An Ali Review: Merry & Bright by Joanna Chambers

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Three seasonal love stories from Joanna Chambers


Quin Flint is unimpressed when his gorgeous colleague, Rob Paget, asks for extra time off at Christmas. As far as Quin is concerned, Christmas is a giant waste of time. Quin’s on the fast track to partnership, and the season of goodwill is just getting in the way of his next big project. But when Quin’s boss, Marley, confiscates his phone and makes him take an unscheduled day off, Quin finds himself being forced to confront his regrets, past and present, and think about the sort of future he really wants…and who he wants it with.
Mr Perfect’s Christmas

Sam Warren’s new job hasn’t been going so well so the last thing he’s in the mood for is the obligatory office Christmas party, particularly since Nick Foster’s going to be there. Nick–the guy whose shoes Sam has been trying to fill–seems to take very opportunity to point out where Sam’s going wrong. But when Sam receives an unexpected Secret Santa gift at the party, he’s forced to question his assumptions about his rival. Could it be that he’s been misinterpreting Nick’s actions all along? And is it possible that his reluctant attraction to Nick is reciprocated?

Rest and Be Thankful 

Things haven’t been going well for Cam McMorrow since he moved to Inverbechie. His business is failing, his cottage is falling apart and following his very public argument with café owner Rob Armstrong, he’s become a social outcast. Cam needs to get away from his troubles and when his sister buys him a ticket to the biggest Hogmanay party in Glasgow, he can’t leave Inverbechie quick enough. But when events conspire to strand him in the middle of nowhere in a snowstorm, not only is he liable to miss the party, he’ll also have to ask his nemesis, Rob, for help.
I really enjoyed this trio of holiday stories.  They were all very different and all of the characters were unique and they stood out from each other.  
Humbug is a modern take on the Scrooge story but uses modern elements rather than magic.  I thought the author did this very creatively.  The author may have made Quin a little too Ebenezer Scrooge for me liking through because I really struggled to like Quin.  I realize I wasn’t supposed to like him at the beginning but I had a hard time accepting that he had changed.  I enjoyed Rob though and the while this was my least favorite of the three stories in this book, I did still enjoy it.
Mr. Perfect was a sweet story about starting over and trying to be thankful for what you have in your life.  I felt bad for Sam and I think we’ve all had at least one time in our lives where weren’t in the holiday spirit and had to be brought in to it kicking and screaming.  I didn’t actually blame Sam for not wanting to go to that work party.  His co-workers were the worst and as someone who isn’t a fan of work parties anyways I cringed in a couple of places and silently encouraged Sam to make a run for it.  It all works out for him in the end and he and Sam were lovely together.
Rest and Be Thankful was a bit more serious of a story.  Things are going really poorly for Cam and he’s lonely and isolated in the small town he’s moved to.  His new business isn’t taking off and he’s financially struggling.  In addition, the rest of the small town treats him as an outsider and Cam is particularly worried about Rob after they get off to an especially poor start.  Through the course of the story both men realize neither are the person they thought they were and they begin to open up to each other.  This was a quite, almost melancholy story, but it ended up being my favorite in the book.  
As usual this author provides well written and entertaining stories.  Since there are three stories that are all unique I think this book will have something for everyone’s taste and I highly recommend this book if you’re in the mood for Christmas stories.
Cover art by Natasha Snow:  I think this is a great cover and it fits the stories well.  

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | KOBO | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 203 pages
Published November 23rd 2017 by Joanna Chambers Books

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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