Secret Santo by Carla Caruso

In brief: A cute Christmas novella involving a blogger, a party and some sexy authors.

The good: Fun, cute and sexy!

The not-so-good: I want more!

Why I chose it: Thanks to Destiny Romance for the eARC.

Year: 2014

Pages: 54 (eARC)

Publisher: Destiny Romance

Setting: Melbourne, Australia

My rating: 9 out of 10

Ordinarily, I’m not one for Christmas stories, but when I read the blurb of Carla Caruso’s Secret Santo, I loved the concept! A story involving a romance blogger, a mysterious author, and a happily ever after? Count me in. The one thing I didn’t realise was this is a novella, but in the end this was a good thing because it meant I didn’t stay up all night reading.

The heroine of Secret Santo is Holly, a quiet girl who works in a bookshop and has a deep love of Christmas, despite not having happy family memories of it. Holly has a secret though – by night, she’s Sultry Scarlet, a predominantly romance book blogger. It’s here where Holly comes alive with her reviews and witty discussion of books. When we first meet Holly though, she’s a disgruntled blogger. Why? Because a romance book by a new author has really got her gander. She’s normally a nice blogger, but this book is so disgusting it must be by a man! But enough about that. Sultry Scarlet has a ticket to the hottest Christmas party in town! It’s there she hopes to meet her hero, AJ Ruffo, who writes mysterious thrillers she can’t put down. But instead, she meets nice guy Santo and then the fun starts…

The story is bubbly and witty, Carla Caruso’s trademark – you can always rely on her for a fun read. Although it’s a short read, I didn’t feel that there were huge leaps of faith or things skipped over. The only thing I wanted was more! There’s some cute slapstick, involving chocolate and ice sculptures, coupled with heart-warming moments at the end. The writing sparkled and it’s a great holiday read, even for the Christmas grinches among us! The only thing that some may find a bit over the top is that nearly all the characters have Christmas themed names. I found it easy to get over that, as nobody had cringe worthy names!

I found I connected with Holly instantly, perhaps because anyone who has ever read a book so awful knows the need to tear it to shreds (blogger or not). The only thing I have to ask Holly is – why did you finish reading it? Apart from that, she’s easy to relate to: scared of going into parties where she knows nobody alone (tick), works in a bookshop (lucky girl) and has some cringe worthy moments (been there). Santo’s also hot, but not quite as deeply drawn until near the end – I was crossing and uncrossing my fingers hoping that he wasn’t the awful romance writer!

This is definitely a feel-good read, great for the holiday season. Take some time off from wrapping presents and enjoy.

 

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