Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My favorite holiday reads this year

I don't know about the rest of you, but for me, the holidays are a time for truly indulging in reading.  I remember, my first year of teaching, the day we got out for Christmas break, I went directly to the public library and checked out about ten books.  I'd been so busy that year trying to figure out what I was doing, I'd not had any free time to read. 

Well, in the years since, I've finally figured out how to manage my time better, and make time for leisure reading, but still the holidays are special for reading.  It's cold and dreary out, so I spend more time inside, huddled under blankets.  My friends are all busy with their family, and my usual TV shows are all on hiatus.  Lots of travel, waiting in airports, riding in planes, sitting up late at night in unfamiliar bedrooms.  Days off work and the freedom to stay up until the early morning hours to finish a book, or not getting out of bed the next morning until the book is finished.  At least, that's how I spend my time between Christmas and the beginning of the New Year.

And I love holiday stories.  In my real life, the holidays don't hold much meaning.  Let's be honest, I spend most of that time cold and alone.  I hate being cold.  So holiday books provide me with what I don't have in real life: holiday spirit, happiness and warmth and people who care about each other.  (For the record, that's the same reason I'm addicted to holiday movies.)  Santa, I'm still waiting for the cute puppy and hot boyfriend.  Until then, I will keep reading.

I started my holiday reading right after Thanksgiving this year.  If you include the audible version of Tim Curry reading Christmas Carol, I've read/listened to nine holiday themed books this year. 

I've written reviews for all of them - except Christmas Carol, I'll try to do that later.  So if you want to read the full reviews, they're on this blog.  And I'm planning to read a few more.

But since I know a lot of you will be traveling soon and maybe wanting something to read, I've selected some of my favorites so far..

Each of them completely different stories, something for everyone - contemporary, fantasy, vampires, historical - it's all here.  They're all ebooks.  Easy to download on the run. 

In no particular order:

Stealing Time by Wendy Sparrow - Father Time's son has to claim a life at the end of the New Year.  But the year before, he couldn't bring himself to take Hannah's life, so he's been having to keep her safe from the Fates all year.  I loved this story.  It's only about a hundred pages.  Interesting twist on the holiday theme.  All about learning to appreciate the time we have and living life to the fullest.  Nice romance.  Lots of flirting and teasing, but no explicit scenes.  Also, it's only .99 on amazon

Parisian Christmas Bake-Off by Jenny Oliver - Another book I loved.  Rachel goes to Paris to participate in a competition to win an apprenticeship with a famous chef.  Along the way she learns a lot about herself and what she wants out of life.  She also meets a guy she likes quite a bit, but that's kind of secondary to the main story.  No explicit scenes at all.  The romance is limited to walks and a dinner and a few drinks.  Lots of descriptions of the beautiful city of Paris and delicious pastries.  Quick read, and it's only $2.51 on amazon.

Vampire's Christmas Carol by Cynthia Eden - The first two books I mentioned are feel good, nice stories with a touch of romance, but this one is not.  This is dark, dirty and sexy.  There are some explicit scenes in this.  This is an angry vampire who hates the world because he's lost everything he ever loved.  And as can be expected based on the title, he's visited by ghosts from his past, present and future.  Though in this case, it's a demon, shifter and an angel.  So if you're wanting something a bit steamier, this is a good pick. The ebook is only .99 on amazon.

Another book I enjoyed quite a bit, that deserves a mention is Once Upon a Highland Christmas.  It was one of the first I read during this holiday binge, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Simple, sweet, sexy love story about two people trying to bring Christmas/Yule to a castle in the Highlands.  Also, only .99 on amazon

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