Friday, December 10, 2010

25 Days of Christmas: Day 10 + Review

Naughty and Nice
Anthology by Shannon Stacey, Megan Hart, Jaci Burton, and Lauren Dane
Releases December 6, 2010
Source: Review copy provided by NetGalley for review.

'Tis the Season for Romance
A famous singer reunites with an old flame. A couple explores their desire to be truly bound together. Newlyweds heat things up when they're trapped indoors. And sparks fly when the lights go out. Whether you are naughty or nice, you can still get what you really want for Christmas in this collection of four seasonal shorts.

Anthology includes nice novellas:

Holiday Sparks by Shannon Stacey
House-sitting for her parents seemed like a good idea, until the microwave blew up and the lights went out.

Now Chloe Burke thinks upgrading the electrical system of her childhood home while they are away would make the perfect Christmas gift. Fortunately, there’s an electrician in town who can get the job done by the holidays.
Scott Quinn has wanted to get his hands on the Burkes’ wiring for almost as long as he’s wanted to get his hands on their daughter. Chloe didn’t notice Scott back in high school, but she’s noticing him now, and soon they’re indulging in a little festive fun: no strings, no expectations. After all, Chloe plans to get out of this goldfish bowl of a town and back to her real life in Boston by New Year’s.

But Chloe and Scott discover they enjoy each other’s company just as much out of bed. Could their holiday fling turn out to be the real thing?

The nobody boy gets a chance with the hottest cheerleader from high school. What a Christmas present. Scott has changed a lot in the last 10 years but Chloe is just as beautiful as ever, however, now Chloe is noticing him. I liked that Chloe was a bitchy cheerleader and remembered the boy who gave her a dandelion. They both agree on a Holiday Fling, but can they do that without having heartbreak in the end.

I really enjoyed Scott’s well-trained German Shepard Kojak who kept Chloe’s feet warm while Scott rewired Chloe’s parent’s house. Kojak is a sweetheart who acts as Scott’s shadow. Also, in a small town the gossip moves like wildfire. Even on vacation Chloe’s mother finds out whose truck is in her driveway.

All She Wants for Christmas by Jaci Burton
Big Star, Small-town Christmas

Country singer Riley Jensen would never have returned to her small Missouri hometown if her publicist hadn’t come up with the scheme to tape a Christmas special there. So she never would have known that the man who broke her heart at eighteen—causing her to flee to Nashville—was now a widower with a seven-year-old daughter. Riley has ten years of angst-filled hit songs and Grammy awards to prove she doesn’t need Ethan Kent. But suddenly, she can’t help thinking of all she gave up by running away…

Ethan Kent knew Riley had the talent and the drive to make it as a singer. He also knew she wasn’t going anywhere if she stayed in their nowhere town for him. Then one night and one huge mistake sent her running on the road to fame. Which doesn’t mean he ever stopped loving her…

But with so much separating them, can Riley and Ethan find their way back together one magical country Christmas?

I really loved this one. Jaci gave a sweet story of a girl who ran as fast as she could from a town after seeing her boyfriend in bed with her best friend. She never looked back, never talked to either again until her publicist wanted footage for a bibliography of her hometown for the holidays. The one person she wants to avoid of course is the first one she sees, Ethan Kent. Ethan has the cutest little girl, Zoey, who is the biggest Riley Jensen fan. She is a whirl win and connects with Zoey right away.

Ethan can believe she is back. He still loves her but knows its best to avoid so she just leaves and continues her famous singing career. However, he’s a daddy that can’t say no to his little girl. She wants to see Riley Jensen then they see Riley Jensen, even if he is in hell. Ethan’s mother is one of my favorite characters. She doesn’t deal with the bullshit and says what needs to be said.
I hope Jaci writes a future novella for Ethan’s brother Brody and the feisty Tori.

And naughty novellas:

Unwrapped by Megan Hart

Newlyweds Leah and Brandon Long are finally taking a honeymoon. But just two days into their Christmas-in-Vail vacation, Leah gets run down by an out-of-control snowboarder, severely spraining her ankle. Being stuck indoors isn’t so bad though: the luxurious chalet boasts a hot tub and cozy fireplace. Besides, sitting with her feet up while Brandon serves her in every way a man can serve a woman is exactly how both of them like to spend their time.

Leah would be in heaven, if only Brandon didn’t insist on bringing up the idea of a family. She knew that kids were part of the package, but she’s not ready to make any plans just yet. Still, with kinky sex and deep conversation the only things on the agenda for the next week, Leah can’t avoid the discussion for long. Will she be ready to take her marriage to the next level in the New Year?

I was pleasantly surprised that I already knew the characters. Leah and Brandon met and fell in love in “Taking Care of Business”. This novella is Leah and Brandon’s Christmas vacation/Honeymoon. It takes place at a ski lodge but Leah not being a very good skier ends up with a sprained ankle. So more time in the bedroom means some time for changes. Brandon wants to take care of Leah, tied up and blindfolded. Can Leah do it?

I think it you didn’t read “Taking Care of Business” you can't understand what a big deal the changes in the bedroom mean. You won’t love the characters as much. I liked the story because they were already developed in my head.

Believe by Lauren Dane
Their First Christmas, Bound Together…

All Jude wants for Christmas is Rori, all to himself. It’s their first holiday season as a couple, and staying home, seeing friends and family, means they’ll be surrounded by the memory of Rori’s late husband. It’s time for Jude and Rori to create their own traditions. Time for them to fully explore their most intimate desires to dominate and submit.
Rori is thrilled when Jude whisks her away to a luxury resort in the mountains. Spending Christmas away, just the two of them, is the perfect time to show him she’s ready to give herself to him completely…

This novella was fun because it is connected to “Second Chances” and continues Rori and Jude’s relationship. I enjoyed that they were still trying to work on their relationship while dealing with Zach’s memories all around them. So to create new memories that are strickly Rori and Jude they go away for Christmas. Jude does such a good job taking care of Rori that is just enough without be smothering. This has very good D/s sex scenes.

Stories also available for purchase separately.

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