- N. N. Light
5 stars for Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles by @MariaImbalzano #romance #holidayromance
Title: Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles
Author: Maria Imbalzano
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Romance
Competitive, work-obsessed Bella Simonetti has just been fired from her high-paying job at a Manhattan law firm. At an all-time low, she returns home and helps her parents at their small-town gift shop, but the business is failing and may not make it past the Christmas holidays.
Successful landscape architect Dean Jackson is like a son to Bella's parents. But he's a persistent annoyance to her—he seems to have forgotten his unforgivable blunder thirteen years earlier.
When Bella transforms her parents' gift shop into a cookie cottage, Dean's generosity and magnetic smile are hard to resist, and those feelings of unrequited adolescent love come rushing back. But can Bella let go of the past and accept Dean for the man he is today?
This is my very first Christmas story and I’m thrilled to add my book to the thousands out there that bring joy and happiness to readers during the holiday.
Bella returns home to find her parents' business in trouble but can she forgive Dean for breaking her heart all those years ago? Humiliated and in desperate need of time to think, Bella Simonetti comes home a few weeks before Christmas. She can't find the words to tell her folks she got fired from the law firm in Manhattan. Coming home feels strange but gets downright uncomfortable when she bumps into her brother's best friend and her high school crush, Dean. Her parents worship Dean and his insight. All Bella can think about is how he broke her heart and spirit with cruel teasing and a last-minute cancelation of a prom date. She can't forgive him for what he did to her and won't believe he's changed. Using her expertise in law, taxes, and marketing, she develops a business plan for her parents' shop. Will they agree to all the changes is another matter? Working closely with Dean brings back the love she used to feel for him. Can they heal the hurt and move forward together as a couple or will she break his heart before he can do it to her once again?
Red Velvet Crinkles is a heartwarming enemies-to-lovers holiday romance I devoured in one sitting. Maria Imbalzano takes a few tropes, whips them until they're frothy, and then adds sugar to make the ending on Christmas sweet. The plot moves at a great pace with a close-knit cast of characters. I loved the small town, Bella's parents, and so much more. We get both Bella's and Dean's POV which filled a lot of holes in the story. Dean teased her in high school to keep his distance. His feelings scared him back then and now he has to make amends. There are some meaningful messages in this story, even though it's short. Sometimes what you've been looking for is right in front of you. The romance was so good and honestly written. I enjoyed the push and pull between Bella and her parents. The dialogue is humorous at times with plenty of snark. Red Velvet Crinkles is a delightful holiday romance and one I highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Maria Imbalzano is a retired matrimonial lawyer who now writes full time. Instead of drafting motions, legal memoranda, and briefs, although fascinating, she now spends her days creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys through her contemporary romance novels.
Her novel, “Unchained Memories,” won the Wisconsin Romance Writers Write Touch Readers’ Award and the ACRA Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence Award. “Sworn to Forget,” the first of the four-book Sworn Sisters Series was a finalist for the illustrious RONE award as well as the Book Buyers Best Award. Her novellas, “The Blueberry Swirl Waltz” and “A Song For Another Day” each came in first in their category in the National Excellence in Story Telling contest.
Visit Maria at http://mariaimbalzano.com
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N