Tuesday, December 18, 2018

*Review* Fate of Draga by Emma Dean


Genre: Science Fiction/Romance
Published: December 18, 2018
Pages: 



The queen is the deadliest piece.


I was hired to proofread this book. The only aspects of the story that I influenced were the spelling and grammar. If you feel that my connection to the book makes my review untrustworthy, so be it, but this is my honest review. 

If you are only just now hearing about the Draga universe, this is not the book you want to start with (unless you super love spoilers and wanna know the end from the get go). However, if you don't like starting series before all the books are published, now is the time for you to dive into this. There is only one book left to come, and it's a holiday novella due out soon (but you've got six other books to read first so...) 

There was a whole lot of action in this story, which makes sense because it features the final confrontation between the Kharans, Kalans, Drakesthai, and the Neprijat. Adelina manages to acquire a few more unexpected allies that make her feel like she has a fighting chance, as long as she can actually trust them. 

My one complaint about this story is that time is a really fuzzy thing. It really seems like no time at all passes between major events, and yet everyone seems to be everywhere all the time too. I just had a hard time getting my mind around the way the events played out and how close together they seemed. 

Overall I give Fate of Draga 4.5976 stars. - Katie 



Emma Dean lives and works in California with her husband and son. She loves romance but needed something different so Draga Court was born. With too many stories to write the schedule has been filled through 2018.

When she’s not writing she’s reading, or spending time with her family.
With publishing now at least she has an excuse for not folding the laundry ;)


For more info or to sign up, click here.

*31 Days of Christmas* Christmas at the Palace

Thanksgiving is over and the countdown to Christmas has officially begun (at least in my house). I don't limit myself to just reading cheesy Christmas romances during this time of year. Oh no. I also find myself binge watching Christmas movies on Netflix and the Hallmark Channel. And I thought, why not incorporate that into my blog as well. So I give you the 31 Days of Christmas (which will be much easier to accomplish with movies than books like I've tried to do in past years).

Next up is Christmas at the Palace.



Watched on: Hallmark
Duration: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Originally aired on: 22 November 2018
Directed by: I was unable to find this information.
Starring: Merritt Patterson, Andrew Cooper, and Brittany Bristow
Please see IMDb for full cast and crew info.

Synopsis

Katie, a former professional ice skater (Patterson), is hired by the king of San Senova, Alexander, to help his daughter in a Christmas ice skating performance. As Katie spends time in the castle and with the king, she and Alex begin to develop feelings for each other and ultimately fall in love. But will the tradition-loving people of San Senova allow their king to make a foreigner their queen?

Review

Alex has some big shoes to fill as king of San Senova, especially where Christmas is concerned, and he's less than enthusiastic about it, so much so that he's become known as The Grinch King. When his daughter meets Katie and Jessica, she hatches a plan to redeem his reputation with the nation, but also to return some Christmas spirit to the castle. 

This movie features a bonus secondary romance that blossoms between the supporting characters that is really sweet. It's like watching a nerdy best friend meet their nerd mate and realize that they're in nerd love. I think I almost liked their romance better than Katie and Alex's, maybe because I related more to the slight awkwardness between them. 

This movie includes a last minute Christmas performance, Christmas tree decorating, handmade stocking making, cookie baking, and Christmas caroling.

This movie hits all the major Christmas traditions and engenders the basic emotions of most Christmas romances so I will definitely watch it again in the future. 

My Rating
Check Out My Other Christmas Movie Reviews

Review
Review




















Cancel Christmas starring Judd Nelson, Justin Landry, & Natalie Brown
Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe starring Lacey Chabert, Brendan Penny, & Genevieve Kang
The Princess Switch starring Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, & Nick Sagar
The Holiday Calendar starring Kat Graham, Quincy Brown, and Ethan Peck
The Christmas Switch starring Natasha Henstridge, Brian Kraus, and Cedric Smith
48 Christmas Wishes starring Khiyla Aynne, Elizabeth Ellsworth, and Maya Franzoi
The Spirit of Christmas starring Thomas Beaudoin, Kati Salowsky, and Steven A. Miller
A Shoe Addict's Christmas starring Candace Cameron Bure, Luke Macfarlane, and Jean Smart
Mingle All the Way starring Jen Lilley, Brant Daugherty, and Lindsay Wagner
A Majestic Christmas starring Jerrika Hinton, Christian Vincent, and Adaya Ariana
Finding Santa starring Eric Winter, Jodie Sweetin, and Jay Brazeau
It's Christmas, Eve starring LeAnn Rimes, Tyler Hynes, and Gwynyth Walsh
Christmas Next Door starring Jesse Metcalfe, Fiona Gubelmann, and Brittany Bristow
A Christmas Melody starrinLacey Chabert, Brennan Elliott, and Kathy Najimy
The Christmas Chronicles starring Kurt Russell, Darby Camp, and Judah Lewis
Once Upon a Holiday starring Briana Evigan, Paul Campbell, and Greg Evigan
Christmas Inheritance starring Eliza Taylor, Jake Lacy, and Andie MacDowell
The Most Wonderful Time of Year starring Brooke Burns, Henry Winkler, and Warren Christie
Sleigh Bells Ring starring Erin Cahill, David Alpay, and Dakota Guppy
Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa starring Andrew Baker, Rukiya Bernard, and Michelle Choi-Lee
Homegrown Christmas starring Lori Loughlin, Matt Hamilton, and Gwynyth Walsh
Christmas at Pemberley Manor starring Jessica Lowndes, Michael Rady, and Cole Gleason

For more info or to sign up, click here.

*Top Ten Tuesday* YA Request Roulette Round 3: Winter (Dec 18)


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Joood - Hooligan of Platypire reviews bossed me into doing this, so I guess this is a thing I do now. 

This weeks theme is supposed to be Winter TBR, but I've become quite fond of my games of YA Request Roulette on Netgalley, so apparently I'm making it a quarterly event. The rules are pretty simple for me. I'm just hopping on Netgalley to search through the YA books available for request and picking ten that I'd really like to read and requesting them. I will update this post as they're approved or denied (although I'm building this post a week in advance, so hopefully judgment will be passed on most of them before I hit publish on this). So here we go.

Title: Sky Without Stars
Author: Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: March 26, 2019
Genre: Science Fiction
Goodreads
Request: Pending

Blurb

A thief. An officer. A guardian.

Three strangers, one shared destiny . . .


When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. A new life for a wealthy French family and their descendants. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing.

Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes…

Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spy on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet.

Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a renowned traitor. In training to take command of the military, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when his father dies and leaves behind a cryptic message that only one person can read: a girl named Alouette.

Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos.

All three have a role to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.

Power, romance, and destiny collide in this sweeping reimagining of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables.


Title: Corpse & Crown
Author: Alisa Kwitney
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: February 12, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Request: Pending

Blurb

Agatha DeLacey’s family isn’t rich or titled, so studying nursing at Ingold’s East End hospital in London is a rare opportunity for her. Despite the school’s focus on the innovative Bio-Mechanical program, Aggie cares more about the desperately poor human patients who flood the hospital, even if that means providing unauthorized treatment after-hours…and trusting a charming, endlessly resourceful thief.

But the Artful Dodger is barely a step ahead of his underworld rivals, the menacing Bill Sykes and mercurial Oliver Twist, and Aggie’s association with him soon leads her into danger. When a brutal attack leaves her blind, she and the Dodger find themselves at the mercy of an experimental Bio-Mech surgery. Though the procedure restores Aggie’s sight, her new eyes come at an unnerving cost, and the changes in Dodger are even more alarming—instead of seeing Aggie as the girl he fancies, he now views her as a potential threat.

As war between England and Germany brews on the horizon and a sinister medical conspiracy threatens to shatter the uneasy peace in Europe, Aggie and the Dodger must find a way to work together so they can protect their friends and expose the truth…even if it means risking their own survival.


Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Request: Denied

Blurb

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.


Title: Romanov
Author: Nadine Brandes
Publisher: Thomas Nelson-Fiction
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Request: Approved

Blurb

From the author of Fawkes comes a magical take on the story of Anastasia Romanov.

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.


Title: The Enchanted Sonata
Author: Heather Dixon Wallwork
Publisher: Amazon
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Genre: Fantasy
Request: Approved (maybe. Possible archiving confusion happening.) 

Blurb

Clara Stahlbaum has her future perfectly planned: to marry the handsome pianist, Johann Kahler (ah!) and settle down to a life full of music. But all that changes on Christmas Eve, when Clara receives a mysterious and magical nutcracker. 

Whisked away to his world—an enchanted empire of beautiful palaces, fickle fairies, enormous rats, and a prince—Clara must face a magician who uses music as spells…and the future she thought she wanted.

The Enchanted Sonata, a retelling of The Nutcracker Ballet with a dash of The Pied Piper, will captivate readers of all ages.


Title: The Waking Forest
Author: Alyssa Wees
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Request: Pending

Blurb

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?


Title: Beware the Night
Author: Jessika Fleck
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: March 12, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Request: Pending

Blurb

When her world divides, pitting light against dark, Veda must join a dangerous revolution to save her grandfather and fight against injustice...even if it costs her the boy she loves.

On the island of Bellona, life is peaceful--as long as the citizens dutifully worship the Sun, which protects them from all harm. Seventeen-year-old Veda knows that keeping the Sun happy will protect her and her grandfather from the Night, the dangerous people who snatch innocent citizens from their beds under the cover of darkness, never to be seen again. As long as Veda follows the rules, she will be safe. 

But when Veda's grandfather is offered up as the next sacrificial offering to keep the Sun's favor, she starts to see that the safety she's been promised comes at a dangerous price. Maybe there is more to fear above than there is below. 

With a mysterious young man, Dorian, at her side, Veda has to figure out if the scary bedtime stories she grew up hearing are real--or dangerous lies.


Title: Enchantee
Author: Gita Trelease
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Request: Approved

Blurb

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians...

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she's playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…


Title: The Gilded Wolves
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Request: Pending

Blurb

Set in a darkly glamorous world, The Gilded Wolves is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous but thrilling adventure.

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can't yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they'll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.


Title: Dream Keeper
Author: Amber R. Duell
Publisher: The Parliament House
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Request: Denied

Blurb

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.

(Please note: This story contains vivid death scenes.)


So there you have it, ten YA books that I requested on Netgalley while I have an abysmal feedback percentage (22%). I feel like there are more big publishers in this list than in my past two rounds of YA Request Roulette, so that will probably result in fewer approvals, maybe even less than half of these requests will be approved. Hopefully I'll hear back on all of these before I hit publish on this though (in which case I will theoretically update this bit here, but maybe not). 

So what books are on your winter TBR? - Katie 

For more info or to sign up, click here.

Monday, December 17, 2018

*Review* Yuletide Crimson by L.M. Adams


Genre: Fantasy
Published: December 23, 2013
Pages: 145



I am Jaevia Knightley, Jae for short, a daemon, a mutt, a mix breed, half succubus, half vampire. I am one of the Kindred, our only charge, to police the other supernaturals of the worlds. I’ve been training for years to become one of the children of Abbadon, a Reaper, a bringer of death to those who have broken our law. But when my brother is in danger of being hunted by Reapers what can I do but race against time to clear his name? 

It is Yule at the Kindred Palace, and all manner of supernaturals walk the streets. Tabari has awoken surrounded by bodies, no alibi to speak of, and to add insult to injury, one of the victims is the Light Fae Queen’s grandson. But if it wasn’t Tabari that has stolen the life from these poor souls, who was it, and why? I will risk all, even my body and soul, to clear his name. Loyalty and honor demands it. When the going gets tough, the tough get hunting. 

Join Jaevia, Tabari, Lucien and a few others for this fast paced adventure in the world of the Kindred. Yuletide Crimson is a novella prequel for A Snow Covered Moon (but best read AFTER A Snow Covered Moon). 

*Novella contains violence, graphic sexual scenes, horror, BDSM and other adult situations*


I was hired to provide post-publication proofreading for this book. The only aspects of the story that I influenced were the spelling and grammar. If you feel that my connection to the book makes my review untrustworthy, so be it, but this is my honest review. 

This is not your average winter holiday story. For one thing, it has nothing to do with Christmas, but instead the pagan holiday of yule, which makes way more sense for the series. But the yule celebrations are also not the main focus of the story, but rather a supporting detail (I'm still totally counting this as a winter holiday story though). 

What I liked most about this prequel novella is that it gave me a good long look at Jaevia's backstory. While it didn't show me everything that led to her becoming a runaway Kindred, I really feel like I understand her and what makes her tick even more now. I could feel her need to prove herself to everyone. It also gave me a closer look at her relationship with Tabari, and showed how she really would do anything for him, which helps to explain the things he'd done to help her leading up to and during the events in Snow Covered Moon

This book was almost more mystery than anything, with Jae, Tabari, and Lucien trying to prove who was responsible for poisoning the Light Fae. But it doesn't really fit in the typical mystery mold, because they found out early on who'd done it, but tying the guilty party to the crime was important and that required research and sacrifice. My heart really went out to Jae for the sacrifice she made to bring justice. 

Overall I give Yuletide Crimson 4.8935 stars. - Katie 



Lark Adams is the dark urban fantasy author of the Twisted Eventide series, first novel titled Snow Covered Moon. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Lark received two Associates degrees one in computer aided drafting and another in mechanical engineering. But her true passion and love has always been for the written word.

She's currently working on her 12th novel, the 3rd in the Echoes of Time series - Order of Life. When not writing or designing mechanical systems she enjoys reading a good novel, drinking a good cup of coffee and letting the words on the page take her to new exciting places.

She can be reached at Lark@lmadams.net as well as on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/twistedeventide
and the FB Group: LM's Twisted Lovelies https://www.facebook.com/groups/1070433332980629/

For more info or to sign up, click here.

*31 Days of Christmas* Christmas Wedding Planner

Thanksgiving is over and the countdown to Christmas has officially begun (at least in my house). I don't limit myself to just reading cheesy Christmas romances during this time of year. Oh no. I also find myself binge watching Christmas movies on Netflix and the Hallmark Channel. And I thought, why not incorporate that into my blog as well. So I give you the 31 Days of Christmas (which will be much easier to accomplish with movies than books like I've tried to do in past years).

Next up is Christmas Wedding Planner.



Watched on: Netflix
Duration: 1 hour, 26 minutes
Originally aired on: December 2017
Directed by: Justin G. Dyck
Starring: Jocelyn Hudon, Stephan Huszar, and Kelly Rutherford
Please seem IMDb for full cast and crew info.

Synopsis

Wedding Planner, Kelsey Wilson, is about to have her big break: planning her beloved cousin's lavish and exclusive wedding. Everything is going smoothly until Connor McClane, a devilishly handsome private investigator, shows up and turns Kelsey's world upside-down. Hired by a secret source, Connor quickly disrupts the upcoming nuptials but wins Kelsey's heart in the process.

Review

In true Christmas romance fashion, Kelsey and Connor get off on something of the wrong foot. After a slight mishap at a coffee shop, he buys the last blueberry scone, which she needs to suck up to her aunt. Fortunately her aunt gets that blueberry scone, because of course Connor is at the engagement party that Kelsey is on her way to when she stops at the coffee shop in the first place. 

Kelsey keeps sending text messages or posting to a blog about her experience planning her cousin's wedding. I couldn't help but hope that they were just personal notes for herself, but her sign-off definitely made them seem like they were intended for someone else. Some of the things she shares seem inappropriate for a blog or for sharing with someone else when she's single and she's definitely not sending them to her best friend/cousin whose wedding she is planning. 

Because this movie focuses on wedding planning and is only tangentially related to Christmas, it doesn't actually fit the mold for the typical Christmas romance. There are a few Christmas festivities peppered in, but the storyline doesn't revolve around them. 

This movie includes gingerbread cookie baking, a frigid stakeout, and a wise bartender. 

I'd almost certainly watch this movie again, but not for cheesy Christmas romance because it just doesn't fit that mold for me. 

My Rating
Buy the Movie
Check Out My Other Christmas Movie Reviews

Review
Review




















Cancel Christmas starring Judd Nelson, Justin Landry, & Natalie Brown
Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe starring Lacey Chabert, Brendan Penny, & Genevieve Kang
The Princess Switch starring Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, & Nick Sagar
The Holiday Calendar starring Kat Graham, Quincy Brown, and Ethan Peck
The Christmas Switch starring Natasha Henstridge, Brian Kraus, and Cedric Smith
48 Christmas Wishes starring Khiyla Aynne, Elizabeth Ellsworth, and Maya Franzoi
The Spirit of Christmas starring Thomas Beaudoin, Kati Salowsky, and Steven A. Miller
A Shoe Addict's Christmas starring Candace Cameron Bure, Luke Macfarlane, and Jean Smart
Mingle All the Way starring Jen Lilley, Brant Daugherty, and Lindsay Wagner
A Majestic Christmas starring Jerrika Hinton, Christian Vincent, and Adaya Ariana
Finding Santa starring Eric Winter, Jodie Sweetin, and Jay Brazeau
It's Christmas, Eve starring LeAnn Rimes, Tyler Hynes, and Gwynyth Walsh
Christmas Next Door starring Jesse Metcalfe, Fiona Gubelmann, and Brittany Bristow
A Christmas Melody starrinLacey Chabert, Brennan Elliott, and Kathy Najimy
The Christmas Chronicles starring Kurt Russell, Darby Camp, and Judah Lewis
Once Upon a Holiday starring Briana Evigan, Paul Campbell, and Greg Evigan
Christmas Inheritance starring Eliza Taylor, Jake Lacy, and Andie MacDowell
The Most Wonderful Time of Year starring Brooke Burns, Henry Winkler, and Warren Christie
Sleigh Bells Ring starring Erin Cahill, David Alpay, and Dakota Guppy
Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa starring Andrew Baker, Rukiya Bernard, and Michelle Choi-Lee
Homegrown Christmas starring Lori Loughlin, Matt Hamilton, and Gwynyth Walsh

For more info or to sign up, click here.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

*31 Days of Christmas* Welcome to Christmas

Thanksgiving is over and the countdown to Christmas has officially begun (at least in my house). I don't limit myself to just reading cheesy Christmas romances during this time of year. Oh no. I also find myself binge watching Christmas movies on Netflix and the Hallmark Channel. And I thought, why not incorporate that into my blog as well. So I give you the 31 Days of Christmas (which will be much easier to accomplish with movies than books like I've tried to do in past years).

Next up is Welcome to Christmas.


Watched on: Hallmark
Duration: 2 hours (with commercials)
Originally aired on: 9 December 2018
Directed by: Gary Harvey
Starring: Jennifer Finnigan, Eric Mabius, and Sarah Edmondson
Please see IMDb for full cast and crew info.

Synopsis

Resort developer Madison Lane (Finnigan) is tasked with finding a location for a new ski resort. While she's prepared to recommend the resort be placed in Mountain Park, her boss tells her to take a trip to Christmas, Colo., to consider the location and the incentive package they're offering. On her way into town to meet with the mayor, Madison has a minor fender-bender with the town's welcome sign. Town Sheriff Gage McBride (Mabius) gives Madison a ride into town so she can attend the meeting while the car is towed and repaired. Little does Madison know that the town is on a mission to convince Madison that Christmas is the best place for the new ski resort. While stranded, Madison grows to love the community and the spirit of Christmas that runs throughout. Is a resort really the right move for Christmas? Or would the town be better off keeping its charm and traditions intact?

Review

This movie falls into the stranger stranded in a super-festive small town trope, which happens to be my favorite holiday rom-com movie trope. What sets this movie apart from most movies in the trope is that the small town has let many of their annual holiday traditions fall by the wayside because of declining tourism and lack of funds. Madison is in town scouting a location for a new ski resort, and the citizens are determined to prove to her that she should choose Christmas, and that means reviving many of those old traditions at the last minute. 

Madison is essentially invited to partake in all of the McBride's holiday festivities, some of them fabricated, some authentic. This means that she spends a lot of time with Gage. I loved the way their relationship developed over time and how easy they were with each other. Regardless of how Gage feels about Madison's preconceived notions about Christmas and it's suitability for the new ski resort, he doesn't hate her, he just wants to show her how amazing Christmas is. So there was very little bickering between the romantic leads in this movie. 

This movie includes cookie baking, ornament making, and a town going to extreme lengths to engender the Christmas spirit in a very important tourist.

I'd watch the movie again if I caught it on tv, and I might try to make the time to watch it if I knew it was going to be on at a certain time next year. 

My Rating
Check Out My Other Christmas Movie Reviews

Review
Review




















Cancel Christmas starring Judd Nelson, Justin Landry, & Natalie Brown
Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe starring Lacey Chabert, Brendan Penny, & Genevieve Kang
The Princess Switch starring Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, & Nick Sagar
The Holiday Calendar starring Kat Graham, Quincy Brown, and Ethan Peck
The Christmas Switch starring Natasha Henstridge, Brian Kraus, and Cedric Smith
48 Christmas Wishes starring Khiyla Aynne, Elizabeth Ellsworth, and Maya Franzoi
The Spirit of Christmas starring Thomas Beaudoin, Kati Salowsky, and Steven A. Miller
A Shoe Addict's Christmas starring Candace Cameron Bure, Luke Macfarlane, and Jean Smart
Mingle All the Way starring Jen Lilley, Brant Daugherty, and Lindsay Wagner
A Majestic Christmas starring Jerrika Hinton, Christian Vincent, and Adaya Ariana
Finding Santa starring Eric Winter, Jodie Sweetin, and Jay Brazeau
It's Christmas, Eve starring LeAnn Rimes, Tyler Hynes, and Gwynyth Walsh
Christmas Next Door starring Jesse Metcalfe, Fiona Gubelmann, and Brittany Bristow
A Christmas Melody starrinLacey Chabert, Brennan Elliott, and Kathy Najimy
The Christmas Chronicles starring Kurt Russell, Darby Camp, and Judah Lewis
Once Upon a Holiday starring Briana Evigan, Paul Campbell, and Greg Evigan
Christmas Inheritance starring Eliza Taylor, Jake Lacy, and Andie MacDowell
The Most Wonderful Time of Year starring Brooke Burns, Henry Winkler, and Warren Christie
Sleigh Bells Ring starring Erin Cahill, David Alpay, and Dakota Guppy
Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa starring Andrew Baker, Rukiya Bernard, and Michelle Choi-Lee

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