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Silent Night: Midnight in Death/Unexpected Gift/Christmas Promise/Berry Merry Christmas (Christmas Anthology) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1998
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For those who like the Grinch more before his transformation by the Whos down in Whoville, and those who don't automatically think of George Bailey's encounter with the angel in It's a Wonderful Life every time they hear a bell ring during the Christmas season, New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb, has teamed with three other gifted writers of romantic suspense to produce four intriguing tales of holiday upheaval. Claire Cross's "A Berry Merry Christmas" sends Holly Berry, a technophobic elf, to spread a little Christmas cheer to orphaned Natalie Sinclair and her Uncle Drew. When Natalie requests a new mommy for Christmas, little does Holly suspect she's the ideal candidate to fill the role--and to become a loving wife to Drew, who finds himself believing once again in the magic of Christmas. Only Santa Claus--"Mr. C" to Holly--can make all their dreams come true.
In Dee Holmes's "The Unexpected Gift," Sabrina McKay is spending her first Christmas since her divorce alone in Pine Falls, Vermont, with her young son. She finds the best gift of all not under her Christmas tree but passed out cold in her front yard. Investigating her son's report that "there's a dead man in the yard," Sabrina discovers former bad boy--and her girlhood boyfriend--Zach Danforth. Together again, they realize the true meaning of Christmas and the rediscovery of a love never lost.
Jake Rimsa discovers that the packaging doesn't reveal the true value of the gift inside in Susan Plunkett's Christmas Promises. Roped into giving Marne York, his ex-fiancée, a ride home for Christmas, Jake finds little evidence of the polished, pampered, starry-eyed young woman he left behind when he joined the FBI. Instead Marne has become a fierce advocate on behalf of battered women and a woman who has learned, in the most horrifying way possible, to take care of herself. And Jake uncovers in Marne the long-buried passion she believed forever dead. Together they seek a foe determined to make Marne pay for her interference, and they find the greatest gift of all--love between equals.
In the final story, only Nora Roberts can combine Christmas and an escaped serial killer with a grudge and still make it sizzle! Lieutenant Eve Dallas returns in Midnight in Death. When her first Christmas with her new husband Roarke is interrupted by reports of the naked, mutilated body of the judge responsible for convicting serial killer David Palmer, Eve learns that her name appears on the list of others to be killed. Since she was responsible for arresting Palmer the first time, Eve is back on the case. But Roarke is on her case, exhorting Eve to join him under the mistletoe for a little Yuletide cheer and to let him bring his considerable connections to bear to locate the hiding place of the monster threatening their happiness. Together they capture the psychopath and the spirit of Christmas. What a way to start the new year! --Alison Trinkle
From Library Journal
Warm, family-centered, and nostalgic, or hard-edged, realistic, and chilling, the four novellas in this unusual collection of mostly contemporary Christmas stories provide readers with a clear choice of styles, themes, and approaches to the holiday season. Readers with a traditional bent will be drawn to the children and the wounded heroes in both "A Berry Merry Christmas" by Claire Cross and "The Unexpected Gift" by Dee Holmes, while fans who want their Christmases laced with violence and suspense will appreciate the inner-city environment and abuse-centered plot of Susan Plunkett's "Christmas Promises" and the gruesome murders and fast-paced action of J.D. Robb's latest contribution to her futuristic police detective (Eve Dallas) series, "Midnight in Death." All of these stories may not appeal to the same readers; nevertheless, most fans will find something in this well-written collection to enjoy. An intriguing and rewarding group.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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One thing I noticed immediately: rather than lead off with the J.D. Robb story, "Midnight In Death", this collection puts all three stories first. The other artists are Susan Plunkett, Dee Holmes, and Claire Cross. The stories are all page turners. I don't know whose idea it was to team J.D. with other equally talented writers but if her name is the one that draws you don't cheat yourself by not reading the other tales, especially the ones in "Silent Night".
Needless to say, while I found the first story cute and the middle ones mildly interesting, it was the futuristic tale of 2058 NYC that was most riveting.
In the first story A Berry Merry Christmas you have a delightful tale about a Christmas Elf who is sent to help a single man raising his orphaned niece.
In the second story, The unexpected gift, you have a divorced mother and her 5 year old son. The son discovers what he thinks is the body of a dead man in their yard. Only the man is not dead and he is Sabrina's old boyfriend.
In the third story Christmas Promises we have two lovers reunited after several years as they work together to find a missing child.
In the fourth story, Midnight in Death we have the 8th book in the In Death series. Eve and Roarke's Christmas is interrupted when she has to find an escaped murderer. Things heat up as Dr. Mira is taken hostage.
All of these tales were great and my only complaint was that they weren't longer. A good book!