On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Lock, Stock & Jingle Bells: A Hamilton Christmas Novella
2nd in Series
Setting – Virginia
Publisher: Zebra Books (October 1, 2018)
Print Length: 109 pages
Kindle ASIN: B079R6JNTT
The best holiday gifts aren’t always under the tree …
Holly hates the yuletide season more than ever since she received her very early inheritance: her mother’s Christmas novelty store. Now she has to put her life on hold to deal with the shop, while her parents settle into their busy sunny Florida retirement. But Holly’s childhood pal, Sean, is determined to warm her up—to Christmas and to him. When they uncover a diary concealing secrets involving both their families, this could be the Christmas that changes their lives forever …
Holly Berry Bennett left her small Virginia town to travel across the pond for college and except for a few short visits home has made a life for herself there. Now her parents have other ideas. They have decided to sell their home and retire to Florida. They have also left her mother’s Christmas shop to Holly for her to take over or dispose of as she sees fit. So again she is home trying to figure out with the mess she had been left with.
Sean Gallagher runs the family restaurant right across the street from the Christmas store. He sees Holly arrive by taxi with just one suitcase and he rushes right out to welcome her back. Childhood friends who had secret crushes on each other, Sean hopes that this will be their time. He just needs to convince her to give him a chance.
While Holly is sorting through inventory at the shop she finds an old diary. After reading it she does a little investigating and learns the secrets revealed in the diary could mean changes for both the Gallagher’s and the Bennett’s.
Like the first book in this series, Ms. Kauffman gives readers characters we can fall for quickly which is good due to the novella length. She does an excellent job filling us in on their backstories and writes a romance that takes place quickly but realistically. I enjoyed that a little mystery theme was continued.
I was disappointed in Holly’s parents though. Dropping their decision on her and leaving town did not sit well with me. I realize her mother would have a hard time dealing with her shop’s future but it was totally unfair to put everything on Holly’s shoulders. They could have had her come home and worked things out together instead of just expecting her to drop her life while they just moved along with theirs. This is where the novella-length took away from the story, there just wasn’t space to have two more key characters to be present to make their decision less jarring.
That being said I finished this book and immediately started the third book in this series, Naughty But Nice.
Lock, Stock, and Jingle Bells is an entertaining romance with just a touch of mystery set in a little Virginia town. A nice mini escape to curl up with on a snowy afternoon.
About the Author
Donna Kauffman is the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over 70 novels, translated and sold in more than 26 countries around the world. The recipient of multiple RT Book Awards, she is also a National Readers Choice Award and PRISM Award winner and a RITA finalist. Born into the maelstrom of Washington, D.C., politics, she now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she is surrounded by a completely different kind of wildlife. A contributing blogger for USAToday.com, she is also a DIYer, a baker, a gardener and a volunteer transporter for the Wildlife Center of Virginia and Rockfish Sanctuary. Please visit her online at www.DonnaKauffman.com.
The Hamilton Christmas Novella Series
Find more books by Donna Kaufman here.
You can read my review of Unleashed here.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”