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Secret Santa Mass Market Paperback – October 29, 2013
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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"Mister Christmas" by Fern Michaels starts things off. It features a corporate lawyer, Claire O'Brien, who is called to Ireland by one of her important clients just days before Christmas. He only does it to get Claire to meet his nephew, and despite the mutual anger about how they were manipulated, it works and the two fall in love. This story was the shortest, and it couldn't be over fast enough. What little conflict there was was forced, awkward, and came out of no where. The hero was just a fantasy guy, and I was rolling my eyes the entire time.
Fortunately, the other three stores are better.
"The Yellow Rose of Christmas" by Marie Bostwick takes us to a small Texas town in the 1980's as spinster Velvet Tudmore thinks she's found love when she receives yellow roses and a few notes. Is it the new history teacher in town? She sure hopes so. But will another woman use this to make Velvet look bad? This was a cute romance with characters I really enjoyed. Realistic? Maybe not, but I enjoyed it so much I didn't care.
"Nightmare on Elf Street" by Laura Levine is the reason I picked up this book. I love her Jaine Austen mysteries, and this one features Jaine playing elf to a very nasty Santa at the mall. It's hardly a surprise when the Santa is killed, but Jaine has to solve the crime so she doesn't miss her annual trip to her parents' house in Florida. The laughs and clues were plentiful, and I loved this book just like I knew I would. It does feel out of place in this anthology, but I didn't care since it is the reason I bought it.
"Room at the Inn" by Cindy Myers wraps things up. More about a woman at a cross roads than a romance, it features Barb. Barb and her husband Jim get stranded by a Colorado snow storm and are forced to spend Christmas with strangers. As if that weren't bad enough, Jim drops a bombshell on Barb. Can she make the best out of a bad situation, accept what Jim has shared, and find her place in the world? While it started a little slowly, I found I enjoyed this story. The characters were good and I could feel the cold.
If you are interested in any of these last three writers, pick up this book. Just skip the first story, and you'll be fine.
I know you will love this collection. Each is a stand a lone story. Each one has been written with understand and a very sweet and wonderful holiday flavor. I just know you will enjoy them as much as I did.
I highly recommend this collection to make your holidays special and to give you an uplifting gift of the season.