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1.08.2009

Review: An Enchanted Season (anthology)

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An Enchanted Season by Maggie Shayne, Erin McCarthy, Nalini Singh, and Jean Johnson
Paranormal Romance, Anthology
Paperback (BERKLEY TRADE, 352 pages, $14.00)
ISBN# 042521785X
Give readers a gift-new stories from a bestselling lineup of romance authors.
It's the time of year when dreams come true, miracles happen every day, and love is the greatest gift of all...
The holidays always seem to bring out the best in everyone, with heartfelt hugs for long-missed friends, sincere smiles in the spirit of the season, and a feeling of magic in the air.
Here, for the first time, is a collection of paranormal romances celebrating the holidays as never before. From a shape-shifting leopardess who wants a packmate to be her soulmate to a snowstorm that brings a surprise gift, these all-new tales by Maggie Shayne, Erin McCarthy, Nalini Singh, and Jean Johnson will stir your spirit in all the right places.
Author Site:
http://www.maggieshayne.com/


Enjoy the magic of the season! (4 stars)

The holidays are a time of magic and good cheer. So what better time for four tales of romance influenced by paranormal means? I have yet to read any of the four authors outside of anthologies so this was certainly a good sampler for me. As a lover of holiday tales this appealed to me when it first hit shelves but I waited and found a used copy on Ebay which I don't think the previous owner realized was not only in mint condition but signed by Shayne. I wanted to read it then (spring) but held off so it could be enjoyed over Christmas.

Melting Frosty by Maggie Shayne (Wings of the Night series) is a very traditional romance short story. A bah-humbug meets a free-spirit and the two get snowed in at the house she grew up in and he wants to buy. Despite how much they dislike one another's outward attitudes they are very attracted to one another. With a little Christmas magic and a little love even the iciest heart can be melted. I think this one was a little too silly for my tastes and somewhat implausible in a way I couldn't quite put my finger on. But I liked the idea a lot and it made for a nice read after I decorated. 4/5 stars

Charlotte's Web by Erin McCarthy (Vegas Vampires series, 7 Deadly Sins series) is a lusty romp through the tangled web of best-friends suffering from attraction. Will wants Charlotte but doesn't know how to tell Charlotte how he feels. Charlotte's sister insists that she too is a witch and they're going to prove it by casting a lust spell on Will. When Charlotte drops by Will's to help him decorate for the holidays how can they tell whether it's the spell or their own natural attraction drawing them together? This one was a cute, fun play on the 'love spell gone wrong' tale. The HEA was a little too abrupt and sugary but even I (the cynic) couldn't help but find it sweet. 4/5 stars

Beat of Temptation by Nalini Singh (PsyChangeling series) is set in her PsyChangling world. Tamsyn is destined to be Nate's mate, if only he would let her. At nineteen years old she might be a bit young for her role as senior healer for the DarkRiver leopard pack but she knows what she wants. Nate on the other hand, fears that if he takes her, he will be ruining her life. When throwing herself at him brings no results Tammy has to resort to other tactics but will pushing him away bring him closer or destroy the bond between them? The least Christmasy of the four stories this one gave me a little look at a series I have sitting waiting to be read. It didn't get me in the holiday spirit though which was a little dissapointing. Set at another time in another anthology I would have enjoyed it much more. 3/5 stars

Gifts of the Magi by Jean Johnson (Sons of Destiny series) is an unusual mix of romantic love and holiday spirit. What happens when a Buddhist, a Muslim and a Reform Jew visit a tiny B&B in rural Iowa during a blizzard? Rachel and Steve, the engaged owners of the inn, are about to find out. Through the rough days ahead, snowed in with strangers and a trio of young trouble-makers, the two are strengthened by the depths of their love for one another. This was my favorite of the four. It was both romantic and amusing as Rachel and Steve dealt with the situation they found themselves in. It also warmed my heart that the three young men were also changed by their stay. 5/5 stars

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