Saturday, November 14, 2015

#Review - If Only in My Dreams by Mariah Stewart @Pocket_Books

If Only in My Dreams by Mariah Stewart
Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books - Pocket Star
Publication Date: November 30, 2015
Date Read: November 7, 2015

New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart’s timeless, charming holiday novella, originally featured in the popular yuletide anthology Upon a Midnight Clear, now available as a standalone at a great price!

A lively family reunion on a Montana ranch brings on a flurry of memories for a beautiful young writer—and a winter storm that rekindles an old flame—in this “warmly magical” (Library Journal) feel-good holiday gem!

This was a nice read.  I picked this novella up because I was looking for a story that I could read in one sitting.  Novellas are sometimes the perfect choice when life gets crazy and I know I am not going to get a lot of reading time.  This is one of the better romance novellas that I have read in a long while.  I did find out that the story is actually not a new one since it was actually written in 1997 and appeared in the anthology Upon a Midnight Clear

This was a rather sweet story.  Quinn is coming home to her parents ranch for Christmas.  She writes and illustrates children's books so she is able to do her work from anywhere.  She is really looking forward to spending the holiday with her family.  Caleb is coming back to Billings for Christmas to stay with his sister in her cabin along with his 5 year old twin sons. Caleb and Quinn were teenage sweethearts who had been deeply in love.  Caleb pursued a career in major league baseball and was married for a time.  Quinn has basically remained single in the years since the pair split up.  When Quinn finds herself stranded in a cabin with Caleb and his sons during a storm, it starts out very uncomfortable.  The pair quickly adjust and wait out the storm.

There were no real surprises in this one.  That's okay....I didn't need to be surprised.  The main issue between the pair was basically a misunderstanding but I can see how each character would have made the assumptions that they did.  I liked both Caleb and Quinn and I really liked them as a couple.  There is just something about a second chance romance that I adore. 

If you are looking for a story with a lot of steamy sex, this probably won't be the right one for you.  The romance is sweet and heartfelt.  The characters are old enough that this romance has a level of maturity that isn't always portrayed in romances. They have both made mistakes in their life and have learned from them.  There was just a hint of magical realism thrown in to keep the story quite interesting.

I would recommend this novella to anyone looking for a nice holiday romance.  Christmas doesn't take over the whole story but it does create a nice backdrop.  I would definitely pick up another book written by Mariah Stewart. 

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books - Pocket Star via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

About the Author

Mariah Stewart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-six novels and three novellas and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal. She is a RITA finalist in romantic suspense and the recipient of the Award of Excellence for contemporary romance, a RIO Award for excellence in women's fiction, and a Reviewers Choice Award from Romantic Times Magazine. A three-time winner of the Golden Leaf Award presented by the New Jersey Romance Writers, Stewart was recently awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award (which placed her in their Hall of Fame along with former recipients Nora Roberts and Mary Jo Putney — very excellent company, indeed!)

After having written seven contemporary romance novels, Stewart found true happiness writing murder and mayhem. She considers herself one lucky son of a gun to have landed the best job in the world: getting paid for making up stories. At home. In sweats and J. Crew flip flops. Could life be sweeter?

Author Links: Website | Facebook


  1. Nice review! I've picked out a few holiday novellas to read next month already. I'll have to see if I can squeeze in a few more.

    1. Thanks, Lekeisha! I am probably a little strange because I don't really try to time reading holiday pieces at Christmas. I am really just as likely to read a Christmas story in the middle of summer as I am to read it in December. I found this story on NetGalley recently so I guess I did pretty good reading it in November.

  2. Great review! This book sounds perfect for a Sunday afternoon! :)


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