Merry Christmas!!!

It is winding down to the last few hours of my Christmas day, and just wanted to take the opportunity to wish everyone A Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. My whole family always makes it very special, and I am truly grateful for each and every one of them for all they do to make it one of my favorite days of the year. I love decorating for Christmas, finding a special gift for every one of my family members and wrapping it in either the cutest or the prettiest wrapping paper we have, the Christmas Songs and Movies that we get to play, Christmas Baking (I was designated to make Maple Bars every year), and spending time with my family.

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(An earlier Christmas tree that was decorated!)

I hope that everyone had just as good a time as I did, and that you were able to spend it with your loved ones. “Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Night!” –Clement Clarke Moore

Christmas at Ravencrest, A Dark Hero Christmas Short by Lily Silver

Christmas at Ravencrest, A Dark Hero Christmas Short

RATING:

5 Out Of 5 Stars

REVIEW:

Set after the events of “Dark Hero”, everyone is recuperating, and Elizabeth is getting Ravencrest ready for Christmas. Since she has a lot to celebrate this coming holiday such as, no one being killed, the return of her older brother; whom she thought was dead, and now the beginnings of her happy marriage to Donovan. And though she won’t be able to make it a Christmas, like she would have if they were in England, but being located in the West Indies she tries to make her first Christmas together with everyone really special. And she can’t wait to give Donovan his special Christmas present…
This was a fun short story. It made me want to read the book “Dark Hero”, so I knew Donovan’s and Elizabeth’s story, because I didn’t realize it was a short sequel until I started reading it and it mentioned the events that took place for this stories predecessor. The relationship between Donovan and Elizabeth was absolutely adorable and when Elizabeth said they had a rocky start at the beginning of their marriage it made me want to read their story even more to see how they overcame the obstacles that made it difficult at the beginning of their marriage.
All the additional characters were fun, and when Elizabeth’s brother Kieran was mentioned and the slight information about his gifts, it made me really hope that in the main story the author elaborated more on them, also gives us more details about the other characters that came or were already there at Ravencrest, because they seemed like they were great additions to the story; even though they weren’t mentioned a lot during this novella. As a side note, I really hope that the author has a story for Kieran and the lady that he will fall in love with; I am really curious what her character would be like.
I really hope that Captain Jack Rawlings has his own story. Though his character wasn’t touched upon much, the author did great job in making me wonder what girl will be the one to tie him down.
I really look forward in reading “Dark Hero”, so I can read Donovan’s and Elizabeth’s story, as well as seeing and if there is, reading the book for Captain Jack Rawlings and Kieran. I really hope that they are as enjoyable and have the same feeling as I got from this novella.

‘Twas the Night After Christmas (Hellions of Halstead Hall #6) by Sabrina Jeffries

'Twas the Night After Christmas

RATING:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

REVIEW:

“Dear Sir,
Forgive me for my impertinence, but I feel I should inform you that your mother is very ill. If you wish to see her before it is too late, you should come at once.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Camilla Stuart”

When Pierce received this letter from his mother’s companion, it chilled him. He didn’t have a good relationship with his mother, ever since he was eight and sent to school. He wasn’t allowed to come home and spend time with his mother or father during the holidays and was always sent to his father’s family. And when he hit the age of majority, there was an incident that had him turn away from both parents and never saw them again. Even after his father’s funeral he never established a relationship with is mother. So after receiving this letter he thought he would do the right thing and say his goodbyes and hear his mother’s explanation…
When Camilla sent the letter to Pierce Waverly the Earl of Devonmont, she wasn’t actually being honest… The countess was in excellent health, other then her being sad and pining for her son who hasn’t even written back to his mother. She wasn’t even sure if her farce would work, but when the Earl shows up, she is really surprised, and scared of her position when the Earl learns she lied. The Earl his ready to leave straight away, but after Camilla makes a bargain with him he decides to stay. After each day he stays Pierce and Camilla get closer and more attracted to each other, but they each have their own secrets and don’t know what to do with their attraction…

Since its that time of year, I have been reading books that has Christmas involved with the story. I enjoyed reading this book and it was different compared to anything I have read. I enjoyed how Pierce’s and Camilla’s relationship grew each day that he decided to stay and how as time went on, he was able to share his secrets with her. It wasn’t one of those, that when they first one or the other or sometimes both had to have the other person, but they actually got to know each other.
Though Pierce and his mother’s relationship was tense, you were able to tell that she was devoted to her son and it made me wonder what happened to make her distance herself from him. It made me look forward to seeing how everything turned out in the end.
Jasper, Camilla’s son, was just adorable. He was obsessed with the “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, but it really came apart of the story in a lot of the activities that the did. And I thought that Ms. Jeffries did a great job integrating both Jasper and the poem in the story.
All in all I thought it was a decent book to read for the holidays since its based on forgiveness and new beginnings.

His Mistletoe Bride (Stantons) by Vanessa Kelly

His Mistletoe Bride

RATING:

3.5 Out Of 5 Stars

REVIEW:

After a long journey to England to finally meet and live with grandfather, Phoebe Linville is sad to learn that her grandfather died a little before the journey started. When Major Lucas Stanton, the new Lord Merritt, delivers the unfortunate news he also gives Phoebe a letter to her from her grandfather she learns that his last denying wish was for Lucas to marry her and her remain in England and away from her miserable life in America. And though she finds Lucas insanely attractive, she doesn’t want to become a burden to him and declines his offer…
Lucas Stanton,the new Earl of Merritt, never met anyone like Phoebe. When her grandfather ask Lucas to make a promise to take her as his wife, he wasn’t really excited about it. Not only did he inherit a home that was crumbling down around him and become Lord of a town that have had it rough, he also made an honor bound promise to the old Earl to marry Phoebe that she in turns declines. But as he gets to know her, he realizes that she his the one he wants to be his wife…

I have read a few books about Vanessa Kelly that I really enjoyed. So when I came across this one and it being Christmas, I thought I would give a try. It turned out to be somewhat difficult for me to get through the book. For the first half of the book it was all about there courtship, which most of the time I don’t mind since I like it when the hero and heroine usually get to know each other. But in this instance it seemed to take for ever for them to get together and get married. The next part was of them trying to return their home, Mistletoe Manor, into it’s original splendor. Then I guess to add a dash of suspense they become aware of a smuggling ring in their town, which everyone that has lived their knew of it and turned a blind eye or was apart of it.
I didn’t much for the heroine, Phoebe. Their were one or two instances that your like “okay she is not too bad”, then she does something that negates it. She seems to always misunderstands the situation and at times seems a bit spoiled when Lucas doesn’t take her side. And at times she acts a bit dense and a lack of trust which turn some situations for the worse.
I did like Lucas. Though he went form being just a soldier to an Earl, you find how difficult it was for him to being just a mere soldier to one with all the responsibilities that come with becoming the new Earl of Merritt. It was interesting to read how his character develops to his new status.
The return of characters from the authors previous books was a nice addition and it was fun to read how they contribute to the story.
All in all, it was interesting to read once so you know Lucas and Phoebe’s story when they are later mentioned in one of Ms. Vanessa Kelly’s later books and see how they grow from this book to when they are later mentioned in another.