjoy these reviews and end up finding some new Christmas songs to listen to. Before you finish reading my post, please take the time to look over these attached links to help with Black Lives Matter.