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Review: CROSS COUNTRY CHRISTMAS by Emily Leigh

Emily Leigh is quickly becoming an auto-read author for me after just two books! Cross Country Christmas was a fun holiday novella that takes you from Georgia to Washington in a few days but with lots of emotion, laughter, and love. Who doesn’t want to go on a road trip with a hot, sexy, Country Movie star?

In Cross Country Christmas, Gracie needs to get out of town and wants to head home to Seattle for Christmas. With the grounded flights due to weather, she opts to rent a car and drive there. Country Movie icon, Kale, needs to get to Montana ASAP. With one last rental care available, the two decide to share it and the road trip begins.

Leigh does an incredible job of developing interesting and lovable characters in this story with a unique plot for each character and weaved together effortlessly. Even the scenes we think will be typical cliche romance are done with a twist and entertain even the hardest core romance fan. It’s a fresh story, one that I wasn’t quite sure how it would end.

It was hard to put down but so easy to get lost in Cross Country Christmas from the very first page and is everything you want in a holiday novella. Give it a read!

Title: Cross Country Christmas

Author: Emily Leigh

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: Purchased from Amazon

Review: HOLIDAY WISHES by Jill Shalvis

I absolutely love holiday novellas! Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis is the type of story I look forward to each Christmas season. It is short, sweet, sexy, and entertaining from start to finish. It left me all warm, fuzzy, and happy sighing at the end. What else could a girl want?

In Holiday Wishes, Sean drives his brother and friends up to a Bed and Breakfast to celebrate his brother’s bachelor weekend. He unexpectedly runs into an old flame in Lotti, the Inn Keeper. Boy is that a blast from his past. Little does he realize Lotti’s feelings towards him are a little different.

Shalvis tells the story of how Sean and Lotti find their way back to a romance. It’s fun, it’s light, it’s super sexy. A lot happens in just a few days which makes it a bit of a whirlwind. If you enjoy holiday romance novels, give Holiday Wishes a read!

Title: Holiday Wishes

Author: Jill Shalvis

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: Purchased from Amazon

 

Review: SWEET THING by Emily Leigh

Sweet Thing by Emily Leigh is a book I have had on my to-be-read list for a long time. After finishing it today, I am kicking myself for not reading it earlier! Leigh is a new-to-me author so I didn’t really know what I was missing. Well, I have already looked up her website to see what other books she has written that I can get my hands on! Sweet Thing is the first in the Hale Street series and we are introduced so characters in Sweet Thing that we will read about in future books. After reading Sweet Thing, I find myself wanting to eat cupcakes, remodel my house, and snuggle my husband a little longer each night. I love when an author can inspire my life in an entertaining fiction romance!

Violet Calloway is the heroine that every reader wants to be or befriend. Violet cares so much about everyone around her and doesn’t do anything less than 100% in life. Even if it means sacrificing her own happiness. Nick Morello is the contractor that is hired to remodel an old building on Hale street for Violets new bakery. As you can imagine (this is a romance after all), sparks fly, and the chemistry is off the charts for these two. Their romance was such fun to watch  – from the easy way they communicated, to the friendship and respect that built between them, to the hot and steamy bedroom moments. What I loved about Violet and Nick is that even when they had hurdles to get through neither of them acted immature or ridiculous. They treated each other with such respect and maintained their professional relationship. It is what I am looking for when reading romance at this stage in my life.

The supporting characters in Sweet Thing were equally engaging to me. They each have a story that I want to know about. What happened in their pasts to make them the way they are today? There is something surprising that happens to a couple of the supporting characters and it had me looking ahead a the other Hale Street books. I was relieved to see that we get to catch up with these two that are so prominent in Sweet Thing.

If you are looking for a fantastic story that is entertaining from start to finish, has characters that make you feel like you are already friends with them, and a hot and steamy romance, give Sweet Thing a read. And if you have yet to read Emily Leigh, you need to start. Her writing is easy, smart, and she is great at showing the scenes. You can taste the cupcakes that Ivy makes and feel the shivers that Violet gets when Nick touches her all based on her descriptions. What do you have to lose?

Title: Sweet Thing (Hale Street, #1)

Author: Emily Leigh

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: Purchased from Barnes & Noble

Review: MISTLETOE ME, BABY by Katie Reus

Mistletoe Me, Baby by Katie Reus reminds me of a Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie with an added MA rating for the insanely hot love scenes. It has the adorable characters that are just so good down to their core with a tragedy that causes challenges in their budding romance. It leaves you with so much hope and joy in the end – all the aspects of a great story.

Miranda and Nolan are the best of friends, but they both secretly want to be more than just friends. An opportunity presents itself to Nolan and he takes advantage of it by sweeping Miranda off her feet. They have great chemistry doing daily mundane activities, but they are dynamite when the bedroom door closes.

Reus writes a passionate and heartfelt romance between these two friends to lovers in a novella format. It’s quick, but builds up nicely, and keeps the reader interested and flipping pages. If you like hot, sexy, Christmas stories that will entertain you from beginning to end and bring out many emotions while reading, give Mistletoe Me, Baby a read.

Title: Mistletoe Me, Baby

Author: Katie Reus

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: ARC received via NetGalley

 

Review: UNDER HER SKIN by Adriana Anders

In Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders, Uma Crane is on the run from her abusive ex-boyfriend, who tortured her one night by tattooing her body against her will. When she learns of a doctor offering free tattoo removal, Uma settles in rural Virginia and accepts a job as a housekeeper for the reclusive Mrs. Lloyd. The job puts her in contact with the neighbor, Ivan, a convicted felon, who is trying to get his life back on track. When Ivan sees Uma outside of Mrs. Lloyd’s house, something about her peaks his interest. Ivan has his work cut out for him because Uma is scared to form any relationships, much less a romantic one as she hides from her ex. Can Ivan convince Uma that not only is she beautiful but that he loves her?

There is just something about Ivan that had me adding him to my book boyfriend collection as soon an Anders introduced him. Underneath his dark, brooding exterior is a man who deeply cares for the people in his life (and the animals that he has taken in). Ivan has accepted the punishment that the justice system gave him and is working to put his life back together.

Uma’s story was just heartbreaking. There were a few times when she was recalling what her ex did to her that I had to stop reading due to the intensity of the scene. I loved watching this broken woman slowly blossom under Ivan’s friendship/romance and become whole again.

The chemistry between the two characters is palpable from the moment they meet. It really becomes a question of when they will get together verses if. And when they finally have a love scene? Holy cow! I was feeling a little warm reading it and it wasn’t because of the hot summer weather.

Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders is the first book in the Blank Canvas series. Anders has written a dark and gritty romance that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster. If you enjoy darker contemporary romances, this would be a good book for you.

Title: Under Her Skin

Author: Adriana Anders

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: Borrowed from Library