Looking for some Christmas reads? Here are few I’ve enjoyed so far…

All of these are 2014 releases and some can be read stand alone and others are part of an on going series.

Close To Christmas (Westen Series # 3.5)Close To Christmas by Suzanne Ferrell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s good to be back in Westen. This short holiday novella was packed full of surprises. What looks to be the time leading up to Gage and Bobby’s wedding actually turns out to be much more. Seems someone is out to sabotage the wedding. Added bonus was when Chloe comes to town for her sister wedding and catches the eye of Gage’s Deputy Sheriff Wes Strong for more reasons than one. He senses right away she is hiding something and a spillover from his spec ops days has him digging to find out what that is. Wes and Chloe defiantly have some hot chemistry going on but their story is unfinished at the end of this book. Hopefully it will be next in the series.

Embattled Christmas: A Lost and Found Series NovellaEmbattled Christmas: A Lost and Found Series Novella by J.M. Madden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh these tough military men make me cry every time. Even in a short Christmas novella the author still manages to tug those hearts string with her Lost and Found cast of characters and couples. From the blurb I thought we were just going to get the POV of just the original three men from the first book – but the author had all her previous couples show up and what a treat that was. I know this is a work of fiction but how she writes the characters I always feel a sense of honor for these men who served our country and lost so much and are finally finding peace and happiness. My hope is that the real mean out there that come back as these men did are finding the same joy from friends and loved ones.

Merry Christmas, Baby (Lucky Harbor, #12.5)Merry Christmas, Baby by Jill Shalvis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Short but funny heartwarming addition to the story of Chloe and Sawyer as they bring their first child into the world.

**Wild child Chloe Thompson can’t believe how much things have changed. She still can’t get enough of her sexy husband Sawyer, but he seems to prefer working to thinking about impending fatherhood. So tonight, a very pregnant Chloe is escaping her troubles at the town Christmas party.
Sheriff Sawyer Thompson hopes surprising Chloe at the party will give him a chance to set things right. But as the snow begins to fall and the wind rages, he wonders whether he can make it back in time. While mother nature conspires to keep Sawyer and Chloe apart, an unexpected arrival will require them to kiss and make up . . . and ring in the happiest holiday Lucky Harbor has ever seen.**

Cross Country Christmas (Marriage & Mayhem!, #3)Cross Country Christmas by Diana Duncan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a wonderful feel good, funny Christmas story just in time to get you in the mood for the holidays. This story is about the magic of Christmas. Two strangers stranded in an airport decide to go on a journey via car along with the young son of the hero. The things they encounter in their long journey from Colorado to Washington state was very heartwarming and showed that there are good people out there, some down on their luck and just needing a break and others willing to open their homes and hearts to them and in exchange their lives are touched also. I laughed for much of this book and enjoyed every word I read. If you’re ready to kick off the holiday season with a great romance full of tears and laughter this is the book you should start with.

Christmas in CancunChristmas in Cancun by KaLyn Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beautiful locations and the search for lost treasure make up this romantic suspense between two unlikely people.
Jack Girard and his family have a long history of treasure hunting in Cancun. I liked how the author blended both the more ancient traditions of their Mayan ancestry along with current day traditions. Jack is a former Navy SEAL who is now running a charter catamaran company along with many of his former teammates. Along with that he also dabbles in dives looking for the treasures his grandfather was sure were out there. Two years ago he lost his brother to a drive by shooting. He was deployed at the time and was unable to make it back for the funeral or to meet his brother’s widow who was pregnant at the time. Two years later all of his family is at their estate in Cancun for the holidays and his brother’s widow has decided to come with her daughter.

Jillian was devastated when her husband died but she had to carry on and raise her daughter. She also decided she was going to finish her doctorate which was something her and her husband was both passionate about. Before he died he believed he had found the location of a treasure that Jack’s family had been looking for generations for.

What the two didn’t realize is there were also others looking for the same treasure and they would go to any means to get it which puts both of their lives in danger.

Jack and Jillian are attracted to each other right off the bat and Jack really falls in love with his little niece but due to her being his brother’s widow he’s reluctant at first to act on his feelings but its not long before these two give in. We get to meet quite a few of Jack’s old teammates who I am wondering if will get their own stories in the future. Jack’s divorced sister and her two kids also played a part in this book and her story is left with a little bit of a cliffhanger so hopefully we sure get her story next.

Home for ChristmasHome for Christmas by JoAnn Ross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You Again – JoAnn Ross
This was a cute coming home story that also had the bonus of a lost Orca being reunited with his family with the help of the hero who is a marine biologist.

Meghann Quinn spent her high school years in foster care in Shelter Bay. It was during this time she met a shy nerd who excelled in science but wasn’t so good at grammar. Meghann ended up tutoring him and the two shared their first kiss together but after high school life took them in different directions.

Meghann is now a bestselling author that lives in New York. When she gets a letter from Adam asking if she could donate some of her books for charity she decides instead of sending the books by mail why not deliver them in person as she doesn’t have plans for the Christmas holiday and she’s still kinda crushing on Adam and wants to see if the spark was still there. She doesn’t know that Adam never forgot her either and hopes that her visit can turn into more. Running alongside this Adam is looking for a whale that had gotten separated from his family and Meghann decides she wants to help in his quest. This in turn has the whole town of Shelter Bay getting involved which just blends in perfectly with the holiday season.

All I Want For Christmas Is You – Jessica Scott
Even though these books are fiction you can certainly tell that the authors own life experiences influence each book. This story delves into what is like when a woman that has been deployed and lost a good friend to the war returns home a different person than what she was when she left and her struggles with how to “come home” which is the basis for all the books in this series. Both the main characters are in the Army and have been in a long term relationship that includes a child. For the past two years they both did a deployment at opposite times so one of them was home with the daughter. When Samanatha returns though from her deployment she is dead inside and takes her daughter and leaves instead of going to see someone or even talking things out with Patrick.

I am sure that every instance is different on how men and women compartmentalize their feelings and that is certainly at the fore front in this novella. One of the biggest touching moments was when Patrick decided he needed to open up and tell Samantha some of things that had happened to him while over there and how he came back and dealt with them, showed her that what she was feeling (or her lack of feeling) was perfectly normal and she just needed to open up and let out all of her grief whether that be with him or with a doctor.

This was another great addition to the Coming Home series that packed a mighty punch in a short novella.

View all my reviews

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