December Reading Round Up

I love the holiday season, and I hate it when December becomes too hectic and stressful. You can't enjoy the season that way! 

The last few years, I've seen others who read as much (or even more) as me take up the habit of only re-reading books in December. I thought this was a really fun idea and I did it last year then added a couple of new holiday books. Which was awesome! Because it went so well last year, I decided to do the same this year. The only new books I read were holiday inspired and everything else was a re-read of a favorite. It made December such a fun reading month for me! 

Most of these are actually novellas or short stories. So, if you're still in the Christmas mood and want a quick fix, these will be perfect for you!

When I review books I don't give a plot summary mainly because the publishers do a much better job of it than I do! If you want information about the plot or anything else about the books, I have links beneath the cover photo provided for you. (Yes, they are Amazon affiliated links.) I also am only leaving reviews for the new books I read. Since I'm re-reading books... it's safe to say they're some of my favorites. But I will leave a list of what I re-read along with their Amazon links if you want more info.

Warning: you're in for a crap load of cheesy holiday romances. Apparently, I couldn't get enough of them this month. 

New Books I Read

Mrs. Claus:  Not the Fairy Tale They Say edited by Rhonda Parrish

Click the link below for more info.

Click the link below for more info.

  • Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories
  • Format: ebook
  • Rating: 4 Stars

This was a really fun short story collection! Each one really is short, so you can easily read one in 10-15 minutes (maybe even less) and all radically different from one another. They're cute, funny, dark, romantic, mysterious, and everything in-between. You have sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, F/F relationships, Mrs. Claus' who are women of color, inspiration from Nordic tales, and any other spin on the character you can think of as well as those you'd never even imagine. There were a couple of stories that made me go "huh?" and some that simply weren't my taste. But, overall, it was a good compilation. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy: short stories, diversity, F/F relationships, stories about Santa and Mrs. Claus, generally "Weird" and "out of the norm"
  • Trigger Warnings: self harm, violence

Christmas at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

Click the link below for more info.

Click the link below for more info.

  • Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
  • Format: ebook
  • Rating: 3.5 Stars

This book was just a cute and cozy as the cover would lead you to believe. Apparently, it's the second in a series. But, it follows a different character than in the first book and she wrote it in a way where I wasn't confused about what was happening. Even if it did spoil the first book a bit. Which was fine with me. (I mean... they're romances. We all know how they're going to end.) Although, with some of the story lines of the supporting characters I probably would have appreciated more if I had read the first book. But, it didn't ruin my enjoyment of this one at all. 

The only thing is that I felt like character development, particularly between the two main characters. I could tell they were fully developed characters, but I thought their interactions could have been better. They were cute because the author TOLD us they were cute, and didn't always SHOW us that. I saw the potential, but there was just a bit lacking to make it a full 4 or 5 stars. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy: Hallmark Holiday Movies, stories that take place in the UK, bad girl/bad boy tropes, guys with accents and tattoos
  • Trigger Warnings: miscarriage, references to past excessive drinking and drug use

A Secret Christmas by Lauren Royal

Click the link below for more info.

Click the link below for more info.

  • Genre: Historical Holiday Romance
  • Format: ebook
  • Rating: 4 stars

This was another really fun fast read. I actually didn't know that there was a time when Christmas was outlawed in England, so that was interesting. It was really predictable, but I didn't mind at all. I love a good plot twist, but sometimes I don't need that to enjoy a book. It's more about the journey there than the destination.

I actually might pick up her other books. All of her books follow the same family. The original series was about three sisters then this book is about their parents. So, even though it was the 8th in the series, it didn't spoil anything for the other books. Some of her books follow their descendants, and others follow their ancestors. I think that's kind of a cool premise. 

Also- she has "clean" versions of her books and... not so clean... versions of her books. Haha. This was the not so clean version. If you don't enjoy that, but are interested in this story, pick up The Cavalier's Christmas Bride.  

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy: 17th century England, historical, love squares, multiple relationships, "insta-love," Puritanical society, post-English civil war, family focused, matchmaking
  • Trigger Warnings: discussed "off screen" attempted rape

The Christmas Ghosts by G. Lawrence

To learn more about The Christmas Ghosts click the link below.

To learn more about The Christmas Ghosts click the link below.

  • Genre: Holiday Short Stories
  • Format: ebook
  • Rating: 3.5 Stars

This was a nice relaxing set of short stories. They were a little longer than the ones in the Mrs. Claus anthology, which I liked. They also weren't super creepy - so if you're interested in ghosts but not getting scared you might like this one. I enjoyed each of the stories, but I didn't LOVE any one in particular. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy: ghost stories, short stories, 
  • Trigger Warnings: getting lost, ghosts, rocky relationships with families

Holiday Wishes by Jill Shavis


Holiday Wishes

  • Genre: Holiday Short Stories
  • Format: ebook
  • Rating: 3.5 Stars

This book was cute, but it also was the one which determined that especially when it comes to romance, I prefer full novels over novellas. (With the exception of Gail Carriger's romance novellas.) I enjoy this one, and it was a good story, but I wish I had the chance of a longer full length novel to get to know the characters better and really get into the relationship more. Also, this was in the middle of the series. Which, with romance book series you don't necessarily have to read them in order. I understood everything that was going on. But, if I had been able to read the other books first I most likely would have appreciated the setting and other characters more. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy: the Reluctant Hearts series by Brighton Walsh, first love trope
  • Trigger Warnings: loss of parents, one night stands, abandonment

A Countess for Christmas by Anthea Lawson


A Countess for Christmas

  • Genre: Historical Romance Holiday Novella
  • Format: ebook
  • Rating: 3 Stars

Once again, I enjoyed this book, but wished it could have been longer so I could have gotten to know the characters better. I have a pretty big willing suspension of disbelief, but even I draw a line eventually with the "we fell in love and got engaged within 3 days" type of thing. It was still cute though. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy: regency romance, sweet romance, love at first sight
  • Trigger Warnings: loss of parents, temporary blindness

A Duke for Midwinter by Anthea Lawson


A Duke For Midwinter

  • Genre: Historical Romance Holiday Novella
  • Format: ebook
  • Rating: 4 Stars

Apparently, Anetha Lawson wrote three of these holiday short stories. So, naturally, I decided to download all three. As much as I would have preferred a full length novel, I liked this one more than the first. It was still "we've known each other for three days but want to get married anyway" but there was a bit more to the plot (Caught in a snow storm! Have to stay at a nearby inn! Secrets!) and I saw the characters interact more which helped my willing suspension of disbelief. Super cute!

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy: Victorian romance, sweet romance, love at first sight
  • Trigger warnings: snow storm, arm injury

A Prince for Yuletide by Anthea Lawson


A Prince for Yuletide

  • Genre: Historical Romance Holiday Short Novella
  • Format: ebook
  • Rating: 4.5 stars

And onto the third short story, and it's about the sister of the main character in A Duke for Midwinter.

I may need to take back my comments about not liking romance novellas as much, because this book charmed me from page one! Which, shouldn't be a surprise. It was filled with fairy tale-esque tropes I fall for every time. A masquerade ball, snow, sleigh rides, daring rescues, a slightly Pride and Prejudice feel where one character has a major social slip up and everyone things they're a jerk (but we all know they're a gooey marshmallow on the inside!) ... I ate it all up! Even beyond the tropes, this novella had excellent development between the two characters. 

I also might have a hint of royal wedding fever thanks to Prince Harry and Meghan so... a book about a prince falling in love was definitely my cup of tea. After reading this one, there's a good chance I'll pick up other books by this author. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy: Victorian romance, sweet romance, fairy tale themes, 
  • Trigger warnings: falling through ice

Mission of Christmas by Candice Glimer


Mission of Christmas

  • Genre: Contemporary Christmas Romance Novella
  • Format: ebook
  • Rating: 3.5 stars

Another cute quick read. It wasn't my favorite, but still enjoyable. I thought it did a better job than some other novellas with fleshing out the relationship and making it believable for a limited amount of pages. But, the author had alternating points of view. Which, normally is fine. But the female POV was in first person, and the male POV was in third. It was weird. Some authors can pull it off, but most can't. So please... don't do this. It's annoying and confusing.

But over all, the story itself was fun and it was a true stand alone, so I didn't feel like I was missing the backstories of any supporting characters like I had been in some of the other novellas I've read this month. 

  • You'll like this book if you also enjoy: friends to lovers trope, main character hating Christmas trope, contemporary romance
  • Trigger warnings: death of parents, poverty

Books I Re-Read:

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