YOU MAKE IT FEEL LIKE CHRISTMAS by Toni Shiloh
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2023
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?
Y’all know how much I love Christmas books. And books by Toni Shiloh. Combining the two leaves me giddy with bookish joy!
You Make It Feel Like Christmas is a delightful blend of sweet romance, gentle-but-solid faith, close-knit family, and holiday fun. We start out on Thanksgiving and follow Starr and Waylon through the Christmas season in DC, a city that’s bustling with things to do and see – and shop – for the holidays. I loved experiencing a taste of it through the Lewis family’s eyes; it was the perfect setting to get me in a festive mood! I somehow missed reading this story in its previous life as a novella (I’ll Be Home) released independently by the author, but I’ve read other books in the Lewis family world so I already had an affinity for this group of siblings that make me smile big whenever they share page space. I laughed out loud at brothers Gabe and Noel’s antics on Christmas morning, as well as the way the whole group and their mom hijack a certain special occasion. Lots of fun banter between the siblings, but also some tender moments where they show just how deeply they love each other.
Starr and Waylon are an adorably sweet couple whose chemistry is obvious from the beginning. I loved the moments when Starr’s sassy side showed up, and I equally loved how they fit easily into each other’s worlds and supported one another’s dreams. The fact that they essentially grew up together lets their romance progress fairly quickly in a way that still feels reasonable, while still allowing room for them to get to know each other as adults. Ohhhh and the epilogue gave me all the feels! I was rooting for this couple from the first chapter and did a little internal happy dance at their found contentment.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a book to get you in the Christmas spirit, then you must read You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Toni Shiloh. It’s full of all the things that fill you with festive thoughts – family togetherness, a tree lighting, a Christmas store, love, laughter, faith … and of course sweet romance! In fact, I’d love to see this made into a Christmas movie one day! It’s not without some drama, though, and there’s one character in particular that needs a good purse whomping – but, not to worry, it’s just enough conflict to keep things interesting and add a bit more depth to the story. Shiloh’s writing voice is engaging and warm, her faith threads are deep without being preachy, and her fun characters settle easily into your heart. A definite must-read for your holiday reading season – or any time of year!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
Toni Shiloh (www.tonishiloh.com) is a wife, a mom, and an award-winning Christian contemporary romance author. Her novel In Search of a Prince won the first ever Christy Amplify Award. It has also been praised by Oprah Daily, POPSUGAR, Library Journal, and Booklist, and is a Parable bestseller. Her books have been finalists for the HOLT Medallion and the Selah Award. As a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Toni loves connecting with readers and authors alike via social media.
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Bethany House is offering a print copy of You Make It Feel Like Christmas by Toni Shiloh to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
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