These are my final reviews for Christmas in July. I actually finished Falling For Christmas today, so it is not on my wrap up post. All of these books were received from the publisher upon my request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

A Vineyard Christmas

A Vineyard Christmas by Jean Stone, Alyssa Bresnahan (Narrator)

Published September 28, 2018 by Recorded Books, October 1, 2018 by Kensington Publishing

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Annie Sutton, an author, has recently moved to a cozy cottage on Chappaquiddick and is preparing for her first winter on the island. There is a fierce nor’easter on the way, forecasting high winds and deep snow. As the blizzard is starting, someone places a basket, encircled by a ribbon, containing a baby girl. The note reads: “I named her Bella, after my grandmother. Please help her, because I can’t.” Annie thinks she knows who brought her there, but can she find out for sure? Will the mother return for her?

This is the second Christmas story I have read recently where a baby is left on someone’s doorstep. I know it is fiction and it is a plot to move a story along with Christmas magic, but it does give me an uncomfortable feeling at times. Annie was adopted and still has feelings of abandonment, so she does not want little Bella to feel that as well. She wants to find the birth mother, giving her a chance to change her mind. Annie attempts to pass Bella off as a relative’s child, but with one person knowing the truth, will others find out. Celebrating Christmas with a local family is a happy event, but Annie is always on guard. When a young girl jumps off the ferry, Annie is sure it is Bella’s mother. She investigates what she knows, uses her inquiring skills and research to eventually give her a few clues. This is a mystery, family drama and Christmas story all rolled into one. I enjoyed the characters, setting and writing in A Vineyard Christmas and will look for others in this series. Narrator Alyssa Bresnahan has a pleasant voice and I enjoyed listening to her performance.

An Amish Christmas Wedding: Four Stories

An Amish Christmas Wedding: Four Stories by Amy Clipston, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irvin, and Vannetta Chapman, Narrated by Lauren Berst

Published October 06, 2020 by Zondervan, and Brilliance Audio

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This anthology is written by four well known and loved authors of Amish Fiction. The stories all take place at Christmas time, but have various amounts of Christmas Celebrations in the story. Each story has some familiar characters, names and settings, but are all individual stories that can be read without reading any of the authors’ previous work. I am not going to summarize each story as you can check out the book blurb for that, but will tell you how I felt as I read them. My favourite of the four stories is Holiday of Hope. It might be because there was a child that was an integral part of the plot and I always enjoy when a child that captures my heart is in a story. Tommy is an orphan who recently lost his aunt that he had been living with. When he comes to live with his father’s best friend, a man who has never married, he is hurting badly. I loved seeing how Henry and Tommy’s teacher helped him get over some of his pain and believe in God once again. The last story in the book was also a favourite. It dealt with older characters (in their 60s), one a widower and one never married. They are brought together by a business venture and an abandoned dog. It was sweet and believable. All four stories were great, and the other two dealt with second chance romances. If you enjoy Amish Fiction, I recommend An Amish Christmas Wedding.

Lock, Stock & Jingle Bells (Hamilton Christmas #2)

Lock, Stock & Jingle Bells (Hamilton Christmas #2) by Donna Kauffman

Published September 25th 2018 by Zebra

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the second book in the Hamilton Christmas series. Lock, Stock & Jingle Bells takes place several years after book one. Holly Berry Bennett has returned home from London, England when her parents tell her they have sold the house and moved to Florida. Her mother has signed over her Christmas store to Holly and it is up to her to figure out what to do with it. She returns home, planning to see it all and then head back to England, she has two weeks to take care of it. When she arrives in town, she meets up with Sean Gallagher, the boy she loved when she was a young girl, who just happens to operate the restaurant across the street from the store. Little does she know that he also had a crush on her, but was afraid to act on it and be turned down. Now is their second chance, 20 years later.

This second book of the Hamilton Christmas series was just as enjoyable as the first. Of course, being a novella, things happen fast and there is not a lot of character development. There is a mystery that was introduced in the first book, that carries on in this one that added interest to the story. This is a second chance romance that occurs at Christmas that was a rekindling of feelings from earlier times, so it wasn’t completely, insta-love. I enjoyed the characters, the banter, the small town and the romance. A sweet, quick Christmas romance that I recommend.

Falling for Christmas (Falling for the Freemans #1)

Falling for Christmas by Kate Hewitt

Published November 8th 2015 by Tule Publishing

3 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐

This is another sweet, Christmas novella with romance and the idea of figuring out what you really want out of life. City girl, Hannah Ford hopped in her little car and headed north after being upset when her ex showed up with his new girlfriend at a holiday party. She didn’t want to be there, but wasn’t sure where she wanted to go. When she ends up near the Canadian Border, she gets caught in a snowstorm and gets stuck. Fortunately for her, Sam Taylor is on his way home from plowing a driveway and offers to take Hannah into town to the B&B. When they get there, he realized the owners are on vacation, so he offers to let her stay with him, in his guest room. She has nowhere else to go, so she reluctantly agrees. Snowed in, they get to know each other over the next few days and after participating in some winter activities, they eventually realize they both feel the same way. This was a sweet holiday story with some insta-love, a bedroom scene and some great characters. Both of them had some baggage to get over, but when they get together, it is a Merry Christmas for them. This was definitely an opposites attract story, with some Christmas magic.