I know a lot of Christmas books have been out a month or so already, but the WW Ladies are offering up some of them before the biggest shopping day of the year. Yes, Black Friday is almost upon us and while you’re searching out those bargains, check out these holiday books for stocking stuffers. This is only the beginning, as we’ll be adding to the list in the weeks ahead. (BTW, here’s the link to all the Black Friday Specials)
Wolfsbane and Mistletoe Edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner
Read by Joysann
When I see four of my Must-Read authors headlined on a hardcover book, there are no options for me. This cover reads "New York Times Bestselling Authors Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Keri Arthur, Carrie Vaughn and others". The eleven other authors include old favorites and new (to me) discoveries, and the book is an amalgam of genres to suit any reading preference. Some light, some dark, all are holiday tales highlighting those favorite mythical beings with tails. The "and others" included are: Donna Andrews, Simon R. Green, Dana Cameron, Kat Richardson, Alan Gordon, Dana Stabenow, J. A. Konrath, Nancy Pickard, Karen Chance, Rob Thurman, and Toni L. P. Kelner.
Getting into the spirit of the season, I was delighted with all the entries. While most are stand-alone stories, some are founded on long-running series that I follow avidly, and enjoyed all the more. It’s my thought, however, that anthologies like these should come with very visible "spoiler alert" notices.
To All a Good Night by Donna Kauffman, Jill Shalvis and HelenKay Dimon
Ready by Dina
Unleashed by Donna Kauffman
Emma Lafferty has started her new business and is hired by a CEO billionaire to watch his pets during the holidays. She expects to enjoy a quiet Christmas in her temporary opulent surroundings, but a winter storm traps her and an unexpected visitor, the CEO’s great nephew named Trevor inside. Emma is there to protect the animals and house, but Trevor is looking for some very important papers and did not plan on a beautiful pet sitter to disrupt his plans.
From the moment that Emma and Trevor meet in the dark corridor, with their flirtatious and charming ways, you are eagerly waiting to see what happens next. Their romance is such a delight to see unfold and I enjoyed how their personal space would became one.
Finding Mr. Right by Jill Shalvis
Brilliant chemist Maggie Bell has found Mr. Wrong too many times and with another lonely Christmas almost here, she decides that it’s time to change course and seeks out someone who seems totally wrong for her. Jacob Wahler is a rough and rippling contractor who is nowhere near Maggie’s type, so she thinks. One night of fun and satisfaction with Mr. Wrong makes Maggie wonder if he really was wrong for her, all she knew is that one night with Jacob was not enough.
I was loving every word! I didn’t want to put it down, but I had too, sleep is needed for work. Sexy, electric, funny and upbeat, I could really see this happening, they were a perfect fit for each other, but they needed to find that out. The secret looks, then the touch and that was it. I was chuckling out loud with their words and emotions towards one another and like I said, I didn’t want the story to end. Mr. Wrong is not always who it seems to be, he might be Mr. Right after all. I love early an Christmas present.
Can You Hand Me the Tape? by HelenKay Dimon
Natalie Pritchard is desperate. It’s a week before Christmas and she’s lost the naughty tape she made for her now-ex-boyfriend. She’s so desperate, in fact, that she’ll turn to her nemesis Spencer Donovan for help. The sexy criminal defense attorney would be only too happy to assist—but can Natalie afford his price?
I loved how the conflict between Natalie and Spencer is so visible, yet the warmth they learn to feel or admit for each other is so touching.
Sweet romance, charm and humor fills these pages. Each story holds its own, but you will not want to stop til you have finished and you will want more. I just adored each and every word and think Christmas should come more than once a year.
A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas
Read by Emily
Rafe Bowman never expected to marry, but to further his career he heads to London to meet Natalie Blandford. After arriving, he realizes that he needs to learn the rules of society to impress Natalie and her family. When the four Wallflowers start matchmaking, who knows what will happen. Rafe is soon pushed towards Natalie’s cousin turned chaperone, Hannah Applegate. She doesn’t think that Rafe is the right man for Natalie, but Christmas magic works in the most unexpected ways.
Lisa’s characters are always so witty and full of life, and A Wallflower Christmas is no different. I was entranced by the first five books in the Wallflower series and couldn’t wait to read this one. It sure didn’t disappoint. I loved the way Lisa incorporated all the other Wallflowers stories and an update on their lives. For all of you who love the Wallflowers, you can’t pass up a great story like this.
Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage by Sally Smith O’Rourke
Read by Loretta
A charming, sweet story written from the perspective of a DOG, who feels himself a complete failure since he was the only pup of his litter who did not make the grade of becoming a hunter due to his fear of gun shot noise. Instead, he becomes the beloved companion of a disabled veteran and a member of his subsequent family, keeping them safe and sound. The family enjoys the Christmas holidays by making their simple cottage sparkle with a large tree covered with lights, mistletoe, and candles, and filled with wonderful cooki
ng smells and enjoying special traditions. One of his comments is : "I smiled to myself " – and as an aside – "because dogs don’t smile, you know.". But this book will make YOU smile and feel happy to have read this special book.
The Magical Christmas Cat by Nalini Singh, Erin McCarthy, Linda Winstead Jones, Lora Leigh
Read by Joysann
In Stroke of Enticement by Nalini Singh, Annie is a school teacher, and her students are shifters. What she learns is that being different doesn’t have to mean being lonely.
Erin McCarthy made me laugh while reading her story about one of three sisters finding she’s already fallen for the guy she’s met only once, in Christmas Bree.
Linda Winstead Jones’ Sweet Dreams was suspenseful while Ruby’s nightmares brought a demonic presence closer to reality, and making her doubt the mysterious neighbor who’d begun to interest her.
Another in The Breed stories is presented by Lora Leigh with Christmas Heat. Haley is a witness to a deadly conspiracy, and her protection falls to an enforcer with whom she shares an attraction that could flame a mating passion.
I genuinely enjoyed these stories; I found them warm, engaging, and entertaining. But I came away feeling a little like a P T Barnum mark because anything to do with cats was a token gesture, and a holly sprig might have been waved in the general direction of the book to inspire the idea of Christmas. I’m fairly certain it was a marketing decision, for these talented authors’ stories stand well without the holiday gimmick.
A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holidays by Cathy Messecar, Terra Hanger, Trish Berg, Leslie Wilson, Karen Robbins, Brenda Nixon
Read by Dina
This nonfiction book is full of fresh ideas and practical ways to weave delight into Christmas holidays. Discover how to bring harmony to this busy month. There are great tips on family traditions, gift giving, connecting generations and so much more.
Very beautifully done and so delightful, this book is filled with touching stories that leaves you heart with a warm glow, some tasty recipes and tradition memories both old and new. A lovely gift for anyone for many years to come.
Have Yourself a Naughty Little Santa by Karen Tabke
Read by Edie
Hot-blooded Kimberly Michaels has forced herself into an emotionally frozen mold of a commercial real estate shark. But for one ecstatic night she lets her wild side loose with a hard-bodied stranger. The next day she’s on her way to Evergreen, CA, to buy ou the town that’s depending on the Christmas season to put the townspeople in the black.
Ricco Maza’s family was saved by Evergreen after his no-good father abandoned them. He’ll do anything to save the town even when their adversary turns out to be the petite blonde who gave him a night of passion he wants to repeat. Often. This book has everything! Emotional and sexual tension combined with suspense and a heartwarming holiday, Have Yourself a Naughty Little Santa is the perfect book to put you in the holiday mood.
Well, this list should keep you busy until Saturday when I post part 2 of the Christmas tales. I’ll expect you all to post on Your Turn Friday the books you bought on Black Friday (or at least have been reading).
Bottom Line: Take time tomorrow to give thanks for all the goodness in your life (and there really is more good than bad…make a list).