Friday, January 15, 2010

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Harlequin
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373793677

ISBN-13: 978-0373793679
Cover Image from FantasticFiction
Source of my copy: won from a giveaway
Synopsis (from GoodReads)
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a very, very hot night…

"Holiday Inn Bed" by Jacquie D'Alessandro
When Eric and Jessica decide to spice up their Christmas engagement, they play out their favorite fantasy—Do Not Disturb. They'll be a little tied up for the weekend in their private hotel room…

"His for the Holidays" by Joanne Rock
Watch out—Heather Dillinger and Jared Murphy are back in the sack for some holiday sex! And this time they find that sweet revenge makes their reunion the hottest gift they never expected….

"Dear Santa…" by Kathleen O'Reilly
When a secret Santa invites Rebecca Neumann for a holiday getaway, she jumps at the chance. And when a sexy blast from her past appears, she's tempted to jump him, too…

Michelle's Review:

Blaze is one of my favorite Harlequin romance imprint because, let's face it, they're all about sex and in my opinion they usually have better stories that go with it than the Harlequin Presents (better titles too!). There are three short Christmas stories in this book linked together by Timberline Lodge where all three of the couples stayed and by the lodge's matchmaking owners Helen and Roland Krause.

The first story is written by Jacquie D'Alessandro and featured an already engaged couple, Eric and Jessica, trying to get away from the stress of planning a wedding and their warring families. Unfortunately, their families and stress followed them. It was a good quick, light read and the most explicit of the three in my opinion but nothing special. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

The second story is by Joanne Rock and it's about Heather and Jared and they shared a weekend together 5 years ago with Jared leaving without saying goodbye. Out of the blue, he contacts Heather around the Christmas season and invites her to Timberline Lodge. Heather went to get her revenge but Jared was looking to make amends and for something a bit more permanent between them. Another cute, light story but I felt the writing on this one is a tad bit better than the first story. I give it 3.25 out of 5 stars.

Kathleen O'Reilly wrote the final story and it's about Rebecca, a kindergarten teacher in a posh Manhattan school, with a taste for the finer things in life. She was looking for a rich Prince Charming with a Bentley to sweep her off her feet. When she receives a letter from Santa inviting her for a weekend at Timberline Lodge, she jumped at the chance after being fired from her job. There she bumped into an old classmate, Cory, who was stuck at the lodge because of a blizzard. This story, out of the three, was the keeper. I was prepared to hate it because Rebecca came across as shallow in the beginning and Cory was just plain broody. But as the story went on, you learn that there is more than meets the eye with these two characters. It made me tear up a little in the end--rarely does a romance story do that to me and for one that is less than a hundred pages to do me in is nothing short of shocking. This story really took me by surprise and it's very well-developed and deep for a short story. I give it 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Overall, a good Christmas anthology and, if anything, get it for Ms. O'Reilly's story--this book is staying on my shelf for that alone.


**Disclaimer: I won this book from Joanne Rock's December giveaway on her website. My review was based on MY own experiences with the book and only share my honest, unbiased opinions. I am NOT promoting or discouraging anyone from purchasing and reading this book--whether I liked or disliked it. PLEASE use this blog only as a source and not the definite answer to your inquiries.**

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