Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Quickies: 3 Holiday Novella Reviews

Mistletoe in Manhattan by Talli Roland
Published: November 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Notting Hill Press
83 pages (ebook)
Genre: Women’s fiction
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Purchase this book: Amazon }

As Little Missington's first Christmas baby in fifty years and the daughter of 'Christmas When You Like It' party-planners, Holly West has been surrounded by the holiday spirit since birth. Trouble is, she's not exactly filled with festive cheer. In fact, Holly can't wait to ditch the tinsel and Santa suits for champagne and celebs, and become a party-planner to the stars.

When British film star Dean Layton hires her parents' company to throw his holiday bash in Manhattan, Holly jumps at the chance to help, confident she can handle a little Christmas in exchange for access to Dean's exclusive world.

But New York and Dean's over-the-top demands are more than Holly bargained for. Can Holly deck the halls and make it a party to be proud of, or will this Christmas be one she'll never forget . . . even if she wants to?

Feeling a bit stuck working for her parents’ year-round Christmas party planning business, Holly has visions of grandeur when she’s hired to put on a big traditional English Christmas party for a British celebrity in New York City. This is her chance to get out of her small town, out of her elf costume, and make a name for herself.

While short, this charming novella packed a lot of fun between its digital pages. The story was simple and sweet, but the message behind it encompassed the true spirit of Christmas. I loved the little hint of romance, the obstacles Holly faced, and the lessons she learned. It was funny, touching, and overall a feel-good kind of story.

If you’re looking for a fast and sweet holiday read, or if you’re running around like a mad person getting ready for Christmas and need a little reminder about what the holidays are really about, I’d definitely recommend this book.

Naughty or Nice? by Stephanie Bond
This story was published as a standalone, but I read it in the the Under the Mistletoe collection
Published: November 1st, 2008
Publisher: Harlequin
250 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Women’s fiction
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Purchase this book: Book Depository || Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

Eric Quinn Stanton has never let pleasure interfere with business--until now. His practice is to arrive early and incognito at a job, to see firsthand what's working, and what's not. But he can't seem to see past Cindy's beautiful green eyes or her other generous assets. And he can't stop himself from testing the general manager's skills--on the job, and in the bedroom. But what will she think when she learns his true identity?


Cindy is the general manager of the Chandelier House, a hotel in San Francisco. The hotel is known for being a bit strange and quirky - they host a lot of trade shows, specialty groups, and conventions (think Trekkies), and right before Christmas, the hotel comes under review by the company that bought it. Cindy has to scramble around trying to get ready for the reviewer, who she’s afraid will show up early and go incognito. Basically everything that can go wrong does, both in her personal and professional life.

The whole story is delightfully quirky. All the problems Cindy has to deal with at the hotel, the problems she accidentally causes herself, and the people she has to deal with, made for a lot of really humourous scenes. The story was funny, cute, and sexy, with a cast of eccentric characters that pulled me in and made me hope everything would turn out for the best. It has a little something for everyone, and it makes for a great, quick Christmassy read.

Christmas Kisses by HM Ward
Published: November 26th, 2012
Publisher: Laree Bailey Press
100 pages (ebook)
Genre: New adult romance
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Purchase this book: Amazon || Kobo}

How hard is it to NOT have sex with him? Lust has melted Holly Connelly’s brain and it’s all Ryan Darcy’s fault. He’s been ruthlessly flirting with her for the past three years. Ryan’s a sex god complete with sinful body, endless wit, and an orgasm-inducing smile. One sultry look from him will make her panties jump off her body. His endless string of one-night stands has Holly thinking she’ll be just another conquest. Since she actually has feelings for the guy, it makes it that much harder to put off his advances. When they get trapped together by a snowstorm, it’s all she can do to resist him. If Holly says yes, she’ll probably regret it. If she says no, she’ll always wonder what if.


I’ve been on a Christmas story kick lately, so when I saw this one recommended on a friend’s blog, I was intrigued. My first thought: I think marketing it as a Christmas story was a bit misleading. It took place over Christmas break, but actually had nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas. Most of the story happened before Christmas, then Christmas was mentioned in passing and that was it. Since I was looking forward to a Christmassy tale, I felt kind of cheated - it was basically erotic romance masquerading as a holiday story.

The build-up and sexual tension were done fairly well. I didn’t get much of a sense of either character’s personality since the only real descriptions were how hot they were and how much they wanted each other. The whole story was really repetitive - the first third of the story was basically made up of Holly saying what Ryan did to her heart, and what Holly did to the rest of Ryan. The sex scenes were super hot, but again, repetitive. 

There were a few sweet, funny moments between Holly and Ryan that I really enjoyed. Once the sexual tension was out of the way, I liked how they interacted with each other and connected with each other. It was nice that they had shared history and were familiar and semi-comfortable with each other, even though I didn’t feel them connect on an emotional level, so much as a lust-filled one.

If you’re looking for a cute, sexy, quick read, this might be it. If, like me, you’re looking for an actual Christmas story, I'd look elsewhere. But, for 99 cents, what do you have to lose?

Have you read any of these Christmas novellas? Do you have any recommendations you'd like to share for Christmassy books or novellas?


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thank you so much, Marie, for taking the time to read and review my novella. I'm so pleased you enjoyed it!

    Have a very happy holiday season.

  3. I downloaded Christmas Kisses but haven't read it yet. Maybe I should do that today. :)


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