Books,  Christmas,  Holidays

Mini Reviews #22: Insta-Christmas

There’s just something about Christmas and food that makes for the perfect combination. Well, those two – and books. Especially if you combine all three of these, you can end up with quite the insta-Christmas!

I was offered an ARC by Book Sirens in exchange for a review. All opinions are strictly my own.

Half-Baked Holidays

The story

Family chaos erupts as former high school crushes toss mischief into their first Christmas in…
So NOT a Silent Night

A sweet volunteer bedecks herself in Christmas trimmings to lure a dreamy firefighter in…
Enticing Wrapper Number 9

A Wharton MBAer ditches her trying family for a spontaneous Hawaiian yoga instructor in…
Give Me a Christmas Break

Two daring college students engage in breaking and entering—a personal baking contest—in…
Half-baked Holiday

When besties con their way into the ultimate party, a law student finds herself caught in…
Billionaire Bash New Year’s Crash

The opinion

So here’s the thing: short-stories are always a bit hit-and-miss with me, and that was the case for this collection as well. The romance made for a good balance with any elements I liked slightly less, though, even throughout some of the more far-fetched scenarios. Now, I know you shouldn’t judge any story on its vraisemblance, especially if it starts with “Why, Trey Holloway. As I live and breathe.” or the equivalent of the plot of some of the less great fanfictions I’ve read, but still. At times, I did find myself needing at least a bit more of that. Or, you know – of anything. I can’t really pinpoint what it was, exactly, but from time to time I just found myself missing some “spark”.

Now, don’t get me wrong – these short stories were all quite enjoyable, and they were very digestible, exactly because of their length, but still… Sometimes I just needed a bit more power to them… And maybe just a tad less insta-love… Nonetheless: quite a fun read for a slow holiday weekend day! (Goodreads, TheStoryGraph)

The Twelve Wishes of Christmas

The story

She’s here for the perfect Christmas escape…

When Sharmila discovers her late friend, Thomas, has gifted her the holiday of her dreams, she can’t pack her bags fast enough. Arriving in Pineford, it’s everything she’d ever hoped for and more.

But she’s in for another surprise, because Thomas has left her with one last request: if she completes his Christmas wish list of festive activities, her chosen charity will receive a big donation. Or so Sharmila thinks.

…He’s there to reclaim his family’s legacy

Little does she know, she’s set to inherit Thomas’s estate too, much to his nephew Zach’s disbelief. Determined not to see his family’s legacy left to a stranger, he’s come to Pineford to do whatever it takes to stop Sharmila from fulfilling that list.

When Sharmila and Zach meet, neither are prepared for sparks to fly. For Sharmila’s sworn off love, and Zach doesn’t trust her. But with every passing wish they find themselves growing closer. And amongst the twinkling town lights and fallen snow, Sharmila can feel her heart opening up to Zach. But when she learns he’s been keeping a secret from her, can Sharmila forgive him and get the happy-ever-after she’s always wished for this Christmas?

The opinion

Now, I’m fully aware that this is largely a me-thing. Nonetheless, the amount of insta-love, or even insta-attraction, was a bit much. Even compared to some of other similar stories I’ve already read. That being said, however, it’s exactly that which makes this book feel *kind of exactly* like a Hallmark movie. If that’s your thing – if you’ve spend the past couple of weeks basically stuck to the tv-screen, just to get more of that Christmassy clichéed romance? Then this is basically the perfect book for you.

Combine that with a pretty fluent writing style, characters that managed to be fairly entertaining and of course: the *big question* of: will she get the estate or not? And you’re left with a lovely read to combine with a nice hot cocoa and some Bing Crosby crooning in the background! (Goodreads, TheStoryGraph)