Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, a fun Christmas anthology

This week brings the release of A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS, a wonderfully fun Christmas anthology containing the works of Lori Foster, Gemma Bruce, and Janice Maynard. I personally enjoy Christmas stories, and find that anthologies are perfect reading during the holidays. While I typically enjoy full-length novels, these shorter stories are a good fit in a busy schedule when you are pressed for reading time. The holiday theme is a nice touch to put you in the holiday mood - the cover is a holiday treat in itself - how fun! My review:
When Osbourne “Ozzie” Decker is asked by his friend and fellow SWAT officer, Lucius Ryder, to keep an eye on Marci Churchill, twin sister of Lucius’s new wife, Bethany, he hesitates. His hesitation stems from the uncontrollable desire he has for her. Marci turns him inside out with just a look, who knows what spending several days in close contact with her will do to him. Someone seems to be following Marci, and Lucius and Bethany won’t leave her alone to go on their honeymoon unless she is protected. Osbourne keeps Marci close by his side, and when it turns out that she is equally attracted to him, even the cold temps outside can’t cool them off. Marci’s ability to “hear” animals is a blessing and a curse. There is always someone who wants to talk to her or interview her; she just wants to be left alone. Osbourne always thought that Marci, despite being totally hot, was a bit of a kook, but once he witnesses first-hand her very special gift, he finds himself falling in love with her. Osbourne and Marci are a perfectly sweet couple. Both are written to be caring and tender, typical of Lori Foster, who is incredibly talented at writing characters that feel like someone you know and love, comfortably common and just a little bit flawed.
Allison Newberry excitedly takes her sister up on her offer of the use of a mountain chalet in the Colorado Rockies town of Good Cheer for the holidays; she can’t wait to spend some down time, all alone. No family, no work, no pressure, just her and maybe a ski hunk or two. Her plan is looking good until old flame Lee Simonson shows up at her door, when it suddenly becomes obvious that they have been duped into spending the week together by their meddlesome families. This is topped off by a huge snowstorm that has them completely snowed in. Despite a rocky start, these two take up where their relationship ended a year prior, but in the back of Allison’s mind is Lee’s dangerous job; how he could take off on a photo shoot to some drug-infested part of the world, not knowing if he would make it back. When the two walk into town a couple of days later and meet some very quirky townsfolk, reminiscent of days, no, make that years, gone by, they are filled with a loving warmth that comes with a sense of belonging. After they return to California, it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems in the town of Good Cheer. This is my first read by Gemma Bruce, but it certainly won’t be my last. Allison and Grant are sensual, fun and well-written.

Madison Tierney finds herself stranded in the woods in the middle of a raging snowstorm. Sure, she wanted to avoid going home and needed some time away, but this is just too much. She sees a light in the woods and follows it, exhausting herself fighting the wind and blowing snow, and collapsing in a heap when she finally reaches the doorstep. When Grant Monroe finds a beautiful woman on the ground at his door, the first thing he does is make sure she’s ok and begin to warm her up. After that he has to fight the strongest attraction he’s ever had for a woman. He finds himself wanting Madison so badly that he can hardly stand it, but insists on getting to know her before acting on the attraction. Once these two finally do get together, they practically combust, but as the storm lets up and they return to civilization, Madison’s attitude cools considerably, confusing Grant, who realizes that he has fallen madly in love with her. Janice Maynard never fails to write characters that are passionate, caring, and always respectful, and Madison and Grant are no exception.
This is a fun anthology by three very strong voices in women's fiction, you won't want to miss it.


Judy F said...

I wanna write reviews like you when I grow up. You write the best out there.

It was a great book. I loved all three stories.

Kate Davies said...

I am so looking forward to this one! I love Christmas anthologies. :)

Thanks for the great review!