26 January 2011
Review of Believe ~ A book to read at any time of the year
This review is also available at The Romance Reviews
Authors: Kirsta Ames;Elizabeth Chalkley;
Marissa Dobson;Janet Eaves;Margaret Ethridge;
Tonya Kappes; Amy LeBlanc;Cat Shaffer
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Book Genre: Contemporary Romance
Eight authors present their delightful Christmas stories in this anthology BELIEVE. You may think it odd to review a Christmas story after the holiday is over, but while these stories revolve around the Christmas theme, each is so packed with the ‘feel-good factor' they are a delight to read at any time of the year.
Several of the authors were new to me. In one fell swoop I am able to add them to my list of authors to follow.
Secondhand Horses by Amy LeBlanc
This story will appeal to animal lovers everywhere. Emily Morgan faces the entrenched preferences of the farming community when she joins her grandfather's veterinary practice until the evening Ben Avery walks into the clinic. Ms LeBlanc manages to pace the building attraction between Emily and Ben in a believable and enjoyable way. And the antics that Emily's granddad gets up to will having you laughing.
Mall Magic by Cat Shaffer
For some people Christmas is not a time of joy, and Cat Shaffer weaves her charming story around this theme beautifully. For Deeni Crowe, the holiday period is a time to be endured. Shopping becomes a military expedition to find the ‘right' gift. But accidents happen. Fate steps in and so does the mysterious Mac. An accidental collision in a bookshop starts a sequence of events that teach Deeni that when she opens herself up to the spirit of Christmas, her life will change beyond recognition.
This story is so different from the previous one and yet the second builds on the first and now you're ready to settle down and read the rest.
Another Quirky Christmas by Tonya Kappes
It's all to easy to get lost in the raz-ama-taz of the commercial side of the holiday, and Hallie's all for that. As manager of Gucci in one of America's busiest shopping districts, she's all for as many customers opening their wallets as can be enticed. But this year… she'd do almost anything to receive one special invitation. But Ms Kappes put all kinds of obstacles in her way and then systematically weaves her hero heroine together in a story that will warm your heart.
Concourse Christmas by Margaret Ethridge
A crowded airport, an instant attraction, throw in a snow blizzard that gives Ms Ethridge's characters time to get to know each other and you have the basis of a story. It's how the author creates the conflict, then allows both characters to resolve them that makes this another great Christmas story.
Love in an Elevator By Krista Ames
Combine office romance and the fantasy of being trapped in a lift with your heart's desire and you have the gist of this story. It's the clever way the author unveils the conflict that initially kept Melanie and Grant apart that makes you smile when you read the last line.
Fixing Christmas by Elizabeth Chalkley
Christmas is a time for magic, but not everyone recognizes it when they are faced with it. It soon becomes apparent that Jennifer, while not exactly happy with the status quo, is too afraid to risk rocking her boat. She is definitely not interested in the string of ‘he's just right for you' men her sister keeps parading in front of her. She'd messed up once, and once was enough for her. So when Billy Phillips re-entered her life, she let fear rule her heart. It is how the author creates the changes in Jennifer that makes this such an enchanting story.
Angel on Board By Janet Eaves
This heart warming paranormal story will enchant you. Jacob has come to a decision, but there are those who don't agree with it. Who has the power to change his mind and will he listen? Ms Eaves takes the desperation many feel over the holiday season and weaves an intricate and deeply emotional story together with hope for the future.
The Twelve Seductive Days of Christmas by Marissa Dobson
Christmas is all about family, and yet so many either don't have one or ignore the one they have. And up to now Jasmine Pierce's life had consisted of a bit of both. Now she faced the consequences of past actions by other people. Ms Dobson robs her heroine of the capacity to trust and then dumps one challenge after another in her lap. Including ‘tall-dark-and-handsome' called Logan. Add in a snowstorm and you have a recipe of growing awareness, and the ever-present dilemma, for Jennifer, of trust.
This collection of stories is beautifully balanced. Each story stands alone and yet together, they create a wonderful collection that begs to be read time and again, and not just at Christmas.