I am still enjoying reading Christmas stories, although these were mixed. I have to say, A Lighthouse Christmas was easily my favourite of this bunch.

59784341. sx318

Jingle Bell Jam by Pamela Kelley, Leslie Howard (Narrator)

Published November 16th 2021 by Piping Plover Press

3.5 stars:

So apparently, this is book #32 of 63, but I had no idea. I enjoyed this story and had no problem following it. This is a Christmas romance between Melanie, personal trainer relatively new to the area and Bryan Baker, a kind-hearted builder/architect who has been instructed to lose weight after a back injury. They are instantly attracted to one another, there is policy at the gym to not date clients and as he is going to build a home for Melanie, there is a conflict there as well. Throw in a jealous ex who tries to keep them apart, and there is some angst, but all works out well in the Christmas romance.

I enjoyed getting to know Melanie and Bryan as well as their friends. It was fun to see them get to know one another, attend trivia nights at the local pub and other festive activities. The gym Melanie works at has some issues with their business, but with Melanie on the case, it soon gets sorted. “Jingle Bell Jam” is a clean holiday romance. Because it is a novella, the ending was a bit quick, but that often happens. Overall, a festive and happy story. The audiobook is narrated by Leslie Howard who does a nice job with the story. Using expression, emotion and inflection she gives voice to the characters. At just over 2 hours at 1.5 speed, this was a pleasant story to listen to in an afternoon.

A Lighthouse Christmas

A Lighthouse Christmas by Jenny Hale

Published October 14th 2021 by Bookouture

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Grandma Ruth has passed from cancer and left behind the family legacy, a lighthouse that is struggling under debt. Mia comes home from New York dealing with her own problems and promising to help her family. She hires real estate agent Will Thacker and using all her savings, she is renovating the lighthouse to put it on the market. Spending a few nights in Grandma Ruth’s home attached to the lighthouse, they pack up her things and share memories.

I don’t want to give away anymore of the story because it is one to experience without knowing where the storyline is going. I loved the characters, Mia, her sister Shelby, mother Alice as well as Will, his sister Kate and her son Felix. They were so realistic, with relatable lives and promises. Felix was adorable and I just wanted to reach into the book and give him a hug. All the things I love about Jenny Hale’s books was here. We have family connections, some angst, a bit of a mystery, some romance, friendship, grief, reconciliation and some romance. I love the Christmas cheer that takes place when staging the home as well as the planning of the PR company Christmas Party that Mia is also planning while all these other things are on her plate. Mia is wonder woman, trying to be everything to everyone and I love that she grows and figures out what she really wants in life. The setting was absolutely magical. Being snowed in by a lake in a lighthouse, sounds like a beautiful place to spend the holidays. This is a wonderful Christmas story with hope and an uplifting finish. One I definitely recommend.

A Lot Like Christmas (Blue Moon Bay Book 2)

A Lot Like Christmas (Blue Moon Bay #2) by Jennifer Snow

Published September 28th 2021 by Entangled: Amara

3.5 Stars:

Connolly is a hometown girl. She loves her town of Blue Moon Bay where she has family and good friends. She also runs a successful bakery, but she has been given an offer to sell it, an offer that is making it difficult to decide what to do. Dr. Mitch Jameson is a wanderer, working with Doctors Without Borders. He is home to spend Christmas with his family before leaving for three months in Cambodia. When he meets the beautiful, intriguing bakery owner who has no desire to date or become serious with anyone, they decide to spend time together over the holidays. Of course we all know where this is heading.

I really like Jessica’s character. She is such a caring person, often putting the needs of family and friends before her own. Mitch is the brother of one of her friends, and he is wandering the world because he hasn’t found what he is looking for. There romance proceeded pretty quickly, but it worked in this story. There is a situation that forces Jessica to make a decision about what she wants out of life that causes some angst, but I liked her decision. There were several tropes in this one: BFF’s brother, Older male/younger female, always a bridesmaid/never a bride, fake relationship and maybe others. I enjoyed a lot about this story, but it was a bit too steamy for me. I did have to skim several scenes. This is the second book in the series, but I did not read the first book and that didn’t seem to matter, I had no problem following this story. If you enjoy a steamy Christmas romance with great characters, then this book is for you.