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?
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I love Christmas stories, so getting the chance to read three new-to-me authors, and two old favorites doing a theme I absolutely love was great fun. While I didn’t like all the stories, there were some goodies in this anthology.
Dream a Little Dream by Jill Shalvis
I absolutely adored Ian and Melissa. I thought the set up was so fun, with Melissa having recently broke off the “benefits” portion of their friendship, and Ian’s struggle to win her back completely. I especially loved getting to be in Ian’s POV when he had to fight through the fire at Melissa’s apartment complex to save her, before he could work on winning her back. It was so emotional, and then all the rebuilding they did after the fire was heart wrenching as well. This was by far my favorite story in the anthology, as Shalvis delivered both an emotional punch to the gut, as well as a fun and lighthearted Christmas read. I would absolutely re-read this novella again and again.
I give Dream a Little Dream an A
Every Year by Kristen Ashley
I really like the Chaos books, however, I think I’ve overdosed on Ashley. With the last two or three books, I’ve struggled with the lack of diversity in her dialogue. Not every single person speaks the same way, with the same slang and same syntax. However in her books, they do. The first 20 books of hers I read didn’t bother me, however, it’s become more and more noticeable. It happened again in this book, and while I absolutely loved and adored getting the chance to spend Christmas morning with Tack, Tyra, Tabby, Shy, Rush, and the rest of the Allen clan, the ongoing dialogue problems hindered my enjoyment. It was like a fun little glimpse into the lengths that Tack and Tyra are willing to go to make their family happy. It was fun and sweet and very light reading compared to Ashley’s other books.
I give Every Year a B
Silent Night by Hope Ramsay
This might have been my least favorite story in the anthology. I wasn’t a big fan of the whole homeless mom and baby in the barn thing, and thought it was a little too cheesy, even for me. While I liked the backstory of both Daniel and Maryanne, I thought their actual romance was a little too perfect. As it sometimes happens in short stories and novellas, there isn’t a ton of conflict and as such the romance seems to be so quick to jump from “Hi, my name is…” to “I love you, let’s get married.” This story had that feel, and it left me a little cold in regard to the romance and relationship development.
I give Silent Night a C-
Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas by Molly Cannon
I thought Cannon’s story was super cute, and super fun to read. Lincoln has a busy and often messy life. When his mother gets him a personal organizer for Christmas, Lincoln is left with Dinah literally cleaning up in his wake. He’s reluctant to have someone poking around at Christmas, but despite his reservations, they develop a friendship and then some. There was not a whole lot of angst or drama in this novella, and I liked the no mess, no fuss relationship. Despite Dinah’s concerns that Lincoln was a bit of a Scrooge, I liked the way this story and their romance wrapped up.
I give Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas a B
A Family for Christmas by Marilyn Pappano
Ilena misses her dead husband like crazy, but the Christmas spirit and her newborn son are enough to keep her going. She didn’t expect to fall in love again, especially with the town doctor, who wasn’t even sure he wanted to stay in town past the end of his contract date. This was also a cute story about a second chance at love. I adored Ilena, thought she was so sweet and caring and adorable, especially as she struggled with raising a newborn and mourning her husband. I wasn’t as excited about Jared. I think he was just coasting through life, not really making any decision for himself. He was a bit indecisive and standoffish, and I had a harder time connecting with him and their romance because of it. That being said, I still think Ilena and Jared had good chemistry, and their HEA was super sweet.
I give A Family for Christmas a B
All in all this was a good anthology was some really strong stories in it. Only one story didn’t work for me, and I consider that a huge success. This anthology should be on the TBR pile for anyone looking for fun Christmas stories!