Author: Toni Shiloh
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 5, 2023
Publisher: Bethany House
It's the most wonderful time of the year--for everyone except Starr Lewis.
As if going home for the holidays jobless and single wasn't bad enough, she's dragged into a holiday season full of activities leading up to her sister's uber-romantic Christmas Eve wedding--to Starr's ex-boyfriend. But when her brother's best friend, Waylon Emmerson, attends their family Thanksgiving, she starts to wonder if maybe coming home for Christmas isn't so bad after all.
As Starr finds the perfect distraction in helping Waylon make over his late mother's Christmas shop, the most wonderful time of the year works its magic and the spark between them grows. But with the holidays fast approaching, Starr must decide what she wants out of life after the gifts are unwrapped and the ornaments are put away--to go back to New York City or to open her heart to a love that will last beyond Christmas Day?
Reviewer: Erin Stevenson
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, right? Not for Starr Lewis, who returns home for the Christmas Eve wedding of her sister, Angel, and Starr’s ex-boyfriend. If that wasn’t enough, she’s harboring a secret from her family and praying for God to show her His will for her future. Add to that an unexpected attraction to her brother’s longtime friend, Waylon Emmerson, and you’ve got a recipe for a can’t-put-it-down experience.
Toni Shiloh has a proven track record of writing stories with authentic, relatable characters and well-constructed plots, and this was no exception. Starr was easy to sympathize with from the beginning, and Waylon’s gentle spirit and deep spirituality drew me to him as well. I particularly enjoyed that equal focus was given to Starr’s crisis, Waylon’s current career/family dilemma, and their love story.
Nothing ramps up a Christmas story like a wedding. The situation involving Starr and Angel—seemingly impossible to settle—provided another source of tension that was resolved in a most unexpected way. I am not giving any spoilers here, but it was highly satisfying.
When I settled in to read this Christmas book, it was late August and over a hundred degrees. Within moments, I was transported to all the sights, sounds, smells, and feels of the holiday season. Five sparkly Christmas stars for this one!
I was provided a copy of this novel from Bethany House through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review, and all views and opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Demetria Head
You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Toni Shiloh is a heartwarming and enchanting holiday romance that will fill your heart with joy and leave you with a warm, festive glow. This delightful novel captures the essence of the holiday season while weaving a tale of love, second chances, and family.
At the center of the story is Starr Lewis, a relatable and endearing character who returns home for the holidays, facing the double whammy of unemployment and a recent breakup. Toni Shiloh masterfully portrays Starr's initial reluctance to embrace the festivities surrounding her sister's Christmas Eve wedding to her ex-boyfriend. Readers will empathize with her predicament and root for her to find the happiness she deserves.
The introduction of Waylon Emmerson, her brother's best friend, adds depth and charm to the narrative. The slow-burning romance between Starr and Waylon is beautifully depicted, with each interaction between them brimming with chemistry and authenticity. As they work together to makeover Waylon's late mother's Christmas shop, the magic of the holiday season plays a pivotal role in drawing them closer.
One of the novel's standout features is its ability to capture the spirit of the holiday season. Toni Shiloh skillfully creates a festive atmosphere filled with heartwarming traditions, snowy landscapes, and the magic of Christmas lights. Readers will find themselves transported to a world where love and hope flourish during this special time of year.
The pacing of the story is well-balanced, with the holiday festivities serving as a backdrop to the evolving romance between Starr and Waylon. The author maintains a sense of anticipation and warmth throughout the narrative, making it a perfect read for the holiday season.
You Make It Feel Like Christmas also explores themes of self-discovery and the importance of following one's heart. As Starr navigates her choices for the future, readers will appreciate the message of embracing the possibilities that come with love and change.
Toni Shiloh's writing is both engaging and evocative, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the story's festive and heartwarming atmosphere. Her prose is filled with heart and holiday magic, making this novel a perfect addition to your Christmas reading list.
Overall, You Make It Feel Like Christmas is a stellar holiday romance that combines the enchantment of the season with a heartfelt love story. Toni Shiloh's storytelling prowess, relatable characters, and festive setting make this novel a must-read for anyone seeking a heartwarming and uplifting Christmas tale. In this delightful and memorable book, prepare to be swept away by the magic of love and the joy of the holidays.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Nora St. Laurent
I liked how the author invited readers to join in the celebration and holiday fun. Starr is trying to stay away from the family gathering. But she’s not doing a good job of it. Oh, she loves her family, but since she suddenly lost her job and her apartment, her life has been completely flipped upside down.
Starr was worried as she wondered how to inform her parents of her predicament. Then there was the wedding drama with her sister. Starr is still having a hard time letting go of the idea that her sister would marry her ex-boyfriend. She had to push through and get past this.
Starr finally receives an incredible gift her life is not ready for. Her brother's close buddy, Waylon Emmerson, has been invited to their house to celebrate Christmas because this is his first Christmas without family.
I loved seeing Waylon and Starr’s relationship develop. I enjoyed this charming Christmas story brimming with joy, a hint of faith, lots of love, humor, and a splash of romance. You might want to include this on your TBR stack for holiday reading.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I requested and received a copy of this book from Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Reviewer: Monica Huyser
Isn't the cover of You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Toni Shiloh a gorgeous cover? I was drawn to the cover, and I also am drawn because I enjoy books by this author. This sweet novella did not disappoint me. I enjoyed this "feel-good" read.
Starr Lewis is back home for the holidays—Thanksgiving and Christmas. She isn't very excited about it, though. Her sister is getting married to her former boyfriend. Starr has just been laid off from her job in New York City and is unsure what to do next. Life is up in the air for her.
Waylon is struggling to feel the holiday spirit since his mom passed away and his sister is overseas with her military husband and children. Waylon's good friend is Starr's brother, so he invites Waylon to join in the Lewis holiday celebrations. What he doesn't count on is seeing Starr all grown up. Starr and Waylon hit it off, but is it just a holiday fling? Or do they have something longer-lasting?
I enjoyed You Make It Feel Like Christmas. The characters felt real. The conversations felt real. There were a couple characters in the Lewis family that were difficult to like, but otherwise, I enjoyed most of the characters in the book. I liked how Shiloh incorporates her characters' faith into the story. Both Waylon and Starr had a strong Christian faith. It is most definitely a Christian story. While Waylon and Starr aren't perfect, they are constantly seeking direction from God. It is nice to see that model in a book—even a short novella. There was some fun romance and humor between Waylon and Starr that I enjoyed. You Make It Feel Like Christmas did not feel rushed to me, like some novellas do, and I liked the ending a lot.
I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Elizabeth Rucker
I loved this book! It puts you in the Christmas spirit and makes you want to cozy up in your blanket and watch the snow fall.
I am not a fan of Hallmark movies, but Toni Shiloh really made me open to the idea of reading them! I loved the characters. I love the way the couple banter and their chemistry. The development of the couple could have moved a little slower and closer. By the time I got to the end, I felt as though I didn’t know enough about them.
The book was short, and that devastated me because I wanted more of the characters and the supporting characters. I wanted to know more. I think that’s why it is such a good book—it has me wanting more! This book had me impressed with the extent to which the characters depended on God. I appreciated the praying and the way the relationship with God was just as important as the relationship in the book. It gave a good example of what a couple should do as far as dating! Very impressive.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves cheesy Christmas romance because this book is the bread and butter! If you are possibly in a reading slump, this could help you get out of it because it’s a shorter read and it has all the good feelings! This book had me wanting to say goodbye to summer and hello to peppermint cappuccino and warm blankets. I really loved it! It made me happy!
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House. I was not obligated to write a positive review.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"Praying is easy, but I've always found listening to be the hard part."
What a fantastic Christmas book! I love how Toni Shiloh works a little magic (whether it be with royalty, celebrities, or a Christmas store, in this case) into all of her books, kneads them well with lovable characters and a fun plot, and seasons them liberally with down-to-earth faith lessons. And this newest offering, which is actually a revamp of her previously released I'll Be Home, does not disappoint.
Starr and Waylon's banter is super fun, and their relationship is cozy yet exciting and deliciously swoony. Starr is quite lovable as the baby of five siblings, but she does have troubles and issues she must work through. Her path to forgiveness and sisterly love is a difficult one, but so rewarding.
I loved Waylon's corny sense of humor, his devoted care of his mom's treasured store, and his gentle tenderness for Starr. The older brother's best friend trope fits perfectly into this Christmas-themed story, and it was a fast, easy, and fun read. The five Lewis siblings and their crazy antics reminded me of my four children when they're all home, so this book struck an extra special chord with me. Whether you read Christmas-themed books all year or like saving them for the season, you will totally enjoy this book and fall in love with Starr and Waylon.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House Publishing via Interviews & Reviews and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.
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