Review: “Christmas with the Cunninghams” by Julianna Marley

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Small Craft Warning

“Christmas with the Cunninghams” is a lovely Christmas novella in The Mavericks series.  This novella picks up almost immediately where Julianna Marley’s “Hail Mary” novel ends.  Shay just has asked Whitney to marry him and started the process to adopt baby Quinn.  Shay, Whitney and Quinn have returned to his parent’s house for another huge Cunningham Family holiday celebration.  It’s a full house.  All of the Cunningham boys, their wives, Shay’s nieces and nephews, and parents are all in attendance.  As usual the children are running amok, Erin is pregnant and scary angry, and Shay keeps trying to sneak Quinn more cookies than Whitney allows.  Shay and his brother are making strides in mending their relationship.

Whitney’s Southern manners have Shay contributing to a “no cussin'” jar in order to clean up his language.  This kind of hinders Shay’s ability to freely communicate with his foul mouthed family in their “native tongue”.  It also results in an impromptu spewing of expletives by Shay.  Whitney’s vocal enthusiasm also causes them to have to be creative as to where they can have sex.  Especially since Whitney also thinks it’s rude to have sex under Shay’s parents’ roof.  Shay has a hysterical Elf On The Shelf phobia which manifests in a fabulous paranoia.  There is also an wonderful nod to “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.  This novella is not meaty, nor does it have any conflict.  It is a lovely, fun and sentimental picture of an ideal family Christmas.  A truly quaint story.

I’m giving “Christmas with the Cunninghams” 3 Lightning Bolts and a Small Craft Advisory.


This novella was provided to me.  Voluntarily read and reviewed without bias.

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