Review: A Christmas to Remember by Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon, & Marilyn Pappano

Review: A Christmas to Remember by Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Hope Ramsay, Molly Cannon, & Marilyn PappanoA Christmas to Remember by Hope Ramsay, Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, Molly Cannon

Series: #8.5 Lucky Harbor, #2.5 Chaos, #6.5 Last Chance, , TX, #1.5 Tallgrass
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Holiday Romance
Published by Forever Yours on December 3, 2013
Pages: 224
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-half-stars  

Eye-catching cover to draw my attention and authors involved in this adorable Christmas anthology made this a need to read for me.  Each author contributed a sweet little Christmas letter, their short story from one of their series, and there were also teasers afterward from an upcoming book (so the antho isn’t as long as it looks). Even though all of these stories were part of a series, they are fine to go it alone.  Only exception might be Kristen Ashley’s story because the characters and their back story are carryover from two earlier books.  Still, the reader wouldn’t be completely lost either because the plot is self-contained.

The stories were short, but not exceptionally so.  I thought all the authors did a good job of presenting a full story with nice description of the seasonal backdrops and locations, well-developed characters, and a nice little romantic tangle to sort out.  There was something in each of them that make it difficult for me to choose a favorite until the very end story and I fell in love with the heroine, Ilena.

Jill Shalvis’ ‘Dream a Little Dream’ Lucky Harbor #8.5

Two side characters from earlier in the series got their own little second chance at love.  Firefighter Ian doesn’t feel in the spirit after losing his sister the year before and after Melissa busted tail out of his life because he wanted to commit to her.  He has given her space, but he knows she is the woman for him.  He just needs to find a way to get Melissa to see it.  Melissa had a screwed up life and even though she’s gotten it together now, her fears reared up and caused her to let go a man who wanted something special with her.  Even after all this time, she still wants him, but did she hold out too long?  An apartment fire, burned cookies, crashed tree and a peeing puppy might not seem like a recipe for cooking up a good Christmas romance, but it really worked for these two.

 

Kristen Ashley’s ‘Every Year’ Chaos #2.5

Tabby has the telling of this fun romp of Christmas in the Kane ‘Tack’ Allen household.  Tabby observes each person’s reactions to each little Christmas ritual and truly appreciates the warmth and stability that Tyra has brought to their home compared to some of the Christmases they had when Tabby was a child.  As she watches and participates, she notices especially Shy and Lan because this is their first real Christmas since they were little boys and their parents were still alive.  Her Christmas wish is to see them both get in the spirit.  I had to chuckle at how many times ‘my man’ appeared in the story.  Tabby was happy and proud of Shy and they got their smexy on so its all good.  And Shy?  He made his girl cry for joy over the special present he gave her.

 

Hope Ramsay’s ‘Silent Night’ Last Chance #6.5

Maryanne runs out of gas on the highway just shy of what she thinks is her cousin’s farmhouse.  Jennifer, a cousin she hasn’t seen since she was a kid, is her only resort to turn too since she is penniless, homeless, unemployed and caring for her infant son Joshua.  Maryanne has many fears and she’s suspicious of any religious or governmental help after her past experiences in the system as a foster kid.  She could really use a Christmas miracle.

Daniel has returned home to sell pack up all the stuff and sell the farm.  Ever since his wife left him and divorced him he has just been going through the motions.  An enigmatic visit with the town’s matchmaker at the grocery store starts the process of giving him what he didn’t even know he needed and they were huddling in his barn at that very minute.  My only complaint is that I wanted more at the end though it made sense to stop where it did.  Loved where it was going and enjoyed seeing these two hurting people begin to help heal each other.

 

Molly Cannon’s ‘Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas #.5 Everson, TX

Linc is a slob and his mother hires him a personal organizer to get his home cleaned up and ready for the holidays when his parents will come back for a visit.  Linc is resistant to this procedure, but he can’t help admiring the cute, perky Dinah who settles in to do battle with his mess.  Dinah is trying to make her new business a success and one of her rules is stay professional with the clients.  Hard to keep the rule once she gets a look at Linc.  Spiders, Christmas tree decorating, no-no sexy time and Santa bring this one through for a romance between a slob and a Christmas-loving neat freak.

 

Marilyn Pappano’s ‘A Family For Christmas’ #1.5 Tallgrass

Jared Connors, son of two prestigious surgeons, breaks the mold and leaves all the family prestige and money behind in Boston to take over a rural Oklahoma pediatric practice for a two year contract and a chance to snub his nose at his family.  He soon becomes acquainted with a quirky Ilena who proudly runs around in an elf costume to spread Christmas cheer and dives into Christmas with both feet.  Jared is sophisticated and big city, but when that small town Texas girl enters his life he is willing to give country a chance.  Ilena is a military widow with a baby son and for the first time in the year since Juan died she is ready to get back into the dating scene and she thinks Jared might just be the guy for the task.  The end came quick, but it left me smiling so big so no complaints here.

 

So all in all this whole anthology made good with the Christmas romances and gave me some new series to stalk.  This one is for Contemporary Romance fans who enjoy some spice in their romances.

My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

About Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Just stopping by to greet you girls MErRY CHRISTMAS!!

    • Hi Braine! Thanks for stopping. Merry Christmas to you as well.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Merry Christmas Braine!

  • I love the way you formatted this one for me, Shari! Thank you!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Glad you liked the formatting! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

  • Ahh yeah. Gonna have to do this for a Christmas in July read I think. I enjoy three of the ladies. The other two I haven’t read/heard of. Always love a good Christmas story 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!

    • That was why I grabbed it. I am reading three of the series in this one, but I was interested in another one. I loved the Christmas backdrops, but it was the stories that had my prime focus so July is good (cool off).

      • Yep! A couple years back that’s all I read in July–Christmas or Winter. Totally freaked myself out because I actually started dreaming winter scenes with snow and everything. Amazing how it can influence ya!

        • LOL! I just read two surfer romances at the beginning of December that through me for a loop when I looked out and saw snow.