Monday, December 12, 2016

Snowbound at Christmas by Jennifer Ryan, Lia Riley and Maisey Yates

When a snowstorm pummels the western half of the country, three couples find once off-limits love just in time for Christmas. An unforgettable holiday anthology from bestselling authors Jennifer Ryan, Maisey Yates, and Lia Riley.

Close to Perfect: A Montana Men Novella by Jennifer Ryan

At sixteen, Abigail gave Dex the gift of a lifetime, but the cost of it was more than he ever knew. Now she's back in town with a secret that has been ten years in the making and this time it s Dex's turn to make the ultimate sacrifice or risk losing her forever.

Snowed in at Copper Ridge: A Copper Ridge Novella by Maisey Yates

Mia Landry has always had it bad for brooding cowboy Devlin Grayson. Too bad he's her best friend's older brother. But when they find themselves snowed in at Copper Ridge Lodge, Mia finally has the chance to tell the man of her dreams exactly what she wants him.

Hot Winter's Night: A Brightwater Novella by Lia Riley

While Brightwater is being covered in snow, Goldie Flint is stuck in her flower shop. She never expected her hero to be Kit Kane, the former love of her life. Kit knows that what he had with Goldie isn t just in the past and with the help of a little bet, an ornery grandmother, and a lot of snow, he s ready to show her that what he really wants for Christmas is a second chance.

Source: advance e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

It seems odd to be reading Christmas novellas when it's still warm out. No joke, it's going to be 70 degrees here on Thursday - a whole week before Thanksgiving! Of the three authors featured in Snowbound at Christmas, I'm most familiar with Lia Riley. I gladly used this as an opportunity to become acquainted with some new authors of whom I've heard about but hadn't read their books yet. 

Close to Perfect by Jennifer Ryan -- *** stars

it starts with a quick flashback of Abigail and Dex from ten years before that instantly hooks you. Two social opposites in high school discover that they had more in common with each other than they thought. An unfortunate sequence of events culminate in Abigail being sent away and neither of them hearing from each other again. She does return years later and it's a chance for them to not only rekindle their romance but also right many wrongs. It feels like a Hallmark Christmas movie - it's sweet, hopeful and about finding and giving forgiveness. This style is not typically what I gravitate towards but the holiday season always has a way of making me long for innocence and happy endings. This is what all feel-good holiday stories are about and what we crave.

Snowed in at Copper Ridge - *** stars

It's so annoying and inconvenient to have a crush on your best friend's brother. Talk about awkward and what it means to the best friend code. Mia has been nursing a crush on the much older Devlin for years. This Christmas, the family decides to host the holidays at a lodge but because of a snowstorm delaying everyone else's arrival, Mia and Devlin are on their own for a night. Yep. Just the two of them in a lodge with their innermost desires threatening to escape. Mia is definitely naive whereas Devlin is the experienced one. Lots of innuendos are tossed about taking this story to the other end of the spectrum. Feeling a little chilly?  You're in for some hot, combustible sexy times.

Hot Winter's Night by Lia Riley - *** 1/2 stars

The entire Brightwater series is about one person - Grandma Kane! Okay, maybe not but the staunch and brazen matriarch figures prominently and she's a hoot. I want to be her when I grow up. Anyway, this time we get to know Kit, the cousin of Archer, Wilder and Sawyer. Kit's a war veteran and has the scars to show for it. Goldie is the girl he left behind without saying goodbye or resolving any of the problems they had. Years later, she still carries a grudge against him even though they're still madly in love with each other and the entire town knows this. Their contentious relationship comes to a head one night during a snowstorm that finds her taking shelter at the Kane's where the whole family - Kit included - is waiting out the storm. There's chaos, there's tension, there's fun and there's Grandma Kane! Readers who've enjoyed the other three books in the Brightwater series will enjoy this, too. Style-wise, Hot Winter's Night is a nice balance between the more chaste, Close to Perfect and the raunchy, Snowed in at Cooper's Ridge.

It's inevitable that things will be crazy-busy this time of year so make it a plan to grab a copy of Snowbound at Christmas. The novellas are a perfect length to squeeze in a few minutes of reading and escape. Not to mention fun!

~ Bel

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