A CHRISTMAS COLLECTION ANTHOLOGY - STIMULATING
KAREN MICHELLE NUTT, STEPHANIE BURKHART, GERALD COSTLOW & RITA HESTAND
Victory Tales Press
Romance, Paranormal-Western, Contemporary, Sci-fi
Rating: 4 Cups
Christmas in Bayeaux by Stephanie Burkhart
Aiden is an American soldier who after losing his parents retires from military life. He is weary and lonely so he heads to Bayeaux, France in search of some peace and in hopes of healing his grief.
Noel's family manor house has been turned into an inn and as a former foreign exchange student who stayed with Aiden and his family she offers him a place to stay in hopes he can recover from his loss.
Nine years ago when they were both teenagers they experienced strong feelings for one another but never they never acted on that attraction. Now as the holidays approach can the holiday season bring these two lonely people together and will they be open to a future together?
Stephanie Burkhart soothes both the lead characters' and her readers' souls with this lovely tale of love and redemption. While staying true to the serious tone of the hero's situation this story left me with a light heart and hope for the future.
Mars Needs Men by Gerald Costlow
Carla is a nurturer at heart, she only wants everyone to be happy. She enjoys her job at the space agency where she monitors communications between the orbiting astronauts and their friends and family.
On the eve of Christmas 2046, after an unsuccessful attempt to establish a base on Mars a group of astronauts are starting their year-long journey home in a small malfunctioning space capsule.
What started off as an attempt to protect a co-worker from heartache by stopping him from getting a "Dear John" letter in space has backfired and now Carla risks losing everything, including her job as well as her heart.
Gerald Costlow thoroughly entertains with this inventive short story. Any tale that can successfully use toilet humor while still weaving a believable love story is a winner. This one made me cry and giggle and I enjoyed every second of it.
Fast Forward Love by Rita Hestand
Connie is a widow who lives in a small town and while she loves her life and her children she is lonely. The one man she is interested in seems completely ignore her.
Ed feels he is living his life under the careful scrutiny of his small town friends and neighbors but he wants to make his own decisions not simply do what everyone expects of him.
As the coach of one of her son's Ed finally finds a chance to speak with Connie but his odd hot and cold behavior towards her leaves Connie doubting his interest.
Rita Hestand gives her readers a quick story about finding a second chance at love. Maybe it is just me, but I was a little put out by how old Connie kept implying she was. Is thirty five middle aged? I felt like the characters should have at least been in their late forties or early fifties.
Wanted by Karen Michelle Nutt
Small town Sheriff Jace Kelly's six-year-old daughter Emma has the remarkable gifts of a seer but because of her age she sometimes mistakes ordinary dreams for visions.
JoBeth Riley has made some very unfortunate decisions in her life and she is now a wanted outlaw who will be used as bait to catch her dangerous lover Shane Maverick.
Emma wished upon a Christmas star for a new mother so she believes JoBeth is the one when they take her in to their home in order to protect her. JoBeth finds herself falling under the spell of the Sheriff, his daughter and the entire town. Perhaps they both have the opportunity for a second chance.
Karen Michelle Nutt produces a fabulous old-west love story with a slight paranormal twist. Every character is so well developed especially for a short story and I look forward to seeing how many of Emma's predictions come true in the future. This was a warm-hearted entertaining holiday read.
This is a wonderfully diverse collection of short holiday stories great to read curled up by the fireplace with a giant cup of coffee or hot-chocolate. These tales range from a foreign feel-good, a fun futuristic, a mature modern-day and a whimsical western. The variety is sure to contain something for almost everyone's taste and these four stories can be read all in one sitting or one at a time to draw out the pleasure.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More