Book Review: Sleigh Belles

Sleigh Belles (The Sassy Belles #3)
Published By: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Adult - Chick Lit, Southern Fiction

I've really enjoyed reading this series and I'm sad to see it end. My favorite part of this series has been the friendship between Blake and Vivi. I've also loved watching their relationships evolve. I was expecting to get to spend a lot more time with them in the final book, but sadly that didn't happen. This novel is really Dallas' story. It's certainly not a bad read, but it is my least favorite in the series.

For starters, I haven't liked Dallas at all in the other books. It was hard for me to start seeing her as a sympathetic character. I did appreciate that we got to learn about who Dallas really is behind her television persona. I did feel sorry for her and I did end up liking her, but it took me a long time. I really struggled with the beginning of this one as a result. I was stubborn and much like Blake didn't give Dallas a fair chance. I still have trouble liking Dallas after some of her past actions - particularly where Harry was concerned.

Secondly, this novel was a lot more serious than its predecessors. It didn't feel as light hearted and humorous. I missed the banter between Blake and Vivi; it appears every now and then, but only in fleeting moments. I also was bummed that I didn't get to spend more time with Blake and Sonny.

There is a new leading man in this one, Cal. I did enjoy him and watching his feelings for Dallas change throughout the course of the story.

Lastly, I still love the setting and the football connection that runs throughout this series. I've never been to Tuscaloosa, but this series makes me want to grab my car keys and sweet tea.

All in all, this was a good read, but I just wanted less Dallas and more Blake and Vivi. I do think this was a perfect holiday read with some good food for thought.

One Last Gripe: The ending fell flat for me. I felt like there is so much more to the Sassy Belles' stories. I hope to see them again in future Albright novels.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I love the sense of place in this series.

First Sentence: Dallas couldn't believe she was having another flare-up.

Favorite Character: Cal

Least Favorite Character: Dallas - although by the end I had warmed up to her

Join the Sassy Belles this holiday season—it's Christmas, Southern-style!

With her hair perfectly coiffed, nails freshly manicured and a heavy trail of perfume wafting behind her, local news reporter Dallas Dubois is sure she's about to kick her career—and maybe her love life—into high gear. The director of the Tuscaloosa children's Christmas play has fallen ill, and Dallas is ordered by her station manager to take the reins. Everyone is shocked—especially Cal Hollingsworth, who still remembers her as the Ice Queen from high school.

If nothing else, Dallas has never met a challenge that a little lip gloss and a Chanel knockoff couldn't fix. But she has no idea how to relate to these kids, and their brutal honesty is giving her pause. Things are made even more complicated by the butterflies she gets whenever Cal is near….

But when long-lost family members reenter her life, Dallas's icy veneer begins to melt. And with Cal by her side, she soon realizes that it's what's under all the hair spray that counts.