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?
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Average rating from 22 members
I've received a ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. What better way to set the holiday mood than reading this sizzling Christmas romance that could put anyone in a festive mood? Regina is the owner and baker of Angie's who tries to overcomes personal hardships: love, a devastating lost, and a overbearing old school Italian family. When Conner enters her bakery asking Regina to bake him a last minute cake for a charity event that sits close to her with the both of them, a whirlwind romance ensures. The engaging characters, the scorching chemistry between Regina and Conner and the wild antics of her family were heartwarming that I seriously couldn't put this novel down. A definite must read!
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Christmas and Cannolis is a short book filled with such love. I felt so much emotion from Regina’s big Italian family. The way they stuck their nose in her life, but the reader feels all the love and protection as their motivation for doing so. Connor comes across as the “perfect” guy from the very beginning. I was rooting for a happy ending, although would’ve expected some kind of plot twist or struggle in their story. Maybe it’s because it’s a quick book, but that never happened. Altogether a sweet read, that comes just in time for Christmas.
Enjoyable christmas read. Regina lives to run her cafe. Her friends and family worry about her and think its time she faced life again. She isn't ready - until she meets Connor. Her interfering Italian family aren't sure about him though. Fast paced and quite emotional at times.
I loved this book. Even tho it was a spectacular romance, the whole family atmosphere stole the show. I loved how their chemistry took off like a shining star. I wish it was longer.
I absolutely love this book! Not only was it an exciting romance novel, but I loved the drama with the family. I’m Italian so I could completely relate & laughed many times. I highly recommend this book!
This was such a cute sexy holiday read! Loved the Italian aspect. Solid story that gave me the feels. Definitely recommend.
Such a nice holiday story! There were so many humorous points in this book! Loud Italian family, very protective brothers, and sisters-in-law who never seem to quite measure up-make for some funny times! I loved all the family banter! Regina's parents just want her to be happy-preferably with a nice, cute Italian boy who loves his momma! The clock is ticking to give them grandbabies for gosh sake! Connor Gilhooley meets Regina at her bakery. Instant sparks for both of them! So much so Regina talks about the humidity.... But the holidays are Regina's busiest time. He knows it's very late in the game, but Conner begs her to take his custom cake request as it's for a specialbenefit. When Regina finds it's for a place that has so much meaning to her, she can't say no. But so many feelings swamp her, she is having a difficult time. Feelings not only from the past, but feelings for Connor himself. Can she maybe find peace and love at this magical time of the year? I really enjoyed this holiday short! Definitely not short on story or emotions, Penny Jaeger has crafted an inspiring story! I could feel Regina's sadness and the light Connor brought to her life. I am glad she opened herself to him and all the possibilities he presented. This is an amazing book!
I absolutely enjoyed this story. It had everything, a big loud Italian family which I could relate to, love and everyone being involved or thought they should in Regina’s life but it was just the way the author told the story that really made it. Having her mother (ma), father, brothers, all having a say in her life like she did not matter. Had an Uncle like her father in the Bronx no one knew what he did, but drove a Cadillac and could find out information on anyone. Anyway Regina now owns a bakery, she was once married, and because of a tragedy when she was younger she is single for the last six years. Now 32 she really is not looking for a guy. When a Connor Gilhooly comes in wanting a cake for a charity fund raiser and she can’t say no. She wants to because the name of the place has not so geed memories for her but she knows six years is long enough and agrees to do it. She also finds herself having feelings come alive inside of her that she thought were dead, but instead she is coming alive again. The takes you on a journey of family, tradition, and Christmas to tell this wonderful story. For me it brought back many wonderful memories of sitting around the table with dish after dish of wonderful Italian food and people talking over everyone and just the loud and joyous sounds of family that I we now look back on because for me most are gone and I am now the older generation cooking. I still wear my Italian Horn to ward off the evil eye (malocchio). A beautiful story with very good characters.
Another heart-warming romp of a romance from Peggy Jaeger. As always, her stories are strong on voice, that distinctive quality that makes the characters real enough to step off the page fully formed. This short Christmas romance is perfect for reading in those rare moments of peace we get between holiday chores and celebrations. I love the way Jaeger portrayed an Italian-American family Thanksgiving and Christmas in all their foodie glory without ever sinking into saccharine holiday clichés. In fact, this novella incorporates many romance tropes—the heroine’s a baker, the hero is rich, there’s a big misunderstanding—but handles each in a way that’s surprising and satisfying. Regina, known as Reggie to family and friends, defied her parents’ old-world expectations by running off with a boy they hadn’t chosen for her. He wasn’t even Italian—horror of horrors. That spurt of bad judgment results in tragedy. Afterward, Reggie’s family embraces their prodigal bellissima figlia, and she loves them dearly, even if their interference sometimes makes her want to pitch a plate of pasta at the wall. You’ll love the colorful characters and realistic teasing banter in this famiglia. They’re loud, funny, pushy, but always loving. You’ll also learn lots of Italian phrases along the way. So many romance heroines get bogged down in their tragic pasts that I get sick of their whining, you know? Reggie’s grief is palpable, but her balance of determination and humor make her someone I’d want to have coffee with, along with one of her marvelous cannolis. The chemistry between Reggie and Connor, the rich philanthropist who orders a magnificent cake for a charity event, delivers a satisfying slow burn. The ending is truly touching, so have tissues ready. As soon as I finished this one, I made a big pot of beef ragù and uncorked a bottle of Chianti, to celebrate a satisfying ending to a tasty tale. Buon appetito e buon Natale!
This author has risen to the top of my favorite authors list in the short time I’ve been reading her books. Her characters have heart and are uniquely touching in their personalities...Connor and Regina are no different. From the opening paragraph, I was hooked with Regina’s Italian family survival guide...being a descendent of that ancestry myself, I completely identified with all her idioms. I was drawn into Regina’s emotions and as her heartbreak so eloquently unfolded, deeply felt her pain, mental and physical. It has been a very long time since I have experienced the type of build up and anticipation as I did towards Connor and Regina’s union, by that time, the author had created an emotional investment in this couple...as well, she garnered through her character mannerism descriptives...every move, stretch of a sleeve cuff, rubbing of the back of knuckles, the feel that I was watching live action in my mind’s eye...and yet, she left a lot to my mind’s own interpretation, which I greatly appreciate in an author. I feel if an author is skilled in her storytelling, she doesn’t need to spell out every scene’s nuance, the reader gleans that easily enough. As has become the norm for Ms Jaeger’s books, I cannot wait for the next one to be released. This ARC book was complimentary, provided by the Publisher and NetGalley. I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
I've throughly enjoyed this read. Christmas and Cannolis is a funny,sweet and cozy novel,Peggy Jaeger words will warm up your heart just before Christmas but they will also make you shed a few tears so be prepared and keep some tissues at hand. I still believe at love at first sight so I adored Regina and Connor journey,the attraction and chemestry between them is immediately tangible but they also show each other their hearts and love. The reader cannot not to wish them to find some happiness and be together for ever. I'm an italian woman living in Italy and the San Valentino family was a bit much for me at the beginning but then page after page I've started to understand and also appreciate their exuberant, lively and protective behaviors.
Christmas and Cannolis is my first Peggy Jaeger book. It is a great Christmas read that, although not light-hearted, is not heavy either. Ms. Jaeger keeps our characters real with real world problems, families and situations. Reggie and Connor meet at her restaurant over the need for a cake for a benefit he is hosting. It just so happens it is for Pearl’s Place of which Reggie is familiar due to the loss of her daughter. Although super busy due to the Christmas season, Reggie agrees to help the most gorgeous hunk she has met in a long time. Not because he is swoon worthy, but because it is for a good cause. Connor and Reggie have an instant connection. At first, it seemed as though the connect was too quick, but this is more of a novella, so it has to be quick. Even with that in mind, by the middle of the book, you know these two have a tremendous connection that is leading to their HEA. But, Reggie has a huge Italian family that is going to protect her from herself and from Connor. Plus, Connor has a bit in his background of which said family are just not comfortable. This is one of those books you do not want to put down. You wonder what else is going to happen to keep you either laughing or crying. Either way, you will enjoy it.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very much based around the big Italian family and what their relationships and traditions are like. There was a sad element to the book with Regina's reflections on her daughter who died of cancer as a young child. The romance is the book is whirlwind and a little unrealistic. But very sweet. I would read more from this author.
Loved it! What I liked: The writing style The characters The humor Standalone HEA I look forward to reading more from this author.
This is a voluntary review of an advanced copy. What an emotional yet romantic holiday romance! Regina had such sorrow in her past when she lost her daughter to cancer and just seemed like she was frozen in a rut with keeping her bakery running and not living a full life. When she meets Conner, she realizes that she can still have feelings and wanted to continue to see Conner. With her nosy Italian family, it is not surprising that things don't end well. Good things someone intervened and Conner and Regina were able to patch things up and get a second chance. What a great HEA and I just loved the last scene where Regina updates her daughter on what is happening in her life. Hard to not shed a few tears during this book!
This is a beautiful, touching story of loss, pain, starting over, and finding true love. It is amazing how Regina is trying to move on after the many years have passed since her daughter died. She realizes she is lonely and that her whole life has been working at her bakery. Throw into that mix a proud Italian family with quite a few brothers and you have a funny, sad, and warm story set at Christmas.
A fun and fast paced Christmas story. Regina runs a bakery, and gets approached by handsome Connor to make a special Christmas cake for a local charity that holds a special place in each of their hearts. I really enjoyed this one, and found it hard to put down at times. While my Scandinavian heritage is very quiet and very unlike her Italian family, it did make me chuckle. A fun story, and a good way to get into the holiday spirit. Highly recommend this book and author.
If you are looking for a holiday story with humor, touching moments, and a big noisy Italian-American family this is the one! Yep, what I like best is the big noisy family, with typical stick your nose where it doesn’t belong parents and siblings with laugh out loud situations. Regina San Valentino is the owner of a successful bakery. Other than her family, her entire life revolves around work until a gorgeous man, Connor Gilhooley, enters the bakery with an outrageous request. As if the holidays aren’t busy enough, he needs an elaborate centerpiece cake for a charity fundraiser within a week. She can’t say no as she has an emotional tie to the charity. AND her attraction to him can’t be denied, no matter what she does. They are from two different worlds. Regina’s is the everyday blue collar circle and Connor’s, the high society extremely well-to-do world. Both have secrets and heartaches they’d rather not share until extenuating circumstances throw then together. Ms. Jaeger’s ability to describe a scene and make you feel part of the story, as well as, make you feel the character’s emotions are talents that I love about her writing. I highly recommend Christmas and Cannolis.
I discovered this author while judging a contest this year and decided to give her Christmas story a try. I'm glad that I did! This is a cute story full of a big, loud Italian family, a grieving mother, and a man who cares about her. For a novella, there is a surprising depth to this story. Regina has a grim backstory guaranteed to make the reader weep. She is someone to admire for her determination to keep going. Connor and Regina's story is heart-warming and will make you smile. Yes, emotions were all over the place while reading this book! Peggy Jaeger is moving to my "must read" list.
This book has a sad and heartbreaking under tone to it. I loved the originality to how Conner and Regina met and got to know each other. They seem to get each other on a deeper level right off the bat and that connection is sweet! Just when Regina is having a panic attack in the middle of fleeing from the crowds Conner is there to help her, hold her and just spend time with her. The cake sample flavors sounded delightful and I really wanted some cake after reading about them. The heartbreak that they both experienced through losing someone to cancer is so present in this story, it is hard not to get emotional. The family unit is strong and extra nosy in this story but they all love and support each other and that is really what matters. The ending wraps up this story so well. I love the conversation they have at the coffee shop and that dad helps to makes things right.
In classic Peggy Jaeger fashion, she weaves an emotional romance with a strong heroine with a large supportive family. In this holiday romance, there's heartbreak and a chance for love if only the heroine will take the leap of faith. It totally made me cry. . . but in a good way. Highly recommend! My Rating: 5 stars