Christmas Kisses with My Cowboy
by Diana Palmer, Marina Adair, and Kate Pearce
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Number of Pages: 448
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Contemporary Romance/Holidays M/F
Read 9/25/20 to 9/28/20
MISTLETOE COWBOY * Diana Palmer
Horse whisperer Parker doesn’t drink, smoke, or gamble, and he doesn’t have much to do with women, either. Until he meets winsome widow Katy, and her sweet child. Could Christmas kisses under the mistletoe bring the handsome wrangler the gift of his very own family?
BLAME IT ON THE MISTLETOE * Marina Adair
To claim his slice of the family ranch, Texas Ranger Noah is forced back to Tucker’s Crossing. All he expects to find is a tractor load of painful memories—until a holiday storm, a power outage—and perhaps the magic of Christmas—deliver him to rescue an intriguing woman named Faith. But just who’s rescuing whom?
MISTLETOE DETOUR * Kate Pearce
When Morgan Valley rancher Ted Baker gets out his tow truck to pick up a snowbound driver, he doesn’t expect to find his old school friend Veronica on the lam with her pet pig—much less true love—just in time for Christmas . . .
Oops, I did it again. So, I happen to love Kate Pearce and Marina Adair. I remembered that I didn’t have the best relationship with Diana Palmer’s books, but just couldn’t pass this compilation up when 2/3 of the stories would be by favorites of mine. After reading the first story in this book, Mistletoe Cowboy by Diana Palmer, I decided to do the same thing as last time I read a compilation in which she was involved…save the review of her story for last.
Blame it on the Mistletoe
(Sweet Plains novella)
by Marina Adair
I’ve actually had this author’s Tucker’s Crossing on my TBR for about 6 years. Then, more than a year ago I bought the book. It was on sale, she’s a favorite author of mine, I’ve been wanting to read it forever, etc. Still haven’t read the darn thing! After reading this short story, which I guess would be a book #2 in the Sweet Plains series, I want to read that story even more. I was hooked from the beginning and rooting for Faith and Noah to find their way to one another. They are both amazingly kind characters, Noah with some added swagger. Both with much added baggage. I felt as though the author packed a lot into this story without bogging things down. The chemistry between Noah and Faith was off the charts, whether they were flirting or telling each other their secrets. The perfect Christmas story.
~ 5 stars
(Morgan Valley novella)
by Kate Pearce
This author always pulls me in and holds me tight. On top of my love of her writing, this story starts off with some awesome forced proximity and continues with a bit of fake relationship. I was in heaven! Ted and Veronica are so sweet together in the beginning, their chemistry simmering under the surface while they’re both unsure if they should admit what they’re feeling. That chemistry flames up once they realize their feelings aren’t one-sided. Even with the passion, the sweetness is still there. Both Veronica and Ted are such good people who deserve the best. I love that Veronica grew up in Morgan Valley and had many connections to the town, as well as her and Ted having gone to school together, so the story felt natural even when it was moving quickly. I didn’t want this one to end.
~ 5 stars
by Diana Palmer
As I’ve mentioned, I am not a fan of this author. I gave some of her full-length books a try years back and just had too many issues with her writing. Trying to keep an open mind going into this story, I was pleasantly surprised for the first little bit. There was something to her writing style I still found quite plodding and simple without a good flow, but issues I’ve had with her story content in the past (misogyny, racisim, etc.) weren’t so prevalent. In fact, it almost seemed as though the author was overcompensating to almost a preachy degree about some hot-button issues.
Don’t you hate when you are reading and can pinpoint the exact moment a character you found to be smart and kind turns into an unthinking and selfish idiot? And then doubles down on their stupidity as the story progresses. Seriously, I went from liking Katy to flat out hating the woman. I didn’t see how the author could redeem her (in my eyes she never did) or how her daughter or Parker could ever look at her the same. On top of it all, there was a lot of repetition (especially for a short story) and inconsistencies. Please guys, remind me to skip her stories if I ever get another compilation with her involved. I just can’t read her stuff without getting mad.
What I usually do when rating a compilation is take the average rating of all of the stories and use that. I feel that is unfair to Marina Adair and Kate Pearce to do that since I loved their stories so much. So, instead, I’m giving this 5 stars and pretending the Diana Palmer story wasn’t included.
**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**