Thursday, January 2, 2014

Review: Merry Humbug Christmas: Two Tales of Holiday Romance by Sandra Bricker

Merry Humbug Christmas: Two Tales of Holiday Romance 
October 2013, 307 pages. My Rating: *****--5 Stars

Blurb: Merry Humbug Christmas features two holiday romance novellas from hilarious and heartwarming author Sandra D. Bricker. -- the perfect gift to yourself or someone else at this most wonderfully stressful time of year.

In "Once Upon a Jingle Bell," A Bah! Humbug cruise to the Mexican Riviera is Joss Snow’s answer to this year’s quest to avoid the holidays completely; at least until she’s rebooked on a different kind of cruise altogether. Candy canes, holly wreaths, reindeer and ornaments seem to be stalking her on the 12 Days of Christmas holiday cruise extravaganza. An escape back to land is her only goal . . . until she meets a kindred spirit in rugged Irishman Patrick Brenneman, and then the game is on! Avoid Christmas festivities at all costs . . . except maybe for that one stop under the mistletoe.

In "It Came Upon a Midnight Deer," Reese’s guilt over abandoning best friend Joss on their holiday tradition of avoiding all things Christmas is trumped by the joy of her recent engagement. Meeting Damian’s family for the first time on idyllic Sugarloaf Mountain is about as far from that Bah! Humbug cruise as she can get, and Reese can hardly wait to get there. But from the moment they hit that deer in the road just two miles from the cabin, everything seems to go wrong. There are no drummers drumming or pipers piping this particular year! And once she sets her future in-laws’ family cabin ablaze, she’s pretty sure there won’t be even ONE golden ring in her future. 

My Review: I thoroughly enjoyed these two Christmas stories. Joss and Reese are best friends and it was a lot of fun to read about their Christmas adventures separately, yet in the same book. I'm a reader who reads to escape and I love to get caught up in the character's lives. While reading Joss's story, I did wonder what Reese was up to and I had no idea how crazy her holiday was...until I actually read her story.

Joss first. Joss has good reasons to want to avoid Christmas altogether--I get that. I thought it was very ironic that she was put on a crazy Christmas cruise, but of course, things worked out for the best. I loved the banter she shared with Patrick and her sense of humor was very dry, yet fitting to her personality. I loved the way she treated the older ladies on the cruise and the sparks that flew between her and Patrick were very exciting.

Reese hasn't ever celebrated Christmas in a traditional way and when she gets engaged to a picturesque family, she has a lot of excitement and high expectations. But when do things ever go as planned? This story was like a Christmas comedy--everything that could go wrong pretty much did, yet it all came together. I couldn't help but laugh and in the next breath, feel sorry for Reese. She definitely found a good man from a great family!

One thing that I really enjoyed was the headings to each chapter for each book. They were based off of The Twelve Days of Christmas, but changed to fit the story and the chapter. I couldn't wait to see what the next heading would add. I've come to realize that I love this author!!

Content: some very mild religious content; kissing. Clean.

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