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Monday, September 26, 2011

Christmas Gems by Jewels of the Quill



Christmas Gems by Jewels of the Quill
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (134 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Aloe

The Christmas Magi of Birch Bay {contemporary romance} by Christine DeSmet (Dame Moonstone): After losing her husband, Vienna Campbell thought that coming home to Birch Bay, Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Superior, and running Vienna’s Gifts & Antiques for her grandmother would help her find a way to move on. But being a war widow—even after five years have passed—means you're invited to all the Christmas parties and you're the honored guest being toasted for your husband's service to the country. Vienna knows people mean well, but she feels like the angel stuck on top of the Christmas tree watching others enjoying life. Then things get worse—she's evicted from her rented house because of her menagerie of pets that are her best friends. To her chagrin, in steps the town nerd and her rival all through school, Joseph Millbauer, taking pity on her and offering her an unexpected, extravagant gift. But if she accepts it, what does good ol' dateless Joe expect in return in his Christmas stocking?

Mistletoe and Holly {contemporary romance} by Carrie S. Masek (Dame Topaz): Matt Potter hates Christmas. Nearly running over an abandoned pet rabbit on Christmas Eve does nothing to improve his Christmas spirit, especially when he drives through a freak blizzard to take the half-frozen critter to the nearest veterinary clinic and finds it staffed by a perky elf wannabe.

Holly Welsh loves Christmas. She refuses to let anything dampen her Christmas spirit, even having to work through the first few hours of her family's Christmas Eve party. A veterinary assistant, Holly loves animals almost as much as she loves Christmas, and when a scowling stranger storms into the clinic with a shivering bunny cradled in his arms, her heart goes out to them both.

The blizzard traps Matt and Holly together in the clinic. With the help of a mischievous bunny and a quart of her special Christmas Eggnog, Holly proves to Matt that with enough Christmas spirit anything is possible...even love.

A Christmas Surprise {contemporary romance} by Jane Toombs (Dame Turquoise): The unexpected return of a long-lost daughter brings a miraculous surprise.

How do you know it is Christmas time? Is it the smell of your tree, the egg nog, mistletoe or holly? Each of these stories is based on a Christmas theme, but the characters here find love…

The authors in this anthology do a very good job of describing the scene the story is set in. The stories are short, but each reads well and has enough detail to flesh the story out. They are established authors and clearly know how to tell a tale.

The first story is an updated version of O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi, which is a story I’ve always loved. This fresh look at an old story is done very well, and will make you smile before the end. Real love is hard to find, but this couple has it.

Wings in Love was a fun read. Take a cowboy who works construction and mix him with an interior decorator and then add true love. Watching these two misunderstand each other will make you laugh and comment out loud.

A Christmas Surprise is truly a unique story. The author takes a devastating loss (a kidnapped child) and a guilty sister who runs away from home and turns it into a positive story with a happy ending. It gets your blood running while you read about the main character’s adventures and troubles. And you aren’t sure just how the ending is going to work out… You won’t be bored.

Mistletoe and Holly was my favorite story in the group. Meet a modern day Scrooge who gets snowbound in the vet clinic with one of Santa’s elves. Yes, it’s funny. And, yes, he mellows out a bit.

None of these stories disappoint. All the authors write well and choose interesting situations. Why not pick up a copy for yourself and read it by fire while drinking hot chocolate (or maybe a bit of eggnog)? You won't regret it!

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