Christmas Cookies: Book 1
Publication Date: November 2, 2021
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?
Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles by Maria Imbalzano is a book in the Christmas Cookies series with books written by different authors, each having a different cookie being essential to the story.
At only eighty-one pages, it was a quick read filled with lots of Christmas details along with the shop run by Bella’s parents front and center.
When Bella returns home after being fired by the law firm she worked for in New York City, she’s at loose ends and keeping secrets. Her parents welcome her back, and her mom is looking forward to Bella’s help in the family’s shop. But the family has secrets too concerning how well the shop is doing financially.
Her brother’s friend Dean is always underfoot since he’s like a surrogate son to her parents. He and Bella have a history, and while Dean seems to want to know her better, Bella remembers some of his actions in high school and is not at all pleased to have him around.
The story has a nice flow and beautiful descriptions. As secrets unfold and Bella’s parents accept her help, Bella also receives help from Dean, and things get on a more even keel.
There are some hard realities to swallow and lots of discussions, compromises, and attention to detail. I liked how Bella’s ideas were listened to and some implemented. When Bella and Dean decide to communicate, things turn more playful with a hint of romance. They complement each other well, and when Bella keeps an open mind, who knows what could be in her future.
Christmas envelops us, and it is nice to learn of some of Bella’s family traditions. There is a happily ever after in the offing and some closure, but an epilogue would have rounded out the story nicely.
I love holiday books, and Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles was a quick read and a nice break from my hectic day of work, preparing my mind for the upcoming holiday season.
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.
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Thanks for hosting!
You are welcome!
Thanks for hosting and for the review. I’m hoping all your readers will want to start getting into the Christmas spirit.
You’re most welcome, Maria! We’re going to start doing some of the “light” decorating this weekend!