Thursday, November 7, 2013

SECRET SANTA by Fern Michaels, Marie Bostwick, Laura Levine and Cindy Myers

Secret Santa
* I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher for free in the hope that I would review it honestly on my blog. Regardless, I only review books I enjoyed. I don’t believe in passing on negative reviews. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Four holiday stories!
"Mister Christmas" - An attorney gets summoned overseas by a client only to find out he is just trying to fix her up with a relative. She ends up with the relative anyway, but on her own terms. I found this story to be implausible. The main character accepts the buy too easily without any time or tension to build chemistry. He's over-generous with a stranger, which also made him suspicious to me. Finally, there's a hostage situation that seemed to come out of no where. I felt like this plot could have been great in a longer format where there was more time to fill in some of the gaps.

"Yellow Rose of Christmas" - An older woman has a secret admirer, although it might not be who she thinks it is. This was a lovely story. I enjoyed the fact that the main characters were older adults - something I don't read much in romance stories. The cast of characters was great in this story.

"Nightmare on Elf Street" - A freelance writer takes a job as Santa's Elf to get her foot in the door with a potential employer, then finds herself a suspect when one of the Santa's is killed. This mystery is from an author I haven't read much before, if at all; I really enjoyed the main character's voice. She's sassy and funny. I will definitely be looking at more by this author in the future.

"Room at the Inn" - Three groups are stranded in a snow storm and end up staying in some fishing cabins near the interstate and getting to know one another - and in some cases, themselves - in new ways. This story was mostly about the main character's evolution in how she viewed herself and her life, and that was very enjoyable. Some of the other characters grow and change, too, which just added to the main story. This one drew me to the internet to find out what else the author has written. This story has fringe ties to a series by the author that I will be checking out in the future.

4 out of 5 stars

I love reading Christmas stories this time of year, and I am glad I tried this one. Collections of short stories, like this one, can introduce readers to new authors, which is great for both the author and the reader. There is mild language in a couple of the stories, and the romantic elements are also mild making this a pretty safe bet for a lot of readers.

Do you have some favorite holiday stories? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

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