Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles by Maria Imbalzano

Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles by Maria Imbalzano
Christmas Cookies
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Holiday
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Competitive, work-obsessed Bella Simonetti has just been fired from her high-paying job at a Manhattan law firm. At an all-time low, she returns home and helps her parents at their small-town gift shop, but the business is failing and may not make it past the Christmas holidays.

Successful landscape architect Dean Jackson is like a son to Bella’s parents. But he’s a persistent annoyance to her—he seems to have forgotten his unforgivable blunder thirteen years earlier.

When Bella transforms her parents’ gift shop into a cookie cottage, Dean’s generosity and magnetic smile are hard to resist, and those feelings of unrequited adolescent love come rushing back. But can Bella let go of the past and accept Dean for the man he is today?

Christmas is a season of hope, forgiveness, and turning over a fresh leaf. All of these things are just a tad easier to accomplish when there are homemade Christmas cookies available, too.

Bella’s parents, Clive and Barb, were a hoot. They were in a stage of life when change was difficult for them and they often struggled to see Bella as a fellow adult instead of their child. This led to some pretty funny moments, especially when she genuinely happened to know more about a certain topic than they did or tried to give them much-needed advice about how to save their struggling shop. My favorite scenes were the ones that included them bantering with their daughter. If the author ever decides to write a sequel, I’d be thrilled to see more of that!

It would have been nice to have a little more time spent developing the subplot about Bella’s struggle to find new work after being fired. This was such an important part of her life that I was surprised it wasn’t mentioned more. She was clearly an intelligent and resourceful character. I would have loved to dig more deeply into why she made the career decisions she did. With that being said, this is a minor criticism of a novella I otherwise had a wonderful time reading.

The romantic storyline was handled beautifully. I enjoyed getting to know Bella and Dean’s backstories, especially when it came to why she was still angry with him so many years after his blunder. Their shared history gave them plenty of reasons to interact with each other despite her grudge.

Red Velvet Crinkles and Christmas Sprinkles was a heartwarming holiday read.


  1. This sounds yummy.


  1. […] This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maria Imbalzano will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.  Click here to read our review of this book! […]

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