Five Stars, Four Stars, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Lucy McConnell, Moderate Language, Moderate Romance, Nancy Campbell Allen, Sheralyn Pratt, Three Stars

No More Adulting

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Weekly Reading Round Up

Don’t Kiss Your Lab Partner by Lucy McConnell 51DKGSj1DAL
When I don’t want to adult anymore my go to reading is always young adult novels. They make me smile. Lucy McConnell is a favorite of ours, so when she comes out with an young adult novel on a week I’m really done adulting, it’s a time to rejoice. This was just what I needed. It was a quick, cute, fun read.  Adelle was an adorable character that you love right away. Such a great start to a new series.

**** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

 

Road Trip with the Enemy by Kelsie Stelting411m+rv2+ZL

A little ironic that two of us picked young adult books this week that dealt with grief and death. Especially when that seems to be something so many are dealing with currently. The author handled it really well, such good emotion.  There were a few things that Sydney’s character did that I wouldn’t want my teenager to think was an okay way of grieving, but the author did a really good job of showing how people cope and grieve differently and the ramifications of that.

*** Low Language, Low Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

 

Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts by Nancy Campbell Allen51SYSmFZNlL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

I have been waiting rather impatiently for the next steampunk fairy tale. These books are so unique. They balance romance, suspense, fantasy and fairy tale components so well. This one however, wasn’t my favorite. The plot was intriguing and the suspense kept me engaged, but there were a few elements I’d come to expect from the others that felt missing in this one. I found myself often distracted from an otherwise interesting plot because I was trying to figure out the Cinderella aspects. In the other books in this series, the fairy tale connection felt natural and ingenious, this one felt a little forced. I really like the two sides of the same coin concept in the enemies to lovers trope. There were definitely swoon worthy moments between Emme and Oliver and I loved their snarkiness.  I may need to go back and read the last book to see if there’s a little more back story between the two characters that I just don’t remember, because the romance felt a little rushed. Despite not being my favorite, you can bet I’ll be waiting just as impatiently for the next steampunk fairy tale. I love this unique and wonderful world the author has created. 

*** Low Language, Moderate Violence, Low Romance, Low Religion

 

The Kiss That Launched 1,000 GIFS by Sheralyn Pratt 51g4igC4vsL

Not only is this book light and fun, and witty. The perfect romantic comedy. It also has moments of honesty about relationships that make me want to say, hey everyone, read this! I really love her writing so much!

***** Low Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Low Religion.

 

 

The Ghost of You and Me by Kelly Oram pro_pbid_4258569

One of us stayed up until one o’clock in the morning reading this book, that’s how good it was. The author did a really good job of writing both sides of grief. There was accurate portrayals of what it’s like to be the one grieving and what it’s like to be the one on the outside affected.  The conversations and the emotions were real. It’s one I’d actually re-read.

**** Moderate Language, Low Violence, Moderate Romance, Low Religion

Five Stars, Giveaway, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Lucy McConnell

Cookies and Hallmark Movies

You know those shirts that say, I just want to bake cookies and watch hallmark movies all day? Well I want one that says I want to eat cookies and read Lucy McConnell Christmas books all day. Infinitely better than a Hallmark movie. Her books have all the feels, wit, chemistry and Christmas magic.

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“When Chloe Winston finds herself crushing on her business partner, she tamps down the flame of attraction because falling for Troy Martin could spell disaster for their business. But, when Troy needs a fake fiancee for his sister’s Christmas wedding, Chloe agrees to fill the role, if only to show him what he’s been missing out on all these months. Little did she know that her eyes would be opened to the joys of spending the holidays surrounded by family in the heart of Snow Valley.

Troy isn’t looking for the love of his life, heck, he isn’t looking for love at all—a fact that grates on his mother’s last nerve. In order to avoid yet another lecture about the necessity of marriage for life-long happiness, he makes up a fiancée. Chloe is perfect because she doesn’t pose a threat to his bachelorhood. But when she shows up in a red dress that would stop traffic and gives him a kiss that stops his heart, he can’t help but wish she was his fiancée for real. 

In order to keep Chloe in his life, Troy will have to come clean and risk alienating his tight-knit family. He’s not the only one risking something though. Chloe has to be willing to turn her heart over to the guy she’s been protecting it from for months. 

Things heat up between the business partners but they’re going to need more than mistletoe to get out of this one.”

 

This book took us back to Snow Valley, which I’m pretty sure is one of my favorite fictional locations. I love how she makes the family and friends real and the situations relevant but not over the top filled with drama. I loved watching Troy’s opinion of marriage change, and how he realized that with the right person you could want all you never thought you needed. –M.V.

 

 

 

Author Lucy McConnell

Award-winning author, Lucy McConnell, loves Christmas, romance, chocolate and Elvis.

After graduating from the University of Utah, she became an editor at an advertising agency before moving on to teach in the marketing department of the local community college. She loved teaching and often misses the academic environment.

Lucy retired from teaching and began to write articles and sweet romance novels. She has been published in national magazines, newspapers, short story compilations, and she writes cookbooks under the name Christina Dymock.

If she’s not at the computer, you can find her trying to keep up with her husband and four kids on the ski slopes, on a bike, in the kitchen, or on a horse.

 

 

***You can find our reviews of many other Lucy McConnell books by clicking the “confession’s categories” on the right sidebar and highlighting Lucy’s name.

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends 1/1/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

 

 

Five Stars, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence, Lucy McConnell

Believing

My ten year old is at the cusp of believing in Santa and not believing and I totally slipped up the other day. My 6 year old really wanted something from the store and I said, “Maybe we’ll put it in your stocking.” Whoops! Thankfully it went right over her head. However, my ten year old looked at me warily and said, “You mean Santa will?” Yep son, that’s exactly what I mean. But, he did join the other two in writing his letter to Santa this past week so maybe I’m in the clear? I’m not ready to have that talk just yet, but I know it’s coming, and I know I want him to continue to believe, not necessarily in Santa, but in Christmas magic.

Believing is not about whether Santa is an actual person or not. It’s believing that there is goodness in the world, believing that you can see it and you can create it and you can acknowledge it in those around you.

Lucy McConnell creates that sense of wonder in her Christmas series “Marrying Miss Kringle”.

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Frost Kringle broke one of the North Pole’s rules the day she replied to a letter from Tannon Cebu; but, her Kringle-enhanced empathy wouldn’t allow her to walk away from the anguish in his words. What began as a disobedient impulse grew into friendship and eventually love. 

When the Kringle’s discover Christmas Magic is dangerously off balance, Frost musters up the courage to meet Tannon in person with the hope that they can marry and save Christmas. While she’s away from her precious Letters Room, her secret is blown right open and she’s exiled. In order to make it home for Christmas, Frost has to bring Christmas cheer to those who need it most. 

Tannon, is tired of the corporate grind and wants out. He’s decided to sell his paper mill and retire to a quiet corner where he can raise his son in peace. His announcement, right before the holidays, creates an uproar as employees wonder if they’ll have a job in the New Year. No one in town feels like celebrating and they have little hope of a happy holiday.
If Frost can get Tannon, and the town of Elderberry, to believe in Christmas once again, she’ll make it home and save Santa’s workshop from turning into a block of ice and ruining Christmas for children all over the world. 

Not only does she create a wondrous Christmas setting, but it’s not just about reindeer, and Santa and fruit cake. Her stories weave in real world family dynamics that you can relate to. Heartbreaks that resonate and some times she even takes the thoughts right out of my head.

I loved the focus she’s had on parenting in these books. I can completely relate to reading parenting books and feeling like they can’t accurately help with my individual child and I’m feeling my way through a dark room.

Lucy McConnell not only tackled Christmas Magic and parenting, she wove in a discovery of who we are as individuals and who we are in relationship to our family. Both are necessary and valid things to discover.

The punishments from Christmas magic were clever and added a lightness to some of the heavier aspects of the story.

I loved how she had the letters speak to Frost about the children’s troubles and in turn she used the gifts to help kids feel noticed and loved. I don’t want to give my kids just another gadget to muck up our too small house, but I do want them to feel noticed and loved. Her story encompassed the sense of wonder at Christmas time. “I believe” are powerful words. Even past the Santa stage I want my children to believe in the magic of Christmas and the power it has to do good.

Four Stars, Low Language, Low Violence, Lucy McConnell, Moderate Romance

Leaning

While these aren’t necessarily confessions, they’re more like facts I’ve state on numerous occasions, they’re both pertinent to this collection of books. 1. I love anthologies. I love the collaboration of great minds working together creating something vastly entertaining. I love that I can read one story in a sitting and get to come back for more tomorrow. 2. I really enjoy Lucy McConnell’s writing style. Consequently when I saw that she had combined all her novella’s from the different Echo Ridge Anthologies into one collection, I was excited to say the least.

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While You Were Skiing (Silver Screen Kisses vol. 3)
Mia Davis’s new job in guest relations at Ruby Mountain Ski Resort gets complicated when the gorgeous Ryder Montgomery falls off the ski lift, tells everyone they are engaged, and then loses consciousness. 
Worried about a head injury, Mia plays along, making him lunch, kissing in the front entryway and planning a future together; a future Mia wants with all of her heart. 
Things become all the more complicated when Ryder’s estranged family gets involved. Caught up in the fantasy and romance, Mia has to tell the truth or risk losing a part of herself and the man she loves forever.

An adorable nod to While You Were Sleeping with a tender twist, complete with leaning and creamy mashed potatoes.
Brand New Second Chance (Second Chance Kisses vol. 4)
With a broken heart and an unsure future, Abigail Martin moves home to Echo Ridge to capture the parts of her teenage years she missed out on because she’d had a steady boyfriend. Kissing a random guy, flirting with strangers, hanging out at Fay’s after a football game – all of it. Carter Montgomery offers his help, because he’s a helpful kind of guy, and she quickly falls for his quiet humor, kindness, and heated kisses. Fearing that she hasn’t lived enough of life to settle down, Abigail must decide if she’s going to break Carter’s heart or give love a new second chance.

This cute story especially showcases Lucy McConnell’s beautiful imagery.  She made me feel nestled into fall “where promises and possibilities feel around like golden leaves in the wind.” See, she paints the most lovely scenes with her words.

The Lion, the Witch & the Library (Kisses between the lines vol. 2)
Jennifer Solomon’s birthday wish is for the one thing she’s been too shy to go after: Kirke Staples, Echo Ridge’s resident playwright, an avid mountain biker, and her best friend. 
Hoping for a birthday kiss that will change everything, she arranges an “accidental” meeting with the handsomest man on the library board. Her carefully laid plans are thrown off track when the beautiful Bay Barington sweeps into town and casts a spell over Kirke. In her efforts to win Kirke’s heart, Jennifer is forced to take a look at her inner self and decide what type of woman she wants to be, a lion or witch.

For most of this story I wanted to throttle Kirke, how can you want to be with a person like Bay Barinton, when you’ve got Jennifer right there!? Then a heavy dose of reality hit me and I realized I was Kirke. The amazing man I call my husband became my good friend in High School, but it took me almost 8 years and a few “Bay Barrintons” to realize he was the type of crazy I need in my life and I couldn’t live with out him. Sometime love is blind and grows oh so slowly. Lucy McConnell wonderfully showcased the gentle nudges and little realizations that sometimes a person needs to be led to love.

The Candy Counter Heiress (Christmas Kisses vol. 1)
Someday Reese Gates will own The Candy Counter at Kenworth’s Department Store; but someday can’t come fast enough when Kenworth’s manager threatens to bring in a national candy provider. Reese secretly takes matters into her own hands hoping to save her family from additional worry and prove herself capable of running the company. 
Her deception deepens as she ropes the handsome computer guru, Andy Edwards, into helping her expand the business through an online retail site. Unfortunately for Reese, she can’t mold life like she can a chocolate Santa. Between a fire in the department store that destroys their stock and Andy discovering her deception, Reese stands to lose everything she’s been working for. 

I have to admit as much as I loved all these stories (Lucy McConnell’s tended to be some of my favorites in many of the Echo Ridge Anthologies) there was something lost when they were pulled apart. The different backgrounds and characters blending in an overall ambiance is missing when you didn’t have all the stories tying each other together. I think I’d prefer to read them in their original anthologies, but when I need a little Lucy McConnell fix, this works too.

 

Four Stars, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence, Lucy McConnell

12 Days of Clean Romance Day 11 (December 15th) – Lucy McConnell

 

Marrying Miss Kringle: Lux by Lucy McConnell

Christmas Magic is changing and the Kringle Family scrambles to keep up in this fun and entertaining, sweet Christmas romance from Author Lucy McConnell.

A normal electrical substation takes two years to build; but, Lux has 365 days to install one at the North Pole or Christmas Magic will overload the factory and send them back to the Dark Ages.

The one man on the planet with the know-how, the education, and the time to help Lux finish the substation before her Noel deadline, is also the one man who sends sparks through her heart and surges through the power system.

If Lux kisses Matthew Quik—again!—she could blow up Santa’s workshop before she has a chance to save it. If she doesn’t kiss him, she may lose him forever.

 

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*** I’m always excited when a new book by Lucy McConnell comes out. I can always count on it to be a sweet clean romantic book. Marrying Miss Kringle: Lux is a fun twist on Santa and the North pole. She has created a fun world with Romance thrown in. You can see our full review here: https://bookconfessionsblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/christmas-magic/ I also love Lucy’s Billionaire Marriage Brokers series. Super cute with a different take on finding a spouse. –M.V.

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Author Lucy McConnell

Award-winning author, Lucy McConnell, loves Christmas, romance, chocolate and Elvis.

She started out as an editor at an advertising agency before moving on to teach in the marketing department of the local community college. She loved teaching and often misses the academic environment.

Lucy retired from teaching and began to write articles and sweet romance novels. She has been published in national magazines, newspapers, short story compilations, and she writes cookbooks under the name Christina Dymock.

If she’s not at the computer, you can find her trying to keep up with her husband and four kids on the ski slopes, in a boat, in the kitchen, or on a horse.

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Also by Lucy McConnell

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Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/30/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Enter Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Four Stars, Low Language, Low Violence, Lucy McConnell, Moderate Romance

Christmas Magic

I have a confession, I’ve already queued up my Christmas playlist, and my kindle is full of Christmas ebooks. Including this one by Lucy McConnell.

Marrying Miss Kringle: Lux by [McConnell, Lucy]Marrying Miss Kringle: Lux

“A wedding should have solved the North Pole’s energy crisis; however, Lux Kringle soon realizes that it’s going to take more than one wedding to feed Christmas Magic. All the Kringle sisters must find true love or the magic will die forever. 

But, there’s a snag. If they get married too quickly, they’ll flood the system with too much magic and fry the electrical system which powers everything. What the Kringle’s need, is a substation and they need it before Christmas Eve.  The one man on the planet with the know-how, is also the one man who sends sparks through Lux’s heart and surges through the power system. If Lux kisses Matthew Quik—again!—she could blow up Santa’s workshop before she has a chance to save it.”

This book makes you want to turn on Christmas music find your favorite fluffy blanket and curly up next to the fireplace. Actually it made me want to kiss my husband first, then do those things, just being honest 😉

Possibly my favorite part of these stories (this is the second in the series Ginger’s story is first) is the premise that Christmas magic is love. I’ve never thought about it in exactly those terms before. It makes sense though, that’s why when you have what people have termed “The Christmas Spirit” you feel all warm and melty inside. Christmas brings you together with people you love and gives you opportunities to show them that love. Ergo The Christmas Spirit is really just love.

With all the Christmas magic = love in the air I appreciated that everything wasn’t sunshine and roses. The characters have personality flaws and doubts. Their family and relationships have struggles and highs and lows. Yet Lucy’s writing handles all this with Christmas charm.

One of the charms of Lucy McConnel’s writing is how personable she makes her characters. For instance in this series she has the Kringle family use Christmas swear words, ie. “cinnamon sticks!” and “Son of a Grinch!” She also has her characters use analogies that fit their lifestyle and their personalities. “The zap thing that made her insides float like baby reindeer and fly like Blitzen jacked up on sweet carrots.” “‘His takeoffs are harder than peanut brittle.’ And just as bumpy” See! They add a special touch and make you feel a part of their magical world.

She also does it in her other recent release, One Date Deal: A Return to Snow Valley Romance. One Date Deal: A Return to Snow Valley Romance by [McConnell, Lucy]

“Veronica (Ronnie) Martin wasn’t planning on helping a stranded motorist on her way out of Snow Valley. But, as one of the small town’s two mechanics, she couldn’t leave a neighbor stranded. When that neighbor turns out to be Grady Owens, her older brother’s best friend and business partner on his way into town for a short visit. After a few minutes of flirting, Grady asks her out. Ronnie is ecstatic, until she realizes he doesn’t recognize her. She accepts his invitation, but when he finds out who she is and tries to cancel, she makes a one-date deal.

Grady Owens has been burning the candle at both ends for years to get a trucking business off the ground. He’s worn out and isolated by the long hours and lonely nights. Which is probably why he agreed to a one-date deal with Ronnie. But when he starts seeing her as more than his best friend’s little sister, he’s torn between loyalty to his business partner and the woman his heart says is his perfect match.”

This book is full of mechanic analogies as part of Roonie’s thoughts and is a sweet read. I’d highly recommend anything written by Lucy McConnell. –N.C.