I loved being invited to check out a couple of the Harlequin Christmas tales, since I'd previously reviewed books from the same authors and series before (A Royal Kiss and Tell last June, and Christmas in Silver Springs a little more than a year ago). There's something altogether comforting about returning to familiar book settings and characters when real life is so unpredictable, you know?
A Princess by Christmas by Julia London - This is the third book in the Royal Wedding series. I read the first one where Eliza and her prince got together, but didn't review all the details of the courtship between Caroline and her prince.
This charming Christmas story finds us with Hollis Honeycutt and her so fun Ladies Gazette. I loved the excerpts and gossip from her gazette that have been shared in the books in the series. The outspoken widow has been doing just fine in the four years since her husband's death, and hasn't even noticed anything missing from her busy life, until she meets a man who gives her thoughts and feelings she doesn't remember having since she was with her first husband.
The characters and their fancy lives in and around the old Victorian Christmas season were a fun escape and quite entertaining. I'd give it 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for those who enjoy this time period, or historical romances in general. ⭐⭐⭐
A California Christmas by Brenda Novak - This was the seventh book in the Silver Springs series. I've only read the one from last Christmas (book 6) and this one. The small town of Silver Springs has its share of troubled characters, especially those involved with the New Horizons school specifically for youth with sketchy pasts. Most of the residents, of course, are completely lovable once you get to know them.
Emery Bliss was from the rich school in town, but after high school she moved to LA to be a famous news anchor. It's going well, til revenge porn is posted by her co-anchor, and she comes back home to nurse her emotional wounds and hide from those who want to talk about her fall from grace. Unfortunately, her parents have left town and are focused on their own bitter divorce. Emery stays with Aiyana's house (just off the campus of New Horizons) and ends up meeting one of Aiyana's adopted sons (Dallas Turner, now an adult) who is just home for the holidays, and to help with Aiyana's wedding. I think we can see where this is going, right? ;)
Dallas wants to save those who have suffered injustice, mostly in private tribute to his inability to save his own sister. But he'll need to learn this before he can work through his own commitment issues and really move on with his life.
There's a lot of trouble in the world, but in Silver Springs we know there will be a happy ending within a few hundred pages, right? I'd give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for readers who like contemporary romance stories. ⭐⭐⭐
As corny as it sounds, my time away from the tv (which for this month is all cheezy Hallmark/Netflix holiday stories) is the same stories in book form. Hahahaha....
What books do you enjoy reading to warm your heart for the holiday season?