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Reviewed by Melinda Facal for Readers' Favorite
Romancing the Holidays Collection by L. Austen Johnson features four short romantic novellas. In “Lucky Fall” (St. Paddy’s Day), we meet Sarah, a young woman in need of respite from the tremendous responsibilities she has had to take on. A surprise trip to Dublin, Ireland with her best friend may prove to be life-changing. “Pawsitively Perfect” (Fourth of July) introduces us to Leigh, a hardworking veterinarian, and James, a veteran of the Marine Corps. Working on a project together seems to bring out the best in both of them, but Leigh has her doubts due to a recent betrayal. “All Thanks to You” (Halloween) shares the story of Rosalie and Jonah who are attracted to one another at first sight and seem to be a perfect match until things become complicated. In “Beaver Creek Resort” (Christmas) Claire and Blake are both recovering from difficulties in their pasts when they are undeniably drawn to one another at a ski resort.
L. Austen Johnson’s Romancing the Holidays Collection is a cozy and warm read filled with highly likable and relatable characters. The women in each of these novellas are open, honest, and vulnerable, which makes for many heartfelt moments as they venture out into the world of dating. I liked the fact that these women were down-to-earth, and their perspectives were often funny and entertaining. Candid depictions are given of the awkwardness and doubt that come with dating, as well as the joy and exhilaration experienced when falling in love. These stories will resonate with many who want to keep an open heart, although they have been hurt by others or life experiences in the past. I found myself rooting for each of these women to take a chance on love and to trust again. I highly recommend Johnson’s Romancing the Holidays Collection for lovers of romance and the magic of the holidays.