Wednesday, December 6, 2023

A Holly Jolly Christmas By Brandy Bruce

A Holly Jolly Christmas
by Brandy Bruce
Publisher: Independent

I have followed Brandy on Instagram for quite some time now. When she asked me if I would read her novella, I was thrilled! This was my first book by her, and now I know it definitely won't be my last! She sent me her book for review.


Victor Avila needs a break from the hustle of restaurant life. It’s December, but there’s no chance of snow in the forecast. It’s past time for a change in scenery. So, when a few friends invite him to go skiing Colorado, for once Victor says yes. He figures that mountains, snow, and time away from work are just what he needs to recharge. He swaps humidity for snowflakes, and despite being unable to escape a jolly Santa named Hank around every corner, he settles in for what he hopes will be a relaxing vacation.

Laura Hall has a contentious relationship with Christmas, but she’s found her own way to work around her feelings: fill her calendar to the point where she doesn’t have time to think about it. As hostess of the Black Bear Lodge, Laura has plenty to do running the lodge during the busiest season of the year. Her schedule is just the way she likes it during December, booked solid.

But this year, despite the slew of guests and activities to manage, Christmas seems determined to sink deep into her soul. Can the arrival of a charming Texan who doesn’t do so well in cold temperatures thaw the ice around Laura’s heart?

My Review:

A Holly Jolly Christmas was an absolutely delightful novella! I have to give credit to authors who can write a fantastic novella, especially a holiday one. They can often seem forced or rushed and you sense none of that in this story!

We meet Victor, who is going on a much needed vacation. He ends up meeting his group of friends just before Christmas in Veil, Colorado. They stay at the lodge where Laura works as an assistant manager and it's clear she loves her job, especially during the holidays. She made me want to whisk my family away to her lodge and do all of the fun activities she had planned for all of the families!

This story felt like it came right off a Hallmark set. It gives you all of those romantic vibes in a perfect setting. The interactions between Victor and Laura will put a smile on your face. Add in some fun secondary characters and you've got yourself a formula for a great story. It wasn't all starry eyes because of course, there has to be some angst in the form of a gal who came along hoping to inch her way into Victor's heart and then there was Laura's difficult past.

With Victor only being in town for a week and Laura's propensity to not stay anywhere for long to establish roots, is romance even possible for these two?

About the Author:

Brandy Bruce is the award-winning author of The Last Summer, as well as the novels After the Rain, Looks Like Love, and the Romano Family Collection series. She's also the co-author of the YA fantasy novel Chosen, with her sister Sara Hanson. Brandy has worked in book publishing for more than a decade--editing, writing, reading, and making good use of online dictionaries. She's a graduate of Liberty University and currently works as a freelance book editor. She and her husband make their home in Virginia with their three children. When Brandy isn't editing manuscripts or writing novels, she loves spending time with her family, baking any kind of cheesecake, watching movies based on Jane Austen novels, or curling up with a favorite book. You can contact her through her website at Find her on Twitter at @BrandyBruce. Also on Instagram at @ALittleBitofBrandy.


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