Thursday, December 15, 2022

Mini Reviews: Holiday Edition (4)

This edition of my mini reviews is focusing on two adorable holiday novels. While they aren't my favorite of the holiday novels I have read this year, they are solid and will definitely bring a smile to your face this holiday season.  
All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox
Pages: 352
Pub Date: October 4, 2022
Publisher: Viking
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Holiday Swap
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "True love wasn't on their holiday wish list. When Sadie and Max are selected as contestants on the famed reality singing show Starmaker, each thinks they've finally gotten their big Nashville break. But then they're paired up for duet week and stun the world with their romantic onstage chemistry. With fans going wild for #Saxie the network demands that they remain a duo on and offstage, or exit the competition. Faking a relationship until their final performance in the Starmaker holiday special shouldn't be too hard, except for one small problem--Sadie and Max can't stand each other. But with their dreams just within reach, they agree to the ruse. Will their fake relationship be exposed before they can win? Or will an unexpected trip to Banff spark real feelings by the Christmas finale?"



Sadie Hunter has one more chance to make it in the country music business. She has a spot on the reality show, Starmaker, and she has to make this work. She has quit her job as a waitress and has her eye on that recording contract. It's go big or go home for Sadie, whereas Max, another contestant, has something to prove. His father is a famous country music star, so Max wants to show the world that he can make it without the help of his father or his father's name. On duet night, Sadie and Max get paired together and the chemistry is amazing. So much so that the producers of Starmaker want Sadie and Max to fake a relationship for ratings. There's one major problem here though. Sadie and Max hate each other. Can they really pull this off until the holiday special or will their dreams come crashing down around them? Maggie Knox's All I Want for Christmas is a cute holiday romance that's perfect for fans of country music.

I liked Knox's previous novel, The Holiday Swap, so I was excited to dive into this one. Sadie is a character that you can really root for, as she is the underdog, and Max is a complex character in his own right living under his father's shadow. If you like the enemies to lovers trope as well as country music, you will especially appreciate this romance. However, I feel like it lacked the holiday magic that her previous novel had, so I think All I Want for Christmas can be enjoyed all winter and doesn't necessarily need to be saved for Christmas.  



 Holidays in Virgin River by Robyn Carr
Pages: 368
Pub. Date: October 4, 2022
Publisher: MIRA
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Celebrate the holidays with this special edition containing 2 fan-favorite stories from the Virgin River series. Includes exclusive recipes inspired by the Virgin River characters. Under the Christmas Tree: With snow falling over the redwood forests, secluded Virgin River is the ideal place to spend the holidays. Each year, the close-knit community gathers in the town square to decorate and light a massive tree. Carols are sung, hot chocolate is shared—and this year, a surprise is about to bring two special people together. When the townsfolk discover a box of adorable puppies under the town’s Christmas tree, they call on local vet Nathaniel Jensen for help. But it’s his budding romance with Annie McCarty that really has tongues—and tails—wagging! Midnight Confessions:  In Virgin River, holiday kisses don’t end with Christmas—there’s still the New Year’s Eve party at Jack’s Bar to attend. Locals and newcomers alike find themselves eager for that special countdown…and that midnight kiss. As the townspeople gather, two lonely revelers decide the best balm for their broken hearts might just be each other."



Holidays in Virgin River include two holiday novellas, recipes, and a note from Robyn Carr. It's a cute book that would be a perfect gift for Virgin River fans this holiday season. The first novella, Under the Christmas Tree, is all about veterinarian, Nate Jensen, and Annie McCarty. They find a box full of adorable puppies under a Christmas tree and the two work together to make sure that the puppies find a nice home after a brief stint at Jack's Bar. While they work together, sparks fly between the two.  The second novella, Midnight Confessions, focuses on a romance between Sunny and Drew, two visitors to Virgin River. This novella focuses more on New Year's Eve and the celebration at Jack's Bar as well as two lonely people finding their match.

I am a big fan of Netflix's Virgin River, but sadly I have never read the actual series. I think I would have appreciated these novellas a bit more if I had read the series as there were some new-to-me characters that I wasn't quite sure about. I did like revisiting characters from the show as well as various locations like Jack's Bar. Carr does a great job bringing the adorable town of Virgin River to life over the holidays. The snow, the lit Christmas tree in town, and the decorations in town square all added to the coziness of this holiday read. 

Also, I really liked how Carr incorporated recipes from the characters in the show. This is a nice touch to a holiday novel!  

So, have you read these two holiday books? Are they on your TBR list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



  1. All I Want For Christmas is on my TBR, so I'm glad to hear it was an enjoyable read!

    1. It was definitely a fun read if you like country music and can be enjoyed all winter. Thanks for dropping by, Angela!

  2. So many of these books bring back such happy memories. Love them all!

    1. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the books. Thanks for visiting!


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