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Merry Christmas, Baby (Anthology 6-in-1)

de Susanna Carr (Contribuinte)

Outros autores: MaryJanice Davidson (Contribuinte), Donna Kauffman (Contribuinte), Erin McCarthy (Contribuinte), Lucy Monroe (Contribuinte), Nancy Warren (Contribuinte)

Séries: Mercenary Trilogy (contains "Silver Bella" Prequel), Mercenary/Goddard Project ("Silver Bella", book 1), Men of Rogues Hollow (4)

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This collection of sexy holiday tales of romance features playful bad boys who are downright irresistible. Stories are written by Donna Kauffman, Nancy Warren, Erin McCarthy, MaryJanice Dickerson, Lucy Monroe, and Susanna Carr.
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Exibindo 3 de 3
Six steamy holiday stories (yacht cook, cartoon writer, 2 snowstorms, Santa cop, & model) none of which was believable although I read them all. Maybe too many stories for one book. Friends turning lovers did too good a job explaining why they were only friends and I didn't buy into the new love in a few days.
( )
  Dawn772 | Jan 29, 2015 |
Making Waves by Donna Kauffman – I can't say that I'm terribly enthusiastic about boats and/or sailing, so for that reason alone Making Waves didn't fully resonate with me. I've never seen a yacht up close, so I have no idea what one looks like, especially inside. Unfortunately the author's descriptions left something to be desired on that count, making it difficult for me to imagine the setting. I also thought that her balance between dialog and prose was off kilter, and sometimes both were a bit too verbose. There were some long passages of introspective narration that made the story drag for me, and there were equally long sections of dialog, most of which didn't add much to the plot or characterizations. Some also took place during moments of passion, and I've never really cared much for chatty love scenes. As for the love scenes themselves, they could have been smokin' hot if they had just flowed better. Even setting aside Burke and Kamala's talkativeness, the way they were written was a little too choppy and metaphorical, causing me to have to re-read certain parts just to figure out where they were in the love-making process. I also didn't find their bluntness about their desire for one another to be a particular turn-on. I just favor having a little mystery surrounding the protagonists feelings while still keeping it honest. I was rather ambivalent about Burke and Kam as the hero and heroine. I like alphas, but Burke seemed to be more the cocky playboy type who thinks he can have any woman he wants, which wasn't really to my taste. Even though I was a little skeptical of Burke's “cure” for motion sickness, I did think it was rather sweet that he made the effort to help Kam overcome it. If nothing else, I thought I might like the inter-ethnic aspect of their romance, since Kam is Hawaiian, but she wasn't really a stand-out heroine for me. I admired that she was a woman who had worked hard to become a great chef and wasn't allowing her overbearing family to run her life, but seemingly contrary to her personality, she had quit a job where she was being sexually harassed by her boss and never tried to do anything about it legally. I thought her reasoning for that was weak, and what was even more confusing to me is that since she had no sailing experience, she wore skimpy clothes to meet Burke just in case she needed to use her looks to get the job. Also, the moment she set foot on Burke's boat, she almost immediately allowed him to start groping her, but I guess maybe that's supposed to be OK if you're attracted to the guy. Regrettably this turned out to be another one of the instant lust tales that I'm rapidly tiring of these days, with Burke and Kamala literally tearing each other's clothes off within less than an hour of meeting, and I can't say that I ever felt much of an emotional connection between them. Also, as with some of the other novellas in this anthology, the Christmas theme is something of an afterthought. Making Waves is the fourth story in the Men of Rogues Hollow series. While I rarely ever read series books out of order, I made an exception with this one, because I was eager to wrap-up the anthology. Burke had been mentioned in passing in the first novella, Baby It's Cold Outside (from the Jingle Bell Rock anthology), but since I haven't read the second and third stories, Exposed (from the Bad Boys Next Exit anthology) and Catch Me if You Can respectively, I don't know if he was a part of either one. Burke's three brothers and their heroines from those stories are briefly mentioned in Making Waves with little where-are-they-now updates. In my opinion, Making Waves stood pretty well on it's own, but I had too many issues with it to truly enjoy it. After two so-so reads in a row from Donna Kauffman, I probably won't be in any hurry to complete the series. Rating: **1/2

Let It Snow by Nancy Warren – I've never really been much of a fan of the love/hate relationship in romances, but if the story is long enough to develop the characters and their connection to one another, I can usually buy into their burgeoning love. Let It Snow relies heavily on the love/hate scenario, with weather girl Marisa thinking that her camera man, Rob hates her because he barely ever looks at her or even speaks to her. Of course, Rob is just hiding a case of the hots for a woman he doesn't want to like, because she's his exact opposite. Unfortunately, I found Let It Snow to be too short to develop the characters and plot sufficiently to make their rapid turn-around believable. Another large part of the story had to do with Rob and Marisa getting stranded for hours on the roof of their high-rise office building in a snowstorm, which I thought lacked credibility as well. They were supposedly doing a live video feed for the evening news, so one would think that someone who had been working on that broadcast would have noticed them being missing much sooner. Also, in this technological day and age, it seems likely that one of them would have been carrying a cell phone. While I guess neither scenario is impossible, they were improbable enough to give me pause. In addition, the love scenes lacked the heat of some of the other novellas in this anthology. In my opinion, there just wasn't enough build-up of sexual tension to create the necessary steam. The Christmas theme was really just a token as well, with the events merely occurring on Christmas Eve. Overall, Let It Snow wasn't a terrible story, but it wasn't a great one either. This was my first read by Nancy Warren, but since it seems this may not be the best example of her work, I'll reserve my full opinion on her writing style until I've had the chance to check out more of her books. Rating: ***

You, Actually by Erin McCarthy – The stories in this anthology are so short that I went into reading it with the attitude that they would probably be OK reads, but I wasn't really expecting anything spectacular. Well, Erin McCarthy quickly disabused me of that notion with her novella, You, Actually, that has become the first short story to which I have ever awarded 5-star keeper status. I absolutely loved this little gem about two best friends who are finally able to reveal their long-held feelings for one another and share the best Christmas present of all. Ms. McCarthy definitely has a knack for creating a beautiful love scene. A fur throw “under” the Christmas tree, jingle-bell panties (cute), and a sexy game of Twister all made for a story that was incredibly steamy and sensual, but was infused with just the right amount of tender emotion and light humor to also make it sweet. I loved Josh and Cassidy's Christmas Eve tradition of watching It's a Wonderful Life, which is one of my own traditions. There was just enough back-story given on Josh and Cassidy for me to feel a connection to them, and although I liked the characters so well, I could have read a full-length novel about them, I didn't come away from the story feeling like it was too short. All in all, You, Actually was a perfect first read for me by Erin McCarthy, and if she writes like this all the time, I can't wait to dive into her back-list. Rating: *****

Undercover Claus by MaryJanice Davidson – I am sorry to say that I did not find Undercover Claus to be particularly romantic at all. The two protagonists fall into bed within just a couple of days of meeting and are proposing to each other a couple of days after that without any real build-up of sexual tension or emotional connection of any kind. So far, the other novellas in this anthology have been sizzling hot, and at least had that going for them even if the plot was so-so, but the one and only love scene in Undercover Claus completely fizzled. The details are pretty sparse and what little the author does describe, was not sexy to me at all. The heroine, Corinne, was not really to my liking either. She is a tough, no-nonsense, straight-taking, foul-mouthed cop with no vulnerability that I could identify. I don't mind a strong, kick-butt heroine as long as she has a softer side, but Corrine was just too abrasive for my taste. I honestly couldn't figure out what the hero, Grant, even liked about her, unless he is a masochist who enjoys being spoken to rudely and insultingly on a regular basis. The purse-snatcher mystery plot was a bust for me too, and ended up being pretty silly, and the character's cliched back-stories were equally ridiculous. The only thing I can really say I liked about the entire novella was Grant, a sweet, sexy, rich Brit who seemed to genuinely want to help people. I wouldn't mind having a guy like him around, but since he seems to be attracted to uber-alpha women like Corinne, I don't think I'd qualify.;-) There is a major continuity error between the cover blurb which gives the hero's name as Tony Danielson and the actual story in which he is named Grant Daniels, and I can't say that Corinne ever mistook him for the purse-snatcher at any point in the plot like the blurb says either. The writing was decent and more readable that some stories I've tried, but I just don't think that Ms. Davidson's style is for me, especially if she writes like this all the time. The bottom line: readers who enjoy smart-mouthed, snappy dialog, alpha heroines, and don't mind the lack of an emotional connection may find some enjoyment in this one, but Undercover Claus just didn't pass muster for me. Rating: **1/2

Silver Bella by Lucy Monroe – This 52-page story was readable enough, but unfortunately was far too short to be satisfying for me. The hero and heroine were not nearly as developed as I would have liked to see. Their connection both to each other and to me, as the reader, was minimal at best, so I couldn't really say whether I liked or disliked either one. I can say that the hero, Jake, seemed a little too cocky for my taste, although if I'd had more to go off of, I might have felt differently. I thought the heroine, Bella, had potential, and I was initially intrigued by her virginal status that was at odds with her bad-girl public image. The main problem I had though was that Bella said she had been waiting for a serious commitment from a man who liked her for more than just her body, then she gave it up to Jake who initially offered no commitment nor seemed to have any attraction to her other than a physical one. By the end, it becomes clear that the relationship is being played as love-at-first-sight, which isn't my favorite plot device anyway, but I never really felt a deep connection between Jake and Bella that went beyond lust. Also the Christmas theme was a relatively minor part of the story. Overall, Silver Bella was an OK read, but not up to par with my first Lucy Monroe novel that I recently read. Silver Bella is the first story in the Mercenary series (a prequel of sorts), and I believe that Jake and Bella appear in Ready, the first full-length novel of that series. Although they did not have any actual part in Silver Bella, there is mention of Bella's brother, Joshua and Jake's sister, Lise, who are the hero and heroine of Ready. Also, there was a brief mention of Daisy, Bella's sister, who becomes the heroine of Carter's story in the 3 Brides for 3 Bad Boys anthology. Even though this novella didn't knock my socks off, I still look forward to continuing the Mercenary series soon. Rating: ***

Snow Day by Susanna Carr – This was another sweet, sexy tale about two friends becoming lovers, but in my opinion, it wasn't as good as the Erin McCarthy story in this anthology with the same theme. I felt that the author left a lot of questions about Tyler and Karen's backgrounds. There was an implication that Karen's family were not very nice people, who had left her with a bad reputation to overcome in their small community, as well as a feeling of being an outsider, but these things are never really explained. I also would have liked to have known about how Tyler and Karen became friends. There was never any explanation of this at all, nor whether they had shared any deeper bond than that of casual friends in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. In addition, I didn't really get a particularly favorable impression of their other friends, most of whom didn't seem to like Karen at all or have anything better to do than be nosy and gossip about her. It was pretty much a case of “everybody hates Karen” with no reasons given as to why. In spite of the plot weaknesses though, I would have to say that Snow Day was a pretty enjoyable read for me, since it embodied one of my favorite themes. It was my first read by Susanna Carr, but it was good enough to leave me open to possibly reading more of her works in the future. Rating: **** ( )
  mom2lnb | Jan 6, 2010 |
Cute short christmas reads. ( )
  magst | Sep 10, 2006 |
Exibindo 3 de 3
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Carr, SusannaContribuinteautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Davidson, MaryJaniceContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Kauffman, DonnaContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
McCarthy, ErinContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Monroe, LucyContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Warren, NancyContribuinteautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado

Pertence à série

Mercenary Trilogy (contains "Silver Bella" Prequel)
Mercenary/Goddard Project ("Silver Bella", book 1)
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Stories in anthology:

Making Waves by Donna Kauffman
Let It Snow by Nancy Warren
And About Time, Too by Erin McCarthy
Undercover Clause by MaryJanice Davidson
Silver Bella by Lucy Monroe
Snow Day by Susanna Carr
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This collection of sexy holiday tales of romance features playful bad boys who are downright irresistible. Stories are written by Donna Kauffman, Nancy Warren, Erin McCarthy, MaryJanice Dickerson, Lucy Monroe, and Susanna Carr.

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