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Christmas in Rose Bend

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The holidays have never been her thing. But Christmas in Rose Bend has more than one surprise in store… Grieving ER nurse Nessa Hunt is on a road trip with her sullen teen half sister, Ivy, and still reeling from her mother’s deathbed confession: Nessa’s dad wasn’t really her dad. Seeking answers, they arrive in Rose Bend to find a small town teeming with the kind of Christ The holidays have never been her thing. But Christmas in Rose Bend has more than one surprise in store… Grieving ER nurse Nessa Hunt is on a road trip with her sullen teen half sister, Ivy, and still reeling from her mother’s deathbed confession: Nessa’s dad wasn’t really her dad. Seeking answers, they arrive in Rose Bend to find a small town teeming with the kind of Christmas cheer Nessa usually avoids. But then she meets the innkeeper’s ruggedly sexy son, Wolfgang Dennison. Wolf’s big, boisterous family is like a picture-perfect holiday card. Nessa has too much weighing on her to feel like she fits—even though the heat between her and Wolf is undeniable. And the merriment bringing an overdue smile to Ivy’s face is almost enough to make Nessa believe in the Christmas spirit. But with all her parental baggage, including lingering questions about her birth father, is there room in Nessa’s life for happy holidays and happily-ever-after?


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The holidays have never been her thing. But Christmas in Rose Bend has more than one surprise in store… Grieving ER nurse Nessa Hunt is on a road trip with her sullen teen half sister, Ivy, and still reeling from her mother’s deathbed confession: Nessa’s dad wasn’t really her dad. Seeking answers, they arrive in Rose Bend to find a small town teeming with the kind of Christ The holidays have never been her thing. But Christmas in Rose Bend has more than one surprise in store… Grieving ER nurse Nessa Hunt is on a road trip with her sullen teen half sister, Ivy, and still reeling from her mother’s deathbed confession: Nessa’s dad wasn’t really her dad. Seeking answers, they arrive in Rose Bend to find a small town teeming with the kind of Christmas cheer Nessa usually avoids. But then she meets the innkeeper’s ruggedly sexy son, Wolfgang Dennison. Wolf’s big, boisterous family is like a picture-perfect holiday card. Nessa has too much weighing on her to feel like she fits—even though the heat between her and Wolf is undeniable. And the merriment bringing an overdue smile to Ivy’s face is almost enough to make Nessa believe in the Christmas spirit. But with all her parental baggage, including lingering questions about her birth father, is there room in Nessa’s life for happy holidays and happily-ever-after?

30 review for Christmas in Rose Bend

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    3. 5 stars This romance started out so cute. Nessa is staying at this inn in a small town for Christmas with her half-sister. There is obvious chemistry between Nessa and Wolf, whose family owns the inn. I loved how Nessa got along with Wolf and his adorable family. Nessa has a fragile relationship with her half-sister because their father died and Nessa is now her guardian. I thought the romance was cute, but it quickly turned into a family drama about Nessa's family and her relationship with he 3. 5 stars This romance started out so cute. Nessa is staying at this inn in a small town for Christmas with her half-sister. There is obvious chemistry between Nessa and Wolf, whose family owns the inn. I loved how Nessa got along with Wolf and his adorable family. Nessa has a fragile relationship with her half-sister because their father died and Nessa is now her guardian. I thought the romance was cute, but it quickly turned into a family drama about Nessa's family and her relationship with her sister. I wanted a cute Christmas romance at an inn, but instead we had to watch Nessa try to find her birth father and form a relationship with her sister. That's fine, but I wanted more of a romance and more development between her and Wolf.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Korrie’s Korner

    4.5 Wolfgang ✨ Nessa & Wolf are probably my fave Rosebend characters to date. I could relate so much to Nessa, and her keeping people at arms length due to hurt from her father, boyfriend etc..she kept armor around her heart, and I loved seeing each chink fall away with the persistence of one man—Wolfgang Dennison. What a man he was! I love the instantaneous reaction that he had towards Nessa from the first moment he knocked her on her arse. I have a thing for big, tall, Vikingesque men with lon 4.5 Wolfgang ✨ Nessa & Wolf are probably my fave Rosebend characters to date. I could relate so much to Nessa, and her keeping people at arms length due to hurt from her father, boyfriend etc..she kept armor around her heart, and I loved seeing each chink fall away with the persistence of one man—Wolfgang Dennison. What a man he was! I love the instantaneous reaction that he had towards Nessa from the first moment he knocked her on her arse. I have a thing for big, tall, Vikingesque men with long hair and beards. Especially those that work with their hands building beautiful things. The angst about killed me, drawn out in parts, but man was the slow burn delicious! When these two laid down their “weapons” and stopped fighting it—pure animal lust! These two devoured each other in the most raw, primal way and I was here for it! The way Wolf asked Nessa’s consent was pure fire, and such a turn on! “This woman called to his protective nature, his sexual side and his brokenness. She made him want to...heal.” I loved watching them heal each other. I just love Naima’s words. This was my favorite quote, and one that I’ve applied to my life a while ago. “Love, trust, security, protection and acceptance trumped blood every time.”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a Fast Moving Christmas Romance, and this is the second book in the Rose Bend series. I loved the characters in this book, and they where very developed. Each character brought some different to this book. This small town sounded like it would be a cute and fun place to live. I really enjoyed reading this book. There was some very steamy times in this book, so I have to say this was not a cute romance book. This book was a fun book to read. The only thing I did not love was how fast this This is a Fast Moving Christmas Romance, and this is the second book in the Rose Bend series. I loved the characters in this book, and they where very developed. Each character brought some different to this book. This small town sounded like it would be a cute and fun place to live. I really enjoyed reading this book. There was some very steamy times in this book, so I have to say this was not a cute romance book. This book was a fun book to read. The only thing I did not love was how fast this book moved, and Wolf felt like him was to perfected in this book. This book did have a lot about Christmas in it, so if you are looking for a Christmas Romance then this maybe the book for you. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Harlequin) or author (Naima Simone) via NetGalley, so I can give an honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    I can't believe I'm still surprised by all the emotions Naima Simone makes me feel each and every time I read her books. This was the perfect combination of heart, swoon, heat and CHRISTMAS!! With all the Christmas tree decorating, Santa races and all the hot chocolate, this book is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. Wolf and Nessa both had some emotional hills to climb, but the load is always lighter together. I loved them both! Ivy- Nessa's little sister was precious too. I do love the ki I can't believe I'm still surprised by all the emotions Naima Simone makes me feel each and every time I read her books. This was the perfect combination of heart, swoon, heat and CHRISTMAS!! With all the Christmas tree decorating, Santa races and all the hot chocolate, this book is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. Wolf and Nessa both had some emotional hills to climb, but the load is always lighter together. I loved them both! Ivy- Nessa's little sister was precious too. I do love the kids. I hope we get to know all the Dennison's. Can't wait to return to Rose Bend. Happy reading!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Simply Love Book Reviews

    I’ve fallen in love with Rose Bend and this series by Naima Simone. This contemporary romance series set in the Berkshire Mountains is centered around a wonderful blended family and the townspeople who make Rose Bend interesting and special. Christmas in Rose Bend reads like a sexy version of a holiday television movie and contains the magic of the season and even a couple of miracles for the two main characters. Nessa and her teenage half-sister, Ivy, arrive in Rose Bend to stay in an inn for th I’ve fallen in love with Rose Bend and this series by Naima Simone. This contemporary romance series set in the Berkshire Mountains is centered around a wonderful blended family and the townspeople who make Rose Bend interesting and special. Christmas in Rose Bend reads like a sexy version of a holiday television movie and contains the magic of the season and even a couple of miracles for the two main characters. Nessa and her teenage half-sister, Ivy, arrive in Rose Bend to stay in an inn for the month of December, a dying wish of their dad. Following her mother’s death and shortly their after her father’s death, Nessa has taken a leave of absence following a panic attack in the ER at the hospital where she is a nurse. Dealing with being the guardian to Ivy who she doesn’t know well and who seems to despise her has further complicated her life. Nessa has suffered a lot of loss of people she knew or thought loved her and she’s built a wall around her heart and vowed to not let anyone in again. Following a stint in Iraq in which he suffered a devastating loss, Wolf returned to Rose Bend and his family’s inn before finding his love of woodworking. Just as he was beginning to feel his life was back on track, his fiancé decides small town life isn’t for her and leaves him heartbroken and grieving. Three years later, Wolf is over that but he know guards his heart knowing that he’ll give his heart away again. These are two broken people who have both suffered loss in their lives and have build a wall to keep people out. When they meet, the tension between them is thick but they both know a relationship will never happen. While they are closed off with their emotions, both are experts at communicating exactly what they are thinking and spilling secrets to each other even when they don’t plan or want to. You could see the trust building between them early on and Wolf’s careful handling of Nessa was just one reason I felt they grew so close. I enjoyed watching Nessa come alive in the Christmas obsessed Rose Bend despite believing Christmas wasn’t a holiday she enjoyed, but it became evident as her good memories of the past came back to her that as a coping mechanism she’d just repressed them. While Wolf was a bit heavy handed getting her involved in the holiday activities, it’s in his nature to fix problems, but also knows she is capable of solving her own problems and becomes someone she can rely on. I liked their friendship, I loved watching the chemistry build between them, but it was the way the seemed to gravitate towards one another when they needed someone to listen that was so special. Christmas at Rose Bend was a delight to read, characters that were flawed but likeable, a relationship built on mutual respect and trust, and a setting that was perfect for the holiday season. While I did feel a bit cheated by the rushed ending, I still enjoyed this book immensely. Review copy provided for a voluntary review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars rounded up. Christmas in Rose Bend is a classic holiday romance with a prickly, grieving heroine and a cinnamon roll hero with a man bun. Nessa is an ER nurse grieving the loss of her mother and the man she thought was her biological father. Now the guardian of her young half-sister, they are spending the holidays in the small town of Rose Bend where they go hard on Christmas events and holiday cheer, something Nessa usually tries to avoid. But she and Wolf, the son of th Actual rating: 3.5 stars rounded up. Christmas in Rose Bend is a classic holiday romance with a prickly, grieving heroine and a cinnamon roll hero with a man bun. Nessa is an ER nurse grieving the loss of her mother and the man she thought was her biological father. Now the guardian of her young half-sister, they are spending the holidays in the small town of Rose Bend where they go hard on Christmas events and holiday cheer, something Nessa usually tries to avoid. But she and Wolf, the son of the innkeeper, find a lot in common as they face their pain and find love. This didn't quite sweep me away like I might have hoped, but it's a very good story with some solid steamy moments as well. I liked that there is consistent growth in the relationship as they each deal with their issues and face their fears. A charming holiday romance! I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris C - A Midlife Wife

    A delightful, definitely heated Holiday Romance that is the perfect story to feed your addiction’s. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This author is on fire with this story. Be prepared when diving into this one! She takes us on an emotional journey with all of the highs and the lows, plus some unexpected surprises too. Christmas in Rose Bend is loaded with pain points. From the death of parents to shocking family revelations and uncomfortable feelings of not being enough. But Simone also delivers us incredible A delightful, definitely heated Holiday Romance that is the perfect story to feed your addiction’s. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This author is on fire with this story. Be prepared when diving into this one! She takes us on an emotional journey with all of the highs and the lows, plus some unexpected surprises too. Christmas in Rose Bend is loaded with pain points. From the death of parents to shocking family revelations and uncomfortable feelings of not being enough. But Simone also delivers us incredible highs that are so worth the journey through the pain. I just love the characters in the story so much. Wolf is amazing. He, too, has had many struggles, highs and lows. Along with the burning knowledge that he could be looking at his future as soon as he meets Nessa adds smoldering desire to the story. The sparks fly throughout this book even with the push and pull issues that they have to overcome. The author has developed these two to match beautifully. The additional characters and situations add a good balance and make the story deeply additive. Make no mistake, this is a steamy story that is loaded with a blend of tenderness and pitfalls. But it does have a beautiful ending that makes it all worth the journey. This author crafted a remarkable and addictive book that will put it high on your favorite list. Simone brings the heat and intensity we all beg for in a romance! * copy received for review consideration * Full review - https://amidlifewife.com/christmas-in...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    I wish I could go to Kinsale Inn! The Hunt sisters are orphaned and it's up to Nessa now to raise her 12 year-old half-sister. In need of vacation from being an ER nurse and as their late father's last request, Nessa and Ivy are going to spend the Holidays in Rose Bend, Massachusetts. Maybe an opportunity for our heroine to learn more about the family secret her mother revealed to her in her last moments? Having lost a friend at war and with a broken engagement three years ago, Wolfgang also had h I wish I could go to Kinsale Inn! The Hunt sisters are orphaned and it's up to Nessa now to raise her 12 year-old half-sister. In need of vacation from being an ER nurse and as their late father's last request, Nessa and Ivy are going to spend the Holidays in Rose Bend, Massachusetts. Maybe an opportunity for our heroine to learn more about the family secret her mother revealed to her in her last moments? Having lost a friend at war and with a broken engagement three years ago, Wolfgang also had his share of hurt. Maybe that's why the innkeeper's son easily recognize it when looking into Nessa's eyes and he can read her like a book. His charisma and calm presence ground her but is it enough to make her believe in the magic of the Holidays and the power of love? I fucking loved this book! Dare I say it? This is one of the best Christmas novel I've ever read! The story, the town, the characters, the Christmas festivities, the chemistry between the MC, the delectable dialogues, the families dynamic, the challenges and issues they have to face, the romance and intimated scenes, there's not a single thing I would change on this book! And let's not forget the hero is absolutely boyfriend material! "Oh, Nessa. You can try and adopt that big-city ennui if you like, but the delight I saw on your face when that tree lit up can't be faked. You enjoyed yourself." With Wolf having 6 siblings, I dare to hope there's still plenty of books to come in this series and that's make me happy 🤩.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steph's Romance Book Talk

    4.25 Stars / 3 Steam Fans What do you do when your mother dies, revealing a deathbed secret and an estranged sister is dropped in your lap for Christmas. On this road trip to Rose Bend, Nessa and Ivy find out what it means to be family and that things are not always as they seem. A bonus is the love story between Wolf and Nessa. Video review available in Week 43: Oct 24 – Oct 30, 2021, full weekly book reviews available on Steph's Romance Book Talk Patreon. For other bookish content, check out my 4.25 Stars / 3 Steam Fans What do you do when your mother dies, revealing a deathbed secret and an estranged sister is dropped in your lap for Christmas. On this road trip to Rose Bend, Nessa and Ivy find out what it means to be family and that things are not always as they seem. A bonus is the love story between Wolf and Nessa. Video review available in Week 43: Oct 24 – Oct 30, 2021, full weekly book reviews available on Steph's Romance Book Talk Patreon. For other bookish content, check out my YouTube Channel: Steph's Romance Book Talk.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Isha Coleman

    Simone never ceases to surprise me. There is always something different in store with each story that she writes. Christmas in Rose Bend goes for the emotional side of life. Expect your heart to ache and your soul to be touched by Nessa Wolfe. She's the ER nurse working her way through the baggage of her life. He's the innkeeper's son unloading a bit of luggage of his own. What begins by chance becomes more than either could have ever dreamed. From deep emotion to a Christmas card setting, Naima Simone never ceases to surprise me. There is always something different in store with each story that she writes. Christmas in Rose Bend goes for the emotional side of life. Expect your heart to ache and your soul to be touched by Nessa Wolfe. She's the ER nurse working her way through the baggage of her life. He's the innkeeper's son unloading a bit of luggage of his own. What begins by chance becomes more than either could have ever dreamed. From deep emotion to a Christmas card setting, Naima Simone delivers a heartbreaking journey with a heartwarming twist.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marisa Gettas

    I will start with my conclusion: It’s like a Hallmark movie, but better, because this is Naima at her very best. So after the bumpy start that was book one (imo), this series is back on track! Here we have a romance between Wolf “I’m broken and can’t give love to anyone“ Dennison, and Nessa “Loving someone is a liability” Hunt. Wolf is a resident of Rose Bend and Nessa is staying at his families' Inn with her youger sister Ivy for the Christmas Season. I’m just gonna transcribe some of what I wro I will start with my conclusion: It’s like a Hallmark movie, but better, because this is Naima at her very best. So after the bumpy start that was book one (imo), this series is back on track! Here we have a romance between Wolf “I’m broken and can’t give love to anyone“ Dennison, and Nessa “Loving someone is a liability” Hunt. Wolf is a resident of Rose Bend and Nessa is staying at his families' Inn with her youger sister Ivy for the Christmas Season. I’m just gonna transcribe some of what I wrote in my notes about this warm hug of a book... *it's full of the found family moments I wanted in book one — Wolf comes from a big loving family, with bio and adopted siblings, *I looove the realistic family nicknames — I find it so weird when siblings keep calling each other by full names in books *Wolf and his siblings all being named after music-greats is awesome (Cole, Wolfgang, Sinead, Sonny, Cher, and Leotyne) *the pop culture references are flowing and this is a sign that Naima is writing in her zone *an emotionally fluent relationship between Wolf and his father, on page *Wolf 'claiming' Nessa was really HAWT *a spin on the evil ex trope (aka she’s not evil, they just wanted different things) that makes me hope Olivia gets her own book or novella *WOLF SEES NEESA, warts and all and loves her for it -le swoon- *sexy, ongoing enthusiastic consent *”DO YOU NEED ME TO HOLD YOU" WOLF DENNISON, PERFECT HUMAN *this book is full of great kissing scenes *Wolf building the town a gazebo that actually represents the love he's building with Nessa *When Wolf realizes “The possibility of you became better than the absolute of anyone” about Nessa and races to get to her, I could literally hear the Fated Mates podcast going “...AND THIS DUMMY IS RACING TO GET TO HER!” in that loving way they have :) *one of the best ending lines I’ve read in a long time *YOU MADE ME WEEP, NAIMA It’s a bit heavy at the beginning, and our characters are dealing with difficult issues, but it’s highly leavened by the holiday spirit, the town’s increasingly fantastic holiday traditions (santa claus races, tree speed decorating etc.) and great writing. CW/TW: loss of a parent to cancer, loss of both parents to cancer (uterine, pancreatic), ptsd, loss of a friend in war, panic attacks, anxiety Personal note: I enjoyed this so much, it’s going to become a holiday reread for me, every year. I’m friendly with the author on various social media sites. I received an ARC in return for a fair review

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    There are some big issues with this book that I will address in this review but despite those issues, this book really worked for me. This book is basically a warm, fuzzy Hallmark Christmas movie but with way more painful backstories and way more sex. It's a Naima Simone book so you know she's gonna bring the heat! I loved the MCs, Wolf and Nessa, both of them have majorly painful backstories, full of grief and loss and heartbreak. As a result of their respective backstories, they have both clos There are some big issues with this book that I will address in this review but despite those issues, this book really worked for me. This book is basically a warm, fuzzy Hallmark Christmas movie but with way more painful backstories and way more sex. It's a Naima Simone book so you know she's gonna bring the heat! I loved the MCs, Wolf and Nessa, both of them have majorly painful backstories, full of grief and loss and heartbreak. As a result of their respective backstories, they have both closed off their heart to love. At some point in the book, Wolf lets go of his fears when he realizes he is in love with Nessa but Nessa has endured far too many losses in her life and is accustomed to having the people she loves leave her. This is basically a book about grief and navigating grief and the ability to live a full life even in the midst of experiencing grief. I thought the chemistry between Wolf and Nessa was really great and I also loved the relationship between Nessa and her sister, Ivy. They both come to Rose Bend for the holidays and find a. home there. I do think the end was abrupt - Nessa goes from telling Wolf she can't be what he needs to basically uprooting her (and her sister's) whole lives and relocating there in the space of like one chapter. It's very quick and abrupt and I think it could have used a bit more space to come to that conclusion. But overall, I loved reading about these 2 broken characters and their journey to healing and a HEA. CW: off page parental deaths from cancer, death of other minor character in war, major family secrets; grief/loss ARC received from publisher via Netgalley, opinions are all mine;

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carla Johnson-Hicks

    This is the second book in the Rose Bend series, but I had no trouble following this story or enjoying it. Nessa has a lot of baggage in her life. She was raised by her mother after her father left them. He had another daughter in another relationship and it made Nessa feel that she was lacking. When he dies, she finds out he was not her birth father as well as that she is now the legal guardian of her half-sister, who is a teenager. Nessa and Ivy head to Rose Bend for Christmas after finding so This is the second book in the Rose Bend series, but I had no trouble following this story or enjoying it. Nessa has a lot of baggage in her life. She was raised by her mother after her father left them. He had another daughter in another relationship and it made Nessa feel that she was lacking. When he dies, she finds out he was not her birth father as well as that she is now the legal guardian of her half-sister, who is a teenager. Nessa and Ivy head to Rose Bend for Christmas after finding some clues that her mother had once vacationed there and there is a possibility that is where she met Nessa's birth father. Ivy is an unhappy, sullen teenager ready to make life miserable for everyone. Shortly after arriving, Nessa runs into, literally, Wolf, the son of the Inn Keepers where she is staying. This is a story with instalove as there is an immediate attraction. Can Nessa and Ivy find common ground? Will Nessa find love? Will she find out more about her "real" father? I enjoyed this story, but there were a few things that I had issue with. First, there were some steamy scenes that I was not prepared for and did skim over. Second was the instalove. Having said that, I loved Nessa's character. She had been through so much in her life, and even found out that she really wasn't related to Ivy at all, but she took on the responsibility of raising her and trying to become a family. It was wonderful to see how the Dennisons, Wolf's family, took Nessa and Ivy into the fold including them in all the family Christmas activities. This was a fun Christmas romance with family bonds, grieving, love, sex, and Christmas magic. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Mari. The narration was very enjoyable and at a good pace. I found her expression, tone and voices well done and added to the enjoyment of the story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brandy

    Why are you even looking at reviews?? Just go read the book!! I promise, you will NOT regret it!! This, like every other Rose Bend book, captured every inch of my heart, twisted it up, and tied it off with a lovely, glittering bow. Nessa, our heroine, is in so much pain from losing her mom, and from losing her dad years ago, and then a few months ago losing him for good…and on top of all this, she’s gotta be a guardian to a 12 year old?? While keeping a secret so that she doesn’t hurt her sister Why are you even looking at reviews?? Just go read the book!! I promise, you will NOT regret it!! This, like every other Rose Bend book, captured every inch of my heart, twisted it up, and tied it off with a lovely, glittering bow. Nessa, our heroine, is in so much pain from losing her mom, and from losing her dad years ago, and then a few months ago losing him for good…and on top of all this, she’s gotta be a guardian to a 12 year old?? While keeping a secret so that she doesn’t hurt her sister any more than she already is?? Listen. It’s a LOT. Like, crawl into a hole, a lot. But with a gentle (and lumbersexual!) man who respects her walls and boundaries while still helping her face everything….she just might find a reason to trust again. Love though? That’s a whole different story. Seriously. Why are you still reading this? Go buy the book. Or rent it. Or borrow it (not my copy bc it’s signed so you’ll have to pry it out if my cold, dead hands). If all else fails, stand in the bookstore reading it. You can thank me later!!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Viper Spaulding

    Two wounded souls find a love that heals With more angst than a dozen Hallmark holiday movies, this story is sure to tug your heartstrings and make you appreciate your family in whatever shape they are. Wolf grew up in an idyllic town with an idyllic family, but that still didn't protect him from a loss so great he may never get past it. Nessa has to deal with her own losses while putting on a brave front for her surly preteen sister. Her heart has been broken too many times, and she's understand Two wounded souls find a love that heals With more angst than a dozen Hallmark holiday movies, this story is sure to tug your heartstrings and make you appreciate your family in whatever shape they are. Wolf grew up in an idyllic town with an idyllic family, but that still didn't protect him from a loss so great he may never get past it. Nessa has to deal with her own losses while putting on a brave front for her surly preteen sister. Her heart has been broken too many times, and she's understandably reluctant to risk it again. This was a bit of a slow-burn romance, but the emotions are painted so vividly that the characters really come alive. I enjoyed the first book, but I loved this one so much more. There's a lot of holiday fun packed into the story that was so well written I felt as though I was a part of the festivities. The HEA was holiday wish-fulfillment at its finest with every single one of Nessa's dreams coming true and I couldn't have loved it more. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Krystal

    I struggle with contemporary romance because so much of the conflict is just...people not talking to each other. This book does not have that problem. Putting aside it's a steamy read in general, it was so thrilling to watch two main characters communicate so much (while protesting how they don't talk about any of their hang-ups ever which got old when all they do is tell each other everything throughout the book) and to also trust each other and ask questions when there was a misunderstanding a I struggle with contemporary romance because so much of the conflict is just...people not talking to each other. This book does not have that problem. Putting aside it's a steamy read in general, it was so thrilling to watch two main characters communicate so much (while protesting how they don't talk about any of their hang-ups ever which got old when all they do is tell each other everything throughout the book) and to also trust each other and ask questions when there was a misunderstanding and call each other out when they weren't talking. It was so refreshing and unexpected. Romance writers, please take note. More of this please! Also, this is just the right amount of Hallmark for a holiday read and clearly the author was aware of that line as she calls herself out on it a lot in the story. My ARC also had a novella included which was also delightful and fun and again, had fabulous communication between the leads. Really, I just like when romantic interests actually communicate so the main conflict could not simply be solved by them talking for five minutes. *I received an ARC from NetGalley for this review

  17. 4 out of 5

    Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog)

    B&N / Kobo / iBooks / Audible Nessa and her younger sister, Ivy, are in Rose Bend thanks to her mother's secret. It looks like Christmasville here, and she's not sure she can cope. She's grieving, she's reeling from the secret her mom unleashed on her right before she passed, and her little sister is sullen and broody at best. How is she ever going to make it through her stay here?! Meeting a gorgeous man named Wolf just might help her make it through, especially after he seems as on board with a B&N / Kobo / iBooks / Audible Nessa and her younger sister, Ivy, are in Rose Bend thanks to her mother's secret. It looks like Christmasville here, and she's not sure she can cope. She's grieving, she's reeling from the secret her mom unleashed on her right before she passed, and her little sister is sullen and broody at best. How is she ever going to make it through her stay here?! Meeting a gorgeous man named Wolf just might help her make it through, especially after he seems as on board with a friends with benefits, short term arrangement as she. She'll just have to make sure she doesn't fall for the big softie, because that would open her up to the chance of pain when they end things. Whew, this is one steamy holiday romance! Nessa and Wolf are a great couple, though they weren't a real one for long. She's prickly and stoic, and he's warm and sweet. They don't work on paper, but that's the thing about feelings and chemistry, you just never know when the spark will flame to life, and with whom. I thought Ivy was a wonderful part of this little trio, giving some levity and wit, and the way she and Nessa finally bonded made me smile. Rose Bend seems like the kind of place we all probably think of when Christmas movies are on TV, and I wouldn't mind visiting there, especially if all the men are like Wolf... ARC received via author for an honest review. Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Bookbub

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bookread2day

    My review is on my website www.bookread2day.wordpress.com I read this in paperback I loved the first book, The Road to Rose Bend, so I just had to read the second book Christmas in Rose Bend, as the author Naima Simone has become my favourite author by writing the Rose Bend series with gorgeous characters that I just love reading about. I’m really looking forward to reading Naima Simone’s new third book in the Rose Bend series, With Love from Rose Bend that is being published 1st May 2022. The best My review is on my website www.bookread2day.wordpress.com I read this in paperback I loved the first book, The Road to Rose Bend, so I just had to read the second book Christmas in Rose Bend, as the author Naima Simone has become my favourite author by writing the Rose Bend series with gorgeous characters that I just love reading about. I’m really looking forward to reading Naima Simone’s new third book in the Rose Bend series, With Love from Rose Bend that is being published 1st May 2022. The best thing about the series Rose Bend, is that they can all be read as a stand-alone, but as I have followed the story from book one, I have got to know the characters well and love how there are secrets hidden within the page turning storyline. ER nurse Nessa Hunt didn’t do Christmas for her it was all about working Christmas Day in the hospital since her mother died. And on Christmas Day it was full of patients, that some have laugh out loud accidents, while other had more serious accidents. Nessa’s father left her and her mother, when Nessa was about thirteen. Nessa hadn’t had a close relationship with him since he left the family. But he had named Nessa as guardian to his daughter Ivy. Now Nessa’s father has died she is to raise her thirteen year old stepsister Ivy. Nessa and Ivy get to know each other by spending the Christmas spirit in Rose Bend inside a beautiful Inn. Wolfgang Dennison who works in the family run Inn maybe hot as hell, but with the Rose Bend’s thirty-fifth Yulefest and the opening Christmas tree lighting, I was hoping for Nessa and Wolfgang to kiss under the mistletoe. I was in love with this Christmas festive feel good story waiting, reading to see if Nessa would like to celebrate Christmas now, and if she and Wolfgang will be celebrating Christmas together.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Craig (Angelic Light)

    Wow, I wasn't expecting this book to be so good, but it was amazing! It was heart-warming, romantic, emotional and sexy, with a bit of Christmas cheer! Nessa and Ivy visit Rose Bend for a little vacation and there they find a beautiful setting, a sexy man called Wolf for Nessa, family and a whole lot more. It is just perfect and wonderful, and it is a good book to curl up with on a cold winter's day, as it will heat you up. Highly recommended! I am now starting the previous book in this series, Wow, I wasn't expecting this book to be so good, but it was amazing! It was heart-warming, romantic, emotional and sexy, with a bit of Christmas cheer! Nessa and Ivy visit Rose Bend for a little vacation and there they find a beautiful setting, a sexy man called Wolf for Nessa, family and a whole lot more. It is just perfect and wonderful, and it is a good book to curl up with on a cold winter's day, as it will heat you up. Highly recommended! I am now starting the previous book in this series, which I am sure will be just as great as this one. Many thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sandi Prescott

    I love a Christmas story, but this one didn't quite deliver all I was expecting. The Christmas town with all the decorations, events, and characters was present, but I just wasn't pulled into Nessa and Wolf's story. In the book's defense, I received this as a Netgalley ARC and did not realize it was part of a series and not a standalone. I was much more drawn to the novella at the end of the book with Remi and Declan's tale than the original title. I love a Christmas story, but this one didn't quite deliver all I was expecting. The Christmas town with all the decorations, events, and characters was present, but I just wasn't pulled into Nessa and Wolf's story. In the book's defense, I received this as a Netgalley ARC and did not realize it was part of a series and not a standalone. I was much more drawn to the novella at the end of the book with Remi and Declan's tale than the original title.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura Nelson (Tangents and Tissues)

    Dear Santa, It’s me, Laura. What can I say? I know it’s been a while, but you’re never too old to keep believing. I have been a very good girl this year… Okay, okay, let me put it this way, I have tried. That’s the main thing, right? So, I was wondering what the chances are of you leaving me my very own gift-wrapped Wolf Dennison under the tree to wake up to on Christmas morning? Please and thanks. I know it’s a big ask, but as The Mommy always says, if you don’t ask you don’t get. Anyhoo, Santa, I’l Dear Santa, It’s me, Laura. What can I say? I know it’s been a while, but you’re never too old to keep believing. I have been a very good girl this year… Okay, okay, let me put it this way, I have tried. That’s the main thing, right? So, I was wondering what the chances are of you leaving me my very own gift-wrapped Wolf Dennison under the tree to wake up to on Christmas morning? Please and thanks. I know it’s a big ask, but as The Mommy always says, if you don’t ask you don’t get. Anyhoo, Santa, I’ll be going now. Keep doing your thing, you rock! Whaaa? Don’t start with me… *wags finger* I’m sure I’m not the only reader that was anxiously awaiting to return to Rose Bend, and I think it’s safe to say I loved CIRB. Wolf and Nessa’s story was a sensation overload! Tears and snotters one minute then I needed a temperature pressure relief valve the next to release all that steam. Wowzers! Two words; mud room. *taps nose* Say no more… I love Naima’s strong female characters and Nessa is no different. She may have her flaws, and her pride may get in the way to begin with, but she isn’t above asking for help when needed. All she wants is to love and be loved (despite her protestations). Wolf caught my eye in Cole and Sydney’s story. Intrigued? You could say that. Still waters and all that! Ugh, he was like your favourite cookie triple choc dipped delight. Things happen for a reason as two lost hearts are about to find out. Just add a Christmas wish and heaps of festive fun! If you only read one festive themed read this year, make it CIRB.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fedora

    Oh. My. Goodness. This is the one Christmas novel you need this year. Naima Simone’s Christmas in Rose Bend is a doozy of a holiday tale, with plenty of Christmas magic for all involved. Nessa Hunt and her sister Ivy end up somewhat reluctantly in Rose Bend for December because their father gifted them that reservation as part of a final bequest. But neither of them is feeling particularly sisterly, and they’ve each got pain and loss to spare. Fortunately Kinsale Inn and the Dennison family who own Oh. My. Goodness. This is the one Christmas novel you need this year. Naima Simone’s Christmas in Rose Bend is a doozy of a holiday tale, with plenty of Christmas magic for all involved. Nessa Hunt and her sister Ivy end up somewhat reluctantly in Rose Bend for December because their father gifted them that reservation as part of a final bequest. But neither of them is feeling particularly sisterly, and they’ve each got pain and loss to spare. Fortunately Kinsale Inn and the Dennison family who own the inn have love and warmth aplenty. Wolf Dennison has deep wounds of his own that haven’t quite healed. While he can talk the talk, he’s intent on guarding himself from the chance to bear new hurts. Naima Simone’s writing is lush and beautiful and all engrossing. Nessa and Ivy and Wolf capture our hearts from the first page, and the town comes equally alive with each Christmas activity. Ms Simone bring the gamut of emotions from fierce anger to founded and ill-founded fears to deeply felt desire to unbridled joy. Christmas in Rose Bend is an incredible read, and a real Christmas gift.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    My heart hurt for Nessa and Wolf. They both had so much to get past, and thankfully they had each other and some awesome friends and family to help them navigate love, loss, and acceptance. I can’t adequately convey how much I loved this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jenica

    Christmas in Rose Bend features a really fun small town (Rose Bend) going all in for Christmas featuring Nessa, a woman really going through it and also a Grinch, Nessa's half-sister, Ivy, whom she has guardianship over after their father passed away, and Wolf, the lumberjack-esque man with a loving family and some hidden scars/depths. What I love about this book is that Simone really captures the way a small town gossip mill can run (perhaps slightly exaggerated) and how a community can really Christmas in Rose Bend features a really fun small town (Rose Bend) going all in for Christmas featuring Nessa, a woman really going through it and also a Grinch, Nessa's half-sister, Ivy, whom she has guardianship over after their father passed away, and Wolf, the lumberjack-esque man with a loving family and some hidden scars/depths. What I love about this book is that Simone really captures the way a small town gossip mill can run (perhaps slightly exaggerated) and how a community can really come together, while showing how sometimes people stay more on the outskirts. It just feels very true to life and the characters all feel like real people, although that one Jenna person does feel a little like a caricature of a mean girl. Anyways, setting that aside, I really like the small town portrayal in this book a lot. All of the events sound super fun and maybe a little over the top, but also, I would vacation in Rose Bend in a heartbeat. Besides the setting of this book, Simone really crafts an intricate character web here with this intense distance between Nessa and Ivy, who experienced their father completely different from one another. For Ivy, her father was loving and present, whereas for Nessa, her father walked out of her life when she was 12 (I think) and it felt to her like he never really looked back. So the two have a very strained relationship between them. Meanwhile, Ivy warms up to Wolf and the other Dennison's so quickly and she really starts to explore this town and have a ball. Nessa, on the other hand, is a little bit wary. She's convinced that she's going back to Boston at the end of this trip, that she'll return to her job at the ER and hopefully those pesky panic attacks won't come back, and is just hoping she and Ivy can make some in roads. What she wasn't planning for was the way that Wolf keeps breaking down walls between them and there are real feelings there even though there shouldn't be. Wolf is actually dealing with the return of his ex-girlfriend and feels very drawn toward Nessa while his ex-girlfriend's return heralds the very real danger he knows exists for falling for Nessa. He's already been left by one woman who wasn't content to stay in his small town. He's also carrying around some guilt over the death of a friend. So, basically, what I'm saying is that there are a lot of feelings happening in this book. The sense of community is so strong and there are a lot more stories waiting to be told in this town. I look forward to reading more in the series in the future! Thanks to Netgalley and HQN for the review copy! I actually listened to this via Hoopla through my library though and would definitely recommend the audiobook, which features the short story, A Kiss to Remember as well.

  25. 4 out of 5

    The CurvyJones

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I don’t know how to feel. Like with the first book in this series, the covers don’t fit the book. I feel like this book can’t decide what sub genre it falls into and the cover doesn’t help in the least. The covers say sweet small town cheery romance- and its not like this doesn’t fit that bill. It just… starts there and goes further. There’s sexual language that I don’t expect in a sweet small town romance. It’s a long novel and also a slow burn, slower than I like and I LOVE a slow burn. No hea I don’t know how to feel. Like with the first book in this series, the covers don’t fit the book. I feel like this book can’t decide what sub genre it falls into and the cover doesn’t help in the least. The covers say sweet small town cheery romance- and its not like this doesn’t fit that bill. It just… starts there and goes further. There’s sexual language that I don’t expect in a sweet small town romance. It’s a long novel and also a slow burn, slower than I like and I LOVE a slow burn. No heat until 75% in… by that point I am tired of the back and forth, the push and pull. Then the last 25% is a rush of emotion and rash, quickly made decisions and resolving the external plot with some insta-love thrown in. Anyway, those are my nits. I hopped right up this morning to finish the last 25% of this book (and skipped the bonus story at the end) so I must not have disliked it too much. My last beef is probably my fault— I purposely don’t read certain sub genres, and I was too far in before I noticed Wolf was a white man. For that matter, Nessa could have been, too. I honestly can’t recall any specific race in the description. To me, it’s an issue when characters are ambiguous and it’s why I like to read Black romance because there is no doubt that those characters look like me and share many of my lived experiences. ANYWAY I do not know how to rate this book so I’m going to go with an even 3. It wasn’t terrible, but I have to many irritations to list to give it more than that.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jaime Fiction Fangirls

    This was my first time reading a book from Naima Simone but it will absolutely not be my last! Nessa and Wold certainly made a great impression on me!! Could Wolf have been any more perfect? The way he waited for Nessa's consent to comfort her, the way he connected with her sister, how loyal and supportive he was to his family and the way he called her BABY? Come on!! And don't even get me started on the carnal connection between him and Nessa. I was NOT expecting that! I was heartbroken for Nes This was my first time reading a book from Naima Simone but it will absolutely not be my last! Nessa and Wold certainly made a great impression on me!! Could Wolf have been any more perfect? The way he waited for Nessa's consent to comfort her, the way he connected with her sister, how loyal and supportive he was to his family and the way he called her BABY? Come on!! And don't even get me started on the carnal connection between him and Nessa. I was NOT expecting that! I was heartbroken for Nessa and everything she went through with her father. Not only did she have to go through the loss of losing her mother, she had to contend with the secret her mom confessed on her death bed and everything that means to her past and future. I thought the way that Wolf helped Nessa navigate the emotions of her secret and newly being appointed her sister's guardian was a beautiful journey. Naima Simone was great at world-building and character development and I will for sure be checking out her backlist soon!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dar

    When all the wrappings hide the pain inside, that is exactly what the case is with Nessa and Wolf. Nessa wrappings aren’t shiny and bright, she uses her cool exterior to hide everything, keep everyone at bay. But inside, all those unresolved, festering, feelings finally cause her to have to take notice and look at them. Wolf hides behind that shiny and bright exterior, everyone’s happy and helpful big brother, perfect son, family jokester. We learn that isn’t the case with him either, and there When all the wrappings hide the pain inside, that is exactly what the case is with Nessa and Wolf. Nessa wrappings aren’t shiny and bright, she uses her cool exterior to hide everything, keep everyone at bay. But inside, all those unresolved, festering, feelings finally cause her to have to take notice and look at them. Wolf hides behind that shiny and bright exterior, everyone’s happy and helpful big brother, perfect son, family jokester. We learn that isn’t the case with him either, and there is a scene with his dad about being seen that had me sobbing for him. Nessa and Wolf find each other and they help the other take down their walls, deconstruct those barriers, and open up their hearts. A beautiful setting that eventually takes our characters to a place where they can truly live in all that beauty, together <3

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Christmas Romance With A Touch Of Preachy Politics. This is *mostly* a Hallmarkie Christmas Romance that would *mostly* fit right in with a typical Hallmark Christmas Movie. So for fans of that kind of story, you're going to love this one. That noted, it does have a moment or two of getting particularly preachy about the author's politics here - enough that when reading through that section (an extended one early and a few other comments here and there) there was debate within my head about a st Christmas Romance With A Touch Of Preachy Politics. This is *mostly* a Hallmarkie Christmas Romance that would *mostly* fit right in with a typical Hallmark Christmas Movie. So for fans of that kind of story, you're going to love this one. That noted, it does have a moment or two of getting particularly preachy about the author's politics here - enough that when reading through that section (an extended one early and a few other comments here and there) there was debate within my head about a star deduction. But ultimately even the preachiness was more spice than actual substance here - kind of a cilantro. Some will LOVE it. Others will HATE it. No matter which side you're on here, know that it truly doesn't form the actual meat of the tale here, and the rest of the tale really is a solid story of the type described above. This is marketed as Book 2 in a series, and honestly with the various backstories provided it almost seems like it could be even deeper than that - and yet the story here still works as a standalone by itself. Ultimately a solid Christmas Romance, and very much recommended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Wenger

    Nessa is on a road trip with her adolescent sister following the death of their father. They're spending Christmas in Rose Bend, giving Nessa a much needed break from her job as an ER nurse. The town's Christmas spirit grates on her nerves, but she tolerates it to make her sister happy. More trying is Wolf, the innkeeper's handsome son. He's just so…nice. And welcoming. And good with his hands. And who needs that, really? Nessa is too busy protecting her heart to make time for a man who's pursuin Nessa is on a road trip with her adolescent sister following the death of their father. They're spending Christmas in Rose Bend, giving Nessa a much needed break from her job as an ER nurse. The town's Christmas spirit grates on her nerves, but she tolerates it to make her sister happy. More trying is Wolf, the innkeeper's handsome son. He's just so…nice. And welcoming. And good with his hands. And who needs that, really? Nessa is too busy protecting her heart to make time for a man who's pursuing her for a holiday fling. That could lead to feelings. And wanting things she can't have. She's already experienced enough of that in her life. She doesn't believe in Christmas miracles—but she just might find one anyway. I love grumpy/sunshine books where the FMC is the grumpy one. Nessa and Wolf both have their dark sides, but he brings her the acceptance and hope she deeply needs. This book is just the right balance Simone's natural edginess and small-town Christmas charm. More, please! Thanks, Booksprout, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Family, hope, and love! Christmas in Rose Bend is perfect! This book-oh my word! It's a Hallmark movie on page, but with more heart and heat than I could have ever hoped for. Naima Simone has officially set the standard for my expectations of holiday romance novels. The emotional depth of these characters is so beautiful. I loved every aspect of this book-from how Nessa and Wolf have to learn to deal with their pasts, to the beautiful story of what makes a family, to the rediscovery of the joy t Family, hope, and love! Christmas in Rose Bend is perfect! This book-oh my word! It's a Hallmark movie on page, but with more heart and heat than I could have ever hoped for. Naima Simone has officially set the standard for my expectations of holiday romance novels. The emotional depth of these characters is so beautiful. I loved every aspect of this book-from how Nessa and Wolf have to learn to deal with their pasts, to the beautiful story of what makes a family, to the rediscovery of the joy that can be found during the holiday season. This book is a gift! It's the gift of healing, and love, and hope. I cannot thank the author enough for inviting readers along on this beautiful journey.

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