Holiday Anthology Review- Secret Santa by Michaels, Bostwick, Levine & Myers

Title: Secret Santa

Secret Santa

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance Anthology

Author: Fern Michaels, Marie Bostwick, Laura Levine, Cindy Myers

Publisher: Kensington Zebra, Oct 29 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 4.5

Description from in bold type:

“Mister Christmas” (by Fern Michaels) –

 A week before Christmas, attorney Claire O’Brien is summoned to Ireland to change her wealthy client’s will–only to encounter resistance from his handsome nephew. Will Claire be forced to spend the holidays up close and personal with her irresistible Irish nemesis?

Deet’s review:  This started out terrific and quickly became the most disjointed story I’ve yet to read by an accomplished author.  We are given a hilarious start with a hunky guy and an Irish castle.  If the story had stayed there and not gone off to a hostage situation in Colorado and then a Cookie contest I think it would have been fine.  Any one of these scenarios would have made for a good story, but throwing them all into one was not a good idea.

Deet’s rating: 2

Sexy rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 4

 “The Yellow Rose of Christmas” (by Marie Bostwick) –

Though Miss Velvet Tudmore wrote off romance years ago, rumour has it she has a secret admirer. And when her surprise suitor promises to reveal himself at the annual Christmas ball in Too Much, Texas, Velvet starts to wonder: is it ever too late to find love?


This was a cute story of love and romance, or the promise of romance in the over 60’s set.  Violet is a spinster experiencing the first thrill of a secret admirer but is all as it appears?  This has a small town, down home vibe that works with the plot beautifully.

Deet;s rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 0

Christmasy feeling: 4

 “Nightmare on Elf Street” (by Laura Levine) – Aside from the mortifying costume, how bad can a gig as a mall Santa’s elf be? Jaine Austen finds out when she’s teamed up with the Santa from Hell. But things go from bad to worse when he’s found murdered on the job–and Jaine is a suspect. Now all she wants for Christmas is to find the real killer…


A fun, laugh out loud story of a “Bad Santa” with touches of Dickens and a murder, all that, but not a romance. This is a story that ties in with author Laura Levine’s Jaine Austen mystery series.  I really liked it but I was expecting a romance and was disappointed.

Deet’s Rating: 4

Sexy rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

” Room at the Inn” (by Cindy Myers) – When a Rocky Mountain blizzard forces Barb and her husband to spend Christmas in a remote Colorado cabin with their fellow travellers, Barb struggles to cope – especially when her husband reveals troubling news. But sometimes a holiday shake-up is all a woman needs to discover what she’s truly made of…


This was a nice story of a long married couple stranded by a blizzard two days before Christmas with several fellow travelers.  It was a well developed plot and a heartwarming story.  I think this one is my favorite even though there was no romance. It certainly brought the meaning of Christmas alive.

Deet’s Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 0

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Deet’s overview:  The last three stories were very well done and had a nice dose of Christmasy feel to them.  I was expecting romance and only the first two were actually in some way romantic.  As with many anthologies, there can be some outstanding stories and some duds.  As long as you are not expecting romance I recommend this book for the last three stories.

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Filed under Anthology, Book review, Books, Holiday

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