Paradise for Christmas
Author: Carolyn Brown
Reviewer: Sophia Rose
What I’m Talking About:
Coming home for the holidays, for her career, and a surprise chance at love with an old high school crush for the oldest Simmons sister, paired with a new chance at love if the youngest Simmons sister can sort out the priority of love interest and family loyalty, made for a warmhearted first-in-series from long-time favorite author, Carolyn Brown.
Paradise for Christmas is the first in a new series featuring seven sisters who scattered to the winds in their adulthood and are trickling home to find their chance at love and happiness. However, some readers who read the older story, Trouble in Paradise, will be dancing up and down to see that this book is a follow up to see what came of those seven young girls who did some matchmaking to get themselves a daddy for Christmas long ago when the family first moved into the old brothel, Paradise.
Not one romance, but actually two take place since both Ursula and Luna share the narration and split the focus of the book. In truth, there is a third romance if one counts the historical couple that Ursula is writing about. So yes, Ursula is a chip off the block and a writer like her mama, and she’s come back home to live where she hopes to get past her writer’s block and bust out a solid historical romance.
Ursula comes home for Thanksgiving which is a big family tradition that she and her sisters have never missed since that first Thanksgiving when their mom fell in love with Joe Clay. Coincidentally, she shares more than a penchant for writing with her mom because she has come home to find her handsome high school crush on hand. Remy was shy, awkward, and super smart, and she thought he was too smart for the likes of her, but now he’s the boy next door grown up to be a handsome and worthy college history teacher and small spread rancher who has had a thing for Ursula for years and is doing something about it this time around.
Meanwhile, Ursula’s youngest twin sisters are in turmoil. Endora is hurting from her fiancé and best friend cheating on her and then getting married. Endora is sulking and doesn’t want to see her sisters anywhere near men. Luna has always stuck close to her twin sister so she’s keeping her desire to leave teaching and a new romance with a handsome, local guy just back from the military who wants to open a country store and bait shop on his property along the Red River with Luna as his partner in the shop and love. Shane’s getting tired of being her dirty secret from her sister and deserves to be openly part of her family because, like Remy, he’s an only child and alone for the holidays.
Paradise for Christmas is chock full of family holiday togetherness from Thanksgiving to Christmas. It catches up readers on what Mary Jane and Joe Clay and the seven sisters have been up to for the last twenty years, introduces new character sassy Aunt Bernie, and is a good series starter for following each of the sisters now. It looks like there will be three books that will tackle two to three sisters being spotlighted in each.
There is not much in the way of conflict, just people who need to figure out what they really want and get past their vulnerabilities about lasting relationships. There are some jealousy-induced misunderstanding moments and a really funny Christmas party mishap, but for the most part, its gently-paced slice of life stuff for Ursula, Luna, and their family and friends at the Paradise. Those who like it cozy, warm, and full-of-family with their romance should slip this one onto their reading pile.
My Rating: B+
About the Book:
The oldest of seven sisters, Ursula Simmons has followed in her mother’s footsteps as a novelist. With a bad case of writer’s block, she brings her notebooks and computer home to the old brothel called Paradise where they all grew up, in the hope that being home for the holidays will inspire her—and since it’s Christmas, all her sisters will be there too. The sisters take the holidays very seriously, and as soon as they’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, it’s on to decorating for Christmas. As all pitch in to make the spirits bright, younger sister Endora is dismayed to find some of the handsome men who’ve come to help doing more flirting than anything else. She’s determined to show her sisters that no relationship is worth the heartbreak. But it might be Ursula who reminds the family that Christmas is a magical time, and finding new love is always a gift.
Release Date: October 10, 2023
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Series: Sisters in Paradise #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western
Format(s): paperback (368 pages), e-book
Book Source: Netgalley
Amazon (affiliate link)