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Friday, October 28, 2016

Mini Reviews: Battle of the Holiday Flops



Blurb from Goodreads:
Three friends, three wishes—one Christmas! 

Riley Erickson, her pregnant sister, Jo, and their friend Noel are all wishing for the same thing: the perfect man. Or at least men who are perfect for them. Riley's hasn't turned out to be too impressive, dumping her for her bridesmaid three weeks before the wedding. Jo's husband is being perfectly stubborn. And Noel has given up completely. 

When the three women visit a shopping-mall Santa on a lark, the guy is full of predictions. Riley's going to meet her perfect man in a memorable way. Noel is going to get a good man to go with that house she's trying desperately to buy. And Jo, well, a new man is about to come into her life. What on earth does that mean? She already has her hands full with the one she's got. As for Riley and Noel, they have some holiday challenges to meet… 

But Christmas wishes can come true, as these three women are about to discover. Because in spite of romantic setbacks and derailed dreams, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
My Review:


  

Oh man, this is the sort of book that makes you not like holiday romances -- it was just so bland and cliche.  Three women, two of them sisters and all of them friends, visit Santa at the mall in distress -- each is unhappy with their life, with work, romance, marriage --  and Santa tells them everything will be alright. Soon, of course, all of Santa's predictions come true and everything turns out swimmingly for each of the women - new opportunities, new romance, a fixed marriage.  I don't think this one truly captured the holiday spirit for me because aside from Santa's wishes and this being set at Christmas, there wasn't any of the other feeling/setting.  Definitely will not be adding this to my annual list of holiday romance re-reads!
What should you serve someone you wanted to impress? It had to be good, because Noel needed to butter Ben Fordham up like a Thanksgiving dinner roll, convince him that he had to cut her a deal and let her have her house.  That was a tall order since the man was in the business of flipping houses.  That meant he wanted to make a profit. And that meant . . . 


Blurb from Goodreads:
A perfect, feel-good romantic novel to curl up with this Christmas. A story of new beginnings, love and friendship. Perfect for the fans of Jenny Colgan and Lucy Diamond.

Ellie Browne has left behind her high-flying job in London to return to the charming Buckinghamshire village of Little Leyton. Working shifts at The Dog and Duck and running her own doggy-day-care business, Ellie's looking for a much simpler way of life and a good old fashioned Christmas.

But Little Leyton’s landscape is changing; Johnny Tay, Ellie's ex, wants to pick up where they left off; sultry property developer Max Golding, has moved into the village and is ruffling feathers; and rumour has it that the pub, which holds a special place in Ellie's heart, might be sold. Suddenly, life’s looking a whole lot more complicated...

Can Ellie juggle her emotions and commitments in time to celebrate Christmas?
My Review:
  
Again, this one was a bit misleading with Christmas in the title because it was really more like a year at the Dog & Duck (the local pub) with Christmas only taking place in the last 18% of the book.  Regardless, this was a sweet premise if a bit saccharine.  It also involved serious questions between Ellie and Max -- mainly, that she spends the entire book not being told important things by Max and despite all of her concerns, just falls into a relationship with him.  I didn't get it; particularly, their chemistry and motivation seemed to be lacking.  Ellie was well-flushed out except in her thoughts and dealings with Max.  It was like she became a totally different person and we never really get to know Max, except as devious and an object of affection.  Lovely setting but serious plot deficiencies when it came to the romance.
Later as the carols sung by the Salvation Army wafted in to the pub from the High Street, I looked all around me, at the fire blazing in the hearth, the tree glimmering in the window and my lovely advent candle flickering behind the bar, finally being given its rightful chance to burn, and wondered if there'd been a time when I'd ever been happier.


Blurb from Goodreads:
A feast she wasn't expecting! 

Clover Greene would sooner crawl into her oven than host family for Thanksgiving dinner. Yet another annual ritual of too much food, served with a side of criticism over "Clover's Bad Life Choices." This year, she needs to distract them all—with a handsome fake boyfriend. And she has the perfect guy in mind. 

Contractor Erick Fields is the poster boy for sexy single dads, and Clover has been secretly crushing on him for ages. She certainly wasn't expecting Erick to agree to her insane charade…or to add lots of hot, wicked sex to the deal. If they can pull it off, the worst Thanksgiving ever might give them something to be really thankful for!
My Review:
  


Of these three, this was probably the one I was most looking forward to reading, and it was better than the two, because I'd read such great reviews of the first book in this series.  Unfortunately, although this had a few fun moments, it just didn't work for me.  One, the romance was WAY too fast. Even though these characters are acquaintances, it just seemed odd that they moved so fast into serious waters.  Two, although I liked that this was different in that the conflict in the book was not between the characters, I had issues with Clover's family to the point where they seemed so unrealistic and Erick's reaction to them seemed so over the top.  This was infinitely sexy, which can be a good thing, but the sexy-times seemed a bit over the top for me and were used to drive the plot forward in lieu of an actual plot line. I, however, seem to be in the minority re: this one so you may really love it!
"You," she said, narrowing her eyes at him.  "You make me happy." 
"And you . . . make me coffee. And if that's not another word for happy we need to change the thesaurus." He pulled her even closer and was grateful for the sudden influx of male body warmth. It couldn't have been more than fifty out this morning, which was great jeans-and -sweater weather and terrible "nothing but a bathrobe and boots" weather. 
Well I didn't have much luck with these holiday romances but maybe you'll have better luck with them! Three Christmas Wishes and Her Naughty Holiday were released earlier in the month on October 18, 2016, while Christmas at the Dog and Duck came out last month on September 22, 2016.

5 comments:

  1. LOL, I love the title for this post. But I'm sorry these didn't work out for you. Holiday books can be hit or miss for me. I have a few lined up that I'm hoping will be good ones!

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  2. I really enjoyed Her Naughty Holiday, the setting and no fuss romance worked for me, so I'm sorry to hear you didn't like it. Hope your next book is a win, Eva!

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  3. I think I have Her Naughty Holiday but I'm not really in a hurry to start reading it. I either love a holiday book or totally hate it. There's no in between with me.

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  4. You had an awful read from these three! Thank you for your mini-reviews. I won't be picking them if ever I saw them on bookstores (tho I was captured by their blurbs).

    Yani // Paper Boulevard

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  5. Oh no! I had only heard of Her Naughty Holiday so the others are new to me. It sucks that they weren't good reads, especially because they are Christmassy reads. I love Christmas reads because they can be fluffy and happy. I'm sorry these didn't work for you :/
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

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