The Merchant's Daugher by Melanie Dickerson

The Merchant's Daughter
by Melanie Dickerson
Publishier: Zondervan
Published November 29th 2011
ISBN: 0310727618 (ISBN13: 9780310727613)

Review courtesy of netGalley

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble |

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff---a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.


Guest Review: Blind Dates & Other Disasters by Ally Blake , Fiona Harper & Barbara Hannay

Three easy ways to keep your love life clean and simple ...don't get your friends to fix you up. 

Find my latest guest review of Blind Dates & Other Disasters by Ally Blake , Fiona Harper & Barbara Hannay  at Reading Romances.

Price of Temptation by Lecia Cornwall ~ Interview, Review & Giveaway

I am so very excited and honored to have Lecia Cornwall on my blog today. What makes it even more special is today is the release day of Price of Temptation. I loved this book so much that I just had to write Lecia to tell her! And guess what? ... She agreed to do an interview for the blog! Hurray!!!  You will find my review of Price of Temptation following the interview.

Lecia Cornwall lives and writes in Calgary, Canada, amid the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, with four cats, two teenagers, a crazy chocolate lab, and one very patient husband. She is hard at work on her next book.

Where you can find Lecia Cornwall:  
Website FacebookTwitter

FBL ♥: Do you have a list of character names to choose from, or do names come as your characters are created?

Lecia: I used to make lists, thinking I’d use a particular name someday, but I still end up searching for the perfect name for my characters every time I start a new project. Once I find the name that fits, be it Phineas or Gilbert of Sinjon, they just couldn’t be anyone else. I get inspiration from lots of places. I look at the mastheads of British magazines, read movie credits, and even check phone books and maps for ideas.

FBL ♥: Do your personal relationships influence those of your characters?

Lecia: My daughter is a beautiful redhead, and my heroines often have red hair, but I try to keep the people I love separate from my work. If I put them in my stories, I’d never get invited anywhere and I’d probably end up old and alone! I used to write shy, introverted heroines, who were too much like me to be satisfying, so now I make the ladies I write choose the difficult path every time, participating in their own rescue, giving as good as they get in all situations.

FBL ♥: Do you have any writing rituals?

Lecia: I get a large cup of coffee, two squares of 90% chocolate, and sit down to start work. I usually write about four hours a day, and rough in outlines for the next day’s chapters at night. I do a lot of mental plotting while I’m walking my dog in the afternoon. It’s amazing how fresh air, sunshine and the company of a good chocolate lab help you think better!

I write a character outline when I start a new story. It answers questions about who they are, what they want, and what their flaws and weaknesses are. Once you know these people—and they do become like family as you go through a story with them—their choices match their personality.

I have two cats who like to sit on my desk while I write, so space is always at a premium. I’ve learned that you can’t fish pages out from under a contented cat. I swear they know which documents on a messy desk covered with pages are the most essential to what you’re doing. Those are the ones they roost on.

A Vampire's Christmas Carol by Karen McCullough

A Vampire's Christmas Carol 
By Karen McCullough
Originally Published in the Beneath A Christmas Moon anthology
Published: Nov. 30, 2011

Free ebook courtesy of Smashwords

Can Christmas Eve get any more fun? On her way to her family's home, Carol Prescott’s car slides into a ditch in a deserted area with no cell phone signal. The only available shelter is already occupied…by a vampire. To Michael Carpenter, Carol is the bait of a trap.
In an effort to hold onto his soul, Michael has resisted the urge to drink human blood for almost a century. Now he hovers between human and vampire. If he doesn’t drink from a human before the night ends, he’ll die. He’s desperately thirsty, but Michael has seen the soulless monsters vampires are and he prefers death. Carol is pure temptation to him, the Christmas present from hell…or is it from heaven?

My Thoughts:

I have been reading alot of contemporary and historical romance the past few months, I almost forgot how much I love paranormal romance. When I saw a twitter post alerting me of this free ebook, I jumped at the chance to read it. Who wouldn't want to read a free Paranormal and Holiday themed romance in one!! I was very happy that I did, although it was a quick read (29588 words), I felt the characters were well developed and the plot was well written.

My Ruthless Prince by Gaelen Foley

My Ruthless Prince (Inferno Club #4)
by Gaelen Foley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 27th 2011
ISBN: 0062075918 (ISBN13: 9780062075918)

Review courtesy of netGalley
The Inferno Club: To London Society, they’re notorious for their scandalous pursuits. In private, these warriors would risk their lives for king and country.
His brother warriors fear the Earl of Westwood has turned traitor, but Emily Harper knows this is impossible for the man she has loved since childhood . . . as impossible as a marriage between them could ever be—she, the gamekeeper’s daughter and he, a bold and adventurous nobleman.
Driven by hatred and revenge, Westwood is playing a deadly game of deception, bent on destroying the enemy’s dark conspiracy from the inside, and he’s furious when Emily plunges herself into danger for his sake. Forced into close quarters, their long-suppressed desire explodes into all-consuming passion.
Emily knows her love can save him . . . but Westwood is a man who doesn’t want to be saved.
My Thoughts:

I was worried that I wasn’t going to connect with the characters since this is part of an ongoing series, but I was immediately drawn into the plot from very beginning. If anything I have missed out on the learning about the other characters, but it didn’t take anything away from this page turner.

This was a true love story, their love was forbidden, Drake being the earl’s heir and Emily, the woodman’s untamed daughter. I loved the tenacity of Emily, she loved her man and she would do anything to bring him back from the dark side.
As the story unfolds we learn, Drake, a member of the “Order of St. Michael the Archangel ”, was captured and suffered months of torture which broke him deeply inside. The torturers caused his mind to swallow up many of the details of his old life as a warrior for the “Order”. But even they had never succeeded in making him forget the reason why he fought… it was because of Emily, when he would think of home he didn’t think of the mansion or his family, he thought of her, wild and free.

Baby, Don’t Go by Stephanie Bond

Baby, Don’t Go
by Stephanie Bond
Publisher: Harlequin ~ MIRA Books
Publication Date: July 26, 2001
ISBN: 9780778312574
Review courtesy of netGalley

Southern town seeks single women. Though they're nothing but trouble...

The hardheaded Armstrong brothers are determined to rebuild their tornado-ravaged hometown in the Georgia mountains. They’ve got the means, they’ve got the manpower…what they need are women! So they place an ad in a Northern newspaper and wait for the ladies to arrive…

Eldest brother Marcus Armstrong considers the estrogen-influx an irritating distraction. He’s running a town, not a dating service!

Reporter Alicia Randall thinks the Armstrong brothers are running a scam and she intends to prove it—even if it means seducing oh-so-sexy Marcus in the process. Sizzling sex and a hot story? Win-win!

At least it is, until she falls for the guy. Will love trump betrayal when the truth comes out?

My Thoughts:
This is the third installment in Southern Road’s trilogy. I typically do not read a book in a series without reading all of them, but the author was able to provide enough of a background that I was able to keep up. The town of Sweetness, GA was destroyed by a tornado, and the Armstrong brothers have their mind set to rebuild the town so it can sustain any natural disaster as well as be eco-friendly. The brothers are under time restraints, if they can’t meet the deadline, the town reverts back to the government, who is providing the funding.

Marcus is the eldest. You immediately knew that he carried a lot of the burden and didn’t share his feelings or his fears very well. He has taken on the role as the leader to move the project forward, but he also has another reason for rebuilding the town it’s to fulfill a promise he made to his father to keep the Armstrong family planted in Sweetness, no matter what. Marcus has a heavy burden on his shoulders and doesn’t have time for anything or anyone to deter his focus, well that was until Alicia comes to town.

Takes Your Breath Away #2

On a rare occasion, you will discover a love story that makes your inside just shutter. A true romance that never dies, a love which has no time limits to it's endurance. I found that with The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, whether you enjoyed the book or the motion picture, Noah and Allie's story will move you.

It's so powerful that you almost forget to breathe, it simply Takes Your Breath Away...

"I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours. ”
"You are the answer to every prayer I've offered. You are a song, a dream, a whisper, and I don't know how I could have lived without you for as long as I have.”

Author Interview ~ Christine d'Abo

I am so honored to welcome Christine d'Abo here for an interview in celebration of her newest release, Pulled Long. I have read all the books in the Long Shots series. I enjoyed the series so much I asked Christine if she wouldn't mind doing an interview for me and she graciously agreed.

So to start I am going to share a bit about Christine with you:

Christine has been writing seriously for the past five years. When she’s not at her full time job, playing with her kids, or spending time with her husband, you can find her in front of her computer causing problems for her characters. Christine d’Abo loves writing in the worlds of science fiction, BDSM and romance. By combining the elements of those genres into tales of adventure and love, Christine creates the types of stories she loves to read. Christine is currently published with Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Cleis Press and Berkley.

How does Christine d'Abo express herself when she is happy... she *does a snoopy dance*
            and by the looks of her success in 2011 she is dancing up a storm.  

FBL ♥: Christine, welcome to Forever Book Lover!
Christine: Thank you so much for the interview, Kathy!

FBL ♥. Do you write detailed character profiles before writing, or do you find the characters come to life as you write?
Christine: I tend to plot out my characters more than I do my stories. I will get an image of a person in my head and then will begin to wonder who they are, what their family is/was like. That usually leads me to thinking about who would be the perfect foil for that individual and what he/she would also be like. The story and world building usually spiral out from that point.
Ironically enough, the character's physical appearance is the last thing I consider. In my second drafts I will normally have to go in and add things like hair and eye color, physical appearance, etc.

FBL ♥: What do you like better: when you’ve just started writing a book or when you’ve just finished one, and why?

Christine: I love starting a book! I get so excited and tend to write flat out until I hit the mid point. That's normally when I realize I don't have a character's motivation worked out or that I need to tighten up the external conflict. For me ending the book is satisfying, but means I need to do edits. This is a slow process for me...and it hurts my head LOL!

FBL ♥: What do you like to read?

Christine: I love reading pretty much anything with a solid story. I'm big on historical romances, sci-fi (hard and romance), urban fantasy and steampunk. Right now I'm reading the Hunger Games because my daughter has been after me for months to get to it. When we saw the trailer for the movie she got the book and shoved it in my hands. Loving it so far!
FBL ♥ : Christmas is just a few short weeks away, please share with us your favorite Christmas memories.

Christine: Christmas Eve in our house was always a big deal. We would go to church and then come back home and eat! My mum would always cook so many nibbly foods that me and my sister would be stuffed. We'd fall asleep mostly due to carb overload!
I loved that my mum always did that and was consistent every year. I've tried to do the same thing with my family. Every year I make the same Christmas breakfast. We are at the point that if I don't do it, I think my children would disown me!
FBL ♥ : What is next on your list? Do you already have a future project in mind?

Christine: Right now I'm working on edits for a futuristic novella that will be coming out with Ellora's Cave in early 2012. It is called Spectral Bonds, and takes place in my Eternal Bonds universe. I'm planning to do a new connected series set in that universe in the New Year.

Josh's story from the Long Shots series is nearly done. I've gone back to make some tweaks and hope to have it to my editor early 2012 as well. With luck, she will like it!
I also have a short story coming out in a Cleis Press anthology called She-Shifters. It will be released in July 2012.
FBL ♥ : On a side note, I learned a little more about the next book in the Long Shot series. It deals with Josh, Beth (the girl who was caught having sex in book 2), and a new character Oliver. The three of them get up to lots of fun. SOUNDS LIKE ANOTHER WINNER!! Thank you once again for stopping by.

"I love each and every one of you. Pulled Long hit the Amazon best seller list in Gay Fiction!! " Christine
                          she *does a snoopy dance*

To learn more about Christine d'Abo, check out her Blog. To find out more about the books written by Christine d'Abo, check this out. Also, please visit her at website and come chat with her at Twitter @Christine_dAbo .

                                         Long Shot Series:
       Oct 2011              Nov 2011                  Dec 2011
         Review                Review                      Review

Pulled Long (Long Shots #3) by Christine d'Abo

Pulled Long (Long Shots #3)
by Christine d'Abo
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication: December 12th 2011
ISBN13: 9781426892899

Review courtesy of netGalley

For months, coffee shop owner Ian Long has fantasized about a customer he knows only as "Blue Eyes." Until he learns Blue Eyes is in the midst of a divorce—the last thing Ian wants is to be the rebound experiment of a straight guy. Giving in to lust, he invites the man into the cafe after hours and they indulge in a little exhibitionist play, but Ian is unwilling to get involved.

But when he’s forced to see Jeff again to return his briefcase, Ian finally agrees to go out on a date. Dinner quickly becomes an erotic encounter in a special room at the sex club Mavericks, and Ian realizes Jeff satisfies desires he didn’t even know he had. The more he gets to know Jeff as a person, the harder it is to resist falling for him.

Jeff makes it clear he’s interested in more than just sex. He wants to go public with their relationship in more ways than one. But can Ian open his heart, when he fears it will be broken.

My Thoughts:

I have been waiting patiently for the third book in the Long Shot series, and I was not disappointed.

Ian, along with his sisters, Paige and Sadie, own and operate a coffee house. A mysterious man has been coming in and flirting with Ian, he won’t give his name so the they coin him “Blue Eyes”. The romance between Ian and “Blue Eyes” has been building since the first book, Double Shot. In the second book, A Shot in the Dark, more is uncovered of this mysterious man and the readers find out that Blue Eyes is going through a divorce.

From the short glimpse into Ian’s life from the first two books, you could sense a troubled past or something weighing heavy on his mind. We get to dive deeper into Ian’s character and learn that he carries around guilt and the feeling that he is not worthy of love. He had a ray of hope with Blue Eyes, but once he learns of his pending divorce, the last thing Ian needs is to be another experiment for a straight guy.

A late night for Blue Eyes brings him to the coffee house, immediately you can feel the “heat” between the two. Jeff aka Blue Eyes tells Ian right off that he wants a relationship with him, a public one, not one that they have to keep hidden.

Christine d’Abo begins this one of with a sizzling hot passionate scene right from the start. It seems our Ian has a fetish ~ voyeurism, the idea of people watching was a turn on for him. I absolutely loved the “Truth or Dare”!!! Their sex scenes were Super Hot!

Jeff’s character is strong and knows what he wants; his character is perfect, he is just the one to convince Ian to stop blaming himself for the actions of others. The turning point for Ian was when Jeff gave him an ultimatum, “Get your head together before you can be with someone”.

Although, we got a small glimpse of Jeff's life, I would have like to see more details on him ~why it didn't his marriage work, his family background, and possibly more expansion on his bi-sexuality. This would have given more depth to his character.

I am now waiting for Josh's (owner of Maverick’s) story and hoping for one on Melanie (Domme from Maverick’s). The books in this series are all stand alone books, so don’t worry if you haven’t read the first two, but why miss out!!

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: 

About Christine d'Abo
Christine d’Abo adores the worlds of science fiction and romance. By combining those elements into tales of adventure and love, Christine creates the types of stories she wants to read. Writing has always been an important part of Christine’s life, and will continue to be well into the future.

Christine has published with Ellora’s Cave, Carina Press, Cleis Press, Samhain Publishing, and has a future release with Berkley Books.

Long Shot Series:

       Oct 2011              Nov 2011                  Dec 2011

Not Another New Year’s by Christie Ridgway

Not Another New Year’s
by Christie Ridgway
Publisher: Avon
Published: January 1 2007
ISBN: 006114021X (ISBN13: 9780061140211)

After all, this year brought Hannah Davis nothing but the memory of her wandering fiancé marrying someone else behind her back. Now, sitting alone at a bar in Coronado, California, on December 31, she decides to do something radical . . . and lets a brooding good-looker take her to bed. But when a hysterical woman bursts into their room much too early on New Year's Day, Hannah realizes this guy's more complicated than she thought . . .

Ex-Secret Service Agent Tanner Hart screwed up, big-time! Hoping to temporarily boot some of the ghosts from his life, he hooked up with this sexy stranger for a hot one-night stand—only to discover she's the woman he's agreed to protect . . . from men just like him!

But a new year is a time for fresh beginnings. Despite the danger, the hoopla, and the hangovers, if Hannah's brave enough to risk her heart again—and Tanner's wise enough to realize he deserves it—maybe this one will be different.
Ex-Secret Service Agent Tanner Hart screwed up, big-time! Hoping to temporarily boot some of the ghosts from his life, he hooked up with this sexy stranger for a hot one-night stand—only to discover she's the woman he's agreed to protect . . . from men just like him! But a new year is a time for fresh beginnings. Despite the danger, the hoopla, and the hangovers, if Hannah's brave enough to risk her heart again—and Tanner's wise enough to realize he deserves it—maybe this one will be different.
My Thoughts:
Talk about bad karma, Hannah is having a bit of bad luck, on a much needed vacation to clear her head after being jilted by her fiance, her luggage and purse stolen and then to top it off, the man that she is meeting to show her around Coronado just happens to be the person she may have had Explosive sex with the night before. But before Hannah packs it in and returns home, she has come to Coronado, CA on a mission, one needed in order for her to get on with her life. You know how we woman are, we aren’t going to be satisfied until we confront the one who took our man!! You know size her up, is she prettier, taller…

Tanner is laying low in the female department, actually it has been eleven months since he took the oath of celibacy. If you didn’t read the first book, Tanner retired from the Secret Service after being photographed in compromising position; unfortunately due to that one moment, he is carrying around plenty of guilt, having a death of an agent and a close call of his friend weighing heavy on his mind. Can these two who are taking a break from the opposite sex find that having each other in their lives is a whole lot better than not??


Holiday Hideaway by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Jill Shalvis and Julie Kenner

Holiday Hideout
by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Jill Shalvis and Julie Kenner
Publisher: Harlequin
Published November 1st 2011
ISBN: 0373837623 (ISBN13: 9780373837625)

Review Courtesy of netGalley

The Thanksgiving Fix by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Finding Mr. Right is the furthest thing from Beth Davis's mind when the Reno professor takes Thanksgiving break at a colleague's Lake Tahoe cabin. Until Coinneach McFarland arrives to fix a suspicious leak. It looks like somebody's playing matchmaker for two people sworn to stay single. But as things heat up, Beth is astonished to find she has discovered her soul mate just as she'd given up looking.

The Christmas Set-Up by Jill Shalvis
Competing architects Zoe and Jason have two weeks to come up with the design to win a coveted new project. But when a snowstorm strands them together at a secluded cabin, Zoe sees her chance to show Jason how she really feels. With romance blooming under the mistletoe, can she get the gorgeous Scrooge into the true Christmas spirit?

The New Year's Deal by Julie Kenner
Five years ago, Cleo Daire and Josh Goodson said goodbye and went their separate ways. But first they made a promise to reunite. Now the ex-lovers are spending New Year's Eve in a romantic cabin, where passion takes them by surprise and long-wished-for dreams can sometimes come true.
My thoughts:

I enjoy reading anthologies, the short stories are a perfect after reading a lengthy novel. It also gives me a chance experience different authors and their writing styles. In Holiday Hideout, there are three stories focusing around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve. All three stories are center around a cabin, a place where the owners are trying to scientifically prove that all those who stay in the cabin either fall in love or rekindle their love.

Must Love Mistletoe by Christie Ridgway

Must Love Mistletoe (Holidays #1)
by Christie Ridgway
Publisher: Avon
Published December 1st 2006
ISBN: 0061140201 (ISBN13: 9780061140204)

Bailey Sullivan can't stand Christmas, even though her family's business is a store specializing in the perfect holiday. But now her hometown's chief supplier of rooftop Rudolphs and treetop angels is in danger of going under—it's up to Bailey to save the shop.
She has it all planned: She'll arrive on December 1 and be gone by Christmas. Plus there's always spiked eggnog to ease the pain. But "Humbug" Bailey's not the only one home for the holidays. Finn Jacobson—legendary local bad boy-turned-Secret Service agent andBailey's long-lost high-school sweetheart—is once again the boy next door. Only this time he's all grown up, and the sparks are flying faster and hotter than ever!
Bailey believes in true love about as much as she believes in Santa Claus. But as the holiday draws closer, she's starting to think about one thing she'd like to find under her tree . . .

My Thoughts:

If you have been following along on my blog, you know that I go sappy for Christmas stories and movies. Last week, I searched through my TBR pile and I found one that I hadn’t read before, Must Love Mistletoe by Christie Ridgway. It was almost like a V-8 moment, what was I waiting for, I should have read this book sooner.

I always like reading about first loves and how life has a way of coming full circle and bringing them back together. In this holiday themed story, our heroine, Bailey hates everything to do with Christmas, so when she is asked to come back and run her family’s store, The Perfect Christmas, she is counting down the days until she can high tail it back to Los Angeles. What she wasn’t expecting is to run into her first love, her first lover, Finn. Unlike most romance stories, Bailey is the one who ended the relationship, leaving without saying a word. Her motto: “Get out before it gets ugly”. Our hero, Finn, well he may be all hot and rough and mean, but he is still the boy in love with the GND (Girl Next Door).

"There’s death and there’s birth. There’s a reason we celebrate Christmas at the darkest time of the year, Finn. To remind us that hope and light will always survive.” (Finn's Grandmother)

"You made something more of me, a long time ago, so I’m happy I could return the favor- even in a small way."

"Yes, I was in love with you then. I'm in love with you now. It didn’t go away. It’s not going away. If nothing else, well I can promise that lasts."
There were a few sub plots going on in this book too, but not too many that took away from the main story line. The next book in the series is Not Another New Year’s, I knew from some of the interaction between the secondary characters there was something sizzling between them. You don't want to miss my review on that book!!!!

This is a romantic comedy of reuniting with first love, second chances at love and happiness. I won’t lie to you, along with the laughing there were a few tears shed, too. There are some HOT graphic love scenes, so turn down the heater and turn on the air. This is a great read, and I recommend it to anyone hoping for a little spice this holiday season.

My Rating:  

Christie Ridgway is a California native and author of over thirty contemporary romances. A five-time RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author, she writes sexy, emotional reads starring determined heroines and the men who can't help but love them. Married to her college sweetheart, Christie lives in Southern California in a house filled with boys and pets. She writes as an escape from sports equipment, football on TV, and dog hair.

~ LMAO Dialogue ~

“Well, whenever you’re ready, I’m prepared to make my magic,” he said.

Brenda swung her legs off the lounger. “I don’t want to wait a minute longer.” 

They stopped off at his place for protection. ….

“The real trick is in how you put it in,” he instructed. “Careful. Gentle. Then you move it gently too.” 

“Gentle,” she repeated, her breath warm against his neck.

“If you get another man here, tell him not to shove it in or push too hard. Tease it.” He put his hands over hers to show her exactly what he meant. They worked it together for a few minutes, playing with the pressure. “Easy,” he murmured. “Not too hard. Take it easy.”

Then, suddenly, the tension broke. Withdrawing his pole, Dan grinned down at her. “You’re more than welcome.” He reached over to flip the switch.

          The garbage disposal—instead of being frozen—hummed.

Guest Review- All I Want For Christmas is You by Lisa Mondello

What could be on Santa’s list for a six year old girl being raised by a single mom?

A simple request for a little girl who wants to see her mom happy, but can Santa deliver?

Sometimes fate needs a little hand…

Get into Christmas with the AWARD WINNING BOOK that has had over 150,000 downloads this season! Download your FREE copy today at Amazon or Amazon UK. You can also get this at Barnes and Noble for $0.99.

It Happened One Christmas by Leslie Kelly

It Happened One Christmas
by Leslie Kelly
Publisher: Harlequin
Published November 15th 2011
ISBN: 0373796587 

Six years ago, Ross Mitchell and Lucy Fleming shared a hot holiday weekend in Manhattan, back when he was just a hard-bodied guy in a tool belt and she was an impulsive photography student.
Fast-forward a few Decembers: Ross and Lucy meet again, by chance, at his office Christmas party. And when they find themselves alone and snowed in after hours, it's not long before they're making their own body heat—again. Only this time, the sex is better than ever!
But is it just another holiday romp between the sheets? Or will Lucy and Ross finally get to keep what they really want this year—each other!

My Thoughts:

Ok, I admit, I am a Harlequin Blaze junkie, I need my fix every month and if the book is by Leslie Kelly all the better!! Not only is her latest HQ Blaze a Christmas tale, the storyline is about one of my favorite themes- soul mates, separated by circumstances and brought back together by fate. The timing was off the first time around, with a chance encounter six years later, can these two find love the second time around?

It can be tricky for a writer to blend the past with the present, it needs to be seamless to the reader so they don't feel disconnected with the characters and are unable to keep up with the storyline. What worked for me? ~ how Leslie Kelly alternated the chapters between the past and the present. By using this method, the characters were well developed, as though reading about them they were more realistic. 

Holiday Kisses: A Holiday Romance Collection by Shannon Stacey, Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon, and Alison Kent

Holiday Kisses: A Holiday Romance Collection
by Shannon Stacey, Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon,
and Alison Kent
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication: December 5th 2011

Review courtesy of netGalley

Love, romance and passion come together in this collection of four seasonal shorts.
This Time Next Year by Alison Kent

Brenna Keating is on her way to spend Christmas with her grandmother when treacherous roads and a skittish deer put her car in a ditch. Riding to the rescue-literally-is Dillon Craig, a reclusive doctor who insists she weather the storm in his cabin.

Since returning from Afghanistan where he treated wounded soldiers on the front lines, Dillon's made it a point to avoid any emotional involvement. But his unexpected guest has him dangerously close to breaking his own rules.

Brenna has a plan for her life-until she's stranded for three days with Dillon. Soon, the chemistry sizzling between them forces her to reexamine her priorities. The man is gorgeous, if taciturn, and a true hero in every sense of the word. No woman in her right mind could resist him, and so Brenna doesn't-even though she can't stay...

A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton

With a disastrous marriage behind him, Wyatt Kent has no interest in getting involved with any woman, let alone his ex-wife's younger sister. But when Calliope Andrews hires him to build an addition onto her day care center, Wyatt can't help but notice she's a desirable woman, as warm and funny as his ex was cold and aloof.

Calliope fell hard for Wyatt the first time he walked through the door of her family's home, and can't believe her sister let him get away. He's still the star of all her fantasies, and she's determined to prove to him she's nothing like his manipulative ex. Wyatt may be all business, but Calliope sees the way he looks at her when he's supposed to be working...

It's not long before Wyatt and Calliope are keeping each other warm on cold December nights. But it's going to take a Christmas miracle for Wyatt to put his trust in love a second time.
It's Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon

Carrie Anders officially broke up with Austin Thomas when she accepted a dream job in the city. Unofficially, she misses him and is tempted to sneak back to her West Virginia hometown to see him. That's why this year, she's not going home for the holidays. Her heart can't take any more mornings-after where nothing has changed-and Austin has made it clear he's not interested in relocating.
Austin's been waiting for Carrie to realize she can't live without him. But when he hears she's not coming home for Christmas, he decides to take action. If Carrie won't come to the country, he's going to bring a piece of the country to Carrie-in the form of a Christmas tree lot just minutes from her apartment. He's certain daily meetings will entice her to come home with him, this time for good.
Their attraction is as hot as ever, but with such contrary Christmas wishes, can either of them get what they really want this year?

Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey

Claire Rutledge still believes in love, despite losing her husband. So, after two years, she's not surprised by the steamy dreams telling her it might be time to start moving on. But she didn't expect her friend Justin to have the starring role.
Justin McCormick has loved Claire since the moment he first saw her, but his best friend got there first. Now that Claire is ready to move on with her life, Justin is finding it harder than ever to hide his true feelings. And when they both get caught up in the holiday spirits at a party, their simmering mutual attraction boils over into a night neither of them can forget...
My Thoughts:

This was a great mix of holiday stories, sometimes there is maybe one or two books that can carry an anthology with the others not holding my attention or have a lack of a story line that holds my attention. I was presently surprised that each book had a strong enough storyline to hold my attention.

Each book is a stand alone book being reissued into one. Some stood out more for me but I enjoyed reading each one. I wasn’t as familiar with some of the authors, having only read Alison Kent and Jaci Burton prior.