What I Read in December

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Hey loves. Last month was a whirl wind of reading. From holiday romance to dark romance, and book club with my girlfriends. I ended 2022 strong. 

Total physical/kindle books: 8

Total audible: 4

Total books for 2022: 90

Reading Goals for 2023:

Total books goal: 100

Total audiobooks: 20

Title: The Naughty, The Nice and the Nanny

Author: Willa Nash

Genre: holiday romance

How I Read It: audiobook

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Amazon Description: One week with one little girl—an angel, according to my staffing agency. Acting as the short-term nanny for a single dad should have been an easy way to make some extra cash. Until I show up for my first day and face off with a demon disguised as a seven-year-old girl wearing a red tutu and matching glitter slippers.

Oh, and her father? My temporary boss? Maddox Holiday. The same Maddox Holiday I crushed on in high school. The same Maddox Holiday who didn’t even know I existed. And the same Maddox Holiday who hasn’t set foot in Montana for years because he’s been too busy running his billionaire empire.

Enduring seven days is going to feel like scaling the Himalayas in six-inch heels. Toss in the Holiday family’s annual soiree, and Christmas Eve nightmares really do come true. But I can do anything for a week, especially for this paycheck, even if it means wrangling the naughty, impressing the nice, and playing the nanny.

My Review: A fun listen about a nanny who ends up working over Christmas for an billionaire single dad with an angel child who turns out to be a brat. Gives a hallmark movie vibe.

Title: Hunting Adeline

Author: H.D. Carlton

Genre: dark thriller romance

How I Read It: audiobook

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Amazon Description: The conclusion to the Cat and Mouse Duet is here...

The Diamond

Death walks alongside me,
But the reaper is no match for me.
I'm trapped in a world full of monsters dressed as men, and those who aren't as they seem.
They won't keep me forever.
I no longer recognize the person I've become,
And I'm fighting to find my way back to the beast who hunts me in the night.
They call me a diamond,
But they've only created an angel of death.

The Hunter

I was born a predator,
With ruthlessness ingrained in my bones.
When what's mine is stolen from me in the night,
Like a diamond hidden within a fortress,
I find that I can no longer contain the beast.
Blood will paint the ground as I tear apart this world to find her.
And bring her back to where she belongs.
No one will escape my wrath,
Especially not those who have betrayed me.

Warning: This is the second and final installment to the Duet. You must read Haunting Adeline first.

My Review: A very dark emotional rollercoaster that was hard to listen to at times with how explicit and real the story is. Be sure to read all disclaimers and trigger warnings before you read it. I didn't want to like this book, but I did. (I like Haunting Adeline better). It was a great closure on the first book. 

Title: This Christmas Fix

Author: Lucy Score

Genre: holiday romance

How I Read It: kindle unlimited

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Amazon Description: 

She’ll save Christmas just to spite him…

There’s only one thing standing in the way of Cat King saving a small town’s Christmas festival: Grumpy town manager Noah Yates.

Single dad Noah takes his responsibilities seriously. When a late season hurricane turns Merry, Connecticut, into a disaster, he’s left scrambling to pick up the pieces of the town he loves.

At least, until home renovation expert and smoking hot reality TV star Catalina King arrives with a camera crew and a budget big enough to put the town back together again. But Noah doesn’t want a celebrity diva capitalizing on their tragedy 
or filling his daughter’s head with visions of glitz and glam.

Blonde bombshell Cat is used to being underestimated, but Noah has an uncanny knack for getting under her skin. They can’t be in a room together without rubbing each other the wrong way…except that time in the dark alley where the rubbing was just right. Can these enemies work together to pull off a Christmas miracle or will their fighting leave them both on the naughty list?

My Review: A small town romance - Hallmark and HGTV had a baby and this is what you get. 

Title: The Turn of the Key

Author: Ruth Ware

Genre: mystery thriller

How I Read It: Physical book borrowed from library

My Rating:  3 out of 5

Amazon Description: When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the home’s cameras, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder—but somebody is.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, 
The Turn of the Key is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

My Review: When it seems to good to be turn, it usually is. There were twists that I never saw coming. This was a slow read for me at times I couldn't get into but I wanted to know how it ended. 

Title: The Christmas Spark 

Author: Cindy Steel

Genre: holiday romance

How I Read It: kindle unlimited

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Amazon Description: Snowed in at a cabin with the most infuriating man in the world. I may take my chances with the wolves...

When my best friend found out I’d be alone over Christmas, she hooked me up with a week stay in her family’s cabin in Idaho. I was on a publishing deadline for my latest book and was really looking forward to a cozy week by the fire, cuddled up in flannel pajamas with my laptop and hot chocolate.


So imagine my surprise when I arrived at the cabin during a blizzard, and found it already occupied. By an all too familiar face and a fine pack of chiseled abs. Even though it had been ten years since I’d last seen Chase, he had no problem picking up exactly where we left off. I had a big problem with it.It didn’t matter what he threw at me—the old nickname, the teasing, his charming grin, or even those chiseled abs (did I already mention those?), I refused to let him get to me after…the incident. Nope, not me. I was made of stone.

Unfortunately, I’m beginning to understand that when you strike Chase against stone…you get sparks.

★A Christmas Spark is a closed-door romantic comedy full of heart, sizzle, witty banter, and one tiny swear word, but swoony kisses are as steamy as it gets!

My Review: My favorite holiday read. Being stranded at a cabin with a hot guy in a snow storm. Fun enemies to lovers story with a little bit of a mystery mixed in. 

Title: A Merry Little Met Cute

Author: Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

Genre: holiday romance

How I Read It: Physical book borrowed from library

My Rating: 2 out 5

Amazon Description: Bee Hobbes (aka Bianca Von Honey) has a successful career as a plus-size adult film star. With a huge following and two supportive moms, Bee couldn’t ask for more. But when Bee’s favorite producer casts her to star in a Christmas movie he’s making for the squeaky-clean Hope Channel, Bee’s career is about to take a more family-friendly direction.

Forced to keep her work as Bianca under wraps, Bee quickly learns this is a task a lot easier said than done. Though it all becomes worthwhilewhen she discovers her co-star is none other than childhood crush Nolan Shaw, an ex-boy band member in desperate need of career rehab. Nolan’s promised his bulldog manager to keep it zipped up on set, and he will if it means he’ll be able to provide a more stable living situation for his sister and mom.

But things heat up quickly in Christmas Notch, Vermont, when Nolan recognizes his new co-star from her ClosedDoors account (oh yeah, he’s a member). Now Bee and Nolan are sneaking off for quickies on set, keeping their new relationship a secret from the Hope Channel’s execs. Things only get trickier when the reporter who torpedoed Nolan’s singing career comes snooping around—and takes an instant interest in mysterious newcomer Bee.

And if Bee and Nolan can’t keep their off-camera romance behind the scenes, then this merry little meet cute might end up on the cutting room floor.

My Review: The cute cover is very deceiving of the spice in this book. The book starts off slow, it wasn't pulling me in. I ended up jumping ahead to find out what happen. 

Title: Single and Ready to Jingle

Author: Piper Rayne

Genre: holiday romance

How I Read It: ebook borrow from library

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Amazon Description: The girl who loves Christmas falls for the Grinch—it’s a Christmas miracle.

What started as a dumpster fire of a blind date turns into a deal.

In truth, it probably didn’t help that I showed up dressed like an elf but that’s a story for another time. Our start was rocky at best which is why it’s so frustrating that I can’t stop thinking about his sexy British accent. Or the way his chest and arms fill out his suit. Or his perfect hair with that single streak of grey at the front.

Santa likes lists and so do I, so here’s all the reasons why Andrew and I aren’t right for each other:

He’s my brother’s best friend
He’s the biggest grump I’ve ever met.
He hates Christmas.

That last one is big for a girl like me who thinks that the entire month of December should be a national holiday. So, when he calls for my help in planning his firm’s holiday party, I can’t pass up the opportunity to grow my small business. Bonus, we make a deal, and he agrees to attend three holiday events with me so I can make him fall in love with Christmas. As if I’d pass up an opportunity to make a Grinch’s heart grow three times its size.

It isn’t long until I discover Andrew has a very real reason to hate Christmas and I start to see him in a different light. That’s when the Christmas miracle begins.

My Review: Who doesn't love a Christmas story with a Grinch turns into Santa and a love story wrapped all together. Also was a quick easy read. 

Three Bells, Two Bows and One Brother's Bed Friend

Author: Willa Nash

Genre: Holiday Romance

How I Read It: audiobook

My Rating:  4 out of 5

Amazon Description: I pride myself in being grounded. Sure, I’ve had my share of childhood fantasies. Winning an Oscar. Winning the lottery. Winning an Olympic medal for an athletic talent I have yet to discover. But the only fantasy I ever thought might actually happen was winning my brother’s best friend.

Heath Holiday.

My crush on him has ebbed and flowed over the years, but the day I started working for his construction company was the day I smothered it for good. Sort of. Mostly. It was on my to-do list. Making it a priority would have been easier had he not arrived at his family’s annual Christmas party looking ridiculously handsome in a suit.

Then he kissed me. We stepped into an alternate universe and he kissed me. I assumed the next day I’d just be Guy’s little sister again. The office newbie. Our kiss forgotten. Except he keeps showing up at my house. With gifts.

A gold bracelet carrying three jingling bells. Two dainty jeweled earrings, each shaped as a bow. And finally, he brought himself.

One brother’s best friend, asking if I can keep a secret.

My Review: Another cute quick Christmas hallmark vibe listen, Brothers best friend/childhood best friend to lovers. 

Title: A Partridge and a Holiday Pregnancy

Author: Willa Nash

Genre: holiday romance

How I Read It: audiobook

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Amazon Description: There are a lot of places I’d rather spend Christmas Eve morning than on a cold, snowy sidewalk outside someone else’s home. I’d kill to be sitting beside a fireplace, drinking cocoa, wearing flannel pajamas and reading a book.

Instead, I’m here, standing in front of my one-night stand’s house, working up the courage to ring the doorbell and tell him I’m pregnant.

I hate that term—one-night stand. It sounds so cheap and sleezy. Tobias Holiday is neither of those things. He’s handsome and caring. Witty and charismatic. And once, a long time ago, he was mine.

Our one-night reunion was only supposed to be a hookup. A fling with an old lover. A parting farewell before I moved to London and put my feelings for him an ocean away. How exactly am I supposed to explain that to Tobias that I’m having a baby? His baby? Maybe I could sing it. He always loved the silly songs I made up in the shower.

Three French hens, two turtle doves.

And a partridge and a pregnancy.

My Review: An accidently pregnancy with a second chance story line. A cute holiday romcom around Christmas is always a favorite.

Title: One Wild Weekend with Ryder

Author: Lexi Hurt

Genre: Christmas Romance

How I Read It: ebook

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Amazon Description: 

He’s the only gift she wants to unwrap this Christmas…

If you believe the hype, Christmas is supposed to be a time to spend with loved ones.

And up until a few days ago, I was blissfully happy, in full holiday mode and planning to visit my family in Iowa with my lovely new boyfriend, Adam.

But rather than the engagement ring I expected and the happy introduction to my family, Adam dumps me.

Via email.

I did not handle it well.

Seven-ish Margaritas and half a box of tissues later, and I’ve somehow accidentally agreed to spend Christmas in Alaska.

To make matters worse, when I touch down in Anchorage, it’s not my sweet old college roommate, Cindy waiting for me with more tissues, but her smoking hot brother, Ryder.

I’m supposed to be writing a review of Cindy's retreat for the travel magazine I work for, and getting over Adam, not fantasizing about smooching a broody ex MMA fighter under the mistletoe.

As if the three-hour drive back to the retreat with him wasn’t awkward enough, knowing Cindy’s broken her ankle and can’t show me around makes it even worse.

My reluctant tour guide has made it clear I’m an inconvenience, so wandering off to take photos of The Northern Lights and falling through the ice, only makes him resent my intrusion more.

But after we’re forced to spend a night snuggled together in his cabin to stave off hypothermia, and he lets slip why he hates Christmas, I’m pretty sure there’s warmth under his icy exterior.

If I can get just get him to let his guard down long enough to tell me why he lives like a cross between a prepper and a hermit in the wilderness, there’s a chance I might still be here come New Years…

My Review: Quick read being stranded at a cabin in a snow storm with Mr Moody. Loved the twist at the end I didn't see coming.  

One Wild Weekend with Becker

Author: Lexi Hart

Genre: erotica

How I Read It: ebook

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Amazon Description:

It was supposed to be a simple still life drawing class in an old warehouse.

A way to do something creative and to get back ‘out there’ after a painful breakup.

But before I set up my easel for my first ever art class, the teacher drops a bombshell.

A six-foot bombshell named Becker with bedroom eyes and a dangerous level of sexy.

And thanks to a mix up with the classes, we’ll be drawing him…Naked.

Did I mention Becker works for my father?

As if that wasn’t awkward enough, I know Becker recognizes me as the rebel turned church girl.

Being caught sketching a naked man does not fit with the image of a respectable pastor's daughter.

But before I can make my escape there’s a power outage, and in my panic, I get lost.

Guess who comes to rescue me?

Worse, everyone else has gone home, and Becker wants to explain.

Before I know it, I'm in his apartment, I've drunk too much, and Becker is promising to show me what I've been missing out on.

After a wild night that shouldn't have happened, my father finding out I’ve been a naughty girl becomes the least of my worries…

My Review: Steamy romance that makes you love the characters and not what the book to end. 

Desperate Measures

Author: Katee Robert

Genre: dark erotica

How I Read It: ebook

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Amazon Description: Once upon a time, I was a sheltered princess.

On the night Jafar takes everything from my father, he offers me a devil’s bargain—walk with my freedom and nothing else, or attempt to best him and regain my inheritance. In my arrogance, I play right into his hands. I foolishly assume I have a chance to come out on top. I’m wrong.

Now Jafar owns me, body and soul.

We fight during the day, but when night comes, we play out every fantasy I’ve never allowed myself to admit to having. I can’t hide them from Jafar, though. We know each other—and the dark desires we share—far too well. He sees to my every need, no matter how carnal or extravagant. It’s almost enough for me to be happy…

But a gilded cage is still a prison, and I’ll do anything to obtain my freedom—even betray the man I’m falling for.

My Review: Not your Disney love story. (yes I knew this going into it) I very steamy Jasmine and Jafar non-love story. You have to have the imagine of Jafar from the live action not the original cartoon.

What is your reading goal for the year?

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  1. Aw, I'm sorry you didn't love A Merry Little Meet Cute!

  2. Thanks for linking up. Looks like you had some really good holiday reads!!

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net


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