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Library JournalThis trio of holiday stories feature halosuits and blasters instead of sugarplums and stockings. Hackett’s “Winter Fusion” brings trade negotiator Savan Bardan to the ice planet of Perma. He knows that Perma’s fusion crystals will benefit Rendar but isn’t sure whether pitting himself against Brinn Fjord will end up with him in the deep freeze. Brinn holds him responsible for her father’s death, and all she wants is to finish the deal and get home for the holiday. But when the negotiations fall prey to accidents and icy weather, Brinn and Savan discover they have enough heat between them to counter any cold. In Stacy Gail’s “How the Glitch Saved Christmas,” Det. Reina Vedette finds that her unwillingness to perform body modifications and enhancements is a detriment to her position on the Chicago police force. When she is partnered with “bod-mod” enthusiast Edison Wicke to investigate a “reverse Grinch” during Christmas, Reina discovers that even cyberenhancements can be hot in the Chicago wintertime. Together, Reina and Wicke explore the idea that technology and humanity can coexist. In Sasha Summers’s “Galileo’s Holiday,” Riley finds herself marooned on Galileo after her ice mining ship is destroyed by raiders. Usually a solo flyer, Riley isn’t sure that she wants to be assisted by trader Leo and the rest of the settlers. Yet the settlers are a close-knit family, and as they prepare for Galileo’s holiday, Riley finds herself drawn to the group, especially Leo. When it is revealed that Leo has something the raiders will return for, Riley will stop at nothing to defend her new friends and her new love, no matter the cost.
Verdict As holiday tales delight many during December, having something a little more “out of the box” than the usual romantic collection is a wonder to behold. Each one of these stories features a strong female protagonist, a smart plot, and sex scenes sure to melt any ice. These tales will please romance readers who enjoy galactic encounters.—Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Memorial Lib., Easthampton, MA(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.