I recently received four books via NetGalley to review, and I enjoyed all of them very much (my own honest opinion). I've been needing a little nudge to remember the holiday spirit this year, and these were just the thing. Here's a very brief summary and my own few words on the subject, along with my stars (out of five) to rate them each.
An Alaskan Christmas by Jennifer Snow
While I was searching for just the right cover picture, I saw that the author, Jennifer Snow, has several books about Alaska. Quite curious, since a friend I was talking to about the book said she loves reading about Alaska - perfect!
In An Alaskan Christmas, Dr. Erika Sheraton is forced to vacation from her obsessive surgeon job at a busy Anchorage hospital and return to her little hometown in rural Alaska. Here she reconnects with her childhood best friend, and is re-introduced to her friend's (now exceedingly hot) brother. You see where this is going...
In addition to several steamy scenes, I really liked the search and rescue descriptions. While love interest Reed Reynolds may not have a lot of fancy titles behind his name, he's got a unique skill set doing a job that no one would claim is easy!
This is the first book in Jennifer Snow's new Wild River series, and I look forward to getting to know the rest of this quaint town's inhabitants. I'd give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Christmas from the Heart by Sheila Roberts
This was a great Scrooge story. Livi Berg runs a local charity, Christmas from the Heart, who makes it their goal to provide a great holiday to those who may struggle to make ends meet. When the evil Guy Hightower of Hightower Enterprises cancels the company's annual donation, she doesn't know what to do.
Luckily, she's distracted when a hot guy's fancy car breaks down just outside of town. Livi and the mystery man (who says his name is Joe Ford) soon find themselves thrown together and enjoying a chemistry they don't expect. But what if Joe Ford isn't who he says is?? Uh-oh! Hijinks!
Actually, my favorite part of this was the great description of their big annual fundraiser night, which includes a fun barter table where the local business trade their services for things like home-cooked meals by old ladies. Doesn't that sound so fun?!? While the story seems a bit improbable (the dude broke down with a wallet full of hundred-dollar bills so he never needed to pull out ID or a credit card), I enjoyed the read and gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Christmas in Silver Springs by Brenda Novak
This was actually the sixth book in the Silver Springs series. I didn't feel lost, despite not having read the first five books yet.
In this book, we meet Harper Devlin, soon to be ex-wife of famous rocker Axel Devlin. While they met and had two children before fame had consumed their life, now he has filed for divorce and she feels like she'll never rediscover the love they once had. She goes to spend the holidays with her sister in Silver Springs and meets Tobias. He seems perfect in every way, which means he must have a BIG secret.
His big secret is a criminal history, but not too criminal. Bad choices fueled by a sad childhood have convinced him that his past makes him undeserving of her love. See why I love holiday stories? True love again eventually prevails. I gave this one 3 out of 5 stars.
Coming Home for Christmas by RaeAnne Thayne
I think this one was my favorite of the bunch. In Coming Home For Christmas, Elizabeth Hamilton/Sonia Davies is forced by her husband (estranged for seven years) to return to the little town where their love had flourished in order to clear his name. Her postpartum depression caused her to leave town so long ago, and when trying to return, well, things didn't go as planned. I don't want to completely spoil it for you.
I loved the depiction of depression and postpartum depression that felt so genuine. I also loved that the reunions were not all rainbows and kittens. Real life seldom is, right? This is the tenth book in the Haven Point series, and I'm truly intrigued to see more of how the character of Luke Hamilton was developed and portrayed in the community while Elizabeth was gone.
I loved the authentic and fragile characters in this book. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.