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I want to welcome a new reviewer to Whiskey With My Book.  Linda is a part of the staff at my library and I really enjoy working with her.  She reads a lot – more than I do. Some of the books she reads are a great fit for WWMB, so I invited to her do some reviews.

Today, we have three quick book reviews, all Christmas-themed stories.  If you haven’t found the perfect book to read this season, maybe one of these will interest you.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses. And a serious bout of writer’s block sets in.

Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.

Review by Linda

This to me is an exceptional read for Christmas or any season. It is fictional , but the author has used facts from biographies of Charles Dickens enough to make you think you are living his life. Life in merry old England was not very happy in his time. The class system was at its highest, wealth or debtors prison.

I don’t want to give away anything that will spoil your read. Please trust me renew your trust in the love that people are able to show each other and read this book.

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Same Time, Next Christmas by Victoria Alexander

My friends have always considered me the most proper among us. But no one was more surprised than I, Portia, Lady Redwell, when I decided to flee the matchmaking efforts of my family to spend Christmas in an enchanting villa on the coast of Italy. My admittedly impulsive plans were immediately complicated by the presence of a certain gentleman, Mr. Fletcher Jamison, who insisted he had a claim on the villa. It was only in the true spirit of Christmas that I agreed to share the villa with him. His charm, his blue eyes as dark as the December seas, and the laugh that oddly seemed to fill my soul were not considerations.

That I returned again for Christmas is due entirely to the charm of the villa, and nothing at all to do with the fact that he too would be there.

My friend Veronica has often said those least likely to bend are most likely to snap.

It appears I have snapped…

Review by Riley

At first, I did not like Portia, Lady Redwell. She seemed to have an annoying case of that upper class superiority thing going on. And then, well, I just relaxed and stopped taking her so seriously. When Fletcher Jamison came into the picture, even Portia relaxed – a bit.

Portia and Fletcher are both fun, entertaining characters. They play well off of each other, arguing and agreeing, fighting and apologizing. Neither has been quite truthful with the other, but they have decided to treat this as a getaway. What happens in Italy, stays in Italy. They are able to relax and enjoy each other’s company even though there is no indication that the relationship will ever continue.

But it must, because ‘Next Christmas‘ is part of the title.

Despite the fact that it took me a while to warm up to the heroine, I truly liked Same Time, Next Christmas. It is enjoyable, light reading but with a heartfelt story line that will make you smile. 5 stars!

Through NetGalley, I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber

Merry Knight is pretty busy these days. She’s taking care of her family, baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Her own social life is the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, Merry’s well-meaning mom and brother create an online dating profile for her—minus her photo—and the matches start rolling in. Initially, Merry is incredulous, but she reluctantly decides to give it a whirl.

Soon Merry finds herself chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person Merry expects—or desires. Still, sometimes hearts can see what our eyes cannot. In this satisfying seasonal tale, unanticipated love is only a click away.

Review by Linda

This author is a true lover of Christmas the happiness , the romance and the love we should share all year but tend to see more at Christmas. She does always amaze me as her romantic plots always seem to take many different turns and are always filled with surprises Merry and Bright is no exception. If your looking a cozy read by the fire this is the book for you.

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