Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Review - - Christmas in Rose Bend

Christmas in Rose Bend
by Naima Simone
Rose Bend - Book 2
Publisher: HQN
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Reviewed by PJ



The holidays have never been her thing. But Christmas in Rose Bend has more than one surprise in store…


Grieving ER nurse Nessa Hunt is on a road trip with her sullen teen half sister, Ivy, and still reeling from her mother’s deathbed confession: Nessa’s dad wasn’t really her dad. Seeking answers, they arrive in Rose Bend to find a small town teeming with the kind of Christmas cheer Nessa usually avoids. But then she meets the innkeeper’s ruggedly sexy son, Wolfgang Dennison.

Wolf’s big, boisterous family is like a picture-perfect holiday card. Nessa has too much weighing on her to feel like she fits—even though the heat between her and Wolf is undeniable. And the merriment bringing an overdue smile to Ivy’s face is almost enough to make Nessa believe in the Christmas spirit. But with all her parental baggage, including lingering questions about her birth father, is there room in Nessa’s life for happy holidays and happily-ever-after?

PJ's Thoughts:

This book, y’all. I’m immersed in Simone’s fictional community, emotionally tethered to these complex, fully-developed characters, and, oh my gosh, I’m feeling the feels. All. The. Feels. Simone gutted me with this story, took me on a ride that encompassed the full range of emotions, broke my heart but never let me lose hope, and then stitched it back together stronger than before.

Nessa and Wolf are such wonderfully complex characters. I loved them together. Their chemistry is off the charts (love those steamy scenes) but they also have moments of such tenderness. One of the things I most enjoyed about their journey was how well they communicated, even - maybe especially - when it came to the hard stuff. And there is plenty of hard stuff to overcome. Simone has surrounded them with a secondary cast of characters who all bring something to the table. Ivy, Nessa's moody, 12-year-old half-sister, is a pivotal character who is especially important to the overall story. I very much enjoyed her evolving relationship with both Wolf and Nessa. 

While it was fun to catch up with characters from book one, The Road to Rose Bend, and novellas Slow Dance at Rose Bend and A Kiss to Remember (and I enthusiastically recommend all of those stories), readers can absolutely enjoy Christmas in Rose Bend as a standalone.

I highly recommend adding Christmas in Rose Bend to your reading schedule. The steamy romance, snappy banter, heart-tugging emotion, grieving heroine who’s just about reached the end of her rope, and hero many of us would like to find under our Christmas tree this year, all wrapped up in a big red emotional bow courtesy of Naima Simone's exquisite writing, make this one a keeper.

CW: Death of parents - Death of best friend - Military death - Panic attacks


 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Review - - The Christmas Escape

The Christmas Escape
by Sarah Morgan
Publisher: HQN
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Reviewed by PJ



It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas getaway—a trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband. Her solution? Alix can take Christy’s little daughter to Lapland, and they will reunite there for Christmas Day. It’s a big ask, but what else are friends for?


There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy. But Christy’s request to save Christmas is giving Alix sleepless nights. She knows something is wrong, but for the first time ever, Christy isn’t talking. And even the Arctic temperatures in Lapland aren’t enough to dampen the seriously inconvenient sizzle Alix is developing for Zac, a fellow guest and nemesis from her past.

As secrets unravel and unexpected romance shines under the northern lights, can Christy and Alix’s Christmas escape give them the courage to fight for the relationships they really want, and save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?

PJ's Thoughts:

The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan is one of those books that is destined to become an instant Christmas classic, at least in my house. Emotionally complex, thought-provoking, uplifting, and flawless in its execution, it spoke to me in a myriad of ways. I found the characters, and their circumstances, to be realistic and relatable. The depth of emotion tugged at my heartstrings (and evoked more than a few tears) but I was also delighted by the sprinkling of humor throughout. Little four-year-old Holly was a delight and - speaking from experience - very realistically depicted. 

Morgan's skill for creating immersive settings in her books is also on display here. By the time I turned the final page of the book, I was ready to immediately book a trip to Lapland. I don't know if she's actually been there but she brought this region to life as clearly and vibrantly as the Aurora Borealis that graces its winter sky. 

This book is women's fiction and while the journeys of the three lead women are the primary focus, romance readers should be aware that there are also strong romantic threads with happy endings.

 

Friday, October 22, 2021

Second Chance Winner - - Tracy Solheim

 




The Second-Chance Winner of

Tracy Solheim's giveaway package is:

Laurie G

Congratulations!

Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com



Review - - All the Feels

All the Feels: A Novel
by Olivia Dade
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: October 26, 2021*
*Moved to November 16, 2021 because of 
supply chain issues
Reviewed by PJ



Alexander Woodroe has it all. Charm. Sex appeal. Wealth. Fame. A starring role as Cupid on TV’s biggest show, Gods of the Gates. But the showrunners have wrecked his character, he's dogged by old demons, and his post-show future remains uncertain. When all that reckless emotion explodes into a bar fight, the tabloids and public agree: his star is falling.

Enter Lauren Clegg, the former ER therapist hired to keep him in line. Compared to her previous work, watching over handsome but impulsive Alex shouldn’t be especially difficult. But the more time they spend together, the harder it gets to keep her professional remove and her heart intact, especially when she discovers the reasons behind his recklessness…not to mention his Cupid fanfiction habit.

When another scandal lands Alex in major hot water and costs Lauren her job, she’ll have to choose between protecting him and offering him what he really wants—her. But he’s determined to keep his improbably short, impossibly stubborn, and extremely endearing minder in his life any way he can. And on a road trip up the California coast together, he intends to show her exactly what a falling star will do to catch the woman he loves: anything at all. 


PJ's Thoughts:


To the outside world, Lauren and Alex together are inexplicable. He's tall, muscular, charming, and gorgeous. She's short (like, really short) and plus-size, with bird-like features (Alex's description which takes on an unexpected meaning later in the story). Fans fawn over him while those in control of his career treat him like he's a misbehaving child. As for Lauren, she's either ignored or worse, treated with cruelty and disdain. How the two of them respond to those situations (both their own and each others) couldn't be more different. It opens a window into their feelings, their self-worth, and how each of them sees themselves and each other.  


I cannot begin to tell you how much I liked Lauren...or how much my heart ached for her. She's smart, accomplished, pragmatic, funny, a wonderful friend, and could give a flip what others say about her. But she's also been pushed down so many times, subjected to so much casual cruelty that she believes her worth is actually less than others. Some of her scenes are very uncomfortable and, unfortunately, all too realistic, providing a lens into how too many treat those who are "different." But, oh, what a joy it was to watch her evolve and take control as she finally begins to understand and accept her worth.


Alex is like a cross between an adorable but mischievous Golden Retriever puppy with the attention span of --- squirrel! --- and an attention-seeking, occasionally annoying house cat. I could not love him more. He's rich, successful, and appears to have everything yet there are hidden layers that have a significant impact on his daily life. Dade's portrayal of a man in his late thirties, living with ADHD, is vivid, insightful, heart-tugging, and complex.  


A few things I loved about this book (just a few because, oh my gosh, there are so many): the text interstitials between Alex and Marcus (his best friend and hero of Spoiler Alert), the group texts among the Gods of the Gates cast members, the road trip up the California coast (Alex's reaction to an innkeeper's "we only have one bed available" is pure gold), the tenderness, the sass, the playfulness, the consent, Alex's mom, the middle of the night walks, that cover (kudos to Avon for an accurately depicted heroine), and the final chapter of the book which has some of my all-time favorite scenes and lines, especially Lauren's. In this case, love is most definitely the best revenge. 


I fell hard for Dade's debut, Spoiler Alert. I loved this follow-up novel even more. I laughed. I cried. I swooned. Then I laughed some more and, yes, shed more tears too. This book could not be more aptly titled because, I'm here to tell you, I felt all. the. feels. 





Thursday, October 21, 2021

Review - - A Cowboy Christmas Legend

A Cowboy Christmas Legend
by Linda Broday
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Reviewed by Hellie


Devastated by the loss of his young wife―and the life he'd always thought would be his―Sam Legend II has done everything he can to make a fresh start. As a bladesmith, all he needs is a bed, a hot fire, and enough distance from his famous family to finally indulge in a little peace and quiet. So what if it's almost Christmas? This year, he's happy just keeping to himself.

But then fiery Cheyenne Ronan comes blasting into his home, and any notion of peace goes flying out the door.

Cheyenne's like no one Sam has ever met―and from the moment he first catches her eye, his quiet life is anything but. Now he's hunting wanted men with the Texas Rangers, decking every hall, and sharing passionate embraces with the woman who's set his world alight. For the first time in what feels like forever, Sam's facing Christmas feeling like his life is full of meaning again―and that with Cheyenne by his side, love can be the stuff of Legend.

 

Hellie’s Heeds 

When I first started reading romance novels--at a precociously young age--some of my favorites were cowboy set romances and I’m really glad for authors like Linda Broday who continue to bring stories with strong cowboys and feisty heroines. The cowboy motif in romances is just as tried-and-true as the Mr. Darcy version. If you have read Linda Broday before, you’ll see she has quite the backlog of books showing her passion for her setting as well as wonderful characters who light up the page. She doesn’t shy away from tougher aspects of the Western setting (which has gone through some transitions over the years as we’ve become more aware of how some aspects are represented and who is representing them--and in shining a light on those things that were hidden or ignored.) I think she does a great job in addressing some of these issues in a way that doesn’t sound preachy, but also being sensitive to those for whom these topics may trigger reactions or questions.  

I used to bring library books to an elderly friend who wasn’t able to leave her house--and her request was always for either highlanders or cowboys; so I was always relieved when I saw a new Linda Broday book on the shelves. I knew there would be humor, adventure, and larger than life characters with a happily ever after. My friend passed away this year, so I read this book in memory of her--and I’m glad because Linda delivered. Sam Legend, who is the son of the famous ranger Sam Legend Sr, is a recluse who lives in a lean-to looking shed in the Texas hills where he creates knives. He is content with his life (not happy: he’s a widower who grieves for his wife, after all) but soon finds his peace interrupted by a little hellcat neighbor named Cheyenne. Soon it becomes apparent Sam will not be allowed to continue in his rut; and additionally, the townsfolk need his help as they are overrun by the same outlaws who were involved with his wife’s murder.  

The pacing of this story kept me turning pages to see what would happen next; and at times I wondered how this was going to work out for everyone. But Linda was able to give a happily ever after despite all the travails that befell the characters. It was also adorable to read about how one might celebrate Christmas in Texas where trees aren’t readily available, but tumbleweeds are. Also, the Christmas play that is put on by the children is worth the read alone. Be forewarned that if you haven’t read the other books in the series, you will be very tempted to go back and read them if you start with this one. While this story stood perfectly on its own, I do long to go back and read the other heroes associated with this series.  

If I did have any moments of disquiet about the story, it would be that I was at first taken aback by a heroine who would sneak up on a hero in the middle of the night and pull a knife on him, especially since she is like half his size; and I was also a bit concerned she was a white woman wearing native clothing, but Linda addressed my second concern almost immediately by having the hero call her out for wearing native clothing, presumably without permission, and the heroine explains the clothing was a gift from a good friend and also that she worked closely with the native populations, assisting them directly in saving children from the assimilation schools. Later, the more I got to read about Cheyenne’s character, the less I felt she was acting out of “time” for her setting; she was just a remarkable heroine who was traditional in many ways, but a fearless leader and pioneer in others. So yeah, she is the kind of heroine who could pull a knife on a hero and live to tell the tale.  

All in all, a wonderful new story in Linda’s series about the Legend men; a heartfelt and traditional Christmas set love story; and one in which neither kids nor the dog die--which for me is paramount in any romance story. I don’t believe I’m giving something away by saying this--I assure you there will be plenty of characters to worry about. Happy reading!


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Review - - Second Chance Christmas

Second Chance Christmas
by Tracy Solheim
Chances Inlet - Book 3
Publisher: Sun Home Productions
Release Date: October 25, 2021
Reviewed by PJ
 


Chances Inlet, North Carolina is the last place major leaguer Ryan McAlister wants to hide from the media to rest up his broken hand. He left his gossipy, Christmas-obsessed hometown in the dust over a decade ago. When he gets caught up in the town’s holiday antics, he finds himself responsible for making a little boy’s Christmas wish come true. The kid’s widowed mother, however—a blast from Ryan’s past—just might make his stay a bit more exciting.

Physical therapist Jane Sheffield loves her hometown. Especially at Christmastime. Since this may be her last in Chances Inlet, she’s determined to make the most of it with her young son. But after her childcare falls apart, she gets more than she bargained for when her best friend’s younger brother volunteers to help out. The rebellious teen she tutored in high school has grown up into a sexy charmer and so much more than the pretty face he pretends to be.

Can a stray dog, the Ghost of Christmas past, and a host of meddling townsfolk muster up enough Christmas spirit to convince Ryan and Jane to give their hometown—and each other--a second chance?

This book is the third book in a family saga but can be read as a standalone.


PJ's Thoughts:

Tracy Solheim returns to this small coastal town for the highly anticipated third book in her Chances Inlet series. I fell in love with the citizens of Chances Inlet, and especially the McAlister family, while reading the first two books in the series and have been eagerly waiting for Ryan's book for the past three years. I'm very happy to report that Solheim gave me everything I could have wanted. And more.

This is a story of forgiveness, acceptance, and starting over that captured my heart. Ryan is such an endearing character. His family loves him but they rarely look beyond the pretty face, sports prowess, and carefree attitude for which baseball fans, the media, and most women value him. There's so much more to him but nobody ever looks for the depth. It's reached the point where even Ryan has stopped believing in himself. And then along comes Jane, a widowed single mom with more than a few challenges on her own plate. On paper, they shouldn't make sense. But they do. 

I adored these two together. They have wonderful chemistry, great banter, and a soul-deep connection (even if it takes one of them awhile to realize it). I loved how they each brought out the best in each other; how supportive and protective of one another they were. I loved watching Ryan and Jane's young son together. Huck wasn't the only one who blossomed in that relationship. It was so satisfying to watch all three of them evolve throughout the story. 

If you're looking for a feel-good, contemporary romance with great family dynamics, endearing characters you'll cheer for, humor, sizzle, food you'll drool over, tear-inducing declarations, and the heartwarming love and magic of Christmas, pick up a copy of Tracy Solheim's Second Chance Christmas. The e-book edition is a steal at the pre-publication price of $2.99.

Second Chance Christmas is written in such a way that it can be enjoyed as a standalone but I also recommend the first two books in the series: Back to Before (Gavin McAlister and Ginger Walsh) and All They Ever Wanted (Miles McAlister and Lori Buchman). Having already "met" the members of the McAlister family in the earlier books enhanced the depth of my enjoyment of book three even more. 


Note: Solheim received so many comments from early readers about the delicious food in this book that she put together a collection of recipes for the dishes featured. Readers can obtain a copy of the recipes by subscribing to her newsletter at the following link:  

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/n6r4a9

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Review - - The Grifter

The Grifter
by Kimberly Kincaid
Publisher: Kimberly Kincaid
Release Date: October 19, 2021
Reviewed by PJ



Only one person has ever rocked Detective Shawn Maxwell’s titanium composure. 
Francesca Rossi, his ex-partner. His ex-everything.

He hasn’t seen Frankie since she left him eight years ago and now he has to work with her on an undercover case that could break them both.

But when Shawn’s world is turned upside down by the news that he has a three-year-old daughter, Frankie stuns him by being an unlikely ally.

The more they’re together, the more the walls between them begin to crumble and the less he can resist the fierce, beautiful woman he fell for. But their past comes with wounds that run deep and the present holds danger neither of them see coming.

Until suddenly, they aren’t just fighting for love. They’re fighting for their lives.

PJ's Thoughts:

The Grifter is the third book of Kincaid's Intelligence Unit romantic suspense series. Although it features continuing characters from the first two IU books along with cameos by characters from her other series set in Remington, NC, the book works well as a standalone. 

Frankie and Shawn are complex, multi-layered, flawed characters with a complicated history between them. Kincaid did a wonderful job of bringing them to life along with their awkward, intense, and deeply emotional second-chance romance. These two really grabbed my heart with their unexpected tenderness, vulnerability, integrity, strength, and sizzle (I found myself reaching for a fan more than once). Then there's the bond of love that had been tested to its limits but, to their surprise, had never broken. 

The romance in this book is well balanced with an intense, edge-of-the-seat suspense thread that had me gasping frequently. Kincaid has created a stone-cold, psychopathic villain who gave me chills. This dude is the stuff of nightmares. He leads Shawn and Frankie on a not-so-merry chase with life or death consequences that had me on edge from start to stunning finish. 

As I mentioned earlier, characters from earlier books set in Remington weave in and out of this book with ease. Fans of the series will no doubt enjoy catching up with favorites while those readers new to Kincaid should be able to jump into The Grifter without missing a beat. If tightly woven romantic suspense with complex emotion, plenty of steam, and an unexpected character who brings out the tenderness in both our hero and heroine are your jam, give The Grifter a try. It has my enthusiastic recommendation. 

CW: Drug Addition and Murder

 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Review - - Messing with the Billionaire

Messing with the Billionaire
by Breezie Bennett
Maid in Miami - Book 1
Publisher: Palm Island Publishing
Release Date: October 15, 2021
Reviewed by PJ



When a case of mistaken identity goes too far…can this billionaire win the trust of a woman who thinks she loves the gardener?

TJ: Buying a winter home in Miami Beach has its benefits. Not only did I escape the pressure of being a hedge fund manager in New York, but when my housekeeping team shows up and an adorable bubbly blonde is in charge, I find I like the tropical sun even more. Sure, I let her believe I’m the gardener because the mistake was amusing, and she was amazing. I obviously planned to tell her when she says yes to our first date, but…I didn’t. For once, a woman is really into me without the trappings of my wealth and status. But the joke’s on me when feelings get real and telling her the truth could wreck the best thing I’ve ever had.

Lilly: It's official. I've met the perfect guy. At least, he seems perfect. He might not be the best landscaper in Miami, but he looks great in a sweaty t-shirt out on the lawns of my client’s mansion. For once, I’ve found someone who appreciates hard work and, like me, didn’t get anything handed to him. The only problem is...I think he's hiding something. Something big. I want to believe that the sweet and humble gardener I'm falling in love with is as real as he seems...but some unanswered questions make me wonder if this is all just too good to be true. Who is he and can I trust him with my heart?


PJ's Thoughts:


Breezie Bennett takes readers back to Miami for the first book in her new sweet and sassy, Maids in Miami romantic comedy series. When five best friends wrap up their business school post-grad degrees with no jobs on the horizon, they decide to return home to Miami, combine forces, and launch a high-end housekeeping service. These savvy, hard-working women are on their way, with a crew of top-notch workers and some solid contracts but what they really need is to land a few "rich and famous" clients for their business to soar. Will those clients also bring unexpected love? 

I really enjoy Bennett's breezy (no pun intended) style of writing. It's fresh, fun, full of charm, has great depth of emotion, and a sweet, endearing sizzle. Lilly and TJ are likeable characters who have an immediate attraction that leaves them both - especially TJ - a bit flustered. It was easy to understand how - and why - mistaking TJ for the gardener occurred and why he let the assumption stand, especially when it was such a novelty to be admired and desired for himself and not his money. It gave the author time to explore their characters as well as allow them the opportunity to get to know one another without pre-conceived opinions. I enjoyed watching them slowly become friends, then more, as they opened themselves to one another. The only real issue I had with their relationship was how long it took for TJ to come clean about his real identity. Yes, he felt awful about it and yes, I did understand why it was so difficult for him to do it but it went on longer than I was comfortable with. Of course, I forgave him - as did Lilly - because, well, let's just say that soul-baring confessions and heartfelt grand gestures go a long way when securing a happy ending. 

I love the support, love, laughter, and life-long friendships among these five women who, at this point, are really more chosen family than friends. I'm already invested in their happiness and eager to see more of all of them in future books in the series. 


 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Last Chance Winner - - Tracy Solheim

 



Beth Reimer

You have not claimed this giveaway. 

Please send your full name and mailing address to

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

no later than 11:00 PM, October 18.

After that date, I will choose a new winner for this giveaway.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Review - - No Words

No Words
by Meg Cabot
Little Bridge Island - Book 3
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: October 12, 2021
Reviewed by PJ
 


Don’t Judge a Book by Its Author...

Welcome to Little Bridge, one of the smallest, most beautiful islands in the Florida Keys.

Jo Wright always swore she’d never step foot on Little Bridge Island—not as long as her nemesis, bestselling author Will Price, is living there.

Then Jo’s given an offer she can’t refuse: an all-expense paid trip to speak and sign at the island’s first ever book festival.

Even though arrogant Will is the last person Jo wants to see, she could really use the festival’s more-than-generous speaking fee. She’s suffering from a crippling case of writer’s block on the next installment of her bestselling children’s series, and her father needs financial help as well.

Then Jo hears that Will is off-island on the set of the film of his next book. Hallelujah!

But when she arrives on Little Bridge, Jo is in for a shock: Will is not only at the book festival, but seems genuinely sorry for his past actions—and more than willing not only to make amends, but prove to Jo that he’s a changed man.

Things seem to be looking up—until disaster strikes, causing Jo to wonder: Do any of us ever really know anyone?


PJ's Thoughts:


Cabot returns to the Florida Keys for the third book in her Little Bridge Island romantic comedy series and it's my favorite so far. 


One of Cabot's strengths is her ability to create a setting that is so realistic and appealing that it has me wanting to pack my bags and hop a plane. She then populates that setting with a variety of quirky, endearing, frequently complex, and occasionally villainous characters who, by the end of the book, feel more like friends than fictional characters. Okay, maybe not the villainous ones but the others, definitely.


I really enjoyed the evolving relationship between Jo and Will. Cabot took the story in different directions that I originally anticipated, allowing both characters significant growth in the process. I was surprised to discover how much my opinion of each of them evolved as they did themselves. 


I also loved how the author brought Jo's Kitty Katz, Kitten Sitter book series to life in this book. I wish it was a real children's book series. I have two five-year-olds in the family who would adore it! 


It's obvious Cabot has attended her share of book conferences/festivals in the way she writes the details of Little Bridge's first book festival and the authors who are in attendance. I found myself laughing out loud many times and also missing those events, even the awkward and sometimes embarrassing moments that inevitably occur. Whether you've attended one or not, there is plenty in this one to both entertain and amuse. 


While No Words is the third book of a series, and there are a few characters from the first two books who make appearances, it stands on its own and readers can jump in without missing a beat. If you enjoy upbeat rom-coms with well-developed characters, heart-tugging emotion, and plenty of humor, take a trip to Little Bridge Island with Meg Cabot's No Words


Friday, October 15, 2021

Review - - Romancing the Holidays, Vol. 2

Romancing the Holidays, Vol. 2
by 14 authors from First Coast Romance Writers
Publisher: First Coast Romance Writers
Release Date: September 22, 2021
Reviewed by PJ



Looking for a Happily Ever After? How about fourteen of them?! Romancing the Holidays, Volume 2 is a collection of romantic short stories all with the happy ending you crave. Genres include: contemporary, historical, paranormal, romantic suspense and young adult.


And what better time to find romance than during the holidays? Escape into these Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Three Kings Day and Valentine’s Day adventures, and swoon anew with each couple as they fall in love.

Proceeds from this anthology benefit First Coast Romance Writers, a non-profit chapter of Romance Writers of America that helps writers hone their craft and expand their knowledge of the publishing industry.

PJ's Thoughts:

This collection of holiday short stories has something for everyone. Whether your reading choice is contemporary, historical, paranormal, romantic suspense, new adult, or something else, chances are good you'll find a story to enjoy. And, you just might discover a new author to binge or possibly a new sub-genre you've yet to try.

Paranormal is usually not my first choice when selecting a book but Melody Johnson's Halloween romance, "Fated by Fire," drew me in and held me captive. I will definitely be reading more of this author!

Abigail Sharpe is an author whose contemporary romcoms I have enjoyed. In "New Year's Ex-Pectations," she takes takes readers to a Wyoming dude ranch for a heart-tugging, low-heat, second-chance romance that packs a lot of emotion into a short story.

Laura Salas brings a Latin flair to the collection with her friends-to-lovers romance, "Love on Calle Ocho." I enjoyed the Cuban traditions, and festivities surrounding the celebration of Three Kings Day on Calle Ocho, in Miami's Little Havana. I really enjoyed Maddie and Carlos and their three day getaway to Calle Ocho that changed everything. 

These are just a few of the entertaining romance "appetizers" to be found in this collection, each one perfect for a quick, uplifting romance boost during the busyness of the holiday season.