Thursday, December 6, 2012

Romancing the Holiday Anthology

Romancing the Holiday

Romancing the Holiday is an anthology written by three authors I love; HelenKay Dimon, Christi Barth, and Jaci Burton.  HelenKay’s We’ll Be Home for Christmas is the continuation of her Holloway series. Christi’s Ask Her at Christmas is the tale of two friends realizing their true happy ever after is with each other.  And, The Best Thing is the conclusion of Jaci Burton’s Kent Brothers series.

For the sake of full disclosure, I have to admit a year ago, I never heard of any of these women.  I was looking for a Christmas read and I came across the Holiday Kisses anthology featuring books by HelenKay and Jaci.  It just so happened that HelenKay’s first Holloway series book and Jaci’s second Kent Brothers’ book was a part of that anthology.  I was hooked.  After reading A Rare Gift, I had to have more Kent Brothers, so I found and read All She Wants for Christmas, the first book in the Kent Brothers series.  I even went as far as sending Jaci several emails, asking and begging for a book on Brody.  Not that The Best Thing was written for me or anything. But still, I’m a happy girl.  With that in mind, I’m a little biased when it comes to these books.  But that could also mean that the authors have very high expectations to meet.  I LOVE all three of these books.

 
*****************************************************************

We’ll Be Home for Christmas by HelenKay Dimon

No man likes having his bedroom skills described as forgettable, but that’s what Lila Payne does when she runs into Spencer Thomas again.  When she discovers that he’d lied about his name during their brief three-day romp a few months before, she’s so angry that she pretends she doesn’t remember him.

Spence regrets his deception, but not as much as he regrets that their time together didn’t last longer.  When she shows up in his town, looking to revitalize her uncle’s mountain resort, Spence is determined to help.  Maybe rescuing Lila from a hopeless renovation project will get him in her good graces--and back in her bed.

Lila has no interest in being rescued, and Spence is insulted by her stubborn rebuffs and her “faulty” memory.  But when rehab work turns into an after-hours meeting, the two of them are in for a night that just might prove unforgettable...

REVIEW

We’ll Be Home for Christmas is the third book in the Holloway series.  Hopefully, it’s not the last book.  It’s NOT a requirement that you have to have read the other two books, but I recommend that you do, because I really like them.

This is FINALLY Spence’s chance at love, provided he doesn’t let the idiot that’s inside of him come out and stay too long.  Spencer is the oldest of the two Thomas brothers and the Thomas Nurseries friends featured in the series.

Since I have read the other two books in the series, I already liked Spence, but apparently I didn't actually know him.  Yes, Spence is super uber smart, but he doesn't know anything about romance or women.  Spence actually met Lila at a hotel bar one night when he was feeling lonely and pretty low after he realized that his brother Austin and friend Mitch found love and were actually happy.  Little did Spence know that meeting Lila would change him.  Lila is the only woman who has creeped into his mind and will not leave.

Lila, like Spence, isn't looking for love.  She's been there and done that.  She has no money, no job, no place to stay and a bad reputation to prove it.  But like Spence, Lila has met her match.  Lila is a pistol who doesn't take the crap Spence spews and is VERY good at calling him out.  She actually sees through all the smoke-screen to the person he truly is.

Of the three books in the series, this is by far my favorite.  I laughed the whole way through.  The interaction and dialogue between Spence and Lila is great...I LOVED reading/watching “The Fall of Spencer Thomas”.

Rating: 4 ½ (I really liked it.)

Release Date: Available Now
Book Length: Individually 97 pages/Anthology 257 pages
Source: NetGalley, but this is a book I would have purchased myself.
Reading Format: Currently only available in ebook
Purchase anthology through: Amazon
Purchase individual book through: Amazon
Author’s Website: HelenKay Dimon
Holloway Series: It’s Not Christmas Without You and Lean on Me

*****************************************************************


Ask Her At Christmas by Christi Barth

Caitlin McIntyre’s heart stops when her best friend drops to one knee and proposes.

Kyle Lockhart never once hinted over the years that he has any idea she’s in love with him.  Not wanting to jeopardize their friendship, she’s never let it slip.  Good thing, too, since it turns out he’s only practicing--he’s about to propose to someone else.

A business merger might not be the most romantic reason to propose to a woman he barely knows, but Kyle’s determined to win the respect of the dying father who’s never seen him as quite good enough.  Kyle’s always depended on Caitlin’s friendship, while trying to ignore the physical response she arouses.  So he turns to her when it comes time to craft his proposal, not realizing his decision will affect their relationship, forever.

This Christmas, Kyle and Caitlin get one last chance to admit their feelings for each other, and find a mutual happily ever after, before he commits his life to another woman and Caitlin leaves town and him...for good.

REVIEW


First off, I have to say that I LOVE Christi's book dedication and the individual book cover is beautiful.

Caitlin McIntyre and Kyle Lockhart have been best friends forever.  Caitlin is a recent graduate student, waiting to find out which one of two jobs will take her into the next chapter of her life.  Kyle is the head of the security division for his family's company, LTS Industries, an airplane and security conglomerate.  They each have an attraction for the other, but neither wants to jeopardize their friendship to say so.  This isn't to say neither hasn't dated other people, because they each have.  A few weeks before Christmas, Kyle surprises Caitlin at a mall, where she's a volunteer gift wrapper and drops to one knee and proposes.  Caitlin thinks all of her dreams have come true, until she realizes that Kyle is just practicing his proposal technique on her and wants to enlist her to help him come up with the perfect proposal for Monica.

Besides the fact that the proposal isn't meant for her, Caitlin has serious issues with the fact that her best friend is going to propose to Monica.  The number one issue is that Kyle doesn't love Monica Selford, a PR executive for her family's hotel chain.  He's only going to marry her because his father told him to, telling him it would be good for business.  Kyle's father, Brian Lockhart has a jaded idea of marriage since his wife left him.  He could actually care less if his son is happy or not.  For Mr. Lockhart, it's all about business and appearances.

Caitlin and Kyle have a great relationship.  She would do anything to make him happy, even if that something is playing nice with his soon-to-be fiance, which she doesn’t think too highly of.  But sometimes a girl has to listen to her gut instincts when she has a bad feeling about someone or something.  One magical kiss reveals their true feelings for each other and changes their lives.  I LOVE happy-ever-afters and Christi has truly written a very good HEA, which probably happens to fall in line with her Aisle Bound Trilogy.  (Mmm. I wonder if we'll see anyone from this book in one of the other books.)

Rating: 4 ½ (I really liked it.)

Release Date: Available Now
Book Length: Individually 65 pages/Anthology 257 pages
Source: NetGalley, but this is a book I would have purchased myself.
Reading Format: Currently only available in ebook
Purchase anthology through: Amazon
Purchase individual book through: Amazon
Author’s Website: Christi Barth

*****************************************************************


The Best Thing by Jaci Burton

A year ago, Tori let her guard down and Brody Kent slipped right in, planting one hot, unforgettable kiss on her in a dark corner at the company Christmas party.  Though the kiss surpassed her wildest dreams, she can’t let it happen again.  She loves Brody, but he’s got a reputation for loving and leaving.  She’ll have to keep her heart--and her libido--in check.

Brody can’t get the time of day from Tori--ever since that impulsive kiss, she’s avoided him with the same brutal efficiency she uses to manage his family’s construction company office.  The company can’t afford to lose her, and Brody’s come to realize that he can’t live without her.  But how can he convince Tori that he’s a changed man?

It just might take a Christmas miracle.

REVIEW


* This is the third and final book in the Kent Brothers series, however it is a stand alone and reading the previous two books is NOT required.  But if you haven’t read them, you will want to after reading this one.*

For three years, Jaci Burton has graced us with the pleasure and privilege of being able to visit the Kent family of Missouri.  For all of that time, Brody Kent has had a thing for Tori Lewis.  In fact, Brody’s attraction for Tori started the day she walked into his family’s construction office four years ago, he just thought she was too young for him.  For Tori, the attraction and love goes back even further than that.  Tori has been in love with Brody since high school.  Roger and Stacy Kent have even made Tori their unofficial adopted daughter.  There isn’t a family event she isn’t included in.

Things for Brody and Tori come to a head at the Kent Construction Christmas party in last year’s A Rare Gift.  At the party, in the middle of a heated argument between Brody and Tori, Brody kisses Tori and she kisses him right back.  After the kiss, Tori realizes it was a mistake and that she can’t possibly get involved with Brody Kent.  Brody has a well deserved reputation around town as being a love them and leave them kind of guy.  Tori doesn’t want to be just another notch on his bedpost.  In addition to that, she loves Roger and Stacy Kent and the rest of the Kent family.  She doesn’t want to lose the family ties she’s made with them or her job at Kent Construction because of Brody.

For Brody, that kiss changed everything for him.  He realizes that he wants to give himself a chance with Tori, but Tori is now avoiding him like he has the bubonic plague.  Tori is in the office being meaner than usual to all the Kent brothers and Wyatt and Ethan know the reason has something to do with Brody, they just don’t know what.  Wyatt and Ethan both tell Brody to fix Tori and the dance of the magnets begin.

Tori and Brody actually have an easy time talking and hanging out with each other, when they aren’t trying to fight their attraction.  Brody is more than just the love them and leave them guy everyone thinks he is, and he will do anything he can to make Tori realize that.  Unfortunately, his family and various people in town just can’t seem to leave him and Tori along.

I love happy ending romances.  For me, it’s the journey a couple takes to get to that final destination that I love so much.  People tend to shy away from love and commitment because they don’t want to risk their heart getting broken.  But there are definitely times when that risk is well worth the reward in the end.  Brody and Tori both finally decide to take that risk and their journey is incredible.  But of course, there’s a Kent brother involved, so you know sooner or later, he’s going to mess up royally.


Rating: 4 ½ (I really liked it.)

Release Date: Available Now
Book Length: Individually 99 pages/Anthology 257 pages
Source: NetGalley, but this is a book I would have purchased myself.
Reading Format: Currently only available in ebook
Purchase anthology through: Amazon
Purchase individual book through: Amazon
Author’s Website: Jaci Burton
Kent Brothers Series: Character/book information and excerpts

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...