Romancing the Holiday brings readers three novellas full of sizzle and heart. In We’ll Be Home for Christmas by HelenKay Dimon, Lila Payne shows up to take over her uncle’s resort and finds the man she had a three-night stand with a few months back … a man that gave her another name. Ask Her at Christmas by Christi Barth finds Caitlin McIntyre’s best friend asking her to marry him … except he’s practicing to ask someone else. Now she not only has to hide how she really feels about him but he asks her to help him plan the perfect proposal. A kiss shared by coworkers at last year’s Christmas party has caused tension at the office in Jaci Burton’s The Best Thing. Now Brody and Tori have to decide how they are going to move forward.
I love the idea of anthologies – a collection of bite-sized stories in one book – but I’m also a little leery of them. I’m usually afraid that they will be too short or the author won’t put the detail in them to give them enough depth. These three, though, are extremely satisfying. The characters are well-developed and engaging. Each story has its own feel, with the Christmas season being the theme that ties them together, and are emotion-packed.
Both We’ll Be Home for Christmas and The Best Thing are part of a series. I’ve read a story in each of the series, in fact I reviewed an earlier story in Dimon’s series here, but don’t worry if you haven’t. Theses stories can definitely be enjoyed on their own and will likely cause you to want to read more.
Spencer Thomas is a treat in Dimon’s We’ll Be Home for Christmas. He’s highly intelligent, with multiple degrees, but when it comes to women he is clueless. He has had bad role-models when it comes to women sticking it out. His own mother left, as well as the women in other significant relationships in his life. If I have any complaint about this story, it is that there wasn’t enough detail about those women. I think that because it is part of a series, Dimon glossed over some of the history. The story, though, is definitely enjoyable regardless – watching Spence bumble through his interactions with Lila and his realization of his feelings – and the ending is very sweet…. and readers are given plenty of sizzle along the way.
Ask Her at Christmas is touching. You will feel for both Caitlin and Kyle as they deal with the fall-out from his decision to propose to a woman as part of a business merger. It is probably hard for most people to understand, as the majority of us wouldn’t be in that situation, but Barth handles it with finesse. Some might find Monica, Kyle’s soon-to-be fiance, to be a little shallow and cartoonish, but she’s fun as the antagonist.
Burton also handles the conflict in her story, The Best Thing, with style. She aptly captures the problems inherent with an office romance and draws readers in very quickly. Brody, like Spence, is a bit of an idiot when it comes to relationships, but he also quickly realizes where his heart is leading him and it is charming to watch.
If you are looking for quick reads to get you in the mood for the season, Romancing the Holidays is a must. And you just might find yourself with a list of books to read into the new year.