General Fiction (Adult), Holiday, Humor

Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners by Gretchen Anthony

Evergreen Tidings from the BaumgartnersEvergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners by Gretchen Anthony

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and what a great win it was!

Just published last week, Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners is a quirky, holiday read about a Midwestern family with its share of issues. Violet is the matriarch (we all know one) who needs everything to be perfect at all times, lives for appearances, and couldn’t be more traditional. Her daughter Cerise is a lesbian (gasp!) who is pregnant with child (double gasp!) and Violet does NOT know how to deal. What ensues is Violets incessant desire to find out how Cerise conceived and who the “father” is despite Cerise insisting that it doesn’t matter. Her and her partner Barb are the baby’s parents, and that is that.

Although Violet is a politically incorrect nightmare, the way she was written was quite humorous. She was a trip through the whole book, pushing and prodding and poking until she got her way.

The one downside…. there was a secondary story line written from the perspective of Richard, a family friend, and quite frankly, I wasn’t super invested in that story line. I didn’t see how it related and felt like it was kind of a “filler.”. Others may disagree as the story eventually ties in.

On another note, the physical book was beautiful. The pages had jagged edges and gave the appearance of letters bound into a book with a “worn” feel. Which was perfect given the fact that interspersed throughout the pages of text were Christmas letters written by Violet to the family over the years.

This book is heartwarming. It is humorous. It has a great holiday feel. It comes highly recommended.

Thank you you Goodreads, Gretchen Anthony, and Park Row Books for my giveaway copy!

View all my reviews

General Fiction (Adult), Holiday, Romance

Christmas at the Chalet by Anita Hughes

Christmas at the ChaletChristmas at the Chalet by Anita Hughes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Out today!

The first thing that drew me to this book was that gorgeous cover! I mean, look at it. Who wouldn’t want to be snuggled up in a little mountain chalet drinking hot chocolate in front of a warm fire while reading this book? Yes, please!

The second thing that drew me: Christmas! Yes, I know it’s not even Halloween yet and I’m all about the spooky reads right now but I’m preparing myself for the holidays, okay?

Anita Hughes gives us three stories in one with this book. A charming wedding dress designer whose long-term relationship is crumbling, a up-and-coming fashion model trying to get her divorced parents to cooperate for the sake of her wedding, and a glimpse into the past at those parents and their journey from love to disaster.

So… this book was essentially a Hallmark or made-for-Netflix holiday movie in book form. It was cute and enjoyable. It made me happy to read and I would totally love to curl up with it on a cold winter day. That being said, it was not the most well written and was kind of basic. Most of the character interactions were pretty cheesy and weren’t really believable. I don’t know if I can get on board with a character falling in love in a matter of days or with two divorced parents who hate each other magically reconciling overnight. Again, Hallmark. If you can see past all that though, it’s a great “feel good” story and at 288 pages it’s a breeze.

The other thing I was slightly disappointed in was the lack of Christmas spirit. While I totally got the Swiss Alp/ski lodge feel this book was going for, I didn’t really feel like it screamed “Christmas.” Yes, it took place over the Christmas holiday but otherwise was more of a “winter” read than a “Christmas” read.

All of that being said, if you’re just looking for a light hearted, quick read for winter, this is your book.

-I was gifted an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Anita Hughes, and St. Martin’s Press (faves!) for the opportunity to review.-

View all my reviews