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Saturday, February 6, 2016

12 Christmas Romances To Melt Your Heart by Catherine Gayle, Jami Davenport, Riley J. Ford, Emma Roman, Allie K. Adams, Geri Foster, Tammy Falkner, Tawdra Kandle, Chris Keniston, Katy Regnery, Becca Boyd & Jodi Vaughn

This Anthology is different than the usual I tend to grab, but since I REALLY wanted to read Katy Regnery's novella I "had no choice" but to grab it even though ALL the short novellas in this one are a part of a series. The only way I can describe this Anthology is a HUGE disappointment. I had a few DNFs and mostly I rated these between 1-2 stars.

I started writing individual reviews, but as I continued on reading and was annoyed with most of what I read, I decided bashing everything ISN'T the way I want to go.. So I'm rating (without review) the ones I wasn't impressed with, while writing a positive review to the ones I DID like

1. Mistletoe Misconduct By Catherine Gayle (Portland Storm, #7.6)  

2. Hearts On Ice By Jami Davenport (Game On in Seattle, #4.5)  

3. Romance.Avalnce.Love By Riley J. Ford (Romance.Earthquake.Love sequel)  
4. The Runaway Sleigh by Emma Roman (Somewhere TX Bachelors #0.5)  
I really enjoyed this one. Always nice getting a story about a more mature couple. Peter and Carolyn meet on Christmas when he is dressed like Santa, doing his "routine" in his sleigh, missing his dead wife who used to play "Mrs. Santa" with him. Though his wife asked him to live his life and be happy, he have been alone for years. Now for the first time he finds himself interested in Carolyn, a woman he almost runs over with an out of control mare. Offering to help, and refusing to take no for an answer, Peter reminds the only woman in town who hates Christmas what the holiday's spirit is about. Though Carolyn have her misgivings about the holiday (being left by her husband on this day) when Peter puts on the charm she's unable to keep on the cool facade and she finds she is interested in him as much as he is interested in her.

5. Merry TREXmas By Allie K. Adams (TREX #5.5)   DNF 
6. Holiday Mischief By Geri Foster (Twisted Sisters ?)   DNF

7. Yes You By Tammy S. Falkner (The Reed Brothers, #9.5)   DNF

8. Underneath My Christmas Tree By Tawdra Kandle (Always, #1.5)   DNF

9. Love Walks In By Chris Keniston (Aloha, #6.5)  
Back in the day, before I started reading Romance (but wasn't reading Fantasy anymore) I used to favor reading about people/kids with special needs (I used to volunteer helping people with special needs for years, it's still something I hope I'll have time to do in the future). Yet this IS a romance novella which was very sweet and touching. 
Mike recently moved into town with Brian, his Autistic kid, his wife has died two years ago and he hopes the small town will make it easier on him to take care of his son. When Annette's son Adam punches a bully for tormenting Brian their paths cross. 
At first it's more about Annette wanting to help Brian against the bully as well as Adam offering to be Brian's friend (even though he is different which was sweeter than sweets!) but after Mike and Annette spending time together talking about Brian and Adam and the whole situation it becomes more. As Annette shares the death of her husband in a plan crash something else starts to build between the two of them. While they both love and miss their dead spouses they are both interested in one another. I loved how tender their interaction was. It has to do with who they are, what they've been through and naturally the fact that they both have families, and Mike's is quite complicated yet I guess this is exactly what made this story so special, one to cherish.    

10. Marrying Mr. English By Katy Regnery (Blueberry Lane 1 - The English Brothers, #6.5)  
This short novella was TOTALLY worth this whole disastrous Anthology.. Also I truly think that even if you haven't read the series there is no problem getting sucked into the story. The Epilogue though does mention all the new and expected English women but it's just a teaser to the next installment which will be continuing the story of Tom and Eleanora English. 
This is NOT what I expected I'll tell you that! Tom and Eleanora meet on Tom's "honeymoon" though he didn't actually get married... In order to inherit 15 million dollars his grandfather demands Tom to be wedded before his 32th birthday. He had it all planned with a girl he knew most of his life, but she ran off.. Now 4 days before his birthday he meets Eleanora the waitress and with every word he hears from her he is more interested and intrigued. When he tells Eleanora the reason for his stay SHE actually offers to marry him. Well, a poor girl struggling to meet ends and dreams of owning a book shop (after finishing college) getting 1 million dollars for shortly being married to a gorgeous kind guy (even if 10 years her senior) isn't bad.. well, it's not at the start but then they both start to fall for one another which complicates things for each of them separately. It was so believable, even though they were a few days together I could totally believe they fell in love. Also knowing the close relationship between Tom and the gardener from the previous books in the series made me believe it even more that for Tom, Eleanora's past and upbringing didn't mean that much. She overcome so much, and she was willing to fight in order to do the things she wished for against all odds - that's exactly what made him see her and appreciate her, and yeah, fall in love with her. 
I loved both of them! Together and alone. They made sense, even with their life's stories being so different, and they both were so special on their own. Tom is a good guy, even if what he was giving Eleanora was convenient he treated her decently the whole time. He was thinking of her the whole time. Eleanora was so true to herself, the whole time. Yeah she did a very rushed decision marrying Tom, but everything else she did was SO her - the back bone, the spite to look life in the eye and claim her dreams
BEAUTIFUL. All is left now is getting to the second part of the story.       

11. As We Dream By Becca Boyd (Line of Fire, #3.5)  

12. Christmas In Cloverton by Jodi Vaughn (Cloverton, #2)  

Next time I'm "forced" to buy this kind of Anthology I'll stick to reading the one/s I bought it for. I don't like reading novellas which are a part of a series I haven't read. Yet I AM glad about the novellas in this one I DID enjoy. Each was so different and special. 

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 632 pages, 31 January - 6 February 2016 / On GoodReads

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