Holiday Romance Binge, Part 2: The Contemporary Novels

Holy crap, I love this WordPress theme so much I’m going to keep it ALL YEAR LONG. No, I haven’t started drinking yet, it’s only 11:15 a.m. on a Tuesday.

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Married for Christmas by Noelle AdamsMarried for Christmas

  • Author: Noelle Adams
  • Publisher: Self-published, November 2013
  • Pages: 3236
  • Source: NetGalley

See the full review at Dear Author. It has a big slobbery dog named Bear and Grand Gesture Groveling. You’ll need a LOT of tissues. Trust me.

Grade: A-

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Sleigh Bells in the SnowSleigh Bells in the Snow

  • Author: Sarah Morgan
  • Publisher: Harlequin HQN, October 2013
  • Pages: 384
  • Source: NetGalley

Enjoyable, but missing the wicked chemistry and funny bits of Morgan’s Ripped (review coming soon). It’s a classic Grinch-snowbound-in-a-luxury-resort story, saved from saccharinity by Grumpy Grandfather and from predictability by the lovely pacing and wooing.

Grade: B

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Christmas at Thornton Hall by Lynn Marie HulsmanChristmas at Thornton Hall

  • Author: Lynn Marie Hulsman
  • Publisher: HarperImpulse, December 2013
  • Pages: 386
  • Source: NetGalley

Great premise, with a battle of wills between a billionaire’s house chef and a visiting celebrity caterer at an English estate. It didn’t really work, because the author tried too hard to make it a multi-layered modern Gosford Park homage with a HUGE cast of over-the-top characters. I could have loved the heroine, if not for all the obnoxious people around her.

Grade: C

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Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Marina AdairKissing Under the Mistletoe

  • Author: Marina Adair
  • Publisher: Montlake, December 2012
  • Pages: 386
  • Source: Purchased

The saccharine level is quite high in this enemies-to-lovers, small-town, wacky-neighbor, schmaltz-fest. And even though the series is set in a historic Napa Valley winery, there’s no sense of “place” to give it stability or warmth. However…the realistic portrait of a struggling single mother saved this from a D grade.

Grade: C-

One thought on “Holiday Romance Binge, Part 2: The Contemporary Novels

  1. I thought I was the only one who didn’t LOVELOVELOVE Sleigh Bells in the Snow. I thought it was good but not as good as I’d been hoping for. I actually thought the pacing was off – I loved the long slow courtship but didn’t believe at all in the super-swift turn around at the end. I really wished it had ended much more HFN with hope for the future than a fullblown HEA.

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