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Silver Bells

Hello, and welcome back! We're settling into the routine of shorter days here, though I have to say, I don't much care for getting up in the dark and coming home from work in the dark. One or the other is bad enough, but both is no fun at all, and it's only going to get worse over the next month or so. Oh well. At least I still have plenty of reading time, dark or light.

This time out I have a new holiday anthology, Silver Bells (Zebra), with stories by Fern Michaels, JoAnn Ross, Mary Burton, and Judy Duarte. Michaels leads things off with 'Silver Bells', with movie star Amy Lee abandoning Hollywood for her childhood hometown in Pennsylvania, where she hooks up with her high school sweetheart Hank Anders. But this story isn't just about their holiday romance, which rather put me off it. 'Dear Santa' from Ross has mystery author, and no fan of Christmas, Holly Berry heading into the mountains to do some research for a new book when a snowstorm and her malfunctioning GPS unit conspire to strand her in the charming little town of Santa's Village with a sexy single dad, Gabriel O'Halloran for the holidays. Holly and Gabriel's story is sweet with just enough heat, though Holly gets over her dislike of the season rather quickly. Burton's 'Christmas Past' has single mom Nicole Piper touched by her evil late husband during the holiday season. The only good thing about her horrid past catching up to her is that it pushes her back together with David Ayden, whose feelings for her haven't gone away, despite her putting distance between them. Now he's got to keep her safe not just from her abusive (and dead) husband's plans, but a real live killer on the loose. Fans will recognize these two from her previous works and be happy that this pair is finally settled together. David Ayden is a fantastic hero. Duarte's 'A Mulberry Park Christmas' has Jillian Grant and 'Mac' Maguire meeting again, years after she broke up with him when they were teenagers. Now Jillian's a single mom trying to make ends meet with an ex who doesn't think of anyone but himself. Mac has turned his life around from when he was younger, but he still can't quite believe that Jillian could be his. This one is sweet more than anything else, and Jillian's kids play a big role in the tale. My favorites here were JoAnn Ross's and Mary Burton's, with characters readers will enjoy, though in far different ways. I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows for this one, simply for those two stories.

Until next time, happy reading!

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