by Judith B. Glad, Mary Taffs, J.A. Clarke, Maureen Mackey, RubyLee Schneider, Jewel Stone

November 2003
ISBN: 1-58749-406-X
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Northwest Tales of The Season has a variety of stories that are sure to please you, as they vary in subgenres as well. There is a total of six stories, which will keep you interested from one to the next; each story is set around Christmas.

The first story is by Judith B. Glad, titled Lord of Misrules. This is a historical story that tells of what one man thinks of himself as a provider and a husband and if he can fit into the mismatched family of his wife Katie. We see the struggles and doubts that Luke has about Katie and her family. Both Katie and Luke have some growing to do in order to make the marriage work. Can Christmas bring them closer together?

The Snass Chuck by RubyLee Schneider is a delightful tale of how one meets their true love and marries them. Grandchildren hear the tale of how their grandmother met her husband and the events that led to that night and him dropping her off at her house. Oh, we also find out what 'Snass Chuck' is as well, and what people thought it was and how they reacted.

Keeper of Secrets by J.A. Clarke is one of my favorites from this anthology. Shawna is off to a rustic cabin in the woods, with no modern amenities - and no idea what she is doing - to try and figure out if she really wants to marry her fiancť. Greg Harris was at his modern cabin for a little soul searching of his own. He likes his privacy there and doesnít like it when Shawna interrupts it several times. There are many quirks to this story that will have you laughing at the antics of Shawna and Greg. Greg had a saying in the book that I just loved, especially after we found out his profession. Can these two come to terms with their past in order to move on to a future together?

Midnight Clear by Maureen Mackey is a tale of following one's heart and conquering a fear. Sophie has inherited her grandmotherís house, so off she goes to the island to sell the house; she already has a buyer for it. Sophie meets Jake and lets first impressions convince her he is someone else. Well, Jake was not who Sophie thought he was - but he didnít try to tell her otherwise. Sophie and Jake go head-to-head in the battle of the property and in their growing attraction to each other. Can this attraction, and her unexpected job, be enough for Sophie to stay and not sell the house? Or will the vindictiveness of one woman ruin it all?

Jewel Stone has given us another wonderful story in A Delightful Christmas. Shawnie is the companion and cook to Diego, an older man with only a son living. Shawnie has some very strong beliefs in family and what they should and should not do and she tells them to Ramiro, Diegoís son. Ramiro has his own life and he likes living away from the place that he called home at one time. He doesnít see it as his father and mother did. Can Ramiro realize what he is missing and try to make changes in his life? Will Shawnie be one of the changes? It is interesting to see the intensity between the two of them and the attraction.

A Ring For Christmas by Mary Taffs deals with the hurt and pain of being in love and the doubts of one person in the relationship. Neal loves Marian and wants to marry her, so he buys her a ring for Christmas. But Marian has many doubts about being married to someone several years younger than she is. Can she get over her doubts and marry Neal? Or will her doubts push Neal out of her life for good?

With the variety of stories offered in Northwest Tales of The Season you will find one or two that will make you laugh, feel the pain and sorrow, and the triumph that love prevails over all. Of all the stories, I enjoyed Keeper of Secrets the most, it was funny to see how these two come to terms with each other. There wasnít one story that I didnít like. I have found some authors that I have not read before but I will now be on the lookout for their books.

Reviewed in October 2003 by Pam.