Wrapping up the Holiday Reading Challenge 2012

I was looking forward to catching up on my holiday romances.  And according to BLI's Holiday Reading Challenge 2012, I'm still a Candy Cane-aholic, but I still didn't finish my original list...  (The good news is that I'll have plenty of holiday romances to read for next year...)

Run-down / Re-cap (also put some reviews on Goodreads too):

The Inconvenient Duchess - by Christine Merrill.  For Bebe's book club.  A pleasant surprise!  (I never knew that HQ historicals could be so great.)

Season for Surrender - by Theresa Romain.  For SBTB Sizzling Book Chat.  Freakin' Awesome.  This one is DEFINITELY good for year-round, and I think this had my favorite heroine (blue stocking!) of the bunch.

Holiday Sparks - by Shannon Stacey.  LOVED this one.  At a "novella" size, this one is my new "comfort-read" recommendation for anyone asking about contemporaries.

Switched - by HelenKay Dimon.  LOVED this one - excellent action with great narration!  (Think Die Hard  + Romance = Holiday page-turner)  My first HelenKay Dimon book (and it's an HQ Intrigue!) and I love her character development and true-life-y-ness in the dialogue.  I found myself equally torn between the hero and the heroine's conflict, and I feels it's best when I really can't pick sides in the argument.

Christmas Conspiracy - by Robin Perini.  (Hilarious and campy action... but due to awful real-life timing, I didn't finish this one.  Maybe next year?)

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor - by Lisa Kleypas.  Bust out the tissues (and then bust out another box if you watch the Hallmark Movie version - Christmas with Holly) because it's so damn heartwarming.  Lisa Kleypas's books could save the world.

We'll Be Home for Christmas - by HelenKay Dimon.  I'm officially a HelenKay Dimon fan.  She rocks.  Another SOLID heroine who doesn't take crap and makes the right choices that keep her satisfied.  Again, HelenKay nailed the dialogue and conflict in this one.  (Like watching a heartwarming tennis match - and then the opponents bone at the end!)

A Baby for Christmas - by Joanna Sims.  Good debut author.  IF she does another HQ book, I'd give it a shot.  She does a great job with tension/build-up.  But... I'm not gonna lie ... some of the Marine references were just flat-out wrong/incorrect - HOWEVER - not all readers/authors have a Marine on-hand (lol, Hi sweetie, I love you) to ask questions and fact-check for specifics while writing/reading the USMC/Military romances.  Even above that - I enjoyed this one.

The Spirit of Christmas - by Liz Talley.  This one was the MOST Festive ("Christmas-y") of the bunch.  I was tentative because this is my first HQ Super Romance, but now I know why it's such an awesome imprint:  Heavy on "the feel-good" but still includes very believable (and SUPER sexy) chemistry between the characters.  Or is this just Liz Talley?  (This one made me feel like I was actually in New Orleans during Christmas.)  PLUS - it's not just the romance, but it's also about the "giving" and caring for others on a human level and helping those in need.  If I'm ever feeling especially Grinchy (and I need a little Christmas right this very minute) then this will be the holiday romance of choice.

Happy 2013.

Now, to set up that 2013 Goodreads reading challenge...

(Hmmm... maybe one of my resolutions should be to finally finish Nora Roberts' Savor the Moment... No.  Nope, it's always going to stay there.  Ugh.)

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