‘Naughty and Nice’ is an anthology collection of four very different steamy holiday stories. (BTW, the stories are also sold separately at Carina Press and Amazon.)
>>Holiday Sparks by Shannon Stacey – 5++ stars
Web designer Chloe Burke returns to her small hometown in Main to house sit while her parents take a long cruise. Master electrician Scott Quinn is thrilled to get a call from his high school fantasy girl to help fix electrical problems at her parent’s old house. Chloe does not remember Scott, but the attraction sizzles between these two quickly. With Chloe going back to Boston in only a few weeks they both realize that it’s a temporary affair, but the connection between these two is undeniably hot.
Holiday Sparks was a wonderful steamy hot holiday romance that had me grinning ear-to-ear through the entire story. I absolutely love great dialog and teasing banter between the H/h, and this one had some of the best I have read in a long while. The pacing was so believable that I never once doubted that these two could really fall in love (and lust!) with each other in only a few short weeks. I only wish this were a full-length novel, as I would have enjoyed spending a lot more time reading about these two. I loved it!
>>All She Wants For Christmas by Jaci Burton – 2 stars
Riley Jensen, a famous country western singer, returns to her small hometown against her wishes and reconnects with her ex Ethen Kent, who once broke her heart and later married her backstabbing best friend. Ethen feels terrible for all the wrongs he did Riley years ago. Now a widow with a young child, he finds himself reluctantly hanging with Riley again to please his daughter who is a big fan. Riley’s stage manager does some matchmaking by tempting Ethen and Zoey with backstage passes and front row access to her concerts. Riley would rather not be around Ethen, but sees this as an opportunity to finally ask the questions she should have asked ten years ago.
The story had its good moments, especially the cute little girl Zoey, but mostly it was a somber story that focused on the H/h’s past issues of hurt, betrayal, broken trust, lying, and dishonesty. It was an implausible story with very little romance, a few quick love scenes, and an ending that was less than convincing. I could not imagine that these two could forgive and forget all their problems in just a few days.
>>Unwrapped by Megan Hart – 3.5 stars
I realized afterwards that this is an epilogue story for a couple in her book ‘No Reservations’ (which I have not read), so fans of that book may enjoy this one even more. Despite not reading the original book, I had no problem following along. This is the delayed honeymoon for Brandon and Leah Long set in a Vail Colorado ski resort. While there are several hot love scenes, the couple was already in love by the time the story starts so this is not a typical romance. There was also no real story for these two either. It is just their day-to-day honeymoon adventures of skiing, eating out, sleigh rides and sitting by a warm fire with intermission breaks for sex. Megan Hart has a great writing voice so I did enjoy this even though it was not a romance per se, and despite not knowing the characters back-story.
>>Believe by Lauren Dane – DNF (Not because it was bad, just 'not my kind of kink’)
‘Believe’ in the epilogue story for Lauren Dane’s book ‘Second Chances’. As with ‘Unwrapped’ by Megan Hart, the couple already had their romance story told in a previous publication so this story is just more sex play moments for the happy couple. Unfortunately for me, this one stars a couple who are really into BSDM -- and not just lightly. When he brings out a crop and anticipates how the red marks are going to look covering her ass, I called it quits. This isn’t my kind of kink.
This is an ARC copy review provided by Netgalley.com