⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Overall
Christmas Kisses delivered a fantastic mix of holiday stories sure to warm your heart. Each novella was unique and contributed to an exciting read. Each story is reviewed separately below.
The Wallflower’s Christmas Wish (Brides Of Bath) by Cheryl Bolen
This novella is a fresh take on a Cinderella story. The plain spinster Diana Furness finds herself painting Bath’s most eligible bachelor, Sir Elvin Steffington. This was my first adventure by Cheryl Bolen, and I fell in love with Elvin and Diana. The story was intricate and captivating. There was so much great content packed into a mighty yet short story. The couple’s burgeoning romance was heartwarming. This was a part of a series and I am going to add these books to my list! I would read this author again. A gem of a Christmas romance!
A Kiss From A Captain (An Everly Manor Happily Ever After) by Samantha Grace
This author gets moved to the top of my TBR list! I was enchanted with this swoon-worthy read. Captain Gabriel Brazier and Lady Laurel as a couple are perfection. The storyline was oh-so-romantic; the couple’s courtship was warm and lovely. I could not put this novella down; it captured my attention on page one. I am a sucker for a war hero needing the love of a strong woman, and this story is the epitome of that sentiment. A Kiss From A Captain is a fantastic Christmas journey with passion and heart. I enjoyed every moment of this eye-catching, heart-pounding read!
A Rogue’s Christmas Kiss (The Rogue Chronicles) by Lana Williams
Arthur and Mary have a turbulent past. Mary broke Arthur’s heart long ago. Now both have gone on with their lives. Arthur has become successful, and Mary is hiding a dark secret. Fate brings them together. The couple must overcome past tragedy and heartache to find the love they are both meant to share. I have read Lana Williams before, and I always enjoy her works. As usual, with this author, the plot is enjoyable, and I am always invested in the characters. This is an intricate, well-developed story for a short novella. I was captivated by this tale of redemption and second chances during the magical time of Christmas!
‘Twas The Rogue Before Christmas (The Honorable Rogues) by Collette Cameron
Jason Steele, an American shipping captain, is longing to leave England for adventure again. Jason’s plans get turned upside down when he rescues Lenora Audsley. Jason and Lenora are from different worlds. However, their passion burns bright in the face of adversity. I enjoyed this story; it is fundamentally about two people who do not belong. Jason is a free spirit, and Lenora is cautious but holds a spark of adventure. Together the couple is electric, and I enjoyed their road to a happily-ever-after. I have seen Collette Cameron’s books throughout the years but have never read one until now. I am glad this collection was an introduction. I would read this author again. The storyline was different and held a glimmer of excitement. This was an energetic Christmas journey!
Bound To The Belgian Count (London Lords) by Sasha Cottman
Count Maximilian de Viron and Lily have a whirlwind romance. Shortly after the wedding, Max disappears and abandons Lily, leaving her angry and alone. When Lily attempts to annul the marriage, she encounters the broken man who used to be her husband. The couple must live under the same roof, eat meals together, and talk to one another until Christmas to achieve the annulment. Max and Lily must navigate through misconception, misdirection, and devastation to rediscover the fervent love they have for one another. Max has the world on this shoulders, controlled by another who has his nefarious plans. These two star-crossed lovers shine brightly. The writing is superb, and the plot is different, and kept my interest well into the night. I am a super fan of Sasha Cottman, and this lovely little Christmas tale exceeded all my expectations!
Embracing The Scandal by Barbara Monajem
This tale is full of brilliant storytelling and compelling characters. This one focuses on a scandal and how it shapes two young people’s lives. My favorite line is when a character advises to “embrace the scandal.” Harriet eventually owns her truth, and that makes her powerful. Jonathan is such an understanding, empathetic hero. The cantankerous and outrageous secondary characters make this novella shine. I have not read this author before, and I will definitely be reading her again. This is a character-driven plot that centers on an entertaining, intricate, romantic story. Written with love and care, Embracing The Scandal has wit, heart, and love. This is a Christmas story for all of us with less than perfect pasts, showing that the past doesn’t define us but rather what we choose to do with the future. All this knowledge is wrapped up prettily into a festive Christmas story sure to warm your heart.
A Viscount For Christmas by Suzanna Medeiros
I found yet another pleasant surprise with this lovely novella by new to me author Suzanna Medeiros. I loved Suzanna’s writing style. She takes a forced engagement and makes it into an entertaining, passionate love story. Thornton and Celia are both well-developed, lovable characters. The plot is lovingly crafted, and the house party was the perfect backdrop. The couple’s Chemistry was ignited at their first unique encounter. A Viscount For Christmas is a romantic, clever, artistic read that is not to be missed!
The Impetuous Heiress (The Upstart Christmas Brides) by Alina K. Field
I had a difficult time warming to this story. Fitz was self-absorbed and off-putting. He was selfish and self-centered, thinking only of himself and neglecting those under his care. However, we come to understand the issues that contributed by the conclusion of the story. These issues were eye opening and helped me warm to Fitz. Mel was overly tolerant of Fitz. Both had secrets. Fitz’s redemption at the conclusion convinced me he had truly changed. Mel was presented as the victim, which she was. The plot and writing style was great; I was not overly fond of the personalities of the characters. Fortunately, there was a satisfying, hopeful, happy ending—a good Christmas story.
A Duchess For Christmas (Forgotten Heiresses) by Alanna Lucas
This is a fantastic, romantic second-chance romance set at Christmas. Edward and Grace have been in love since childhood. Through a series of tragic events, the couple is torn apart. Years later, they find each other again. The couple must brave the heartache of the past to enjoy their bright future full of love. Edward and Grace were both relatable, lovable characters. There is a secondary storyline that parallels, and it enhances the plot ten-fold. Carefully and wonderfully written, this heart-warming, passionate romance warmed my heart. Alanna Lucas has weaved a truly mesmerizing tale of love’s healing gift.
Let It Snow by Heather Boyd
This novella focuses on Luc, the worse kind of scoundrel and prim and proper Yvette. Through a series of calamitous circumstances, the couple has plenty of time to discover that these two opposites may be perfect for each other. For such a short story, Luc and Yvette were well-developed characters. Luc’s grandmother was a fantastic secondary character. This story had romance and heart. Luc has to put much effort into wooing Yvette; their bond grows slowly. However, the story was well-paced and entertaining. Let It Snow was a perfect way to end a delightful Christmas collection!
In conclusion, the four-star reviews were the majority of the collection. However, the five-star reviews followed at a close second. I enjoyed every one of these novellas, some more than others. However, each distinctive plot contributed to an amazing, entertaining, and fascinating read. Christmas Kisses is an excellent example of what a good anthology should convey. This is a read you don’t want to miss. Great job to all the authors for creating riveting stories and unforgettable characters!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Release Date: October 12, 2021