Something about the holidays makes me want to go and enjoy other (colder, more snowy) places. Not really something that’s a possibility, right now, but hey – that’s what books are for, right? For dreaming away for Christmas!
I was offered these ARCs by Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are strictly my own.
A Perfect Paris Christmas: 3.5/5
United in grief. Pushed apart by tragedy.
Keeley Andrews knows more than anyone that you only live once. So when she receives an invitation to spend two weeks in Paris, all expenses paid, she jumps at the chance.
Ethan Bouchard has had the worst eighteen months of his life. He’s ready to give up on everything, including his hotel chain. So when he meets Keeley, it simply isn’t the right time.
As Keeley and Ethan continue to bump into each other on the romantic Parisian streets, they can’t help but wonder whether this is fate telling them to let go of the past and leap into the future…
The one thing better than a slow burn? An unwilling burn. You know the kind – where both characters have absolutely zero interest in falling in love, yet can’t help it from happening?
Add in a lot of personal growth, recovery from tragedy, a feisty secondary romance, the kind of misunderstandings and near misses that are usually reserved for the higher rated 90’s romcoms, and of course: Paris in the run up to Christmas? Honestly, I’m not sure what more you could want – A Perfect Paris Christmas delivers it all! (Goodreads)
The Christmas Swap (4/5)
Chloe, Jules, and Lucy meet at a Maui resort kids’ club, aged 11, forging a lifelong friendship spanning two decades and three continents.
Twenty-two years later, they decide to swap Christmases, none of them expecting the hilarity and romantic escapades that will ensue.
Chloe from Melbourne spends her Christmas with Lucy’s mum and dad in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England, stunned to the core when she discovers who grew up across the road from Lucy.
Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.
And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend a balmy ‘Orphan’s Christmas’ with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away from her mundane life is just what she needed.
Join these three lovable women as they each get a Christmas to surpass their wildest dreams.
Ever wondered what The Holiday would’ve been like, if there were 3 instead of 2 women swapping homes for Christmas? Well – you don’t have to anymore, because that’s exactly what The Christmas Swap offers.
From a sunny Australian Christmas, to an unexpected celebrity encounter, and of course: the classic “best friend’s brother”… This book really has a romance for everyone. And what’s even better? Whether you prefer “instalove”, a slow(er) burn, or something in between, Lucy, Chloe and Jules’ experiences will make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Even as they’re being grumpy, homesick, and of course: falling head over heels… To get to see these friends pull each other through it all? Kind of the stuff perfect Christmas stories are made of!
Although you might be in serious danger of wanting to swap houses yourself for the holidays – I certainly had to fight that urge… (Goodreads)
Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy (3/5)
Katie, an author struggling to write her second novel, heads to Evergreen, Vermont for a holiday retreat—only to get an assignment to write an article about the town. On the train, she meets Ben, a former big-city reporter who’s now a librarian in Evergreen.
Katie’s initially skeptical about Evergreen’s love of Christmas; the place seems too good to be true. Meanwhile, Ben’s wary of Katie’s intentions. He’s protective of his small town, and he knows all too well how cynical the media can be. Then a hunt for a fifty-year-old time capsule leads to a remarkable discovery. As Katie and Ben get caught up in the community’s past and present, they both begin to envision new possibilities for the future.
Here’s the thing about books that are based on movies: they have to get the setting right. After all, the main thing holiday movies have over stories, is that you can basically feel the cosiness. In Christmas in Evergreen Tidings of Joy, though, Nancy Naigle manages to get that exactly right.
From the first introduction to Evergreen, you are basically surrounded by Christmas-ness. So much so, that it might even feel a bit forced, a bit faked. Luckily, that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? Nothing – no town – could possibly be this into the holidays? The fun bit is that you basically get to follow Katie as she discovers that maybe, yes, it is.
The sheer amount of characters you’re introduced to in the first couple of chapters is, admittedly, a bit overwhelming. Although that might also just be because I haven’t seen any of the Christmas in Evergreen movies. It did kinda make me want to go back and read the other books, or see the other movies, if only to get how a truck made an entire relationship happen.
What’s more, there’s a a certain level of meta, as we’re seeing this town largely through the eyes of a writer, who is constantly reflecting on the story-ability of the town and its inhabitants. I mean, let’s be real, it’s based on a hallmark movie, so cliches and over the top romance are basically guaranteed. (Hannah and Elliot, I’m looking at you). But add in a Christmas mystery and almost too many traditions to be contained in one novel? And you’re left with a thoroughly enjoyable holiday read! (Goodreads)
Dreaming of Christmas (4,5/5)
It’s the dream Christmas: snow, mountains… and, er, an ex-boyfriend. But can Zoe still find love in the Alps?
Dumped on Christmas Eve by her long-term boyfriend, it’s been a rough year for Zoe Lumsley. But then she gets an invitation she can’t refuse: an all expenses paid skiing holiday with old university friends.
The bad news: her ex, Grant, will be there with his new girlfriend. But so will her former flatmate Billy, the organiser, and in the meantime he’s done rather well for himself. As Christmas in the Alps approaches, it’ll be great to see the old gang. Some more than others…
You can find my full review here!
As I said – actually travelling for Christmas is basically a big no-go right now, so this is the best I get, okay? Anyways, what books have had you dreaming away for Christmas? Be sure to let me know below!