A #HoHoHoRAT Book Review featuring a #Harlequin #ChristmasRomance | “Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise” by Jennifer Faye

Posted Friday, 8 November, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists.

I received a complimentary copy of “Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise” direct from the author Jennifer Faye in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

On why I’ve been enjoying reading this author:

When I first started seeking out authors via the imprints of Harlequin, one of the authors who stood out to me initially from the Harlequin Romance line (as at the time, I was sampling stories from Romance, Super Romance & Heartwarming – sorting out which of the three imprints suited me best as a reader; as I had already realised how much the LI: Suspense line fit me!) was Jennifer Faye.

In a large part due to her consistency, her continuity when she wrote duologies, specialised focused serials and the ways in which she drew you into her Contemporary Romance worlds within this curious imprint which features pink covers in handle portable sized paperback editions! I liked the convenience of the size, the realistic characters she pulled into her world(s) and the ways in which our contemporary modern lives were explored elsewhere from where we generally live our own lives. It gave a sense of place but also, of how uniquely you can find a Contemporary placed in a setting you are itching to visit such as her Greek Isles Brides series which took me back to Greece.

I’ve enjoyed re-visiting Greece through Faye’s eyes due to how many fond memories I have of corresponding with a friend who lived on the Isles themselves. She truly captured a bit of that kind of lifestyle I had remembered reading through letters & correspondences but also, she brought a convicting narrative together which interlocked three different women in their pursuit at their own ‘happily ever after’.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A #HoHoHoRAT Book Review featuring a #Harlequin #ChristmasRomance | “Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise” by Jennifer FayeHer Christmas Pregnancy Surprise
by Jennifer Faye
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

A festive reunion…

…with an unexpected gift!

When Pepper Kane’s home and bakery are burned down in the weeks before Christmas, billionaire CEO Simon Ross—the man she spent one unforgettable night with—comes to the rescue! Pepper knows this playboy doesn’t do relationships, but staying with him in his penthouse and caring for an abandoned puppy, their spark is rekindled… And then comes a festive surprise that shocks them both: she’s carrying his baby!

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335499592

Also by this author: Beauty and Her Boss, Miss White and the Seventh Heir, Heiress's Royal Baby Bombshell, Carrying the Greek Tycoon's Baby, Claiming the Drakos Heir, Wearing the Greek Millionaire's Ring (Spotlight), Wearing the Greek Millionaire's Ring , The Prince and the Wedding Planner, Christmas in Bayberry, Love Blooms

Published by Harlequin Books

on 1st November, 2019

Format: Large Print Edition

Pages: 252

Published by: Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Converse via: #Contemporary #ChristmasRomance & #Harlequin

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

About Jennifer Faye

Jennifer Faye

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

my review of her christmas pregnancy surprise:

You can understand why Pepper is wicked enthused about this chance to take her bakery and her career to a heightened new level of importance – booking this particular party and being able to hob nob with those in attendance could go a long way towards securing herself in this community. Yet, what struck me the most is how Faye included a small note about one of her side hobbies? Pepper is readily addicted to old Hollywood films (in black and white) and that is something I can personally relate too – whenever I go on a binge to watch them, I, too, like Pepper cannot get enough! I do readily miss having Turner Classic Movies for that one reason – so far, the only streaming service was shut down soon after it was produced – thus, I hunger after them but rarely get to view any of them right now. I can see myself generating my own collective of dvds like Pepper in the future – if only to have them right at hand and ready to enjoy!

Faye tucks you into the plausible way in which two contemporary career-driven individuals can find each other quite randomly (or was it?) in their ordinary lives and find a strength of connection which gives newfound hope to anyone who is still seeking to find the person they feel is their other half. I liked how Faye wrote the back-story about Pepper and Simon was grounded in how they both openly could discuss the anguish of personal loss but how through shared conversations, coffee and wicked good cherry pastries – a bond can develop between two strangers and becoming a bit more meaningful as time shifts forward as they begin to interweave into each other’s lives.

The interesting bit in their friendship is how they both had a growing attraction for each other but if she hadn’t catered the party for him, would they have taken that realisation to a new level? Simon hadn’t shared his feelings with Pepper anymore than she had up to this point in their relationship and even then, their relationship was co-dependent on the trust and truthfulness of what it appeared on the surface. As you start to pull into their private life – you see how they are not always willing to place themselves in a vulnerable position. To give themselves a chance to get hurt or to place them in a situation where their heart would have trouble re-starting if something went sour.

This is actually a running theme in Faye’s novels – she likes to give her characters something to chew over – to take them outside their comfort zones and give them something to consider they might never had questioned or thought to explore. In this instance, of course, you can see how Faye is wanting Simon and Pepper to decide – is it a comfortable casual fling or is there something more brewing between them? Do either of them want to consider those dimensions or just let the sparks fly where they land?

There is an immediate time jump soon after we land inside their lives – mostly because in Simon’s high profile life, everything moves faster than lightspeed. Including the rumours surrounding him in the press and the rags; where eager journalists only want to get the details of his life pixelated rather to understand the truth of how he’s living his life. The one downfall to the lifestyle Simon had curated for himself is the collateral damage that kind of high living can cause for others round him – others, like Pepper who were transfixed by his charm and deeply saddened by his obtuse reactions to unwanted popularity.

Seven weeks on – Pepper is still trying to defend her little bakery in the sea of bakers who are trying to vie for the same bottom-line returns. Her heart doesn’t feel as motivated to continue the business as she had been in the beginning. Even the zest of joy she had for being an established businesswoman in this hardened economic climate was waning – and part of that of course, could be related to how Simon had shattered her sense of self whilst re-directing her thoughts about relationships and the curious ways in which men view them differently than women. Pepper was her own woman, don’t get me wrong but part of how she viewed herself was inter-linked to how she felt about her relationships – she didn’t take them lightly and she didn’t give of herself on a whim to just anybody. Faye tucks you into those moments where she’s reconsidering her actions and the thoughts that led into them. For Pepper, the biggest regret she feels is the fact she never considered the consequences of living impulsively in the ‘moment’ of attraction.

As we start to see them re-interact with each other, the word ‘awkward’ applies as Simon and Pepper have lost that ease of connection – where they fit into each other rather than desired to hold each other at a distance. You couldn’t blame Pepper for feeling less enthused by having Simon re-enter her life, but at the same time, there were stark changes in her business due to the fallout with Simon and for me, I knew she had unfinished business with him. Even if the surprise hinted about in the title hasn’t yet come into sight – there was enough fodder here for both of them to sort through if it meant they could both find a way forward which wouldn’t affect them for the rest of their lives. They were two people who didn’t trust what they felt or what they had and that is part of the issue with how they cannot seem to reconnect how to be together.

Faye cleverly provided a catalyst of circumstance to reunite these lost lovers – it was the kind of situation that required a kind and humbled heart to understand what Pepper was facing. She was pushed past the brink of her own resolve and that is where you see Simon stepping forward to be a force of calm whilst she dealt with this crisis. It also allowed them to finally get things aired between them and I felt that was a healthy approach to take with this story as neither of them was being completely honest with the other throughout the days in which they were separated and now reunited together. They both had reasons to hold back sharing their thoughts about the relationship which had become a fractured friendship but at some point – you are just hoping they will see the light of hope which still percolates between them.

I liked how Faye gets Simon to re-examine his life and the portions of it which he felt were too dark to re-explore by allowing Pepper to influence him in a positive way. For Pepper, life has its fair share of dark moments but its how you find yourself transitioning out of them which count more in her book. She was finding Simon is far more jaded and guarded than she is herself – she likes to take life as it alights on her path – good or bad – she faces what greets her head-on and doesn’t let it break her will nor her spirit. Simon on the other hand seems like to to carpartmentalise his life to where he doesn’t re-direct himself over something he’s considered to be dealt with and/or put to rest in the past. It causes a bit of a rift because without the forgiveness of the past, the future has a rockier obstacle than just the crises which arise out of the blue. That was something Pepper could understand well and something she wasn’t entirely sure Simon was prepared to accept.

One of the beauties of reading a Faye romance novel is finding how she inspires her characters to find ways to self-grow through her stories. She gives them conflict, yes, but it is how she wants them to take this journey towards a better tomorrow than the moment you’ve first arrived inside their lives which resonates the most. In this instance, the novel is centred round how Pepper is truly the inspiration behind the changes in Simon – she pushed him outside his comfort zones more than once, giving him ample chance to opt out of their relationship but each time she tested his patience, the more he found he was attracted to Pepper. I think it has to do with the fact she was a refreshing change of pace – she called him out on things which were important but other times, she let it slide if he was being obstinate and stubborn. She let him find his way and happily it is that progress that you truly enjoy reading because he starts to come alive despite himself!

At the heart of this story is the importance of being mindful of rescue animals and rescue shelters – since I have come from a family who always believed in rescuing their pets, it is a lesson I learnt at a young age. All my lovely dogs and cats were adopted from shelters and/or other rescue organisations who were locally available to adopt out the animals. The joy of having a rescued pet is twicefold when you see how far love can change their lives for the better! I still remember how some cats are overlooked if they had a litter at a young age (such as my childhood cat) and how even tuxedos like my current one are bypassed because she has a black and white colour to her coat! I am always amazed how people let something trivial like ‘fur colour’ be the defining factor in which pet gets adopted!

Daisy the rescue dog will warm your heart but she is also representing all animals in need of homes with families who can see their potential and understand their individual needs. Faye charms you with the quirky way in which she allowed Daisy, Simon and Pepper develop into a family – giving you pause for thought about the intricate ways in which our lives can be affected by each other whilst renewing your joy of a romance set during the Christmas season where anything is truly possible when it comes to love, romance and the hopefulness of second chances!

on the romantic christmas styling of jennifer faye:

I loved how Ms Faye disclosed how she approached writing this novel – the author’s notes in Harlequin novels are always a special ‘added’ treat to your reading of the novels themselves because you get to intuit the reasons why the stories were written. Also, rather happily I just learnt Ms Faye (via Twitter) is going to be publishing with Hallmark Publishing; I am hoping that perhaps one of her stories (past or future) might make it into an adaption on the channel as I am definitely a #Hallmarkies kind of gal! My fam just adores the trifecta of channels Hallmark produces – even though if technically since they pulled the 2x #CrosswordMysteries the week of Halloween, we’ve been binge watching more Dr Mark Sloan (ie. Diagnosis Murder) than embracing the Christmassy march which began a wee bit too early for us! We ploughed through S4 and are moving steadily through S3 now (laughs).

Faye set her story round the busiest time of the year for bakers and other specialty stories alike – where the frenzy of getting orders placed and produced take a bit of the joy of out of the festive spirit. She walks you through the eclipse of success and the uncertainties of a loss of revenue where it will either make or break her character Pepper’s resolve. The beauty of course having this set at Christmas are the lovely descriptive bits about the deserts themselves! How happily it is to see Christmassy baked goods and to read the depictions of how they are decorated! Makes you want to find a local bakery and hungering linger over the aromas of their fresh baked delights!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

This blog tour is courtesy of:

Prism Book ToursFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Special Announcement:

As you know, this is a giveaway-free book blog – as I do not host giveaways here on Jorie Loves A Story (per my Review Policy) however, there is one exception to the rule – I love to talk about and happily promote authors who are hosting a giveaway on *their website or blog!* whilst my review is posting via a blog tour! For this reason, it is with a joy and pleasure to bring this to your attention:

Bookmark offer from Jennifer Faye.

All you have to do is go to Jennifer’s Contact Page

and let her know your physical mailing address*.

NOTE: Please state the quantity you desire and which bookmarks/titles you are interested in. And remember you can order extra to share with your favorite bookstore, library and family/friends. *for readers in the continental USA

You can have your very *own!* Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise bookmark if you follow the steps outlined the author provided to receive one! I realise my blog is read internationally, but this is unfortunately only for those readers and visitors of mine stateside. I truly think you will be charmed by the eloquence of her bookmarks and the way in which they are lovingly sturdy and the perfect length for keeping your spot in whichever book your #currentlyreading!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise blog tour via Prism Book Tours

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

End of the Blog Tour badged provided by Prism Book ToursRainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

This novel was read during:

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This book review is cross-posted on LibraryThing.

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Her Christmas Pregnancy Surprise”, the bookmark giveaway banner, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Jennifer Faye, the tour host badge and Prism Book Tours badges were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. LibraryThing banner provided by LibraryThing and is used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna, #HoHoHoRAT 2019 badge and the Comment Box Banner.}

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 8 November, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Sweet Romance

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