What came first? The song, or the dream of a white romantic Christmas? And does it really matter, considering how many amazing books have been written based on that stereotype?
A Snowy Little Christmas – Fern Michaels
STARRY NIGHT * Fern Michaels
As the host of a radio program for the lovelorn, Jessie Richmond is surprisingly lonely, especially with the holidays approaching. So she decides to make the trek to her uncle’s bookstore in rural New York state and hold a speed dating event—only to find herself snowed in—with one very special single . . .
MISTLETOE AND MIMOSAS * Tara Sheets
After years of hard work, real estate agent Layla Gentry has her dream home on Pine Cove Island. She’s perfectly content to be on her own. Until her childhood nemesis, Sebastian, comes to town. When a snowstorm and a stranded kitten bring them together on Christmas Eve, Layla discovers he’s all grown up—and she may have one more dream left . . .
MISSING CHRISTMAS * Kate Clayborn
It’s all work and no play for two longtime friends-turned-business-partners Kristen and
Jasper—until an unexpected kiss turns things personal. Will it mean the end of something, or the beginning? With a major contract in the balance, Christmas around the corner, and a lot of unspoken feelings, it may take an unpredictable blizzard in New England to seal the deal . . .
Fern Michaels’ Starry Night felt to me, quite excessive on the descriptions. Because of that, I found it really difficult to fully submerge myself into the story. Which is a pity, because – as is so often the case – the plot in itself was actually quite promising. I actually had to force myself to keep reading this one – which isn’t really something you ever want to say about a book or story, is it?
Mistletoe and Mimosas, by Tara Sheets, was already a definite improvement from the previous story. It flowed along nicely – although it did feel at times to be a bit of a filler piece. You know, the story that would normally be the secondary characters’, glimpsed at, but not necessarily front and centre in a book. None the less, Sheets’ careful use of descriptions combined with the previous friction between the two main characters, made for a pleasant enough read.
It’s Kate Clayborn’s Missing Christmas, though, that saved this collection for me. From the first phrase, the author managed to strike a chord with me. That might be because I’ve personally be where the MC’s start (missing someone although they are right there). I prefer to think, though, that it’s mainly because the author managed to word those emotions so brilliantly. She sketches a quite complex image of two people who both have their (sound) reasons for doing as they do… Even if that means that, at times, they completely missed what was going on right in front of them. Altogether, this last short story would probably have been a 4.5-star rating if it had been a standalone. As it stands, though, it made me not that mind much having to read the first two stories, just to get to this one!
3/5 stars – Goodreads
Snowflakes on the Little Christmas tree farm – Jaimie Admans
Leah Griffiths has woken up after a few too many glasses of Prosecco with a hangover – and discovers she’s accidentally bought a little Christmas tree farm in Scotland!
At first she’s horrified, but perhaps it’s the perfect way to forget all about her cheating ex.
And when she meets grumpy (but ridiculously gorgeous) pumpkin farmer Noel underneath the mistletoe, Leah begins to believe that at Christmas time, anything can happen…
And don’t worry, there’s far more that this book made me love. Like the fact that it got me out of a reading slump. Then, there’s the fact that, as I said, this book was almost more about Lee finding herself and processing her parents’ death, than it was about “will she get the guy?”. Not to forget, of course, the actual magic of a Christmas tree farm. In Scotland. In the run up to Christmas. I mean, honestly, this book just plain old carried me away and I enjoyed every letter of it.
4/5 stars – Goodreads
Christmas at Frozen Falls – Kiley Dunbar
Sylvie Magnusson is going to be lonely this Christmas. Instead of jetting off for her honeymoon, she’s freezing at home in Cheshire. Guess that’s what happens when your fiancé dumps you a week before your wedding…
Sylvie’s best friend, Nari, plans a trip to see the Northern Lights and get Sylvie’s mojo back. But as their Lapland getaway approaches, Sylvie realises that Frozen Falls is the hometown of Stellan Virtanen, her dreamy Finnish ex-boyfriend, the one that got away.
When they meet, Stellan’s still gorgeous – and her heart is warmed when he shows her the romantic delights of Lapland (as well as some adorable Husky puppies). But when she returns to England, can she really leave Stellan behind? Or will she find that her heart belongs in the frozen North?
From the descriptions of the Finish nature, to the respectful depiction of Sami culture, to the dual perspective of both Sylvie’s and Niilo’s view on their respective romances… The way some magical realism tied in so beautifully to the beautiful reality that is falling in love (again)… Kiley Dubar managed to make me fall in love with her characters and left me with actual tears in my eyes. And the need to tell some people I really love them – and not the biscuit kind of love.
4,5/5 stars – Goodreads
The Northern Lights Lodge, Julie Caplin
With a shattered heart and her career completely in tatters, Lucy needs to get away from her life in the UK. But, when she takes a job as hotel manager of the Northern Lights Lodge, she doesn’t quite expect to find herself in a land of bubbling hot springs and snowflake-dusted glaciers – and in the company of gorgeous Scottish barman, Alex.
Determined to turn her life around, Lucy sets about making the lodge the number one romantic destination in Iceland – even though romance is the last thing she wants. However, as Alex and Lucy grow closer under the dancing lights of the aurora, Lucy might just learn how to fall in love again…
In other words, if there’s one thing she can, apparently do right? It’s writing about people falling in love abroad. And maybe the best thing? She brings back Alex, the guy that *almost but not quite* could have been the love interest in The Little Paris Patisserie – and this time he is *absolutely* the love interest! And what a love interest…
There’s something that’s a recurring theme in most of my favourite chicklit books: a female character building herself back up. I’m not quite sure why that trope speaks to me so much, right now, but there you have it. And this book definitely delivers on that accord.
Another level which Julie Caplin delivers on – the beautiful descriptions. I’ve never been to Iceland, and up to my reading this book? I’d never wanted to. But the beautiful scenery, and especially the amount of cosiness, hygge – or huggulegt as they call it in Iceland, apparently – in the hotel? Book me a ticket stat please!
3,5/5 stars – Goodreads
Are you dreaming of a white romantic Christmas? If so, do you have any recommendations for me – other books that also highlight exactly that? Be sure to let me know below! And of course, in the mean time: check out the rest of this year’s blogmas, as well as all of my other Christmas posts!