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AN ENCHANTED SEASON BY MAGGIE SHAYNE, ERIN MCCARTHY, NALINI SINGH, & JEAN JOHNSON: BOOK REVIEW

by hmhibbit, May 10, 2013

An Enchanted Season
By multiple authors (see individual story breakdown )
ISBN# 9780425217856

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

An Enchanted Season is an anthology of Christmas stories with a paranormal twist.  And, yes I’m well aware that it’s May, but is there anything that says Christmas books can only be read at Christmas time?  This anthology  includes four stories from different authors, and I’ll break it down by each story now…

Melting Frosty
By Maggie Shayne
http://www.maggieshayne.com/
Matt lost his father one year right before Christmas and his mom sold all his father’s things to help pay for Christmas presents for him and his sister; including the only thing that Matt really wanted of his father’s; his felt fedora hat.  Matt has hated Christmas ever since.

This year Matt decides to go to Oswego, New York to buy a house that just dropped its price.  He figures the best time to sneak in and nab it is when everyone else is celebrating the holidays and then he can flip it for a nice profit.  But what he doesn’t expect to find is that one of its former residents is staying there for the holidays.

Holly lost her whole family in a car accident and she made a promise to always celebrate Christmas the way her mom did.  So when she keeps seeing signs to go back to her childhood home she reluctantly does.

Matt coaxes a tour out of Holly when he stops by to see the house, but ends up having to stay there when he gets snowed in.  He discovers that they have more in common than he ever could have imagined.

This was a cutesy little Christmas story.  One you would expect to be running on all those made for TV Christmas movies you see on TV throughout the month of December.  And, I did have to fight my gag reflux a little bit to hear that the mom that loved Christmas so much named her daughters Holly and Noelle, it was just a little to sappy for me.  But somehow this story was one that I really didn’t want to stop reading!

Charlotte’s Web
Murphy Sisters, Book #1
By Erin McCarthy 
http://www.erinmccarthy.net/

Charlotte Murphy has been in love with her best friend, Will, for more years than she’d like to think about.

Her sister, Bree,  has been trying to convince her that they are witches, but Charlotte has always thought that was silly.  Until the day that wishful thinking caused something to grab Will’s butt and then to unzip his coat! She had to face reality that it was her doing it when she tried mentally unzipping his pants and it worked!!

After the discovery of Charlotte’s new ability, Bree convinces her to put a lust spell on Will!  Little does she know that Will has secretly been in love with her as well and she doesn’t know if his reactions to her are his true feelings or are from the spell.

This story is definitely sweet enough to give you a cavity or two!  It is pretty sappy, but cute nonetheless.  Although I found the romance to be a bit unrealistic, with the speed in which Charlotte and Will go from hiding their feelings to marriage.  I can’t help, but think that even if they had been crushing on each other they would still want to take things a bit slower.

Beat of Temptation
Psy-Changeling, Book #0.5)
By Nalini Singh
http://www.nalinisingh.com/

Tamsyn and Nate are a couple of leopard changelings that have had a mating bond since Tamsyn’s 15th birthday.  Nate is older though and hasn’t acted on the bond as he wants to give her a chance to grow up first.  He feels his parents mated too young and it led to his mother committing suicide.  They have been ignoring the sexual urges they both feel for one another for four years now and Tamsyn will do anything to get Nate to see that she is ready to be his in every way.

This was the least Christmas-y story in this book, but all I can say is WOW!!  Most prequels I have read aren’t very good, but this one completely blew my socks off.  I couldn’t believe the emotion that was packed into that little story and their sexual frustration made me feel the same way (blush)!  After reading this, I immediately added the entire series to my ‘to be read’ list!

Gifts of the Magi
By Jean Johnson
http://www.jeanjohnson.net/

Rachel and her fiancé, Steve, are struggling to make ends meet while running the inn that’s been in Steve’s family for generations.  It was rocked by a tornado and the insurance company is trying to claim bankruptcy and they don’t know if they will ever see any money come from it to help.  So when a blizzard of the century hits and people start canceling their reservations they fear they will be out on the streets by Christmas.

Then Three strangers show up and little miracles start happening all over the place and makes Rachel and Steve realize how much they have neglected each other, but also shows them that no matter what they will be OK.

I knew when I started this story that it was going to be the tale about the reason for the season, etc, etc.  But I had no idea just how BORING it was going to be!  It’s probably the most Christmas-y story in the book, but it’s the only one I hated reading.  It didn’t hold my interest at all.

Overall Thoughts:

I’m not a big anthology fan, but I have to say that this was a pretty decent one although it was pretty hit or miss on the theme.  Melting Frosty and Gifts of the Magi were definitely Christmas stories although Melting Frosty was missing the paranormal element unless you count the signs Holly was seeing, but I really don’t.  Charlotte’s Web and Beat of Temptation had the paranormal theme in spades, but weren’t really Christmas stories.  They were tales that just happened to take place near December 25th!

I think if I were composing this book that I would have put the stories in a different order.  I picked this book up for the Nalini Singh story and she didn’t disappoint, but after reading her awesome work the book completely dropped off in intensity with Gifts of the Magi.  I understand trying to end the Christmas anthology with the most Christmas-y story, but I think it would have been better to end it with a bang with Singh’s kick ass Psy-Changeling prequel.



 

 

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