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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 3 star ratings
3 reviews
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4.3 out of 5
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    Great Holiday Romance!

    The Christmas Kiss has all of the things that I love: realistic characters; a small town setting; and a chance to celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas festivities as only a small town can. It also has romance but this isn't your typical romance novel. Parker and Emma are older, they both have been married, and they carry guilt and hurt from those marriages. They are seeking a new normal but neither one of them is looking for love. 'Sometimes his memories were like little swords piercing his heart. Man, they wielded way too much power.' (p. 94) I really like Parker Davis but it is apparent that his failed marriage has left him with deep wounds and very leery of any future romantic involvement. Instead, he is determined to be the best dad that he can be to his teenage daughter and to work tirelessly to save the birds. It is when he accepts a position as the new director of the Hidden Lake Bird Sanctuary in Bluestone, Illinois that the possibility of new romance occurs. Emma O'Connell is a widow who is financially able to assist in the efforts to reopen the Hidden Lake Bird Sanctuary in Bluestone River, Illinois and she is also willing to help in other ways but she and Parker have different ideas about the sanctuary. Can they learn to work together? If you enjoy family-oriented stories, it you believe in second chances, if you are thrilled with first kisses and new beginnings, you will want to read The Christmas Kiss. This is my first book by Virginia McCullough and she has convinced me that Bluestone River is a special place -- I hope to have a chance to go back! I received a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all opinions are my own.
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    The Christmas Kiss

    The Christmas Kiss is the second installment from Virginia McCullough’s series, Back to Bluestone River. I loved the first book from the series, A Family for Jason, and this one does not disappoint. I do want to note that even though it is part of a series, I believe it can be read as a stand alone. I enjoyed getting to know Emma and Parker in this one. I thought the two were entertaining. I enjoyed the lessons learned in the story that we could all learn from. I am giving The Christmas Kiss five plus stars. Readers who enjoy heartwarming and clean romance will not want to miss this one. I look forward to the next addition to the Back to Bluestone River series. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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    A slow burn with all the holiday feels

    I really liked the first book in this series, so I was happy to go back to Bluestone River. And I am so glad that Emma has the featured love story in this one! She really deserves it after going through such a rough time in her life. Parker is a little rough around the edges, as he is newly divorced and is dealing with a moody teenager getting ready for college. Plus he is working on a project in a new town and trying to establish himself. And yet, he and Emma are good for each other. I like that it is a slow burn kind of a relationship between the two of them, especially considering their frequent opposing viewpoints. Then again, the ones that start out at odds often lead to a more intense attachment, right? And I like having romances with "older people," (though we're not old at this age!) for a bit of a change. Add in all of the holiday feels and you have another winner in this series. While it is the second book in the series, it does truly as a standalone novel. But if you haven't done so already, you'll want to go back and read A Family for Jason and spend more time with these characters in this small town. Thank you to Prism Book Tours and the publisher for the advance review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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