Auntee's Reviews > Santa, Honey

Santa, Honey by Kate Angell
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's review
Oct 01, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: anthologies-novellas, contemporary-romance, sports-romance, 2009_reads, christmas-theme
Recommended for: Fans of Christmas anthologies
Read in October, 2009

This is a Christmas anthology (I know, already?) with two pretty good stories and one story that I tried, but it just wasn't working for me, so it was a rare DNF.

First up was Ho, Humbug, Ho, a continuation of Kate Angell's Richmond Rogues baseball series featuring rookie center fielder Alex Boxer.

Heading to Miami to party away the upcoming holidays with his usual assortment of bimbos, Alex is caught speeding through quaint little Holiday, Florida, and sentenced to 40 hours of community service playing Santa at the local mall. I know, it stretches believability, but just go with it. His supervisor is pretty Holly McIntyre, owner of a local ice cream shop, and also the 'Nutcracker' in the mall Christmas display. The town and it's residents go for Christmas in a big way, but Alex (who grew up rich and privileged with a couple of disinterested parents) has never experienced a true, homey Christmas, so his attitude is more "bah, humbug", than "ho ho ho". But hangin' with Holly starts to grow on him, and he finally finds his holiday spirit in the little town. The only question is, will he stay and see what can develop with Holly when his service is complete, or will he carry on with his shallow, self-absorbed lifestyle?

I really enjoyed this one, and the relationship between Holly and Alex. There were lots of laugh out-loud moments (Alex's costume being two sizes too small and squeezing his "junk", Randolph the farting reindeer) and lots of sexy innuendos, flirting and banter between the H/H. The only problem I had with it was the "I love yous" at the end--I didn't think they were at that point in their relationship yet so it came as quite a shock. A few more chapters with some more character development and I might have bought it. But that is the nature of the short story I guess, so if you have the ability to suspend disbelief, you'll enjoy it. A solid 4 stars.

For some reason Naughty or Nice by Sandra Hill just didn't work for me. I thought the plot about a woman dressed up as Santa, who robbed a grocery story to get money that was owed to a former nun who takes care of juvenile delinquent orphans, was just too ludicrous. The heroine was a loose cannon who didn't think anything through--she brings a gun (that she thinks isn't loaded, then accidentally shoots it and it nearly kills someone), she kidnaps a man dressed in another Santa suit who is really a bodyguard and an ex CIA operative, takes him on a wild ride where she tries to rob a porno shop, somehow he becomes fascinated with her and after one kiss knows he's in love with her? That's when I lost it, and wondered why I was wasting my time with it. I tried to push on, but only lasted 62 pages. This one just wasn't for me. DNF.

And finally, my favorite of the bunch by Joy Nash, Christmas Unplugged. Two sisters, one young, beautiful, and an aspiring actress, the other, 7 years older, not quite as beautiful, and a workaholic computer geek, head to a remote holiday lodge (without electricity) in the Adirondacks and meet up with two handsome brothers (who happen to be there helping out the owners--their aunt and uncle--at Christmastime).

Emma, the 22 year old Barbie doll look-alike is an aspiring actress and fresh off a break-up with her boyfriend. She convinces her older sister Casey to go with her to the holiday cabin where she and her boyfriend were to spend Christmas together. Cranky Casey reluctantly agrees to go, bitching the whole way, meets the gorgeous Matt Van der Staappen (who she thinks is out of her league) who just happens to be a famous NY casting director. Matt's musician brother Jake has the hots for Emma, and asks Matt to keep Casey "occupied" so he can have some alone time with Emma. Although Casey is not as beautiful as her sister Emma, there's something about her that draws Matt to her. After a lot of convincing on his part that yes, he finds the insecure Casey desirable, they hit the sheets and have an explosive couple of days in bed together. But when it's time to go home, will Matt want to continue the relationship, or was this just a holiday fling?

This was a very enjoyable, well thought out and believable story by Joy Nash. Some good story telling, strong character development, some steamy moments between the H/H--this all worked for me. I especially liked the very believable ending. My only wish was that this would have been developed into a full size romance. I'll definitely look for more by Joy Nash. 4 1/2 stars.

All in all, not a bad anthology. If you're ready for some holiday cheer, this may put you in the mood. For the ones I read--4 stars.
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Reading Progress

09/28/2009 page 1
09/29/2009 page 90
27.95% "First story very sexy and funny, but a tad unbelievable..."
09/30/2009 page 243
75.47% "Skipped to the third story, the Sandra Hill just wasn't working for me..."
10/01/2009 page 322
100.0% "2 out of 3 coming"

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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♡Karlyn P♡ Great review! This one is definitely on my wish-list!!

message 2: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Good grief! What is Sandra Hill's deal with nuns lately?! Sounds like she recycled the plot from her last book.

The others stories sound awesome. I'll have to order this one for the holidays. :D Great review Auntee!

message 3: by Shawna (new) - added it

Shawna Great review, Auntee! Sounds like at least 2 good stories to make it a worth while read! :)

message 4: by Dina (new)

Dina Great review, Auntee! I think this is the 2nd Christmas anthology I've seen this early. What's up with the publishers?

Auntee Thanks!
The Sandra Hill story is from 1996, so maybe it's in another anthology? I never read anything by her before--she has a thing for nuns? lol!

message 6: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Auntee wrote: "Thanks!
The Sandra Hill story is from 1996, so maybe it's in another anthology? I never read anything by her before--she has a thing for nuns? lol!"

LOL!! You must not remember my rant about her newest book, So Into You. Former nun and former playgirl model helping orphans. Womb dancing, bad sex, etc. ;D

message 7: by Rane (new)

Rane Awesome Review Auntee!

♡Karlyn P♡ 1996? A recycled story?! I actually really like Hill, but I prefer her newer stuff to her old. I actually liked So Into You, but I can see where many would roll their eyes with that one!

message 9: by Tammy (new)

Tammy I loved SH's Cajun Cowboy series and have recommended it several times to my friends. :D Never really got into her historicals or Vikings tho and didn't care for her newest release. It was just too over-the-top for me and didn't focus as much on the romance. It seems to be getting so-so reviews tho.

Auntee Tammy wrote: "Auntee wrote: "Thanks!
The Sandra Hill story is from 1996, so maybe it's in another anthology? I never read anything by her before--she has a thing for nuns? lol!"

LOL!! You must not remember ..."

Oh right! I remember that review!:D Just forgot that was Hill!

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