Double Review: Christmas Novellas

Because I’ve just been itching to get in a Christmas-state of mind I couldn’t help myself when a lot of Christmas-themed novellas started showing up on Netgalley. I just had to pick them up. And I will be reviewing them here, in double reviews, because these books are often too short to allow me to write a full review on them.

 Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas: A Perfect Fit  Holiday Novella

Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas: A Perfect Fit Holiday Novella

(Perfect Fit #1.5)

Sugar Jamison

My rating:
4 star

Goodreads summary:

A Special Holiday Novella!
On the first day of Christmas, Dina Gregory, former wild child and prodigal daughter returns home to New York on a mission. Finding her young son’s father and making him take responsibility for the child he created is the only thing on her wish list. But instead of finding the man she was looking for she runs into his stuffy older brother Ben.
Ben has never liked Dina, but being trapped together on the holidays allows him to see a different side of her. She brings back his Christmas spirit and in the process reminds him what it feels like to love.  Dina’s past makes her wary of falling in love, but Ben is determined to make her stay as his permanent Christmas gift.
 

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This novella was a romance, but it was really also written for those who love Christmas. It really did the trick of getting me ready for the holiday, more than a month in advance! This short story was very sweet and did everything what a novella should: it got you invested in the characters, even in such a short while. But it also had enough substance to ground the story in a romantic reality. I liked that Dina was curvy, but I did feel as if there was a little bit of a double standard because Ben was beautifully sculpted. Not that there’s anything wrong with either having curves or looking really fit, but it did bother me just a tiny bit that the guy was so perfect here. There was just a great balance between romance and holiday related things in this book, which was exactly what I wanted. The story itself had that typical romance-vibe (this is not a bad thing, just a fact in my eyes) with the slightly unlikely scenario turning all wonderful. But that’s why we all love a good romance every now and then, right? As for the writing in this short but sweet story: it was very good. There were never really any places where I would have cut parts out or put more in which is great in a novella. This author really used her word count as well as she could, not wasting any words on things too trivial to mention in a novella.  I really would recommend this novella to people who just want a sweet Christmas romance!

P.S. This is technically part of a series, but it’s not the case that this book really follows its predecessor. All of the books seem to follow different characters, so it’s not like you won’t be able to follow if you haven’t read the first book (which was my case). The perfect fit series just seems to be centered around woman with a healthy amount of curves.

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'Twas the Night Before Mischief (Daring Hearts, #2.5)

‘Twas the Night Before Mischief

(Daring Hearts #2.5)

Nina Rowan

My rating:
3 star

Goodreads summary:

‘Twas the night before mischief and all through the house, a lady was plotting—it was time to break out!

When Penelope Darlington is persuaded to elope with a most unsuitable suitor, she wastes no time. With visions of passion and adventure dancing in her head, she steals away in the middle of the night, just before her father’s Christmas feast.
Fearing for his daughter’s reputation, Henry Darlington begs Darius Hall, the Earl of Rushton’s daring yet discreet son, to bring Penelope home. When Darius finally catches up to Penelope, he is shocked. She’s not the silly little girl he expected, but a beautiful woman with a sharp mind and an allure that cannot be ignored.
Now forced to kidnap Penelope in order to bring her home, Darius and his new charge spend the next several days—and nights—in very close quarters. Penelope wanted passion and adventure, but she never could have imagined the pleasures Darius can provide…

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In contrast to the previous novella this book focused a lot more on the pure romance and not so much on the Christmas. This was a slight disappointment, especially since the title really did hint towards a very holiday-themed storyline. But it wasn’t the end of the world, or anything even remotely so dramatic. In general this novella did leave me wanting more, and not in a really good way. I just wanted to get to know the characters a little better, the story could have been fleshed out a bit more. The premise was fun but it just lacked a bit of engaging factors. I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if only there had been a couple of extra pages in the shape of information sprinkled throughout the story. This is usually the reason why I’m not a fan of a novella: it lacks a bit of engagement from my part because we don’t always get to know the characters well enough.

P.S. This novella is part of a series, but just like “Have yourself a curvy little Christmas” it doesn’t really follow the same cast, but is more centered around a theme and probably the time period (regency). So, if you’re just like me and you haven’t ready any books in the series: not to worry, it’s a stand alone novella in the sense that the characters are all brand new.

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