Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Christmas Keeper - Contemporary Romance Review

Goodreads:  The Christmas Keeper (Happily Ever After #2) by Jen McKinlay

Rating:  Just Okay
Source:  NetGalley

Description:  The second Joaquin Solis saw Savannah Wilson, he knew she was destined to be his wife. Unfortunately, Savannah's sights are set on a happily-ever-after of another kind: skewering the boss who got her fired. Until then, she won't act on the scorching sexual chemistry that is brewing between them, leaving Joaquin scrambling to find a way to capture her heart.
When the opportunity arises to use his ranch to boost Savannah's publicity career, Joaquin doesn't hesitate to invite her into his world at Shadow Pines and woo her with all of his Christmas loving mojo. It's a gamble since the holidays aren't really Savannah's thing and helping her might also mean losing her as she plans to shake the dust off of their quaint town in North Carolina and head back to New York City the first chance she gets.

But Joaquin believes in the magic of Christmas and he knows with a little help from his friends at the Happily Ever After Bookstore, he can convince the woman of his dreams that he's a keeper...

Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:  I love McKinlay's books so  of course I had to pick this one up! 

My Impression:  Going into this book I had really high expectations.  I love McKinlay's cozy mysteries and I absolutely adored the one romance by her that I had read.  But honestly, this one fell a little flat for me.  Right off the bat I had problems getting into this one.   Maybe this was a case of expectations leading me astry.  Usually McKinlay's books just pull me in right from the start but this one just never grabbed me. 

It took me too long to connect with Savannah and honestly I'm not 100% sure I ever did and Joaquin wasn't much better though I did like him a bit better.   Savannah was to prickly and too negative and while Joaquin was much nice he never felt truly fleshed out.  But my biggest problem was the pacing in this book.  It felt like there was far too much showing and not telling and that kept me from really becoming invested in the story.  I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed this more if I had read the first book but it could be more that this just wasn't for me. 

This was still a McKinlay book so it wasn't a complete flop.  The side characters were a lot of fun and I really loved the setting.   This just wasn't for me overall.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Definitely!  While this wasn't a favorite this is definitely an exception.  I have thoroughly enjoyed her other books.

Would I Recommend this Book?   I wouldn't recommend this book but I'd definitely recommend her other books - both her cozy mysteries and her romances.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. When I saw the snowy over, I fell in love, but as you told the story, my thumbs up, slowly started turning down. (lol) This may be a pass for me. Hugs, RO

  2. Sometimes things just don't work out for us as readers, but you don't know until you try. Nice that you'd still try another - perhaps sticking to her cozy mysteries.

  3. This sounds like a perfect holiday read for me!

  4. Oops, hit publish before I was finished. I think I'll try the first book and see how it goes:)