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A Season to Celebrate

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Make it a merry Christmas with four stories of the special way the holidays warm our hearts... CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING * Fern Michaels Former Air Force Pararescueman Kevin Matthews is back home in Texas, working at his family's Christmas tree farm while deciding his next move. Or maybe he won't move at all, if sparks keep flying with the town's new surgeon, Kate Stafford . Make it a merry Christmas with four stories of the special way the holidays warm our hearts... CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING * Fern Michaels Former Air Force Pararescueman Kevin Matthews is back home in Texas, working at his family's Christmas tree farm while deciding his next move. Or maybe he won't move at all, if sparks keep flying with the town's new surgeon, Kate Stafford . . . AN UNEXPECTED GIFT * Kate Pearce Widower Billy Morgan wishes his grown children still needed him. Good thing his longtime friend, Bella, does. She's planning her son's Christmas wedding and Billy is happy to help. Along the way they just might discover their own occasion to celebrate . . . CHRISTMAS IN BLUE HOLLOW FALLS * Donna Kauffman Attorney Moira Brogan expects her brother's Christmas wedding to be a peaceful affair. She doesn't expect to be cornered by an unwanted lothario, rescued by a gorgeous Aussie chef--or be swept off her feet by said chef. Nursing a broken heart, the last thing she wants is a new romance. But Hudson Walker has other ideas . . . HOLIDAY HOMERUN * Priscilla Oliveras Event planner Julia Louisa Fernandez dreams of a life in Chicago. But her family in Puerto Rico expects her to take over the catering business. Former pro baseball player Ben Thomas knows what that's like--and when they meet, he might be the one to inspire a winning strategy, just in time for the holidays . . . An Official Military Spouse Book Club Pick


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Make it a merry Christmas with four stories of the special way the holidays warm our hearts... CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING * Fern Michaels Former Air Force Pararescueman Kevin Matthews is back home in Texas, working at his family's Christmas tree farm while deciding his next move. Or maybe he won't move at all, if sparks keep flying with the town's new surgeon, Kate Stafford . Make it a merry Christmas with four stories of the special way the holidays warm our hearts... CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING * Fern Michaels Former Air Force Pararescueman Kevin Matthews is back home in Texas, working at his family's Christmas tree farm while deciding his next move. Or maybe he won't move at all, if sparks keep flying with the town's new surgeon, Kate Stafford . . . AN UNEXPECTED GIFT * Kate Pearce Widower Billy Morgan wishes his grown children still needed him. Good thing his longtime friend, Bella, does. She's planning her son's Christmas wedding and Billy is happy to help. Along the way they just might discover their own occasion to celebrate . . . CHRISTMAS IN BLUE HOLLOW FALLS * Donna Kauffman Attorney Moira Brogan expects her brother's Christmas wedding to be a peaceful affair. She doesn't expect to be cornered by an unwanted lothario, rescued by a gorgeous Aussie chef--or be swept off her feet by said chef. Nursing a broken heart, the last thing she wants is a new romance. But Hudson Walker has other ideas . . . HOLIDAY HOMERUN * Priscilla Oliveras Event planner Julia Louisa Fernandez dreams of a life in Chicago. But her family in Puerto Rico expects her to take over the catering business. Former pro baseball player Ben Thomas knows what that's like--and when they meet, he might be the one to inspire a winning strategy, just in time for the holidays . . . An Official Military Spouse Book Club Pick

30 review for A Season to Celebrate

  1. 4 out of 5

    Claire Robinson

    4.5 - "I wouldn’t wish a broken heart on anyone…" Stars! Review for ~ Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman This is essentially novella 2.5 in the Blue Hollow Falls series. Moira Brogan is the focus of this book. Being Seth’s sister we were introduced to her in book two; Bluestone & Vine and although you definitely don’t have to read it to know what is going on with her in this one, I would heartily recommend it as it is a great book, actually I would recommend the whole series on 4.5 - "I wouldn’t wish a broken heart on anyone…" Stars! Review for ~ Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman This is essentially novella 2.5 in the Blue Hollow Falls series. Moira Brogan is the focus of this book. Being Seth’s sister we were introduced to her in book two; Bluestone & Vine and although you definitely don’t have to read it to know what is going on with her in this one, I would heartily recommend it as it is a great book, actually I would recommend the whole series on that basis. "Time is the least accurate and reliable measure for how long it takes to fall in love… For some people it can take months… years. For others, it can happen in the blink of an eye." Aussie chef Hudson Walker, isn’t expecting to end up arrested and in the slammer for looking in on his mate’s sister after the wedding party has broken up, but that’s exactly where he finds himself after rescuing Moira from a nasty situation, that escalates into an all-out bar brawl. "The very last thing I’d ever do is let myself fall in love while I’m away on holiday… Again." Moira is at a crossroads in her life, and Hudson revels in taking the unexpected turn at any crossroads he comes across, so as you can deduce they are quite the pair of opposites. One is a planner, the other lets life lead the way, but their attraction is undeniable, their connection deeper and more meaningful than either anticipated, and over a short space of time they discover more about each other (and themselves) but is it enough to make either of them take the decision to take the next road traveled together, especially when Moira has been hurt by what she thought was love quite recently… "You can’t figure things out in pieces… Life tends to come at you full on. My experience is embrace it for what it is, get out of it what you can. Discard what doesn’t work, consider it a learning opportunity, and build on what does…" I loved this little seasonal novella, getting to return to Blue Hollow Falls for any length of time is always a treat, but like always with this authors work, I wish it was longer! ARC generously provided, in exchange for the above honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    With the exception of Kate Pearce, these are the first stories I've read by these authors. I adore Ms. Pearce's Morgan Ranch series so reading Billy's story was really the icing on the cake for me. Definitely my favorite in this collection! Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls left me wanting to read more so I will be checking into Ms. Kauffman's series. Very engaging and enjoyable story. I enjoyed Holiday Homerun immensely as well and will certainly see what Ms. Oliveras has to offer in her backlist. With the exception of Kate Pearce, these are the first stories I've read by these authors. I adore Ms. Pearce's Morgan Ranch series so reading Billy's story was really the icing on the cake for me. Definitely my favorite in this collection! Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls left me wanting to read more so I will be checking into Ms. Kauffman's series. Very engaging and enjoyable story. I enjoyed Holiday Homerun immensely as well and will certainly see what Ms. Oliveras has to offer in her backlist. As for Christmas Homecoming, it didn't flow quite as nicely and the ending was very abrupt. Overall, if you are looking for light stories to get you in the holiday spirit, this anthology certainly fits the bill!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sissy's Romance Book Review

    A Season to Celebrate by Fern Michaels; Kate Pearce; Donna Kauffman; Priscilla Oliveras This is such a great box set with some cute and feel good stories. This box sets total about 305 pages with four different stories by different authors. This is a great way to get a 'taste' of authors you might not have read before and also to get you a great quick story to get you romance fix for the day. Overall loved each story and would recommend this book. Here is a copy of the stories you are getting wi A Season to Celebrate by Fern Michaels; Kate Pearce; Donna Kauffman; Priscilla Oliveras This is such a great box set with some cute and feel good stories. This box sets total about 305 pages with four different stories by different authors. This is a great way to get a 'taste' of authors you might not have read before and also to get you a great quick story to get you romance fix for the day. Overall loved each story and would recommend this book. Here is a copy of the stories you are getting with a blurb from each: CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING * Fern Michaels Former Air Force Pararescueman Kevin Matthews is back home in Texas, working at his family’s Christmas tree farm while deciding his next move. Or maybe he won’t move at all, if sparks keep flying with the town’s new surgeon, Kate Stafford . . . AN UNEXPECTED GIFT * Kate Pearce Widower Billy Morgan wishes his grown children still needed him. Good thing his longtime friend, Bella, does. She’s planning her son’s Christmas wedding and Billy is happy to help. Along the way they just might discover their own occasion to celebrate . . . CHRISTMAS IN BLUE HOLLOW FALLS * Donna Kauffman Attorney Moira Brogan expects her brother’s Christmas wedding to be a peaceful affair. She doesn’t expect to be cornered by an unwanted lothario, rescued by a gorgeous Aussie chef—or be swept off her feet by said chef. Nursing a broken heart, the last thing she wants is a new romance. But Hudson Walker has other ideas . . . HOLIDAY HOMERUN * Priscilla Oliveras Event planner Julia Louisa Fernandez dreams of a life in Chicago. But her family in Puerto Rico expects her to take over the catering business. Former pro baseball player Ben Thomas knows what that’s like—and when they meet, he might be the one to inspire a winning strategy, just in time for the holidays . .

  4. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This was a very enjoyable Christmas anthology, perfect for getting you in the holiday spirit. I must say that the only one of these authors I had previously read was Kate Pearce. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of her Morgan Ranch series, it was very nice to see Billy (the dad) get his own happy ever after. Although even if you've never read any of the books in the series, this short story can be read on its own. After reading Donna Kauffman's short story set in her Blue Hollows Fall This was a very enjoyable Christmas anthology, perfect for getting you in the holiday spirit. I must say that the only one of these authors I had previously read was Kate Pearce. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of her Morgan Ranch series, it was very nice to see Billy (the dad) get his own happy ever after. Although even if you've never read any of the books in the series, this short story can be read on its own. After reading Donna Kauffman's short story set in her Blue Hollows Falls series, I find myself wanting to read more from the series simply because I enjoyed the writing. Small town contemporary romances are some of my favorites. So while these two stories were my favorite, all in all it was a great collection of stories.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gale

    The first thing you need to know is that I will auto-buy most holiday books – I am a sucka for ‘em! As soon as I heard this collection was being released, it went on my to-buy list. I always purchase Ms. Michaels books and Ms. Oliveras was a new author to me, but this set of stories came with a favorite author (Donna Kauffman) and a “newly” favorite (Kate Pearce)! I was fortunate in that I received an early copy from NetGalley but I still pre-ordered. It really was an enjoyable read. The four st The first thing you need to know is that I will auto-buy most holiday books – I am a sucka for ‘em! As soon as I heard this collection was being released, it went on my to-buy list. I always purchase Ms. Michaels books and Ms. Oliveras was a new author to me, but this set of stories came with a favorite author (Donna Kauffman) and a “newly” favorite (Kate Pearce)! I was fortunate in that I received an early copy from NetGalley but I still pre-ordered. It really was an enjoyable read. The four stories are about novella length so they move quickly. I also love, love, love Ms. Kauffman’s Blue Hollow series and her contribution is a part of that. I have also been reading Ms. Pearce’s Morgan Ranch series and her story is also from that series. No worries; they were all standalone reads. However, I had already “met” the characters from Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls and An Unexpected Gift. I had some favorite lines in all the stories however I don’t want there to be any spoilers. In Christmas Homecoming, that line was almost at the end but Kevin’s and Kate’s story is sort of based on a comedy of errors. They keep misreading each other’s signals and it is Kate’s little girl that will steal the show with her one-liners, IMHO. In An Unexpected Gift, Billy Morgan finds love with an old friend, Bella. My favorite line? Bella’s Navy SEAL son tells Billy, “And all you need to remember is that if you hurt her I’ll come after you, and no one will ever find your body.” “Understood.” Billy nodded. Cracked me up, as you’ll see when you read it. Billy has a past and it plays a very large part of this story. In Holiday Homerun, if you have ever dealt with family expectations, the story will hit home. Julia and Ben both have things in their pasts that are probably direct opposites if you compared them, but they both have to deal with that in order to move forward. Touching and sometimes funny, but always enjoyable. My absolute favorite of the stories was Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls by Ms. Kauffman. Again, it is a standalone however I’ve “met” Moira Brogan in a previous book about her brother Seth however this, too, stands alone. As a matter of fact, she is “rescued” by Hudson Walker after Seth’s wedding, and they are adorable together. Hudson is one of those characters where you think, this guy is too good to be true, but he never gets…sappy, for lack of a better term. And I loved his choice of housing! Moira’s life is in turmoil as she has had some disappointments and discouraging events in her past but always has the love of her big Irish family behind her. She just wishes that sometimes they were fa-a-a-a-a-a-a-arrrrrrrrrr behind her! I love these two and it was a peek into life around Blue Hollow Falls and it made me sigh and say, ‘Awwwwwwwwwwww!’ I love the series and it just carried thru with this story. All in all, well worth the purchase of the book! I will re-read in years to come.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Maranda

    Every time there is a compilation of short stores that hinge on authors series stories there are always ones that stand out. I loved AN UNEXPECTED GIFT by Kate Pearce which allows Morgan Ranch fans to get the low down on widower Billy Morgan. His chance for a happily ever after is stumbled upon when Bella, Billy's childhood friend, plans a party at the ranch for her son. The other excerpt that stood out to me was CHRISTMAS IN BLUE HOLLOW FALLS by Donna Kauffman This was a new author to experienc Every time there is a compilation of short stores that hinge on authors series stories there are always ones that stand out. I loved AN UNEXPECTED GIFT by Kate Pearce which allows Morgan Ranch fans to get the low down on widower Billy Morgan. His chance for a happily ever after is stumbled upon when Bella, Billy's childhood friend, plans a party at the ranch for her son. The other excerpt that stood out to me was CHRISTMAS IN BLUE HOLLOW FALLS by Donna Kauffman This was a new author to experience and I loved this story. A meeting between an attorney and a chef makes for a tasty bit of prose. A copy of this book was provided by Kensington Books via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."

  7. 4 out of 5

    B

    If you are looking for a cozy Christmas read, this anthology is for you! I read the first story with a hero’s homecoming and a new girl in town. Usually, anthologies skip the background details, but this one was all about inner thoughts and personal histories. The Christmas theme and family dynamic was heartwarming, but I prefer more action and less internal dialogue. The second book, cute story. Billy and Bella’s story is a mid-life second chance romance. The characters were fun and the story wa If you are looking for a cozy Christmas read, this anthology is for you! I read the first story with a hero’s homecoming and a new girl in town. Usually, anthologies skip the background details, but this one was all about inner thoughts and personal histories. The Christmas theme and family dynamic was heartwarming, but I prefer more action and less internal dialogue. The second book, cute story. Billy and Bella’s story is a mid-life second chance romance. The characters were fun and the story was short but sweet. Book 3, Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls starts with a bar fight and ends in a caboose. What a ride! Delightful story of young Moira finding her way after several hard knocks. I liked the setting and characters so much I may read the rest of the Blue Hollow Falls series. The final book was a delightful mix of a woman trying to reach her career goals while mixing romance with a retired baseball hero. I love the Christmas theme in this one, and how Julia stayed true to herself through the many challenges she faced. ARC provided by Netgalley, thank you!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    I am a total nut job for Christmas Anthologies! I've only read the story by Donna Kauffman so far, because I have read all the other books in her Blue Hollow Falls series and there was no way I was going to wait for Christmas to read it. This is the story of Moira. It starts out with her sitting in a bar and drinking in her bridesmaid dress for her brother's wedding. Can you picture that? It's not a hideous bridesmaid dress, but still...it's a bridesmaid dress! Enter Aussie chef that's been sent I am a total nut job for Christmas Anthologies! I've only read the story by Donna Kauffman so far, because I have read all the other books in her Blue Hollow Falls series and there was no way I was going to wait for Christmas to read it. This is the story of Moira. It starts out with her sitting in a bar and drinking in her bridesmaid dress for her brother's wedding. Can you picture that? It's not a hideous bridesmaid dress, but still...it's a bridesmaid dress! Enter Aussie chef that's been sent to keep an eye on her and flames are flying all over the place and there's not even a Bananas Foster in his hands. (I really didn't mean for that to be dirty). Since she's recovering from a broken heart, going back to her law practice soon, and he's here from Australia there is no way they should act on it--but sometimes the heart just does what it wants to! I loved this story and can't wait to read the rest in the book!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    I really enjoyed this book, but I'll be honest my favorite was the Donna Kauffman story. She was just better at giving me character development in this short story collection, but I say that having only read her books before and having no familiarity with the other authors that I can recall. The other stories were very cute as well and I like that some stories have divorcee's and kids. That keeps it fresh because it's a completely different emotional journey when you involve kids or divorce. I'm I really enjoyed this book, but I'll be honest my favorite was the Donna Kauffman story. She was just better at giving me character development in this short story collection, but I say that having only read her books before and having no familiarity with the other authors that I can recall. The other stories were very cute as well and I like that some stories have divorcee's and kids. That keeps it fresh because it's a completely different emotional journey when you involve kids or divorce. I'm giving this 4 stars for just the lack of character development that I like to see in books from a couple of the authors, but remember that this could be just because of the shortened length of the stories. I'm not naming names purely because I do think all of them were worth the read and put me in the holiday spirit.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kait Nolan

    I totally blew through Donna Kauffman's Christmas at Blue Hollow Falls, which features Seth's sister Moira. There was a teaser for this one in the back of Bluestone and Vine and I've been salivating. I'll get around to the rest of the novellas as we edge closer to actual Christmas, but this one was no disappointment. Super adorable, with our sexy Aussie chef Hudson and control freak Moira. The attraction is instantaneous and they just balance each other really well. This is far more a story abou I totally blew through Donna Kauffman's Christmas at Blue Hollow Falls, which features Seth's sister Moira. There was a teaser for this one in the back of Bluestone and Vine and I've been salivating. I'll get around to the rest of the novellas as we edge closer to actual Christmas, but this one was no disappointment. Super adorable, with our sexy Aussie chef Hudson and control freak Moira. The attraction is instantaneous and they just balance each other really well. This is far more a story about feels than conflict. It's not long enough for much conflict--which entirely centers around whether Moira's ready to take a risk (because remember she got her heart stomped on in Ireland). Two thumbs up and wishing it were about twice as long just because I wanted more of these two.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shari

    I have only read one story so far, Christmas in Blu Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman, but can't wait to read the other stories. I love Christmas anthologies, perfects for the busy season. Loved the beginning of the story, with barroom brawl. Moria is home for Christmas for her brother's wedding when she is rescued from the brawl by sexy aussie chef< Hudson. Moria is not looking for a relationship at this point of her life, but there is no denying the chemistry between the two. Loved these chara I have only read one story so far, Christmas in Blu Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman, but can't wait to read the other stories. I love Christmas anthologies, perfects for the busy season. Loved the beginning of the story, with barroom brawl. Moria is home for Christmas for her brother's wedding when she is rescued from the brawl by sexy aussie chef< Hudson. Moria is not looking for a relationship at this point of her life, but there is no denying the chemistry between the two. Loved these characters, so perfect for each other. Great character development even in the short story. Love visiting Blue Hollow Falls. I highly recommend, can be read as a stand alone from her series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I read the Donna Kauffman addition to this anthology, Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls, and loved it! I always enjoy a visit to Blue Hollow Falls and found this return to the area as delightful and touching as previous visits (although for someone who hasn't read the other books in the series, this book stands alone and can be enjoyed just as much). There was laughter, plenty of emotion, romance, and a warm feeling all wrapped up in an enchanting tale of love, belonging, and finding your way. I lo I read the Donna Kauffman addition to this anthology, Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls, and loved it! I always enjoy a visit to Blue Hollow Falls and found this return to the area as delightful and touching as previous visits (although for someone who hasn't read the other books in the series, this book stands alone and can be enjoyed just as much). There was laughter, plenty of emotion, romance, and a warm feeling all wrapped up in an enchanting tale of love, belonging, and finding your way. I look forward to reading the other stories in the anthology, but this story alone is worth getting the book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Wished for more details and info on the characters and plots. My fault for not realizing these were connected to their series so did not work as well as a standalone book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julie Barrett

    A Season to Celebrate by Fern Michaels, Kate Pearce, Donna Kauffman, Priscilla Oliveras Love this there are four different authors with their stories in this collection. Have read many of them and enjoyed the reads. . A Christmas Homecoming by Fern Michaels Story about a man who's returning back home from the war-for good. his family runs the tree farm in TX. Also follows Kate and her daughter Emma and they've returned to the area again after her divorce as she has landed a job as a pediatric orthope A Season to Celebrate by Fern Michaels, Kate Pearce, Donna Kauffman, Priscilla Oliveras Love this there are four different authors with their stories in this collection. Have read many of them and enjoyed the reads. . A Christmas Homecoming by Fern Michaels Story about a man who's returning back home from the war-for good. his family runs the tree farm in TX. Also follows Kate and her daughter Emma and they've returned to the area again after her divorce as she has landed a job as a pediatric orthopedic doctor-her dream job. It's Christmas and we learn how they celebrate the holiday in Texas. The adults are attracted to one another but she dosn't know if he's poken for.... Emma has a new friend to play with and Kate learns of her relationship with Keven... Misunderstandings and misconceptions occur...lots of twists and turns... Love all the charity work mentioned. . An Unexpected Gift by Kate Pearce This story focuses around a man released from prison, Billie who's returned home and is able to get out there and move on with life. He'd lost his wife and child in a serious accident. A local Bella who runs the bar with her son is also a widow and he's able to pitch in to help her out of bad situations with the help. Their paths cross often as he helps her out at the bar/diner. What I like about this one is that it's about a couple over 50 and the struggles they have in their lives. Sexual graphic scenes. So many obstacles in their way of a chance at second love. Recipe included. . Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman Never heard of one marrying on Christmas Day. After the celebration some go to the bar and drink, problem is there are many different groups of people there from different counteis. A woman is being shown to the door by a man she doens't know til a man with an Aussie dialect intererupts. He ends up in jail and she comes to his rescue. Love hearing about her degree and lack of but she's able to help him regardless as she is drawn to him. Her broher had asked him to keep an eye on her while he's on his honeymoon. Love his location and how he transpires it into a space for her-pricesless! Predictable story line. . Holiday Home Run by Priscilla Oliveras Like this story because it's a bit differenet being it's the holidays and there is baseball, which is a summer sport in the US. Love the charity work done and how Julia involves the children in all the programs. Like the idea of the parade caloing as we'd do that as a Portugese family. Also like how the baseball star fits in and how Ben uses his fame for good things. Liked hearing about Chicago as we've yet to visit there. . About the authors are included at the end. Other books excerpts from authors are included at the end. Received this review copy from Kensington Books via Zebra at Netgalley and this is my honest opinion. #ASeasonToCelebrate #NetGalley

  15. 5 out of 5

    Yaritza

    Each story in this novel brings you good tidings at Christmas. All four stories bring family together and romance unexpectedly. Christmas Homecoming had me laughing. Kate Safford is the new surgeon who meets Kevin Mathews who was an Air Force pararescueman that returned home. The teenage romance that circled around these two was romantic. Love makes us act weird and not think straight. An Unexpected Gift gives Billy Morgan a second chance at romance and spending time with his family. A wedding s Each story in this novel brings you good tidings at Christmas. All four stories bring family together and romance unexpectedly. Christmas Homecoming had me laughing. Kate Safford is the new surgeon who meets Kevin Mathews who was an Air Force pararescueman that returned home. The teenage romance that circled around these two was romantic. Love makes us act weird and not think straight. An Unexpected Gift gives Billy Morgan a second chance at romance and spending time with his family. A wedding sometimes leads to another wedding for an attendee. Past friendships can lead to romance. Christmas in Blue Hollow Moira hasn't been having the best love life. She is an attorney and her career hasn't been going how she planned. At a bar while a fight breaks out hot Aussie chef Hudson Walker comes to the rescue. Hudson was sent to by Moira's brother to keep an eye on her. Well her sure keep his eyes on her. A wedding at Christmas is my dream wedding. Holiday Homerun what a lovely spanglish novel. I loved that my Puerto Rican heritage was celebrated in this story. Strongly can relate with the heritage, family values and strict family. Julia Fernandez hit a home homerun to create a spectacular event with Puerto Rican traditions. Ben Thomas the hot former baseball player falls in love with Julia. They have great chemistry.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lauren loves llamas

    Look, I’m going to be 100% honest with you. I completely picked this up for Priscilla Oliveras’ story, because all the other authors are completely new to me. Also, while the cover is cute, it’s usually indicative of the kind of romance I don’t particularly enjoy, so I had pretty low expectations going in. Luckily, most of the stories were quite good and I got to add a few new authors to my TBR! “Before I left, I was just going through the motions, living from one day to the next, not fully reali Look, I’m going to be 100% honest with you. I completely picked this up for Priscilla Oliveras’ story, because all the other authors are completely new to me. Also, while the cover is cute, it’s usually indicative of the kind of romance I don’t particularly enjoy, so I had pretty low expectations going in. Luckily, most of the stories were quite good and I got to add a few new authors to my TBR! “Before I left, I was just going through the motions, living from one day to the next, not fully realizing what I had and what I could do with my life. Now I understand how important it is to be grounded. Be a part of something. The loyalty. The love. The unwavering attention you give to each other. Everyone needs to learn to love just a little more and learn to accept it.” “A Christmas Homecoming” – Fern Michaels – ★★ This was a not great start to the anthology. On the surface, it sounds good. Kevin is returning home to his family and their Christmas tree farm after six years in the military, and Kate and her young daughter have just moved to town after she accepted a position at the local hospital. From their initial meeting at church to a tree delivery, there’s definite interest between the two of them and this honestly should’ve been a slam dunk. Unfortunately, the entire story revolved around judgey misconceptions – View Spoiler » There was actually a large chunk of the story from Kevin’s mom’s POV, which felt like an odd choice in such a short story. There were a couple of other turns of phrases that struck me wrong (some nasty fatphobia right in the beginning that nearly had me throw out the whole anthology, plus a weird remark about PC police not letting kids cut out paper stars?), plus Kate’s kid was an absolute plot moppet. This was the first thing I’ve read by this author, and I think it’ll also be the last! “Everything he’d had and lost, everything he’d ever wanted to achieve with the blessing of this second chance now made sense. Bella made sense of it. Coming home to his old friend completed a circle he hadn’t even been aware he was traveling.” “An Unexpected Gift” – Kate Pearce – ★★★★ This story itself is, like the title says, an unexpected gift! It’s the usual story of two people from a small town who’ve known each other since kindergarten – the only difference is, kindergarten was fifty years ago! Both Billy and Bella have been married before, and both have grown children who have apparently gotten their HEAs. This is set in an existing series (the Morgan Ranch series), and while I definitely felt like I was missing out on some things (there are a LOT of characters), I don’t think it affected the main romance. At heart, this is a sort of second chance romance, in the sense that this is the second “big love” in both their lives. I appreciated the older hero and heroine and the gentle humor. Overall, heartwarming, and I’ve added the first in the series to my TBR! (A sidenote: though the rest of the stories in this anthology don’t involve sexual content beyond kisses, this one has several sex scenes) “I’m a pretty goal-oriented person. I like to make plans, and stick to those plans. But, I guess I came to a turning point, and for the first time ever, I finally made a few bold, completely unplanned choices. The end result of which was a complete train wreck.” Her smile widened. “You, on the other hand, wander the globe on a whim, and end up making the wrecked train into an amazing home.” “Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls” – Donna Kauffman – ★★★★ In Blue Hollow Falls for the Christmas wedding of her brother to a famous Irish folk singer, Moira’s hiding out a hotel bar drowning her sorrows in soda when she’s propositioned – and then assaulted – by a slimy guy. Luckily Hudson – the wedding caterer and her brother’s good friend – is there and steps in to help rescue her, and then brings her back to his place (a renovated train carriage, no less). Moira is recovering from a relationship gone wrong and failing the California bar exam. Normally Moira’s quite staid – she has plans upon plans – but recently she’s tried to do some things spontaneously and it backfired spectacularly. So she’s enchanted by Hudson, who’s spent his time wandering around the globe and having adventure after adventure, and has currently been the chef of her brother’s restaurant for a year. It’s got laugh-out-loud touches of humor and also a philosophical discussion of how to approach life – Moira’s goal-oriented control freak versus Hudson’s go-with-the-flow. I also loved the descriptions of Moira’s crazy Irish family, and deeply identified with her conflict over loving them and wanting to be near them, but not quite too near. This is part of the aptly named “Blue Hollow Falls” series, and I will definitely be picking up the first book! “Sometimes, a move away from the place where we’re the most comfortable allows for the best kind of growth.” “Holiday Home Run” – Priscilla Oliveras – ★★★★ Saving the best for last! Julia is an event planner and the cousin of the sisters from the Matched to Perfection series. She grew up in Puerto Rico helping her mom run her catering company and dealing with her baseball-obsessed brothers. While she loves her family, she, too, feels suffocated by their expectations that she take over the family business, so she’s looking at making the move to Chicago. The linchpin of her plan is pulling off the best holiday soiree fundraiser for the Chicago Youth Association that the town has ever seen in the hopes of landing a permanent job there. If only the fundraiser didn’t come with a certain handsome retired baseball player involved… At first, Ben is seemingly only interested in Julia because she doesn’t seem as starstruck around him. Gradually, though, as they work together on the fundraiser, the spark turns into something more. Julia, however, has zero interest in dating an athlete after spending her whole life submerged in baseball, even if Ben is kind, compassionate, a good listener, and did I mention handsome? The big problem, though, is that Ben doesn’t understand why she wants to move away from her family, when he’s so desperately missing the family he found in his baseball team. Watching the two of them work it out was so sweet and at times heart wrenching. I also loved the touches of Puerto Rican holiday traditions, though I did finish the story hungry for pernil and arroz con gandules! Another great story from Ms. Oliveras, and I’m so looking forward to Lilí’s book next month! I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sue Galuska

    This book has four short holiday stories in it. Perfect types to read during the holidays. CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING by Fern Michaels Kevin Matthews is finally coming back home to Cedar Park, Texas after 3 tours of duty in the military after hurting his leg. He's 32 and not sure what he wants to do, but in the meantime he will help out on his family's tree farm. Before he left, he had his whole life planned out but when his girlfriend Melissa broke things off, he joined the service. Kate Stafford is a d This book has four short holiday stories in it. Perfect types to read during the holidays. CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING by Fern Michaels Kevin Matthews is finally coming back home to Cedar Park, Texas after 3 tours of duty in the military after hurting his leg. He's 32 and not sure what he wants to do, but in the meantime he will help out on his family's tree farm. Before he left, he had his whole life planned out but when his girlfriend Melissa broke things off, he joined the service. Kate Stafford is a doctor, recently divorced and a single mother to Emma. They just relocated to Cedar Park, Texas. When taking Emma to her Sunday school classes, Kate bumps into Kevin and sparks fly. Of course everyone in town is trying to be a matchmaker between these two, even Emma! Some holiday magic is just what is needed to give Kevin and Kate their happy ending. This was a fun, sweet and romantic story. AN UNEXPECTED GIFT by Kate Pearce Widower Billy Morgan has had a tough time of things lately. Still feeling guilty over things from his past, Billy is trying make amends with his family and is wishing he was needed more. When his old friend, widow Bella Williams is in need of his help, Billy jumps right in and a new, different type of friendship is started. When Bella wants to throw a surprise party for her son and new daughter-in-law, she enlists Billy's help. As these two spend more time together, sparks start to fly. It takes some huge leaps of faith for these two people to jump into a relationship again but together they find a wonderful happy ending. CHRISTMAS IN BLUE HOLLOW FALLS by Donna Kauffman We finally get Moira Brogan's story! After her brother Seth's wedding to Pippa, Moira heads back to her hotel and ends up in the bar. When Max, a drunk, rich idiot starts to come on to her and starts to get a little physical, a handsome stranger comes to her rescue. Hudson Walker is her brother's friend and was actually the chef for their wedding. He recognized Moira as soon as she entered the bar but didn't make himself known until it looked like she was in danger. Having been attracted to Moira but knowing she was only in town for the wedding, Hudson didn't make any moves on her since she was one of his best friend's little sisters. Moira ends up going back to Hudson's place for the night after she bails him out of jail from his fight with Max. The next morning the two of them hit if off after her love of his cooking. They spend the day together being open and honest with each other and even though neither of them is looking for anything serious, sparks fly. It takes trust, a leap of faith, and getting over their past before Moira and Hudson can find their happy ending and boy do they end up finding it! I loved this story. My only complaint would be that it was too short! I love Moira and want more of her! HOLIDAY HOMERUN by Priscilla Oliveras Julia Louisa Fernandez wants to live in Chicago, IL, not in Puerto Rico. She finally gets her big chance at catering a big gala and she is hoping that afterwards, the head of the gala will offer her a permanent position. Unfortunately, the guest star of the gala is none other than former pro baseball player Ben Thomas. Too bad all ball players are had egos so big they could barely fit in the room, but Julia was determined to see this gala through. Ben on the other hand was determined to see Julia. He was intrigued by her. As these two spent more time together, Julia realizes that Ben is not like most ball player. As the gala day draws closer, so do Ben and Julia. He really wants her to stay in Chicago and decides to try and help it along. Too bad best thought out ideas are not always what is best. In the end these two do get their happy ending though.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    I seriously don’t know how I got lucky enough to get another holiday anthology ARC. I’m sure not complaining though. First, I got to read Santa’s on His Way last month. Now I get to read this one, with some new-to-me authors and some old favorites. On top of that, this book has an amazing cover that really got me into the Christmas spirit. I love it! A Christmas Homecoming by Fern Michaels Believe it or not, I’ve never read a Fern Michaels book. I don’t know if you find that odd, but I sure do. Wit I seriously don’t know how I got lucky enough to get another holiday anthology ARC. I’m sure not complaining though. First, I got to read Santa’s on His Way last month. Now I get to read this one, with some new-to-me authors and some old favorites. On top of that, this book has an amazing cover that really got me into the Christmas spirit. I love it! A Christmas Homecoming by Fern Michaels Believe it or not, I’ve never read a Fern Michaels book. I don’t know if you find that odd, but I sure do. With as many books as she has under her belt and with how many books I read you’d think I would have crossed paths with her writing before now. While this story piqued my interest in her storytelling, I’m not sure exactly how I feel about her writing. It’s hard to tell from such a short story. While I definitely felt the spark between Kate and Kevin, all while things were kept G-rated to boot, there were other issues I had. I know, I know, not everyone is such a stickler for how accurately military matters are presented in such stories. But I am. It was nothing drastically wrong, but enough that it stuck in my craw. I also felt a bit like the author didn’t give nurses the respect they deserve. Again, nothing overt…just enough to annoy me. Overall, this is a really sweet story that really lets the reader fill in the blanks to their own liking. I’ll most likely look into reading more of her work now that I’ve had my introduction. ~3 stars (G) An Unexpected Gift by Kate Pearce I just adore this author and her Morgan Ranch series. Although you don’t have to have read that series to enjoy this short story, I recommend you do because they’re all amazing reads. Other than getting to revisit some of my favorite characters, I enjoyed that this story is about an older couple. When I say older I mean early 50’s. But let’s face it, most contemporary romance deals with the 40 and under crowd. So it was wonderful to read about a patriarch and matriarch of two different families finding their second chance at love and have sexual feelings to go along with that love. ~5 stars (R) Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman Although I haven’t read this author’s Blue Hollow Falls series, obviously this story ties into those books. I didn’t feel lost in the story or like I was missing anything by not having read them yet though. The chemistry between Hudson and Moira is great and I was rooting for them through the whole thing. The beginning scenes in the bar were phenomenal and truly had my stomach in knots and anger welling up inside of me. The dialogue in this one was as mixed bag for me. This story is extremely dialogue heavy. At some times, I found that to be a good thing. At other times, it was a bit overwhelming. All in all, this was a really interesting and solid story. ~3.5 stars (PG) Holiday Home Run by Priscilla Oliveras Now this is a new-to-me author I actually never heard of, and I loved her! I can’t wait to get my hands on more of her work. The chemistry is amazing even while keeping this story totally PG. Even though I could tell some of the more peripheral characters must be in this author’s other books, this was a complete story and I didn’t feel as though I was missing anything by having not yet read the other books. This story has a sprinkle of sports, it dabbles in the holidays, and it highlights some wonderful cultural celebrations. I was duly impressed. ~4 stars (PG) **I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely** https://allingoodtimeblog.wordpress.c...

  19. 4 out of 5

    ButtonsMom2003

    Great stories, great authors! If you are a fan of Kate Pearce's Morgan Ranch series then you don't want to miss this book. In addition to a fantastic new Morgan Ranch story, you also get three more stories by great authors. So far, I've only read An Unexpected Gift by Kate Pearce and Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman so my rating is based on those two stories. -------------------------------------- An Unexpected Gift (5 stars) by Kate Pearce is a standalone story set in the world of Great stories, great authors! If you are a fan of Kate Pearce's Morgan Ranch series then you don't want to miss this book. In addition to a fantastic new Morgan Ranch story, you also get three more stories by great authors. So far, I've only read An Unexpected Gift by Kate Pearce and Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman so my rating is based on those two stories. -------------------------------------- An Unexpected Gift (5 stars) by Kate Pearce is a standalone story set in the world of the Morgan Ranch series. You can easily read and enjoy this story on its own but I also highly recommend all of the books in the series. An Unexpected Gift is about Billy Morgan, father of the four Morgan brothers. Billy's wife died many years ago and this Christmas season he finds himself attracted to his longtime friend, Bella, who is also widowed. She approaches Billy about holding a surprise wedding celebration for her son who recently eloped. While planning the party Billy and Bella work closely together and they are both surprised by the feelings they are having for each other. This was a very sweet, but sexy, story about an older couple finding love again. There just aren't that many books I've run across that show that there is still life, love and sex after 50 and this is really a great one. Fans of the Morgan Ranch series will be delighted to see several characters from those books make an appearance – including funny one where Billy and Bella are caught in bed together by Billy's son, Chase. 😊 -------------------------------------- Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls (5 stars) is a very touching story that I've just learned is set in Donna Kauffman's Blue Hollow Falls series. I don't follow this author closely so I'm not familiar with the series but I can tell you that I really loved Christmas in Blue Hollow and that you don't need to have read any of the other stories to enjoy this one. Moira Brogan is in Blue Hollow for her brother's wedding. She's recently had a few knocks to her self confidence and after the wedding she's telling her troubles to the hotel bartender, Sally, when a would-be lothario tries to make time with her. He doesn't want to take no for an answer so she about to hit him where it counts when another man comes to her rescue. Hudson is friends with Moira's brother. He prepared the food for his wedding and her brother sent him to check on Moira. His sexy Aussie accent captivates Moira but she's also wary because of a recent breakup after being taken in by a sexy Irish accent. My words aren't doing justice to this great story. It has lots of feels, a super sexy hero and a relationship-wary heroine who's had a bit of bad luck lately. I loved that Hudson lived in converted train cars. Ever since reading The Boxcar Children stories when I was young I've had a fascination with living in a train car. I enjoyed this story so much that now I have to checkout the other Blue Hollow Falls books. -------------------------------------- In conclusion, if you are a fan of any of the authors in this anthology I don't think you will be disappointed by their stories in this collection. A review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

  20. 5 out of 5

    Whitley Birks

    A Christmas Homecoming - Two extremely well-adjusted people with positive outlooks on life move to the same town and make googly-eyes at each other for like 80 or so pages. Really. That's it. For the bulk of the story, the two leads don't even interact, it's all just other people trying to shove them together and/or discussing inane domestic topics. The story ends right after the leads realize the other is single and just smile across the room at each other. And there were so! many! exclamation! A Christmas Homecoming - Two extremely well-adjusted people with positive outlooks on life move to the same town and make googly-eyes at each other for like 80 or so pages. Really. That's it. For the bulk of the story, the two leads don't even interact, it's all just other people trying to shove them together and/or discussing inane domestic topics. The story ends right after the leads realize the other is single and just smile across the room at each other. And there were so! many! exclamation! points! Also, I'm a veteran from Texas, and even I think the opening of this book went waaay overboard on harping that Kevin is a vet from Texas. Yeesh. An Unexpected Gift - Widower Billy saves his old friend Bella from an altercation, and the two rekindle a friendship that quickly grows into a romance. Both leads are over 50, which is not something I encounter a lot in this genre, and it was really nice to see them discussing elder-oriented concerns. They were very cute together. Short, sweet, and uncomplicated, which is just about right for a short story like this. Might be frustrating to those who haven't read Kate Pearce's series; there are a LOT of characters mentioned as if the audience should already know them. Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls - After her brother's wedding, Moira finds herself in a bar trying to drink her way through her blues, and winds up in an altercation with a smarmy jackass. She gets rescued by Hudson, and they hit things off. Much as I liked both characters, I feel like this short story really should have been a full novel. The bar-fiend and the altercation that resulted gets waved about as a villain, but then nothing comes of it. Both leads have a lot of issues and backstory, but instead of being delved into, the two just talk about it. A lot. In depth and with no hesitation. Because how else are you going to get through the whole arc in such a short time? A lot of potential here, but just not truncated well. Does make me want to check out the author's actual series, though, and see what she can do with the proper amount of page time. Holiday Homerun - Julia is in Chicago, visiting from Puerto Rico, to spend time with family and help host a charity event. Unbeknownst to her family, Julia is hoping that the event will lead to an offer of full-time employment and she can move to Chicago permanently. Things get complicated when the emcee of the event, a very handsome baseball player, takes an interest in her. I liked Julia's relationship with her family (both the family she's visiting and the family back in PR) and her concerns about moving and breaking the news. However, when it comes to her and Ben...the tension felt a little forced. She doesn't want to get involved...because he's a baseball player? And that...is bad? There was definitely the beginning of a conflict there, as his job tied back to her emotional history with the sport, but it wasn't followed through because, well, because it's a short story. The focus was on her job/moving drama. So when sports drama came up, it was mentioned and then they just kept going on dates anyway. Another case of "I can see good ideas here and I'm curious to check out the author's full length work," I guess. :) See more reviews at Sarcasm and Lemons

  21. 5 out of 5

    Claire Mc Partlin

    I must admit I wanted to read this initially because of Donna Kauffman's story and a lovely addition to the wonderful Blue Hollow Falls series, but all these short stories were very enjoyable and the cover was just beautiful, so Christmassy! CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING by Fern Michaels - 3 stars This was a very sweet Christmas story that I enjoyed, although it did verge on the too sweet side on occasions for me. Kevin is back in town working at his parents Christmas tree ranch after being invalided out o I must admit I wanted to read this initially because of Donna Kauffman's story and a lovely addition to the wonderful Blue Hollow Falls series, but all these short stories were very enjoyable and the cover was just beautiful, so Christmassy! CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING by Fern Michaels - 3 stars This was a very sweet Christmas story that I enjoyed, although it did verge on the too sweet side on occasions for me. Kevin is back in town working at his parents Christmas tree ranch after being invalided out of the Air Force and Kate and her daughter have just moved to town. Kate is a surgeon and looking for a new start after her divorce. They soon bump into each other and feel attracted to one another. It did feel a bit rushed for me though, for instance Kevin got put out when he called around to Kate's house and she had another guy there (an old friend), even though they'd only just met each other and hadn't even talked about dating. Equally Kate jumped to conclusions when she saw Kevin coming out of the house of a woman she knew was married and just assumed something was going on between them. So a bit far fetched at times, probably because it's a short story, but enjoyable nonetheless. AN UNEXPECTED GIFT by Kate Pearce - 5 stars I really enjoyed this story about two people, Billy and Bella, who were both in their fifties and had older children. They had been friends since they were very young and each had married and had children, with various issues along the way, but both are now single. The setting sounded lovely (The Morgan Ranch) and even though this is in the middle of this series it didn't detract from the story, in fact it made me want to read the rest of the series. Very enjoyable. CHRISTMAS IN BLUE HOLLOW FALLS by Donna Kauffman - 5 stars I must admit this story is the one that drew me to this anthology in the first place as I've absolutely loved all the Blue Hollow series so far so this was a definite read in my case. Even though I wish this had been a full-length book I absolutely loved it. Hudson and Moira were such a lovely couple. Moira was in Blue Hollow Falls for her brother's wedding and Hudson is an Aussie chef working in The Falls. Hudson rescues Moira from a nasty guy in the bar who then tries to sue him after a brawl breaks out, and Moira advises him as she is an attorney. Great chemistry between them! The ending was just so lovely. This was definitely my favourite of the anthology. HOLIDAY HOMERUN by Priscilla Oliveras - 4 stars This was a very enjoyable story set around a Christmas charity event. Julia is helping organise the event, and hoping to move to Chicago from Puerto Rico on a more permanent basis if she's offered a job (and can get away from her over-protective family), especially as she has other family there too. Ben is a famous retired baseball player who is helping out with the charity event. Julia doesn't want to get involved with him as she's trying to concentrate on her career, but of course love gets in the way! Very enjoyable. I've read another full-length book in this series and the Fernandez family are great fun.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Glittergirl

    What an absolutely sweet anthology filled with fabulous stories by wonderful authors. I wanted this book for Kate Pearce's story about Dad Billy from her Morgan Ranch. It was delightful but I have to say Donna Kaufman's story stole the starring role for me in this book. Priscilla Oliveras was third and sweet former athlete story filled with helping others. This was the Fern Michaels story and it felt like the first chapter for a full sized story, a taste and set up for the couple's story. The Sto What an absolutely sweet anthology filled with fabulous stories by wonderful authors. I wanted this book for Kate Pearce's story about Dad Billy from her Morgan Ranch. It was delightful but I have to say Donna Kaufman's story stole the starring role for me in this book. Priscilla Oliveras was third and sweet former athlete story filled with helping others. This was the Fern Michaels story and it felt like the first chapter for a full sized story, a taste and set up for the couple's story. The Stories in this anthology are: Fern Michaels "A Christmas Homecoming", is a series of wrong assumptions until the circumstances work out to dispel them. A few appropriate questions at the start could have eliminated the whole 70 pages and got the story off the ground. Kate Pearce's "An Unexpected Gift" is well named. Prodigal son Billy, and father of the Morgan Brothers, has returned home and hasn't found a place at his family's ranch as his mother and sons seem to have everything covered. He does anything to help, trying to make up for his past failures with his family. He and Bella Williams have been friends since kindergarten. He rescues her from a disgruntled employee and volunteers to help in her kitchen at the Red Dragon Bar when she's short handed. Turns out he went to culinary school after his stent in prison. I loved this story of found love and healing forgiveness. Donna Kaufman's "Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls" was packed with a rich romance filled with wisdom and perspective. Moira Brogan, attorney, is a co-Maid of Honor for her brother's Christmas Day wedding. Hudson Walker is an Aussie Chef for her brother's partner in the Blue Hollow Falls Mill complex. Her brother Seth askes Hudson to keep an eye out for Moira as she was coping with a really rough patch in her life. Hudson ends up trying to peacefully extricate her from a bullying chap bent on dragging Moira away for a night of passion she has no interest in. One massive bar fight later Moira ends up bailing him out of jail. This was such a fun adventure of two very different souls discovering that the life path they've been on can be richer by joining them together. It is jam packed with such great life wisdom that I'll have to go back an pick up quotes I want to keep. That and Donna Kaufman's books will have to go on my list to investigate further. Priscilla Oliveras' Holiday Home Run was a sweet tale about an event planner visiting her cousin and trying to get a foot in the door in Chicago so she can escape her family's plan for her to take over her mother's catering business in Puerto Rico. She's volunteering on the committee to raise money for the Chicago Youth Association. Benjamin Thomas is a retired Pro Baseball Pitcher who agrees to be emcee for the event to help them raise money. The best way to describe this story is sweet and filled with the flavor of the Puerto Rico culture. Thank you Kensington and Kate Pearce for granting me the opportunity to review this story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING Fern Michaels 4 Stars Former Air Force Pararescueman Kevin Matthews is back home in Texas, working at his family’s Christmas tree farm while deciding his next move. Or maybe he won’t move at all, if sparks keep flying with the town’s new surgeon, Kate Stafford. I can’t believe this is the first story I’ve read from the author, I really enjoyed it & look forward to reading more from her. AN UNEXPECTED GIFT Kate Pearce 4.5 Stars Widower Billy Morgan has returned after years a CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING Fern Michaels 4 Stars Former Air Force Pararescueman Kevin Matthews is back home in Texas, working at his family’s Christmas tree farm while deciding his next move. Or maybe he won’t move at all, if sparks keep flying with the town’s new surgeon, Kate Stafford. I can’t believe this is the first story I’ve read from the author, I really enjoyed it & look forward to reading more from her. AN UNEXPECTED GIFT Kate Pearce 4.5 Stars Widower Billy Morgan has returned after years away & wishes his grown children still needed him. Good thing his long time friend, Bella, does. She’s planning a Christmas celebration for her son’s wedding as he married in Vegas. Billy is more than happy to help. If you love the Morgan boys then you won’t want to miss this delightful short story. Billy & Bella have been friends for decades but things change after a thank you kiss. Well written, great characters, well paced everything I expect, it was different in that Billy & Bella are in their 50’s with grown children. CHRISTMAS IN BLUE HOLLOW FALLS Donna Kauffman 4 Stars Attorney Moira Brogan expects her brother’s Christmas wedding to be a peaceful affair. She doesn’t expect to be cornered by an unwanted lothario, rescued by a gorgeous Aussie chef—or be swept off her feet by said chef. Nursing a broken heart, the last thing she wants is a new romance. But Hudson Walker has other ideas . Another new author to me, it took me a while to ‘get into’ this novella. I think if I’d read other books in the series then it would have been easier. However it did whet my appetite enough to search our more from the author. HOLIDAY HOMERUN Priscilla Oliveras 3 Stars Event planner Julia Louisa Fernandez dreams of a life in Chicago. But her family in Puerto Rico expects her to take over the catering business. Former pro baseball player Ben Thomas knows what that’s like—and when they meet, he might be the one to inspire a winning strategy, just in time for the holidays. Another enjoyable read & ideal for whiling away a couple of hours. I found my interest waning at times so for me the length was about right. Four engaging short stories, I read each one in a sitting. Kate Pearce is a must read author for me & her story was the icing on the cake in this anthology & I must admit the reason for reading it. However I was delighted with the other novellas from three new to me authors who I’ll certainly be reading more of. My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

  24. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    A Season to Celebrate by Fern Michaels, Kate Pearce, Donna Kauffman, and Priscilla Oliveras, is a wonderful compilation of four holiday romance romances. Each author brought their romance to life in a short novella and left you looking forward to more from each of them. Each wrote a delightful romance in their style in order to tell their own story. A soldier returning home is given a chance at love with a new doctor in town. A widower learns that love can be found close to home in the form of a A Season to Celebrate by Fern Michaels, Kate Pearce, Donna Kauffman, and Priscilla Oliveras, is a wonderful compilation of four holiday romance romances. Each author brought their romance to life in a short novella and left you looking forward to more from each of them. Each wrote a delightful romance in their style in order to tell their own story. A soldier returning home is given a chance at love with a new doctor in town. A widower learns that love can be found close to home in the form of a longtime friendship. A young woman whose life isn't going the way she wants it to finds love and hope while attending her brothers Christmas wedding. Finally we meet an event planner who meets someone with the same family issues she is struggling with and together they help each other resolve their problems and fall in love in the process. This was a great read, especially if you love romance during the holidays. Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffma, novella 2.5 in her Blue Hollow Falls series was my favorite read. This is Moira Brogan’s book, Seth sister. Aussie chef Hudson Walker, wasn’t expecting to be arrested and in jail for checking on his mate’s sister after the wedding party had departed, but that’s exactly where he found himself after rescuing Moira from a nasty situation, that escalated into an all-out bar brawl. Moira is at a crossroads in her life, and Hudson enjoys taking the unexpected turn at any crossroads he comes across, so they are quite the pair of opposites. One is a planner, the other lets life lead the way. Yet, their attraction is undeniable, their connection deeper and more meaningful than either expected. These two were so in tune with each other, and as they discover more about each other, and themselves, they must decide whether to take the next road together or separately. A quite difficult decision for Moira, who was recently hurt by what she had thought, was love. I loved their ending. The train cars were so unique and the entire setting was very picturesque. Ms. Kauffman and the other authors wrote wonderful and moving Christmas stories that are not to be missed. Each story is filled with fun dialogue, endearing characters and the magic of love and Christmas. I highly recommend this book to other. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Urban

    A Season to Celebrate is a collection of sweet romantic tales that melt the heart. I was deeply engaged in each of the novellas offered in this set. This collection dished out funny yet charming stories. The writers are just some of my favorites and after reading this book, I only loved reading their work even more.  In Christmas Homecoming, I followed a young soldier coming back home after so much time away. His family was so excited to have him back that there was a big hero welcome for him. Pu A Season to Celebrate is a collection of sweet romantic tales that melt the heart. I was deeply engaged in each of the novellas offered in this set. This collection dished out funny yet charming stories. The writers are just some of my favorites and after reading this book, I only loved reading their work even more.  In Christmas Homecoming, I followed a young soldier coming back home after so much time away. His family was so excited to have him back that there was a big hero welcome for him. Put him on spot. It was adorable. I liked his family. Then, while working his family's tree business he meets a young woman with a daughter. Sparks fly and I kept on hoping... An Unexpected Gift showed me that no matter how old we are, there's always a second chance at love. I loved how supportive the main character's family was just like in the previous tale. Except this time, the man and woman were much older and both were widowed. The grandkids popping in at certain times, had me bawling over with laughter. So much humor, love, and hope were shown here. Patience is also the lesson.  Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls featured a young couple again. Except these two had a much more interesting way of meeting each other. Instant attraction-double check. Sassy heroine-check. Hot stud for a hero-check. An Aussie chef comes to a lawyer's aid when another man takes it too far in the bar. Only this fight led the Aussie man fighting for his rights with the hot lawyer beside him. The lawyer had her heart broken once and is not sure if she's ready to let it out there again. But the Aussie chef shows her that life is not meant for hiding away alone.  Holiday Homerun is exactly as it sounds. This sexy hot Christmas tale, brings a stud baseball pro and a Puerto Rican woman together. At first she dismisses the attraction only for him to keep trying. He isn't ready to let go of what could be the best thing in his life. Everything about her lures him in like a moth to a flame. This irresistible story had my cheeks flushing red from the heat radiating from the pages.   I received this copy from the publisher. This is my voluntary review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Thank you to the authors, publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest opinion. I enjoyed each of these Christmas stories and appreciated how different they all were. The first story where a new to town doctor meets the returning military hero was lovely. It has a religious side to it, but that did not overshadow the sweet story. I liked how the hero was a little on the shy side, though I have to admit, I didn’t love how a lack of communication drove the whole story. I suppo Thank you to the authors, publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest opinion. I enjoyed each of these Christmas stories and appreciated how different they all were. The first story where a new to town doctor meets the returning military hero was lovely. It has a religious side to it, but that did not overshadow the sweet story. I liked how the hero was a little on the shy side, though I have to admit, I didn’t love how a lack of communication drove the whole story. I suppose it is quite true to life though as often we’re afraid to say what we really think it want. The second story was a friend’s to relationship story with a twist. It was neat to have this story feature more mature characters in their fifties. I liked how this is not the typical characters. I also liked how realistic the male lead was in that he is still beating himself up over past mistakes when everyone concerned had forgiven him. I did think that perhaps this story would have been better dealt with in a full length novel as both main characters seemed to have quite the backstory. I greatly enjoyed the third story as it is connected to Donna Kauffman’s Bluestone and Bone novel I read a few months ago. I loved catching up with the characters again and seeing any other Brogan settle down happily. I liked how the story started a little on the mysterious side and how the author provided a glimpse to the future at the end. My only complaint was that we don’t know what happened with the lawsuit! Finally, the last story was super sweet and called to my sports loving heart. I love the idea of an athlete that doesn’t have a big ego and lets the woman of his dreams have the time she needs. It was an awesome conclusion to the book and put me in a great mind frame with its holiday happiness and family closeness. All in all, this would be an awesome book to start the holiday season with!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Krisz

    A Chirstmas Homecoming by Fern Michaels - 2 stars This short story was my first experience with Fern Michaels's writing and sadly I didn't like it. Technically it was one of the worst third person POV stories I've ever read. It was so carelessly crafted I couldn't get in the story or like the characters. The timeline was very short but still mixed up and the conflict between the couple was only solved halfway. This story felt like something quickly whipped up and not at all what such a well estab A Chirstmas Homecoming by Fern Michaels - 2 stars This short story was my first experience with Fern Michaels's writing and sadly I didn't like it. Technically it was one of the worst third person POV stories I've ever read. It was so carelessly crafted I couldn't get in the story or like the characters. The timeline was very short but still mixed up and the conflict between the couple was only solved halfway. This story felt like something quickly whipped up and not at all what such a well established author would write. An Unexpected Gift by Kate Pearce - 3 stars It seems like there is no in between for me when it comes to Kate Pearce's writing. Either I love her story or I just feel like "meh". Unfortunately this Christmas short story placed in Morganstown with the well known characters of the Morgan Ranch fell in the latter category. The writing was technically good, the story was entertaining enough but still, I didn't really feel it. Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman - 5 stars Donna Kauffman was a new author to me, this Christmas novella was the first I've ever read by her. The story was very good and I liked the writing style. Both Moira and Hudson were lovely characters. It was very entertaining to read their story, it gave me all the feels. I will definitely check out other titles in the Blue Hollow Falls series. Holiday Home Run by Priscilla Oliveras - 4 stars Another first for me by Priscilla Oliveras. Julia and Ben's story was a lovely Christmas-inspired novella. I liked the writing and how much I learned about Latinx culture in just a few pages. I loved how the importance of family love and belonging seeped through the pages. For me that's the most important message of Christmas and I loved how the author and I had this in common. I received an ARC via NetGalley and posted my review voluntarily.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Jund

    5 stars Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls! Donna Kauffman pens the Christmas short story in this anthology as the Novella bridge to her Blue Hollow Falls series, where Moira is the focus! Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls!! Who in their right mind gets married on Christmas Day?, Moira asks; apparently her awesome brother and his ultimately more awesome bride Pippa. While sitting at the small hotel bar located in the town outside of Blue Hollow Falls where Moira has left all the still reveling guest fro 5 stars Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls! Donna Kauffman pens the Christmas short story in this anthology as the Novella bridge to her Blue Hollow Falls series, where Moira is the focus! Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls!! Who in their right mind gets married on Christmas Day?, Moira asks; apparently her awesome brother and his ultimately more awesome bride Pippa. While sitting at the small hotel bar located in the town outside of Blue Hollow Falls where Moira has left all the still reveling guest from the wedding since she just needed some space and though while alone contemplates there should be a law against it with the barkeep. Sally has her hands full as the small bar is filled to the gills with journalists and reporters who flocked to the tiny rural village in the Blue ridge mountains to try for their 5 minutes of fame in covering the wedding of the year that the whole world wants details of. Unfortunately for the media the small village protects their own and not a peep is being exposed. While drowning her life's questions of "what's next", Moira is approached by a huge unsavory character (a few drinks into his celebration), who has his own ideas on the matter. After many attempts to remove herself from his attention some crass language riddled with innuendo and some brisk manhandling on his part ensues with Moira being pushed through and ensuing bar fight but just as she fears she won't be able to save herself a voice with a fabulous Aussie accent whispers in her ear advises help is on the way. Broken tables and glass wear, along with a trip to the local jail to bail out her rescuer later; Moira again asks who would be insane enough to get married on Christmas Day.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessi

    Christmas Homecoming Fern Michaels Kevin Matthews is grateful to be back home in Texas after his time in the Air Force. He's trying to figure out his next move but his interest in the town's new surgeon, Kate Stafford, may make the decision easier. This story was a little hard to follow in places but I suspect that regular readers of the series would have no problem. An Unexpected Gift Kate Pearce A nice story about an older couple. Bella is helping to plan her son's wedding and Billy is happy to Christmas Homecoming Fern Michaels Kevin Matthews is grateful to be back home in Texas after his time in the Air Force. He's trying to figure out his next move but his interest in the town's new surgeon, Kate Stafford, may make the decision easier. This story was a little hard to follow in places but I suspect that regular readers of the series would have no problem. An Unexpected Gift Kate Pearce A nice story about an older couple. Bella is helping to plan her son's wedding and Billy is happy to help her get things done. And maybe they might find their own HEA. I think having read other books in the series would have made this book more understandable but it was a very cute story. Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls Donna Kauffman Chef Hudson Walker has just finished working a wedding when he sees Moira Brogan being harassed in a bar. He steps in to help even though she's got it handled. They then start to spend a little more time together even though she's a planner to the nth degree while he tends to be a little more free form. I was so looking forward to this story and... I just didn't feel it. After reading about Moira in the previous book, I was hoping for a little more of her story. But I did appreciate the story of her previous romantic fling not turning into an HEA. Holiday Homerun Priscilla Oliveras Julia Fernandez is sick of hearing about baseball. She just wants to pursue her dreams of a being an event planner in Chicago rather than taking over the family business in Puerto Rico. So why is she getting so distracted by the VIP for her event, former pro baseball player Ben Thomas. This was a little too sweet for me but I think regular readers will enjoy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nicki - The Overflowing Bookcase

    A wonderful collection of Christmas inspired stories that will melt you heart and get you in the holiday spirit. A Christmas Homecoming - After completing his final overseas mission Kevin is welcomed home at his parent's tree farm just in time for the holidays. Finding herself newly divorced and celebrating the holiday away from her family, Dr. Kate and her daughter Emma meet Kevin at church and the sparks fly. Will the two find a connection under the Christmas Tree? The Unexpected Gift - With the A wonderful collection of Christmas inspired stories that will melt you heart and get you in the holiday spirit. A Christmas Homecoming - After completing his final overseas mission Kevin is welcomed home at his parent's tree farm just in time for the holidays. Finding herself newly divorced and celebrating the holiday away from her family, Dr. Kate and her daughter Emma meet Kevin at church and the sparks fly. Will the two find a connection under the Christmas Tree? The Unexpected Gift - With their children grown and living their own loves, Billy and Bella find themselves connecting during the holiday season, but will the baggage that both of them bring into the relationship end it before they get started or will they be able to work through their issues and get a second chance at finding love? Christmas in Blue Hollow Falls - When Moira finds herself in a bar fight on the eve of her brother's wedding will she get more than she bargains for when Hudson comes to her rescue? Or will Hudson need more than her legal expertise to get himself out of the legal bind he finds himself in? Holiday Home Run - Julia Fernandez is concentrating on making a name for herself in the event planning capacity and needs to make a good impression on putting together the Chicago Youth Association's holiday fundraiser. But will her plans be knocked out of the park when retired baseball player Benjamin Thomas makes her break out of her shell and find true love? Can he make her see how valuable she is inside and out? With beautiful characters and the perfect storylines to read during the holidays this collection is a must read.

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