The Christmas Angel by Abbie Farwell Brown

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

The Christmas Angel by Abbie Farwell Brown

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“You are so unimaginative!… You judge the tale finished while the best has yet to be told.”

Those are two of my favorite lines from the classic, Christmas-Carol-esque tale The Christmas Angel by author Abbie Farwell Brown. Here we find a bitter, lonely old woman occupying herself on Christmas Eve with earnest tasks: burning toys in her fireplace and conducting covert little experiments on the public to prove to herself that the Christmas spirit is a humbug.

Oh, I didn’t eat it up quite like the Dickens classic this fantastical work resembles in different ways, but I still found it worth the time. I got a little nervous at the appearance of two Jewish boys in the story, wondering how the author would handle them in this tale from 1910—and a Christmas tale at that. But I breathed easier after while. What’s more, my heart nodded in agreement with one character’s sentiments about people who supposedly know so much better than others and wind up miserable.

This old-fashioned read is a fairy tale, but its messages ring true, and not just for Christmas.

 

Breakout by Samantha Price

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Breakout by Samantha Price

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Gretel needs to recover stolen diamonds from the man who betrayed her. Notorious for her international jewelry heists, Gretel doesn’t have time to sit around here in prison with “common” criminals. But it’ll take the help of her outside connections if she’s going to pull off a…Breakout by author Samantha Price.

I didn’t read the book blurb before I picked up this prequel in the Gretel Koch, Jewel Thief suspense series, so I had little idea what to expect. When reading an author for the first time, it’s often all right with me if I get an all right read, especially if its as short as this one.

Admittedly, I was surprised by how, after a start that didn’t have me engrossed, this novella soon pulled me in and gripped me with its action, its twists, and stakes that I imagine will become even higher as the series progresses. And it certainly isn’t a regular occurrence when I don’t like the protagonist but I’m intrigued enough by her story (and backstory) to be interested in finding out what becomes of her.

I’ve added this ChristFic series to my list of series I’d definitely like to continue.

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Gretel Koch, Jewel Thief Series

 

War of Hearts by Annette Lyon

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

War of Hearts by Annette Lyon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

In December 1939, Anna’s career in journalism gives her the opportunity to cover the Winter War in Finland. The last thing she expects is to find that Pete, the man who recently broke her heart, is also in Finland, assigned to be her photographer. And the non-combat area they’ve been sent to soon becomes a dangerous battle zone in War of Hearts by author Annette Lyon.

Yes, it was the cover of this novella that drew me to it, what with its soft but striking, creamy glow of frosty winter light in the snowy woods, and the appearance of the woman giving it its historical feel. The typography and gently faded flourishes around the title are lovely, too.

The war-related parts are what I liked best about the read. In contrast to its soft-looking cover, the story contains descriptions of some of the ugly, violent, tragic aspects of war. The romance wasn’t my favorite, feeling a little clichéd, redundant, and not the most natural. Also, while the romantic side of the story gets its conclusion, the aspects of the war and the hero’s and heroine’s careers rather seem to be left hanging in the end.

Still, the brief snapshots of history in this story were worthwhile for this historical fiction enthusiast.

 

Kiss and ’Telle? by Nadine C. Keels

Kiss and ’Telle?
A Novella
(Contemporary Romance)

“This book has so many uplifting and funny moments!” ~The Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife
“…a fun and enchanting read focused on the theme of longtime friendship and love.” ~RAIN’N’BOOKS

If only this type of thing were as easy as it looks in chick flicks.

Ever since her college days, Chantelle has had growing feelings for Dennis, a swaggering and smart geek-at-heart who’s got romance coming out of his ears. At least, he talks as if he’s mastered the art of dating, but how would Chantelle know if it’s true? She’s never gotten to experience Dennis as anything more than a close friend.

But wait! A huge opportunity comes along that could impact both their personal and professional lives. This may lead to the perfect time for Chantelle to tell Dennis what he means to her.

It may also be time for some of Chantelle’s own words about love to come back to bite her.

Oops.

This contemporary romance features characters who first appeared in Hope Unashamed, the sequel to Love Unfeigned. Enjoy a bonus excerpt at the end of the story.

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Pick up a copy of Kiss and ’Telle?

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