Green Frog Umbrella

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Christmas to Remember ★★★☆☆

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: NetGalley- Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
136 pages

Curl up with this heartwarming Christmas collection!

Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, 'tis the season for giving love a chance . . .

Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don't come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .

Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.

Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who's set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .

Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn't mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?

Plus: Excerpts from upcoming novels!

     This anthology was worth the read.  I enjoyed the stories but skipped the excerpts.  I'm not a big fan of excerpts.  Once you read the story it's like you're anticipating whatever part you already read.  

Dream a Little Dream:
According to Jill Shalvis's website Ian has a small part in Always on My Mind which is book 8 in the Lucky Harbor series.  In this story Ian is a hunky fireman and Melissa is his friend that he wants to have a relationship with.  Melissa has commitment issues and it takes a near death experience to make her realize what she could have had with Ian.  This was a really cute story.  Melissa trying to reenact things that happened in a dream was so funny.  After reading this I would look into more stories by Jill Shalvis.

Every Year:
This story is 2.5 of the Chaos series.  The series is about a motorcycle gang.  I'm a fan of Kristen Ashley so I have to say I had higher expectations for her story.  I'm sure that someone who has read the 2 books already in the series would most likely enjoy this story.  I did not.  I found Tabitha thinking "my man" over and over extremely annoying.  The story is supposed to be about the two brothers but it barely mentions Landon.  A good part of the story was taken up by sex at the end.  I doubt I'd pick up the other books in this series if they are in first person, because I didn't like Tabitha very much.  

Silent Night:
This story is set in the same town as Hope Ramsey's Last Chance series.  Although Last Chance sounds extremely familiar to me I haven't read anything by Hope Ramsey before.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  To the point where when it ended I was like nooo it can't be over already!  Silent Night is about Maryanne and Daniel.  Daniel is hope for the holidays to pack up the last of the farm and get it ready to sell when he discovers Maryanne and her baby son Joshua.  This was such a sweet and heartbreaking story that had me in tears more than once.  I will definitely be looking into more Last Chance stories.

Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas:
As far as I can tell this story doesn't come from any series but is just a stand-alone short story.  Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas was cute and I enjoyed it but once it ended I actually forgot a few minutes later that I had finished it.  The ending was a bit anticlimactic.   This story is about Dinah and Lincoln.  Dinah is a professional organizer that was hired by Lincoln's mother to organize his house before the holidays.  Lincoln likes his life just the way it is but once Dinah is done he misses her picking through everything.  Dinah feels she can't have a relationship with a client and resists Lincoln.  All in all it was a cute story but even one more page at the end would have made it better.  I'd read more Molly Cannon in the future.

A Family for Christmas:
This story is from the Tallgrass series.  There are 2 books in that series and I'm not sure where this fits in.  A Family for Christmas was a touching story about a widow, Ilena and her son.  She meets the new doctor in town, Jared and sparks fly.  But Jared is only in contract to work in Tallgrass for 2 years and doesn't plan to stick around.  His parents aren't happy with him working at a rural practice and are pressuring him to leave early.  Despite everything working against them this was a sweet story and I thought the ending was really cute.  I plan to check out the other Tallgrass books as well.

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