Published 2018 by The Wild Rose Press
About the Book:
With Christmas season in full swing, baker Regina San Valentino is up to her elbows in cake batter and cookie dough. Between running her own business, filling her bursting holiday order book, and managing her crazy Italian family, she's got no time to relax, no room for more custom cake orders, and no desire to find love. A failed marriage and a personal tragedy have convinced her she's better off alone. Then a handsome stranger enters her bakery begging for help. Regina can't find it in her heart to refuse him.
Connor Gilhooly is in a bind. He needs a specialty cake for an upcoming fundraiser and puts himself—and his company's reputation—in Regina's capable hands. What he doesn't plan on is falling for a woman with heartbreak in her eyes or dealing with a wise-guy father and a disapproving family.
Can Regina lay her past to rest and trust the man who's awoken her heart?
Peggy Jaeger's writing style is warm and inviting, like a crackling fire on a chilly winter's day. She writes with heart and humor in a way that keeps the pages turning and makes you wish the book was twice as long.
Christmas and Cannolis revisits my favorite Italian-American family, the San Valentino clan, who Jaeger introduced us to in 2016 with her Valentine novella, 3 Wishes, and thrilled us with the followup Christmas tale, A Kiss Under the Christmas Lights. Now we've got cousin Regina's story - and I'm still in love with this boisterous, meddling, overbearing, wonderful family.
Regina San Valentino owns her own successful bakery, and her entire life is her work and her large extended family. As the busy holiday season approaches, a stranger comes into her shop with a request she can't refuse. It doesn't help matters that he's gorgeous and stirs her body and emotions in a way no one else ever has, not even her ex-husband. But the favor he needs is huge on so many levels - to create an elaborate "centerpiece" cake for a fundraiser for the one charity Reggie wishes she'd never heard of. Pearl's Place caters to children with cancer and their families, and even after six years, just thinking about her daughter's last days under their care brings tears to Reggie's eyes.
Okay, a sad premise for the start of a holiday romance, but this is all about love and family and second chances. Reggie's overprotective Italian family may be constantly all up in each others' business and lives, but they also love unconditionally and completely. Told in first person all from Reggie's point of view as the youngest and only daughter of a large (maybe-they're-mobsters?) clan, we get an insider's look at the machinations of an old-fashioned Italian family from the meals they eat together to the evil eye they cast on the relative coughing up a lung at Sunday mass. All told with tongue-in-cheek sarcasm and mixed with Italian sayings and phrases. Think of it like reading an episode of the Sopranos, without any of the actual violence or killing.
Totally fun, totally irreverent, and full of surprises and even a few tears, this is a book I can see myself reading every year as the holidays approach. Five sparkling stars for this one.
Need a great holiday read to get you into the Christmas spirit? Grab this new story from Peggy Jaeger - you won't be disappointed.
Get your copy on AMAZON and don't forget to leave your own review for the author. I know she reads and appreciates each and every one!