Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Review of Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles (Christmas Cookies) by Maria Imbalzano


'Tis the season for all of the Christmas warm and fuzzy romance stories! Read an excerpt today from this novella and then download your own copy. I also have my review for you. Be sure to let the author know what you think in the comments section and follow the tour for even more. Best of luck in the giveaway!

Competitive, work-obsessed Bella Simonetti has just been fired from her high-paying job at a Manhattan law firm. At an all-time low, she returns home and helps her parents at their small-town gift shop, but the business is failing and may not make it past the Christmas holidays.

Successful landscape architect Dean Jackson is like a son to Bella's parents. But he's a persistent annoyance to her—he seems to have forgotten his unforgivable blunder thirteen years earlier.

When Bella transforms her parents' gift shop into a cookie cottage, Dean's generosity and magnetic smile are hard to resist, and those feelings of unrequited adolescent love come rushing back. But can Bella let go of the past and accept Dean for the man he is today?

Read an excerpt:
There came that half-teasing, half-serious smile. To avoid it, she started pulling Christmas balls hung on red-and-green silk ribbons from the large box she’d brought out.

“I can help you hang those in the window. I hid the hooks above the molding last year so we don’t have to remove them every year.”

“Clever.” Her sarcastic tone couldn’t be mistaken.

“We’ll need a ladder,” he determined. “I’ll get it from the back, then you can hand me the balls, and I’ll attach them.”

She slitted her eyes at him. “I want to hang the balls. You can do something else.”

“Fine. But it takes two for this job. You don’t want to be going up and down the ladder each time you hang a ball. It’s inefficient.”

He had a point. She’d have to bury her reluctance to work with him at the risk of coming up with some other childish excuse.

Once Dean brought the ladder to the window, she climbed up three steps and took the first ball from him. Not a well-thought-out plan since her butt was now at his eye level.

“Can you stand over here, please?” She pointed to the other side of the ladder.

“It’s better if I stand behind you, to spot you. In case you lose your balance.” His grin emerged, and she gritted her teeth to prevent a growl.

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**My thoughts**
I love holiday romance novels. They are always so warm and fuzzy. And yes, this may be a formulaic plot, but who cares? That's the whole point! Plus as long as each story is written well, the nuances of the characters and their stories make the book its own entity. A bonus is that this one is a novella, so it's shorter than most of its counterparts. I read it in just about an hour or so. Most will read it in an afternoon.

So Bella has come home because she is now without a job and apartment. Naturally, the ex-love interest from high school has been hanging out a lot lately because he helps out her parents at their gift shop in their small hometown. Something happened between them back in those days, so Dean is the last person she wants to see. But the two of them still have a spark that they cannot deny. They just need to resolve this issue from high school. 

At the same time, Bella finds out that her parents' store is struggling. So she engages her marketing and law backgrounds to create a new plan to help them find their way back into the black both during and following the holiday season. At the same time, she keeps finding Dean around ...

Again, it's a bit formulaic, but still a fun read. I enjoyed every moment of reading this book and would dearly love to have the recipe for the famous red velvet crinkle cookies! I feel a baking spree coming on!

P.S. Netflix would enjoy making a movie out of this one, I'm just saying.

I also want to note that this is part of a larger multi-author series but completely stands on its own. 

Thank you to Goddess Fish and the author for providing me with a requested review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Maria Imbalzano is a retired matrimonial lawyer who now writes full time. Instead of drafting motions, legal memoranda, and briefs, although fascinating, she now spends her days creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys through her contemporary romance novels.

Her novel, “Unchained Memories,” won the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers’ Award and the ACRA Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence Award. “Sworn to Forget,” the first of the four-book Sworn Sisters Series was a finalist for the illustrious RONE award as well as the Book Buyers Best Award. Her novellas, “The Blueberry Swirl Waltz” and “A Song For Another Day” each came in first in their category in the National Excellence in Story Telling contest.

Visit Maria at http://mariaimbalzano.com

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Amazon Author Page  https://amzn.to/3w8Q9MR

Maria Imbalzano will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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  1. This looks like a wonderful Christmas read.

  2. Great review Andi! I love a good Christmas romance and you're right, who cares if it's formulaic? Not me! Thanks for showcasing Red Velvet Crinkles! I can't wait to read it!

    1. Hi Elizabeth: This book was a lot of fun to write. Bella makes a lot of the baking mistakes I make and I could hear my daughter in my head telling me I'm using the wrong measuring utensil. I hope you enjoy it.

  3. Thanks for hosting me Andi and for your review. :)


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