Friday, January 15, 2016

Love's Gift: A Collection of Eight Christmas Novellas

Love's Gift is a collection of eight Christian Christmas novellas of romance for the Christmas season. There is a variety of authors so the quality of the novellas varies a bit but it is still a great collection for a very reasonable price.

Mistletoe in Montana by Belle Calhoune 84 pages

Brenna had left Montana and the man she loved to seek her fortune in Hollywood. Now, eight years later, divorced and broke, she's back. She finds out that her family is making plans to sell their beloved ranch. Brenna's old love, Luke, is set to buy it. Her head questions his motives while her heart is stirred by the only man she ever truly loved. He is still hurt from her dumping him, but he's never loved another woman. Can the two of them overcome their hurts and the misunderstandings to find true love?

I enjoyed this novella. Brenna and Luke had much to overcome to come together. It made me wonder if God has one particular person in mind for true love, despite decisions to go another way.

A Match Made for Christmas by Debra Lynn Collins 130 pages

Seirra had recently been dumped by the fellow she'd been dating for a while. The church woman's singing group she is a part of decides to cheer her up by arranging for single men in the church to ask her out. Corbin is part of the security team at the mall where Seirra works. He fell for Seirra the first time he saw her. Now that she's available again, Corbin begins to talk to her and invites her out. When Seirra overhears her girlfriends talking about their arranged dates, she is heartbroken. She thinks Corbin, the man she really trusted, is part of the plan and wants to never see him again.

This is a delightful novella. I really liked the author's writing style. It's a good story of trust, love, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Merry Kisses by Valerie Comer 114 pages

We are back in the shopping mall where Sonya works for a grinch as a toy store clerk. She catches the eye of Heath, the mall Santa. Romance sizzles in the air but there is a problem. Sonya thinks anything to do with Santa is taking away from Jesus as the focal point of Christmas. When she gets fired for saying “Merry Christmas,” the situation goes from bad to worse.

While the romance aspect of this novella was good, I was fascinated by the issue separating Sonya and Heath. As a child. Sonya's father had preached the evils of everything about Christmas except Jesus. She, Heath, and their friends have some interesting discussions about the origin of Santa and how children are told about him.

There are a couple of loose ends in this novella I'd have rather seen tied up. It left me feeling a little dissatisfied.

Unwrapped by Christina Coryell 88 pages

Trina's parents want her to go to Florida for Christmas – again. No snow and awkward relatives. She'd much rather go with her roommate Camdyn to Missouri and accepts the invitation. She hadn't bargained for Camdyn's brother. Charlie is everything a woman would want. But Camdyn says he is off limits.

What a quick romance – just a couple of days. Granted, he's had eyes for her since he first saw her in a photograph. Still, it went very fast. I felt Camdyn was left at loose ends at the end, but other than that, a nice romance.

An Informal Christmas by Heather Gray 150 pages.

Rylie is the Child Life Specialist at a hospital. She is surprised and a little perturbed when Zach appears at her office, donating large amounts of gifts for the hospitalized kids. For some reason, he seems to bring out the worst in her. She senses he is hurt, and even though they meet several times to arrange donations, he's not talking. But when Rylie finds out from a relative of Zach what has broken his heart, the ice between the two begins to melt.

I learned a great deal about children and how they are cared for in hospitals. It was fun to see how Rylie tried to make their lives bearable under such circumstances. Kids are such troopers, I even learned about chemo pee. This is a fun romance and informative too.

Operation Mistletoe by Elizabeth Maddrey 112 pages

Victoria is an investigative reporter with a small time newspaper when she is offered a story that just might be her break into a better job. She's been asked to write an article on Gabe, one of the owners of a successful intelligence contracting company. She remembers him from college as a popular guy with a reputation. But he's changed. He claims he a Christian now and everything she sees bears that out. He's so wonderful that she starts to like him. When her positive article about him is published, he doesn't welcome the publicity and it looks like their budding romance is over.

This was a fun romance. I learned a bit about investigative reporting. I really liked Gabe but he had to do a little character development before the romance could progress. It's a good thing he had a wise friend.

A Bond for the Holidays by Lee Tobin McClain 86 pages

The celebratory preparations for Christmas came to a screeching halt for Emily and Robert when their son, Mark, comes home from his high school biology class. They'd done some blood testing and, how could it be? Weren't they both RH negative? How could he be positive? Robert is livid. As a doctor, he knows this means Mark is not his biological son.

This novella was a little different in that it was not lighthearted at all. It dealt with some serious issues. There are some very tense times in the novel before love, acceptance, and forgiveness prepares the way for the future. I did like how it all worked out, however.

A (kinda) Country Christmas by Krista Phillips 110 pages

This is another quick romance, happening in just a few days. Sadie is a woman who loves Christmas. Her parents had started Bethlehem's Botique in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, years ago. She still ran the store, even after her parents' death. Her college age daughter helped her – her sweet daughter conceived during one of her rebellious teen-aged moments. She loved her life and her daughter. But her world is turned upside down when a handsome bald fellow accidentally trips and pulls down her prize Christmas tree. Hundreds of dollars of ornaments lay smashed to pieces.

The relationship between Sadie and Nate is off to a troubled start. When Sadie finds out Nate is brother to her friend Kendra, the two are forced to be civil to each other. As heated tempers lose their fire, another one starts. Nate has a reputation but five years ago he met Christ and it changed his life. Now his life is about to change again.

This is a quick romance. There is not much getting to know each other and I wonder what life after such a romance would be like. This is a quick novella and is good for its length.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Love's Gift, the entire collection of eight novellas, runs 770 pages long. It is currently available for 99 cents and you can buy it here.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this collection through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

No comments: