TWO CHRISTMAS READS FOR WHEN YOU’RE SHORT ON TIME

Feel like you’re too busy for romance in the lead up to Christmas? Or have no time to escape into reading? While I’m shorter on reading time than usual, I did make time for two Christmas novellas published by Escape Publishing – A Touch of Frost by Rhian Cahill and 12 Days at Silver Bells House by Jennie Jones. I don’t usually seek out themed reading as such, but since these were sent my way, I welcomed the gift. If you’re looking for something with a bit (or maybe more than a bit) of Christmas spice, these two books are sure to hit the spot.

A Touch of Frost is the first in international bestselling author Cahill’s newest holiday series. I’ve not read anything by Cahill before, so I was looking forward to it. Here’s the blurb:

Jack had a great reason to be over Christmas: it’s not seasonal blues, it’s his family business, and there’s only so much tinsel you can have in your life without feeling bah humbug about it. But this year is different. He’s home after a long absence, with fences to mend, bridges to build and a commitment to change he intends to keep. Elle loves Christmas, and she is not about to let an arrogant Scrooge like Jack Frost ruin it for her. He might have her libido flashing like fairy lights, but she’s been burned by a guy on the rebound before and she doesn’t need a Boxing Day-bargain boyfriend. But there’s more than a little magic in mistletoe, and it may just see Elle and Jack ringing in a very happy new year.

Steamy and fast-paced, A Touch of Frost wastes no time building up the chemistry between Elle (her full name is Angelle) and Jack. Cahill does a great job creating tension and maintaining it until … the two throw caution to the wind. There’s not a huge time for character development in novellas, but Cahill made me care out the characters and the outcome, hoping all the while the two would have a merry Christmas. Jack comes across as arrogant at first but quickly develops into an Alpha male with a sensitive side. A fun and entertaining read, I’d recommend this for those who like a bit of bite in their romance and don’t want anything too serious. Available here.

Christmas in the country was the focus of Australian author Jennie Jones’ latest novella, 12 Days at Silver Bells House. Jones is the author of The House on Burra Burra Lane, which I have not read but intend to add to my list! Here’s the blurb:

Kate Singleton has twelve days to find herself. With Christmas Day and her thirtieth birthday approaching, the best thing a city-chic fashion designer who no longer has a raison d’etre can do is nullify herself in the country. With Chardonnay. When trouble strikes, the country presents her with Jamie Knight — a gallant but uncommunicative He-Man who drives an excavator and arrives to rescue Kate, her shoes and her case of Chardonnay from a boggy field. The adventure should be over — nothing but a good story to tell to her friends in the city — but her saviour turns out to also be an unexpected roommate, the new owner of Silver Bells House, Kate’s holiday home. Forced together and dragged into the community Christmas spirit of the town, Kate and Jamie flounder their way through mistletoe, kissing games, carolling choirs, and a bone-deep yearning for community and acceptance. Can the enchanting Silver Bells House and the holidays bind them together? Or will love get lost on Highway B23 back to the city?

I really enjoyed 12 Days at Silver Bells House. It was a lovely introduction to Jones’ perky writing style. Although The House on Burra Burra Lane introduces many of the characters and the country town, this novella is a standalone. If anything, it just made me want to read The House on Burra Burra Lane and return to Swallows Falls sooner rather than later! A fast-paced, feel-good read full of heart, 12 Days at Silver Bells House will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling and a definite sense of Christmas spirit. I loved watching the relationship between Kate and Jamie unfold … and I have to say, I will never look at a stonemason the same way again. Delightful! The book, I mean …

Available here as an e-book. By the way, I have five print copies of Jennie Jones’s new book The House at the Bottom of the Hill to give away, thanks to Harlequin. To enter, just visit my FB page and check out the pinned post. Open to AU residents only.