Sunday, December 13, 2020

Two Holiday Novels: Happily This Christmas by Susan Mallery & One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts

 'Tis the season! All the holiday books! Yay! I decided to deliver two holiday book reviews in this post since I read these back to back over the weekend. A big shout out to my friend Lee B. for passing on these two books to me to get my Christmas reading moving along. 

I'll start with Happily This Christmas by Susan Mallery. 

This is part of the Happily Inc series (book #6) so I am sure I missed a few things because I haven't read any of the other books. However, there is plenty here that makes it feel like a standalone, so don't hesitate to read it and then if you like, go back to the other books in the series. 

Officer Garrick McCabe lives next door to Wynn Beauchene, but they've never really met each other. Wynn has certainly noticed Garrick-how could she avoid checking him out when he mows his yard shirtless? While both have noticed the other, neither is in any hurry to make the first move. Until Garrick's young daughter Joylyn is heading to his place to stay through Thanksgiving. Her husband is in the military and is away on duty, and Joylyn is eight months pregnant and, quite frankly super crabby and bitter. Garrick enlists Wynn's help in making his home look more comfortable and homey for his daughter, and from there, romance blooms. Slowly, for sure, but at a steady pace. Wynn has a lot of friends in Happily, Inc (this is the actual name of the town) and has a pretty good life as single mom to her teen son Hunter. She is, however, ready to begin looking for love and a relationship after many years on her own. Can Garrick be her happily ever after?

In One Charmed Christmas, a cruise down the Rhine River finds a group of people coming together to enjoy what is sure to be an interesting trip. Some romance, some new friendships, and a few life changes are in store. Catherine, a widowed woman who is going to have chemotherapy in the new year for her cancer, and her friend Denise are on board. Denise has talked Catherine into coming along on the cruise after another friend cancelled. Catherine's two grown children have already made plans for Christmas which don't include their mother, and she's decided to take a chance and have some fun. Sophie and Sierra are two sisters who find a few surprising truths on the cruise. Finally, there's Rudy, a retired doctor, and his daughter Athena. After a terrible second marriage, Athena is determined to protect her father from any other money hungry women. 

All of these characters (and a few more!) form friendships on the cruise. I have to admit, this sounds like a cruise I would want to take--stopping at all of the towns along the river; eating German pastries and fabulous food, shopping at Christmas markets--sounds like heaven to me (pre Covid-19, of course)! This was definitely a different and refreshing holiday tale-first one I've read where the majority of the story is on a cruise ship. 

There is romance a plenty in each novel, but nothing over the top. Enjoyed both novels, and they got me in the mood for Christmas--that and the snow that fell Friday night. I'd have to say One Charmed Christmas has a slight edge over Happily This Christmas if I have to vote on a favorite. 

Happily This Christmas: 4/6

One Charmed Christmas: 4/6 

Both are available in paperback and ebook. 

1 comment :

  1. I have the tradition like you of reading a couple Christmasy novels each year; it is fun, isn't it. The two you review here sound good.