My FOREVER 2013 Christmas recommends…

IHFC JS‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ by Jessica Scott

BOOK BLURB: There’s nothing in the world Army Sergeant Vic Carponti loves more than his wife and his country. Smart-mouthed and easy tempered, he takes everything as a joke…except his promise to come home to his wife, Nicole, for Christmas. As he prepares to leave for his latest deployment into Iraq, Vic will do everything he can to shield his beautiful, supportive wife from the realities of war…and from his own darkest fears.

As a career army wife, Nicole Carponti knows just what to expect from her husband’s tour of duty: loneliness, relentless worry, and a seemingly endless countdown until the moment Vic walks through the door again. But when the unthinkable happens, Nicole and Vic’s bond is tested like never before and changes everything they believe to be true about the power of love and the simple beauty of being home for the holidays.

REVIEW: This was a short read and if you’re into military contemporary reads, I think you’ll like it. I found it interesting and entertaining because of the subject and the way their life was portrayed as they were dealing with his deployment at Christmas time. It gave me an ‘in depth’ look at the military families that, I must admit, I don’t think about often enough.

It’s kind of sobering to ‘see’ how strong the women as well as their men have to be and that’s the main reason I recommend you read it.

It’s sweet, funny, sexy, and eye-opening story of love that can withstand many obstacles in its way. Liked it a lot.

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ACTR A‘A Christmas to Remember’ by Marilyn Pappano, Molly Cannon, 

Hope Ramsay, Kristen Ashley & Jill Shalvis

BOOK BLURB: Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, ’tis the season for giving love a chance . . .

Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don’t come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .

Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.

Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who’s set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .

Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn’t mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?

REVIEW: There’s a lot of stories in this anthology, and frankly most of these authors are my first reads, so we have a mixed bag of goodies here.

Keep in mind that this is an anthology, therefore the stories are short and fast moving. These kinds of stories are not for everyone, but I do recommend you read them for the most obvious reason: getting to know and ‘feel’ the authors you’re not familiar with, and enjoying the ones that you are familiar with.

That said, here we go:

‘Dream a Little Dream’ by Jill Shalvis

I was impressed with Ms. Shalvis’ character development within the constraints of this short story.

Melissa and Ian’s relationship was well developed, and fun to read about.

If you’re familiar with the Lucky Harbor series, you will defenatly love it, and if this is your first time reading this author, have no fear, this story stands on its own.

‘Every Year’ by Kristen Ashley

I’ve never read this author before and after this short story I’m debating if I should try her. I was a bit confused by the plot and the characters were not as well rounded as they could have been.

However, this may not be the case for you, so I think you should still give it a try.

‘Silent Night’ by Hope Ramsay

Leave it to Ms. Ramsey to make me cry. I just adored this story. It was well told, well-rounded and altogether just sweet, poignant and filled with hope in humanity.

Maryanne and Daniel with little baby Joshua, will steal your heart.

This is a perfect story for all of you that have never read this author before. You’ll be searching her other books after you’ve read this story. I guarantee that!

And for us that are getting more familiar with her, this one just makes us want for more!

‘Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas’ by Molly Cannon

Molly Cannon is a new author for me, but this story will make me seek her out again.

I actually enjoyed the predictability of this romance. It was fun watching Dinah, a personal organizer, who gets hired by Lincoln, a messy accountant to organize a home of his parents.

And the sparks get ignited as these two personalities come together.

Fun and sweet, with some heat mixed in.

 ‘A Family for Christmas’ by Marilyn Pappano

Again, an unfamiliar author to me, and again, I’m conflicted about will I or won’t I read her again.

I just didn’t connect with the hero and heroine.

The story was good, but the characters just fell flat to me, and once that happened, I didn’t feel emotionally vested in their happily ever after. That doesn’t mean that you’ll feel the same, though, so give it a go.

Bottom line: worth reading for sure!

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TTWC DM‘The Trouble with Christmas’ by Debbie Mason

BOOK BLURB: It will take a Christmas miracle to melt her heart.

Resort developer Madison Lane is about to lose the one thing she loves most in the world—her job. Dubbed “The Grinch Who Killed Christmas,” Madison spoiled a deal that would turn quaint Christmas, Colorado, into a tourist’s winter wonderland. Now the citizens want her fired but the company gives her one last chance, sending Madison to the small town to restore the holiday cheer.

For Sheriff Gage McBride, no hotshot executive from New York City is going to destroy the dreams of the people he loves. But one look at this beautiful woman and it’s his heart that may be broken. In just a few days, Madison causes more trouble than he’s had to deal with all year. He can’t decide if she’s naughty or nice, but one thing is for certain—Christmas will never be the same again…

REVIEW: I just about loved everyone in this tale, but the hero is one of those down to earth guys that you can’t help but love.

It took me a bit longer to warm up to the heroine, but the longer I got to know her, the more I liked her.

I also thought that the people of this quaint town aptly named Christmas, in Colorado, were a hoot and I’m looking forward to reading about them through this series. I hope you give it a try because it had everything a Christmas story should: A heroine that’s nicknamed a ‘Grinch’ falling for a local man who loves his town and its folks who look up to him for more than just to ‘protect and serve’ their community.

If you’re looking for a very funny, very entertaining and heartwarming story, this is it!

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HfC JH‘His for Christmas’ by Jennifer Haymore

BOOK BLURB: Jennifer Haymore introduced sweet, but shy Lady Esme in The Duchess Hunt, the first novel in her House of Trent Series. But what readers may not know is that proper young Lady Esme has a secret: the youngest sister of the Duke of Trent privately pens erotic stories!

Society would never allow Lady Esme to share her own work, so her friend Jennifer Haymore is here to help—and just in time for Christmas!

His for Christmas is the steamy story of two travelers who find themselves stranded in an inn when an upexpected snowstorm blankets the English countryside. As the temperature drops, desire rises and the two strangers share a night of passion unlike anything either has ever experienced. When dawn breaks and the storm clears, will they continue on thier seperate journeys, or will they begin a new path together?

REVIEW: For me, this story was heartwarming, sweet and ‘sauna’ steamy, all at the same time.

Amelia and Evan were very likable and relatable characters, while their love story took both of them back to the past and the reasons behind their separation.

Once the reason for the misunderstanding begins to dawn on both, these two light up the pages with tension and sexual buildup of years and years of longing for one another, and let me tell you, get ready for it. It is HOT!

Recommending it to all of you that believe in second chances, and to those that are looking for a read that has a mix of sweet romance with sexy characters!

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TtNBM NR”Twas the Night Before Mischief ‘ by Nina Rowan

BOOK BLURB: ‘Twas the night before mischief and all through the house, a lady was plotting—it was time to break out!

When Penelope Darlington is persuaded to elope with a most unsuitable suitor, she wastes no time. With visions of passion and adventure dancing in her head, she steals away in the middle of the night, just before her father’s Christmas feast.

Fearing for his daughter’s reputation, Henry Darlington begs Darius Hall, the Earl of Rushton’s daring yet discreet son, to bring Penelope home. When Darius finally catches up to Penelope, he is shocked. She’s not the silly little girl he expected, but a beautiful woman with a sharp mind and an allure that cannot be ignored.

Now forced to kidnap Penelope in order to bring her home, Darius and his new charge spend the next several days—and nights—in very close quarters. Penelope wanted passion and adventure, but she never could have imagined the pleasures Darius can provide…

REVIEW: At a first glance, this might sound like a predictable story, but the further you go into it, the more you realize that not to be the case.

It is one of those love stories that involves two people who have a total misconception of one another, yet both are attracted to the other.

I thoroughly enjoyed the journey they took to come, finally, together.

I can’t recommend this one enough for the simple reason that this hero may as well have been my husband. It made me chuckle all the way through.

It really is true that opposites attract, and I can vouch for that!

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OUAHC SEW‘Once Upon A Highland Christmas’ by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

BOOK BLURB: Warrior Grim Mackintosh understands why his friend Archibald MacNab has decreed there be no trace of Christmas in his castle. After a devastating attack destroyed everything-and everyone-in Archie’s life, he prefers to stew in his own misery until the holiday passes. But Duncreag has seen enough tragedy. Grim decides to throw a grand Yuletide feast, one that the bards will sing about for years to come, one that will remind his laird how beloved he is. He can’t do it alone, though. Grim needs an accomplice . . .

There’s nothing Breena O’Doherty won’t do for Archie, so she’s thrilled to help Grim with his plan. Yet she has a Christmas wish all her own-to win Grim’s heart-and this might be her only chance to make it come true. As Breena and Grim work together to bring the joy of the season to the cold, gloomy castle and to the heart of the cantankerous chieftain, an undeniable passion ignites between them. But when a shocking secret about Breena’s past comes to light, threatening everything she holds dear, will it ruin Christmas in Duncreag forevermore?

REVIEW: Hope you click here for my review of this wonderful, fun and entertaining story.

*Melanie for b2b

*Books provided by the publishers through NetGalley.

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