Romancing the Holiday Anthology
December 3, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
I always look forward to Carina Press’s holiday anthologies. This one is well done and also note, each story can also be purchased separately
We’ll Be Home for Christmas by HelenKay Dimon
Lila has decided to move to a small town in West Virginia and take over her uncle’s Mountain View resort. The problem is when she gets to this ‘resort’ it’s actually a campground in poor condition. When she goes to the local nursery to see if she can buy some supplies, she meets Austin Thomas and is floored. A while ago, she spent a ‘three-night stand’ with someone named Austin Thomas who looks very similar to him…but not quite. When she confronts the married Austin about this he is just as shocked, but then he demands his brother Spencer join them in this fun confrontation. Apparently Spencer is Lila’s three-night stand man, and for whatever reason he was in a bad place at that time and used his brother’s name. Lila was just coming off of a very nasty divorce, and needed the fling to put her in better spirits.
Lila feels disgusted by this whole exchange and shocked that she actually ran into her mystery man again. Spencer is actually a really good guy, who used his brother’s name on a whim and regrets it now. He really wants to help Lila rebuild her uncle’s resort and see if they still have that chemistry that was with them when they slept together before.
This is a cute and sexy novella about two people who never thought they would see each other again, thrust back into the same small town. Everyone knows their business and the betting pools start well before they even realize they have a future together. They are both sweet, good natured people who just need a little push into the relationship mode. Spencer’s mother abandoned him when he was younger, so he feels like all women will do that to him. Once he overcomes that issue, he is ready to move on. Also notable is the supporting character of Travis, who works with Spencer. He likes to call Lila ma’am and he has a very low, rumbly voice. I hear his book will be out next summer and it is already on my to be read list! Rating B Kindle l Nook l Carina Press
Ask Her at Christmas by Christi Barth
Art lover Kaitlin has loved her best friend Kyle, a total computer geek, most of her life. And when Kyle gets down on one knee to propose, Kaitlin is estatic until she realizes he is practicing his proposal for his girlfriend Monica. Kyle needs to marry strategically to help his family’s big company, and Monica has all the connections. He ignores her brash attitude and many men she sleeps with in different cities. It’s all business to him. Kaitlin is determined to show him he deserves better.
I love best friends to lovers tropes and I also love a geek hero, both which this book has. I think Kaitlin and Kyle are really cute as best friends, but my problem comes from them going to lovers. It never really got there for me, or at least, I wanted to see more romance and sexy times between these two. So much time is spent with the uber-bitchy Monica, and I really could have cared less about her. Good premise, but needed more focus on Kaitlin and Kyle together romantically. Rating: C Kindle l Nook l Carina Press
The Best Thing by Jaci Burton
I remember reading the holiday anthology from Carina Press last year and loving Jaci Burton’s story. We got a hint of Tori and Brody’s romance in it and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on their book. Tori is the office manager for the Kent Construction company owned by three brothers, Wyatt, Ethan and Brody. Brody and Tori shared a kiss at the company Christmas party ten months ago, which after Tori fled and hasn’t been able to treat any of the brothers nicely since then. Her intense feelings for Brody confuse her and she is scared of going for it, and then either losing her job or her friendships if the romance doesn’t work out. But when faced against the Kent brothers, she doesn’t stand much of a chance.
This book is so sexy and fun. I adore all three of these brothers and this is a pretty straight forward story of two people, fighting their attraction and finally giving in. They have a great relationship that will make you laugh and smile. Tori gives in pretty easy, yet the sexual tension and eventual romance is not boring at all. Just a sweet, sexy novella that will have you smiling. I highly recommend Ethan’s book – All She Wants for Christmas and Wyatt’s book (My favorite) A Rare Gift. Rating: B+ Kindle l Nook l Carina Press