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Review – Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe – Katherine Garbera

Christmas at the Candied Apple Café
Author: Katherine Garbera
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Author via NetGalley

Description:
There’s nothing so magical as Christmas in New York…
Santa is coming to New York!
Snow is falling, excitement is high and the delicious scent of chocolate drifts along Fifth Avenue – the Candied Apple Café is ready for Christmas! And no one is busier than publicist Iona Summerlin. With so much to do, she doesn’t have time to think about men, dating, or the fact her last boyfriend ditched her for her brother… Relationships are off the menu!
Hotel boss Mads Eriksson is not looking forward to the first Christmas since losing his wife. His six-year-old daughter Sofia has lost her belief in Christmas magic along with her mother, and he has no idea what to do. But an unusually festive business meeting at the Candied Apple – and meeting the beautiful Iona – starts to defrost Mads’ frozen heart, and suddenly life seems full of light and sparkle again.
If only they dare to believe, maybe all their Christmas dreams will come true!

Review:
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…well, kinda sorta…at least the weather has started to cool down a bit (I even woke up to frost on the car earlier this week) – normally, I would wait until December to start digging into Christmas romances – but when I was offered the chance to review Christmas at the Candied Apple Café, I was intrigued by the description (as well as the whimsy of the cover) – that I said yes. It has also been a while since I’ve read anything written by Ms Garbara (like probably close to 8years), so seeing how her writing style has evolved over time was an added bonus.

Like the cover, there was something whimsical about Christmas at the Candied Apple Café – it was a story about learning to love again and moving on, to making new memories (and add in a nice bonus of a story that revolves around chocolate…which if anyone knows me knows I heartily subscribe to that lifestyle choice). While Iona wasn’t the chocolatier, she was the publicist responsible for a rather popular chocolate store who is being courted by the hero, Mads Eriksson, to be a unique store in his hotel chain. But it was Mads daughter who won me over in the writing of the story. I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for books that feature kids (especially if they are key to the story) and Sofia was an adorable, yet precocious little girl. I just wanted to have her jump off the page, so that I could give her a hug and read her a story, but alas….

The romance between Iona and Mads wasn’t anything that blew me away – it just had a nice steady development with a bit of a flash and bang at a few different spots. I was honestly more interested in both Mads relationship with his daughter and how he was going to get past a recently suffered tragedy to love again. Christmas at the Candied Apple Café was just a comfortable read – the kind of book that I would read on a snowy day, snuggled up unti a blanket on the couch with the dog warming my feet. I’d give Christmas at the Candied Apple Café 3.5 stars and a recommendation for anyone looking for a cute Christmas romance.

About Katherine Garbera:
Katherine Garbera is the USA Today best-selling author of more than 90 books. A Florida native who grew up to travel the globe, Katherine makes her home in the Midlands of the UK with her husband, two children and a very spoiled miniature Dachshund.

Katherine on Social Media:
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Posted by on November 16, 2017 in Book Review, Review

 

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First Line Friday’s – 27 October 2017

First Line Friday’s is a weekly feature, hosted by Hoarding Books – so grab a book off your pile and share the first line

“Christmas was the most special time of the year.”

From:
Christmas at the Candied Apple Café – Katherine Garbera

Yeah, I know, Christmas is still like 8 weeks away – but I was recently asked to review Katherine Garbera’s new book – so its kind of like, I guess its time to read a Christmas book (although I have a couple of other Christmas books on my pile). I remember reading Ms Garbera’s books when I used to devour books in the Harlequin Silhouette Desire imprint – but honestly haven’t read anything by her recently. Although looking at her recent backlist, there are definitely a few books I would like to add to Mt TBR.

When I was considering the request to participate in her book tour, I’ll admit that both the cover (since its kind of whimsical) caught my eye as well as the description. I’m only a chapter in so far, but its cute and will hopefully hit my happy button.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2017 in First Line Fridays

 

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Review – The Kidnapped Christmas Bride – Jane Porter

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00050]The Kidnapped Christmas Bride
Author: Jane Porter
Series: #3 in the Taming of the Sheenans series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided via Netgalley

Description:
All he wants is a Christmas memory…

Trey Sheenan has cultivated his reputation as Marietta’s resident bad boy, until one day he lets things go too far and he loses everything—his freedom, his fiance McKenna Douglas, and his infant son.

McKenna has loved Trey since they were kids, but she’s had enough. When Trey is sent away for five years, McKenna is determined to do what’s right for her and baby TJ, which means putting her mistakes—namely Trey—behind her, and move on.

When Trey is released early, he returns to Marietta determined to beg McKenna’s forgiveness and become the father TJ needs him to be, only to discover that he’s too late. McKenna’s marrying local insurance agent Lawrence Joplin in a candlelight Christmas wedding.

Or is she?

Once again, Trey risks everything, but this time it’s for love….and the memory of one perfect Christmas together as a family.

Review:
The Kidnapped Christmas Bride is a book that I’ve had sitting on the pile for quote a while (yes, bad person who requested the ARC and didn’t read in a timely manner), but with Christmas rapidly approaching (and yet, the weather thinking it is much more like early fall); I was looking for a book that I hoped would get me into the Christmas-ish type mood. The picture of the bride in her wedding dress with snow covering the ground seemed like the perfect way to try and get into a Christmas mood.

This was also the first time that I’d read anything by Jane Porter, although I’ve seen her books at my local library before. So I also got to dig my teeth into someone new, which is something I enjoy. The Kidnapped Christmas Bride was well-written, so much so that I wanted more – it was a short read but I felt like it was a complete story. I will point out that The Kidnapped Christmas Bride is book 3 in a series, so there were some hints of the previous books and how everything worked out in them (since I know there are many people out there who like to read books in order – i’m not one of them).

The Kidnapped Christmas Bride used second chance romance and redemption romance/trying to get your life back, in this case, after a stint in jail. I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually read a fiction book that featured someone who had very recently been released from prison (most of the ones I can think of, it had been in their past, as part of the bad boy persona). So this was something different for me and I kind of liked the approach that the author took. Although I don’t know if kidnapping your former love is the way to necessarily start your life over again (just sayin…). While I liked Trey, McKenna kind of rubbed me the wrong way – I could understand Trey’s actions, but hers were kind of tacky, i mean, it was her wedding day…maybe its because I have a hard time seeing how people can get all the way to the wedding day/the alter before realizing it isn’t the relationship for them…like seriously! I think in part that is why I only gave this book 3 stars.

That being said, while I wasn’t a fan of McKenna, I enjoyed the authors writing style enough, that I will probably check out something else writing by her in the future.

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Christmas Eve Tradition

I wasn’t sure if I was going to end up getting a chance to post this or not, because I was waiting for some pictures to show up in my email/facebook (from the little sister/blister). But since they did, I can write this post and wish everyone a Merry Christmas Eve!

When I look back at my childhood/family traditions, there are a few that stick in my memory – spending time with the relatives, long car trips in the middle of summer (since Christmas in Australia is usually hot as hades). But there is one specific one that I look back on that occurred every Christmas Eve while growing up – my mom bring down her copy of Davey and the First Christmas and reading it to us. It is just a simple pop-up book – but one steeped in memories.

Davey and the First Christmas tells the birth of Christ through the eyes of a little boy who lived at the Inn where Mary and Joseph stopped that night. But Davey wasn’t special in any way – he was just a boy, a boy who continually got in the way, with his Donkey, Tim. The book is written as a poem, and its a quick read but I loved reading it every year.

davy 1DAVEY AND THE FIRST CHRISTMAS
Beth Vardon

Let’s pretend there was a boy, and Davey was his name,
Whose family lived in Bethlehem when Christmas time first came.
Davey had a special pet–a donkey small and gray,
And what the two of them did best was getting in the way!

Davey named the donkey Tim. He never rode him though.
Either Tim was built too high or Davey was too low!
Davey’s father had an inn where people came to stay;
And lots and lots and lots of them were coming there one day.

His father was as busy as six or seven bees!
So Davey said, “I want to help, can’t I do something, please?
Tim would like to help you, too.
Find a job for us to do!”

“Listen, son,” his father said; “Last week you broke three jugs.
You scared my two best customers with your pet lightening bugs!
You tracked in mud on my clean floor; you tripped and dropped the bread.
And though I loved the fish you caught–why leave them on my bed?

I’ve put up with your helpfulness as long as I am able.
So do me one big favor now, get out–and clean the stable!”

Davey sadly went and stood beside the stable door
It hardly seemed that anyone could clean that dirty floor.
He and Tim both felt so bad they started in to cry–
But then (thought Davey), “Yes, we can! Well, anyhow–let’s try.

davy 2First, let’s chase those chickens out. That’s what we’ve got to do.”
So, Tim began to flap his ears while Davey shouted, “Shooooo!”
The chickens clucked and flew and ducked, they fluttered wild and scary,
Until their feather filled the air, like snow in January

Yes, Davey chased those chickens out, He and Tim together.
But now he had to get a sack and pick up every feather!

You should have seen how hard they worked! They stacked up all the wheat,

They straightened up the harnesses until they were nice and neat.
They fought with spiders bravely till they chased out every bug.
And since we must admit the truth–they broke another jug!

The very biggest job of all was stacking up the hay.
Davey climbed up to the loft and put it all away.
Look, Tim, You see how high it is? I’ll make just one more trip.”
Then clear up by the stable roof his feet began to slip!

Down came the hay and Davey, too. The stable looked so queer˜
All you could see was piles of hay–one sandal, and one ear!
Slowly they came out on top, and Davey didn’t whine,
Though hay stuck out all over him just like a porcupine!

davy 3He put the hay all back again and stacked it up with care–
But left one armload down below to fill the manger there.

So Davey’s work was done at last, and when it all looked neat
He picked some flowers to trim the barn, and some for Tim to eat.
“I hope it’s clean enough,” he thought. “At least I did my best.”
And feeling very, very tired, he curled up for a rest.

Who woke up Davey from his sleep? Just guess them if you can.
Mary was the woman’s name; Joseph was the man,

Mary said, “Oh Joseph, look! This is a lovely place!”
Then, seeing Davey there, she said, with shining face,
Your father’s inn had no more rooms; tonight we’re staying here.
So tell me now, are you the boy who cleaned the stable, dear?
And did your donkey help you work? We want to thank him, too.”
Though Davey was still half-asleep, his heart was glad clear through.

So, that is how a little boy two thousand years ago,
Stayed on to hear the angels sing, and see the Star aglow.

As soon as Baby Jesus came to use the manger bed;
Then Davey’s sack of feathers made a pillow for his head.
No one told Davey anymore that he was in the way.
His work had helped get ready for the world’s first Christmas Day!

(Just So Blog)

What Day Before Christmas Traditions exist in your family?

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2014 in General

 

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