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



  1. TY for reviewing this book. Will check out her others. This author's name sounds familiar as I must have seen one of her books, probably this one mentioned somewhere.

    1. She also writes for Harlequin Desire and you may have seen reviews of those books here.

  2. Thanks for your review. It sounds like a good family story. Always a good thing,

    Hope everyone is well and safe and happy.

  3. Great review! I will need to check her other books.