Continuing with Christmas in July, I have been enjoying more novellas. They are all short and sweet, sharing that Christmas feeling and in most cases a little bit of Christmas Magic. At one time all of these books were provided to me by the publishers. All opinions and ratings are my own.


Remembrance by Mary Monroe

Published September 25th 2018 by Dafina (Kensington Books)

3.5 Stars:

Remembrance was a short novella that makes the reader think about life and how lucky we are. Beatrice had an unforgettable accident that occurred 25 years before. She wanted to thank the person who saved her life, but never found the person. She moved on with her life and after 20+ years of marriage, a beautiful home, a family and a good job, she is feeling discontent. As Christmas approaches, others no longer want to attend her parties and events and her only happiness or contentment comes from working at the local soup kitchen. When she meets and talks to a homeless man named Charles, they both feel a connection and their discussions change both their outlooks and lives. I enjoyed this short story about a Christmas Miracle from 25 years earlier and how it affects lives in the present. This story made me feel compassion, caring and hopefulness. We never know how or when our words or actions will affect someone, even a stranger, but this made me think a lot about that. My only complaint is because this was a novella, I wanted to know more about Beatrice and her family, but that did not affect my enjoyment of this story.

Right Beside You

Right Beside You by Mary Monroe

Published September 24th 2019 by Dafina (Kensington Books)

3.5 stars:

This is another Christmas novella by Mary Monroe that I enjoyed. Felicia Hawkins and Richard Grimes work at the same company. They’ve known each other for years and share a seat on the bus each day, but can’t seem to share their true feelings for each other. Richard is a widower with two daughters and he and Felicia have shopped together for gifts for them and others in his family. She loves him, but is afraid he is already involved with someone else. Friends and family can see it and get involved in trying to bring these two together. Can Christmas magic finally show them that what they really want is right beside them.

The story is told through the alternating viewpoints from Felicia and Richard. The transitions are well done and the POVs complement one another. I enjoyed Mary Monroe’s descriptive writing and the plot of the story. Although it was a novella, all the characters were well developed. I really enjoyed Felicia’s grandma, who was fun and a bit sassy. Richard’s relationship with his daughters was great. They showed how much they cared about one another through their actions and banter. I liked the message of sharing your feelings, and not being afraid to do so, don’t let fear hold you back and being happy when someone your care about it happy. A cute Christmas story with a bit of Christmas magic.

Here Comes Santa Paws (Melanie Travis, #24)

Here Come Santa Paws (Melanie Travis #24) by Laurien Berenson

Published September 24th 2019 by Kensington Books

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

At just under 200 pages, this was a quick Christmas story featuring Melanie Travis, her partner in crime, Aunt Peg, and of course lots of dogs. Melanie’s friend and event planner, Claire, has added personal shopper to her list of services. When Claire finds her newest client dead when she stops by to drop of some presents she purchased, she is immediately the prime suspect. Melanie has a lot of time on her hands, with school on vacation, so she and Aunt Peg snoop to find the real killer. At first, they have more questions than answers and the detective on the case wants them to butt out of his case, but he may be wishing he paid more attention to Melanie because she always seems to be one step ahead of him. Will they catch the real killer before someone else gets hurt?

I enjoy this series as it is fun and sweet. Claire is married to Melanie’s first husband but they have become friends, which is not normal. Melanie is always willing to help friends, family, neighbours, fellow dog owners, and pretty much anybody, even when it may put her in danger. There were a few suspects, but Melanie often hits a dead end. I enjoyed reading how she followed the clues, until the exciting conclusion. The characters are engaging, the mystery is well-plotted leaving me satisfied with this story. You do not have to read them all or read them in order to enjoy this story. An enjoyable Christmas Cozy with great characters, including all the dogs.