I have finally finished reading and reviewing my final Christmas books this year. It also completes my #20BooksForChristmas challenge. I very much enjoyed these stories and the allowed me to end 2021 on a high note.

The Post Box at the North Pole

The Post Box at the North Pole by Jaimie Admans

Published October 18th 2021 by HQ Digital

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have read several bloggers and reviewers say they love Jaimie Admans books and now I get it. This is the first of her books I have read, but it definitely won’t be the last. This was such a feel good story. Growing up, Sasha Hansley loved Christmas. Her parents made it magical for her, but when her mother dies in a car accident things changed. Her father, not being able to deal with the loss, leaves her with her Nan, who doesn’t want to celebrate Christmas. With her Nan gone now, and her father not coming home in five years, she just wants Christmas to go away. When she receives a phonecall from her dad saying he had a heart attack and needs her, she jumps on a plane (first time in her life) and heads to Lapland where he dad tells her he is running a reindeer sanctuary. Her plan is to help him sell the place and move back to the UK. When she arrives she finds out he wasn’t completely truthful, but North Pole Forest begins to help her remember better days and heal the relationship between her and her dad.

This was one of my favourite Christmas stories this year. It is full of festive Christmas activities and Christmas magic. I loved the main characters of Sasha, Taavi (Tav) and Percy. Sasha can’t resist the pull of the Northern Lights, Hot Chocolate, Reindeer, Tav’s great cooking and the letters to Santa. I loved so much about this story. The way Jaimie Admans takes the myths of Santa and Christmas and relates them to real life was amazing. Seeing the magic through Tav’s eyes helps Sasha remember wonderful feelings and events from her past and become happier in the present. I loved the setting in Norway up above the Arctic Circle where reindeer roam and natives leave material for travelers to make a shelter when out in the forests and lakes. I loved how families and children came to celebrate and see Santa. There is another important storyline about Tav and how he ended up in North Pole Forest as well as why he prefers to live alone. I don’t want to give the story away, so I will just say, if you are looking for a contemporary romance, a story about family, guilt, forgiveness, and Christmas magic, then this is a book to pick up. I definitely recommend it.

Christmas in the Scottish Highlands

Christmas in the Scottish Highlands by Donna Ashcroft

Published October 11th 2021 by Bookouture

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Well, I saved one of the best for last. This is my final Christmas story for 2021 and I really enjoyed this story. This story is set in Scotland, in Christmas Village, a lovely little village with quirky characters, a caring community and a castle. Thirty-year-old Belle Albany is busy, but lonely as Christmas approaches. Her boyfriend has moved to Australia, her godmother has died and once again, her father is not coming home for Christmas. As she pedals her bike home, she slips on some ice and knocks over elderly Edina, the only inhabitant of the castle. She agrees to move in with Edina to help take care of her until she is back on her feet. It is perfect timing because a family whose children are in her class, have lost their home and are looking for something close to Christmas Village to rent, so they don’t have to move away. What Belle was not expecting was handsome Jack Hamilton-Kirk, Edina’s grandson to show up and find out what is going on. With all Belle has on her plate with work, she is also trying to give Edina a wonderful Christmas by fulfilling her requests to Santa.

I loved Belle’s character. She is the most giving person, one who wants to help everyone, make them happy, even if they don’t want her help. Jack was the character you love to hate, at least at the beginning. He is rude, arrogant, is suspicious of everyone, thinks he knows what is best for Edina even though he didn’t really know her and is quick to jump to conclusions. As he and Belle get to know each other, he begins to change. Edina is a hoot. She has lived alone in the castle since her husband died and once Belle starts getting her out and about, she is like a flower opening up. Belle’s friends and the other villagers are all great additions to the story. The Christmas cheer in this book is overflowing and the Nativity that Belle’s students put on is both wonderful and humorous. Both Jack and Belle have some baggage to deal with in order to move forward and I liked that the best way to move forward is through communication and forgiveness. If you are looking for one more Christmas story this year, I recommend Christmas in the Scottish Highlands.

The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas

The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas by Jodi Thomas, Sharla Lovelace, and Scarlett Dunn

Published October 27th 2020 by Kensington

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Cowboy Who Saved Christmas is an anthology made up of three Historical Christmas Romances, all set shortly after the Civil War ended. Father Goose has Trapper Morgan transporting five rich girls to Dallas. He meets up with a widow who is also going to Dallas and agrees to accompany him as a chaperone. They have some adventure and danger along the way as well as some humor and the oldest girls were amazing. The Mistletoe Promise by Sharla Lovelace was my least favourite story. Josie Bancroft is in danger of losing her ranch so is willing to marry someone with money to help her out, at least that is her plan. Benjamin (Ben) Mason was her first love, who married someone else several years ago. His wife has passed and it is just him and his young daughter. He wants to help Josie, but she wants nothing to do with him. What will she do? Christmas Road by Scarlett Dunn features Clint Mitchum who has raced home to be with his mother who has Scarlet Fever. He arrives to find her grave and a note to find the young woman who cared for her when she was ill. He sets off and finds a group traveling together to go somewhere safe, including the young woman and her niece and nephew. They decide to head back home, but once again, danger finds them. Will they survive and save their homes?

I enjoyed all three of these stories, but my favourite had to be Father Goose by Jodi Thomas closely followed by Christmas Road by Scarlett Dunn. All of the stories have children in them and I always enjoy when they play a role in a story. Another thing I liked about all these stories is they all featured strong women or girls. These were all novellas, which means that character development and plots are limited, but I thought the two I liked the best were well developed and the characters were pretty fleshed out. If you enjoy a good novella, this is an anthology I recommend.