Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Christmas to Remember stories by Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon, and Marilyn Pappano

Curl up with this heartwarming Christmas collection!

Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, 'tis the season for giving love a chance . . .

Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don't come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .

Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.

Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who's set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .

Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn't mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?

Dream A Little Dream by Jill Shalvis Rating: 5 Cups
When Ian and Melissa’s friends-with-benefits deal ends because she’s afraid of her feelings toward him, Ian is left wanting more. Although when her apartment catches fire and Ian rescues her, he’s afraid it’s too late to act on his feelings when she slips into a coma. When Ian tells Melissa the dream he had of the life they could have had together, the dream becomes Melissa’s dream. When she wakes up, she intent on making it come true, sexy elf costume included.
If ever a short Christmas story left me with the warm and fuzzies it’s Dream A Little Dream.
Melissa is afraid to allow herself to feel the feelings she is feeling for Ian, so rather than act on them, she shut him out of her life. Although the dream she had while in a coma made her realize it’s what she wants in her life. I liked that Melissa wasn’t afraid to go after what she wanted once she finally realized she wanted Ian. She was bound and determined to make it happen.
Ian is in love with Melissa. A blind person could see it. So when he’s doesn’t reach her in time, he’s devastated and due to his sister dying after hitting her head during a skiing accident, he’s not going to leave Melissa’s bedside until she’s awake. He also hasn’t celebrated Christmas with his family since his sister’s death. Ian’s fear of losing Melissa brought this novel to life.
While this is only 49 pages, the story is complete and the pacing is brilliant.
Overall: It’s a lovely little heartwarming romance combined with a touch of comedy guaranteed to make you fall in love with Melissa and Ian.
Every Year by Kristen Ashley Rating: 3.5 Cups
Having not read Kristen Ashely’s work before, I was a little lost but managed to catch up fairly quickly.
Shy and his brother Landon haven’t had the best of lives after the death of their parents, so when they spend Christmas with Tabby (Shy’s girlfriend) and her family they see what a real family Christmas is like and gain the gift of belonging.
Every Year was one heck of a hot holiday romance. It was so hot it could melt the snow on the ground. Why haven’t I read Kristen Ashley before? I must remedy this and soon. {I know what I’m doing with those Amazon gift cards I received as gifts!}
Shy and Landon seem like troubled men and I do love me some troubled heroes (again, why haven’t I read Kristen Ashley?). When they spend Christmas with Tabby and her family, they finally feel that they are part of a family.
While I was a little lost on some aspects and was a little annoyed with the fact that Tabby’s stepmother’s nickname is Ty-Ty (I’m a bit anti nicknames that sounds like baby talk) Every Year intrigued me and now I must read more.
Silent Night by Hope Ramsay, Rating: 2.5 Cups
Let me start by saying that while I loved this short story, it was way too short. I felt like it ended right when I was just getting to know the characters. And characters as complex as Maryanne and Daniel really deserved a full-length book of their own.
Daniel is spending Christmas alone at his father’s farmhouse in Last Chance. It’s the first Christmas he’s spent there since his father’s death and he’s struggling with being alone.
Maryanne is a single mother who is homeless. She’s returning to the only place she ever thought of as home in hopes of that her cousin will take her in. Although when her car breaks down, she has no choice but to bundle her little boy up and walk the distance to what she believes is her grandparents’ home.
Finding no one home, she has no choice but to seek shelter in the barn where Daniel, the owner of the house, discovers her and her son.
Daniel is broken man. He’s suffered terrible loss and he understands what Maryanne is going through. Although Maryanne, having been through the foster system, doesn’t trust ‘do-gooders’ so when she discovers that Daniel is a lawyer, she’s not sure if she can trust him either.
WAY. TOO. SHORT. I loved the concept of Silent Night, but it felt as though it barely scratched the surface of these complex characters. And although the they seemed to be forming a relationship, a very fast relationship seeing as this story takes place during one night, it felt more like a Happy For Now ending rather than a HEA ending.
Overall, great concept, not long enough to properly develop it.
Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who's set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .
Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas by Molly Cannon Rating: 4.5 Cups
Lincoln never expected to open his door three days after Thanksgiving to find a woman dressed up like Santa’s elf. Dinah, the professional organizer Lincoln’s mother hired never expected to be working for a Grinch. Although as the two grow closer, they start to realize things are always what they seem.
This was a really cute Christmas romance. It was light and fluffy like a festive little marshmallow. I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved the way that Lincoln and Dinah interacted. Neither was afraid push the other to their limits.
Overall, you just can’t go wrong with a Molly Cannon romance.
A Family for Christmas by Marilyn Pappano, Rating: 4 Cups
Marilyn Pappano is a new to me author and I was pleasantly pleased with how much I enjoyed her writing.
Dr. Jared Connors moved to Tallgrass and accepted the open position to more or less stick it to his parents. Although Tallgrass doesn’t feel like home and it’s not the place he’s used to, Ilena, ambassador elf for the Prairie Elf Fundation and her infant son make start making the holiday’s brighter for Jared.
I liked A Family for Christmas. Jared wants to be away from his family but he’s also homesick. Ilena’s husband died in the war and she’s a bit hesitant but she knows it the right time to move on.
It was a really sweet little romance and I look forward to reading more from this author.


Book Details
Title: A Christmas To Remeber
Authors: Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon, and Marilyn Pappano
Publisher: Forever
ISBN: 978-1-4555-2993-3
Format: Mass Market Paperback
How I Read It: Mass Market Paperback from Publisher
Rating: Each story is rated individually


Sophia Rose said...

I love the antho when I had a chance to read it. I had only read Kristen Ashley (btw, if you're going to read that series start with Motor Cycle Man from the other series b/c this one's a spin off or heck, start with the beginning to the Dream Man series.) Hope Ramsay, and Marilyn Pappano. I agree that Hope's book did end fast and they needed more time. Marilyn's series is sweet, but these gals have it tough to find their way to happy. Loved Jill's story and have been meaning to go back for that series.

Angela @ Simply Angela said...

Thanks, Sophia. I had heard that series was a spin off, but I wasn't sure. I've added it to my list! I have to read more from Kristen Ashley. I'm hooked now! lol

Sophia Rose said...

She has a different style and rhythm to her stories, but I like them too. I started with the Dream Man series and then saw the crossover characters from her Rock Chick series and then I saw how the biker stories came from the last book in Dream Man so I have a lot of catching up to do too. Haha!