Reviewed by May
This collection of stories all feature small town romances at Christmas time. Unfortunately the stories were really uneven – two that I’d consider winners and two that felt like a waste of my time. If you like small town holiday romance – you may want to check it out anyhow!
Christmas in Shelter Bay
This was a cute story about a soldier who meets up with a childhood friend, and finds perhaps the girl of his dreams was in his home town all along. Our heroine Kelli has always been in love with Cole, though he broke her heart when he informed her he was proposing to another woman. Cole has never seen Kelli as a woman or potential lover, but all that is about to change as some matchmaking mamas get involved and the couple find themselves snowed in and secluded in a cabin.
It is a bit strange to me that our heroine flipped out on the man who has never seen her as a woman (but rather as a little sister type figure) because she thought he might be proposing to her – but that was the only detail that really bugged me. This was a very charming small town Christmas time tale, and it has me thinking I may need to check out this author’s series and try another story.
A Seaside Christmas
This is the story of a couple who meets, has sex, and then they fall in love in just a few short hours. It must have been the magic of the mermaid and the rituals that the older ladies on this New England island did in order to help Annie find true love.
I am not even going to get into this story – it made no sense to me and worked for me on no level.
Mistletoe on Main Street
Clint has moved back to Cricket Creek for his father, but now seeing Ava again (his once girlfriend) has him thinking about something more. With a little help, wooing, and Christmas spirit perhaps a second chance at love is not so impossible after all.
This was one of those stories that wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t interesting. It sounded like every TV movie, novella, and other generic “second chance at the holidays” love story ever made – which made it hard for me to focus or care at all.
The Christmas Gift
This was by far the best of the bunch. In fact, I loved it! Bridey is the owner of a bakery, and lately she’s been intrigued by the new resident in town who often comes into her shop. Who is he? Seth Kyser is rather reclusive and nobody knows much about him or what he does. The truth is he is world renowned artist (he makes sculptures and all kinds of things from wood), and he’s been in a slump. The wood isn’t speaking to him as it always did in the past, and he’s getting away from it all in order to rest, rejuvenate, and just be himself. When Bridey needs someone to add some shelves and help remodel her bakery’s kitchen Seth steps up – and the quiet man with a slight stutter finds that maybe he can find more than just inspiration in his new town.
It is super refreshing to have a quiet, shy hero that is an artist, and it was a real treat to see how over the course of a few weeks (months?) these two find a deep connection with each other. I could have done without the dramatic finish to the story, but overall it was really great and I’ll be looking for more stories from this author.