All He Wants for Christmas: a Holiday Anthology

December 1, 2015 Book Review 0 ★★★★

All He Wants for Christmas: a Holiday Anthology four-stars
All He Wants for Christmas by Elisabeth Naughton, Alexandra Ivy, Cynthia Eden, Katie Reus, Laura Wright, Skye Jordan
on December 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 450
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From six of your favorite New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors…

Here’s to finding spies, cops, rockers, SEALs, professional hockey players and billionaires under the Christmas tree this year!

MELT FOR ME by Elisabeth Naughton

Yuletide Spirits pub owner Ella McKinley doesn’t do holidays. Not after everything she lost on a cold, snowy night long ago. In fact, she’d be perfectly happy if the calendar jumped from November to January, bypassing December all together. Then rock’s latest “it” guy, Tate Kendrick, rolls into town, and though Ella tries to resist his wicked charm, the heat they once shared flares hotter than ever. When trouble linked to the rock star strikes at her pub, Ella suddenly starts to wonder if the return of her first love is a holiday miracle or nothing more than her nightmare before Christmas.

SWEET RAPTURE by Alexandra Ivy

Meg Anderson has returned to her home in Holly, North Carolina after she discovered her relationship with Dylan Cain was nothing more than a lie. The last thing she expects is for Dylan to be her new tenant. Or the realization that he might be the only thing standing between her and a killer…

THE SPY WHO CAME FOR CHRISTMAS by Cynthia Eden

Everyone in town thinks that Jemma White is as sweet as the delicious treats she makes at her chocolate shop—but they’re wrong. Jemma is ready to let her wild side out, and she’s just found the perfect man to make all of her fantasies come true. Grayson Cole is a too-sexy-to-be-true stranger who has escaped to Holly for the holidays. He is her perfect temptation, and Jemma can’t wait to steam up the cold winter nights with him. But when danger from Grayson’s past follows him to town, she realizes that the man she is falling for has been keeping some very dark secrets…secrets that may just get them both killed.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, BABY by Katie Reus

After unexpectedly inheriting a bookstore, Nora and her younger sister settled in Holly, NC, a place where it’s Christmas year-round. As the legal guardian for her sister the past few years, romance has been the last thing on Nora’s mind. But she broke her rules for the town’s golden boy—former SEAL Jackson O’Connor. When Jackson does something stupid and almost loses Nora for good, he realizes just how far he’s willing to go for the woman who’s stolen his heart. But it might take a Christmas miracle to get Nora to give him a second chance.

SINFUL IN SNOW by Laura Wright

Billionaire Back In Town: Gabriel Fox is a ruthless, heartless, soulless grinch. His only goal in coming to Holly, North Carolina is to ruin Carol Cardini's Christmas. Like she ruined his—and his life—ten years ago. Now that her business is in trouble, he's finally found the way. But the beautiful owner of Christmas Carol's Shop and Crafts won't allow her dream to be destroyed. Not by revenge, and certainly not by the sexiest man she's ever known. She can, however offer an apology, and a chair at her holiday table. But can a grinch’s cold heart be warmed and healed by the love of a good woman—and the magic of Christmas spirit?

HOME ADVANTAGE by Skye Jordan

NHL super star, Meier Grant, finds himself sidelined for a bum shoulder and sentenced to three weeks recovery—in his hometown of Holly, North Carolina. But an extended family stay isn’t on his holiday wish list, especially when his parents are more interested in capitalizing on his fame than much needed family bonding. So when he learns the high school beauty and so out-of-his-league Faith Nicholas is suddenly single, and even sexier ten years later, home doesn’t seem so bad. Not when it includes spending some quality bonding time with Faith. Meier may have some of the best moves in the league, but will they be enough to win a woman deserving of forever?

Collection: 150,000 words

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

EDGy Review
Reviewed Sparkles 1The town of Holly, North Carolina, is a perpetual shrine to Christmas. It’s decorated and pretty much everything in it is Christmas themed 24/7, 365 days a year. Apparently this is charming or its inhabitants would go bonkers and also apparently Holly is a magnet for hot guys, here we’ll meet an ex FBI agent, a former Navy SEAL, a rock star, a famous hockey player, a self made millionaire and a former CIA agent, and all the lucky ladies who’ll get under these tough guy’s skins and conquer their hearts.

MELT FOR ME by Elisabeth Naughton

As I’m not a fan of the second chance love romances I struggled to get into Melt for Me. This story is about Ella, who runs the town’s pub and Tate a famous rock star who after nine years comes back into Ella’s life.

Ella’s been running the pub by herself since her husband passed in an accident two years ago. It’s certainly not the work she wants to be doing and she only stayed in this town because of him, so she is counting down the days until she can leave for good.

Tate is passing through and decided to go check on Ella, the one who got away. When they were young, they spent a summer together, she was the one who encouraged him into a music career, but then pushed him away and sent him on his way to fame. But he didn’t fight for her either, he just went.

Ella has severe daddy and abandonment issues, trust issues, too-quick-to-judge issues… you get where I’m going, I didn’t like Ella all that much, and I didn’t get the type of devotion she inspired in Tate.

Tate… oh Tate, by your name alone you should have been awesomeness impersonated… alas! You were not. Yes, Tate the rock star was hot, yummy, nice, and sweet, but he was also a bit wishy-washy, I mean, in a novella you don’t have that much time to be wishy-washy, yet he accomplished that.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this story, the writing is good, their chemistry is fantastic. It’s just I’m not really into this kind of plot line. I’m absolutely positive others will really enjoy this story.

Sparkles rates this one: 3 Second chance (yew) Stars

SWEET RAPTURE by Alexandra Ivy

Meg has been back home for six months since getting her heart broken and stomped on in Vegas by Dylan the Bastard. Now living alone in her Grandmother’s house, she’s been getting some disturbing calls, pranks and even vandalism in her shop.

Now a new tenant is renting her garage apartment which will help her finally start fixing up her home, starting with the boiler in the basement. Imagine her surprise when her new tenant shows up and is none other than Dylan the lying jerk. You see, Dylan was working undercover with the FBI when he approached Meg and started dating her… so when she learned in the worst possible way why he was with her she did n0t take it too well and fled.

Now Dylan is back and is set on winning Meg back, no matter what. He has resigned from the Bureau and is ready to set down roots and Meg is the only woman he wants to settle down with.

As the situation with Meg’s vandalizing starts to escalate, Dylan might be the only one who can keep her safe.

I rather enjoyed Sweet Rapture. I connected to both main characters and was rooting for Dylan to win Meg back. I liked that Meg, once she stopped being angry, was strong enough to accept the reasons behind Dylan’s actions and gave him a second chance. There was steam, suspense and sweet love. While I liked the story it did feel like it ended rather abruptly, but then again it is short. I’m happy I’ve been introduced to a new author to me in Ms. Ivy.

Sparkles rates this one: 3.5 Stars

THE SPY WHO CAME FOR CHRISTMAS by Cynthia Eden

I’m a Cynthia Eden fan. Be it her romantic suspense or her paranormal stories I find she always gets me to connect with her characters and gives me enough suspense, action and hot loving to keep me satisfied on every front.

The Spy Who Came for Christmas was no different: Grayson is a (just) retired CIA agent (AKA a spy). He goes to Holly to relax, recharge, and to ultimately decide what he’s going to do with his life now. On his first day there he meets Jemma, owner of the Chocolate shop in town and is immediately taken by her. Jemma has been keeping mostly to herself for the last couple of years, but one look at Gray is all she needs to want to throw her quiet and careful life out the window.

Mere minutes after their first encounter they are planning a date and from that moment onward they’ll spend every second together. Well, mostly because from the first moment they meet, strange and suspect things start to happen around Jemma, and Grayson will do everything in his power to keep her safe.

Both Jemma and Grayson are keeping secrets about their pasts and it seems some of it is catching up to them.

Grayson was the typical alpha, bossy, possessive type who went into protective mode when he realized what Jemma was to him. Jemma had suffered a traumatic event in her past and has never really gotten over it, or talked about it really. But with Gray she found the strength to open up.

Filled with suspense, action, and enough hot scenes to melt the North Pole this was a great read. It was perfectly timed and it gave a complete feel in spite of its length. I loved it.

Sparkles rates this one: 4 be my spy Stars

MERRY CHRISTMAS, BABY by Katie Reus

Now this one was a very sweet story. Nora and her baby sister moved to Holly only nine months ago when they inherited a bookstore from a distant relative. Being her sister’s guardian for the last 4 years, and before that caring for the girl and her sick mother, she never really had much time to date, especially after her first and only boyfriend turned out to be a freaking a-hole.

Jackson a former SEAL turned carpenter noticed Nora right away, but they started as friends until he got the nerve to ask her out romantically. He was unnerved by the intensity of his feelings for her, realizing she was it for him, so of course after that first date he “pussied out” (his words) and didn’t call her for three weeks. Considering words were shared to indicate they were on relationship building mode, when Jackson not only goes radio silent but it becomes known that he went out with another woman shortly after her… Major jerk move, yes and Nora was understandably pissed.

Now Jackson seems to have pulled on his big boy undies, and is set on getting Nora’s forgiveness and winning her back. He finally accepted she is the one for him and he can’t be happy without her.

Nora at first is reticent to Jackson’s plight, but they have been close friends for a long time before going out so maybe they can go back to that… and you know how that’ll turn out.

A bit of suspense, mystery break-ins into her shop, surveillance stints, and the sweetest SEAL you’ve ever met, Merry Christmas, Baby was a great read and I’m ecstatic about finding a new author to me that I enjoyed so much.

Sparkles rates this one: 4 SEALed Stars

SINFUL IN SNOW by Laura Wright

Gabriel and his foster siblings lived in Holly with a very neglectful foster couple. Though many times the authorities had been called, nothing ever came of it, until one Christmas Eve Carol found him sitting outside his house with a fresh bruise on his face. Unable to let it go even at Gabriel’s insistence Carol went home and told her parents, hoping that someone could help him and his brother and sister.

Fast forward 10 years, Carol is struggling to keep her beloved shop alive, but is still as cheerful and nice as ever. Gabriel has spent the last 10 years amassing a fortune, is now a business mogul and has properties everywhere, including Holly. He has also spent the last 10 years hating that nosy girl who made him lose the only kind of family he’d ever had.

Now he is back in Holly to carry out a revenge on the girl who ruined everything, he just didn’t count on Carol being so… well, Carol. She is sweet, caring and simply lovely.

Carol herself had always been interested in the scary cute guy from her youth and now that he is all this grown up yumminess? Ok, so he needs to chill a bit and lose the detached businessman persona, but she is the right girl for the job. Or is she? Secrets have a way of ruining everything, even if it’s something you never imagined you could have.

While I liked and enjoyed reading Sinful in Snow I felt everything worked out just too seamlessly, maybe it was the length of the story that gave me that impression but as I said, everything worked itself out way too easily and apparently effortlessly. Still it was a great story and I’m definitely checking out Ms. Wright’s work.

Sparkles rates this one: 3.5 Snow Playing Stars

HOME ADVANTAGE by Skye Jordan

Skye Jordan is another author whose style I really enjoy. In Home Advantage we meet Meier, hockey star and hot shot, back home for the holidays. Sent to retrieve the family Christmas tree he finds himself having to hunt down the hardware store owner, who turns out to be the sweet and lovely Faith, cheerleader and girlfriend to the football captain… he hadn’t been back for quite some time as you can see.

Faith had given up everything to stay home and take care of her dad when he became seriously ill, but now that he has passed she is trying to work through her loss while keeping her store alive… which is not turning out to be so easy. With all she’s had on her plate, she hasn’t had any time for dating, and her high school sweetheart turning out to be a selfish prick didn’t help matters.

Meier is captivated by the down to earth, girl next door who seems to be completely impervious to his charm, fame and general hotness, and starts to do every and any house repair he can come up with just to spend time with Faith, and ask her out.

Well, there’s just so much a girl can resist a charming, hot and unexpectedly sweet hockey player, and soon Meier and Faith can’t resist their chemistry anymore. But what happens when the hockey star needs to go back to his life in New York, and the store owner and small town girl is left behind?

Sweet, steamy and just charming, I loved Home Advantage. Faith was a total sweetheart, selfless, caring but with a quirky sense of humor. Meier was dreamy… so he was kind of cocky and over confident at the start but he is soon changing his view on things when he realizes what he’s found in Faith.

Definitely a great addition to this collection.

Sparkles rates this one: 4 Stars

After all six stories finish we get a bonus epilogue where we get to see all the happy couples a few days later, this I enjoyed immensely.

Sparkles’ Rating: 4 I-Want-One-of-These-Guys-for-Christmas Stars

four-stars

About Sparkles

Don't let her sparkles fool you, give her an Epic Epilogue or she'll take you down with her ninja moves...

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