by Fern Michaels, Linda Lael Miller, Theresa Alan, Jane Blackwood

November 2004
ISBN: 0-8217-7772-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Christmas is a magical time filled with hope, wishes, gifts, snow and of course love. All found in Jingle All The Way, an anthology of holiday stories by four of today’s hottest authors.

First is Santa Unwrapped by Theresa Alan, a “Chick Lit” tale. It’s Christmas time in Colorado, and native French Canadian, Aimee Lauchausse’e is not exactly anticipating this holiday season. Having recently ended a four-year relationship, and expecting her well meaning but meddling family for a visit, Aimee decides to volunteer as an elf of all things for a local charity that visits critically ill children in the hospital. Trying to see a bright side to this is easy once Aimee meets the guy who is playing Santa. Despite the fact that Ryan is in a wheelchair doesn’t deter Aimee from wanting to get to know him better.

The second was my personal favorite of the four. A little bit It’s a Wonderful Life, Jane Blackwood’s Maybe This Christmas is the story of down on her luck Laura. A practically homeless alcoholic, Laura is in a hospital on Christmas Eve, when the stranger in the next bed asks her if she could go back and do things over differently would she? When next she wakes, Laura finds herself back to the Christmas of 2004, twenty years in the past, when things started to go wrong for her and her family! All Laura wants this Christmas is a second chance at love with her former husband, Brian.

Bestselling author Linda Lael Miller’s contribution to this anthology is, The 24 Days of Christmas, which I found to be slow moving, and a little too sappy. Addie Hutton is practically penniless. Her husband left her for a younger woman, and she has been fired and blacklisted from her job as a reporter because her “source” turned out to be incorrect for a major story she was working on. With nowhere else to go, Addie returns to her hometown to the house she grew up in, now owned by her once fiancé, Frank Raynor. Renting the apartment over the garage and being so close to widowed Frank and his precocious daughter, Lissie, gets even more complicated when Addie’s louse of an ex-husband sends her five year old stepson, Henry to live with her because he is an “inconvenience” to his new wife. This is going to be one hectic Christmas for Frank and Addie as they struggle with two kids, one frisky beagle, and a reawakened love.

A Bright Red Ribbon by Fern Michaels is about Morgan Ames who has waited so long for this coming Christmas! The supposed love of her life, self-absorbed Keith, told Mo two Christmases ago, he would come back to her on this Christmas with a ring and a promise to settle down with her. Against her parents’ advice, Mo has set out in the worst blizzard to hit in years so she can meet Keith at her family home. Hopelessly lost in the storm, her car disabled, Mo is rescued by a very smart golden retriever, who brings her back to his home with the help of a red ribbon from a Christmas tree, right into the waiting arms of his master, handicapped recluse Marcus Bishop.

Overall, Jingle All The Way, is the usual Christmas fluff anthology we all love to lose ourselves in at this busy time of year.

Reviewed in October 2004 by Bonnie.