THREE STORIES. THREE COUPLES. ONE HOLIDAY.
Pretty Near Perfect
by Jolene Perry
The last thing Norah needs is to be attracted to anyone – especially in her deceased fiancé's parents' home. Collin’s starting a new career, and has no business getting involved – especially while staying with his roommate’s family, who very kindly offered to take him in for the holidays. Unfortunately, you just don’t always pick the most convenient time and place to fall for someone.
Six Days of Christmas
by Kaylee Baldwin
When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother - someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted.
Twist of Fate
by Rachael Anderson
When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty's mailbox, Ty's faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fiancé is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her - make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all. 225 pages Published November 2012.
Four Stars: A light, fluffy feel good holiday read.
I admit I failed bringing you all holiday reviews. So I decided to squeeze in one Christmas book before the big day. I chose All I Want to be my warm and cozy book for the season. I picked it because I enjoy Jolene Perry's books. To my surprise, Ms. Perry's story was my least favorite of the three. Her tale: Pretty Near Perfect tells the story of Norah, a young lady just regaining her footing after the devastating death of her fiancé eight months ago. Last Christmas, she spent it with Jacob's family and they announced their engagement and made big plans for their future, only to have it torn away. Norah's returns to Jacob's parents' home for Christmas hoping to find closure and to enjoy his wonderful family for the holiday. Instead she gets more than she bargained for when she meets Elliot, a handsome professor and writer who is recovering from a miserable breakup.
What I Liked:
- I liked Norah's character, I especially admired her strength and determination to move forward and not mire in pity and wallow in the past.
- I enjoyed the romance and how she manages to find happiness when she is least expecting it.
- I appreciated the dual narrative between Norah and Elliot. I always like getting into each of the character's heads and seeing their thoughts and feelings for the same scenes.
And The Not So Much:
- My biggest complaint for this one was that the details of her former fiancé's death are glossed over. I wanted to know more about how Jacob died and especially to experience the emotions that Norah suffered during her grief so I could see how far she progressed. Jacob's death made a big impact on Norah and his family and I was really disappointed that it is only discussed in a few sentences and it doesn't really even explain how he died... was it a drowning or did he hit his head?
- This story has a big dose of insta love. For all you insta love haters out there, you may not like this story. I found it to be nice, and liked that Norah and Elliot find each other after some difficulties in the past.
- I didn't like that this romance took place at Norah's former fiancé's house. It made it feel kind of icky. I also didn't like that Norah didn't come to terms with Jacob's family, that was her goal in going there and instead she doesn't get the closure with them I was expecting.
Six Days of Christmas by Kaylee Baldwin
Natalie is driven and determined to be successful. She is fine with her current relationship with Grant. He is a busy lawyer who has little time for romance and leisure. He is all about work. The two are content spending their evenings sitting side by side clacking away on their computers. That is until Christmas comes and Natalie ends up going home to spend the holidays with her best girlfriend,Janessa, from high school. What she doesn't expect is Jimmy... Janessa's little brother who was always tagging along and teasing her. Suddenly, she is racing around participating in wild Christmas traditions from around the world and possibly losing her heart....
What I Liked:
- This was my favorite story of the three. It is a sweet little tale about finding romance in an unexpected place: a childhood friend. The romance in this one is so sweet and totally believable it just put a big smile on my face.
- I really enjoyed the way Janessa's family participated in celebrating events from around the world. I liked learning some of the traditions for the Christmas holiday from other countries.
- Jimmy is just adorable. He has grown up from the nerdy tag along, teasing little brother to a handsome, confident and super sweet man. He totally melted my heart.
And The Not So Much:
- The story line for this one is totally predictable, but it still made me smile.
- The event at the ending was a bit sudden for my taste, but who cares it was a nice happily ever after ending.
Twist of Fate by Rachael Anderson
Tyler Mckenzie and Mckenzie Tyler just happen to be upstairs/downstairs apartment neighbors who share reversed names. This means chaos for the mailman as he is always managing to mix up their mail. The pair have been shuffling each other's mail back and forth for the last year since a letter or two always ends up in the wrong box each week. Kenzie is engaged, but her fiancé is on a humanitarian mission in Africa. Tyler is recovering from a bad break up and has secretly fallen in love with Kenzie even though she is with someone else. Will the mail manage to bring the pair together?
What I Liked:
- This is another sweet feel good story about a pair of apartment dwellers who share the same names and on occasion each other's mail.
- I liked that Tyler has unresolved issues with his mother that end up coming to a head in this story. I enjoyed watching him work through them.
- The ending for this one was just perfect.
And The Not So Much:
- The whole concept of two people sharing the same reversed names and mixed up mail is a little hard to believe, but no matter it is fun.
- I didn't like how Brad communicated his final feelings to Kenzie. It should have at least been a phone call.
Overall, All I Want was a quick, feel good read that definitely perked me up and put me in nice holiday mood, plus it introduced me to two new authors who I will be checking out. I enjoyed all three tales but found the first one to be a bit of a downer and the new blossoming romance happened in uncomfortable circumstances. The second story was my favorite with two old childhood igniting romantic sparks. Even though all three stories are predictable, finding the way to the happy endings is worth the journey. If you are in need of a light, fluffy, cozy holiday read, don't hesitate to pick this one up. You can get the ebook for $2.99 which also makes it nice on your pocket book as well. Happy Holidays!
"It would be exhausting being someone or something you're not. I'm amazed people even try."
"No one tells you when you're growing up that you'll never actually feel grown up."
"Maybe." There's a moment of silence. "I miss falling asleep in someone's arms."
"Does his touch give you butterflies? Do you dream about him when he's not with you? Do you miss him when he's not there, and you can't get close enough to him when he is? Does he accept you for who you are now instead of who he thinks you can be?"
"Here and now is better than there and then. You're here. You're now. And you're so much better."
I purchased a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.