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LOCK, STOCK AND JINGLE BELLS by Donna Kauffman
Holly despises the holiday season and her parents’ enthusiasm for it only intensifies her feelings. Sharing her birthday with Christmas certainly doesn’t help matters any either. Now her parents have opted to retire and gift her with her mother’s beloved Christmas novelty shop which means leaving her home in London and making some major decisions about what to do with the business. The last thing she expects is some sound advice and a lot of sexy merrymaking with her childhood friend Sean. Can she possibly create a new life and dreams from what she believes is one of the worst things that has happened to her?
I had to giggle at Holly’s horrified reaction to becoming the proud owner of her mother’s Christmas themed shop, but once Sean steps into the picture there’s no doubt that some dreams can come true and that theme continues throughout this gem of a story.
BAH HANDSOME! By Jill Shalvis
With less than a month left to come up with the money to pay back her stepbrother Edward the money he lent her for her B&B Hope isn’t exactly in the mood for making merry and wishing on mistletoe for something to keep her warm at night. Her employee Lori certainly isn’t above making that wish for her though. Unfortunately the only man who appears is Edward’s CPA Danny Shaw. So much for Christmas wishes! But with a little help from the B&B staff Danny may just get the opportunity to prove to Hope that he only has her best interests at heart.
Never has a CPA been more sexy or exciting! Danny’s refusal to accept any of Hope’s dismissive gestures had me rooting for him to the very end. What makes this story even more endearing are the employees matchmaking efforts – when they aren’t sneaking off to make out themselves that is!
IT’S HOTTER AT CHRISTMAS by Helenkay Dimon
All Marissa wants is to return home to enjoy an East Coast snowy Christmas but she’s suffered one problem after another and it’s looking like she’ll never get a break from the sandy beaches of Hawaii. The last thing she needs is tall, dark and sexy police officer Ted’s condescending attitude. After all, it’s not like she asked for her wallet and all her ID to be stolen or her hotel room broken into, now did she? Fortunately Ted has a few ideas on how to make Marissa’s holiday one she’ll never forget.
I believe this may be my favorite story in this anthology simply because of Marissa’s lack of self-preservation once she’s irritated and Ted’s calm condescending demeanor – add a bit of sexual energy and they definitely could use a bit of snow to cool them off.
KISSING SANTA CLAUS is a praiseworthy contemporary anthology full of hunky heroes and sassy heroines. Each story brought a smile to my face and a chuckle to my heart as the characters struggle through their own personal conflicts. Whether you’re a big fan of the holiday season or wish the whole month of December would fall off the map Christmas themed stories seem to always strike a chord and instill a sense of hope into the reader’s heart.
KISSING SANTA CLAUS is Donna Kauffman, Jill Shalvis & HelenKay Dimon’s second collaboration. The first, TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT, was released in October 2008.
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