Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Review: Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes

Book Description

A luminous holiday tale of romance, passion, and dreams come true from rising star Grace Burrowes, whose award-winning Regency romances are capturing hearts worldwide.

All She Wants is Peace and Anonymity...

Lady Sophie Windham has maneuvered a few days to herself at the ducal mansion in London before she must join her family for Christmas in Kent. Suddenly trapped by a London snowstorm, she finds herself with an abandoned baby and only the assistance of a kind, handsome stranger standing between her and complete disaster.

But Sophie's Holiday is About to Heat Up...

With his estate in ruins, Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. His growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits-but when Sophie's brothers whisk her away, Vim's most painful holiday memories are reawakened.

It seems Sophie's been keeping secrets, and now it will take much more than a mistletoe kiss to make her deepest wishes come true...
(Description from Goodreads)

Genre: Romance, Historical Romance

Series: Windham #4, Duke's Daughters #1
Does the series need to be read in order? No


  • Our hero and heroine meet over an abandoned infant, and even though I'm not a huge kid person, I found the whole setup to be adorable and heartwarming without tipping over into saccharine toothache territory.
  • Sophie and Vim are great characters though oddly enough I felt that the hero was more fleshed out than the heroine in this novel. That's unusual for a romance novel, but I liked it.
  • I enjoyed the kind-hearted meddling of Sophie and Vim's families. It sometimes verged on annoying but for the most part, it was fun.
  • This book wasn't as heavy on the Christmas as The First Love Cookie Club, but I don't think it could be put at another time of year either. The holiday was well-integrated in the plot.

    Liked Less
  • I was a little confused toward the middle of the book because I didn't understand why Sophie was behaving the way she was. Her behavior is partially explained later by one of her brothers, but that didn't provide a complete resolution to my bewilderment. It's frustrating to not have a better view of what's going on inside the heroine's head. I would have liked to have known more about her and especially her motivations.
  • Sometimes it was hard to keep track of who was who among Sophie's brothers. The three who were traveling together were referred to by both name and title so it took a few scenes for me to sort everyone out.
  • The trauma that kept Vim from visiting his family home was rather silly. His response was a complete overreaction.


A heartwarming Christmas read for historical romance fans though it could have used a little more of the heroine's point of view.


Knight of Swords
A decent read. I will likely read other books in this series.

Disclosure: I purchased this book.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Review: The First Love Cookie Club by Lori Wilde

Book Description

"On Christmas Eve, if you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your one true love, he will be your destiny."

The townsfolk of Twilight, Texas, believe the legend, but not Sarah Collier--not since she was a pudgy teenager, running down the church aisle on Christmas Day in a jingle bell sweater and reindeer antlers, trying to stop Travis Walker from marrying someone else. She may be grown-up, slimmed-down, bestselling children's book author "Sadie Cool"now, but Sarah will never forget that day. And she'll never fall foolishly in love again

But when a letter from a sick fan brings Sarah back to Twilight, she's shocked to discover that Travis is the little girl's father--unattached and hotter than ever. His smile still makes her melt, but Sarah knows that ship has sailed. Travis, however, might have different ideas.
(Description from Goodreads)

Genre: Romance, Contemporary Romance

Series: Twilight, Texas #3
Does the series need to be read in order? No


  • The kismet cookie tradition is really cute. I wish the author had included a recipe in the book. I'd like to dream of my true love, but then again, I don't think I could deal with crumbs in my bed. Would a baggie interfere with the magic?
  • Do not read this book if you are not in or do not want to be in the holiday spirit. It's a giant Christmas cheeseball. I was in a holiday mood so I ate it up.
  • I really loved how Travis is such a devoted dad even to the point of almost screwing things up with Sarah.
  • Sarah and Travis had good chemistry and their backstory was great. I love how they were both knit up in the community even though Sarah didn't really want to be.
  • Twilight, TX (the setting) is as much a character as the people are. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the town, her people, and her history. The sense of place was very well-crafted.

    Liked Less
  • I didn't buy Sarah's relationship with Jazzy because we didn't get to see enough of their interactions. I can understand feeling protective of a seriously sick child, but the depth of love she is said to feel is out of proportion to the circumstances that we're shown.
  • The Raylene plotline was clumsily handled. Although the book is all in third person, there was still a notable switch in tone for the parts focusing on Raylene. Although that subplot later re-integrates into the main Sarah/Travis storyline, the shifts are jolting. I think that particular plotline could have been integrated in a way that didn't pull the reader out of the story.
  • The sex scenes were kind of weird to me. They came across as somewhat awkward.

I managed to find the kismet cookie recipe!


A fun, delicious Christmas cheese-fest; only to be read if you're in the holiday spirit.


Knight of Swords
An average read. I may or may not read other books in the series.

Disclosure: I purchased this book.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Review: Season for Surrender by Theresa Romain

Book Description

Honor Among Rogues

Alexander Edgeware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation—for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend his famously naughty Christmas house party—and stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible—he will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector…

Mischief Among Misses

Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends about daring…
(Description from Goodreads)

Genre: Christmas, Historical Romance

Series: Seasons #2
Does the series need to be read in order? No


I did not finish this book. I personally don't see the point in slogging my way through something I'm not enjoying. That being said, I do see value in a DNF book review as long as the reviewer explains why they quit.

    Why I DNFed:
  • I felt that this novel could have taken place at any time of year. The Christmas element was very tangential to the story and could have been replaced with any other kind of event.
  • I didn't feel the chemistry between the hero and heroine.
  • The reader is repeatedly told that Lord Xavier is a scoundrel and a rake. Apparently, he likes to make weird bets with his cousin which doesn't really peg my Scoundrel-O-Meter. We are never really shown his scandalous doings so his supposed reformation lost a lot of impact. There were no prior misdeeds with which to compare his good behavior.
  • I didn't buy Louisa's amazing insight into Xavier's character. After a few days of observing and interacting with him in a limited context, she knows that he's really using his rake/scoundrel image to cover up his soft creamy center. The author does show Louisa's keen observation in another context, but to me, at least in Xavier's case, it still felt like she was making assumptions instead of gaining insight. I hate when people make assumptions about my character whether they're true or not, and I really can't understand how Xavier was be okay with it.
  • The plot moves along slowly. Even when things started to spice up a little bit between Louisa and Xavier, it was too late and still too slow to keep my attention.


The hero and heroine didn't have enough chemistry to make up for a slow-moving plot and the hero's unconvincing personal transformation.


Three of Swords
DNF (Did Not Finish)

Disclosure: I purchased this book.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pics: Kobo Mini

I recently picked up a Kobo Mini because it was only $50 for Cyber Monday. I was fortunate enough to have a $10 coupon so I got it for $40. Even $50 is really good for a fully featured ereader. For $40, I couldn't pass it up, and I'm glad I didn't! It's got to be the cutest gadget I own. If it had chubby cheeks, I'd pinch them. But I digress...

Hopefully I'll find some time to do a detailed review of the Kobo Mini because I love it!

Here are some pictures that show the size of the Mini:

This is the Mini next to an audiobook case, which is basically a DVD case.

Kobo Mini next to a mass market paperback.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Steals & Deals: Harlequin Coupon & Bargain Stephanie Laurens

TODAY ONLY (12/2/12) get 50% off ebooks at Harlequin with coupon code 50OFFEBOOK12. Coupon can only be used once but thankfully Harlequin's bookstore has a cart system so you can still get multiple books with the discount.

There are a handful of Stephanie Laurens ebooks for less than a dollar. Amazon has them priced at $0.99 and Books on Board (DRM epub which doesn't work on Kindle) has them for $0.72. I have provided links for both stores and indicated which are pre-orders and which are currently available.