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01 January 2012

Holiday Kisses: A Holiday Romance Collection - Review

Holiday Kisses: A Holiday Romance Collection
  by Alison Kent, Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon, Shannon Stacey
Publication date: 05 December 2011 by Carina Press
ISBN 10/13: B005Z18F60

Category: Adult Romance
Keywords: Romance, contemporary, realistic, holidays, Christmas
Format: eBook, Kindle (e-ARC received from Netgalley)

From goodreads:

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Love!

A man gives the gift of trust and receives a second chance at love in return. A woman helps to heal the wounded heart of a soldier. A couple finds that true love knows no distance. And a young widow learns that there can be two great loves in a lifetime. Love, romance and passion come together in this collection of four seasonal shorts.

Anthology includes:
This Time Next Year by Alison Kent
A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton
It's Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon
Mistletoe and Margaritas by Shannon Stacey

Stories also available for purchase separately.
103,000 words

Thuy's Review:

I am on a total holiday reading train right now. I've read lots of holiday themed stories (that I still need to write reviews for). I picked this one up on Netgalley a couple of weeks ago hoping for some fun holiday romance and that's exactly what I got. I had a lot of fun with this one and hope you enjoy my review.

This Time Next Year by Alison Kent – 4 stars

I really enjoyed this story story about two very different people who find each other during the holidays . Dillon’s a true hero, a doctor who spent a good deal of time healing people during the war in Afghan. Retired now, he continues taking care of the people on his mountain, which is how he finds Brenna after her car crashes in the snow. Dillon still has a lot of guilt over what happened and what he saw in the war and has closed himself off emotionally. Brenna’s funny and compassionate and, as the week goes on, she gets Dillon to open up about himself. With her help, Dillon begins to realize that he needs to stop blaming himself for the decisions he made and the people he couldn’t save. Only then can he get over the guilt and move on with his life. An endearing and touching romance that had me sighing at the ending, This Time Next Year was a great read.

A Rare Gift by Jaci Burton – 3 stars

I am usually a fan of Jaci Burton but this one didn’t have quite the impact that her stories usually have for me. I liked Calliope a lot. She’s strong and independent and I loved watching her interact with the children at the day care center. Wyatt’s extremely closed off emotionally which isn’t unusual for males in romance novels but, in this case, Calliope’s relationship as his ex’s sister has made him even more wary of pursuing a relationship with her. Wyatt was also extremely stubborn and I wanted to smack him in the head several times. I am sure Calliope felt the same way. When they finally to succumb to their attraction, it’s hot like only Jaci Burton can write it. Though ultimately satifying, this story just wasn’t as compelling as what I usually expect from Burton.

It’s Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon – 4 stars

This is probably my favorite story in the anthology. Funny, sweet and totally endearing, I fell in love with both Austin and Carrie in this holiday tale about two people finding each other again. Austin is adorable as the (ex)boyfriend with a plan to woo Carrie back to their hometown. I loved his flirty and unapolgetic attitude and he had my laughing with his attempts to win Carrie back. I loved that Carrie didn’t give in to Austin right away and that she fought for her dreams and her career. There are no easy answers but Carrie and Austin work to understand each other in order to have a future together. A story about hope, understanding, and a love worth fighting for, It’s Not Christmas Without You is a wonderful story for the holidays.

Mistletoe & Margaritas by Shannon Stacey – 4 stars

This is my first Shannon Stacey story but it definitely won’t be my last. Mistletoe & Margaritas is fantastic story about love and second chances. Justin’s been in love with Claire for years but kept silent because she fell in love and married his best friend Brandon. A widow of several years now, Claire still misses her husband but finds comfort in her friendship with Justin. Suddenly Claire finds her feelings for Justin veering towards a more romantic nature. I loved watching their relationship at the beginning of the story – the pizza dates and holiday traditions. It’s obvious that they both love each other but they have to deal with the guilt they have about Brandon and moving on. This emotional story about two best friends falling in love really pulled at my heartstrings and I was really rooting for Claire and Justin to find their happily ever after.

I was really pleased with this collection of holiday romances. Anthologies are a great way to find new authors and that was definitely the case with this one. If you’re in the mood for a few fun, sexy and heartwarming stories to read this holiday, Holiday Kisses would make a great gift to yourself or anyone else.

Total Rating
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

Visit the Alison Kent, Jaci Burton, HelenKay Dimon and Shannon Stacey online. 

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