Release Day Launch: Holiday Spice by Samantha Chase (Review & Excerpt!)

The Shaughnessy family is ready for the holidays! Samantha Chase’s Holiday Spice is available now and contemporary romance lovers won't want to miss this one! Read an excerpt below and pick up your copy today!

About Holiday Spice 

Darcy Shaughnessy has gotten used to her overbearing brothers chasing away any man she wants to date. But a chance meeting with a brooding – and deliciously handsome – artist is about to make this holiday season one to remember. There's only one thing Benjamin Tanner loves more than his woodcarving: solitude. Then he gets snowed in with Darcy in his cozy cabin in the woods, and their heated feelings begin to melt the icy barrier between them. With Ben's need for privacy and Darcy's love of family and social life, will opposites still attract once the snow clears and the holiday festivities come to an end? 

I know it's only October, but I've been in such a holiday book mood lately (case in point: Chasing Christmas Eve). Therefore, as soon as I heard about Samantha Chase's Holiday Spice, and it's "cozy cabin in the woods" setting, I had to have it! Also, isn't that cover just GORGEOUS?! I just love the pink and purple combo. 

The result? I LOVED Holiday Spice. It was a read-in-one-day kind of book - I read it at the laundromat, at my favorite coffee shop, while I was stirring my mac and cheese that night for dinner! I simply COULD NOT put it down - I was that in love with Darcy and Ben's winter romance. 

One of my favorite aspects of Holiday Spice was the setting. Nothing says a holiday read like a snowy, Thomas Kinkade like heaven, and that's exactly what Holiday Spice provided in the form of Ben's cabin and workshop. Samantha Chase did an amazing job of describing it. I especially loved the time she put into describing the wooden artistic touches Ben painstakingly added to his house. I wish it was real so I could go visit! 

Over the course of Holiday Spice, I also came to love both Darcy and Ben. Darcy was the most lovable of the two. She was the perfect combination of sweet and sassy, and while her tendency to jump to conclusions irked me to pieces at times, I could admittedly relate because been there done that. I also liked how family orientated she was. Her relationships with her brothers, sister-in-laws and father not only brought laughter and smilies but also some tears (mostly happy tears but some sad ones as well!!). Unlike Darcy, Ben's never had a close relationship with his brothers. Instead, he's used to closing himself off to the world, and living in his own winter wonderland. When he's first introduced, I was instantly swooning, as he's just the right mix of macho and sweet. I especially loved how Darcy came to change his way of thinking overtime. He goes from being someone who can't stand to open up to others to someone who won't let anything get in the way of FINALLY getting that happy ending! 

Tying Darcy and Ben together, we get a whole bunch of ROMANCE of course (and really what is a holiday romance without the steamy and hot romance!). I enjoyed how real their connection was. There was no insta-love feelings present here; instead, their relationship developed steadily over time, going from haters to friends to lovers. Most of the book had to do with their day to day interactions and chores, but never was I once bored, because I just loved seeing seeing them be themselves. Darcy's cooking was horrendous yet hilarious, Ben's desire to hide-hide-hide during the snowstorm had me chuckling, and their banter had me laughing and swooning from here till the moon. Seriously, I couldn't get enough. 

Grab a piping hot cup of hot cocoa (or your fall-winter drink of choice) and settle in for the long haul, as Holiday Spice isn't a book meant to be read over time, it's a book to be read in one extra-long sitting. However, be prepared, because if you're anything like me, the epilogue will have you outright sobbing! 

Grade: A+ 

Source: eARC provided by publicist 

Add HOLIDAY SPICE to your Goodreads shelf here

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The laundry was going. She’d made enough cookie dough for several dozen cookies and baked a cake. And she was slowly losing her mind. Yeah, her usual happy place—baking in the kitchen—was so not cutting it right now. She’d used up most of the basic ingredients and knew if she kept going, she was going to have to get creative. Why the hell had she stopped Ben earlier? Right now, she could be naked and satisfied in that amazing bed of his and feeling completely at peace, and instead, her fingers were coated in cookie dough, and she was frustrated. Good plan, Darce. Okay, he’d scared her. Or maybe she’d scared herself. It was all just so intense. So everything. She felt consumed and hot and bothered, and her heart had felt so damn full that she’d almost had a panic attack over the whole thing. What the hell was that about? Sex! She was just supposed to want sex! It would be a great way to pass the time, get out of her slump, and move on! Why had emotions gone and gotten in the way? Or worse, her heart! She wasn’t that girl! Or at least, she had thought she wasn’t that girl. Rinsing her hands off, she walked over to the kitchen table and sat with a sigh. Wasn’t this exactly what she had been worrying about a week ago at Riley’s house? She wanted to feel like this. She wanted to be wanted like this. She just didn’t think she wanted it with Ben. And what was so wrong with Ben? Um, the whole crush on Savannah thing, she reminded herself. But then instantly, she pushed that aside. He had a point last night, and so did Anna. Darcy knew she was flirty with some of her guy friends, and it had nothing to do with being attracted to them. Right now, she needed to come to grips with why she was being so closed-minded about Ben. He was sexy, attractive, considerate—he had saved her from being stranded in an airport in a storm—and when she wasn’t arguing with him and actually let herself relax and have a conversation with him, she found he was funny and someone she enjoyed talking to. Looking around, she took in her surroundings and sighed. There was the whole he looked a little like a lumberjack and lived like a mountain man thing, but was that so bad? Probably not. She wasn’t looking for forever with him. Maybe she was looking for a hot and heavy fling. And boy, did she want to get flung. For hours at a time. And after discovering how Ben kissed and how she responded to those kisses, Darcy had no doubt that getting flung by him would be incredibly satisfying. So how did she get them to that place? How did she approach him when he came inside after shoveling and let him know she would be agreeable to…flinging? “Ugh,” she murmured as the timer on the oven went off. Rising, she walked over to her baking station and started rolling the dough into little balls to place on the baking sheets. “I need to come up with a better metaphor than that.” Rather than obsess on euphemisms, she simply let herself get into the groove of getting the cookies formed and onto their sheets. It was mindless work and the perfect distraction at the moment. Once she had everything ready to go, she began placing things into the oven and setting timers and starting her cleanup. This was good. This was what she needed. Part of the problem was that she’d stayed up late reading sexy, snowed-in stories. It was feeding her imagination. At least partly. Ben being sexy as all get-out was feeding the rest. And she was just going to have to wait and see what she could come up with where Ben was concerned.   

Don't miss the other books in the Shaughnessy Brothers series!



Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina. Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter Sign Up / BookBub


  1. You had made at snowy Thomas Kincaid like setting, that alone sounds wonderful. But Darcy and Ben sound like one of those couples you just can't help but to root for too. Lovely review.

  2. Your review totally made my day!! Thank you so much for sharing!!


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