I am a huge Ruthie Knox fan, so I requested this anthology as soon as I saw it on NetGalley. Unfortunately, none of the stories really grabbed me.
ROOM AT THE INN by Ruthie Knox
In Room at the Inn we meet Carson Vance as he has come home to take care of his ailing father. Carson left Potter Falls as soon as he could, escaping a dying town and a dying mother. Now he finds himself back in Potter Falls for Christmas. Taking a room at the inn, Carson is faced with the one woman whom he could ever love, Julie. He brought Julie home from college and she stayed while he couldn’t wait to leave. Julie bought a run down mansion and turned it into an inn that she is fixing up. Not only has she settled in, she has found the place for her heart to live in a small town where she makes a difference. Carson must face his ultimate fear to move on past the unhappiness he feels in his life.
I live in a small town where I am dying to get out. So I felt what Carson is feeling, but in reality, he is running from something deeper than the small town. That is what Carson has to discover and reconcile. I felt he used Julie over the years and left her broken hearted one too many times. The story is told from Carson’s point of view for the majority of the story. We get to hear Julie’s side from time to time, but in reality, Carson is the one with deep emotional problems we get to see him work through.
There is a lot of passion because these two never really fall out of love even if they don’t admit they are in love. I really wished though that Julie hadn’t been so understanding for most of the story. I wanted her to stand up to Carson and force him to admit what he feels towards her. There is only so much understanding and patience I would have had with him.
While it was a emotional and passionate story, it didn’t live up to Ruthie’s other stories. But Ruthie will always be on my required reading list!
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU by Molly O’Keefe
This story takes place around Christmas 1996. 1996 has a special place in my heart as it is the year I got married. We meet Maddy as she is getting her boyfriend Billy ready for a meal at her parents house. A special meal where Billy is going to ask her father for permission to marry her.
Billy is twenty and just drafted into the NHL minors, with hopes to go onto the professional league. There wasn’t much on what happened to Billy’s parents, but he now lives with his two sisters, who I would have kicked to the curb a long time ago.
Maddy is a seventeen year old high school student, soon to be eighteen. Extremely intelligent, she is graduating a semester early. Well, her parents aren’t fooled by the meal and know what Billy and Maddy want. There is a fight, some words and a decision that must be made in the end.
All through the story, I expected to jump ahead to present time and see the couple later. Or get their story after they have grown up some, but that never happens. The story all takes place over a couple of days and ultimately comes down to whether they should marry or not.
There is nothing wrong with the writing in this story, I just had a problem with the ages of the lovers. Two days from being eighteen is awfully young. Yeah, I sound like a parent and I am a parent. I wondered a few times is this was like a prequel to a bigger story, but I am not sure. I know from one other book I have read by this author there is a hockey player hero and I thought his friend was named Billy.
There is a sex scene, which in a way made me feel like a dirty old woman looking into a scene between young lovers. I just don’t want to read about that young lovers. So I was disappointed by the sex, the decisions made and overall, I wanted to cry for the pain these two young lovers would have no matter what their decision would have been.
ONE PERFECT CHRISTMAS by Stephanie Sloane
I was instantly confused when I started this story. Something about a goat and a mother. Then someone the hero loved. Being a historical romance, I gave up kind of quick. So don’t let that put you down. You might like it if you like historical romances. Because I don’t, I just couldn’t get into it after a few pages. Give it a try if you like historicals!