by Alice Holden, Lisa Noeli, Melynda Beth Skinner

October 2004
ISBN: 0-8217-7721-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Holiday treats come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors, but depending on how your tastebuds are, is how delicious A Kiss For Christmas will be for you. Out of the three stories, the first and last are fairly enjoyable, although you need to make allowances and stretch the imagination a bit. The middle one, well....two out of three ain't bad.

First up is A Promise Kept by Alice Holden which happens to be my favorite and the most touching of the three. It tells the story of widowed Sarah Lawton who lives like Cinderella in the home of her husband’s family. Unknown to them, Sarah, “aka” Sissy Eaton, grew up in poverty as a ward in a parish workhouse. Ten years ago Sissy was parted from the only friend she had there, street urchin Conner Hamil, whom she never expected to see again until he walks in as Lord Lyle, a guest of her father-in-law! Realizing their deep love for each other never faded, Sarah and Con both realize their wish for this Christmas is to be together, but obstacles stand in their way. Sometimes you need faith to believe in Christmas miracles which can overcome obstacles!

A Merry Gentleman by Lisa Noeli very honestly bored me. It was silly and slow moving. (This is Regency England, why would 12 young girls be allowed to go off unchaperoned to visit an unmarried lord with just a maiden aunt in attendance for Christmas?) Supposedly, grumpy Lord Henry Whittaker dislikes the Christmas tradition of having to open his home to his female "cousins" until one distant one, Miss Susan Peach, catches his eye. Now all Henry wants for Christmas is one sweet Peach!

The third, Once Upon a Christmas, by Melynda Beth Skinner gives a giggle for Christmas in the form of a runaway heiress in disguise as a penniless beggar, Miss Emily Jones (really Winthrop). Emily finds herself at the doorstep of widower Lord David Winter who is having the dilemma of dealing with a holiday gathering for his friends and neighbors at the same time that most of his staff have quit. In desperate need of a governess for his two unruly daughters, David quickly gives Miss Jones the position. With a lack of any other place to go, or her family will find out where she is, Emily accepts the job. Things began to look up for David and his children when he begins to fall for the antics of Emily and her pet elephant (I told you that you have to stretch your imagination a bit) no less!

Reviewed in December 2004 by Bonnie.