Thursday, September 17, 2020

Isn't It Romantic?

Mistletoe and Mr. Right

Sarah Morgenthaler
Series: Moose Springs, Alaska, #2
Age/Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
How the moose (almost) stole Christmas.

Lana Montgomery is everything the quirky small town of Moose Springs, Alaska can't stand: a rich socialite with dreams of changing things for the better. But Lana's determined to prove that she belongs...even if it means trading her stilettos for snow boots and tracking one of the town's hairiest Christmas mysteries: the Santa Moose, an antlered Grinch hell-bent on destroying every bit of holiday cheer (and tinsel) it can sink its teeth into.

And hard could it be?

The last few years have been tough on Rick Harding, and it's not getting any easier now that his dream girl's back in town. When Lana accidentally tranquilizes him instead of the Santa Moose, it's clear she needs help, fast...and this could be his chance to finally catch her eye. It's an all-out Christmas war, but if they can nab that darn moose before it destroys the town, Rick and Lana might finally find a place where they both belong...together.
I was ecstatic to be back in Moose Springs, and Morgenthaler filled my heart with warmth and (holiday) joy with this beautiful story of two lonely people finding love. 

  • Lana Montgomery - The outsider, who showed her affection for Moose Springs by essentially buying the town. 
  • Rick Harding - Owner of the local pool hall, and one of the few people in Moose Springs willing to associate with Lana. 

In an effort to ingratiate herself with the locals, Lana volunteers to capture The Santa Moose, who was back in town to destroy any and all Christmas displays. After a bit of an accident, Rick offers to help Lana with the moose situation, and they find they more than enjoy spending time together. 


I am so in love with this series! A smile graced my face from the very first page and was held firmly in place as I read the last. I fancy the combination of humor, romance, and warm fuzzies in these stories, which are also filled with fun, quirky, and interesting characters. 

My adoration for Moose Springs grows with each book. It was such a treat meeting more of its inhabitants and getting acquainted with their traditions. Having the story set during the holiday season just added to my enjoyment. From a lively town hall meeting to a holiday celebration, I relished all the moments I spent getting to know Moose Springs better. 

My heart exploded watching Lana and Rick grow closer and closer. Though there were obstacles in their way, I wanted to see them conquer those roadblocks, because they were so good for each other. Both were sort of lonely and struggled with feeling that they were not enough. How wonderful that they found a person who thought they were perfect as-is and appreciated all their parts and talents. 

I think Morgenthaler knew the way to my heart was to add some new furry friends to the family. Rick had a few fur babies of his own, who made the cutest appearances in the story and just increased Rick's appeal to me. 

As I was reading and smiling, I was thinking how this was such a solid read, but then Morgenthaler turned up the feels. There were some really emotional moments towards the end, which had the tears going. I am really hoping these events will bring a certain someone to Moose Springs (I'm just saying). 

It was a pleasure spending the holidays in Moose Springs. I made new friends, caught up with old ones, and got to witness a fantastic love match. I will eagerly await my next trip to this whimsical and wonderful town. 

The Roommate

Rosie Danan
Age/Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Do your own dishes
Knock before entering the bathroom
Never look up your roommate online

The Wheatons are infamous among the east coast elite for their lack of impulse control, except for their daughter Clara. She’s the consummate socialite: over-achieving, well-mannered, predictable. But every Wheaton has their weakness. When Clara’s childhood crush invites her to move cross-country, the offer is too much to resist. Unfortunately, it’s also too good to be true.

After a bait-and-switch, Clara finds herself sharing a lease with a charming stranger. Josh might be a bit too perceptive—not to mention handsome—for comfort, but there’s a good chance he and Clara could have survived sharing a summer sublet if she hadn’t looked him up on the Internet...

Once she learns how Josh has made a name for himself, Clara realizes living with him might make her the Wheaton’s most scandalous story yet. His professional prowess inspires her to take tackling the stigma against female desire into her own hands. They may not agree on much, but Josh and Clara both believe women deserve better sex. What they decide to do about it will change both of their lives, and if they’re lucky, they’ll help everyone else get lucky too.
Clara never does anything impulsive, however, in a bid to make her lifetime crush into more, she picks up and moves to California. But upon her arrival, she discovers that her roommate will not be the man she has been pining for, but rather, Josh Darling an, ahem, adult performer. 

I have read many "roommate" books, but this pairing really stands out among the rest. On paper, Josh and Clara seemed like opposites. He was a college drop out, she had a PhD. He was relaxed and subsisted on junk food, while she was tightly wound and a steadfast veggie eater. He was happy to share his secrets to sexually please her, and she was considered a prude. They definitely appeared to be a study in contrasts. However, they found they had a lot more in common than they originally anticipated, and it was beautiful watching them share these hidden pieces of themself with each other. 

As a lifelong romance reader, I have read a plethora of sex scenes, and there were several in this book, but they were used in a very different way. Normally sex is part of the relationship building, which it also was in this book, but they were also a path for self growth for Clara. She was very buttoned up and always worried about rocking the boat. As a people pleaser, she often made her decisions based on what others would want or think, and she rarely took her own desires into consideration. These steamy bits were all about Clara finding her own pleasure, and it was empowering for her. She discovered a lot of non-sexually related things about herself during these encounters, and I thought that was an interesting use of something we often see in romance books. 

Clara grew so much over the course of this story. She was mingling with people she would have never mixed with before. She was trying new things. She was moving outside of her comfort zone, and she was finding these talents and desires she never knew she had. She was facing her fears head on and going after  the things she wanted. She was putting herself first, and I loved it. 

Josh also grew quite a bit. He sort of bought into this image of himself that was crafted by other people. They thought he was only one thing, but he was so much more. With Clara by his side, he was bold enough to take some chances and reach for goals he never thought he could attain. He learned to stop underestimating himself and other people, and great things resulted from this. 

These two were precious together. I loved the smolder and the heat. Every time they fell into that we-don't-belong-together garbage, I wanted to scream, but I was willing to ride this ship to the bitter end. This lovable hero and evolving heroine won my heart, and I shouted and screamed as I cheered them on to their HEA. 

**ARCs received in exchange for honest reviews.

Do you enjoy holiday themed books?
Let us know in the comments!

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