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Jingle Bell Rock (Anthology 6-in-1)

de Lori Foster, Janelle Denison, Susan Donovan, Donna Kauffman, Alison Kent1 mais, Nancy Warren

Séries: Dean Brothers ("He Sees You When You're Sleeping", 1), Men of Rogues Hollow (1), Wilde ("Seducing Santa", 1.1)

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221495,606 (3.47)4
With this fifth contemporary erotic anthology from Brava, fans of these bestselling anthologies will be able to unwrap a few Bad Boys of their own--just in time for the holidays. They're big, they're bad, and they're everywhere--Brava's national bestselling anthologies continue to delight devoted fans across the country, and the franchise that began with All Through the Night now brings a whole new meaning to the idea of Christmas ecstasy. Featuring a six-pack of top-notch, bestselling romance writers, Jingle Bell Rock, will be the next best thing to eggnog to celebrate Christmas cheer. Skip the mistletoe--you won't need it after you indulge in these six tempting tales of romance filled with the sort of naughty-but-oh-so-nice men who make the season so bright it's downright hot...… (mais)
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Exibindo 4 de 4
Novellas average 50 to 100 pages. 4 of the stories deserve, on average, 4 stars. "Turning Up The Heat" by Susan Donovan is maybe 2 stars. I just didn't like it at all, but it was pretty well written. "A Blue Christmas " by Allison Kent is my favorite in this book. Blue is a great character. If you like anthologies of contemporary romance with a bit of good sex, this is a good choice. ( )
  twylyghtbay | Mar 13, 2016 |
Steamy group of six short stories to heat up the holidays ... first two enjoyable tales of taking friendship a step further, Susan Donovan's was just plain fun, following two reunions had me dwelling more on years missed, and the last one had me smiling throughout ... I'll be looking for more by Nancy Warren.
( )
  Dawn772 | Jan 29, 2015 |
I read the Janelle Denison's short story in this anthology because it's part of her Wilde series and I am this read in order freak. Short and kinda sweet. A lot less "fantasy play" than her two previous stories in the series. Her male character is actually interesting and not annoying. Her female character is a bit too ordinary but still has the red flame hair that all spunky female character need in these kinda stories. The set up is cliché but Denison makes it work. I enjoyed it for what it was a PWP short story with an interesting male lead. ( )
  writerlibrarian | Apr 4, 2013 |
He Sees You When You're Sleeping by Lori Foster – I thought that He Sees You When You're Sleeping was a little light on the plot and character development. It is basically all about the hero, Booker, finding out that he is finally free of a past romantic entanglement. He then immediately sets out to get the heroine, Frances, into his bed, and a whole lot more. I normally enjoy the friends to lovers theme, but even though Booker and Frances had been hanging out as buddies for the past two months, I still felt like things moved too quickly for them. I liked Frances and respected her for keeping things purely platonic between them even though she had fallen for Booker almost as soon as she moved in next-door. She also insisted that he officially break up with his ex before they could start anything with each other.

There was just something about the way that things developed with Booker though, that didn't quite sit well with me. He had fallen for Frances while he was still involved with another woman, Judith, and then he strung Judith along for a full month even though he knew that the spark was gone from their relationship and it was essentially over. The author says it was because he was a nice guy and was looking for just the right way to break up, but in the end, all it accomplished was making both him and Judith unhappy and drove her to try to cheat with Booker's brother. When Booker realized that he didn't have to do the breaking up (which felt like he was trying to take the easy way out), he then immediately went to Frances with what I thought was a rather arrogant attitude, as though he didn't expect to be turned down. He did soften up later on, and I thought that them baking cookies together and talking through the connecting wall of their bedrooms was rather cute. The love scenes were pretty steamy which I would expect from Lori Foster as this is an area where she seems to excel in her writing. Since I've only read one other story by Ms. Foster, I don't know if including the ex is a typical thing for her to do, but the other story had this element too. While I don't mind if the hero has a past with other women, I don't care to hear about those exploits or to have the “other woman” play any kind of role in the story. I'm also not a fan of two brothers casually dating and/or sleeping with the same woman. That's something that just seems like it would be very weird and complicated in real life, but was treated very casually in this story.

He Sees You When You're Sleeping is the first in a trilogy of novellas titled Dean Brothers & Friend. The third story, Playing Doctor, features Booker's brother, Axel, as the hero and the second story, Some Like It Hot, has their friend, Cary, as the hero. From what I could tell in this novella, Cary seemed like a fairly decent guy, but Axel's extreme playboy persona did not endear me to him at all. Even though these two are both doctors which I usually like, I probably won't be in any hurry to pick up their stories. Overall, He Sees You When You're Sleeping was an OK read, but I just didn't feel connected enough to the characters or plot to really love it. I know that a lot of romance readers rave about Lori Foster, but I'm beginning to think that her style may not be for me. I might give her another chance with a full-length novel though, before throwing in the towel. Star Rating: ***1/2

All She Wants for Christmas by Janelle Denison – It took me a little while to get into All She Wants for Christmas mainly because when I started it, I couldn't help thinking that it was basically a carbon copy of the first two books of the Wilde series. Hero who has an undeserved “bad boy” persona, but underneath really has a heart of gold and strong family ties – check. Heroine who only wants a sexual fling because of a past relationship gone bad with a similar type of guy – check. Hero who doggedly pursues the heroine attempting to convince her she's “the one” for him – check. If it hadn't been for the redundancy or if I had spread them out and hadn't just read the first two Wilde stories within the last month, I might have been able to give this one keeper status.

Matthew was a to-die-for hero, a rich, successful pediatric surgeon who's great with kids, and unbeknownst to anyone has been looking for a woman who wants him and not his money or the prestige of being married to a doctor. Faith is a schoolteacher and hospital volunteer who loves kids every bit as much as he does, and has been attracted to his seemingly good heart as well as his gorgeous body. However, Matthew has a really bad reputation with the ladies around the hospital, and after a nasty breakup that left her heartbroken, she hasn't been able to bring herself to take a chance on him and accept his numerous requests for dates. Instead she decides to ask him for her Christmas wish of a steamy one-night stand.

I loved that Matthew had wanted Faith for six months and the second she gave him an opening, he was ready, willing and able to do anything and everything to convince her that he was in love with her. He was definitely a dream man who knew how to seduce and pamper a woman. If I weren't a married woman, I wouldn't mind finding a Matthew under my tree on Christmas morning to “unwrap.”;-) I could kind of understand Faith's reluctance to get involved with Matthew thinking what she did of him. I don't mind sexually aggressive heroines once in a while, but I just don't relate to them quite as well as ones who aren't. Perhaps having three heroines in a row like that who also harbored the same basic commitment issues, was just a bit too much for me. I was glad, however, that she didn't fight it for long. I can't imagine any woman being able to resist Matthew after all he did for her, so at least that part was believable for me.

Aside from the plot and character repetition, so far, all the Wilde series stories have been pretty good reads, and overall, so was All She Wants for Christmas. This novella gives a brief introduction to Chayse Douglas who is apparently acquainted with Adrian Wilde and becomes his heroine in the next story, The Wilde One (Bad Boys to Go anthology), and Ashley St. Claire who is the heroine of book #5, The Wilde Side. I do plan to continue with the Wilde series but hope that Janelle Denison has a bit more creativity in store for future books, or maybe I should just put a lot more space in between them. Star Rating: ****

Turning Up the Heat by Susan Donovan – I spent the majority of my time reading Turning Up the Heat thinking that it was a nice little fantasy scenario, but not one that worked well for me personally. It seemed to be based primarily on stranger sex which is generally one of my least favorite romance themes. I really tried to get into it, but up until the last chapter or so, I couldn't help wondering how the hero and heroine could possibly have this wild, elaborate sexual encounter with someone they'd just met. Knowing that Valerie appeared to be having a lonely Christmas Eve, I wanted to just go with the flow, but her sexual daring was kind of weirding me out, as was Earl's forcefulness at one point and the lack of any sort of protection. Granted the author dropped a few hints along the way as to where things were leading, but in spite of that, she still managed to completely catch me off guard with a big plot twist near the end which saved the whole story from getting a lower rating from me. While I admire her skill for being able to do that, this is an extremely rare case where I think I would have enjoyed the novella more if I'd known the ending first. As written there wasn't a lot of character development either. I'm sure this story would appeal to other readers more than it did to me, but it didn't quite “turn up the heat” for me as well as it could have. Turning Up the Heat was my first read by Susan Donovan. Other than a few odd word choices, she had a pretty solid writing style, which leaves me open to trying something else by her in the future. Star Rating: ***1/2

Note: This novella has a few instances of slightly more explicit language that is typically reserved for the erotic genre, but otherwise the sexual content is on par with most steamy mainstream romances.

Baby, It's Cold Outside by Donna Kauffman - Baby, It's Cold Outside centered around one of my all-time favorite romance themes, the reunion, but in spite of that, it still fell pretty flat for me. I like introspective characters, but the first two chapters of this story were almost entirely nothing but a running commentary of what each one was thinking. I realized that the author was attempting to do some character development by giving the reader background information and establishing that Jace and Suzanna still had deep feelings for one another even after ten years apart, but in my opinion, this wasn't the best way to go about it. Once the two characters started having some dialog, it was a little better, but then their conversations were so frequently punctuated with more internal ruminations that I often lost track of what they were talking about.

The steam level of the story was pretty good and could have been great if the author had kept a steady flow going in the narrative of the love scene. As it was written though, it seemed like the hero and heroine couldn't decide if they wanted to make love or talk out their problems, so the scene went on for about three whole chapters. I think it would have been better if they had talked first and made love later, because they started and stopped so many times, I was beginning to get frustrated. I also thought the reasons that Jace and Zan had parted company ten years before and never sought each other out when it became clear that they were still hopelessly in love were for the most part rather weak and mainly a result of pride on both their parts. Overall, this wasn't a truly bad novella, but there were just too many parts that felt forced for it to be truly good. Ultimately, it did not hold my attention very well at all.

Baby, It's Cold Outside is the first story in the Men of Rogues Hollow series in which each book or novella revolves around one of the Morgan brothers. Jace's other three brothers were mentioned in passing, but no carry-over characters actually appeared which gives me the feeling that each volume may stand fairly well on its own. The remaining stories in the series are Exposed (from Bad Boys Next Exit), Catch Me if You Can, and Making Waves (from Merry Christmas, Baby). This was also my first read by Donna Kauffman, and even though she didn't wow me this time, I may continue the series at some point and will keep an open mind about reading other works by her in the future. Star Rating: **1/2

A Blue Christmas by Alison Kent - A Blue Christmas was a surprisingly heartfelt and emotional read about two former teenage lovers who've never been able to forget one another and who reunite ten years after they last saw each other, just in time for Christmas. I absolutely love a good reunion romance, so this little story was very appealing to me. I wish that I could have gotten to know Jessie better. Her reasons for leaving Thomas aka “Blue” a decade earlier made sense, but it would have been nice to know more about her past. Although he was understandably angry and resentful when Jessie walked back into his life after so long, Blue was obviously a very loving and forgiving man to let go of all the hurt and bad feelings and just allow Jessie into his heart again. I loved that the two of them had never found anyone else who could equal the level of passion, intimacy and trust they had with one another. I do wish that Jessie had come to Blue out of a desire to rekindle their relationship rather then just to find out whether she was actually frigid or could get him out of her system by sharing a wild weekend of sex, but it was fairly obvious that she did still love him and was simply holding back her feelings. Their love scenes were tender, passionate and thoroughly sensual with them giving very freely to each other.

The ending was sweet, and although Jessie and Blue did admit there was a lot of work to do, I wished I could have seen how they resolved their issues. Oftentimes, wanting to know more is par for the course with novellas, and alls well that ends well I suppose. At least, I did come away from reading it, believing that they could make it work this time. Overall, A Blue Christmas was a lovely and enjoyable read for me. This is the first time I've read anything by Alison Kent, but after this, I'm definitely open to trying more of her work. Star Rating: ****1/2

Note: This novella is the steamiest one in the Jingle Bell Rock anthology. It has a little more explicit language and some borderline erotic content (back-door caressing with fingers and tongue) which may make some readers uncomfortable.

The Nutcracker Sweet by Nancy Warren – I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of the love/hate relationship in romance, and The Nutcracker Sweet mainly revolves around this theme. I've just never quite been able to wrap my head around the idea of two people who are at each other's throats in the light of day, but have perfect explosive chemistry during their long passionate nights together. I'm beginning to think this is one of Nancy Warren's favorite themes, because it is the second novella of hers that I've read which is based on it. All that said, The Nutcracker Sweet had a sort of underlying humor and cuteness to it which made it more palatable to me.

Daniel and Tara are definitely a case of opposites attract in the extreme. He is a thoroughly disorganized, but charming salesman who hates Tara's nitpicking of his expense reports. Tara is a perfectionistic accountant who can't stand Daniel's penchant for not turning in the proper receipts. After her daring Secret Santa gift to him, they can't keep their hands off of each other. What little I got to know both characters in such a short story, I generally liked them, and their love scenes were hot and steamy. The only other thing that wasn't quite to my liking was how quickly things progressed between them. They went from driving each other crazy, to jumping into bed, to falling in love in a mere two weeks. Even though they'd been co-workers for a while this was a little hard for me to swallow. However, I decided to try to just go with it, and overall, The Nutcracker Sweet ended up being a fun, sexy and pretty well-written read which has left me open to trying Nancy Warren again sometime. Star Rating: **** ( )
  mom2lnb | Apr 26, 2011 |
Exibindo 4 de 4
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Foster, Loriautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Denison, Janelleautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Donovan, Susanautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kauffman, Donnaautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kent, Alisonautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Warren, Nancyautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado

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Dean Brothers ("He Sees You When You're Sleeping", 1)
Wilde ("Seducing Santa", 1.1)
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This anthology contains 6 short stories:
He Sees You When You're Sleeping / by Lori Foster
All She Wants for Christmas / by Janelle Denison
Turning Up the Heat / by Susan Donovan
Baby, It's Cold Outside / by Donna Kauffman
A Blue Christmas / by Alison Kent
The Nutcracker Sweet / by Nancy Warren.
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With this fifth contemporary erotic anthology from Brava, fans of these bestselling anthologies will be able to unwrap a few Bad Boys of their own--just in time for the holidays. They're big, they're bad, and they're everywhere--Brava's national bestselling anthologies continue to delight devoted fans across the country, and the franchise that began with All Through the Night now brings a whole new meaning to the idea of Christmas ecstasy. Featuring a six-pack of top-notch, bestselling romance writers, Jingle Bell Rock, will be the next best thing to eggnog to celebrate Christmas cheer. Skip the mistletoe--you won't need it after you indulge in these six tempting tales of romance filled with the sort of naughty-but-oh-so-nice men who make the season so bright it's downright hot...

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