Reindeer Runes by Danielle Garrett

Reindeer Runes by Danielle Garrett

Reindeer Runes is the second in the Winter Witches of Holiday Haven series, but it stands alone. It's written by a different author and features different characters, but takes place in the same world. Rudolph and Jack Frost are missing! In this fun Christmas cozy mystery Lumi and Corbin, Jack Frost’s brother, must find the missing icons before Santa finds out Rudolph is missing and before Jack misses his coronation as the Frost king. Lumi and Corbin are likable and their interactions feel real. Corbin is powerful but funny and a good detecting partner for Lumi, who is smart and quiet, and laid back. Their blossoming attraction didn't feel forced or overly rushed. The mystery was well-done. We had several possibilities and the "deadline" added some urgency. The supporting cast is a colorful collection, including pixies. With mystery, magic, and a bit of romance this book is a perfect read for this time of year. ...
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Sleigh Spells by Bella Falls

Sleigh Spells by Bella Falls

Mystery, magic, and romance at Christmas - Sleigh Spells is such a fun, sugary book. Aurora has a bit of a history, but serving probation in Holiday Haven has given her a fresh start. I love Holiday Haven. It's one of the towns near the North Pole and it is all about Christmas, even more so when the holiday is just days away. Then Santa's sleigh goes missing and none other than Mrs. Claus asks Aurora to investigate. Aurora is a witch, but wary of her magic — ice and especially fire can cause plenty of damage. She makes several new friends, most of whom are a little magical. My personal favorite is Nutty, her roommate who is a talking squirrel and also on probation, for stealing nuts of course. She also has a potential love interest. It's nice to see Aurora have a group of people she can rely on for help, it's something she hasn't had before in...
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The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

I have a soft spot for seasonal romances, and what is more perfect for October than The Ex Hex. We have two witches, Rhys and Vivi who had a summer romance that ended with Vivi having her heart broken. Rhys is back in town, nine years later, and the sparks are still there. But Rhys is having all kinds of bad luck and his magic is on the fritz - turns out Vivi and her sister's curse wasn't harmless. This was just so much fun. Rhys and Vivi make a fabulous couple. He's a good guy who seems to take everything in stride. Vivi is smart and more powerful than she knows. Their dialogue strikes just the right notes, angry and teasing and flirty. Of course, they spend a lot of time enjoying each other's company when the town might be in serious danger, but you'll have that in a romance. There's plenty of tension and suspense though. The Ex Hex is...
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Red Tide at Heron Bay by Gerri Hill

Red Tide at Heron Bay by Gerri Hill

The romance and mystery in Red Tide at Heron Bay are evenly balanced. Harley Shepherd comes to Heron Bay Resort to investigate a case of vandalism. Lauren Voss is the manager of the resort, which is owned by her grandmother. Even though both women have been living in the town for a while, this is their first meeting. Harley is friendly and casual, but Lauren immediately finds her annoying. Of course, they both have pasts. Lauren had a bad breakup; Harley has come to the small town after an incident when she was a homicide detective in San Antonio. The mystery was interesting. Of course, the vandalism is just the tip of the iceberg. First a dead bird, then a dead body is found. There's a killer at Heron Bay and Harley will need Lauren's cooperation to find them. The clues were tucked in well and Harley was a competent investigator. Once Lauren realizes the danger, she is reasonable...
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A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones

A Good Day for Chardonnay by Darynda Jones

First off, A Good Day for Chardonnay is the second in the series, and it really is better to read #1 first. It will give you a much fuller picture of our main characters and their backstories. I really enjoyed A Good Day for Chardonnay. Sunshine is a fabulous character, sarcastic, funny, loyal. She is surrounded by quirky but incredibly helpful and supportive friends, some of who are on her staff, and parents who are caring but have a bad habit of meddling in her life. She's got a smart 16-year old daughter, who has a boyfriend that is way cooler and competent than any kid I knew at that age. There's a lot going on in the book. Sunshine Vicram is still looking into a case from her past. Auri, her daughter, thinks she's on the trail of a serial killer who was active in the 50s and 60s. And then there's a stabbing in town that leads to a...
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Scandal at the Salty Dog by Josh Lanyon

Scandal at the Salty Dog by Josh Lanyon

I'm thoroughly enjoying this series. It's light and fun with just enough tension thrown in. Of course, it does have everything a cozy should have - an amateur detective, a bookstore, a dog, a quaint town, quirky secondary characters, and a sexy love interest. And of course, Ellery finds himself in danger on a semi-regular basis. This is a series best read in order. While the mystery is confined to this book, you'll understand the characters' backgrounds and relationships better if you start from the beginning. This time around Ellery finds himself in the middle of two mysteries. First, someone's breaking into the Salty Dog pub and stealing food. Second, Mrs. Blackwell is being haunted, well, maybe not haunted - Ellery doesn't believe in ghosts, but someone uninvited has definitely been in her house. Of course, the two are connected, but it takes a bit to figure out how. Ellery and Jack are finally kinda dating in this one, which is nice....
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