Countdown to Midnight, a holiday novella

Countdown to Midnight, a holiday novella - Katy Regnery Once again Katy Regnery gifts readers a story they can delight in. As I sit here contemplating my review, there is a burning question that comes to mind: Series, Standalone or Introduction read? What if I said yes to all three?

As a series, this is definitely a must read for fans of the Blueberry Lane series. The story concludes our much needed HEAs for the Story sisters with insight on the connection to the Atwell family. As always, Ms. Regnery blesses the reader with both back story and current to have you connect. You walk away at the end content and happy to say goodbye to our beloved series.

As a standalone if you are fan of second chance romance, this novella gives you two stories with different backstories for a satisfying read. Elizabeth's tale theme is 'misunderstanding' whereas Jane's is 'the one that got away'. With each heroine's story, Ms. Regnery delivers both backstory to not have an unfamiliar reader feel lost, and the connection story is never rushed. Both Elizabeth and Jane are strong female leads and there counterpoints in Merit and Amity are perfect blend of alpha-y male goodness. The reader also is given just enough heat to turn it up and feel the passion. If you are looking for that quick, feel good holiday read while catching a flight, you will not be disappointed.

If a reader is looking for an introduction, this would be definitely a recommendation from me for someone unfamiliar with Katy's writing or wanting to test the waters before diving in the entire series. The novella covers a complete story without needing to have the experience of reading the others. There are no obvious spoilers (at least for this reader) that would ruin the experience of the other novels.

As followers of my reviews should know by now, I'm a very HUGE fan of Katy Regnery's stories. She writes without raking me over the angst and delivers a HEA I need. But for me, I tend to grade novellas on a harsher curve. It's difficult to deliver a complete for me, and I hate feeling abandoned if I can't continue on quickly. However, this gem ticks off ever necessary box I require. Never rushed to completion, understood the characters, some witty mixed with sweet banter - this story delivered it all. 5 out of 5 stars