A collection of short stories, all dealing with Christmas Eve. Now, before I go any further, I should warn any readers--I am a total FANATIC about hol...moreA collection of short stories, all dealing with Christmas Eve. Now, before I go any further, I should warn any readers--I am a total FANATIC about holiday stories. Doesn't matter the holiday or even the genre, I'll read it. This is especially true of Christmas themed books.
Having said that--as with any anthology, some stories are good, some ok, and a few were kind of "eh". I have read a few of the authors in this anthology before--but not in their plain romance stories. Mostly their PNR and/or UF books. And, having said that--the story that I enjoyed the most in this book was by one of the authors that I have never read. The story is the last one in the book, "The Good Girl's Guide to a Very bad Christmas" by Kylie Adams. That story, while extremely short, was funny, moving and even believable. Plus, as a fan of all things CSI, I definately fell into the category of fans mentioned in the story. The story that I enjoyed least, was by another author that I'd never read before, "Seducing Scrooge" by Katherine Garbera. I'm not sure why I didn't like it, but, well, it felt flat to me. The characters weren't really that interesting and while I don't expect a LOT of story from anthologies, this felt even shorter than normal.
Lori Foster and Erin McCarthy displayed their talents with their usual frothy, fun stories. And I will admit, that it was largely because of these 2 authors that I even found this book. So having them give me the fun read that I expected was just gravy. (less)
This book has short stories from 3 authors, Kenyon, George and Black. The Kenyon and Black stories tie into series that they have going, so be warned...moreThis book has short stories from 3 authors, Kenyon, George and Black. The Kenyon and Black stories tie into series that they have going, so be warned about that right up front.
Of the 3 stories in the book, the one that I, paradoxically, both liked the most and the least is the one by Black. I liked the characters in it, loved the premise, but found it a bit hard to believe that a trained soldier will give in as easily as Ronda did. Ok, the fact that Nikolas is georgous does help, but still, she's a corporal in the Army and has been trained at least a little bit in "what to do if you are captured by the enemy." And yes, I know that the Viking settlement isn't technically at war with the U.S. but they are still trying to hold her captive. That part of the story drove me crazy. But after forcing myself to push that down and admit that this IS a romance book and what occurs in a romance book usually has little relationship to the "real world" I enjoyed the rest of the story. (less)
Collection of short stories to make you thankful you did NOT attend prom.
The biggest complaint I had with the book was that Kim Harrison's story was...moreCollection of short stories to make you thankful you did NOT attend prom.
The biggest complaint I had with the book was that Kim Harrison's story was actually the first few chapters of her YA series featuring Madison Avery. Since I had read that book BEFORE I managed to reach this book which was hidden down in the bottom of my TBR pile, I wasn't happy with that.
The story that I enjoyed the most was the one by Michelle Jaffey. In fact, I went out and searched her books to see if she'd decided to expand this story into a full length novel or maybe a series. Unfortunately she didn't, but I'd kind of like to recommend that she should.
I'd originally bought this anthology because Meg Cabot had a story in it. Her story was OK, but, well, I felt it lacked a little something. I'm not sure WHAT, but something.
So, all in all, while this book wasn't too bad, it also wasn't great, hence the 3 stars. (less)
for an anthology this was surprisingly good. Usually there is only 1 or maybe 2 stories in an anthology that most people really like, this one all 4 w...morefor an anthology this was surprisingly good. Usually there is only 1 or maybe 2 stories in an anthology that most people really like, this one all 4 were interesting.
The Charlaine Harris story takes the 2 Britlingen bodyguards from Batanya and Clovache have returned home from their trip to our dimension and are about to head out on another job. They get to have fun and games protecting a thief who is sent to Hell (yes, THAT Hell) to steal something from Lucifer. Fun and games--and a little revenge for our girls.
Angels Judgment by Nalini Singh is the story of how the U.S. division of the Guild Hunters get their new Guild Leader.
Magic Mourns by Ilona Andrews is set in the Kate Daniels universe, with Archangels, demons, regular angels, vamps and weres. This is a story "featuring" Kate's friend Andrea Nash. Kate only appears in the story briefly, mostly to give advise on the phone.
Blind Spot by Meljean Brook is set in the Guardian universe. Former CIA, Senatorial bodyguard and now bodyguard to the Ames-Beaumont family, Maggie Wren (aka Winter to her employer) is out there trying to rescue the niece of her employer while protecting his nephew and trying to locate a former fellow-CIA operative who's execution she had faked several years before.
All 4 stories have hellhounds in them to some degree or other. I personally liked Sir Pup, as the one in the story by Meljean Brook was called. He had a wicked sense of humour.
This was a collection of 5 short stories. I decided that each story was worth 1 star, either it got it or it didn't. As you can see--only 2 of the sto...moreThis was a collection of 5 short stories. I decided that each story was worth 1 star, either it got it or it didn't. As you can see--only 2 of the stories were what I considered "worth while." The Jeanine Frost story was good--it was part of the Cat and Bones series, so you did need at least some knowledge of the series to appreciate it. The second story that I really enjoyed was the story by Sophia Nash. It too was part of a series, one that I think that I'm going to have to check out. It was funny, interesting and had characters that I think I want to get to know better. The other 3 stories were, at best, mwha--you know, so-so. There were 2 that I actually had to force myself to finish. Not sure why, but they just didn't appeal. (less)
Ok, I am a holiday anthology junkie. I freely admit this and have not as of yet been dragged kicking and screaming to a 12-step program for this addic...moreOk, I am a holiday anthology junkie. I freely admit this and have not as of yet been dragged kicking and screaming to a 12-step program for this addiction--altho my family has threatened a time or two to stage an intervention.
Having admitted all of the above, I will also admit that I am well aware that holiday themed anthologies tend to be a little, well, 1 deminsional, but this doesn't detract from my enjoyment of them, its just a warning to those who haven't read them. The premise is usually a bit constraining (have to set in the same location/holiday/area/family etc.) and then you have to work the whole holly jolly theme into the Christmas ones.
This book is set in an Inn that used to be a morgue (hence the name of the book.) There had been a fire at the morgue in the past and there had been bodies there, awaiting burial/pick-up/whatever. As a result of the unplanned (in most cases) cremations, the ghosts of those people are now stuck in the Inn. I admit--I loved some of the ghosts--hello, ghost of Elvis impersonator who is fat, not very good, loves to matchmake, oh--and did I mention gay? Then there's the ghost of the stripper, and the TWO ghosts of one of the character's parents. . .
Anyway, you get the drift. I don't expect a lot from these anthologies, just that they provide an enjoyable couple of hours, since they are usually very quick reads. This one did have me giggling in a few spots and liking some of the characters (see above reference to El, the Elvis impersonator.) I very seldom give an anthology 5 stars, since there is usually 1 or 2 stories that are weak in them or that I don't really enjoy. But, on the whole, it did what I wanted it to do--gave me a nice, simple quick read. (less)
As with any anthology--some good stories, some ok stories and 1 not so good story.
The Butcher story was set in the world of Harry Dresden and was tol...moreAs with any anthology--some good stories, some ok stories and 1 not so good story.
The Butcher story was set in the world of Harry Dresden and was told from the p.o.v. of one of Harry's some time ally/foe John Marcone. It tells us nothing about Marcone's motivations, but does show his dedication to his personal code and to the lengths he will go to prepare for anything.
P.N. Elrod has a short story set in her Vampire Files universe with vamp Jack Fleming receiving assistance from the ghost who haunts his 30's era speak easy.
There is a Kate Daniels short. I would advise knowing something of Kate's world to properly appreciate this story. Altho I have to admit, I DID like seeing Kate and Saimen's first meeting.
There is a story from Carrie Vaughn set in her Kitty universe and featuring Cormac the werewolf slayer.
There are a few other stories as well, by authors that I have either no familiarity with or very little. Which brings us to the one story that I didn't really care for--Rachel Caine's "Even a Rabbit Will Bite. I don't believe I've read anything else by her, so I'll reserve judgement on her skills, I just didn't like the entire tone of the story. (less)
I will admit right up front--I have a weakness for all holiday themed anthologies. I did enjoy this one--it has 4 stories by 4 different authors.
This...moreI will admit right up front--I have a weakness for all holiday themed anthologies. I did enjoy this one--it has 4 stories by 4 different authors.
This book is a salute to St. Nick himself, who puts in a "personal" appearance in most of the stories.
Breakdown on the stories:
The first story (by Victoria Alexander) has a time travel element to it. It starts in 1996 with an elderly woman visiting St. Nick at the Mall and reminding him that he promised her a present many years before--and that she's now ready to collect on that promise.
The second story is by Sandra Hill--and contains her usual humourous but touching story. This is the one story where St. Nick himself doesn't put in a personal appearance, but given the cast of characters that Hill assembles--he probably figured he didn't need to, that they were quite able to handle things themselves.
Dara Joy's story DOES feature St. Nick--in disguise, of course--making an appearance and getting together a writer and a publisher. No surprise, but it also involves a blizzard AND a cute puppy.
The last story, by Nelle McFather also contains a personal appearance by the Fat Man himself--only in this story its a longer appearance. This story was the most "touching" for me, and I'm not sure why. But its the only one that made me tear up a bit.
As with any anthology--there were stories that I liked, stories that I really liked and even one or two that I didn't care for very much.
The Charlaine...moreAs with any anthology--there were stories that I liked, stories that I really liked and even one or two that I didn't care for very much.
The Charlaine Harris story is set in Rhodes, right after the attack on the Vamp summit by the Church of the Sun. Not only a knowledge of the Sookie stories is needed to properly appreciate this, but also a knowledge of the short stories that are set in that world, since the main female character has appeared in 2 other short stories.