by Maggie Shayne, Erin McCarthy, Nalini Singh, Jean Johnson

October 2007
ISBN: 978-0-425-21785-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Trade Paperback

Snuggle up with a blanket and warm drink and let this anthology get you in the mood for the Holidays.

Melting Frosty by Maggie Shayne introduces Matthew and Holly. When young both suffered through a devastating experience during the holidays and while this caused Matthew to hate Christmas, it is still the favorite time of the year for Holly. After being gone from her hometown for twelve years, Holly feels she needs to go back. Matthew is there to see about buying her childhood home, but when a snowstorm hits, he ends up stranded for the night. Holly thinks she was sent back home for a reason, and wonders if Matthew is the reason. Woven throughout the story are several scenes depicting the journey of an old hat which has had a large impact on several people’s lives.

Erin McCarthy takes us back to Cuttersville, Ohio in Charlotte’s Web. Charlotte and Will have been best friends for years, and each secretly wishes they were more than friends. A fun twist to the story has Charlotte discovering powers she never knew she had. Though she’s never believed her sisters’ conviction that the women in their family are witches, she may have to admit there’s some truth in it. And she may as well take advantage of the situation and see if she can work a spell on Will.

Next Nalini Singh continues her Psy-Changeling series with Beat of Temptation. Tamsyn may only be nineteen, but she’s ready for her mate to consummate their relationship. Nate aches with his desire for Tamsyn, but wants her to experience life first, not be forced into something she’s not ready for. What Nate doesn’t realize is Tamsyn desires nothing more than to be with Nate and their pack. Tamsyn eventually has to decide if she can live with the little Nate is willing to give her, of if leaving him is what’s best for her.

Jean Johnson’s contribution, Gifts of the Magi, concludes this anthology. Four strangers arrive at a B&B in Iowa during a freak blizzard. The engaged couple who own the place welcome them, as well as some others from town who are stranded there. As they are forced to put aside their differences and share the holiday season together, they all learn a little something about each other and come together to face all the challenges the storm presents.

This holiday anthology is a treat with such delightful contributions by four very talented authors. They all, to some extent, have a supernatural or paranormal bent but the main focus of each story is to love one another – during the holidays, and all year long.

Reviewed in September 2007 by Jackie.