Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! This time around a Christmas romance left over from 2022 that I loved and a contemporary romance that had a great premise but was too steamy for me.

Title: Holiday Romance
Author: Catherine Walsh

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: October 4th 2022
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: December 31st 2022
Pages: 354

“When most people decide to change their lives, they usually know what they want to change them to.”


I decided to read one last Christmas read before the end of 2022… And I literally finished it on the final day of the year. I really liked the sound of Holiday Romance with the travel element and the two friends with the holiday tradition, and this Christmas romance ended up being the perfect story to close the Holiday period with. The romance itself is slowburn, although there is some steam towards the ending I could have done without. I LOVED the travel element though, which was the star of the show for me. Not only the situation they were in, but how they were able to overcome obstacles and kept trying to get home for Christmas… The flashbacks to their past Christmas flights gave more insight in their growing connection, and I liked what they added to the plot. Holiday Romance isn’t just about travel though, because the last part is set in Ireland and focuses on the families of both characters as well as what happened next. There was a tad too much drama to my taste, but I did love the overall feel-good vibe of this story and it’s such a perfect Christmas romance for anyone who is looking for an uplifting and entertaining read. Make sure to add it to your next Christmas TBR if you haven’t read it already! You will have a wonderful time following Molly and Andrew.

Title: Built To Last
Author: Erin Hahn

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: October 18th 2022
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Finished reading: January 4th 2023
Pages: 336

“I’m not saying you need a man to stand up for you. I’m just saying it’s nice to have someone to lean on when things get tough.”


There has been a lot of hype around this title lately, which I confess normally scares me away… But I loved the sound of the premise with the second chance romance and reality TV home renovation show, so in the end I couldn’t resist reading Built To Last myself. And I have to say that now that now that I’ve read it, I’m so torn about how to feel about this story! On one hand, I absolutely loved the plot itself with the reality TV focus with lots of home renovation details and furniture/wood restoring going on. There is also something about the writing style that is really engaging, and it makes it really easy to keep turning those pages. I was also a fan of most of the cast, and the chemistry between Shelby and Cameron is on fire. Their friends made for such great characters as well, and I enjoyed the banter (although I would have loved to see even more of it). What went wrong for me then? Surprisingly, my main issue doesn’t have to do with the love triangle vibe and cheating element… While a pet peeve of mine, I could still tolerate it while enjoying the rest of the story. What I couldn’t look past myself is another pet peeve: the sexy scenes. Let’s just say that the smut was WAY WAY too much for me to handle, and it’s the main reason this story didn’t work as well for me. There were both too many scenes that were also way too steamy for me; I know this is a personal reaction and most romance readers won’t be bothered by it (or even prefer it this way), but I personally would have loved this story so much more if it would have been more on the sweet side.

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