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December 25, 2020

Relax with a Collection of Romantic Holiday Stories

by Donna Huber

Merry Christmas! Have the presents been opened and dinner is all prepared? Then it is time to sit back and relax with one more Christmas book before the season ends. A Little Country Christmas is a collection of four holiday stories that will entertain you.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

A Little Country Christmas
September 2020; Forever; 978-1538735770
audio, ebook, print (464 pages); holiday romance
I'm a slow reader but I was able to read each short story in a day (while also preparing for Christmas) so depending on the distractions left in your day you might be able to read one or more of these stories today.

It opens with Carolyn Brown's The Perfect Christmas. I had read one book by Brown (The Magnolia Inn) and found it charming. She is the only author in this collection that I was familiar with. Her story is part of a larger series which I haven't read but it did matter for this story. Cowboy Landon Griffin wants to make sure single mom Dixie and her daughter have a perfect Christmas. He has it all planned - cutting down a Christmas tree for them to decorate with homemade ornaments, building a snowman, a holiday light show, and, of course, a visit with old St. Nick. Dixie, who has never really had a Christmas, is falling for Landon. The only problem is he is planning to leave for another ranch in the New Year. She's just started to put down roots and doesn't want to leave. 

It is your predictable Christmas story but it was still enjoyable and is filled with sweet moments. I felt that Landon should have been honest with Dixie that he still wasn't planning on staying on the ranch past the summer but otherwise it is a feel-good story. Perfect for a quiet afternoon reading during the chaos of Christmas Day.

The next story Cowboy Christmas Heart by A.J. Pine is definitely Hallmark movie-worthy. City slicker Cooper has returned to his hometown after losing his job in Chicago, putting his political aspirations in jeopardy. Conveniently, there is an election for mayor going on and he wins. He truly wants to improve the town, which isn't in the best fiscal situation. Since Christmas is a holiday he rather forget, he all but bans the town's annual holiday lights parade. Will his high school crush Daniela bring the joy of the season back into his life?

This story was probably my second favorite story in the collection. It's sweet and fun, but super predictable. Still, I loved the characters and the town.

The third story, Home for the Holidays by Rochelle Alers, didn't really feel like a Christmas story though it is set between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was also more romance than I care for. Iris is expecting to enjoy the holidays with friends and family. But when she goes out for Ladies Night at the local bar, where she is hoping to meet Mr. Right Now, she doesn't expect to find Mr. Forever. To complicate matters her Mr. Right is the brother of her best friend, home from the military. Collier has a few demons and given Iris's past, it might not allow for a relationship.

I did like that this story featured characters of color. I just wish it had been more Christmasy and less focused on Iris and Collier taking a roll in the hay. 

My favorite story of the collection was Joy to the World by Hope Ramsay (Joy to the World also happens to be my favorite Christmas carol). The local charity Christmas Chorale is in desperate need of a director after the one who usually directs suffers a stroke. Brenda doesn't mind everyone else making merry and bright but she rather just be left alone to sulk about her losses. Her pain runs deep and Doc Killough, who is tasked with enlisting he to direct, knows a thing or two about loss and pain during the holidays. But instead of hanging back to lick his wounds, he embraces all the joy the season has to offer. Can he help cure Brenda of her "Christmasitis"?

I loved that this story had older protagonists. Brenda and Jim are in their fifties. Christmas magic is definitely on display in this story and it was a great story to end the collection with. I was left feeling satisfied with a terrific Christmas story, but wanting to see more of the character.

Overall, this collection is filled with sweet, quick reads. So grab yourself a copy and curl up in a comfy chair with a cozy blanket and maybe a plate of Christmas cookies.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.   

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