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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Home for the Holidays by Rochelle Alers

This is a quick, warm read with two loners who find unexpected love. 
Home for the Holidays
A Cavanaugh Island Novella
by Rochelle Alers
  • File Size: 455 KB
  • Print Length: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Forever Yours (December 2, 2014)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christmas Novella
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: December 2, 2014
This Christmas novella is set in charming, Sanctuary Cove featuring popular characters from Rochelle Alers' bestselling small-town, Cavanaugh Island contemporary romance series.

Love is always in season.
There's no place like home for the holidays, especially for divorced pastry chef Iris Nelson. After escaping an abusive marriage, she's found peace on charming Cavanaugh Island. As the holiday approaches, Iris looks forward to spending it with her newfound best friend's family . . . and their very handsome visitor.
On leave from Afghanistan, Army Master Sergeant Collier Ward is excited to be reunited with his family for Christmas. But the best gift of all may be this warm, beautiful stranger who joins them for the festivities. With his visit coming to an end, Collier can't deny the heat smoldering between them. Yet Iris can't help but wonder if it's just the glow of the season-and one night of passion-or a true miracle of love that will change their lives forever . . .

Iris suffered through an abusive marriage until her father helped her to escape. After attending cooking classes she moved to the unique community of Sanctuary Cove on Cavanaugh Island. She is helping at a pastry store until she can save enough money to buy a house and set up her own industrial kitchen. Meanwhile she has avoided men instead of risking more trauma.

Collier has come home from Afganistan to spend the holidays with his sister, Tracy, and his niece, Layla. He hasn’t made any plans to settle down as he feels he needs to finish his military service first.

Iris and Collier meet at a night out and he takes her home but leaves as a gentleman when she indicates she isn’t ready to move forward. They are surprised to meet each other again the next day when Collier walks Layla home and Iris is there to watch her after school.

Collier and Iris slowly begin to spend time togther with friends and family. They decide to date while he is home and their friendship grows. Iris realizes that Collier is a service man who will return to duty after the holidays but she doesn’t know that he is suffering from PSTD. Just as they begin to grow truly close, Collier suffers a nightmare, attacking and frightening Iris. Will Collier be willing to seek help and have the nerve to commit to a longer relationship with Iris? Will Iris be able to forgive and give Collier a second chance?

This is a sweet novella. I liked how Iris and Collier met with a good chemical flair. Ms. Alers presents strong characters who manage to fit in the special setting in South Carolina. The romance develops nicely with a little conflict to make it interesting and a lot of family to keep it warm. The sexual encounters are on the steamy side but based on love and respect. The ending seemed a little rushed and I would have enjoyed a bit more. There are yummy recipes shared at the beginning of each chapter which almost made me wish I could cook. This is entertaining as a quick, holiday read and I recommend it to readers who are looking for a quick Christmas romance.

I received this from Hachette through NetGalley for an honest review and to participate in Launch Day Blitz.

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About Rochelle Alers
Bestselling author, Rochelle Alers has nearly two million copies of her novels in print. She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gold Pen Award, the Emma Award, Vivian Stephens Award for Excellence in Romance Writing, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award and the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award. 

     When Collier walked into the apartment earlier that afternoon asking to date her, Iris had felt as if she’d been enveloped in a cocoon with a happiness expiration date stamped on the outside.  Collier would only be around for another couple of weeks and then he’d be gone.  And yet, here he was offering her a chance at… She didn’t want to say love, because falling in love with him wasn’t an option. But trust perhaps. If nothing else, maybe Collier could finally teach her to trust a man without looking for an ulterior motive in his interest.
     “Wait here,” she told him.
     Iris went into her bedroom and retrieved a second set of keys to the apartment, knowing her life was about to change.  She planned to give a man the keys to her sanctuary.
     Iris returned to the living room, reached for Collier’s hand, placed the keys on his palm and closed his fingers over them.  “Yes.”  Going on tiptoe, she kissed his cheek.  “Good night, and thanks for making this Thanksgiving one I’ll remember for a very long time.”
     Collier ran a finger down her nose.  “Good night, babe.  Sleep well.”

(Don't forget to fill in the form for entry!
I have noticed a few commenters who forgot to enter through the Form.)
For 3 Extra Bonus entries comment on the review, OR
tell me how you feel about Christmas romances.

* This contest is open US/Canada Only.
* This contest will close 5 PM (Central) December 13, 2014.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after December 13, 2014.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.


  1. I am not a big holiday reader but this one sounds good!

  2. This sounds like a wonderful romance for the holidays. I hope I win.

  3. think Christmas books are fun and festive to read for the holidays

  4. this looks and sounds so fun :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love short Christmas stories to read during the holiday season.
    Thanks for the contest.

  6. Love Christmas romances! This sounds like a wonderful book for the holidays.

  7. not entering but commenting on your excelent review - you didn't sidestep on any issues and gave a headsup for readers like me who prefer sweet to anything other! thanks for that and for taking time to post your thoughts!

  8. I enjoy Christmas romances. The cover makes me want to want to spend some time in that house! A short romantic book would be perfect to read at this busy time of year.


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