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I'm Dreaming of a Wicked Christmas: The First Noel Told by Rick Rowling

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Ghost saw somebody killing Santa Claus. Underneath the mistletoe last night… Dashing, debonair paranormal investigator Rick Rowling usually spends the holidays at luxurious resorts, with women falling at his feet. What would make him trade champagne toasts and caviar dreams for a Yuletide dinner in Queens with the family of his ravishing assistant Mandy, the only woman who Ghost saw somebody killing Santa Claus. Underneath the mistletoe last night… Dashing, debonair paranormal investigator Rick Rowling usually spends the holidays at luxurious resorts, with women falling at his feet. What would make him trade champagne toasts and caviar dreams for a Yuletide dinner in Queens with the family of his ravishing assistant Mandy, the only woman who seems immune to his charms? Turns out the single witness to the murder of Santa Claus is a lovelorn ghost who wants a date with Rick in exchange for information on the suspect. A romantic romp through the city could become a double date with destiny for the FBI's sexiest sleuth, but can he solve the case before the spirit departs forever? Take a look back at the Rowlings’ first Noel in this special holiday installment of the Manhattan Mystery Series.


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Ghost saw somebody killing Santa Claus. Underneath the mistletoe last night… Dashing, debonair paranormal investigator Rick Rowling usually spends the holidays at luxurious resorts, with women falling at his feet. What would make him trade champagne toasts and caviar dreams for a Yuletide dinner in Queens with the family of his ravishing assistant Mandy, the only woman who Ghost saw somebody killing Santa Claus. Underneath the mistletoe last night… Dashing, debonair paranormal investigator Rick Rowling usually spends the holidays at luxurious resorts, with women falling at his feet. What would make him trade champagne toasts and caviar dreams for a Yuletide dinner in Queens with the family of his ravishing assistant Mandy, the only woman who seems immune to his charms? Turns out the single witness to the murder of Santa Claus is a lovelorn ghost who wants a date with Rick in exchange for information on the suspect. A romantic romp through the city could become a double date with destiny for the FBI's sexiest sleuth, but can he solve the case before the spirit departs forever? Take a look back at the Rowlings’ first Noel in this special holiday installment of the Manhattan Mystery Series.

30 review for I'm Dreaming of a Wicked Christmas: The First Noel Told by Rick Rowling

  1. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    I'm Dreaming of a Wicked Christmas by Lotta Smith is a sweet novella from Rick's viewpoint. The story is about one of Rick and Mandy's first cases together. The plot moved quickly and was a real treat to see Mandy and Jackie from Rick's point of view. Mandy and Rick are trying to get a ghost who witnessed a murder to tell them who did the murder. The ghost, Cam, will only tell them what she saw if Rick will take her on a date. Of course, Mandy has to come along to be the interpreter. There were s I'm Dreaming of a Wicked Christmas by Lotta Smith is a sweet novella from Rick's viewpoint. The story is about one of Rick and Mandy's first cases together. The plot moved quickly and was a real treat to see Mandy and Jackie from Rick's point of view. Mandy and Rick are trying to get a ghost who witnessed a murder to tell them who did the murder. The ghost, Cam, will only tell them what she saw if Rick will take her on a date. Of course, Mandy has to come along to be the interpreter. There were some really sweet scenes that shows how much Rick is beginning to fall for Mandy. Rick's date involves highlights of New York City at Christmas time with Mandy and Jackie providing the comedy as usual. An easy and entertaining afternoon read. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. All of the above opinions are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    “I'm Dreaming of a Wicked Christmas” earns 5/5 Santas and Ghostly...Entertaining! Delightful! Lotta Smith channels the “Ghost of Christmas Past” with this holiday novella, and this time a bit of a twist. Rick Rowling gets to be the first-person perspective with a quick “Intermezzo” from Mandy. Poof! Lotta takes us back when Rick and Mandy are boss and employee, respectively, and experiencing their first Christmas season. Carols. Gift-giving. Merriment. What more would you want at the holidays! M “I'm Dreaming of a Wicked Christmas” earns 5/5 Santas and Ghostly...Entertaining! Delightful! Lotta Smith channels the “Ghost of Christmas Past” with this holiday novella, and this time a bit of a twist. Rick Rowling gets to be the first-person perspective with a quick “Intermezzo” from Mandy. Poof! Lotta takes us back when Rick and Mandy are boss and employee, respectively, and experiencing their first Christmas season. Carols. Gift-giving. Merriment. What more would you want at the holidays! Maybe a dead body? And not just any dead body…Santa! But there's a witness, a ghost witness, and the “quid pro quo” is quite unique. You want to know what the ghost saw…she wants a date with Rick in compensation. So, how's that going to work? He can't see or hear the ghosts. Enter Mandy as chaperone. In many ways this is a great place to start for newbies, or those of us who started halfway thru the seventeen-book series, but fans from the beginning will enjoy the entertaining switch from the usual Mandy’s to Rick’s perspective, an interesting view on relationships with this male viewpoint. The well-written mystery of the murdered Santa is clever, and of course, a few ghosts pop in and out to offer their help or not-so-much help. I really enjoy Jackie, but sometimes from afar when he gets annoying. I also enjoyed Rick’s ideas of who they are, how they met, and some of the more antagonistic parts of their budding relationship. This is a novella, easily read in one sitting, but despite the length, the story was engaging, characters entertaining, Rick’s perspective helpful, and the Epilogue a good way to connect to the present. "Disclosure: I received an ARC. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Krystyna

    The male view of romance A good read but not as good as some of the others. Their first Christmas case that involved a murder in a mugging. Nice to see things from his viewpoint but like most readers we really want to get to know his daughter and find out what gifts she has. It's only a few hours until they break for the Christmas holidays. He can't wait. (Although Mandy has been trying to put him off from coming to Christmas dinner.) Therefore when they get a call from one of the other division The male view of romance A good read but not as good as some of the others. Their first Christmas case that involved a murder in a mugging. Nice to see things from his viewpoint but like most readers we really want to get to know his daughter and find out what gifts she has. It's only a few hours until they break for the Christmas holidays. He can't wait. (Although Mandy has been trying to put him off from coming to Christmas dinner.) Therefore when they get a call from one of the other divisions of the FBI, he's a bit annoyed. However a person has died and they need answers. The dead man's ghost isn't around but another ghost has seen the whole thing and will tell them everything after a romantic date with Rick. Thus Rick, Mandy (ghost interpreter), Cam (the ghost witness) and Jackie (her ghostly BFF) go out on a romantic date taking in the best tourist attractions. Meeting up with Mandy's ex-boyfriend and putting his nose out of joint (plus his new fiancee) is just the icing on the cake. However before they can get any information out of Cam, the ghost passes on. Will they catch the killer? Will that Christmas lead to more Christmases together?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    This story is told by Rick. It is when he and Mandy first got together working and the case they had. It was around Christmas time when a Santa Claus is killed going home. There was a witness, but no one saw her....she was a ghost. Enter Rick and Mandy and Jackie. Who could forget Jackie? This is the story they about how they were trying to get "Cam" to tell them about the killer and what they did for the information. It is a riot!!!!! Enjoy people! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book fro This story is told by Rick. It is when he and Mandy first got together working and the case they had. It was around Christmas time when a Santa Claus is killed going home. There was a witness, but no one saw her....she was a ghost. Enter Rick and Mandy and Jackie. Who could forget Jackie? This is the story they about how they were trying to get "Cam" to tell them about the killer and what they did for the information. It is a riot!!!!! Enjoy people! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book from Prolificworks.com.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Colette Samimi

    Fun Christmas story with a little supernatural on the side What a fun little story of ghosts, the paranormal and Christmas love. Rick and Mandy have a fun filled evening with their ghosts. It was nice to read a happily ever after ghostly Christmas story. It was fun and strange at the same time but have me happy Christmas feelings!

  6. 5 out of 5

    stephanie huntington

    Enjoyed this cute and quick read

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kat Lebo

    I'm Dreaming of a Wicked Christmas, Paranormal in Manhattan #17 by Lotta Smith This 17th book in the series is a prequel. I hate prequels. First, if the reader has read even one of the other books in the series, the future of the characters is already known, so no real danger to the main characters can exist. Second, at least in this case, the narrator changed from Mandy to Rick (in fact, it's subtitled: The First Noel by Rick Rowling. So, easy to guess, it's Rick's story of the first Christmas th I'm Dreaming of a Wicked Christmas, Paranormal in Manhattan #17 by Lotta Smith This 17th book in the series is a prequel. I hate prequels. First, if the reader has read even one of the other books in the series, the future of the characters is already known, so no real danger to the main characters can exist. Second, at least in this case, the narrator changed from Mandy to Rick (in fact, it's subtitled: The First Noel by Rick Rowling. So, easy to guess, it's Rick's story of the first Christmas the two shared after meeting. Most other factors were intact. There is a mystery, although it certainly isn't about who killed our featured ghost, as she isn't the ghost of the victim, but of a witness, and although the storyline masquerades as the search for the killer, it is really just about Mandy and Rick and their budding romance. Blech. So, no kudos for the mystery part of the novel. As far as it goes, it is a pleasant Christmas romance, if having your first sort-of date with two tag-along ghosts (one of whom was badly disfigured by her method of death) is romantic, that is. The pacing was good. The characters were consistently drawn. The fact that, unlike the other books I'd read in the series, the main narrator was Rick, rather than Mandy. That caused me a lot of confusion about who was talking. I have not often had that problem in other novels where the POV changed from one character to another, so I'm not sure why it was a problem here. I would guess it was because the style of writing is very simplistic, so there isn't enough of a difference between the dialogue of one character to the next to discern who the speaker is if it specifically isn't set out. Again, since this was a prequel, there was no cliffhanger ending, as the reader is already aware of what has happened to the characters from previous books. It was a pleasant read, but below par for both the author and the reader.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nadine

    Not really a mystery I thought I’d like reading from Rick’s POV. I thought I’d like going back in time to Mandy and Rick’s first Christmas. But I didn’t. It just didn’t work for me. I never made the connection with Rick as I do with Mandy. Jackie is my favorite and now her remarks were only secondhand instead of firsthand. The way Mandy kept repeating the ghosts’ remarks even in private conversations, felt unnatural. It wasn’t like the fun banter between Mandy and Jackie in other books. And altho Not really a mystery I thought I’d like reading from Rick’s POV. I thought I’d like going back in time to Mandy and Rick’s first Christmas. But I didn’t. It just didn’t work for me. I never made the connection with Rick as I do with Mandy. Jackie is my favorite and now her remarks were only secondhand instead of firsthand. The way Mandy kept repeating the ghosts’ remarks even in private conversations, felt unnatural. It wasn’t like the fun banter between Mandy and Jackie in other books. And although the story was still sort of pleasant, it could NOT be called a mystery. Only the prologue was about that and then, in the end, literally ONE sentence that the case was solved. But NOT thanks to Rick, Mandy or a ghost. WAY too easy! This was only a story about the weirdest date ever. We’re seeing all the sights of New York - and that’s it! IMO this book (which is not number 17 but I think would be better off called 1.5) is very dispensable. You’d miss nothing if you were to skip this one. I am certain the next installment will be better. A tiny blip in an otherwise great series. As this IS a fun series and I’ve loved every other book till now!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    This novella is written by Rick and written from his point of view. It starts with the days when Mandy first started working for Rick at the Paranormal division of the FBI and soon after she started being able to see Jackie. Rock and Mandy were asked to investigate to investigate a murder where the witness was a ghost of a recently deceased. The ghost was prepared to identify or describe the murderer on condition that Rick took her on a date, which of course Rick does, with Mandy in tow as inter This novella is written by Rick and written from his point of view. It starts with the days when Mandy first started working for Rick at the Paranormal division of the FBI and soon after she started being able to see Jackie. Rock and Mandy were asked to investigate to investigate a murder where the witness was a ghost of a recently deceased. The ghost was prepared to identify or describe the murderer on condition that Rick took her on a date, which of course Rick does, with Mandy in tow as interpreter. It is a lovely story, where Rick confesses how attracted he was to Mandy. All the previous Wicked books are written from Mandy’s perspective and of course, it tells of how she found him handsome and sexy and down right infuriating but it is nice to see that he was totally smitten by her from early on, and she did not have to seduce or trap him at all, especially as he was the most eligible bachelor and she was just another one of the girls and not even one of the models who used to hang onto his arm. I really enjoyed this story, and I think it is going to probably be one of my all time favourites. I received an ARC and this is my honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    John Presler

    With Christmas just around the corner, a Santa is killed during a robbery. The victim was a former con artist, turned informer. With no witnesses or other leads, Agent Kelsey calls Rick Rowling at the FBI's Paranormal Cases Division for help. He is hoping that speaking to the ghost of the victim will help uncover the killer. Fortunately, Mandy Meyer, Rick Rowling's new assistant, can communicate with ghosts. Unable to communicate with the ghost of the victim, Mandy learns that there was a witness With Christmas just around the corner, a Santa is killed during a robbery. The victim was a former con artist, turned informer. With no witnesses or other leads, Agent Kelsey calls Rick Rowling at the FBI's Paranormal Cases Division for help. He is hoping that speaking to the ghost of the victim will help uncover the killer. Fortunately, Mandy Meyer, Rick Rowling's new assistant, can communicate with ghosts. Unable to communicate with the ghost of the victim, Mandy learns that there was a witness to the attack. Unfortunately, the witness is a ghost and she refuses to provide any information about the killer, unless she gets a date with Rick. How do you entertain a ghost on a date? Will Mandy get the information from the ghost? Will Rick be able to help Agent Kelsey solve the murder? This story is told as a flash-back from Rick's perspective and gives a lot of insight into how Rick and Mandy got together.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hsu Lee

    I voluntarily offered to review this book with no obligations and my opinions are honest! It was a great book! In this book, in order for Mandy + Rick to solve a crime, Rick has to go on a date w/ a ghost. Of course, Mandy has to come along. Who else can tell Rick what the ghost is saying ? It has all the ingredients that you need for a great book! I can't wait for the next book in this series. I voluntarily offered to review this book with no obligations and my opinions are honest! It was a great book! In this book, in order for Mandy + Rick to solve a crime, Rick has to go on a date w/ a ghost. Of course, Mandy has to come along. Who else can tell Rick what the ghost is saying ? It has all the ingredients that you need for a great book! I can't wait for the next book in this series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Usually we have the pov of Mandy Rowling's but this time Rick is front and center. You have a murder and there is only one witness and she is dead. To get her to talk, she wants a date with Rick. This story takes place before Rick has worn Mandy down to become his better half. We follow Rick, Mandy, and our ghost Cam as they travel through out the city. As Rick tells us what's happening he is slowly falling more in love with Mandy. Usually we have the pov of Mandy Rowling's but this time Rick is front and center. You have a murder and there is only one witness and she is dead. To get her to talk, she wants a date with Rick. This story takes place before Rick has worn Mandy down to become his better half. We follow Rick, Mandy, and our ghost Cam as they travel through out the city. As Rick tells us what's happening he is slowly falling more in love with Mandy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Stratman

    This book is written from Rick's standpoint and is the first Christmas for Rick and Mandy. They are called out on a case for a mugging turned homicide. Another ghost witnessed the mugging and will tell Rick what happened if he will go out on a date with her. Of course Mandy and Jackie have to come along to help. What a fun read, I loved it!! I received an ARC. This is my honest review. This book is written from Rick's standpoint and is the first Christmas for Rick and Mandy. They are called out on a case for a mugging turned homicide. Another ghost witnessed the mugging and will tell Rick what happened if he will go out on a date with her. Of course Mandy and Jackie have to come along to help. What a fun read, I loved it!! I received an ARC. This is my honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jodi Sweet

    Rick’s View I really liked hearing a story from Rick’s point of view. I still like it from Mandy’s better, but this was a nice change. Jackie is my favorite and I love how funny and to the point she is. I totally recommend this book and the series. I’m glad there was some of the current happenings thrown in to the epilogue.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jana Gundy

    We get Rick’s POV! I will say that it was completely different to read this series from Rick’s POV. They all spend a night out on the town to solve a case with a ghost. It was funny, entertaining and we get to see a bit more of how Rick feels about Mandy from the start. It was great!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Schlichter

    It really was a cute little read! Loved how Jackie &Cam got along on their "date" with Rick ,well, Cams date !Mandy was s hoot!s If you like short funny,& intriguing stories with romance,laughs, & murder! This is the book for you! Watch out for the mistletoe! It really was a cute little read! Loved how Jackie &Cam got along on their "date" with Rick ,well, Cams date !Mandy was s hoot!s If you like short funny,& intriguing stories with romance,laughs, & murder! This is the book for you! Watch out for the mistletoe!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kandy

    Fun little story of the first Christmas with Rick and Mandy. A good way to start my Christmas tradition of reading only Christmas based mysteries for the month of December. Very enjoyable and entertaining.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie Huie

    Ok story, but not anywhere as good as her others!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne G. Kasaba

    I enjoyed going back in time and hearing about the start of the relationship between Rick and Mandy from Ricks point of view. I received an ARC of this book and voluntarily provided a review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tonya Rash

    Great book and funny I loved the book. Lotta Smith is a great writer. Her books are funny and sexy and keep you reading.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robin Resch

    In the beginning It was a nice change of pace going back to the beginning. Looking forward to reading the next book. Highly recommend this author.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nicki

    Such fun! Thought the book was a hoot!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniele

    Potential is there The story was ok, but a bit contrived. The writing was ok at best; it has a middle school feel to it. There is potential to her work, however.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Myra Ball

    Short and sweet Rick and Mandy switch up dialogue through out this short tale. It's a fun story that looks back on their first Christmas. Short and sweet Rick and Mandy switch up dialogue through out this short tale. It's a fun story that looks back on their first Christmas.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    I enjoyed it, but thought it could have had more excitement in it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Saundra Wright

    Cute but not really my cup of tea. I found the main character too shallow for my liking. The ghosts had better personalities for me. Short and lightweight if you just need to entertain yourself for an hour. Kindle Unlimited edition

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    Rick and Mandy have been working together for about 3 months. Normally he would fly somewhere exotic but this year Mandy’s family invited him to Thanksgiving dinner then to celebrate Christmas them. He likes her family and is enjoying being around them. They get a call to a murder of a FBI CI and asked if they can talk to his ghost. Mandy has a ghost who follows her and Rick around helping with cases. Jackie says Harry’s ghost has gone but there is a ghost witness. She wants a date with Rick bef Rick and Mandy have been working together for about 3 months. Normally he would fly somewhere exotic but this year Mandy’s family invited him to Thanksgiving dinner then to celebrate Christmas them. He likes her family and is enjoying being around them. They get a call to a murder of a FBI CI and asked if they can talk to his ghost. Mandy has a ghost who follows her and Rick around helping with cases. Jackie says Harry’s ghost has gone but there is a ghost witness. She wants a date with Rick before she’ll describe the killer. It was fun watching Mandy & Rick getting to know each other and find out Rick had his eye on Mandy for some time. You’re given a tour of New York City. There are a couple of surprises in the book which made me laugh. A great story from Lotta Smith again.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan Landowski

    As usual this series doesn’t disappoint. Great quick read. This is full of humor and a 3 for one mystery. Characters are well written and story is great. Rack story can be read alone but I recommend reading them in order. Get this book and you will not be disappointed.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Walker

    Back to the early days according to Rick A ghost witness wants a date with Rick in exchange for information about a killer. This is the fun story of that "date", and reinforces what we knew about Rick in the early days. Back to the early days according to Rick A ghost witness wants a date with Rick in exchange for information about a killer. This is the fun story of that "date", and reinforces what we knew about Rick in the early days.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Baker

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