Who would have thunk a Christmas readathon in November could be so much fun? Course, this could be the lonely working-from-home mom in me giddy over new friends + new books. But I think it's more than that. I think it's the Spirit of the Season already infecting me with each new page I turn. (also the classic holiday music playing in the background)
Below you'll find my reads & reviews two days into #HoHoHoRAT and my answers to some of the challenges. Stay tuned for more wintery loveliness!
Review for Christmas Secrets by Donna Hatch
4 of 5 Stars
Christmas Secrets, a Regency-Era Romance by Donna Hatch, is a heart-warming historical fiction about family and forgiveness. The Christmas house party drama plays out like a well-staged romantic comedy, filled with misunderstandings and one very lovely ghost.
There are plenty of shades of Jane Austen to satisfy fans of the genre. Will Berry is as worthy a hero as any Knightly with the gravitas of Darcy. As the youngest child in my family, I connected with Holly's struggle to be the perfect daughter. But also appreciated how any major conflict between family members is overcome in light of the season. While the romance is very clean in line with the expectations of the era, simple moments like the touch of a hand become swoon-worthy.
It's been some time since an author made me believe their characters like this, but Donna Hatch writes it so beautifully I was quickly drawn into the idyllic past. My only criticism would be several typos near the beginning, but don't let this deter you from enjoying the story. Many of the tropes are familiar but this makes it almost more enjoyable when these characters do something unexpectedly lovely.
A delightful holiday read for anyone in need of a little sweet romance this season.
2nd Review for Her Heart's Secret Wish by Juliana Haygert
4 of 5 Stars
Note on Cover Art: I feel this could do with an updated design. While this photo fits the love and holiday themes, the people in it don't match their characters very well.
2017 Review: 4 Stars
I re-read this as part of my #HoHoHoRAT challenge. It has been four years since I read this and my impression remains the same. Excellent characterization and holiday fluff piece. The theme was implied without being too over handed and the cute romance with shades of gaming lingo interspersed made it extra fun for me. Since I last read this I met and married a gamer so much that was lost in translation last time is clear as rain. All in all an easy light read rife with enough college nostalgia it literally carried me back to that special time in my early twenties when anything seems possible still, but especially at Christmas.
2013 Review: 5 Stars
I bought this book on a leap of faith and was not disappointed. 'Her Heart's Secret Wish' is a short but juicily sweet piece of fluff fiction, with enough weight to keep it grounded in reality. Haygert manages to throw you into her characters' lives and convince you they're living and breathing. Loved the seasonal theme and setting, which were handled exceptionally without too much cheese. A lovely holiday treat, both in and out of season.
I participated in the "Make a Sentence From Your List" Mini Challenge, hosted by Reviews by Martha. Basically we had to come up with a sentence using words from our book list titles. I chose to use my #hohohorat books because I like keeping in theme ;) Here are my results! Can you make a better sentence?
1. Shore Lights (Paradise Point #1) by Barbara Bretton 2. Billionaire For Christmas by Claire Adams 3. Christmas Secrets by Donna Hatch 4. Her Heart's Secret Wish by Juliana Haygert 5. The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia #1) by C.S. Lewis
Her Billionaire Lion of Christmas Paradise Wish for the Secret Wardrobe by the Narnia Shore Lights.
Stay tuned for future updates and challenge fun, and don't forget you can follow the #HoHoHoRAT fun on Twitter using the hashtag!