- Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Harlequin Historical; Original edition (September 24, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0373293232
- ISBN-13: 978-0373293230
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,593,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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One Starry Christmas: An Anthology Mass Market Paperback – September 24, 2004
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About the Author
Reading has always been Carolyn Davidson’s favourite thing to do. She loves the written word, ranging from her early loves, Louisa May Alcott and Zane Grey, to present-day writers. Over the past several years, it’s been her turn to compose books that bring pleasure to her readers. Carolyn loves to hear from her readers and no matter how busy she is Carolyn always takes time to answer her mail. You can reach her at P.O. Box 2757, Goose Creek, SC 29445
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Molly Thompson is a widow who was abused by her husband. She finds 4 newborn puppies and takes them where she thinks they belong – Jesse Stormwalker’s farm. This leads to a friendship between two lonely – and damaged – people.
This is the best story of the bunch; I enjoyed it a great deal.
Home for Christmas (Carol Finch) I enjoy this author’s stories because of the lively banter between the characters. Seth Gresham’s best (and only) friend begs him to get his estranged daughter before he dies. Olivia Ramsay isn’t interested, so Seth abducts her and takes her back to the Oklahoma Territory to see her father – only to find him chopping down a tree. Then the fun begins.
Hark the Harried Angels (Lynna Banning) This story started on a wonderful premise and fell apart. After many years, Adam Garnett has been released from prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s moved next door to Irina Likov, a widow whose husband died on the way to America on ship. She’s been alone for 7 years; making a life for herself with her boarders.
Three French sisters take an interest in the two people living next door and things begin to happen.
"Stormwalker's Woman" by Carolyn Davidson - 4.5 stars
Jesse Stormwalker is a half-breed and doesn't fit in either the white or native worlds. He knew that if he associated with his beautiful neighbor, Molly Thompson, that he could do her reputation damage, but he couldn't keep away from her. Molly was also drawn to Jesse, although she is the widow of a brutal man, and she believes that no man will ever be attracted to her again because of an accident that left her face scarred. A litter of orphaned puppies bring them together, can love keep them together?
This story was fantastic, as has been every Carolyn Davidson story I've ever read. Jesse was a great hero, full of compassion and trying to do his best by Molly, who he knew had been very hurt by her abusive husband. And Molly was a brave heroine, full of insecurities but determined to go on living despite whatever was thrown her way. The story seemed a little too action-packed at times, but I realize that is one of the downsides to shorter fiction. Altogether, a lovely story about two lost souls finding each other.
"Home for Christmas" by Carol Finch - 5 stars
Former bounty hunter Seth Gresham was determined to bring his dying best friend's daughter, Olivia Ramsey, to Oklahoma Territory for a visit. Seth thought that Olivia was a spoiled brat at first, but soon learned that first impressions can be deceiving as he spends more time with her on the trail. Olivia has been burned before by love, and she's determined not to fall in love again because it hurts too much. But as she spends time with Seth, she wonders if the "love" she had felt for her treacherous boyfriend had only been make-believe, and perhaps what she was starting to feel for Seth could really be love. Once the pair discover that Olivia's father isn't dying, merely trying to get Seth and Olivia together, can they get over the betrayal and stay together?
This story was the best of the three in my opinion. It was full of humor, passion, and romance. I really liked Seth, he was trying his best to be an honorable guy. And I could relate to Olivia's heartache. Perhaps they fell in love a little too quickly, but once again, that has to happen in a short story romance since the pages are limited. Seth and Olivia were a great pair.
"Hark the Harried Angels" by Lynna Banning - 4.5 stars
Adam Garnett had spent the last 15 years of his life imprisoned for a murder he had not committed. Now free, all he did was pace in his backyard, trying to figure out how to get the will to live once more. His neighbor, Russian immigrant and widow Irina Likov, caught his interest, but both were rather shy and didn't talk to one another much. So their neighbors, three French ladies, decided to hatch a plan to get Irina and Adam together. Will it work?
This story was different from the other two stories. It was a slower, less emotionally-intense romance. It was really a sweet little story about two lonely people falling in love around Christmas, but there was no great emotional attachment formed with the reader. Still, the story was a nice read, and a sweet ending to the book.
Three unforgettable women discover that holiday wishes do come true in this heartwarming Christmas collection.
"Stormwalker's Woman" by Carolyn Davidson
Half-breed Jesse Stormwalker knew associating with Molly Thompson could ruin the young widow's reputation. But he sensed that only he could mend Molly's broken spirit, and Jesse hoped that the miracle of Christmas would make all things possible.
"Home for Christmas" by Carol Finch
When Seth Gresham brought his friend's estranged daughter home for Christmas, the former bounty hunter never suspected they'd both been had. But once Olivia discovered that her father wasn't dying--just matchmaking--would Seth's love make her stay?
"Hark the Harried Angels" by Lynna Banning
Adam Garnett thought he had nothing to offer Irina Likov. Until meddlesome, matchmaking strangers intervened. Now his decision to give Irina a Christmas she'll remember gives Adam the greatest gift of all.
And my review.
"Stormwalker's Woman" was soooo good. The characters were both very likeable, and their struggles and hangups real and poignant without being depressing. I felt that the pacing in this story was excellent, and the relationship didn't feel at all rushed. And I just loved how honorable Jesse was. How many men would be willing to wait until his wedding night before making love to the woman he loves? It was such a refreshing change from the normal "man jumps the woman's bones within minutes of meeting her" theme. I really felt that by doing this, the author made the relationship grow in a wonderful way, rather than taking the easy way out and just making it about sexual attraction. A true falling-in-love story, rather than a falling-in-lust story like you find so often these days. I believe that this story makes it worth the purchase price of the book. This novella was so close to being five stars, but as I've read other Christmas novellas that I've enjoyed just that little bit more, I'm forced to give it four stars.
"Home for Christmas" was one that had a lot of potential, but fell far short. Though the older relative pretending to be sick in order to matchmake has been very overdone, I was still willing to give this story a chance. Though Olivia was not at all likeable in the first chapter, she quickly grew on me, as did Seth. However, the author had these two falling-in-lust, and falling into bed together after having been together for maybe three days. I am so sick of this happening. It's not even realistic, given the time period this story is set in. I know that not everyone followed the rules back then, but I still find it hard to believe that a young woman would have no qualms about giving away her virginity, and along with it, her reputation (which was a woman's most prized possesion in those days), without a single thought of regret. Did no one even stop to consider the very real risk of pregnancy, and the ruin it would bring to an unmarried woman's life in that time? Most would be thrown out to starve or become prostitutes to survive. Besides this complaint, I really felt that having the characters sleep together under these circumstances was cheap and dirty, not to mention lazy on the part of the author. It's difficult to write good romance without taking the easy way out and resorting to sex to hold your characters together. One star.
"Hark the Harried Angels" was quite enjoyable. I liked the three matchmaking french women who had a touch of magic at their disposal. I felt it added a lot to the story. The romance was sweet and squeaky clean, if that's what you're looking for. My complaint with this was that the sensuality factor was a zero. The hero and heroine don't even kiss, not even when he proposes! Not something I would bother re-reading, but good for a one-time read. Three stars.
As always with romance anthologies, this is a mixed bag. Still, I think the first story is good enough to justify the purchase of this book.