This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance
Published by Forever
Released on September 29, 2020
Heartwarming family and romance, simple pleasures, and the holiday season make for a splendid comfy read in preparation of the season. Four stellar authors delivered a bounty of holiday cheer in their novellas.
Carolyn Brown’s The Perfect Christmas is the adorably country charmer finishing off the Longhorn Canyon series with a follow up romance for two side characters from an earlier book. Landon has an itchy boot that feels the need to roam, but single mom Dixie and her little girl Sally hope to give him a reason to stay put after a series of holiday encounters meant to give them all their first real Christmas.
It’s back to Magnolia Bay in Hope Ramsay’s Joy to the World when private grinch, music instructor, Brenda agrees to take on directing the town Christmas chorale with Christmas’ biggest fan, Dr. James Killough as her music accompanist. Can a bit of holiday magic heal her from her past?
My sweet tooth was touched when Iris, a pastry chef spends Christmas with her friend’s family on Cavanagh Island and encounters a delicious guest all the way from Afghanistan in Rochelle Alers’ Home for the Holidays. Can a holiday romance lead to forever love?
And, then AJ Pine to Meadow Valley in A Christmas Cowboy at Heart just in time for Deputy Sheriff Dani to convince their new mayor who is her old crush and something of a grinch that the Light Parade must go on as an important town Christmas tradition and love is a big part of Christmas’ joy.
All four authors chose to write stories in the world of their respective series (Longhorn Ranch, Magnolia Bay, Cavanaugh Island, and Meadow Valley), but they are all stories that easily stood alone so newcomers or old fans can all appreciate them.
I have read books by three of the four authors so I was prepared for what I was going to get in this delightful anthology. The stories were all laid back even gently-paced in ways depicting the right tone for the book’s themes. I got comfortable and easily settled into each story. I liked that there was a nice variety created by writing style, but also the variety in the various holiday romance situations though there was a cohesiveness so no one’s story felt wrong for the book. I needed the light charm that didn’t dig too deep emotionally or force me to focus too hard to match my mood and they were great because I was able to pick them up in separate readings between tasks and chores and still get a whole, well-developed story.
Usually, I can pick out stories in anthologies that were better or more suited to me than others, but this was a foursome that I felt were equals and all grabbed my attention about the same. Definitely a holiday anthology that I would eagerly press on other contemporary romance fans to try.
I rec’d this book through Net Galley from Forever to read in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #184
About the Book
From matchmaking carolers to a festive lights competition, four bestselling authors explore the magic of the holidays in these heartwarming small towns.
The Perfect Christmas by Carolyn BrownRugged cowboy Landon Griffin can’t help being smitten by single mom Dixie Boudreaux and her baby girl. To help win their hearts, he wants to give them both the perfect holiday at Longhorn Ranch — baking cookies, trimming the tree, building snowmen, and the whole works. But when nothing seems to go right, he might need a Christmas miracle to help him out of the mess.
Joy to the World by Hope RamsayRetired music teacher Brenda McMillan has lost her holiday spirit, but reluctantly agrees to fill in for the director of the Magnolia Harbor Christmas Chorale — even though Dr. James Killough, the town’s biggest Christmas enthusiast, is the group’s accompanist. Will he have enough Christmas magic to mend her broken heart?
Home for the Holidays by Rochelle AlersPastry chef Iris Nelson is looking forward to spending Christmas on Cavanaugh Island with her best friend’s family. But she wasn’t expecting to celebrate with their very handsome visitor on leave from Afghanistan. Is their attraction just the glow of the season or a gift to enjoy forever?
A Christmas Cowboy at Heart by A.J. PineFor Deputy Sheriff Daniela Garcia, no hometown tradition makes her happier than the Meadow Valley Holiday Light Parade. This year she’s planning for the sheriff’s office to have the most dazzling lights. But when the new mayor — and certified grinch — threatens to cancel the event, Dani will have to show him the true meaning of Christmas.
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