An omnibus of novels by Kylie Adams, Elaine Coffman, Lisa Jackson and Lisa Plumley, published October 1, 2002.
Genre: contemporary romance
Ah, Christmas. It's a time for family and friends, giving and receiving, and just possibly, true love. Now, in this magical collection of holiday stories, four of romance's hottest writers capture the joy, hope, and heartwarming hilarity that only Christmas can bring...
Unwrap the kind of romance that only comes once a year in these four sparkling stories that celebrate the gift of love.
A Baby for Christmas by Lisa Jackson
It's turning out to be a Christmas of surprises for lonely Annie McFarlane. First, there's the adorable baby left on her doorstep, followed a day later by the angry, dangerously attractive man claiming to be the child's father. Liam O'Shaughnessy may be intimidating, but this is one precious gift Annie isn't giving up without a fight...
Annie McFarlane’s life shattered to pieces when her husband left her for his pregnant girlfriend after her own third miscarriage. But now she has built a new life in the country, doing secretarial work and caring for a house and horse from some elderly people. Then during a major snow storm, a baby has been left on her doorstep, with a simple note: For you Annie. Of course Annie falls in love with the little girl immediately, and names her Carol. She dutifully calls the sheriff office to report it, and Social Services. But everyone is busy with more important things than a missing baby right now, and she is left with the girl.
The next day though, Liam O’Shaughnessy barges into her little house, and wants to take the baby with him. He claims the baby is his and her sister Nola’s. Annie doesn’t want to believe him, and she certainly will not give up little Carol to him. And so Liam is stuck at Annie’s for a while, until her sister has been found and his name cleared.
Annie’s brother confirms that their sister was pregnant, but he also does not know where she went. Liam’s best friend is a private investigator, and he is searching for her sister as well. And as he is very good at his job, he will find her.
Annie has met Liam before, when he was still seeing her sister. That affair lasted only briefly though, and Liam is the only man Annie has ever liked that her sister was dating. And so, being thrown together, caring for the baby and the horses, they are attracted to each other and decide to get married. But what happens when Nola is found, and Liam is not the father after all?
A really nice story, and the reason I read this book. Lisa Jackson is coming to the Love Letter Convention in Berlin this May, and I wanted to read something by her.
I liked this story, and really felt for Annie, with all those miscarriages. She wanted nothing more than being a mother, and now she had a chance when a baby was left on her doorstep.
And Liam has had a hard time as well, and when he finds out he is a father, he is determined to do the right thing for his daughter. But Annie might just be the best thing that has happened to both of them…
Under the Mistletoe by Elaine Coffman
Dr. Stanley Levine keeps his house like his life - orderly, predictable, serene - until the day eccentric Southern belle Holly Noel moves in next door with her brood of seven girls. It may be Christmas, but that doesn't mean the dedicated bachelor has to kow-tow to an unruly clan defended by one maddening, sultry mama...
What a nice story, but those children would have driven me mad. Holly is a great character, a well bred and raised Southern lady, but not really lucky in love. Her first husband gave her twin daughters, now nine years old. Her second husband gave her another daughter, and her third husband the fourth daughter. Then both she and her beloved third husband, her sister and her sister’s husband were in a plane crash, with Holly as the only surviving adult. As she and her sister had promised each other to take care of their children if something would happen to one of them, Holly suddenly had three more daughters to care for. All in the ages between 2 and 9. Luckily she has a great housekeeper and a nanny who help her take care of them. Holly is a children’s book illustrator and she makes a good living at that. She loves all her children, but she is determined never to marry again, three times was enough.
Holly has also inherited her old home, and when that does not sell in one year, she decides to move back home and sell her apartment in town instead. Raising her daughters in a small town is much healthier for them after all.
Psychiatrist Dr Stanley Levine is not happy with his new neighbours. Being raised by his father, his grandfather and his uncle, and then gone to an all boy boarding school until university, he is not used to being around woman, and he does not know how to act around them. His new neighbour is everything he despises in a woman, and her children are noisy and loud and smashing his garden and windows. His big dog is terrified by their cat, an ugly crosseyed harelipped Persian. But somehow they get under his skin …
Personally, I would have gone mad getting those 10 females as my neighbours. I really don’t understand why Holly does not tell them to play in their own yard instead of his driveway, and why they keep stealing his milk and his newspaper and stuff. And why does she keep asking him for tools and sugar and stuff, while there are enough other neighbours who would like to help.
Yes I know, there would not be a love story otherwise. Still, I can’t like those children. But Holly loves them and cares for them. And she does not give up on Stanley.
A nice story, but I did not really believe in them being in love. There was not really any time spend together, they were just neighbours. They did not go out or something.
Holiday Stud by Kylie Adams
The only way single, successful career woman Audra Jarecki can face a Christmas homecoming - and the pitying eyes of her family - is with a gorgeous boyfriend on her arm. Hiring hunky Colby Douglas may the worst mistake of Audra's life...or the answer to everything on her Christmas wish list...
When her Calvin Klein underwear model boyfriend broke up with her, Audra did not want to go home for Christmas alone. Her mother already believes she is a lesbian, and both her sisters and their wayward husbands will be there as well. And her conspiracy theorist brother has just come out of the closet himself, and now suspects everyone of being gay.
So while pampering herself in a luxurious spa for the weekend, she overhears two women talking about having hired a man named George who is really amazing in bed. Being kind of desperate Audra decides to hire George for Christmas weekend to get her mother of her back.
George accepts her, but when he suddenly gets a request from another client for the same weekend, he convinces his recently fired best friend and roommate Colby to stand in for him … as Audra is a first time client, she doesn’t know him yet, and they do look alike enough for if he was described to her in details. Not wanting to go home for Christmas himself, and really needing the money, Colby finally accepts the job. His fiancée ran off with his baby brother recently and he has no desire to see them just yet, even though his mother really wants him home.
And so Colby accompanies Audra to her wacky family for Christmas. This of course does not work out as planned at all, and Colby has to leave.
I really enjoyed this fun story. I liked Audra, who is a very capable and busy business woman, and she saw a solution for her problem of being single again, and went for it. Being attracted to her “date” was not in the plans of course, but a nice benefit. The man sure can kiss!
The mother who is so determined that her daughter is gay, is annoying though, and so are the two sisters with the bad marriages. But they do change their lives and Audra loves them.
Colby is a very nice man, a pilot and he served in the army with George before that.
What I liked most about this story though, there is no rushed happy ever after ending, just that they meet again. Really nice short story.
Merry, Merry Mischief by Lisa Plumley
Flirty Katie Moore is the ultimate good-time girl. Too bad she's held up at the office, helping nose-to-the-grindstone architect Jack Brennan with a very special project: emergency babysitting for the boss's tiny daughter. Now, the party girl and the workaholic are joining forces to give the little bundle of joy a Christmas she'll never forget...
I really did not like this story, because of Lisa Plumley’s writing style.
All in all a nice anthology, with three sweet Christmas stories. The strange thing is that the stories are not in the order as told on the blurb, but in the opposite order.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian