A Magical New York Christmas by Anita Hughes (2021)
Sabrina is staying at the Plaza Hotel, ghostwriting the memoir of famous art dealer Grayson Westcott, when she meets Ian. Through some misunderstandings, Sabrina thinks Ian is British aristocracy and he thinks she is a wealthy businesswoman. There's a spark between them, but will they feel the same way when they find out the truth about each other? The Plaza Hotel/NYC setting is so perfect for a Christmas romance, and I really felt all the holiday vibes coming through. The romance was sweet, although maybe a little too chaste and old-fashioned for my liking, particularly for a contemporary novel. I was pleasantly surprised by a second timeline depicting Grayson's time as a butler at the Plaza more than 50 years ago, when he served Kay Thompson, author of the Eloise books set at the hotel. And I loved the way the two timelines ended up coming together! 4 stars
A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday (2020)
Leo, a guy from NYC taking care of his little sister, finds himself acting as chauffeur to a real-life princess during her stay in the city. The two grow close and Princess Marie invites Leo and his sister to her country to celebrate Christmas. Although there are feelings between Marie and Leo, their different backgrounds may make it impossible for them to be together. I really liked this holiday romance, and the royalty angle is something I can never resist! I loved the relationship between Leo and his sister Gabby - I could really tell how much they love each other and how hard he's trying to give her a normal life. I was rooting for Marie in her desire to do some good in the world and break away from her father's demands. Although Marie seemed a little stiff at times, the growing feelings between Marie and Leo were sweet and then, surprisingly, pretty steamy! I definitely wasn't expecting such a spicy romance, but I enjoyed it! A little predictable in the end, but overall, a lovely romance with all the trappings of a Hallmark Christmas movie! 4 stars
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