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Sugar and Spice (Hannah Swensen #8.5)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  2,953 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
Tis the season when anything can happen...when passion sparks brightest...and miracles and magic can turn any heart toward love...

The Christmas Stocking, Fern Michaels

Philadelphia businesswoman Amy Baran is determined to raise money for a new seniors' center by harvesting Christmas trees from the small-town Virginia farm she remembers from her childhood. Trouble is, Gus M
Kindle Edition, 433 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Zebra (first published January 1st 2006)
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Tabby Kat
This book is a collection of four romance novellas set during Christmas time.

First up is "The Christmas Stocking" by Fern Michaels. It finds Amy Baran and Gus Moss returning to their hometown to help their parents with projects relating to Christmas trees. Along they way, they meet and the sparks fly. The story started well, but I felt the plot resolved about thirty pages before the story ended.

Second comes "The Ghost of Christmas Past" by Beverly Barton. Katie Hadley is trying to escape her f
Amy "the book-bat"
This book fulfills requirement #5 ~ Contemporary Romance for the 2015 Eclectic Reader Challenge.

There are four novellas in this book, each by a different author. I picked the book up because I like Joanne Fluke and her novella was the third one in the book.

The first story was kind of fun. It reminded me of one of the Hallmark Channel's Christmas movies (which are a guilty pleasure for me.) I would rate it a solid 4.

The second story was ok, but I didn't think it was as good as the first story. I'
Georgiann Hennelly
Sugar and Spice is a really lovable sweet read for the holidays . A great book to just curl up and read. There is four different stories by four different authors.The christmas stocking by Fern Michaels. Two adult children come home for the holidays to help there parents and raise money for a new senior center will Amy and Gus fall i love? The Ghost of Christmas past by Beverly Barton-Mack MacKinnon a wounded special ops officer isn,t looking forward to the holidays - until he rescues pretty wid ...more
May 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I just love Joanne Fluke so I picked this up. I had no idea that some of the short stories would be so...shall we say, graphic? I read this on my lunch breaks and was so embarassed reading some of the love scenes while at work! It made me feel like I was doing something naughty! lol
D Nichols
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories kinda hit the spot. Short and to the point. Not tons of background, but enough to be believable and realistic. Sometimes the pages and pages and chapters of endless chatter can get overwhelming. Plus there's also something about reading Christmas storylines in the summer that make me happy:-) great short romance novellas!
Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed two of the stories, the other two I did not read. I am going to have to start reading more by Fern Michaels - she is really good! Joanna Fluke is already one of my favorites and this did not disappoint.
I was pleasantly surprised by all of the authors in this book compilation. Wouldn't mind reading the other authors on their own too.
Andrea O'Brien
Sugar and Spice

The Christmas Stocking by Fern Michaels
While I am usually against the love at first sight gimmick I found it completely adorable in this story.
When Gus sees Amy and instantly starts calling her “my love” before even knowing her name it was both funny and endearing. He is so awkward and goofy that it came across as comical and not creepy. Especially when he realizes that she is his competition and continues to do so, lines like “my love is angry” were really amusing under the circ
Nov 14, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
“The Twelve Desserts of Christmas” by Joanne Fluke is a short story featured in the book Sugar and Spice by Fern Michaels. Julie Jansen, a teacher of Lakes Academy in Minnesota, is asked by Dr. Caulder if she could stay at the boarding school over Christmas to keep an eye on the girls who couldn’t go home for the holidays and she says yes. Coincidentally, Dr. Caulder then asks Matt Sherwood, another teacher and also Julie’s love interest, if he could stay to watch the boys and of course he agree ...more
Phyllis Barlow
I usually don't like novellas because the individual stories are too short to do any real plot development. I like a book I can dig into. I read this one because I like Fern Michaels and I have been wanting to read Joanne Fluke and thought this would be a good way to find out if I was interested in reading any other of her books. I will comment on each story individually.

The Christmas Stocking by Fern Michaels: I hate it when people complain that a fiction novel is "unrealistic." It's fiction!!
4 contemporary Christmas stories from authors I've never heard of before.

Fern Michaels - 3 stars. Hero & heroine come home for the holidays to help out their parents (his dad/her mom). I liked this story. There were 2 episodes though that were kind of awkward (when his dead mom "talks" to him & his dad. They're not having auditory hallucinations, because the dog hears her too. I could MAYBE have accepted this if it were in a paranormal, but this is supposed to be a regular story!). If y
Anne Marie
This book had four Christmas stories. To sum up The Christmas Stocking, it was a quick too-good-to-be-true story, mostly about selling live Christmas trees. Gus, a California architect, and Amy, a PR workaholic from Philadelphia, go to their childhood homes in Virginia and wind up working together on Gus' dad's farm to sell Christmas trees to benefit the seniors of the town. Gus and Amy "fall in love" too quickly, get married too quickly, and who knows where they plan to live, work, or how the f ...more
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romantic-fiction
1 star for the stories, 1 for Joanna Fluke's recipes.

I usually adore romance novella collections, but this one fell flat for me. Three of the couples get engaged by Christmas, and two of those are married on New Year's. Seriously? And two of the stories were 12 days themed.

The romance in the Fern Michaels one has a very fun plot about running Christmas tree farms. I never knew the business was so complicated! Some of the plot strained belief slightly, but I quite enjoyed it until I reached the
Heather Endecott
I loved all of the stories but Fern and Joannes were the best.
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I bought this used at our local Friends on the Library bookstore. I am happy to say it still had the free ornament in it. That helped with the rating.
I do not believe I had read any of these authors before. I will not be reading anything by Joanne Fluke again. Her story The Twelve Desserts of Christmas was more about the mystery solving baker and her desserts than about the romance. If I had read one of her full length novels about said baker I might have enjoyed the story more, but as an introd
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the strongest romance anthologies I have read. The Joanne Fluke story is actually the weakest but she included great sounding recipes to make up for it. If that's the only reason you're reading it, don't rush. If you're a romance lover or want to find out if you might be, read the others.

Fern Michaels tells the story of two adult children estranged from their only remaining parents who find themselves teamed up to make promises come true for reopening a beloved Christmas Tree farm
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of 4 holiday stories by 4 authors. I knew it would have something to do with the holidays, but since I was lead to this book through the Joanne Fluke collection, I expected a bit more mystery stories with holiday/holiday romance thrown in, instead of pure over rated "romance". The first of the stories, The Christmas Stocking, took a bit to get into. When the angst was solved, I expected there to be more of a "comedy of errors" feeling and a good laugh, but I was left with a fizzle a ...more
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: winter-2012, romance
For what they are; all of the short stories were good. They were light romantic fluff that takes your mind off of what is actually happening in your life :-) I read the collection due to my love of Joanne Fluke. Other than Fern Michaels I had not hear of the other authors.

The Christmas Stocking by Fern Michaels was my favourite. I actually enjoyed the story telling alternating between the two main characters. Obviously the story would never happen but it was sweet and very loving.

Ghost of Chri
Feb 04, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a book of four short stories. I downloaded it to read the Joanne Fluke story, which was O.<., and it didn't have anything more than kissing. It's about two teachers, who were asked to stay at the school, to watch six students, who couldn't go home for Christmas. The girls bet against the boys, that theeir male teacher will propose to their woman teacher by Christmas. It's a light and funny story.

The first and second stories were not too bad. The fourth story started out with swearing
Jul 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this because of the story by Joanne Fluke - "The Twelve Desserts of Christmas". It didn't have very much to do with Hannah Swensen and the regular plots of her stories, but it was a decent short story.

I ended up LOVING the story by Shirley Jump - "Twelve Days". I wanted it to be longer, but it still felt like enough story to be satisfying. I loved the characters and will be interested to check out other things by this author.

I did not read the first two stories in the book as they did no
This is a short stories book. It's definitely not my normal genre, as it sits right in the middle of romance. I like a little romance but not too much. The first story The Christmas Stocking by Fern Michaels is very good, a few curse words but nothing terrible, the second, The Ghost of Christmas Past by Beverly Barton, has a few more curse words, and a very graphic love scene, the third, The Twelve Desserts of Christmas by Joanne Fluke, was really good. The fourth short Story, Twelve Days by Shi ...more
I only read Joanne Fluke's Twelve Desserts of Christmas. I'm so used to her Hannah Swensen mysteries that I expected something similar in this one. However, it was kinda romancy.

Two teachers work in a boarding school over Christmas as 3 boys and 3 girls have no place else to spend it. Matt Sherwood and Julie Jansen are also romantically involved. Their cook, Mrs. Dryer, didn't make them any desserts, so Hannah is brought in to the rescue.

If you like short romancy tales, this would be for you.
Lin Stepp
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went on a jag over the holidays reading anthologies … and this was one of my favorites. The short novel by Fern Michaels THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING was especially enjoyable … as two city slickers come home to a small town in Virginia to wrestle with the past and connect. …The Beverly Barton tale is one of those blizzard rescue stories where two people get caught in a storm - and soon change each other … and the other two tales by Joanne Fluke and Shirley Jump were fun, too. Sometimes only one nove ...more
Gary E
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I only read one of the stories (Twelve Desserts of Christmas by Joanne Fluke) but it was great! For those familiar with series it was a departure from the usual adventures of Hannah Swensen but that did not make it any less enjoyable. This is a really short story that anyone should be able to get through in less than a coupe of hours. It is just a fun story! I really hope the newly introduced characters say a part of Hannah's world!
Aug 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2006-2010
A nice collection of romance short stories. The Fern Michaels story didn't float my boat - the dialogue was random, as if the author were trying to hard to move the story to a certain point through dialogue. The rest of the stories were great in comparison. I may even become a Joanne Fluke fan (if my TBR list ever goes down). As always with short romance stories, the characters fell in love too fast and had too neat of a happily ever after.
I really liked the Fern Michaels story. A sweet story that starts with broken relationships but ends with mended fences and better.

Beverly Barton's story was sweet with a nice ending.

Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen was nice because no one died. Sweet romance!

Shirley Jump's story was about office romances. She gave some great advice about following your passion for work. The nice girl wins!

Jeanne Szabo
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just enough sweetness without being cloying.
I checked this out for the Joanne Fluke story since I've enjoyed the Hannah Swenson series. As usual, I found her to be funny and enjoyable, easy fluff to pass the time and give a quite snicker. I also enjoyed the first story "The Christmas Stocking" by Fern Michaels.

Keep in mind, this is more romance than mystery though. The other two stories were more sexually oriented and didn't really appeal to me.
Kim j
Feb 08, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fluke
I just finished Joanne Flukes story & it was OK. I know its a short story but this was so rushed. It had the potential to be a good story but to much happened in such a short time. I am nit a dessert lover mainly because of allergy issues but if I was I guess the recipes would be the biggest draw. All the other authors are new to me & I will rate them as I go. This was a 2 for a short story but only for idea.
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Fern Michaels isn’t a person. I’m not sure she’s an entity either since an entity is something with separate existence. Fern Michaels® is what I DO. Me, Mary Ruth Kuczkir. Growing up in Hastings, Pennsylvania, I was called Ruth. I became Mary when I entered the business world where first names were the order of the day. To this day, family and friends call me Dink, a name my father gave me when I ...more
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