Author: Alison Kent, Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon, Shannon Stacey
Blurb: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like…Love!
A man gives the gift of trust and receives a second chance at love in return. A woman helps to heal the wounded heart of a soldier. A couple finds that true love knows no distance. And a young widow learns that there can be two great loves in a lifetime. Love, romance and passion come together in this collection of four seasonal novellas.
Thoughts: Holiday Kisses was a great anthology for this time of year! I’m usually not a huge fan of anthologies – I usually buy one and end up liking only one of the four stories in it, but this one had a really good balance to it. I like all of them. I particularly liked This Time Next Year by Alison Kent and Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey, although all of the stories are really good.
This Time Next Year by Alison Kent – This was just a really sweet feel-good story that I really enjoyed. The ending seemed a bit sped up for me, and didn’t quite go like I had anticipated, but it was still a great read! In this one, Brenna is off to visit her grandmother for the last time before she goes off to Africa to help impoverished areas receive medical treatment. What she’s not prepared for is the weather, and she ends up on the side of the road in a snowstorm. Enter her knight in shining armor, Dillon, who saves her – and who she gets trapped in a small cabin with! But will the desire they feel for each other be enough to keep her there with him – for more than just the holiday season?
A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton – A Rare Gift is about Wyatt, who is still bitter after his divorce. When he wins a bid to work on a construction job at a day care center, he is not expecting the sparks that exist between him and the owner – who also happens to be his ex-sister-in-law! Calliope, however, is hoping to get Wyatt to see her through different eyes. Will she be able to break through his gruff exterior and win his heart? Or will his past relationship with her sister outweigh the desire they feel for each other? At times, I was a little unsure of this one. At times it seemed like Calliope disliked her sister, but at others times it was the exact opposite. I also wasn’t sure how things would go with the whole guy falling for his ex’s sister. At times Wyatt annoyed me with his refusal to deal with his past and with his refusal to try to deal with the situation once he gave into his desire for Calliope. However, the author does a wonderful job here – which is not a surprise since it is by Jaci Burton!
It’s Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon – In this title, Carrie has decided to go after her dreams – but in the process she leaves behind the man she loves. But when he follows her to the city to try to get her to come back with him to their small town, will she give up her dream? Or finally give up the man – for good this time? I liked this title, but at times you do get a little frustrated with the characters. Carrie can be a bit annoying and obstinate in her desire to go to the city – for the most part I understand her feelings, but it bothered me that she didn’t even try to consider alternate ways for their relationship to work before she left. It was either he comes with her or the end of the relationship. As for Austin, he had his annoying moments too – his way at looking at her career as nothing more than a obstacle in his way rather than a dream of hers made him come off as a bit arrogant and selfish. The end for me was kind of iffy – while it does wrap things up, I’m not sure for me if the compromise they reach is really an ideal solution. Would love to see where they are months or years later…:)
Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey – The last title is a theme I am rather partial to – I love when there are a group of friends and two of them wind up as a couple, yet the odd one out has been in love with one of them for years. When the couple is split apart (in this case, because of the death of her husband), and the other finds it hard to fight his love for her now that she is available. This is the case for poor Justin. He has loved Claire all along, but he has been reduced to the ‘friend’ category – and she has been mourning her husband. She is completely unaware of his deep desire for her, and he has almost given up hope. But when she decides it’s time to move on – and takes off her wedding rings – can Justin convince her that she’s ready to move on with him? I was a bit disappointed in the end, because Justin lets his guilt come between them somewhat, but overall it was an amazing title!
Overall Rate: B