Monday, December 2, 2019

Literary Christmas: Clara's Soldier and One Enchanted Eve (Christmas Novellas)


A Literary Christmas: Reading Challenge // inthebookcase.blogspot.com

Yay for the start of December! Last night I finished reading Clara's Soldier, and even though this novella and One Enchanted Eve weren't on my original list for the Literary Christmas challenge (hosted by In the Bookcase), I thought I'd still share some quick thoughts. :) 

I picked up these Kindle ebooks while they were free on Amazon recently, and I enjoyed both! It was fun to try out some additional Christmas reading material, and these are well-written stories.

Clara's Soldier by Brittany Fichter
(currently $2.99 for Kindle)

Learn more about the book on the author's website. 

My knowledge of The Nutcracker is rather limited, but even the little elements I'm familiar with made this a neat retelling. Clara's Soldier is a bittersweet post-war story, a historical that takes an interesting turn late at night on Christmas Eve. When I started the story, I found the writing style engaging and the main characters endearing. But then when the story took that interesting turn, I found the plot rather strange and confusing, making me wonder if I wanted to "soldier on." I did, and I'm glad. :) While those mid-story scenes can be somewhat hard to follow, the novella as a whole is thoughtful and sweet, focused on commitment and compassion and hope. A clever, different, and romantic little read for the holiday season.

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One Enchanted Eve by Melissa Tagg
(currently $1.99 for Kindle)

Learn more about the book on the author's website.

It's been a while since I read the first novella in this collection, but this second installment is a lot of fun while featuring the author's trademark small-town atmosphere as the main setting. Being a big fan of Food Network and what I've seen of The Great British Baking Show (earlier seasons), I enjoyed the baking angle to this story! While I wasn't completely wowed by what Rylan produces in the kitchen, I was charmed by her growth and how she opens up. There's some seriousness in the midst of the bantering between her and Colin, some big decisions and revelations for both of them to make. The turn-arounds and progress seem to happen in a rather short amount of time, but such is the satisfying nature of a novella. :) I especially liked how the story celebrates family, and I found this to be a happy-but-not-without-difficulties Christmas-season read!

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