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In "Mistletoe and Mr. Right," Jessica (not Jessie) takes a flying leap and follows her boyfriend home for the holidays for Christmas break, sure that Ireland will provide the perfect backdrop to the beginning of their happily ever after. But it turns out his family--and his gorgeous ex-girlfriend--don't feel the same way, and the only person making the trip worthwhile is the local farmhand, who has a way of showing up when Jessica needs him most . . . and least.

The holiday hijinks continue in "Sleigh Bells and Second Chances," when Jessica's best friend makes her own way across the pond! Christina Lake does not want to be away at Christmas, but it's her duty to babysit one of London's hottest bands at their last-minute concert on Christmas Eve . . . even though she had a fling with Cary, the band's lead singer, that never officially ended. Now forced to reconnect, Christina is starting to think that maybe London is exactly where she's supposed to be to get the perfect New Year's kiss--at least until she finds out that he's been lying the whole time. Can Cary find a way to prove himself before the clock strikes twelve? Or will the New Year ring in a new romance?

Lyla Payne wraps up two perfect holiday novellas, ties them with a ribbon of romance, and tops them with a light dusting of snow. Perfect to curl up with under the tree. Just add hot cocoa!

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    Two Amazing Christmas Tales

    Two Amazing Christmas Tales I couldn't get enough of this story of Christmas in Ireland for Jessica MacFarlane. Surprising her boyfriend , Brennan Donnelly, and his family for Christmas seems like a great idea until she finds herself desperately trying to impress his family and digging her way out of the ensuing mishaps. From run-ins with the family goat to recipe disasters, I was rooting for Jessica to catch a break. Just when she thinks things can't get any worse, in walks Brennan's ex-girlfriend, Katie. Ouch. Family friend and farmhand, Grady Callaghan, continually pops up to bail Jessica out of scrapes or offer support when Brennan slips in his boyfriend duties. He has a knack for getting under Jessica's skin, yet his help has always come at the perfect time. Chemistry sizzles between them confusing Jessica and attempting to derail her perfectly laid out plan. Jessica watches the Donnelly family withe a mixture of awe and envy as they represent all that she longs for. Of them alI, I love Grandpa Donnelly so much. His ornery spunk and sharp tongue make conversations with him interesting. My favorite Grandpa moment sums up this wonderful story really well, “Sometimes roads in life don’t lead the place you think when you set out. Don’t be too daft to realize when you’ve gotten to where you belong, anyway.” This story is a must read, and it's impossible not to fall in love with Ireland reading the vivid descriptions of tradition, culture, and beautiful countryside. I have always hoped to visit Ireland someday, and this story served to stoke that flame yet again! Sleighbells and Second Chances features Christina Lane, Jessica's roommate, and Cary White a British rockstar and Christina's summer romance from four years ago. Despite the lingering heartache, they are forced to confront the unresolved feelings from their abrupt separation. Christina's job as an publicist intern sends her to Britain during the holidays, and not only is she brought face to face with Cary, but she has to decide if she wants to reconcile with her estranged father. Christina's struggle between wanting to trust vs. keeping the walls she's built firmly intact truly resonated. Her unresolved sense of abandonment makes her question her judgement and creates an internal tug of war. No matter how many times she tells herself she's moved on, that piece of her heart belongs firmly to Cary White, and it's evident in their magnetism. No matter how much passion exists between them, she knows Cary is hiding something from her. I truly loved this story, and I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite between the two. The emotions felt close to the surface, and Lyla knows how to take the ordinary (romance) and turn it into the extraordinary. This story flew by, and it certainly put me in the mood for the upcoming holidays. You're missing out if you haven't read BOTH of these fantastic Christmas tales!


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