Heating up the Holidays Anthology
Released: October 28, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
Play With Me by Lisa Renee Jones
I DNF’d this story. Hero is this cold businessman. Heroine is hired as his assistant. I did not like at all. I wish this story wasn’t the first in the anthology. Oh well.
Snowfall by Mary Ann Rivers.
Blurb: Jenny Wright can’t get enough of her erotic conversations with someone she knows only as “C.” Flirting online helps Jenny temporarily escape confronting the changes to her life as she slowly loses her vision. Jenny’s occupational therapist, Evan Carlisle-Ford, is helping her prepare for the challenges ahead, but the forthright, trustworthy man can no longer ignore his growing attraction to his fiercely intelligent client. Now Jenny must choose between the safe, anonymous “C”—or the flesh-and-blood Evan, whose heated kisses can melt snow faster than it can fall.
This story blew me away. Mary Ann Rivers’ voice – the way she writes her words make me sit and flail in my char. After reading and loving The Story Guy earlier this year, I was so anxious to see what she could do next. And again – here I am totally blown away.
Jenny is suffering from an inherited eye disease, which makes her slowly lose her peripheral vision, along with her night vision and maybe even more as the disease progresses. Jenny is very smart, working as a microbiologist at a lab for a university. She hates what is happening to her vision. And so when she meets with her occupational therapist, she acts out. She refuses to do treatment, she screams and yells. To her, Evan represents her future failure and that scares her tremendously. Except – something happens between her and Evan. And by “something happens” I mean Mary Ann Rivers writes this amazing, brilliant slow build of a romance that I literally could not stop reading and is the farthest thing from just a ‘something.’ . Evan is this sexy therapist who is patient and kind and has long sexy arms who wants Jenny to accept his treatment but you can tell he also wants to give her a dirty kiss but he is so professional that this weighs on him and makes his eyebrows frown.
Look – Mary Ann Rivers writes these extremely smart, mature, professional protagonists and then mixes in these dirty, sexy moments. The whole package just makes me scream in delight.
Oh – and Jenny also has this anonymous online relationship with a man that she knows lives in her town and works near her that has an impact on the story as well. It’s just all so darn romantic and well done. Buy the anthology for this story alone.
After Midnight by Serena Bell
Blurb: The clock is ticking down to midnight on New Year’s Eve, and all Nora Hart and Miles Shephard can think about is kissing each other—even though they met just minutes before. Then, as fast as Miles enters Nora’s life, he’s gone . . . and she never even gets the name of the man she thinks might just be “the one.” One year later, Nora and Miles are reunited. The chemistry between them is just as strong as they remember. But Miles broke her heart once before—and this time around, Nora’s not sure whether she can give love a second chance.
I really enjoyed this novella as well. Nora and Miles have some wicked chemistry when they first meet at the New Years Eve party. A year later when they are reconnected over the phone, they get to know one another. (sexy phone times too.) I enjoyed Nora so much – she takes that chance in flying out to see Miles once they established a phone relationship and pushes their relationship along. Miles is down in the dumps as he faces embezzlement charges (he is innocent but his company is set on putting the blame on him). He is weighed down by this shame and can’t seem to move on with his life. Nora is full of life and energy and works through her own trust issues to be there for Miles. Well done.