20 September 2013

Blog Tour: A Seaside Christmas by Sherryl Woods.

An unproofed copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for a review. 

Publication Date:  September 24, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Price: $16.95 Hardback (list price)
          $12.99 Digital edition. 
Genre: Romance
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

As I write this blog post, it is raining outside, which where I live in the Pacific Northwest, is the equivalent to snow.  So what better activity could there be on this first "wintery" day of the year than to write a review of my first Christmas based book of the year.  I am a newcomer to the O'Brian saga that everyone else has been  familiar with for quite a while, but if this book is any indication, I can definitely see myself reading more.  

In this installment of the series, Jenny Collins returns to Chesepeake Shores for the holiday season to help a family member with her annual Christmas play.  She is also running away from Nashville, where she is a celebrated songwriter, trying to escape from the publicity caused by her very public breakup with Country superstar Caleb Green.  

 For me, a romance book has to have something other than just the romance to entice me.  In the case of this book, there were several things that fit that bill.  First of all, the characters in Sherryl Woods O'Brian series, if this book is any indication, encompass just he right mix of compassion, family loyalty, and pragmatism, yet they aren't at all one dimensional.   Also, as a Country music fan, the country music backdrop was definitely a plus.  I found myself through out the book associating both Jenny and Caleb with my favorite Country stars.  Last, I loved the whole focus on the Christmas musical.  I am a sucker for musicals AND Christmas musicals in particular.  The fact that the author referenced all my favorite Christmas movies was not lost on me.  By the time the book was finished, I not only wanted to go to Broadway and see the play, but I wanted to dig out all of my faves, White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, etc.  and watch one after the other.  

After reading this book, I have decided that I need to go back and read the other books in the series.  I really want to get to know all of the O'Brians better.   If the book can do that to me, I am sure it will do the same for other readers.  That, in my mind, makes it a huge success.