This time out, I have the first of the holiday romances, this one an anthology: To All a Good Night (Brava), with stories by Donna Kauffman, Jill Shalvis, and HelenKay Dimon. Kauffman kicks things off with 'Unleashed', when Emma Lafferty's dog-sitting job over the holidays hooks her up with her employer's sexy nephew who's got some secrets he's not sharing, despite the kisses they do share. 'Finding Mr. Right' from Shalvis is next, with Maggie Bell deciding to give up on Mr. Right and instead find her own Mr. Wrong for a sexy holiday fling. Her high school crush Jacob Wahler happens to be in the area, and he's definitely Mr. Wrong. If only she can persuade her heart of that. Then Dimon's 'Can You Hand Me the Tape?' rounds things out. Natalie Pritchard has to get her hands on the videotape she made for her ex, before he was her ex, and the only way to do that is to go to Spencer Donovan, her ex's soon-to-be-ex law-partner. (This is a guy who needs some serious relationship tips, isn't he?) Spencer never really considered Natalie as anything other than Charlie's girlfriend before, but now he can't think of anything except Natalie. The only one of this trio I really liked was Shalvis's, and even that one I didn't love. I liked the characters just fine; Jacob is yummy, and Maggie is smart and capable, but the mystery portion of the tale is a bit weak, and I was a bit put-off by the solving of it. The Kauffman has some heat to it, but I didn't love the characters. And Dimon's has a heroine with a few too hang-ups for me, and then those hang-ups are pretty easily resolved. In all, this is a collection of very light reading, rather like fake frozen dairy topping, something you can devour in no time, but that doesn't stick with you later. It's earned only three of Cupid's five arrows, and mostly for the characters in Shalvis's story.
Until next time, happy reading!