Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Nutcracker Christmas by Laurie Winter

Posted November 29, 2021 by meezcarrie in Christmas, contemporary, fantasy, giveaway, Laurie Winter, romance / 21 Comments

A Nutcracker Christmas, On Tour with Prism Book Tours

GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Sweet) / Magical Realism
PUBLISHER: Champagne Book Group
RELEASE DATE: October 11, 2021
PAGES: 210

Suddenly let go from her news anchor position, Aria Roberts heads north to stay at her late Great-Aunt Clara’s house. She has many good memories there and wishes to give Clara’s Christmas Shoppe, which is located on the first floor of the Victorian mansion, one final holiday season. When Aria arrives, she finds the special gift Clara left for her—an antique nutcracker with a poem hidden under the back lever. Aria reads the poem out loud. At sundown that night, those words magically bring the nutcracker to life.

Kort Zellner awakes inside the familiar surroundings of Clara’s house but learns she has passed away and now her great-niece resides there. The curse placed on him three hundred years ago traps him in the form of a nutcracker but allows him to return every December 1st through midnight on Christmas Day—only between sundown and sunrise.

After some convincing, Aria believes Kort’s strange story. She helps him experience life as he is gifted so few hours alive and in doing so, falls in love. He knows his curse makes it impossible to give her the constant relationship she deserves. His plan to leave her forever on Christmas Day collides with Aria’s desire to build a future together, even if for only twenty-five nights a year.


After all hope is lost, that’s when magic begins.

One of the first things that struck me as I began reading A Nutcracker Christmas by Laurie Winter was the engaging writing voice. It pulled me immediately into the story, into the season, and into the characters of Aria and – a bit later – Kort. When done well, I adore magical realism in any story, but especially in a Christmas setting, and Winter is skilled at setting up the backstory, the timing, and the plausibility of the magical realism elements in the book. Nothing took me out of the story because of awkward flow or disbelief, and I was fully invested in finding out how Aria and Kort’s romance would play out. I mean, romance is tough enough… throw in the fact that he is cursed to be a lifeless figurine during the day and only comes to life at sunset every night … for only 25 nights each December … and you’ve got quite the obstacle to happily ever after.

Another thing I appreciated about this book is that the author didn’t ignore the fact that Kort was a real person (in fictiondom anyway) with memories of his life in 1700s Bavaria (yes, you read that right) and memories of his 25 December nights each year that the poem was read aloud. He had children, he had a career and a hobby that he loved, he had a future to look forward to. Now he feels that he is in a hopeless cycle of an existence where ‘life’ seems just out of reach. The steps that Aria (and her great-aunt before her) took to honor his past and help him have a future were heartwarming and added an extra dimension to his character & to the story itself.

Bottom Line: A Nutcracker Christmas combines three of my fave things in fiction – Christmas, romance, and magical realism. I loved the way the author set up & revealed the story of the curse, and I also loved watching Aria try to figure out how to break it. The sparks between her and Kort were swoony but it was the sweetness of their falling-in-love that touched me the most. Both characters are layered and likable, and so is their story. This would make a fun Hallmark-esque movie, in my opinion. A delightful way to spend a few hours between the pages of a book!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received via Prism Book Tours. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / will forget to breathe on occasion

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Champagne Books

Multi-award winning author Laurie Winter is a true warrior of the heart. Inspired by her dreams, she creates authentic characters who overcome the odds and find true love. She keeps her life balanced with regular yoga practice and running with her dog, Shadow. When not pounding the pavement or the keyboard, she’s likely fueling up on wine, cheese curds, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

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One winner will receive a print copy of A NUTCRACKER CHRISTMAS or ONCE UPON A PRINCE by Laurie Winter, $25 Amazon gift card, and a nutcracker Christmas ornament (US only)

Ends December 8, 2021


This giveaway is hosted by Prism Book Tours, not RimSP
Follow along with the tour by clicking the banner below

What about you? What makes you want to read A Nutcracker Christmas by Laurie Winter?

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21 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): A Nutcracker Christmas by Laurie Winter

  1. Thomas Gibson

    Sort of like one of those resurrection plants that my grandma had stashed in one of her drawers. She would bring it out for a few weeks and then stash it back again until she remembered again. Kind of feel that way with some of my “friends”. They only come around a few times a year to be nosy or to brag about a new relationship or big purchase. If I only had 25 days a year, I would make sure I gouged myself with a bunch of delicious grub and catch up on Netflix shows that I love.

  2. Cathy French

    wow, really makes you think what would be important enough to do with only 25 days. I’m stumped, but I know there would be some great food consumed knowing I wouldn’t get anything really good again until the next year

  3. Eva Millien

    Laurie, congratulations on your release of A Nutcracker Christmas, which sounds like a wonderful holiday story and I am looking forward to enjoying it and I like the cover! Thanks for sharing it with me and good luck with your book and the tour! Thanks Reading Is My Superpower, for sharing your review! Have a magical holiday season!

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