Monday, November 14, 2016

Review: Love, Christmas - Holiday stories that will put a song in your heart! By Rebecca York, Traci Hall, and Jacquie Biggar

Editor's note:  We continue with part five of our multi-part review of this box set. 
?wazithinkin has to be about Christmas-ed out by now.

Genre: Romance/Christmas/Box set


Put a song in your heart with 20 all-new Christmas Romances from NY Times, USA Today, and national best-selling authors. Each brand-new title is inspired by a Christmas carol and will lift your spirits and bring on the holiday cheer.”

White Christmas by Rebecca York - Was she in a coma, or was she in a Christmas fantasy?

Blue Christmas by the Sea by Traci Hall - Alone for Christmas, Tamsyn helps mystery writer Evan find his mojo--love is a gift neither can refuse.

Silver Bells by Jacquie Biggar - Can a Christmas wish bring two stubborn souls together and give a little girl the gift she wants?


Rebecca York: “A master of paranormal romantic suspense, Rebecca York is the author of over 150 books. A New York Times and USA Today best-seller, she has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue.”

To learn more about Ms. York please visit her website.

Traci Hall, “pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it's a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.”

To learn more about Ms. Hall please visit her website or follow her onFacebook.

Jacquie Biggar is a bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want. That is until they're gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love… She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.
Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can't function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart.”

To learn more about Ms. Biggar please visit her website or follow her on Facebook.


In this group of novellas from Love, Christmas, I am reviewing more new-to-me authors. I chose stories that sounded like they had a common theme: this time I chose colors in the titles.

White Christmas by Rebecca York:

This story is right up my alley. I dearly love fantasy and this tale includes a mystery with a little magic as well. Under more than the usual Christmas stress, Amelia is distracted while crossing the street and gets hit by an oncoming car. Was it an accident or something more nefarious?

When Amelia awakens, she is in a mountainous snow-covered forest she doesn’t recognize. Making her way towards lights in the distance, she is rescued from a sudden avalanche by a handsome stranger. Daniel suspects she may be a spy, since he is head of security in this remote township where unexplained accidents have been happening.

Nick, Daniel’s boss, and his wife, Wendy, are sure Amelia has shown up for a special reason. No one ever accidentally finds themselves around their humble abode for no reason. I loved being swept away in this charming story where my imagination could run free. I found the characters well-rounded and the plot moves at a nice pace. I loved every minute of White Christmas and appreciated the promise of a budding relationship between Daniel and Amelia.

Blue Christmas by the Sea by Traci Hall:

Tamsyn Lee, bookworm extraordinaire, is working toward her master’s in literature. Reading makes her world a better place. She’s working part-time as a waitress at Village Grill on the Florida coast, as well as a librarian at the local public library. She has become disillusioned with life since her parents announced they are getting a divorce after forty years of marriage. Tamsyn is smart, witty, and sarcastic. This announcement has thrown a wrench into her favorite holiday coming up: Christmas.

Evan Hawke, a one-hit-wonder mystery writer has lost his muse and doesn’t know how to get the magic back. His second novel received lukewarm reviews and his deadline for book three is coming up fast. In dire-straits, he decides to go back to where he wrote his first book: the Village Grill in Florida. Perhaps if he tries to reenact everything he did back then, he can get his mojo back.

Evan and Tamsyn get off to a rocky start. He is a rude, arrogant snob and Tamsyn, dealing with her own problems, isn’t having anything to do with him. The other employees of the Grill are all well-developed, diverse, and fun. Their dialogue is realistic and it’s easy to believe they are friends as well as co-workers. The plot has a steady pace and it was easy to get drawn into the story. The way Ms. Hall worked Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” into the story made me giggle a bit and then swoon. I found Evan and Tamsyn’s journey unique and enjoyable. The twist at the end made me smile and believe in Christmas magic.

Blue Christmas by the Sea is the ninth story in Traci Hall’s By the Sea series.

Silver Bells by Jacquie Biggar:

Joel Carpenter has moved from Scotland to Victoria, Canada to become a recluse. Since his rise to literary stardom, he has become paranoid after many unscrupulous business and personal relationships. Right now he is dealing with writer’s block, his characters are refusing to follow his direction, and his tenant is having trouble coming up with rent on time.

Christy Taylor is an artist who has set up a small art shop, The Wandering Mind Studio, in the front of her rental property. She is a divorcee with a four-year-old daughter who suffers Type-One Diabetes. She refuses to bow to the adversity of this disease and works hard to raise a happy, well-adjusted child. Jill is a vivacious, cheerful, and active child. Christy has hired an elderly neighbor to sit with Jill while she is working or running errands.

I had a hard time connecting with or liking Joel; he is angry, arrogant, and overbearing to a fault. He lashes out at Christy at inappropriate times repeatedly. It angered me when he kissed her after yelling at her. Here is a quote as he muses about their relationship after he decides he might just like Christy. It sums him up pretty well:

Living with Christy wouldn’t be easy, she would keep him on his toes each and every day—he pictured her rosy red lips and delectable body pressed close to his—but it would be worth the battle.

Not very romantic if you ask me. Unfortunately, Christy is smitten with his good looks and I’m afraid her lust is coloring her good senses. Perhaps if the transformation in Joel had been accomplished through dialogue and not narration, I would feel differently? Or perhaps I wasn’t the right reader for this story? Unfortunately, that happens at times.

I came across one word that may be considered borderline offensive to some. Honestly, it made me giggle. The editing was excellent in this novella, nothing at all jumped out at me. Nice job, Ms. Biggars. 

Buy now from:    Amazon US    Amazon UK


The stories in Love, Christmas are new and never before published, although, some are new additions to existing series.

Format/Typo Issues:

White Christmas by Rebecca York: No significant issues.

Blue Christmas by the Sea by Traci Hall: No significant issues.

Silver Bells by Jacquie Biggar: I found no proofing issues. 

Rating: White Christmas by Rebecca York: ***** Five Stars

Rating: Blue Christmas by the Sea by Traci Hall: **** Four Stars

Rating: Silver Bells by Jacquie Biggar: *** Three Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 375-400,000 words for the full set. Each story is novella size, 20,000 words or slightly less.


jbiggar said...

Thank you for reviewing our set, I'm sorry Silver Bells did not appeal to you.

?wazithinkin said...

Thank you for stopping in and commenting, Ms. Biggars. It's bound to happen with such a large diverse set of novellas. Not every story is going to fit every reader. This review would not deter me from reading your other books though.

Traci said...

Thank you very much for reviewing our boxed set! 20 stories is a lot to take on, lol, and we appreciate it. Have a wonderful night,

?wazithinkin said...

Thanks for dropping in and commenting, Ms. Hall. I have enjoyed reading these novellas from Love, Christmas.