Monday, 2 January 2017

Review: All He Wants for Christmas - Anthology

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?

For more information about any of these authors you can visit their websites by clicking the links below:
Elisabeth Naughton
Alexandra Ivy
Cynthia Eden
Katie Reus
Laura Wright
Skye Jordan

Review:
All He Wants for Christmas is a brilliant holiday anthology with six different authors all writing books set in the same festive town called Holly where there is a Christmas atmosphere all year around but they make an extra special effort around the holidays. I don't think the anthology is available to purchase anymore (I bought it over a year ago) you can buy all of the stories separately. You don't need to read these books in any specific order although you will recognise a few names and places if you read them all.

These stories are all fun little Christmas reads and they were just what I wanted at this time of year. The anthology also includes an extended little epilogue that shows how all six couples spent their first new years eve together.

Melt for Me by Elisabeth Naughton

Against All Odds Series:
Wait for Me
Hold on to Me
Melt for Me

Ella may live in one of the most festive towns in America and she may be the owner of the Yuletide Spirits pub but she hasn't celebrated the holidays since her husband died on Christmas eve two years ago. Instead she is focused on making the money she needs to pay off her debts so she can sell up and move away from her memories as quickly as possible. Tate is a member of a very popular rock band but he has never forgotten the woman who broke his heart nine years ago. He's decided it's long past time for him to do something about it and he's tracked Ella down in the hope of picking things back u where they left off.

The last thing Ella is looking for is love, she had her heart broken by Tate once already and losing her husband has just made her even more wary of letting anyone get close to her. Can he get past her hard outer shell and convince her to give them another chance? I love a good second chance romance so Melt for Me was right up my street, the Christmas atmosphere combined with two really sweet characters and a hind of danger when someone starts trying to sabotage Yuletide Spirits added up to a really fun read.

Sweet Rapture by Alexandra Ivy

The Rapture Series:
First Rapture
Sinful Rapture
Sweet Rapture

Meg returned to her hometown to lick her wounds after getting her heart broken by her ex-boyfriend Dylan when she found out he was actually an undercover FBI agent who only started dating her to get insider information on her roommate. The last thing she was expecting was for Dylan to come chasing after her, or for him to end up having to protect her when she starts being targeted by a stalker.

Sweet Rapture is a sweet second chance romance with Dylan desperate to do whatever it takes to prove how much Meg really means to him. She's wary about giving him a second chance but it's hard to deny how much she cares about him and as danger draws them closer together she realises she doesn't want to be without him.


The Spy Who Came For Christmas by Cynthia Eden
Republished as Christmas with a Spy

Jemma is the owner of Holly's chocolate store and she's well known for the delicious treats she creates. The locals consider her as sweet as her creations but most of them don't realise she has a wild side that she's been desperate to let out for a long time. A wild side that she is able to let loose when Grayson comes to town looking for a fresh start. Grayson spent years working undercover as a spy for the CIA and is desperate for some normality but he may just have brought danger with him to Holly and it could cost Jemma her life.

This story was originally titled The Spy who came for Christmas in the anthology but was renamed Christmas with a Spy when it was rereleased as a standalone title. Jemma and Grayson's relationship develops quite quickly but that is expected when you're reading a novella and I still found it completely believable. This was sugary sweet but also hot and spicy and I enjoyed every minute of it.



Merry Christmas, Baby by Katie Reus

O'Connor Family Series:
Merry Christmas, Baby
Tease Me, Baby
It's Me Again, Baby (May 2017)

Nora has spent the last few years focused on raising her teenage sister and running the bookstore she inherited from her aunt. She's turned the business into a success but it hasn't left her much time for romance until her best friend Jackson made a move. Jackson was persistent and spent months worming his way into Nora's affections but just when things started going really well between them and she thought they were going to have a future together he spooked and did a disappearing act. Now several weeks later Nora has totally given up on the idea of a relationship and has gone back to focusing on her work and her sister but Jackson regrets his actions and will do whatever it takes to get Nora to give him another chance.

I think this was my favourite story in the anthology, it's incredibly sweet and I just loved both Nora and Jackson. They make a great couple but add in the Christmas setting and the antics of Nora's younger sister and this was a perfect fun holiday read. Jackson was a bit of an idiot when he panicked and bailed on Nora but he was pretty irresistible so I couldn't blame Nora for forgiving him.

Sinful in Snow by Laura Wright

Spurs and Stripes Series:
Sinful in Spurs
Sinful in Snow

Gabriel has never forgiven Carol for costing him the only home he ever had and now he's come back to Holly looking for revenge. He has bought the building she rents for her beloved shop and is planning on knocking it down to turn into a hotel just to spite her. Carol never forgot Gabriel and often wondered what happened to him after he left Holly. She broke a promise to him when she told her parents about the way his foster family abused him but she did it with the best intentions and has always hoped he moved on to somewhere better. She's thrilled when he comes back to town and there is no denying the spark between them but what will happen when she finds out his plan for revenge?

I have to admit I was a bit worried about the premise of this story, I didn't think someone looking for revenge would be very Christmasy but I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly Gabriel realised he was in the wrong. He starts the story as a bit of a grinch but Carol loves the holidays and her exuberance quickly gets him into the Christmas spirit. This was probably the story that had the most holiday atmosphere in the anthology, I enjoyed seeing them spending time together doing things like sledding and I was really pleased that Gabriel took time to think about things from Carol's point of view before he put his revenge plan into action.

Home Advantage by Skye Jordan
Republished as Quick Trick

Rough Riders Hockey Series:
Quick Trick
Hot Puck
Dirty Score
Wild Zone

Hockey superstar Grant is off the ice recovering from a shoulder injury and he had planned to spend his time surrounded by hot women. Unfortunately family obligations have him spending Christmas back in his hometown Holly, pretty much the last place he wants to be. Until he runs into his high school crush Faith and realises that she's currently single that is. Now he has one goal in sight - getting Faith to spend a night with him.

The last thing Faith has time for is a playboy hockey star, it's only been a few months since her father died and she's facing her first christmas alone while struggling to keep the family hardware store open and trying to turn a profit. She's not interested in a one night stand no matter how hot Grant is or how weak he makes her knees. Grant isn't willing to take no for an answer though and it's not long before he realises that one taste of Faith will never be enough, if he can only convince her to give him a chance to prove it.

This story was originally titled Home Advantage in the anthology but was renamed Quick Trick when it was rereleased as a standalone title. I believe there has been extra material added in the newly published version (there was definitely a name change for a major character) but I've only read the original version. I actually loved this story as it was so the fact that it's been extended just makes me think the new version will be even better, I might have to read that one too at some point but I definitely want to continue the series.

This was my first story by Skye Jordan but definitely won't be the last, it was funny, sweet, sexy and just all out fun to read. I loved Grant and Faith, they're both brilliant characters and I really enjoyed the slow build relationship between them. This was just everything I want from a holiday romance!

Source: Purchased

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If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

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