Book Review: Home, Hearth And Holidays

28 Nov

51icc0wXDXL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_With holidays approaching in the charming town of Appleton, and Daphne Ballinger’s deadline to “get hitched” drawing closer, Daphne finds herself happily distracted with the unexpected tasks of “motherhood” Young Mabl is enjoying the attention, but the clock is ticking and unless love comes her way, Daphne’s delightful life will start unraveling by spring.



515ITCagVtL._UX250_Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller”. Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at


My Impressions:

The long wait for another Dear Daphne book from Melody Carslon is over! After publisher B&H decided to discontinue its fiction offerings, Carslon decided not to give up on publishing the remaining books in the series. I am so thankful for Whitefire Publishing, because this is a great series. Home, Hearth And Holidays continues big city girl Daphne Ballinger’s quest for a new life and love in small town Appleton. (You can read my reviews of the first 2 books by clicking on the following titles — Lock, Stock And Over A Barrel and Dating, Dining And Desperation.)

Daphne is still faced with the daunting terms of her Aunt Dee’s will — a home she loves and plenty of money, if she marries within a year. The first 6 months went by in a series of romance missteps, so Daphne settles into raising 8 year old Mabel and enjoying her small town life with close friends and family, even if she never meets Mr. Right. Of course, there is no shortage of eligible bachelors, but Daphne wonders if she’ll ever marry.

Home, Hearth And Holidays is not a Christmas book, but rather a book set during the late fall and winter months of November through February. Daphne and Mabel celebrate during this time, but the book is focused on Daphne’s personal growth. She still longs for a romantic relationship, but wants that to develop along a natural timeline, not one imposed on her by the eccentric will. I liked that Daphne is settling in and settling down, resisting the quick fix solutions to the problem of her future. I really like how this series is developing — less slap stick and more real life struggles. There is still plenty to chuckle over though!

Home, Hearth And Holidays is a winner! I cannot wait for book 4.


Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: Home, Hearth And Holidays”

  1. kelly @kellyblackwell at 6:14 pm #

    Great review! I am new to this series, but not to Melody Carlson. I am definitely going to look all three up. Thanks!


    • rbclibrary at 9:03 pm #

      B&H published the first two, then discontinued their fiction line. I’m glad she is publishing the rest of the series. Definitely check them out.


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