Bri's Favorite Holiday Things

Happy Holidays everyone! I love the holiday season, but I haven’t actually had the time to read many holiday-themed books this year. So here is a list of a few of my favorite holiday books, movies, video game events, and snacks!

Favorite All-Time Christmas Book

The Christmas Doll

This book is about two young orphans who work in a workhouse in London, and who escape to the streets after a fever sickens many of the girls. They loved a doll that was in the window of a nearby shop for months as they worked, and they soon find a doll that looks similar on the streets where they now live.

I recieved this book many years ago for Christmas, and I loved it when I read it. I can’t remember too much about it, but I am planning on rereading it soon and giving it a full review on here, hopefully before Christmas this year.

Favorite Recent Christmas Book

The Wish of Xmas Present: A Christmas Romance  (The Styles of Love, #2)

I don’t read a lot of Christmas books, and when I do read Christmas books, I rarely read Christmas romance novels. I find that they tend to be simply romance books with a tree or two, and then they call it a Christmas story. This is the second book in a series about two college professors falling for one another, and it revolves around the two and their relationships with their family. This was what truly made it a Christmas book for me, the focus on family and how that tied in with their overall relationship. If you would like to read my full review of this novel, please click here.

Favorite All-Time Christmas Movie

Image result for new york city ballet the nutcracker movie

Alright so I cheated a little bit here. My favorite Christmas “movie” is actually a ballet called The Nutcracker. Technically it has been made into a film several times or the actual ballets have been recorded and distributed as a film, so it counts to me! I personally used to take ballet lessons in elementary school and I performed in the Nutcracker at 8 years old as a soldier, so the Nutcracker will always put me in the Christmas spirit. The Nutcracker, for those who don’t know, is a ballet about a young girl named Clara who receives a nutcracker as a Christmas gift from her godfather. At night, when Clara goes to check on her new gift, she is swept away to a magical land full of evil mice, soldiers, and a handsome prince.

Favorite Recent Christmas Movie

Image result for christmas nanny princess movie

I’m not that big on Hallmark movies. I find them to be pretty boring and repetitive personally. But I don’t have a problem sitting down and watching them with my family when the Christmas season comes around. This Thanksgiving, we ended up watching this movie together, and I really enjoyed it. It is about a woman named Allie who is fired from her job as a maid in a hotel in NYC and is hired to be a governess for a princess in Europe. She takes the job because she needs to send money to her sister and brother who are still in school / looking for work, but when she gets there, she thinks that she is definitely the wrong fit for the job. Even though this movie was just as cheesy as other Hallmark films, I still enjoyed it a lot.

Favorite All-Time Holiday Game Event

Image result for buildabearville north pole

I loved Build A Bear Ville as a kid, and this is still probably my favorite Holiday Themed video game event of all time. I still remember waiting on Thanksgiving for Bearville to drop the holiday update so that I could get on with my little sister and we could skate our characters around the Ice Skating Rink while watching Hal and Holly movie that the company had released. I would also spend hours in the Mrs’ Claus cafe buying all the Christmas themed food items that I would sip on all year until the next Christmas so that I would never run out. This game, albeit simple, was probably one of my favorite games of all time because of all the fun childhood memories.

Favorite Recent Holiday Game Event

Image result for maplestory 2 christmas event

Maplestory 2 is such a cute MMO that I love to play, and their new Kritias expansion is a perfect mixture of holiday cheer with a serious game expansion. This expansion has added a whole new map to the game and increased the level cap from 70 to 99, but it has also added an area called Happy Kritias that is completely decked out for the holidays. I wish that there was a cool mount like last year, but I don’t know if that will be available to unlock yet. I am definitely going to be spending a lot of time in Maplestory 2 in between streaming and finishing Darksiders 3. Follow me on Twitch to catch my streams!

Favorite Recent Holiday Snack

Image result for clancy's pretzel stars

I love Aldi, I love minty chocolate things, and I love pretzels. This perfect mix of sweet, salty, chocolatey, and minty, I just can’t stop eating them. Perfect movie snack!

I hope you all are having a good week, let me know in the comments what some of your favorite holiday things are. Thanks for reading!

Mistletoe Kisses Review

BBN_REVIEW

Mistletoe KissesFor Officer Justin Weaver, Christmas is the most hideous time of the year. To improve his “holiday cheer,” he’s been put on Officer Kringle duty, collecting toys for the Ho-Ho-Patrol.

It’s a week in holiday hell.

Worse, it comes with an elf—his little sister’s gorgeous best friend—but Lilly Maddox isn’t so little anymore. And as an annoyingly festive reporter looking to make her mark, she’s there to document his every move.

Justin’s always had a thing for Lilly, but he refuses to go there with her. Ever. Not after watching what his mom went through as a cop’s wife. But now that they’re trapped in his squad car, avoiding her just got a lot more complicated…

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This was more of a Christmas read, but I am just getting around to it now!

This story is a very short romance novel taking place around Christmastime. The main thing is supposed to be that Lilly was Justin’s younger sister’s friend, but she went away at age 15 and they never really spoke again afterward. I had many issues with this sort of “hate-to-love” dynamic.

For starters, Justin had no reason to hate Lilly. She didn’t move after his dad died because she just had to escape the small town and get away from her best friend. Her parents thought that she was spending too much time with them and wanted her to focus on her studies, so they SENT her away. She did not choose to go away. Her friend literally forgave her! The school wanted her to focus and wouldn’t allow her to call home for the first few months. Justin says that she ran away so that she wouldn’t have to help her friends, but Lilly literally tried her best to go up against her parents in that situation. In the end, her parents are the authority, and they made the final decision for her. I don’t know how Justin just didn’t understand this.

Also, the story starts with Justin having some sort of PTSD from the war. I thought that this would be used throughout the story. Maybe he would be sad around Christmastime because he would be reminded of a Christmas he spent sadly while overseas. Maybe he would have a panic attack because of fireworks. But no. He’s just a jerk to everyone he meets. He treats everyone like he doesn’t have the ability to say a single kind word to anyone. This is not PTSD, this is just being a bit of an ass really. like if he said that he was emotionally detached because of anxiety or something that would have made sense, but he was just mean for no reason. It almost seemed like the story just wanted to make him “hotter” because he’s a military man instead of just doing the brother’s best friend trope, and then decided not to go all the way with it.

Besides these things, I did like Justin and Lilly in general. Maybe it was because they clearly had chemistry from the start of the novel? Maybe it was because of the sorta-cute Christmas storyline? I don’t know, but I didn’t completely hate them. I was happy when they found love with each other.

Overall, I would not recommend this Christmas romance, but if you just want to pass time with a cute short story, then this wouldn’t be the worst one to read.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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Merry Christmas + My Top 15 Books of 2018

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has a wonderful day with plenty of food with friends and family. I am personally enjoying my day with my family, and watching a few Christmas movies.

I have officially read 300 books (so far) in 2018, and I might add a few to that list once I make sure that I have reviewed all the books that I read on my Kindle. Here is my list of favorite books that I have read in 2018!

15: The Forest Beyond The Earth

The Forest Beyond the EarthThis book made it to my list because it had such a unique ending. The worldbuilding was great, and Wisp was a charming protagonist, but the ending really made the whole book come together for me.

14: Charm: A Cinderella Reverse Fairytale

Charm: A Cinderella Reverse Fairytale book 1 (Reverse Fairytales)I really do love reverse fairytales, and this trilogy was my favorite reverse fairytale one all year! I loved reading about Charm and Cynder, a princess expected to marry, and a servant with a secret. To anyone looking for a reverse fairy tale trilogy to read that has fairly cheap novels, this is the one.

13: Spellbinding His Ranger

Spellbinding His Ranger (Looking for Group #1)I enjoy LitRPG novels, but this novel took things to another level. Not only did it have the LitRPG elements I love, but it also included a real-life romance between characters in a guild. This is also a series, so I am excited to see who falls in love in the third installment of this series.

12: Trouble In Glamour Town

Trouble In Glamour TownI had heard some stories about how dangerous/difficult it was to work in Hollywood in the 1920s, but this book truly took inspiration from those stories and turned it into its own world. I love all of Mallery’s historical fiction novels, but this one definitely taught me some things that I would have never guessed about old Hollywood.

11: The Mermaid’s Escape

The Mermaid's Escape (The Siren, #1)This book was what truly got me into the Reverse Harem genre, and I loved reading the series. Unfortunately, it finished this year, but I am totally into McAllen’s new series. I will never forget this mermaid reverse harem tale.

10: Tales From Piney Grove

Tales from Piney GroveNot many people know what it was like to grow up on a farm as a sharecropper, and it is a piece of American history that is being purposely forgotten. Morrison tells you everything in this novel, their joys and sadnesses, their wins and their losses. Then, he tells you about how it is now in Piney Grove, and it truly opened my eyes. Definitely a worthwhile read.

9: The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining WomenI was truly saddened after reading this book, and partially scared. I was sad for the teenage girls who were tricked and lost their lives because of radium. I was scared because many of the stories took place in a city truly close to mine, and I know my city also had some really bad factories in it at one point. I know that these poisons don’t go away, so I wonder what/who is truly hiding in the cities graveyards and parks. Truly frightening thoughts!

8: Don’t Look At Me

Don't Look at MeThis Beauty and the Beast retelling really stuck with me, and I fell in love with how the story was told. I will definitely be rereading this novel in 2019!

7: Enlightened

EnlightenedI never really got into reincarnation fantasy novels, but this YA one sold it for me. It had parts that were historical fiction, other parts that were romance, and other parts still that were fantasy. I even loved the sequel to this one, can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

6: This Mortal Coil

This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1)I have read a lot of fantasy YA novels, but I hadn’t read a great science fiction YA novel in a while before this one. This book, wow. It completely blew me away, and restored my faith in YA science fiction novels!

5: Nevermoore: The Trials of Morrigan Crowe

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #1)This book has some of the best worldbuilding I’ve seen in a middle-grade fiction book in a while. I loved the sequel as well, even though I haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet. Stay tuned, I will definitely post my review soon!

4: Off And Away

Off & Away

I definitely wasn’t expecting a picture book to be on my list of favorite books of 2018, but here we are. The art in this book was absolutely stunning, and I was completely drawn in by the story. I am keeping this book for as long as I can, and I hope to be able to see more by Atkinson soon.

3: In A Time Never Known

In a Time Never KnownThis historical fiction novel was long, addictive, and so intricate that I felt as if the characters were leaping off the page. I have heard that there is also a sequel in the works, so I can’t wait for that as well!

2: The War Between Us

The War Between UsI never thought about how World War II would affect Korean-Americans. They weren’t all sent off to internment camps, but people in America would still discriminate against them because they “look Asian.” This story tells a romantic tale of true love in spite of ignorant surroundings.

1: Elizabeth’s War

ELIZABETH'S WAR: Missouri 1863Looks like I truly loved the historical fiction books that I read this year! I still think about this book, and how it opened my eyes about the Civil War. Even though the Union is deemed as a “hero” in the history books, the Southerners weren’t “evil.” Some, like Elizabeth and her family, were simply minding their own business on a family farm when the war broke out. All of a sudden, they were on the front lines, making difficult decisions for the good of the family. This book and Crossfire in the Street were truly amazing reads this past year, and I hope to see more from D.L. Rogers in 2019.
That’s all for now, I will have a 2018 Wrap UP Post as well later this week that includes my goals for 2019. Have a great day everyone!

 

Heiress Baby Bombshell Blog Tour Plus Review


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Heiress’s Royal Baby Bombshell
(The Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles #2)
By Jennifer Faye
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
November 1st 2018 by Harlequin Romance

One-night miracle…

For the Crown Prince!

In this The Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles story, rebel royal Max believes his infertility has cost him the throne — until heiress Noemi reveals she’s carrying his baby! And with his country’s future at stake, Max must claim his heir! Noemi is hesitant and fiercely protective of their unborn baby, but at his snow-covered palace can Max offer her the most precious Christmas gift ever — the chance to become a family…

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My Review

Noemi is trying to run her family’s company, but she feels that she is always being overlooked for her brothers. Then, Max comes into her life for one night, and everything changes. She can’t keep her mind off him, but she doubts that she will ever see him again. Then she finds out that she is pregnant, and she wants to at least let him know that he is going to be a father. Little does she know that her sexy stranger is a prince and that she has started something that will change both of their lives forever.

This book’s romance was sweet. It did feel a little insta-lovey at first with the one-night-stand, but then they actually got to know each other later on. They didn’t have much intimacy until they got to know each other a lot better later on in the novel.

I feel like Max and Noemi’s backstories could have definitely been fleshed out a bit more. Max is supposed to be infertile from a childhood illness, but the effects of the illness on his family is not discussed in detail. Max has a random flashback to a time when his family was harassed and almost attacked while on the street by an angry citizen, but the scene is never expanded upon. Noemi talks about having a long lost brother, but this isn’t discussed. The main point of the story is about Max and Noemi’s growing immediate family, but I would have enjoyed a bit more expansion on these side storylines.

Other than that, I had no issues with the book! The plot moved smoothly and I finished the book in a few hours, and the characters were all very interesting to learn about. I even liked how the story ended, and the little epilogue was adorable. This was definitely a sweet Christmas romance novel! I will definitely be picking up the next book in the Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles series.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new holiday romance novel.

I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Freebie

Go to Jennifer’s Contact Page HERE and order your bookmark(s)!

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Award-winning author, Jennifer Faye pens fun, heartwarming contemporary romances with rugged cowboys, sexy billionaires and enchanting royalty. Internationally published with books translated into nine languages. She is a two-time winner of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award, named a TOP PICK author, and been nominated for numerous other awards.

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Tour Schedule

November 5th:
Launch
It’s All About the Romance
underneath the covers
November 6th:
Wishful Endings
Andi’s Book Reviews
November 7th:
Locks, Hooks and Books
E-Romance News
Reading On The Edge
Bri’s Book Nook
Colorimetry
November 8th:
Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader
Book Lover in Florida
November 9th:
Jorie Loves A Story
My Devotional Thoughts
Harlie’s Books
Rockin’ Book Reviews
November 10th:
Grand Finale

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will recieve a $25 Amazon Gift Card + print copy of Cinderella’s New York Christmas (The Cattaneos’ Christmas Miracles Book 1) + swag
US only
Ends November 14, 2018

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