Well, Christmas has come and gone and you'd think I'd have done more reading. Well, maybe I did. I got caught up on a lot of shorts for Brief Encounters and I did some shopping. Ooops. Oh well, what's Boxing Day without bargains? I was also kind of slugged out in a tryptophan coma so ended up skimming through a couple of old faves and Word Press ate a 1000 word post at Wave's so I had to start over. Grrrrr. So I guess keeping busy enough. Back to the office tomorrow. Ugh. I could get used to this being home all the time thing, if only someone would pay me what I make now to do that. :-) Anyone? Offers? I did get one "larger" book read which is really four "shorter" books, but whatever, a lot of pages.
His For The Holidays by LB Gregg, Harper Fox, ZA Maxfield, Josh Lanyon (480 pages)
Mistletoe at Midnight by LB Gregg - Owen has recently bought a vet practice in Vermont and his family is joining him at a local inn for Christmas. His mother is always trying to set him up with someone and sure enough, she's invited his ex no less but by chance his first love from high school happens to be there with a friend. Is this his chance to find love the second time around? This is typical LB Gregg with lots of humour although I had some serious issues with Owen's mother's behaviour. Sigh. I'm not saying I didn't like the story, I adored Owen, I liked Caleb even though you don't get to know him that well and I even liked annoying juvenile brother Ryan, I just had issues with their mother. It's hard to explain and I'm probably in a VAST minority with my feelings, maybe I'll do a post about that kind of thing. Vague I know but it really is a fine story and I'm sure 99.5% of readers will think I'm insane.
Nine Lights Over Edinburgh by Harper Fox - This definitely does not have the same light hearted themes of the other stories, but I was sucked in from the start. John is a detective inspector working undercover on a people smuggling ring when his cover is blown and he's badly beaten. He's told he is off the case and he has to clean up his act as since his divorce he's been drinking heavily and his ex wants him not to have custody of their daughter as she's afraid for her safety. He's reassigned duty protecting an Israeli diplomat and when it all goes to hell, Mossad agent Toby saves his life, getting shot himself and to top off the clusterfuck, the bad guy has taken John's daughter and has no intention of getting her back. Lots of great characters here that you really get to know and care about, or hate as the case may be. I was eager to see how John and Toby were going to get the girl back and be together if at all. Lots of local character thrown in.
I Heard Him Exclaim by Z.A. Maxfield - After a near heart attack, Steve has lost weight, quit smoking and lost his Christmas spirit. He always played Santa but is not in the mood so decides to head to Vegas. He runs into Chandler and his 5 year old orphaned niece Poppy who have car trouble and eventually he invites them back home to his place to have Christmas with his family as he acknowledges his attraction to Chandler and thinks maybe helping Chandler will give him the Christmas spirit. I enjoyed this one a lot, again, lots of humour and seeing Chandler's paranoia about being responsible for a little kid and his terror of getting it wrong was humorous and kind of sweet and Steve having a chance to take care of someone, which is what he's all about, was fun along with Steve's huge Irish family who quickly adopted Poppy and Chandler. A fun story about finding love at a rest stop and not being arrested for it. ;-)
Icecapade by Josh Lanyon - The book starts with jewel thief Noel in bed with the FBI agent who's been tracking him for years Robbie. It's been a bit of a game to Noel, to keep Robbie close but not too close. 10 years later, Noel is retired and a successful author writing a series of books about a jewel thief and the bumbling FBI agent who's been tracking him. He still thinks fondly of Robbie and feels a bit badly that everyone knows who the characters are, and Robbie paid a career price for it all, but on Christmas Eve Robbie shows up at his house accusing him of more recent robberies. Of course every whacko neighbor suddenly shows up needing Noel's help as he tries to convince Robbie he's innocent. I enjoyed this one, Noel was quite self-aware, he didn't feel badly for the robberies, he knew what he was doing, he did feel badly about Robbie but all these years later still wanted his approval of sorts and a relationship with the guy. Lots of fun with the wacky llama farmer and psychic neighbours as well.
All of these stories were outstanding. Most of them sweet and fun with the second being the most serious and the the last a bit of a combination. Definitely all of them worth a read even out of season.