A Toast to the Good Times Review

December 20, 2013 / 0 comments

A Toast to the Good Times ReviewA Toast To the Good Times by Liz Reinhardt, Steph Campbell
Published by Self-Published on November 19, 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: ARC
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It’s the eve before Christmas Eve, and all that twenty-three-year-old Landry has on the agenda for the holiday is moping in the bar that he left everything behind to open.
And he’s got plenty to mope about.
He found his girlfriend treating herself to a little holiday delight with his best friend;
He hasn’t seen his family in over a year- since he alienated them all and ended up spending a night in jail;
And he may have just ruined the perfect, uncomplicated thing he had going with his platonically hot roommate, Mila.
Drinks all around!
But when he gets a call from his sister, Paisley, begging him to make it home for a huge announcement, he tosses aside his better judgment, (or, what’s left of it after that last round of drinks) and hops on the first train back home to Jersey.
But home for the holidays isn’t all mugs of cocoa and fireside chats with his family.
Landry left the people he loves the most high and dry when he fled to Boston and spent all of his inheritance…the inheritance money that he was supposed to use to help save his family’s floundering bar.
His dad will hardly look at him, his ex is maybe stalking him, his sister has dropped a bombshell on the family, and a flame from the past catches his eye. When Landry’s present and near past collide, it only further complicates things.

Landry thought he was leaving all of his problems behind when he left his family in New Jersey. But he comes home to find out that problems, like family, never go away. And sometimes facing the past with the help of someone who’s fearless about the future is the only way to move on.


Liezel’s Thoughts:

 I have to admit that this is the first I’ve read from these writers and now I am asking myself “Why haven’t I’ve read their work sooner?” I thought this was an easy read that could be finished in just a couple of hours. Despite it being on the shorter side,  I thought that it was just terrific.

Told in the hero’s point of view, I was immediately   pulled into  Landry’s world. I felt sorry for the guy having to spend Christmas without his family. He hasn’t seen them since he moved away from home and never has been in contact with them because of a falling out with his father. Out of the blue his sister calls him begging him to come home. Of course he could have made an excuse not to travel back home but maybe it was his subconscious telling him it was time to bury the hatchet. It was Christmas after all!

As he makes his way home he unexpectedly runs into an ex.  For some odd reason this person reminded me of  a character in a classic – A Christmas Carol.  They bring us back in the past telling us their story when they were still together. While this certain someone wasn’t treated  well in their younger years she doesn’t harbor any bad feelings. Instead, that experience seems to have mold her into a mature and  sensible adult. She gives him this priceless gift of advice. 

Most would just ignore these simple words but in Landry’s case it is exactly what he needed to hear. He takes her words to heart and brings them to the forefront when dealing with his current love interest, Mila. I thought that her character was outstanding. She is quirky and nerdy yet so sweet, charming and down to earth. I don’t know how are authors did it but they made me feel like she could be a best friend.

You would never think that these two were compatible enough but for some reason they worked. The complimented each other so  well. I thought that the passion between the two was off the charts. While they were hot and steamy  they were playful too which made these scenes feel very real.

For me that wasn’t the most important thing in this story… it was making peace with the past and reuniting a family. Family which in my opinion is the true meaning of Christmas.

 If you are looking for a  book of  finding love when least expected, a story of acceptance and forgiveness that will put you in the holiday mood than this is the perfect one for you.

The Verdict:



Maybe it was karma biting my ass when I found Heather and Tyler together.

Whatever the reason, I found my way to that tiny, sad pub after I left the scene of their double betrayal and settled in for a long night of Picklebacks. What I really wanted to do was pour the whiskey straight into my brain and burn the image of the two of them right out of my grey matter. I was only on my second shot when Mila came stumbling in.

“It’s cold as a witch’s tit in a brass bra out there!” She shot me a cheerful smile and pulled out the stool next to me. She collapsed onto it, letting several plastic shopping bags containing gift-wrapped packages slide off her arms. Her leather messenger bag hit the floor with a thunk and hardback books spilled out all over the place. “Do you mind if I sit here for a while? Just until the wind dies down?” Mila asked the bartender.

“I don’t care how long you sit, as long as you’re buying drinks. And tipping.” He gave her a quick wink, but I knew he was serious. Even in near-blizzard conditions, he wasn’t going to let her take up space at his bar for free.

“Sure. Okay. That’s not a problem.” Her dark hair pooled around her face as she dug through her purse. “Oh. Uh-oh. Um, my wallet…”

I glanced up and caught the bartender rolling his eyes.

“No sweat, I got it,” I said. Mila’s cheeks turned even pinker than they had been from the biting cold.

“No, that’s okay. It’s here somewhere.” She continued to dig through her purse.

“Really, I insist. What’ll you have?”

Mila bit her lip, and I could practically see the wheels spinning.

“What are you having?” She motioned to the pair of shots sitting in front of me.

“Pickelback.” I narrowed my eyes at her, taking in the mussed hair, the makeup-free face and the “I Read Banned Books” shirt peeking out from the folds of her thick wool coat, and the way she looked totally out of her element in this seedy little bar. “You look more like an amaretto sour type of girl. Or, maybe a pink paradise?”

Despite my misery, I couldn’t help the smirk I flashed while I gave her my professional opinion.

“I’ll have a Tom Collins,” she said, negating my smirk with the slow rise of one eyebrow. And I nearly fell off of my stool. She just ordered my grandfather’s drink.  “Thanks,” she added. “I can totally pay you back if you give me your address. I promise I’ll send you a check or something.”

“It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. I’m Landry.” I extended my hand, and she shook it lightly.

Her smile was warm, slow, and sweet with just a tiny punch of sass. I really thought I had her pegged with her drink of choice, but I was obviously not on my A-game when it came to figuring girls out recently.

My surprise over Heather’s backstabbing proved that.

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About Liz Reinhardt

Liz Reinhardt was born and raised in the idyllic beauty of northwest NJ. A move to the subtropics of coastal Georgia with her daughter and husband left her with a newly realized taste for the beach and a bloated sunscreen budget. Right alongside these new loves is her old, steadfast affection and longing for bagels and the fast-talking foul mouths of her youth.
She loves Raisinettes, even if they aren’t really candy, the Oxford comma, movies that are hilarious or feature zombies, any and all books, but especially romance (the smarter and hotter, the better), the sound of her daughter’s incessantly wise and entertaining chatter, and watching her husband work on cars in the driveway.

About Steph Campbell

Steph Campbell grew up in Southern California, but now calls the Northeast home. She has one husband, four children and a serious nail polish obsession. She’s repped by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Steph’s works include Delicate, Grounding Quinn and Beautiful Things Never Last; My Heart for Yours and My Fate for Yours (with Jolene Perry); A Toast to the Good Times (with Liz Reinhardt) and the bestselling new adult LENGTHS series with Liz Reinhardt.

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