My best friend is a firm believer that there is no Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. This is because he is not a parent and he loves Thanksgiving infinitely more than he loves Christmas.
I don’t have the luxury of a statute of limitations. If I don’t get a head start Christmas is even more exhausting than usual. I have wrapped gifts downstairs and I have to get to PetSmart because my son asked Santa to be sure he brought things for the dog, so I have to keep the magic alive.
Christmas seems to be a falling in love season. The first time I fell in love was the fall, but I get why seasonal Christmas reads have been focused around a couple finding love in the holiday of love and light.
And I have to admit the ones I discuss today helped me give romance novels a bit of a break. I want romance novels to end in healthy relationships, and both of these books end in healthy relationships where people are growing together as people. And while there was sex, it wasn’t erotica. And no wet panties. I don’t like discussions of wet panties.
Christmas Under a Starlit Sky, Holly Martin
So both of these Holly Martin books are set at Christmas, but Christmas does not feel as central to the plot as other holiday romances I have read. Otherwise, though, I like her settings of remote British Isles that are vacay spots. Vacay spots do increase the festivity rating of a book.
This one had more conflict in it than the other one I am reviewing. There are two plotlines where the resolutions are drawn out longer. I looked and it was written later than the other one, which makes sense that there are two distinct plot lines with the conflict heaped on, in contrast to the other.
One couple is trying to make something work after a breakup because the guy moves away to be an actor and another is trying to figure out if they can take a chance on love when it might turn long distance and they are both healing from other failed relationships. Both involve how to manage the long distance thing and I like that it does not always work out that the couple feels that their true place is home. I get annoyed with authors who end romances with home being where people belong and not on their adventures.
But I liked the characters, I like that the women did not have to be movie star beautiful and they are competent and hard working and feel fulfilled by their work already.
Christmas at Lilac Cottage, Holly Martin
I could definitely see that this was an earlier novel of hers, but sometimes a little less conflict is a good thing and it’s relaxing. I like that her books involve family themes and wanting to be part of families. I like finding Mr. Right instead of Mr. Right now or Mr. Wish FulFilment. I mean these guys were good looking but they weren’t bad boys at hear and I have never been into bad boys. I like something easy and seasonal and fun.
This was just one plot line about a woman finding her place in a ready made family and the conflict was centered around that more than it was around poor behavior from the guy.
I would recommend both of these for curl up Christmas reads as a break from holiday bustle. She has a lot of books out for low prices on Kindle, and they are series, so that makes it even easier to binge.
Happy kickoff to Christmas! More holiday reads next week.