Sleigh Bells in the Snow

Every year, I am always looking for a Halloween book to read. Since I failed to get through one (IT) this year, I thought I would try my hand at a Christmas book. I asked for suggestions and also looked for some on Good Reads. I stumbled across this one, a little skeptic about how it was going to be. I am happy to say, this one was really good and it has a warm Hallmark movie feel to it! Plus, the main character has my first name so I had to read it!

SleighBells_Final-200x317For Kayla Green, the festivities of Christmas isn’t hard to avoid when you bury yourself in work. When her PR firm takes on a new client, Kayla finds that she may not be able to avoid the holiday this year. Jackson O’Neil runs a family ski resort that needs to be more recognized and suggests that Kayla come stay there to get a good feel for it to better provide a plan to get Snow Crystal on the map. She expected to experience the resort and work through the holidays but she comes to find out that there are more distractions than her handsome client; she finds family and love in the place she least expected.

I had been watching the Hallmark Channel for weeks after Thanksgiving and was wanting a feel good christmas book to read. Don’t get me wrong, I love those movies but there is only so many of them that I can watch before my brain fries. I needed something that I could design myself and work through. That is what I love about reading the most, you are the designer. The author gives you the tools to build the scenes and the characters, you just have to follow their story.
I looked through all kinds of books and suggestions, deciding to give this one a try. I am so glad I did. I liked everything about this book and often found myself reading past my bedtime. This book should definitely end up as a Hallmark Christmas movie; it might already be, they have a ton of movies out there.

My favorite part of the book was the scenes that the author, Sarah Morgan, painted for us. Kayla leaves her congested, New York city life behind for a few weeks and drops herself right into a small town ski resort. There is a drastic difference there, obviously because those two locations couldn’t be more opposite but also in the style of writing that the writer takes on. I found when she was describing Kayla’s NY life and job, the tone was stark and “uptight”. When she was writing about Kayla’s experiences with Jackson in Snow Crystal, the writing was more warm and comforting. Crawling under a blanket with a cup of tea, the fire going and reading this book is absolutely the way to do it.

The snowy scenes, the mountains, the cabins, the forest, animals… Pretty much everything described in this book made me want to pack up my Christmas and move it right up to the mountains just so I can experience what she was. Maybe someday, my husband and family will have a holiday in the snowy mountains 🙂 This book will do that to you because the scenery is so vivid and exciting!

In being a “Hallmark” type book, there is plenty of feel good romance. Though, I often found myself wanting to slap Kayla because she was being closed off or stubborn. If you read this book, you will find out why she was like that but I was super happy when she finally loosened up and let Jackson slowly creep into her heart. Now, there are some sexy scenes in this books, so if you are looking for a holiday read, just a heads up, Morgan doesn’t leave those out. They don’t take away from the book but they don’t add much either. I think they were used by Jackson to break down the walls that Kayla had put up.

There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about this book. It was heart warming, charming, adventurous, romantic; everything you would want in a Christmas read. This is only the first book in a series of three, so I will be picking the others up soon!

The Good:
Set around Christmas, with trees, cooking, decorating and ALL! 🙂
I loved the vivid scene descriptions

Overall: I really really enjoyed this book and if you are looking for something to read (instead of watching Hallmark movies over and over), give this one a try. It will give you the warm fuzzy feeling that made the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes that day 🙂 

Rating: 5 out of 5 🙂 

Up Next: The Lost Word by Michael Crichton




Paris for One & Other Stories

This book contains some adorable and very real stories. Ordinary people, living their lives as best they can,  just trying to make it through the day. Paris for One is the main focus and personally, I think it was the best story out of the nine that this book contains. I am going to break this post down a little differently than normal to give a quick recap and review of each one. Like always, there was some stories that I really liked and some that didn’t quite grab me.

51ASRrI-eBL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Paris for One

Nell is a person who needs to plan everything by the second, to know exactly what will happen to her or what time she will be arriving where. So, when she books a weekend trip to Paris for her and her boyfriend, she knew it would be a romantic getaway. There was only one problem, he stood her up and now she was in a city she didn’t know… Alone. She could either give up and go home, or forget her anxiety and explore Paris herself.

This story was adorably romantic and anxiety inducing at the same time. As someone who has anxiety, I know what the character feels when she has to know everything about anything in order to function. I loved how she over came that and put herself out there to have a good time on this vacation she planned for two. It kind of turned out to still be for two as she meets a handsome Parisian on her adventures. Even though the vacation was only a few days, a relationship blossomed into something more than a stranger turned friend turned potential boyfriend. I thought it was a cute story and loved reading about the sites and places she went. I have been to Paris and I highly suggest someone spend some time there, it is amazing.

Between the Tweets

A public figure and family man named Declan Travis is being accused online of having an affair. He hasn’t had work in a while and is afraid that this scandal will ruin his reputation so he hires someone to find out who is behind the rumors. Little does he know, it is someone close to him and little does the accuser know, Declan is has a little secret of his own.

So this one was super fast-moving and had a great twist at the end! It was a little roller coaster ride. Plus, it just goes to show that dirty little secrets don’t stay in the closet long.

Love in the Afternoon

Sara and Doug have been married 14 years. In fourteen years, they have experiences many things and never noticed how much they were drifting apart until they take an anniversary vacation. No kids, no dog, no work; just the two of them, this should be great.

This story goes to show that not every marriage is perfect and they require work, especially when there are kids and careers too.

A Bird in the Hand

At a garden party, Simon and Beth play the handsome couple who is open and happy together. It isn’t until someone from Beth’s past show up and stir up old feelings, questioning whether or not she is truly happy.

Another story about real people problems. I think the author modeled her stories after the people’s lives she saw into. This one wasn’t really my favorite so honestly, i scanned through it.

Crocodile Shoes

Sam is the typical mom; kids, husband, work, gym…Life. Her routine was temporarily dismantled when she grabbed the wrong bag at the gym that didn’t contain her practical shoes but a pair or expensive, flashy, crocodile print pumps. She couldn’t wear her tennis shoes to the important meetings so she snaps on the strange heals. Little does she know, in those shoes, she controlled the world.

This story goes to show, a pair of shoes can truly change your life. This one was my favorite (next to the first one). It was flirty and fun; it made me want to go buy some sexy, expensive sling backs to see what happens next 😉


Alice went to work at the jewelry shop thinking it would be a normal day until robbers come in and demand everything in the glass cases. Alice is calm and isn’t scared of the man holding her hostage because she feels a little something different for the man with the bat.

So this one was a little different. I guess you don’t get to choose when cupid shoots you with the arrow.

Last Years Coat

Evie works hard for her struggling family, never wanting anything for herself. It makes it hard that the girls at work flaunt their new accessories, showing that money isn’t an issue. That fancy coat in the window would insure that Evie is noticed and is included in the conversation; only to buy it, it would mean using much-needed money on something that isn’t needed. One day she gives in and decides to buy it. Walking quickly into the store before her guilt caught up with her, she finds out that the coat has gone home with someone else. Defeated, she goes home, where the coat is happily waiting for her.

Good things come to those who wait… And those who do great things for other people.

Thirteen Days with John C. 

Miranda finds a lost phone on the sidewalk. There are some text messages on it from who seems to be a man wondering where his partner is. She fully intends to return the phone but she has a nagging curiosity about who John C is. She pretends to be the person that John thinks is on the other end, only to find out she isn’t talking to John but his wife.

Cheater cheater pumpkin eater! Miranda isn’t cheating at all until she wants to meet up with John and return the phone. She doesn’t meet him, his wife she does though. This story has a little mystery, suspense and a nice twist!

The Christmas List

Chrissie is out and about running errands but not the kind she would normally enjoy. She is shopping for things to make their Christmas perfect… For her mother in law. At each stop, her husband texts her for something else his mom require and with each text she regrets having to go home. The taxi driver suggests she does something crazy and she actually does it. Ditches out on Christmas and heads to a friend’s house in Spain.

To be honest, I scanned this one too because it didn’t have the grab factor.

The only thing that I didn’t like about the short stories was there wasn’t enough description and depth for me to actually form a good, solid background/ visuals to build the full story.

Overall, if you like books by JoJo Moyes, this is a good one to pick up. It is a quick read with many different characters and fun stories. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Up Next: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan


Calendar Girl: Vol. 1

I really should read more about the books that I randomly pick up in the bookstore. Then I wouldn’t be so surprised when there are very detailed romance scenes and look at the back cover only to find out that this book is for mature audiences. I don’t know what I was expecting this book to be about but I should really know better when the main character is an escort. Please direct your eye rolls right at me. 81m31qBckpL

Mia’s father has gotten in deep with a loan shark, not being able to pay back the one million he borrowed to gamble. It doesn’t make things better that this shark is Mia’s ex-boyfriend, the personal connection is hard to deal with. If she doesn’t come up with the money quickly, he will make sure her father doesn’t wake from his coma and come after her little sister, then her. Luckily, she knows someone who can help her make the cash fast but it means she has to be willing to put herself out there (so to speak) and be in the company of very wealthy, handsome men. All she has to do is get through the next year, pay off the shark and don’t fall too hard for any of the men she meets. Doesn’t sound too hard right? Mia soon finds out this isn’t the case.

As the first book in the series, I liked reading it. The characters were fun to meet, the sex scenes were steamy (and more natural than the 50 shades one), the story is original. When I first started reading this book and realized what kind of book it was, I wasn’t sure I would like a story about a girl sleeping her way through a bunch of guys. Honestly, I do not promote that at all but needless to say it made for an interesting story. Plus it isn’t packed with those scenes like 50 shades it; they don’t pop up every other page.

My favorite character has to be the first client we meet. Wes is the handsome movies making, surfing guy who has more charm than a Pandora bracelet. He is exactly the kind of guy Mia could see herself being with yet she told herself not to fall for any of the clients; she has a big job to do. Throughout “January” they try to fight their feelings as Mia will be leaving when the month is up.
Even though they won’t admit it, the reader knows they are in love. Mia doesn’t want to do anything about it because she has a year of jobs ahead of her and feels like if she asks him to wait for her, he will be missing out on meeting someone else. He pops up in the story often, keeping in contact with Mia even though he knows she might be with other men. I am totally rooting for Wes. He better be the one at the end of the finish line and they stay together after she finishes her work.

This book is broken up into three sections: January, February and March. Each of the sections have ten chapters in them. When I first started reading, I thought that this would make the flow of the story really choppy but it works really well to break up Mia’s jobs. January was the best one out of this volume. It was the most fun and sexy to read plus, like I said above, Wes is the fella I am rooting for. February was decent but not as adventurous as the previous month. March has a great twist in it, both with Mia’s client and Wes.

The only thing I don’t like about this book is the fact that the story portrays the escort business to be glamorous. Yes, it is just a story; it isn’t real. It is real though because businesses like this do exist and I am not so sure that the girls are having the same “pleasurable” experiences that Mia has had.

The Good:
Original story line
An array of characters
Easy to read
Broken up into sections but not chopping the story

The Bad:
Making the escort business glamorous.

Overall: If you liked 50 Shades of Grey or any other book in the adult genre section, this would be a light, easy read to go to next. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Up Next: Paris for One & Other Stories by JoJo Moyes.