8 Fridays ‘Til Christmas Review- Holiday Kisses (Anthology)

Title:  Holiday Kisses

Holiday Kisses

Genre:  Contemporary Romance Anthology

Author: Alison Kent, Helen Kay Dimon, Shannon Stacey, Jaci Burton

Publisher: Carina Press, 2011

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating:  3

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 3


This Time Next year by Alison Kent

Synopsis from Amazon.com:

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…

Deet’s Review: I really am a sucker for the “stranded in a snowstorm” scenario.  Give me a hunky guy, no matter how damaged, and I’m a goner if he rescues me to his isolated cabin. Add to all that an author who knows how to make the story not only plausible but downright romantic and you have Alison Kent’s offering. This story is sexy, Christmassy and deals in emotional healing. You’re gonna love it, I did.

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Christmasy Feeling: 5


A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton

Synopsis from Amazon.com:

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.

Deet’s Review: This felt a bit creepy to me.  His ex-wife’s sister?  The story was well written so I have no axe to grind there.  I just couldn’t get my head around the family relationship.

Rating:  3

Christmasy Feeling: 2


Its Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon

Synopsis from Amazon .com:

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?

Deet’s Review:  Austin’s brother talks to him about how he seems to be stalking Carrie and it certainly felt like that to me too.  He was relentless no matter how many times she said “no”.  Then she gives in and he decides to back off. Huh?

Rating: 3

Christmasy Feeling: 2


Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey

Synopsis from Amazon.com:

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…

Deet’s Review: Here we have a story of two shattered people who really need each other and finally come together.  This one felt more romantic than the previous two.

Rating: 3.5

Christmasy Feeling: 3

As in many anthologies there is a good story and some others that don’t quite measure up.  These four are all okay, well written but not all felt terribly romantic and one even had a tinge of stalking.  They all had a happily-ever-after so I can’t say I was totally disappointed.  But I would have liked more Christmasy warmth.  Except for the Alison Kent story the others could have been at any time of the year.


Review coming next Friday Miracle Road by Emily March Miracle road




Filed under Anthology, Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance

2 responses to “8 Fridays ‘Til Christmas Review- Holiday Kisses (Anthology)

  1. I read Icing on the Cake by Alison Kent a few years ago. I had mixed feelings about it because it was based on a real-life romance but I was totally captivated by it.


  2. I liked the Alison Kent story here but I don’t think I’ll be searching out any books by any of these authors. It may be because I’m just not that into the Contemporary Romance genre. I have a few, very few, CR authors that I like and tend to stick with those.


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