Review: A California Christmas (Brenda Novak)

A California Christmas
Series: Silver Springs, #7
Author: Brenda Novak
Publication Date: October 13, 2020
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Holiday
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Up-and-coming TV anchor Emery Bliss can’t imagine anything more humiliating than the sex tape her ex revenge-posted online. That is, until it causes her to lose her job on top of her self-esteem. Seeking solace—and anonymity—in Silver Springs, Emery isn’t looking to get involved with another man anytime soon. But when she’s thrown back into contact with Dallas Turner, she sees something that his many detractors have missed.

Being home for the holidays and his adoptive mother’s wedding isn’t where mountain climber Dallas feels most comfortable. Thanks to his troubled childhood, he’d rather be on a rock face alone than trying to connect with people. Emery, however, makes him want to overcome his past…somehow.

Both Emery and Dallas had been planning on a quiet, solitary Christmas, but the sparks between them are lighting a fire strong enough to last—possibly forever.


It’s been a long time since I picked up a book by Brenda Novak. I adored her Whiskey Creek series, but had yet to try out this Silver Springs one. I couldn’t resist A California Christmas’ blurb and the fact that it was a holiday novel — those are some of my favorites from Novak.

A California Christmas ended up being a good read for me, but not great. Dallas and Emery’s love story was sweet, but there wasn’t as much depth to them as I wanted. That made it harder to connect to them. I wish I had gotten more of their teenage backstory. I also probably shouldn’t have jumped into this series so far into it. I just didn’t have enough of background information on the many of the characters to make this a completely smooth reading experience for me.

Another thing that was hard for me was that I was expecting a cute holiday romance. This book cover, title, and blurb screams holiday novel, but it wasn’t really a true contemporary holiday romance. It had a big romantic suspense element going on. There were some cute holiday moments peppered in, but I wanted more.

Even though this book wasn’t quite what I was expecting, it was an entertaining read. I have a feeling fans who have read the entire series will enjoy it much more than I did.

11 thoughts on “Review: A California Christmas (Brenda Novak)”

    1. I saw you were reading that on GR. I might just have to read that one. I generally like Lucy Score’s books.

  1. Novak has written a billion books, but I have not read any of them. I have read a few romantic suspense books, but they really aren’t my thing, and I don’t think it’s what I expect from a holiday book.

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