I had wanted to read this anthology because I have been wanting to read some good contemporaries lately and I have heard good things about Ruthie KnoxI had wanted to read this anthology because I have been wanting to read some good contemporaries lately and I have heard good things about Ruthie Knox and Molly O'Keefe and have enjoyed Stefanie Sloane's historicals so I was very happy to win a print copy from Goodreads First Reads program! It gave me a great taste of each authors writing and I will be on the lookout for their full lengths now for sure!
Room at the Inn by Ruthie Knox Carson and Julie have a past and every time Carson returns home, he ends up in Julie's bed...and then leaves her. Well, Julie has had enough of her heart being battered and tries to take a stand against Carson but as he spends time helping her fix up her inn, the mutual feelings become far to evident again. Will Carson chose his job or Julie? This was the longest of all the stories so there was more time to explore the feelings and I really enjoyed it. Yes, it is a story told many times over but if this is a taste of Ruthie Knox's writing, I know I am in for a treat! Heartwarming, sexy and a delight. 4 stars
All I Want for Christmas is You by Molly O'Keefe Maddy is about to turn eighteen and marry her hockey player boyfriend, Billy. All she needs to do is tell her parents, who want her to go to college and follow her dreams, not set them aside for Billy. Will Maddy follow her heart and defy her parents wishes or take a new path? This was a prequel of sorts for Maddy and Billys full length story, Crazy Thing Called Love (out Jan 29th) and I will definitely be picking it up now to see how this couple grows and finds each other again. It is short but sexy and has good writing and a nice sense of family. Looking forward to more. 3 1/2 stars
One Perfect Christmas by Stefanie Sloane I did think it was odd having two contemps and then a historical romance but as Stefanie Sloane was the only author I was familiar with beforehand, I was looking forward to it. Lucas and Jane are friends but when Jane gets jilted she drinks a bit too much and confesses her true feelings for Lucas...whose feelings just happen to be the same. Yet Jane bolts early in the morning and refuses to talk to him. What becomes clear to all around them is the feelings between Lucas and Jane and they do what they can to push them together. A sweet, delightful Regency Christmas tale that could definitely have benefited from being a bit longer and having more of their backstory told. Still, I liked it! 3 1/2 stars
Overall, a nice blend of Christmas romances and samples of these talented authors writing. I know I will be picking up more from each one of them ...more
As a huge fan on Toni Blakes Destiny series, I was a bit surprised as to whom this story was centered. After all, Sue Ann Simpkins seemed to have a peAs a huge fan on Toni Blakes Destiny series, I was a bit surprised as to whom this story was centered. After all, Sue Ann Simpkins seemed to have a perfectly happy marriage with Jeff. But perhaps of the standard of perfection put on these high school sweethearts, Jeff does an about face and divorces Sue Ann and quickly marries another woman, and to add a bit of insult, the new woman isn't even younger or prettier...she is just average so Sue Ann knows that it is true love. Sue Ann is blindsided by all of this and decides to take a weekend away at a small cabin to help clear her mind and get ready for the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holiday season. She knows she needs to make sure her daughter, Sophie, has a wonderful Christmas.
Adam Becker is in a bit of a Scroogish mood. His twin boys are spending a month away at a ski resort with his ex and he is naturally quite bummed out. He heads to a cabin in the mountains that he rents every year on the same weekend and is faced with an unpleasant surprise. His best friends (up to Jeffs divorce) ex-wife is there, Sue Ann. There was a bit of confusion during registration and it has started to snow quite heavily and there are no other cabins available so the two agree to share the bunks. But even though Adam and Sue Ann have know each other for most of their lives, they both see each other in a new light and this leads to one verrry steamy night in the cabin! Phew! But just as Sue Ann is letting down her guard a tiny bit, Adam reveals one of the reasons behind his divorce and her walls go right back up. Oh, but that magical snow that always seemed to be falling helps keep Adam and Sue Ann in contact (physically and emotionally) with each other and Adam deepens his relationship with Sophie, who is his goddaughter, but the drama with Jeff and his requests to stop spousal support and his calling Adam as a character witness keep these two battling wills. But will the holiday season filled with reindeer and snow and a special kitty help Sue Ann let down her guard to trust her heart to another?
Toni Blake has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary authors and I love her Destiny series and Holly Lane is the perfect holiday companion to an already fabulous series. She took a topic seen all too often in todays world and showed how true love can blossom from a very unexpected turn of events. I felt that Sue Anns feelings and her wall she had built up around herself was very true to how any woman would feel in the same circumstances and her love of her daughter and desire to do what was right for Sophie was spot on. When Adam (as Santa) tells Sophie he will try to bring a real reindeer for her, Sue Ann is quite upset and even though it was the best thing to say at the time, Sue Ann is heartbroken at the thought of disappointing her daughter on Christmas morning. And even though I saw the happy result coming, I still had happy tears in my eyes. Actually, I sniffled quite a bit throughout this book. Toni Blake has a knack for writing emotional, sexy stories that will pull your heart strings and leave a big happy smile on your face and I know I can not wait for more. (Amy, I'm talking about you!) And fans on this series will be happy to know that Mick and Jenny have a wonderful, emotional side story that I thought played out perfectly! Overall, this is a perfect Christmas story, based loosely on A Christmas Carol, that will truly put you in the mood for the upcoming holidays! 5 stars
I received this book from the publisher via netgalley.com ...more