And all the best gifts worth giving...
*On the Naughty List is a collection of holiday stories from some of today's brightest stars*
The workplace is heating up for the holidays when two colleagues who are planning a Christmas party side-by-side end up making love their main order of business.
Naughty Under the Mistletoe
A no-nonsense lawyer intent on seducing her boss ends up having a scandalous-and utterly magical-moment with his twin instead.
Some Kind of Wonderful
Two old friends-who seem to have little left in common-are home for the holidays. But when they end up stranded together during a blizzard, they know just how to keep each other warm. . .
Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas
Dina Gregory returns to New York for the holidays. Her mission: To locate her young son's father. Her surprise: His HOT brother.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
Lori Foster is a New York Times bestselling author. She received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy.
Carly Phillips has published over forty sexy contemporary romance novels, and is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.
Sugar Jamison, author of the Perfect Fit series, is a Southern belle trapped in a New Yorker's body. With a love of big hair and high heeled shoes, she spends her day at her very normal day job and night dreaming up sweet and sassy romances.
Beth Ciotta is an award-winning author to whom storytelling comes naturally. Dubbed "fun and sexy" by Publishers Weekly, Beth specializes in writing romantic fiction.
Lori Foster is the New York Times bestselling author of romance novels including her Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series and Too Much Temptation. In 2001 she received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy.
Carly Phillips contributed to Naughty or Nice? from St. Martin's Press.
Sugar Jamison author of DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD and THROWN FOR A CURVE is a Southern belle trapped in a New Yorker’s body. With a love of big hair and high heeled shoes, she spends her day at her very normal day job and night dreaming up sweet and sassy romances.
Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Dubbed "fun and sexy" by Publishers Weekly, Beth specializes in writing romantic fiction within various sub-genres. Her critically acclaimed small town contemporary series—The Cupcake Lovers—includes novels Fool For Love, The Trouble With Love, Anything But Love, and the holiday novella, Some Kind of Wonderful . . . with more cupcake love to come! Beth lives in NJ with her husband, two zany dogs, and a crazy cat. A retired professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing.
Read an Excerpt
On The Naughty List
By Lori Foster, Carly Phillips, Beth Ciotta, Sugar Jamison
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2013 Beth Ciotta
All rights reserved.
Eric Bragg heard the even staccato clicking of her designer high heels coming down the polished hallway. He straightened in his chair as anticipation thrummed through him, matching the quickened beat of his heart.
He knew the sound of Maggie's long-legged, purposeful walk with an innate awareness that exemplified his growing obsession with her. He could easily identify the sound of her stride apart from that of all the other employees. Mostly because when he heard it, he felt the familiar hot need, mixed with disgruntled dismay, that always seemed to be a part of him these days wherever Maggie Carmichael was concerned.
He remembered a time not too long ago when her footsteps would have been muted with sneakers that perfectly matched her tattered jeans and oversized sweatshirts. A time when she was so anxious to visit the office, she wouldn't have bothered to measure her stride and she would have forgotten her now-impeccable good manners in her excitement at the visit. She used to hurry up and down the hallways with all the enthusiasm of a nineteen-year-old woman-child, almost old enough, almost mature enough.
Eric shifted, trying to settle himself more comfortably in his large chair while his muscles tightened and his pulse quickened.
Unfortunately for Eric, Maggie had stepped right out of college and into the role of boss, a circumstance he had never foreseen. Perhaps if he had, he wouldn't have bided his time so patiently, waiting for the differences in their ages to melt away under the influence of experience and maturity. Ten years wasn't much, he'd always told himself, unless you were tampering with an innocent daydreamer still in college. The boss's daughter — and now the damn boss.
But who would have guessed that her father would pass away so unexpectedly with a stroke? Or that he would have left Maggie, fresh-faced and uncertain, in charge of his small but growing company, rather than Eric, who'd served as his right-hand man for many years?
Deliberately, Eric loosened his hold on the pen he'd been using to check off items on a new supply order and placed it gently on his cluttered desk. Every other year, at just about this time, Maggie had visited him. She'd be out of school on Christmas break and she'd show up wearing small brass bells everywhere. They used to be tied in the laces of her shoes, hanging from a festive bow in her long, sinfully sexy hair, on ribbons around her neck. She loved Christmas and decorating and buying gifts. Eric reached into his pocket and smoothed his thumb over the engraved key ring she'd given him the year before.
This year, everything was different. This year, he'd become her employee.
Sprawled out in his seat, pretending a comfort he didn't feel, Eric waited for her. But still, he caught his breath as Maggie opened his door without knocking and stepped in.
There wasn't a single bell on her person. No red velvet ribbons, no blinking Santa pins. She was so damn subdued these days, it was almost as if the old Maggie had never existed. The combination of losing her father and gaining the responsibility of a company had changed her. Her glossy black hair had long since been cut into a chic shorter style, hanging just to the tops of her breasts. When she'd first cut it, he'd gotten rip-roaring drunk in mourning the loss of a longtime fantasy. Her slender body, which he'd become accustomed to seeing in sporty, casual clothes, was lost as well, beneath a ridiculously boxy, businesslike suit. It was drab in both color and form — but it still turned him on.
He knew what was beneath that absurd armor she now wore, knew the slight, feminine body that it hid.
And her legs ... oh, yeah, he approved of the high heels Maggie had taken to wearing. They'd helped him to contrive new fantasies, which he utilized every damn night with the finesse of a masochist, torturing himself while wondering about things he'd likely never know. He went to sleep thinking about her, and woke up wanting her.
He was getting real used to surviving with a semi-erection throughout the day.
He felt like a teenager, once again caught in the heated throes of puberty. Only now, groping a girl in the backseat of his car wasn't about to put an end to his aching. Hell, an all-night sexual binge with triplets wouldn't do the trick. He wanted only Maggie, naked, hot, breathless, accepting him and begging him and ...
Damn, but he had to get a grip!
"Maggie." He ignored the raw edge to his voice and eyed her still features as she stared at him. There was a heated quality to her gaze, as if she'd read his thoughts. "You're flushed, hon. Anything wrong?"
Maggie looked him over quickly, her large brown eyes widening just a bit as her gaze coasted from the top of his head to the toes of his shoes. Unlike Maggie, he hadn't trussed himself up in a restricting suit. But then, he never had. From the day he'd been hired, he'd made do with comfortable corduroy slacks or khakis — a true concession from his preference of jeans — and loose sweaters or oxford shirts. Ties were a definite no-no. He hated the damn things. Her father had never minded, and evidently, neither did she.
Maggie shut the door behind her and lifted her chin. She was a mere twenty-two years old, yet she managed to imbue her tone with all the seriousness of a wizened sage. "We need to talk."
Eric smiled the smile he reserved just for Maggie. The one with no teeth showing, just a tiny curling at the corners of his mouth, barely noticeable, while his eyes remained intent and direct. He knew it made her uneasy, which was why he did it, cad that he was. Why should he be the only one suffering? Besides, seeing Maggie squirm was like refined foreplay, and he took undeniable satisfaction in being the one who engineered it. These days she was so set on displaying confidence, on proving herself while fulfilling the role her father had provided, it was a major accomplishment to be the one man who could put a dent in her facade.
He relished the small private games between them, the subtle battle for the upper hand. He wanted the old Maggie back, yet was intrigued by her new persona.
Eric leaned forward, propping his elbows on his desk amid the scattered papers. He did his job as well as ever, and managed to contain his nearly uncontainable lust. There surely wasn't much more she could ask of him. "What is it you think we need to talk about, Maggie?"
Her indrawn breath lifted her delicate breasts beneath the wool jacket. When he'd first met her several years ago, he'd thought her a bit lacking in that department. Then she'd shown up one hot summer day, braless in a college T-shirt, and the air-conditioning had caused her nipples to draw into stiff little points — which had caused various parts of him to stiffen — and since then he'd been mesmerized by her delicacy. He wanted to hold her in his hands, smooth her nipples with his thumbs, then his tongue, tease them with his teeth. ...
Her jaw firmed and she pushed herself away from the door, catching her hands together at the small of her back and pacing to the front of his desk in a grand confrontation. "I want to talk about your attitude and lack of participation since I've stepped into my father's position."
Eric eyed her rigid stance. She was such a sweet, inexperienced woman that she'd at first misinterpreted his lust for jealousy. She'd assumed, and he supposed with good reason, that he resented her instant leap into the role of president of Carmichael Athletic Supplies. Most men would have. Eric had worked long and hard for Drake Carmichael, and under his guidance, the close personal business had grown. It was still a friendly company with a family atmosphere and very loyal employees, but the presiding stock Maggie inherited had doubled in worth from the year before — thanks to Eric. Because of that, Eric wasn't the only one who had assumed he was next in line for the presidency.
But in truth, Eric didn't give a damn about his position on the corporate ladder, except that he didn't like the idea of having Maggie for his boss. It put an awkward slant to the things he'd wanted with her, throwing the dynamics of a relationship all out of whack. Maggie wasn't a woman you messed around with; she was the marrying kind. Only now, if he pursued her for his wife, some might assume he was still going after the company in the only way left to him. That not only nettled his pride, it infuriated his sense of possessiveness toward her. He wouldn't let anyone shortchange her worth.
So he'd assured her immediately that he had no desire to be president, no desire to usurp her new command. She'd looked equally stunned by his declaration, and bemused.
Still, he had hoped Maggie might tire of being the boss. She had always seemed like a free spirit to him, a woman meant to pursue her interests in the arts and her joy of traveling. She was a very creative person, fanciful, a daydreamer who had only learned the business to please her father, or so he'd assumed. Eric thought she'd merely been going through the motions when she worked first in the stock room, then briefly on the sales floor, before eventually making her way all the way to the top — at her father's request.
But he had to give her credit; she knew what she was doing. Like all new people, she needed a helping hand now and then in order to familiarize herself with how operations had already been handled, but she was daring enough to try new things and had enough common sense not to rock too many boats at one time. The employees all respected her, and the people they dealt with accepted her command.
He'd do nothing to upset that balance, because contrary to his predictions, she hadn't gotten frazzled and bored with corporate business. She'd dug in with incredible determination and now, within six months of taking over, Maggie had a firm grasp of all aspects of the company.
Eric, in the meantime, suffered the hellish agonies of unrequited lust and growing tenderness.
Shoving his chair back, Eric came to his feet and circled his desk to stand in front of Maggie. This close, he could inhale her scent and feel the nearly electric charge of their combined chemistry. Surely she felt it, too — which probably explained why she'd begun visiting his office more often. Eric got the distinct feeling that Maggie liked his predicament.
Tilting his head, he asked, "Why don't you drop the president aura and just talk to me like you used to, Maggie?" Six months ago, when her father had first passed away, Maggie had clung to him while she'd grieved. Eric had settled her in his lap, held her tight, and let her cry until his shirt was soaked. The emotions he'd felt in that moment had nearly brought him to his knees.
Nothing had been right between them since.
Eric crossed his arms over his chest and watched a faint blush color her cheeks.
He loved how Maggie blushed, the soft rose color that tinted her skin and the heat that glowed in her eyes. She blushed over everything — a good joke, a hard laugh, a sly smile. He could only imagine how she'd blush in the throes of a mind-blowing climax, her body damp with sweat from their exertions. ... Down, boy.
"How long," Eric asked, trying to distract himself, "have I known you, honey?"
A small teasing smile flitted across her mouth. "I was seventeen when Daddy hired you."
"So let's see ... that's five years? Too damn long for you to traipse in here and act so impersonal, wouldn't you say?" If he could only get things back on a strictly friendly basis, maybe, just maybe, he could deal with the powerful physical attraction between them.
"Yes." She sighed, letting out a long breath and clasping her hands together in front of her. "I'm sorry, Eric. It's just ... well, since taking over, so many people have been watching me, waiting for me to fall on my face. I feel like I'm under constant scrutiny."
"And you think I'm one of those people?"
She met his gaze, then admitted slowly, "I don't know. Despite what you've said, I know you thought — everyone thought — that you'd be the president, not me." There was an emotion in her face that seemed almost ... hopeful. No, that couldn't be.
"I already explained about that, Maggie."
"I know." She gave a long, dramatic sigh. "But you've been so ... I don't know, distant, since I took over."
And she'd been so damn beguiling.
Eric had done his damnedest to come to terms with a radical chink in his plans. He wanted her. Looking at her now with her hair pulled sleekly to one side by a gold clip, her clothes too sophisticated for her spirit, her heels bringing her five-foot-eight-inch height up enough to make her within kissing level to his six-foot-even length ...
God, but he wanted her. She had her back to the desk and he could have gladly cleared it in an instant, then lowered her gently and parted her long sleek thighs. The thought of exploring her soft female flesh, of coaxing her to a wet readiness, made him shake. He knew without the slightest doubt how well they'd fit together.
He cleared his throat as he thrust his hands into his pockets and tried to inconspicuously adjust his trousers. "It's the holiday season, hon," he said with a nonchalance he didn't feel. "Lots to do, not only at work, but at home, too. You know that. If you need anything —"
She waved that away. "You've been very helpful here, Eric. I never could have made the transition so smoothly if you hadn't been giving me so much assistance."
That made him frown. "Nonsense. The transition was smooth because you worked hard to make it so. Don't shortchange yourself, Maggie. Drake would have been damn proud if he could see how you've filled his shoes without a hitch."
A short laugh escaped her, even as she began to relax. She stared out the window to the left of his desk. A gentle swirl of snowflakes softened the darkening day. "Daddy's wishes," she said quietly, while sneaking a somewhat shy peek at him, "might not have been as clear as you think."
Eric frowned at those cryptic words, sensing she meant to tell him something, but having no idea what it might be. "You want to explain that, Maggie?"
"No." She shook her head, determination replacing the vulnerability he'd witnessed. "Never mind."
"Maggie ..." he said, making it sound like a warning.
She sighed again. "There've been plenty of hitches, Eric. Believe me."
A feeling of menace invaded Eric's muscles, making him tense. "Has someone been giving you a hard time?" He stepped closer, willing her to meet his gaze. He'd specifically warned everyone that if they valued their jobs, they'd better work with her, not against her, or he'd personally see them out the door.
"No!" She reached out and touched his biceps in a reassuring gesture. Her touch was at first impersonal, and then gently caressing. God, did she know she was playing with fire?
She drew a shuddering breath. "No, Eric, it's nothing like that. We have the very best employees around."
Eric barely heard her; his rational mind stopped functioning the moment her small hand landed on his arm. She was warm and soft and her scent — that of sweet innocence and spicy sexuality — drifted in to him. He inhaled sharply, and she dropped her hand, tipping her head to study him.
"The problem," she said, now watching him curiously, "is that I've been ultra-popular since taking over."
A new feeling of unease threatened to choke him. "What the hell does that mean?" He propped his hands on his hips and glared. "Have the guys here been hitting on you?"
"Yes, of course they have." Her simplistic reply felt like the kick of a mule, and then she continued, oblivious to his growing rage. "Not just the guys here, but the men we deal with, men from neighboring businesses, men from —"
"I get the picture!" Eric paced away, then back again. It was bad enough that the female employees had, for some insane reason, decided he was fair game and had been coming on to him in force. But the males were hitting on Maggie, too? Forget the holiday spirit of generosity — he wanted to break some heads!
"You realize," he growled, deciding she could do with a dose of reality, "that it's not your sexy legs and big brown eyes they're after?"
She blinked at him and that intriguing blush warmed her skin. "You think I have sexy legs?"
Eric drew back. Damn, he hadn't meant to say that. Just as he didn't mean to glance down at her legs, and then not be able to look away. Her legs were long and slender and shapely and they went on forever. He'd seen her in jeans, in shorts, in miniskirts. He'd studied those long legs and visualized them around his hips clasping him tight, or better yet, over his shoulders as he clasped her bottom and entered her so deeply. ...
He shook his head and croaked, "You have great legs, sweetheart, really. But the point is —"
"And my eyes?"
She watched him, those big dark eyes consuming him, begging for the words. "You have bedroom eyes," he whispered, forgetting his resolve to keep her at a distance. "Big and soft. Inviting."
Excerpted from On The Naughty List by Lori Foster, Carly Phillips, Beth Ciotta, Sugar Jamison. Copyright © 2013 Beth Ciotta. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Christmas Bonus by Lori Foster
Naughty Under the Mistletoe by Carly Phillips Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas by Sugar Jamison
Some Kind of Wonderful by Beth Ciotta
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
⭐ ⭐ Provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review ⭐ ⭐ Judging a Book by it's Cover: Bare-chested man holding a stack of holiday presents. Festive red and green font. Looking Deeper: CHRISTMAS BONUS - Eric's has a thing for Maggie, but their age difference kept him away... that and she was the boss's daughter. With her father's sudden death, Maggie is his new boss and all hope of ever approaching her outside of a work relationship seems lost... that is, until she approaches him. ~ score: 4.1 NAUGHTY UNDER THE MISTLETOE - Toni's perparing for a fresh start in the new year and plans to take out the old with a long-fantasized bang. Her colleague, Stephan, has been off-limits until now. At the Christmas party, she seeks to take advantage, only to realise her case of mistaken identity after a scorching kiss. Who knew Stephan had a twin and that that twin, Max, was way hotter than even her original fantasies? ~ score: 4.0 SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL - Zach is a medically discharged Marine. Maya is part owner of Cupcakes and Dreamscapes. They'd grown up together as best friends, then grown apart over the years while he was enlisted and she moved from Vermont to Florida. A night of nostalgia leads her best friend, Giselle, to become instantly infatuated with Zach -- and some sexy, creative writing (if not a bit misleading) leads Zach to her... but which her? Has the vibe of "A Christmas Carol". ~ score: 4.2 HAVE YOURSELF A CURVY LITTLE CHRISTMAS - The longest of the holiday novellas. Dina arrives at the childhood home of her infant son's father to request support for him so he may have a better start in life that what she can provide on her own. But things don't exactly turn out as she expects. She accepts a proposal to stay through Christmas. There are two people who're left wanting, needing precisely what the other can provide. Personally my favorite of this anthology. ~ score: 4.5 ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rating: 3.75 [R] ~ Score: 4.2 ~ Stars: 4 -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reviewed by Marissa Book provided by NetGalley for review Review originally posted at Romancing the Book All stories were fun, quick reads that made me yearn for a man to kiss under the mistletoe. Christmas Bonus made me wish I had a co-worker to plan a party with. I loved that Maggie was a secret romance/erotica writer and that Eric actually took the time to read what she was writing. Plus it was cute that the entire office was trying to push them together. Naughty Under the Mistletoe was just plain fun. As someone who works 60 hours a week I can identify with Toni and her desire for just one night of passion. I found her elf outfit delightful, especially the bells on her ankle. I’m going to have to try that one at the first Christmas party I go to this season. Some Kind of Wonderful is part of Ciotta’s Cupcake Lovers series and features a magical snowstorm. Having moved to Hawaii a few years ago, I don’t really miss the snow at all and this reminded me why. However, being trapped in a remote cabin with a handsome man I was falling in love with could change that opinion. I read and reviewed Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas last year. It’s a light, fluffy read that brought out that happy Christmas-y feeling of a home filled with decorations and family and, of course, love. This book is well worth picking up. Each story can be read in one sitting – or in spurts while waiting in those tediously long holiday lines at the bank or grocery store. They are guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your heart.
The Holiday Season kicked into high gear. . . The holiday spirit is upon us with charming novellas from Foster, Phillips, Jamison & Ciotta. Christmas Bonus – Foster makes the most of her holiday office romance by giving her two leads the tasks of planning a holiday event for the season. Naught Under the Mistletoe – Phillips provides a bit of naughtiness and mistletoe delight involving a no-nonsense lawyer and her forbidden attraction. But is the attraction to the right man? Have Yourself A Curvy Little Christmas – Jamison serves me a delicious holiday treat with the return of Dina. She has finally grown up and with being grown up comes grown up responsibilities. She has more than partying on her mind when she returns to New York. Some Kind of Wonderful is my first look at Ciotta’s work. I enjoyed her holiday offering but would need to see more to make a full decision on adding her to my regular reads. Thanks, NetGalley. This is my honest review of this book as I see it.
Absolutely loved these stories! I'm a fan of Christmas books and Romance, so these short stories were right up my alley. One thing I love about short stories is that a lot of the BS is cut out of the stories, so you can focus on the main objective, and I think these short stories were excellent. I loved all the stories, but my favorite one was the one by Lori Foster, and I will definitely look for more from Foster. I also really enjoyed Carly Phillips story; I've read lots of Carly Phillips and I always love her books. I haven't read any Beth Ciotta books, but her short story was really terrific, and I will definitely look into more from her. I had previously read Sugar Jamison's story, and although I didn't completely love the story; it did open me up to the series the short story sprouted from and I really enjoy those books. All the stories were really heart felt and quick reads, with a pinch of Christmas cheer. Definitely a great read!
Christmas Bonus by Lori Foster Eric wanted Maggie but when her father died and she became the boss, things got complicated. He didn't want it to seem like he only wanted her for the company. Maggie's deceased father had other plans for the man he knew his daughter was in love with. It's wonderful when a father knows his daughter so well. Fantastic Christmas short by an amazing author. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Naughty Under the Mistletoe by Carly Phillips Toni wanted to end the current year with a bang and start the new one off fresh. She was going to seduce Stephan, the owners son, but when she kissed him she found out that it was not him and that he has a twin. Max was...more, in ever way, than Stephan. Sexy Christmas short by a fabulous author! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Some Kind of Wonderful by Beth Ciotta Maya and Zach have been friends forever. He's home from the Marines, permanently, with an injury. Maya's on her way back to their home town to introduce him to her best friend. When she realizes she has feelings for him, will she regret the introduction? I love Christmas stories and I love military romance. Put them together and I'm hooked! This is a very sweet short by an author that is new to me. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas by Sugar Jamison Dina and her son Dash walked up to the door expecting to speak to Dash's father, only to find out he died. Now she's living with his billionaire brother and falling in love with him. Too bad he's still mourning his wife who died nine years ago. Will she be able to bring Ben out of the past and make a life with her and Dash? A very sweet Christmas story centered around a baby, his mommy, and his uncle. I adore the hidden sexiness and surprising comments that Ben would make to Dina. Fantastic story! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This collection of Christmas shorts will bring out the spirit of the season in any reader. Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
A collection of four previously released novellas from Lori Foster, Carly Phillips, Sugar Jamison and Beth Ciotta, these little stories will bring a bit of holiday cheer to your afternoon. Most striking is the flavor that each author brings to their story, complete in their voice and solid characterizations, giving readers a sense of the A author’s style and story development. Each couple is well-developed and defined, with pacing that feel appropriate to the story and their relationship, and from steamy to hot: they do deliver. A nice variety with different issues, concerns and impediments to their ultimate joining, these stories will feel familiar and possible. It’s still SO early in the season to be thinking holiday stories, but this early entrant is sure to be a favorite of many, and a wonderful way for readers unfamiliar with one of more of the authors to find a new source to feed their romance addictions. 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 are my own responsibility.
I love Lori Foster and Carly Phillips, but I equally love discovering new authors in the process when mixing authors in one book. These are very sweet, yet hot short Christmas stories and will certainly get you in the mood for the holidays. Loved it! Very quick reads if someone doesn't think they have time to read four books.
5 Stars A great set of 4 short stories for the holiday season Christmas Bonus by Lori Foster This is a story of both parties wanting each other but waiting for the right time. Expect they both now have plans to seduce and boy does it turn out great!! Super hot and steamy. Naughty Under the Mistletoe by Carly Phillips Mistaken twin leads to super hot love story. Was not who she thought he was but it turned out much better for her. Hot and steamy. Some Kind of Wonderful by Beth Ciotta This is friends who realize they want more them that. Add in a few twists with a pen pal and some weird dreams and you come out with a super sweet story. Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas by Sugar Jamison Curvy former wild child meets stick in the mud. Can she make him come alive with her super sweet ways?
'On the Naughty List' is a wonderful collection of four Christmas themed novellas. This collection includes 'Christmas Bonus' by Lori Foster, 'Naughty Under the Mistletoe' by Carly Phillips, 'Some Kind of Wonderful' by Beth Ciotta, and 'Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas' by Sugar Jamison. Going in I was already a fan of Lori Foster and Carly Phillips work and after reading this collection I am also a fan of Beth Ciotta and Sugar Jamison. I loved this set, the characters and the stories. A enjoyable read! This is a great group of Christmas novellas for anyone that enjoys a quick romantic read with a HEA. Highly recommend this set!
Never before have I read 4 novellas that were all so fast paced and easy to fall into in the same anthology. Each of these novellas is a brilliant read on its own, but together they are a fantastic novel. Each is a hot and sassy Christmas story that will have your imagination going wild and your pulse hopping throughout. Each author spins their own tale in their own well put together, intriguing voice, but together this was an anthology that I couldn’t put down. The authors make sure that readers get to know the characters quite well in each story. None of the main couples were under (or over) developed for the roles that they played in their respective stories. I appreciated the diversity of individuals that we get to know and how well they meshed together. This one will definitely put you in the holiday spirit 4 times over! It’s perfect for those who want a quick read, as each part can be read individually, or for those who want to jump right in. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
This collection of short Christmas novellas is sure to please with its combination of sweet and sexy stories with holiday spirit. The following is a short review of each of the four stories in the collection. Christmas Bonus by Lori Foster This short story showcases the sweet and sexy romance between Eric and Maggie, two people who have hidden their feelings from each other until an encounter under the mistletoe where they both now work lets them get close and personal. I loved the sexual tension and buildup in the story and while there were some steamy scenes there is also evidence of the deeper feelings underlying the attraction that give it a sweet touch. Naughty Under the Mistletoe by Carly Phillips When Toni sets out to seduce her soon to be ex-boss Stephan at the company Christmas party, little does she expect to find herself in the arms of his twin brother Max instead! I found this to be a delightful sexy story, with well developed characters that were interesting and believable. Though it starts with a sexual attraction, they are attuned to each other and share their deepest thoughts and feelings in short order, resulting in a holiday romance that is destined to last. Some Kind of Wonderful by Beth Ciotta This friends to lovers romance is the story of Maya and Zach, friends since childhood but separated for several years while Zach went off to war. Zach has now returned as an injured veteran. It's got a more serious vein to it than the other stories, dealing with some of the trauma that returning soldiers have but at the same time showing how important friends, family and love really are. I loved Maya's character - she's a bright, friendly, fun woman. I also really liked that Zach and Maya didn't beat around the bush for too long but were honest in admitting their attraction to each other as adults. There is a bit of Christmas whimsy in the story hearkening to Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol that adds a cute touch. Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas by Sugar Jamison Bringing two lonely people together for Christmas, this story is the heartwarming tale of Ben and Dina. Showing up on Ben's doorstep with his 10 month old nephew, Ben finds himself inexplicably drawn to this woman and the child of his deceased brother. She brings life into his home and he finds himself falling for her, at the same time realizing it's time to put his past behind him. Dina carries a lot of troubled baggage from her past, but Ben sees beyond this to the warm woman that she is now. I found this to be a sweet tale of finding love in unexpected places and bringing forward the true meaning of Christmas. Overall I quite enjoyed the variety of these stories and the Christmas theme that ties them all together. 4 stars!
NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 REVIEW: It is always hard to review novella’s without giving too much of the story away so below is a quick and dirty review for each. Christmas Bonus: Characters: Eric Bragg & Maggie Carmichael Eric has been interest in Maggie for years, except now she is his boss. Any hope of a relationship with her has gone out the window. Or has it? Maggie needs Eric. She needs him to help her by being her date for the company Christmas party. It is the perfect plan to seduce the man she is in love with. But will Eric take the bait? Eric & Maggie were great!! Naughty Under the Mistletoe: Characters: Maxwell Cobin & Antonia Larson A hot kiss under the mistletoe with the man of your dreams is the perfect way to start the holiday season. Only problem Toni just kissed the wrong man. And Max thought going to his father’s company Christmas party was going to be boring. Max & Toni were really fun to read. Some Kind of Wonderful: Characters: Zachery Cole & Maya Templeton This was a fun quick Cupcake Lover’s read. Maya & Zach have been friends for years. The best of friends, but never anything more. But when the holiday’s bring them back together fire works spark. Since this is a novella I am not giving you more than that. But if you love Beth’s other Cupcake Lover’s stories you will enjoy Some Kind of Wonderful. Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas: Characters: Ben Rowe & Dina Gregory I think this was my favorite story of the four. I love Ben & Dina! I just loved Ben. He is dark, stuffy and stubborn and in need of a lot of light and laughter in this life. Dina is one tough cookie who has not lived the best life. But now that she has her son she wants to be better and that means facing the father of her son. I for sure am going to pick up more of Sugar Jamison’s stories. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book from NetGalley & St. Martins in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
Christmas Bonus Lori Foster 4.5* I loved this fast past sexy Christmas romance and I do mean this is a very hot sexually charged short story. Eric Bragg has wanted Maggie Carmichael since she was seventeen years old. Eric was ten years her senior and knew he had to bid his time until she was older. Before he could make his move her father his boss died suddenly changing everything. Suddenly Maggie was his boss. Maggie has been in love with Eric since the first time she laid eyes in him but always got tongue tied when around him. The day her father died he was the only one she wanted to grieve with. The death of her father changed the way Eric treated her. Now she's come up with a way to change that. Will she get what she wants or just a memory to hold on to. Naughty Under the Mistletoe Carly Phillips 3.75* Toni Larson has spent her life determined to live on her own and never to rely on a man. Max Corbin is determined to live his life as he sees fit and on his terms not his fathers. Mistaken identity throws these to people together for a night of passion but can they make that last a lifetime? This is my first Carly Phillips story and I truly enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books. Some Kind of Wonderful Beth Ciotta 3* This was a cute short story with a "Christmas Carol" twist. Maya Templeton has gone back to her home town Sugar Creek to celebrate Christmas with old friends only to find out her oldest best friend was wounded in the war three months ago and never told her. Zach Cole ex-marine sharpshooter has come home to his aunt and uncles to heal from his injuries that took him out service and took the life of his friend Ben. Is there a Christmas miracle that will bring Zach out of his broodiness or is he stuck in the past. Have Yourself A Curvy Little Christmas Sugar Jamison 4* This is the first book I've read by Sugar Jamison and I really enjoyed it. Dina Gregory lived her life to an excess until she became pregnant. The father Virgil Rowe turned his back on them and Dina was determined to become a better person for her child and her self. It's been hard and now she needs the help of the father to make sure her son Dash has a good life. She travels five days on a bus to his home to confront him only to find his brother Ben Rowe instead and that Virgil has died. Ben's wife died nine years ago and now that Virgil is gone he has no one and no reason to do anything other then work. Seeing Dash he knows he's a Rowe and he will do anything to keep him in his life including marrying Dina. **I highly recommend this Christmas anthology. Each short story will leave you with a happy and contented holiday feeling.
These four Christmas stories will put a smile on your face and in your heart. What a wonderful way to start the season. Christmas Bonus by Lori Foster Two hearts meant to be as one separated by events beyond their control are brought together with the help of a sprig of mistletoe and some Christmas spirit in this sexy tale by Lori Foster. This story has been released before but it is just as hot and heartwarming this time around. Naughty Under the Mistletoe by Carly Phillips This naughty tale by Carly Phillips proves that Christmas surprises are the very best kind. Some Kind of Wonderful by Beth Ciotta This may have been my favorite tale in this anthology. Beth Ciotta’s twist on Scrooge will leave you with happy tears. Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas by Sugar Jamison Every baby needs a home and family on Christmas no matter how old they are. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
When I saw this on Netgalley, I knew it was for me, Christmas and Anthology just go so well together and are two of my favorite reads. Plus, Lori Foster, Carly Phillips and one of my new favorite authors, Sugar Jamison. What more could I ask for? Christmas Bonus by Lori Foster was a very sexy read. Not so much in the actual sex, but in the sparks and chemistry that fairly exploded off the page. Lori Foster has always been great at making the characters sizzle. It was a quick read, but all the elements were there to make it a complete story. Naughty Under the Mistletoe gives us a bit of mistaken identity. There is some insta-love going on here that I wasn't quite down with, but it was an interesting story and I wouldn't mind exploring the world created a bit more in depth. Some Kind of Wonderful was a story of two old friends seeing each other in a new light and rediscovering their friendship. There is also a bit of some Christmas Carol-esque moments redone that I really enjoyed. The last story, Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas was one that I had actually read and enjoyed last year. Surprisingly, all 4 of these stories were reprints, but I only remember reading this one. I will admit that I did some light skimming, but mostly I enjoyed re-reading a great story. Basically, this was a great Christmas read, with a little something for everyone. One of the things I love most about Anthologies is the chance to try out new authors without committing to a full length novel. Plus they are a great read when you really just don't have a lot of time to read. Overall, I gave this 4 stars.