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Friday, January 15, 2010

Season of Love by Susan Blexrud, Bill Haworth, Kate Hofman, Miriam Newman

Season of Love by Susan Blexrud, Bill Haworth, Kate Hofman, Miriam Newman
Publisher: DCL Publications
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal, Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Full (297 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Books
Review by Holly

Mistletoe Fangs - Susan Blexrud
Dr. Laura Marsh, a pregnant vampire, seeks therapy to overcome a recent trauma -- but is her creepy doctor interested in more than her well-being? Will evil intercede, dashing the promise of a Christmas baby?

The Office Party - Bill Haworth
An office Christmas party is hijacked by the newly appointed manager, to celebrate his promotion. A blizzard traps the revellers in the freezing, dark office. An old cleaning lady intervenes -- but is she all she seems?

A Special Christmas Gift - Kate Hofman
Glenda has a very special Christmas gift for her lover, who has finally succeeded in finding her again.

Peace on New Earth - Miriam Newman
On the planet Megasta, colonists live in an uneasy peace with native tribes, until the advent of Terran fever threatens their tenuous coexistence. Can the efforts of a medical technician from old Earth and her love for a Megasti man avert bloodshed between their people?

Season of Love is a collection of holiday stories, with love and warmth and that little bit of something extra in them. Each story has an unexpected twist that I loved. Whether it is a vampire love story, a haunted Christmas party, love interrupted, or a futuristic tale of love in a brave new world there's something for everyone. Each story shows a different slant on the holiday celebrations and traditions, but all have one thing in common: love is a very strong element in all of them.

Mistletoe Fangs by Susan Blexrud is a romantic suspense story, with a scheming vampire psychiatrist, a pregnant vampire and her husband, and a half-human half fairy conspirator. When Lauren Wright has flashbacks to her kidnapping by the Orlando Mafia, she sees Dr. Erasmus Gephart to try and stop the nightmares and get on with her life. Little does she know he's not all he seems. Can her husband John “The Vampire Vigilante” keep her from danger, or will Lauren be traumatized once again?

The Office Christmas Party by Bill Haworth is a story of a misdirected celebration and selfishness reversed. Mattie the secretary wants nothing more than to go home and be with her family for Christmas Eve. But her boss has other plans for the evening. He stages an impromptu party, under the guise of the holiday, to celebrate his promotion, and convinces everyone to stay. When a massive storm threatens, Mattie wants to get out, but Fred Perkins is adamant about everyone staying. When the storm hits and the power goes, people start to worry, but when the little old cleaning lady appears and starts offering suggestions, things become a bit less stressful. Can this motley group manage to ride out the storm and get out in time to spend Christmas with those that they love? Will Fred Perkins get the come-uppence he so richly deserves? Be ready for a surprise ending with this one.

A Special Christmas Gift by Kate Hofman is a story of love interrupted. Glenda and Alex met and fell in love, but when Alex leaves on an emergency business trip, his personal assistant convinces Glenda that she has just been a diversion for Alex and that, in fact, Alex is marrying her. Glenda leaves, heartbroken. Two years pass, and Glenda opens her front door to find Alex facing her. It seems the personal assistant lied to him as well, and he has come to try and get back what was the love of his life. Can Glenda overcome the past to forge a new future with her handsome Greek lover? Can Alex convince her that he never stopped loving her, and that he wants her for his wife? Can they get past the prejudices and lies for their happy ever after?

Peace on New Earth by Miriam Newman is a story of new beginnings, and old ideas coming together. Jadelle is a twenty-fifth century med-techno, but off duty she loves the old traditions she has read about from Earth. One of her favorite things to do is bake, and she has found old Earth recipes for cookies and goodies, and spends hours baking. A new assignment brings her in contact with Avron, leader of the people indigenous to the planet Jadelle and her people have recently emigrated to. But their arrival has caused problems for those who were there. Can Jadelle find the cure to help, and save the people of New Earth? And can she find contentment and love in the arms of Avron, a man both savage and gentle?

These four stories are filled with warmth and love, and a feeling of joy for the season. There are wonderful twists and surprises that delighted this reader and brought tears and laughter to me as well. I thoroughly enjoyed these stories, and will look for more by each of these authors. If you are looking for a different kind of holiday story, this anthology is for you.