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review 2018-01-21 21:14
Chasing Christmas Eve: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel - Jill Shalvis

Colbie Albright is tired of having to run her mom and brother's lives.  All three of them are adults but ever since Colbie's father ran out on them, she has been the adult in the family.  Now that she is a best selling author, she needs a break from her life, her family and New York City.  Colbie decides to "runaway" to San Francisco, CA for a break.  Shortly after arriving, Colbie is walking through the district of Cow Hollow wanting to see the crazy famed love legend fountain when a huge dog runs into her causing her to fall into the fountain.  Guess who's walking the dog....Spencer Baldwin, one of San Francisco's top 10 most eligible bachelors!

Spencer lives a quiet, simple life.  He may be super rich from selling his company, but he has sworn off relationships after Clarissa did such a number on him.  He would rather just be alone and invent new things and hang with his best friends.  He never expected to meet a woman who has captured his interest in every way possible.  Spencer realizes that she doesn't know who he is and he finds that refreshing.  What he doesn't realize is that Colbie is actually famous too and since he doesn't know who she is, that is refreshing for her.

These two quirky people find an instant connection and decide that for the three weeks that Colbie will be in town, they will hang out.  Of course this quickly turns into much more, more than either of them ever thought could happen.  Now they must both decide if this connection is worth keeping.

I just adored both of these characters.  Spencer is my perfect type of guy.  Super smart, cute and just down right sweet and Colbie complimented him perfectly.  I loved their happy ending! 

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quote 2018-01-21 20:21
"Every time you begin something, pray. It marks the start of a new chapter in your day and your life," Sister Jessica had taught me. "And Then There Were Nuns: Adventures in a Cloistered Life" by Jane Christmas
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review 2018-01-21 14:55
Loved it!
Love Me By Christmas - Jaci Burton
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
 

I just loved this book so very, very much! It’s a sweet romance story but also a Christmas story, a guilty pleasure of mine.Christmas stories in general will grab my attention but the romance portion of the story probably grabbed my attention first.

 

It’s a quick read. It’s short, sweet, and to the point. It’s well written and has great descriptions and details. The emotions are heavy and very well detailed. The story line is tragic, frustrating, hopeful, and romantic.

 

I really enjoyed all of the characters in this story, main characters and supporting characters. Not one character seemed to be more important than another and they all had great chemistry. They were fun to read about.

 

I would read this story again, and would recommend this. I would have loved for a longer story to maybe get more detail or have the story expanded a bit. It was such a great read.

 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
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review 2018-01-20 02:48
MERRY MURDER by C. S. McDonald
Merry Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery (Vol... Merry Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery (Volume 2) - C.S. McDonald

Set at Christmas, Fiona's Uncle Wilbur, who plays Santa at the mall, is murdered.  Why?

 

I enjoyed this book more than the first one in the series.  I had a better sense of the characters and liked the dynamics between Fiona and Nathan.  I liked Uncle Wilbur.  The short time he was in the book, I could see him as Santa.  I also enjoyed her kindergarten class, especially Lincoln.  Don't know if I wanted him around much but he is the kid who enjoys ruining things for others.  I figured out the why but not the who until the end when it was going down.  The mystery was good and made sense.  There was humor in it.  It was fun and I look forward to more Fiona.

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review 2018-01-14 22:03
Christmas Past by Robert Brenner
Christmas Past: A Collectors' Guide to Its History and Decorations - Robert Brenner

I have to admit something to you all: I'm crazy about Christmas. I don't have a tree up all year or sing carols or anything, but as soon as Thanksgiving is over, IT'S ON! The Christmas albums come out, the lights get put up and our collection of ornaments get hung on the trees.*

My husband and I have family ornaments ranging from a few fragile German pieces from just after WWI to mid-century Shiny Brites to a piece of purple foil glued on cardstock marked 'MyLes' in pencil.** We also like finding eclectic antique and vintage ornaments in cotton or paper or glass. The problem is that while we've picked up a thing or two, we never had a comprehensive reference on how to identify or date ornaments. As 'crackers' as we are about the ornaments, there's a real limit to how much we'll spend on a piece of fragile glass or a disintegrating candy container. So we hunt for bargains that aren't going to be researched and labeled. That's where Robert Brenner and his books come in.

This Christmas we received three of his books on the history of ornaments. This one is his earliest and is a valuable reference tool, but it does suffer from some issues. The book is divided into sections based on the materials an ornament is made of - dough, cloth, metal, paper, wax, cotton, glass, composition and plastics - with some grey areas addressed. Oh, and lighting. The book is furnished with some excellent photos of early ornaments of most types discussed.

A big revelation was how many ornaments and styles kept on for decades after we thought they would have fallen out of fashion. We were aware of many modern reproductions, but certain styles of ornaments we thought were exclusively Victorian it turns out were made well up into the early 1930s - these include the large wire wrapped glass figurals and the abstract tinsel ornaments made built around tissue-thin glass spheres. "Feather trees", artificial trees made of wire and wrapped in dyed goose feathers, and the miniature ornaments to match, were also made right up until WWII. Brenner offers some advice on what to look for: a rule of thumb is that more elaborate construction and "true" lifelike colors in glass and paper indicate an earlier date. But there are exceptions. And, while there are hundreds of color images in the book, Brenner rarely, if ever, puts examples side by side. For example, if Japanese honeycomb tissue ornaments were 'less dense' then their German counterparts what does that mean exactly if there isn't a single picture of a German or a Japanese item?

The book is a great place to start, and there is a later edition of this book (still twenty years old...), but I'm hoping the others provide some more concrete examples and insight. I'm hoping to be a little more educated next time we come across promising ornaments.

*We had two. Maybe a third next year. Only one is real though! Does that make it better?

**I've always disliked arts and crafts, so I tended to phone it in even then.

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