I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
It Must Be Christmas: Three Holiday Stories by Jennifer Crusie, Donna Alward, Mandy Baxter
Series: , Billionaire's Club #4
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on October 4th 2016
This is an anthology of three previously released novels/novellas all themed around Christmas.
HOT TOY by Jennifer Crusie
The story is cute and sweet. There is only the beginning of a romance since the story is so short, but it is a nice Christmas treat. Trudy Maxwell, college librarian, is on the hunt for the hot Christmas toy for her nephew when she encounters Nolan Mitchell. Trudy had thought that Nolan was “the One” until after three dates, he didn’t call her again. Now Nolan wants another chance, but Trudy doesn’t want to risk herself again. This is a cute and sweet Christmas romance with some twists. When the story started, I didn’t expect where the story would go, but it kept the plot interesting. The romance was cute and funny as Nolan followed Trudy around trying to convince her to give him another chance. The weakness was that the story was so short that there wasn’t much to the characters and the plot dominated. Rating: 3.5 Stars
CHRISTMAS AT SEASHELL COTTAGE by Donna Alward
Dr. Charlie Yang gets some surprises for Christmas. First, the man who she has been watching from afar ends up at the same church as her preparing for the Christmas season. Charlie has been attracted to the ex-SEAL Dave Ricker but it is easier to imagine at a distance than risk her heart with a man who seems her opposite. Second, Charlie and Dave find an infant left in the manger and Charlie finds herself unable to turn away from the little Christmas miracle. The story had such promise. There were several stories that could have been explored: uptight doctor versus free thinking man, second families, the found baby. Unfortunately, I don’t think that any of these stories were truly explored. Instead, I kept waiting for something to happen in the book. I don’t mind slow, thoughtful stories, but I want some payoff. The first half of the book was Charlie saying this guy can’t be right for me; the second half was Dave saying, I don’t think want the same things. I never really got any connection with these characters; I never truly felt that we explored the characters emotional foibles. I just ended up with a “eh” feeling at the end. Rating: 2 stars.
CHRISTMAS WITH THE BILLIONAIRE RANCHER by Mandy Baxter
Nate Christensen has an inheritance from a father he could barely stand. He doesn’t want the inheritance or all that goes with it. Chloe Benson comes to the memorial intending to ask for money for her charity. Instead, she ends up hooking up with Nate. This is a sexy, sexy book. I loved how the two first have an instantaneous attraction that moves to emotional connection and love. For such a short length, this story has energy with characters that I really connected with. I ended up just wanting to read more about these two. It is a tricky proposition to make sex so central to the beginning of a relationship and yet allow the characters to develop an emotional connection that feels deep and real. Baxter walks that line very well. I liked this book so much that I ended up buying to stories of Nate’s brothers as well. Rating: 4 stars.