Category: Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story

#ChristmasReads | “A Second Christmas Wish” by Kathryn Freeman #JorieReads her first #ChocLit Christmas Romance whilst enjoying an extension of her holiday reads! #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 6 January, 2018 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

#ChocLitSaturdays banner created in Canva by Jorie.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and I feature Romance & Women’s Fiction authors during @SatBookChat:

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb!

As ChocLit begins to highlight Women’s Fiction authors and stories under their new imprint Ruby Fiction, I look forward to spotlighting those authors with guest features ahead of seeing their novels go into print as it’s a Digital First imprint for the publisher. Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Second Christmas Wish” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On feeling blessed to read a Christmas Romance in January:

Originally, I had hoped to read this story round Christmastime – however, the Christmas Post held this little parcel in its grasp until the first week of January – whilst a fierce and brutal Winter virus had straggled its grip on me! I wouldn’t have been able to read this delightful story during Christmas as much as I would have wanted; it’s a wonder how I managed to get through those days at all. The best joy though of settling into this story now, on the first weekend in January is how lovely the weather has been outside! We’ve received a lovely dash of cold weather – making it feel evermore like Winter, even if my region rarely feels like it knows what Winter is truly about compared to other parts!

Winter is a time I love to settle into Christmas stories – from the month of Thanksgiving (November) until Twelfth Night (January) or a bit extended til the latter weeks of January – it just depends on the year. This past Winter, I’ve had the joy of highlighting quite a lot of wonderfully exciting Christmas Romances & Contemporary stories set during Yule; many of which I am hopeful to collect in time to read before the next holiday season. This particular novel I’ve been itching to read since I first talked about my thoughts on it’s behalf during it’s Cover Reveal (October, 2016).

Not all the Christmas stories I find I want to read are light-hearted, most this year are more dramatically inclined – hitting on harder story-lines and blessedly find redemption or restitution in the end. At the heart of my #ChristmasReads though is seeking out the relationships which start during the holidays and find traction to hold together afterwards – in essence of what makes the best part of reading Romances set during Christmas!

Reading A Second Christmas Wish marks my first Christmas Rom by a ChocLit author as well – I’ve been happily seeing more Christmas lovelies release (all Digital First) and have hoped more might go into print runs as the years move forward. There is nothing wickeder than seeing stories set during your favourite holiday season have enticed the writers you love reading (or hope to discover reading soon) to write a bit of Christmas into their canon of works.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Notation on Cover Art Design: (as previously shared) 

It’s the quintessential cover for me that speaks about this kind of story! I know it might not be the most popular but ooh! That cover just spoke volumes about why I love tucking inside Christmas stories, Yuletide celebrations and the festive nature of Winter bringing round all my favourite holidays!! It’s such an incredibly magical time of the year and I adore snow even if my state is one of the few that doesn’t get any – I long to live closer to snow country, to be caught up in that treasure of snowflakes and the stillness of a wintry walk. For me it was more the aesthetic of what resonates with this kind of story. It’s the allure of the story for me rather than the specifics.

#ChristmasReads | “A Second Christmas Wish” by Kathryn Freeman #JorieReads her first #ChocLit Christmas Romance whilst enjoying an extension of her holiday reads! #ChocLitSaturdaysA Second Christmas Wish
by Kathryn Freeman
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

For Melissa, Christmas has always been overrated. From her cold, distant parents to her manipulative ex-husband, Lawrence, she’s never experienced the warmth and contentment of the festive season with a big, happy family sitting around the table.

And Melissa has learned to live with it, but it breaks her heart that her seven-year-old son, William, has had to live with it too. Whilst most little boys wait with excitement for the big day, William finds it difficult to believe that Father Christmas even exists.

But then Daniel McCormick comes into their lives. And with his help, Melissa and William might just be able to find their festive spirit, and finally have a Christmas where all of their wishes come true…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

Also by this author: Search for the Truth Cover Reveal, Before You Cover Reveal, Search for the Truth, A Second Christmas Wish Cover Reveal, Before You

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


Published by ChocLitUK

on 9th November, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 221

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Genre(s): Contemporary Romance | Christmas Romance | New Beginnings & Unexpected Love

Converse via: #ChocLit & #Contemporary #ChristmasReads

The Collective works I’ve Enjoyed Reading by Kathryn Freeman:

Search for the Truth by Kathryn FreemanA Second Christmas Wish by Kathryn FreemanBefore You by Kathryn Freeman

Ms Freeman’s ChocLit Contemporary Roms:

Before You (see also Review)

A Second Christmas Wish (see also Cover Reveal w/ Notes)

Search for the Truth (see also Review)

About Kathryn Freeman

Kathryn Freeman

Kathryn was born in Wallingford, England but has spent most of her life living in a village near Windsor. After studying pharmacy in Brighton she began her working life as a retail pharmacist. She quickly realised that trying to decipher doctor’s handwriting wasn’t for her and left to join the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications. In 2011, backed by her family, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self-employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

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Posted Saturday, 6 January, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, ChocLitUK, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Divorce & Martial Strife, England, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Modern Day, Motherhood | Parenthood, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Sports, Tennis, Vulgarity in Literature

#ChristmasReads Book Review | “Kissing Father Christmas” by Robin Jones Gunn

Posted Tuesday, 19 December, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, starting with FaithWords which is their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been wicked happy I can review for their imprints Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords & Center Street.

I received a complimentary copy of “Kissing Father Christmas” direct from the publisher FaithWords (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I am enjoying reading this lovely Christmas series:

There is a cosy comfort of joy warming into this novella omnibus – as you delight in the ambiance of the British village whilst caught up in the mystery surrounding the lead character! What drew her to cross the North Atlantic flying all the way over the Pond and then, find herself remiss with regrets, longingly hopeful to embrace the warmth of a tea cafe and yet, hesitating just outside the door. Upon entering, your caught up in the quaintness of the cafe itself – the unexpectedly cheerful ‘hallo’ of a man you hadn’t expected to see and the willingness of the woman descending the stairs to stay open a bit later than planned, simply to fill a request for a cuppa tea and a scone to satisfy fatigued hunger.

You pick up on the subtle gestures which are underwrit into the story-line – such as the mysterious greeter might have a purpose yet unknown and how twinkling in the back of your mind, there is something quite amiss about how this woman presents herself and how she internalises her experiences and seasons. Whilst sitting there by the glow of the hearth, her memories spilt out of her soul as if she were re-living them each in turn to the awareness of what was going to come once she reached a certain window back into the past. Her upbringing was spent on the road with her mother – an actress who took on various theatrical roles up and down the West Coast between California and Oregon; the stage was her mother’s passion but she still found golden moments of unexpected happiness spent with her mother off-stage. Miranda had a heart full of memories but there was a twist of uncertainty untying the joyfulness of her remembrance. Almost as if there was something nibbling at her to remember and in so doing, the joyful manner of her reminiscing would buckle under that unwanted truth that was just out of sight.

The way in which Ms Gunn tucked her character into the ambiance of the setting and timescape of the novellas is partially what allowed you to suspend time and simply soak inside her world. The other bit is how openly honest she left Miranda to provide glimmers of the truth percolating to the surface and left the other half as a self-exploration of truth (on behalf of Miranda) as seen through the journey we take alongside her as readers (always favourable!). She has a genuine ease about her writing style – where you can just feel as if you’ve stepped inside her heart and are watching how she’s pieced the words together to develop the arc of the narrative itself! The space for a novella is short and yet, she has filled these novellas with the depth of a novel!

-quoted from my review of Finding Father Christmas / Engaging Father Christmas

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#ChristmasReads Book Review | “Kissing Father Christmas” by Robin Jones GunnKissing Father Christmas
by Robin Jones Gunn
Source: Direct from Publisher

Bestselling, award-winning author Robin Jones Gunn welcomes us back to the cozy English village of Carlton Heath for a winter romance that will melt your heart.

Anna's first visit to Carlton Heath in England was last May for the wedding of her cousin Ian to Miranda. The beautiful event ended with a dance under the stars and Anna receiving an unexpected kiss from Peter, the groomsman who caught her eye and now holds her heart.

Now, at the invitation of family and friends, Anna is returning to Carlton Heath for Christmas. She has Peter's recent email to fill her with assurance that he's looking forward to seeing her again as well.

More than his brief words, though, the vivid memory of their unforgettable kiss provides a promise of more to come. Anna, ever the imaginative artist, has been busy painting a romantic conclusion to her holiday visit. Certainly she's not the only one who has been dreaming of another dance and another kiss.

But when she sees Peter again, his intentions seem to shift as speedily as the blustery winter weather. Is Anna's heart misleading her, or will Father Christmas bestow on her the gift of love for which she has long dreamed?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781455565603

Also by this author: Finding Father Christmas | Engaging Father Christmas

Also in this series: Finding Father Christmas | Engaging Father Christmas


Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics


Published by FaithWords

on 4th October, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 192

Published by: FaithWords (@FaithWords)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

The Father Christmas Series includes:

Finding Father Christmas & Engaging Father Christmas (omnibus edition) by Robin Jones GunnKissing Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn

Finding Father Christmas

Engaging Father Christmas

Kissing Father Christmas

Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #ChristmasReads

About Robin Jones Gunn

Robin Jones Gunn Photo Credit: Ross Gunn III

Robin Jones Gunn has written 82 books over the past 25 years, with almost 4.5 million copies sold worldwide. She received a Christy Award for her novel Sisterchicks in Gondolas, and speaks at events around the US and Canada as well as in South America, Africa, Europe, and Australia.

Photo Credit: Ross Gunn III

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WYChristmasReadathon
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Posted Tuesday, 19 December, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Christianity, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, England, FaithWords, Family Life, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Romance Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics

Book Review | “A Priceless Find” (Camden Falls series, Book One) by Kate James A series by #HarlequinHeartwarming

Posted Monday, 18 December, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I recently started hosting with Prism Book Tours, having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting her blog as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold these past several months (something I hope to resume in 2018) but as I enquried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. 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.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Priceless Find” direct from the author Kate James in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was intrigued by this story-line:

I admit, I have liked reading Harlequin authors long before the last Acquisitions and Mergers went through – as I remember finding the publisher in the early 90s as I have been a reader of Romance for every decade I’ve been alive! lol I started out reading Roms when I was a young girl – smitten by the Regency and Victorian eras (first and foremost, of course!) before I explored other options – ironically or not, Contemporary Roms were one of the last ones I fancied which I have a better appreciation for finding now that I am a book blogger. The main imprint I used to read the most was Mira, however, there were different sub-series and imprints by Harlequin I have long admired – including the wholesome stories of the Heartwarming series and/or the Love Inspired. They also purchased my beloved mail-order series Heartsong Presents before it finally was closed a few years ago prior to the last merger.

The one thing I have appreciated about Harlequin authors though is how approachable they are and how friendly they are to speak with about their stories and writings. They also have the tendency to write the kind of stories you expect to find on Hallmark Channel – inspiring, uplifting and bursting with wicked good Romances! I find the channel to be a pulse of joy to watch (even if I’m currently a cable-cutter without access to it!) as you can curl up inside those movies with a sense of peace and a joyfulness in your spirit. Who doesn’t like that?

This is how I feel about reading stories by Harlequin – I like the lighter side to literature, as although I’m a drama lover, there is something to be said for a kind respite and a lighter story-line which picks up your spirits just at a moment where a story like these can be a balm to your weathered soul! I am thankful I found Prism Book Tours – if only to start to seek out new authors under Harlequin’s imprints and start to make enroads once again in reading them regularly!

-quoted from my Spotlight on behalf of this novel w/ an Extract

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “A Priceless Find” (Camden Falls series, Book One) by Kate James A series by #HarlequinHeartwarmingA Priceless Find
Subtitle: A Camden Falls Novel
by Kate James
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Can opposites really attract?

A robbery followed by the discovery of a forgery at a respected art gallery thrusts Chelsea Owens into the center of an investigation headed by Detective Sam Eldridge. The instant chemistry between the high-spirited aspiring curator and the tall, dark, brooding cop is a classic case of opposites attract.

Complications arise when Chelsea uncovers a connection to an unsolved art heist. Teaming up with Sam to find the stolen paintings ignites feelings that could lead to lasting love. But Sam isn't ready to move beyond the tragedy in his past, no matter how promising his future with Chelsea could be…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780373368587

Also by this author: Book Spotlight w/ Notes: A Priceless Find

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd October, 2017

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

About Kate James

Kate James

Kate spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result, Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word.

Kate's goal is to entertain her readers with engaging stories featuring strong, likable characters. Kate has been honored with numerous awards for her writing. She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors, with their beloved Labrador Retrievers, Harley and Logan.

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Posted Monday, 18 December, 2017 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours

#PubDay Double Showcase: Author Interview & Book Review | The Rocky Mountain Cowboys series by Karen Rock feat. “Christmas at Cade Ranch” and the prequel “A Cowboy to Keep”

Posted Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I have some wonderfully wicked news to share with you – I have the JOY of welcoming back to my blog, Ms Karen Rock! I originally crossed paths with this lovely author when I participated on the blog tour for ‘A League of Her Own’ – wherein, I found a delightful Romance author who writes the kind of stories I enjoy reading. As you might have seen on previous reviews for Contemporary Roms, I’m quite particular about what I am seeking out a Contemporary Romance – however, Ms Rock is one of the few authors I find myself gravitating towards reading ‘more of’ – the blessing being, this time round, I am *celebrating!* a lovely new series of hers: the Rocky Mountain Cowboys!

Now, I don’t know about you – but there is something wicked brilliant about ‘cowboys’ and in particular, the styling of Contemporary Westerns & Cowboy Fiction stories! I have been reading these stories ever since I first learnt how to ride a horse – there is a special connection between a person and their mount – something which is oft-times explored in these kinds of stories, but more to the point, it’s the setting of the stories themselves which intrigues me the most! Of finding where the skies are heavenly open to stars and where you can ride for ‘days’ and never meet your neighbour which holds quite the appeal to read about! These are the stories where the West is still not quite as tame as you’d believe it to be and where the ranchers and horsemen who make their home out on the range still have quite a bit to share with all of us!

I was definitely attracted to this series taking place on a ranch in Colorado – the setting (the Rocky Mountains) is of keen interest, yet, it’s the ranch itself which held the most curiosity. Mostly, as I find I’m drawn to ranches in film/tv series such as my beloved ‘Heartland’ which I am still itching for Series 10 to be released here in the States! *waves!* to all the Canadians who get to see it as it airs! Happily, I was able to satisfy my curiosity by ILL’ing (inter-library loaning) the prequel to this series through my local library whilst spotlighting the ‘first’ novel which is ‘Christmas at Cade Ranch’.

I also had the delight of being able to read a chapter sampler (which the author provided) whilst composing Questions which will give you a well-rounded ‘introduction’ to the series itself! Therefore, if you haven’t grabbed your favourite ‘cuppa’ you might want to do so before you proceed to read the rest of this post! It’s part conversation, part sneak peek into the heart of a series and one reader’s opinion about the prequel! Isn’t that going to be smashing!?

Let’s get started, shall we?!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Christmas at Cade Ranch by Karen Rock

The Christmas they never had.

James Cade has one priority: keep the family ranch running smoothly in the wake of his younger brother’s death. With Jesse’s ex, Sofia Gallardo, and her young son, Javi, stranded at Cade Ranch over Christmas, this task just got a lot harder. The longer Sofia and Javi stay, the harder it is to imagine the ranch without them. James couldn’t save his brother from his inner demons, but he can give his nephew a secure future. Maybe more—if he can figure out how to trust Sofia, and stop feeling like he’s betraying Jesse. Because trying to stop thinking about beautiful, determined Sofia is impossible.

Happy Pub Day: 7th November, 2017

Converse via: #Contemporary #Western + #Romance

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Add to Riffle | Add to LibraryThing

The Rocky Mountain Cowboys series:

A Cowboy to Keep (Prequel) (see review below my Q&A)

Christmas at Cade Ranch (Book One)

Falling for a Cowboy (Book Two) (Synopsis)

Bad Boy Rancher (Book Three) (Synopsis)

A Cowboy’s Pride (Book Four)

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Posted Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Indie Author, Library Find, Life Shift, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Specialised Crime Investigator, Suspense, West Coast USA, Western Fiction, Western Romance

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