Review: The Holiday Serenade by Ava Miles

Posted January 21, 2014 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Holiday Serenade by Ava MilesThe Holiday Serenade by Ava Miles
Series: Dare Valley #4
Published by Self Published on October 21, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 110
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Amazon | Goodreads

Professional gambler Rhett Butler Blaylock is everything Abbie Maven doesn't want in a man-flamboyant, flashy, and unreserved. After a horrible experience in her youth, she has spent her life trying to make all the right choices, pouring her energy into being the best possible single mother to her son. But though Rhett doesn't seem to be husband and stepfather material, he awakens emotions in her that are as frightening as they are powerful. They had a fling she’s never forgotten, and now he has followed her to Dare Valley, Colorado with the intention of winning back her heart…this time, forever.

Rhett’s determined to show Abbie he can be the man of her dreams. He’ll do whatever it takes for the woman he loves, including giving up his flamboyant lifestyle and bad-boy image. As Christmas approaches, he prepares a special surprise for her, hoping the holiday will work its magic and grant him a miracle. Will his holiday serenade heal Abbie’s heart and convince her to give love a second chance?

The set up
Rhett Blaylock is on a mission to get Abbie Maven to give their relationship a chance. She doesn’t trust her judgment when it comes to men because the last time she did, the results were disastrous. Rhett’s waited patiently the last six months, playing by her rules. Now he’s pulling out all of the stops during the Christmas season to get her to admit she loves him and he’s a man she can trust her heart and her teenage son to for life.

The issues
While Abbie has given Rhett the impression that his flamboyant professional style is one of the barriers to their being together, it’s clear that there’s more behind her reluctance than his poker persona. Her son, Dustin, and her brother, Mac, are all supportive of the relationship and her friends are all rooting for the couple. Abbie’s almost paralyzed by her fear despite her deep feelings for Rhett.

What I liked about the story
Rhett’s a larger than life character, almost too much but you really cannot help falling for the guy. He declared his love for Abbie in the last book and never waivers, publicly or privately. He adores her son who reciprocates those feelings. Rhett’s sense of humor kept me smiling and his romancing efforts were touching, even when he went overboard. The Christmas theme made everything even more magical. Abbie was a bit uptight but given her history, it was understandable.

The bottom line
You’ve gotta love a character called Rhett Butler Blaylock who is every bit as dashing as his namesake. This story is all romance, steam and humor with a touch of the holiday spirit added just to make it even sweeter. It’s a nice installment in the series and the perfect ending for Abbie and Rhett.


About Ava Miles

Ava Miles burst onto the contemporary romance scene after receiving Nora Roberts’ blessing for her use of Ms. Roberts’ name in her debut novel, NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off The Dare Valley Series and brought praise from reviewers and readers alike. Much to Ava’s delight, BlogCritics says “It [NORA ROBERTS LAND] captures the best of…a Nora Roberts novel,” while USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog praises the series noting its “wonderful, idyllic setting… [and] great characters.” Ava continued The Dare Valley Series in FRENCH ROAST, which Tome Tender says “raised the entertainment bar again” and then THE GRAND OPENING, which reviewer Mary J. Gramlich says “is a continuation of love, family, and relationships.” Now, Ava releases the fourth book in the series, THE HOLIDAY SERENADE, with her recognized wit and charm, creating happy endings with humor and heart.

Born in a small town herself, Ava has created the small, Colorado town of Dare Valley and the residents who make it memorable, including the Hale family who, like Ava, are descended from a long line of journalists. Ava’s great-great grandfather won his first newspaper in a poker game in 1892 and her family has had something to do with telling stories, whether to share news or, in her case, fiction, ever since. In fact her clan is still reporting on local events more than one hundred years later at their family newspaper.

Ava is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Washington Romance Writers. She is also part of an unofficial group that regularly convenes a writing retreat at Nora Roberts’ restored Inn Boonsboro in western Maryland. Having left behind the “day job,” which took her, literally, all over the world, she now writes full-time in the peace and quiet of her northern Virginia porch-swinging-friendly community.

Find Me


Co-Blogger/Full Time Reviewer at The Book Nympho
I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!

Friend me at Goodreads.
Find Me

Latest posts by Jonetta (see all)