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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?
Boy was this good timing. Bella is home to visit family. Maybe not the way she wanted to come home but home and sleeping in her old bedroom, nonetheless. Her mom wants her to help decorate the store for Christmas. She says they always start the first week in November. Well, here I am, right before November writing a review for this fun book. Maria Imbalzano sure timed this book to appear at the right time. It’s the perfect time of the year.
I think you would enjoy her writing any time of year. I have read two or three of her books and enjoyed every one of them. They are always sweet and the story line is sometimes something many of us can relate to at one time or another. I am not a big fan of the romance genre and her books have that sweetness of people caring about one another. But they are always clean and never are the type of romance writing that actually embarrasses me. Laugh at me if you please, but that’s how I feel.
I had only one problem with this book. It sure seemed like Bella and Dean fell in love too quickly. This is a very short read. 70 pages to be exact. It might be that I just wanted more story and didn’t want this one to end. Nevertheless, if you want a feel good, sweet book this will fill the bill.
Maria Imbalzano has several books published. All have good reviews.
Check them out here: https://amzn.to/3EBM2Mw
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.
About the Author:
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.
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/red-velvet-crinkles-and-christmas-sprinkles-maria-imbalzano/1140147130
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