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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: Holiday Kisses Anthology

This is just what it claims: a nice Christmas Romance Anthology.
Holiday Kisses Anthology
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 627 KB
  • Publisher: Carina Press (December 5, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
 Genre:  Contemporary Romance
 My Rating:  4.0 of 5.0
Product Description
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Love!

A man gives the gift of trust and receives a second chance at love in return. A woman helps to heal the wounded heart of a soldier. A couple finds that true love knows no distance. And a young widow learns that there can be two great loves in a lifetime. Love, romance and passion come together in this collection of four seasonal shorts.

Anthology includes:

This Time Next Year by Alison Kent
A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton
It's Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon
Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey
Shannon Stacey's Website : click here
Jaci Burton's Website : click here
HelenKay Dimon's Website : click here
Alison Kent's Website : click here

Overall Review:
I liked each of these stories which are heartwarming Christmas tales perfect for quick reading. These are short so they focus on the romantic conflicts as the plot feature. Yet the authors are able to give their characters sufficient depth to make them interesting in the different dilemmas they have to overcome.  I had not read any of these authors and this is a nice way to get a feel for their writing styles.
Overall Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

This Time Next Year by Alison Kent
Brenna Keating is on her way to spend Christmas with her grandmother when treacherous roads and a skittish deer put her car in a ditch. Riding to the rescue—literally—is Dillon Craig, a reclusive doctor who insists she weather the storm in his cabin.

Since returning from Afghanistan where he treated wounded soldiers on the front lines, Dillon’s made it a point to avoid any emotional involvement. But his unexpected guest has him dangerously close to breaking his own rules.

Brenna has a plan for her life – until she’s stranded for three days with Dillon. Soon, the chemistry sizzling between them forces her to re-examine her priorities. The man is gorgeous, if taciturn, and a true hero in every sense of the word. No woman in her right mind could resist him, and so Brenna doesn’t – even though she can’t stay…

Brenna has plans to spend a year serving as a nurse in an impoverished African nation. On her way for a Christmas visit with her Grandmother she has an accident and ends up being rescued by a handsome, brooding ex-military doctor.  Dillon has secluded himself to bury his trauma from serving in Afghanistan. He serves the local community but isn’t interested in socializing or getting close to anyone. At least he wasn’t interested in getting close until this warm beauty heated things up in his cabin in the woods.

The author was able to develop likeable characters with a tightly written romance that flows nicely.
Rating 4.25

A Rare Gift
by Jaci Burton
Book Two in the Kent Brothers Series

With a disastrous marriage behind him, Wyatt Kent has no interest in getting involved with any woman, let alone his ex-wife’s younger sister. But when Calliope Andrews hires him to build an addition onto her daycare center, Wyatt can’t help but notice she’s a desirable woman, as warm and funny as his ex was cold and aloof.

Calliope fell hard for Wyatt the first time he walked through the door of her family’s home, and can’t believe her sister let him get away. He’s still the star of all her fantasies, and she’s determined to prove to him she’s nothing like his manipulative ex. Wyatt may be all business, but Calliope sees the way he looks at her when he’s supposed to be working…

It’s not long before Wyatt and Calliope are keeping each other warm on cold December nights. But it’s going to take a Christmas miracle for Wyatt to put his trust in love a second time.

Calliope has loved Wyatt for years but he was married to her older sister, the flamboyant beauty queen. It turned out that they didn’t have the same goals; the marriage was disastrous and didn’t end well. Wyatt has stayed away from any involvement with women since.  He would resist Calliope except she is so persistent.  She is intent on proving that she is not her sister and that she is just the right woman for Wyatt. Will Wyatt let her walk away or will he try to deal with his pain and take a chance on Calliope?

This is a nice story with likeable characters.  Wyatt was incredibly stubborn and Calliope had to be relentlessly persistent to get through to him. It was almost too much but the way it resolved worked.
Rating: 4.0

It's Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon
Carrie Anders officially broke up with Austin Thomas when she accepted a dream job in the city. Unofficially, she misses him and is tempted to sneak back to her West Virginia hometown to see him. That's why this year, she's not going home for the holidays. Her heart can't take any more mornings after where nothing has changed--and Austin has made it clear he's not interested in relocating.

Austin's been waiting for Carrie to realize she can't live without him. But when he hears she's not coming home for Christmas, he decides to take action. If Carrie won't come to the country, he's going to bring a piece of the country to Carrie - in the form of a Christmas tree lot just minutes from her apartment. He's certain daily meetings will entice her to come home with him, this time for good.

Their attraction is as hot as ever, but with such contrary Christmas wishes, can either of them get what they really want this year?

Here is another stubborn couple. They acknowledge that they love each other but he wants to stay in the country and she wants to live in the city. It appears that neither will compromise. Austin pursues Carrie in the city and thinks if he helps her date a city guy she will see the difference and recognize that the other fellow isn’t right for her. Their combustible chemistry reaffirms their  sexual attraction and love but that doesn’t provide a solution to their work arrangements.

The author is able to provide backstory that supports the insecurities of both characters. The good romantic conflict and its sweet resolution is portrayed through an easily flowing style.
Rating 4.0.

Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey
Heating up the Holidays

Claire Rutledge still believes in love, despite losing her husband. So, after two years, she’s not surprised by the steamy dreams telling her it might be time to start moving on. But she didn’t expect her friend Justin to have the starring role.

Justin McCormick has loved Claire since the moment he first saw her, but his best friend got there first. Now that Claire is ready to move on with her life, Justin is finding it harder than ever to hide his true feelings. And when they both get caught up in the holiday spirits at a party, their simmering mutual attraction boils over into a night neither of them can forget…

This one was a bit more on the sexual side as a good part of the story revolves around the pairs desires that they are trying to hide or suppress. It seemed that Justin’s attitude flipped but he is able to get good advise that helped them resolve their dilemma in a nice way. Again the characters are likeable and this was an easy read.
Rating 4.0 I received the eBook copy for review from Carina Press through NetGalley.

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