It Must Be Christmas: Three Holiday Stories

It Must Be Christmas: Three Holiday Stories

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It Must Be Christmas: Three Holiday Stories 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars – rounded - 3 Previously Released stories I have already read one of the three stories in this anthology, a single novella release from last year. Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie is a rom-com novella that I found left me with questions and a solid lack of character development. Although I’m sure fans of the author would enjoy it, I haven’t yet found another title from her to pique my interest. Next up are the stories from Mandy Baxter and Donna Alward, both authors that are new to me – so let’s see what they bring. Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher from Mandy Baxter, and I’ll be honest: billionaires in any and every form aren’t exactly burning up my must-read list. But, being fair to the author, the connection between Nate and Chloe, if a bit contrived because of his money, did ring true, and the story (and Chloe’s intentions) were built to tug at heartstrings. Solid writing, steamy moments and a huge growth trajectory for Nate made this story intriguing. Lastly is Donna Alward’s sweet story, Christmas at Seashell Cottage. A story of two broken people running to find that ‘missing’ piece in a small town, but afraid and unable to open up and share themselves because of their pasts. Sometimes a bit of Christmas spirit and plenty of hope, with a twist to throw everyone out of their comfort zone is all you need. I love and hate anthologies for one reason: the ability to sample new authors and find favorites often comes with the flip-side that reinforces why another author hasn’t been added to my tbr pile. While this anthology will get a solid 3.5 rating from me, this is solidly down to the writing of Donna Alward and the sweetness with which she shared a complete and rich story in a novella, not a common occurrence. This is a good sampler for readers either familiar with one of these authors, or none of them, who want three very different holiday infused stories. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions and expectations are my own responsibility.
13835877 More than 1 year ago
It Must by Christmas is combination of three adorable short stories to get you in the Christmas spirit. The stories have not only romance, but some steam and even a little action. My favorite of the three stories was Christmas at Seashell Cottage. I mean who doesn't love a story with a sexy ex-SEAL? Plus, Jewell Cove sounds like my dream Christmas town!
trosado More than 1 year ago
4 STARS (Rating average between the three separate novellas) Hot Toy - 5 Stars I had previously read Hot Toy a year ago and absolutely loved it. In fact, it's, by far, my favorite among the three novellas included in this book. It's a clean read with signature Jennifer Crusie humor. I found the single POV narration to be unusual for a Crusie story, but I loved it all the same. You may want to go into this one prepared to suspend some belief, but enjoy the ride anyway. Lighter on the romance, but heavy on the fun. Christmas at Seashell Cottage - 3.75 Stars This story is book 1.5 in Donna Alward's Jewell Cove series. It stands on its own and gives a nice glimpse into the series. This novella is the longer story of the three coming in at nearly 200 pages. On the rare occasions that I read a novellas, I prefer them on the longer side in order to give the story a bit more character and story development. I was pleased that it felt more like a full length book and that it didn't leave me wanting more. I did find the ending a bit rushed as far as how the romance progressed, but at the same time, it wasn't entirely implausible. Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher - 4 Stars This story revolved around Nate and Chloe. Nate's father has died and has left a vast fortune for Nate and his brothers. Chloe runs a non-profit that helps inner city kids. When she approaches Nate looking for a sizable donation, the beginning of a romantic entanglement begins instead. First, I want to say that I enjoyed the premise of this story and the writing was well done. My only struggle was the explicitness which made it an odd fit with the other two novellas in this collection. There was a vast gulf between the first two stories and this one and it came as a bit of a shock after reading the first two novellas.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
In this book you'll find three enchanting stories with a holiday twist, each one unique, each one equipped with a sexy alpha that is sure to make all your Christmas's wishes true!! In Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie you will meet a very determined Trudy Maxwell on the hunt for the perfect Christmas gift for her nephew, which takes her to a very busy toy store, and running smack dab into the man who she fell hard for, after three blissful dates, and then he just disappeared in the wind. Now all she wants is answers, but before she can get them danger strikes and her life is turned upside down... In Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher by Mandy Baxter you will meet billionaire bachelor Nate Christensen, and the woman who steals his heart Chloe Benson. Nate comes from a wealthy family, and with wealth comes gold digging women looking for the keys to a better life. Which has caused Nate to have to put his guard up, and put a "no strings attached" plan in place... but the minute he meets Chloe that plan starts to falter!! In Christmas at Seashell Cottage by Donna Alward you will meet Jewell Coves' doctor Charlie Yang and the man who manages to win her heart ex- SEAL Dave Ricker. Charlie came to Jewell Cove for a simpler life, with the hope of someday finding love, but past disappointments in that department have left her with doubts that she will ever be able to find it. But when Dave unexpectedly enters her life she begins to think that maybe her wish just might come true after all... I thoroughly enjoyed this one, each story brought smiles, stirred my emotions, had me swooning and left me longing for Christmas! Highly recommend you give this one a try it's sure to put you in the Christmas spirit!! ARC requested through NetGalley and kindly provided by St. Martin's Paperbacks in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
toniFMAMTC More than 1 year ago
Hot Toy I had the best time reading this romantic comedy novella. The laughs started almost immediately and played out like a holiday family movie. All that can go wrong does, but it also goes very right. While last minute insanity shopping for the most popular toy of the season for her nephew, Trudy gets caught up in a battle between government agents. The dialogue is truly great. The cast is made up of an ex, cougar bait, a drunken sister and other crazies. The one goal in Trudy's mind is to get that toy no matter what. This is a great light read for getting into the Christmas spirit while tickling your funny bone. It left me with a good feeling. Christmas at Seashell Cottage This story is about two people who didn't really know what they were missing until they found each other. Actually, both felt that something was lacking in their lives, but they weren't sure how to find what they needed. It's a serious storyline that deals with everyday difficulties in life and love. Charlie is a doctor who moved to Jewell Cove to get away from the city. She still doesn't quite feel like a local though. Dave is an ex SEAL who is also new to town. They go through some grown up problems and have a realistic romance. Christmas at Seashell Cottage is for those looking for a small town Christmas read with some depth, some ups and downs and a happy ending. Christmas With the Billionaire Rancher Nate's father hasn't treated him well. Now, after his father's death, Nate inherits most of his father's wealth. He can't think of a worse fate than having to schmooze with the rich or entertain the social climbers. Chloe isn't one of the usual golddiggers. Yes, she first approaches him for money for her charity, but all intentions are soon thrown out the window. These two go at it hot and heavy right away, sending Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher into the naughty holiday reads category. Things get turned around and misunderstandings happen, but love and great sex help to mend the hurts. The overall theme of family is quite strong also. And what a family with all those hot brothers! I recommend this to someone looking for some sexy fun.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Three wonderful holiday stories that will provide hours of entertainment this holiday season. Definitely a recommended read! Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie - 4 stars - This is a hilarious parity on the lengths we will go to get that "hot" toy of the season for our loved little ones. So funny you will find yourself laughing so hard you'll need a tissue or two. While I've never found myself in the middle of a spy game for that special toy, it did bring back some great memories of the frustrations of finding the it gift of the season. If your looking for a little levity and release from the rush of the season, this story will do it. Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher by Mandy Baxter - 5 stars - The last thing Nate Christensen wants are the millions his father left him in his will. No wait, the last thing he wants is some woman wanting to get her hands on all that money. That is until he meets Chloe Benson. She seems to be the one woman he can't get out of his mind! Does she only want him for his money though?? Considering her fledgling charity that seems like a possibility. This was an excellent story! The chemistry between Nate and Chloe was sizzling hot! Christmas at Seashell Cottage by Donna Alward - 5 stars - This is a fantastically heartwarming story that will get you into the holiday spirit! All alone at Christmas Charlie hopes for more but she ends up getting way more than she bargained for when a baby and a HOT SEAL land in her lap! Great story with characters that will have you cheering and the small town of Jewell Cove comes alive with holiday cheer.
stanhope3234 More than 1 year ago
Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher Mandy Baxter 3* I enjoyed the hero and heroine. Nate was the typical wounded soul and Chloe a strong confident woman with a backbone of steel. It was great to read a simple romance. It kept my full attention and I can't wait to read the next books in the series. Hot Toy Jennifer Crusie 5* I loved this story. It was full Christmas cheer, dark humor and a ton of sarcasm, just my type of story. Trudy need the new Mac Gruff spitting acid doll for her nephew, to bad she didn't know that before Christmas Eve. Going to the last store she could find she searches the shelves and also runs into the man she thought was the one, Nolan. To bad he didn't call again after their fourth date. Nolan follows her around he store cleaning up after her with her telling him to go away. Desperate to make her nephews Christmas morning she ends up in the middle of a criminal ring. You will laugh out loud. This is one of the best short Christmas stories I've read in a long time. Christmas at Seashell Cottage Donna Alward 3.25* I loved the ending of this story. Two lost souls finding their way to the one their meant to be with, after finding a baby in the manger. Jewell Cove a cozy little town in Maine Charlene "Charlie" Yang to local doctor and David Ricker dock worker are both strong characters but stubbornly guarded. Charlie the list and plan maker while Dave more lived buy the seat of his pants neither of them giving themselves a chance at love. My problem with the short story was that it dragged in the middle. It was to drawn out, it could of been half as long a been so much more enjoyable.
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
RATING 4.5 STARS It Must Be Christmas: Three Holiday Stories is an anthology of stories by Jennifer Crusie, Donna Alward and Mandy Baxter. These are three very different stories, ranging from hilarious and crazy to sweet to sexy that are sure to put you in the holiday mood. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from St. Martin’s Press. Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie It’s Christmas Eve and Trudy Maxwell is in the toy store in a last ditch effort to get her five year old nephew the Major MacGuffin doll he wants for Christmas. It HAS to be the brand new Major MacGuffin doll that spits toxic waste. It’s here that Trudy runs in to Nolan Mitchell, a man that she went on three dates with and really liked. She thought it might be the start of something good but then he never called. Now he’s here and won’t leave her alone. This starts a night of crazy mayhem and a Christmas that Trudy will never forget. She finds herself thrust right in to the middle of a spy thriller, complete with double agents, hidden information, and yes, even guns. You are kept guessing who is the bad guy and who is the good guy. Are any of them really who they say they are? I loved this one. It kept me smiling and on the edge of my seat. Christmas at Seashell Cottage by Donna Alward Dr. Charlie Yang has moved to Jewell Cove, Maine to try to find happiness. Growing up she was forced to live a certain way. Now she just wants to belong. It’s almost Christmas and Charlie finds herself face to face with the man she has been ogling for several weeks now from afar. A shocking surprise brings Charlie and Dave, together but each has serious issues stemming from past experiences. This was a sweet Christmas story about two people looking for something missing from their lives but each of them has trouble opening their heart for fear of being hurt. As they deal with the situation they found themselves thrust into, they try to find a way to also be together. It’s been a slow process but in her time of need, Charlie finally realizes that she’s not as alone as she thought in Jewel Cove when the townspeople reach out to help her. "Sometimes the best things happened when you least expected them." Christmas With the Billionaire Rancher by Mandy Baxter Nate Christensen and his three brothers’ father had money, lots and lots of money and power. But he believed his sons needed to make their own way. So he gave them nothing to help them along as they grew up. He was a powerful man and ran his Petroleum empire right up until he dropped dead of a heart attack. Now his sons are told that he has left his entire fortune to them. What he wouldn’t share with them in life, he gave to them in death. Nate, though, has nothing but anger and resentment towards his father. He is now an ex-Navy Seal and didn’t even let his father know he was back from having served. Now that his father is gone, he wants nothing to do with the money that scarred him throughout his life. Chloe Benson needs money and lots of it. She runs a foundation that provides sports and equipment to underprivileged kids. If it weren’t for her, these kids would be on the streets. But her funding has run out. If she doesn’t find a new source of support by Christmas Eve, her doors will close. She had every intention of asking Nate for a chunk of the inheritance he just received. But one word, one touch from him, and all thoughts of her intentions were out the door. All she could think of was h
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
It Must be Christmas is emotional smorgasbord of fun. Humour and drama with an air mystery makes for a warm winter read. Hot Toys by Jennifer Crusie - Ms. Crusie turns a holiday shopping trip into an action packed, fantasy adventure in Hot Toys. Hilarious, thrill ride. Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher by Mandy Baxter - Chloe and Nate found each other at the right time in their lives. When neither was looking they up and fell in love. Mandy Baxter takes her readers on a journey that is combustible. Her characters have personalities that range from volatile to moody yet can still entice the reader into a world of sensual pleasure. Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher deals with the important subject of PTSD in a way that is enlightening and encouraging. Christmas at Seashell Cove by Donna Alward - Get ready to fall in love. Dr. Yang is about to come face to face with her future. Will she recognize it? Donna Alward knows the right buttons to push to bring on the waterworks and keep me coming back.