Books – November 2021

I finally knocked out some Netgalley books this month. Most of them are already released, I am so behind on my Netgalley shelf! Definitely reading all the Christmas books. I love this time of year! Have you read anything seasonal yet? Do share! I am consuming as many as I can!

Always, in December by Emily Stone

Always, in December

Do not let this pretty winter cover or title fool you. This is not a lighthearted Christmas read. It was beautiful and I loved the story and all the characters. But I was bawling and the book is so heartbreaking. I wasn’t quite expecting that, as I believe this book was categorized as “romance.” I don’t think it could quite be called that, more of women’s lit or something. There is definitely a lot of depth to the story. We deal with grief, friendship, love and finding yourself. I read this pretty fast, because the story definitely grabs you and you want to see where it goes. I am just saying I wish I would have known that it wasn’t your typical lighthearted, cheesy Christmas romcom. Though, the book did have a few funny moments that had me smiling.

Bottom Line: Read it. With a box of tissues.

**I received a copy of Always, in December from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Twelve Days to Save Christmas by Elizabeth Neep

Twelve Days to Save Christmas

This is a lighter Christmas read than Always, in December, but still covered some heavier topics. I really wanted to love Poppy, but there are so many times in the book that I wanted to shake Poppy and be like WTF is wrong with you?!?! RED FLAG!!! She is sweet but also seems very selfish and immature at times. I hated George and the whole group of friends they had together, as I think you are supposed to. I wish we could have gotten to know Theo, Marie, Aran and Avery a little more in the book. They were great characters that deserved more development and time with.

Bottom Line: This one was cute enough with the Christmas theme, but I think I would only really enjoy it this time of year. The story itself was a little lacking for me with Poppy’s personality.

**I received a copy of Twelve Days to Save Christmas from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews

The Newcomer

I love Mary Kay Andrews and was so excited to get two new books from her just a month apart! (Go read The Santa Suit from her before Christmas!!!) This one grabbed me right away. It goes back and forth between present day and memories of Letty’s past with her sister. I really loved all the side characters from the motel, and even the FBI agent. You couldn’t help but root for Letty and Maya. The book was a little long at times, but I didn’t mind because I quite enjoyed the whole storyline.

Bottom Line: Read it if you are looking for a light mystery.

**I received a copy of The Newcomer from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Snowfall and Secrets by Kimberly Loth

Amazon.com: Snowfall and Secrets: Lukas (Michigan Millionaires) eBook :  Loth, Kimberly: Kindle Store

I grabbed this free on Amazon awhile back. It was a quick, cute read. I wish that we would have gotten more character development, both characters had deep secrets from their past and they were sort of glossed over. I feel that is pretty typical of a short “winter romance” novel though. This passed the time just fine, but I am going to be honest and say I was a little disappointed in the ending. Everything was rushed and then a new character comes out of no where. I know the author was setting up for the next book, but it felt disconnected from the rest of the Lukas and Tess story.

Bottom Line: Quick cute read if you are into romance novels. I wouldn’t go out of my way to grab this one, but it passed the time just fine.

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

The Holiday Swap

This was such a cute holiday read, that wasn’t too over the top with the Christmasy bits of it. I really loved the whole plot line of the twins swapping lives, reminds me of adult Parent Trap! I loved all the characters in the book, and the cute setting of Starlight Peak reminds me of Gilmore Girls for some reason. Throw in lots of yummy food since both twins work in the food industry and some hunky swoony men, and you have the perfect recipe for a delightful read!

Bottom Line: Read it!

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey

Very Sincerely Yours

This was really cute read. It gave me slight You’ve Got Mail vibes with the emails back and forth. In th beginning of the book, it is crazy how many red flags Teddy ignored in her relationship with Richard and how much of herself she gave up for him. I think a lot of people who don’t know what they want to do when they grow up (even if they are in their 30s!!) can really relate to Teddy throughout this book. I loved that we also got to go back and forth between chapters from Teddy’s view point, as well as Everett. Loved all the side characters as well.

Bottom Line: Very cute and whimsical romcom!

A Lot Like Adios by Alexis Daria

A Lot Like Adiós (Primas of Power, #2)

The premise of this book was good, but it fell very flat for me. So flat that I quit it about 1/3 of the way in. The book felt forced, I didn’t really feel a connection between the two characters. They were very immature for adults. I hated the fanfic chat throughout the book. It was boring and unnecessary. There were also so many topics that were forced in the book that didn’t really play to the story, like the author was trying to prove she was relevant or something? Hard no from me.

Bottom Line: Pass

Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez

Life's Too Short (The Friend Zone, #3)

I loved The Happy Ever After Playlist, so I couldn’t wait to read this. I was hooked right away and absolutely loved it. I did this on audio and I really enjoyed the narration. We get chapters from Vanessa and others from Adrian. I loved them both so much, and the side characters as well. I would love to see Becky have her own book! While this is a romcom that made me laugh, it also dealt with some seriously heavy issues. Obviously ALS, but also mental health, addiction, family drama and grief. It was written so well, and I enjoyed it so much. I am sad it is over.

Bottom Line: So good! Read it!

The Neighbor’s Secret by L. Allison Heller

The Neighbor's Secret

This was the book club choice for November. I will be honest, at first I wasn’t to happy to steer away from my Christmas reading binge, so it took me a little while to get into the book. However, once I got into it…I was in. I finished the second half of the book in a matter of a few hours of off and on reading in between life. I loved the whole neighborhood/book club scene. I would love to be a member of their club! I liked how we got present day with flashbacks to 15 years earlier. I never felt major tension in the book like some “thriller” type books, but that didn’t take away from my curiosity to figure out what was going on. I felt like it was a well constructed plot/mystery. I also appreciated all the mom talk and worry over their kids. It shows that no family is perfect, and we all have our things we are dealing with.

Bottom Line: If you enjoy books like Big Little Lies and Liane Moriarty, read it!

Currently Reading

A Season for Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss

A Season for Second Chances
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  • Reply Andrea Nine November 29, 2021 at 7:42 am

    I’m Getting ready to do a deep dive into my Christmas reading and these all look so good!

  • Reply Lindsay Latimer November 29, 2021 at 8:18 am

    You knocked it out of the park with reading this month! I think my post will be up tomorrow, lol. I’m thinking of putting Always, in December and A Season of Second Chances on our list for December’s book club.

  • Reply Missy@MySh*ttyKitchen November 29, 2021 at 8:49 am

    You had a good month of reading! I need to check out that first one. And I love Mary Kay Andrews, so that one too!

  • Reply Sierra November 29, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    You know, I’ve never read a seasonal book. I’m almost done, The Last Thing He Told Me, so maybe I’ll have to try and work one in. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply laura November 29, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    All the Christmassy books!!!!! I need to hop on the train asap. I feel the exact same way about the book club in Neighbor’s Secret!

  • Reply Abdel November 30, 2021 at 4:29 am

    All of these look interesting!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Abdel | Infinitely Posh.

  • Reply What I Read in November 2021 - Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stilettos November 30, 2021 at 6:31 am

    […] made me smile. Not everything has to be so serious, you know? It read like a Hallmark movie. And as Nadine said in her post, the town reminded me of Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls. It was the perfect kickoff […]

  • Reply Biana November 30, 2021 at 8:46 am

    I need some holiday books to read and you have them ALL! The Holiday Swap is on my list first! xo, Biana

  • Reply Rebecca Jo Vincent November 30, 2021 at 8:58 am

    I’m so upset Ozzie tore up my Neighbors Secret book – I need to get another one.
    I just ordered The Holiday Swap for my BOTM & cant wait to get a christmas book in soon!

  • Reply Danielle Butler November 30, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    I want to read the Neighbor’s Secret. I read a Christmas book last year and loved it. So this year I will pick one of these to read!

  • Reply Kristin December 3, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    Always in December looks interesting. It’s not at my library. I am 3/4 of the way through The Neighbor’s Secret. It’s been since…September? LOL

  • Reply ShootingStarsMag December 5, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    I have The Neighbor’s Secret but still need to read it. Good to know The Holiday Swap is worth a read. I need to check out a festive read or two this year. I’m hearing good things about Nick and Noel’s Holiday Playlist, if that’s not already on your TBR.


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