What Happens Under the Mistletoe by Various Authors

http://amzn.to/297EyXiStunned by the heat of an unexpected kiss on a cold winter's eve, two strangers from vastly different worlds turn hotheaded principles into burning passion in Sabrina Jeffries's delightful yuletide story, "The Heiress and the Hothead."

In the snowy Scottish countryside, Karen Hawkins's rakish duke has an unforgettable holiday encounter in "Twelve Kisses" when the alluring lady he surprises under the mistletoe is not who he expected, but a long-lost love with a score to settle.

In "By Any Other Name," Edinburgh is aglitter for Christmastime as Candace Camp sends a curious gentleman in hot pursuit of an intriguing lady in disguise--one who refuses to reveal her true identity, though she fears he has already stolen her heart with his kiss.

In "Sweet Ruin," will the festive spirit of the season sweep Meredith Duran's feisty heroine beneath the mistletoe--and back into the arms of the dashing rogue whose carelessness soiled her reputation and sent her into exile in London?

In this all-new story collection sparkling with sexy charm and heartwarming wit, four beloved bestselling authors reveal the mix-ups and make-ups, the missed chances and golden opportunities that come but once a year.


The Heiress and the Hothead - Sabrina Jeffries - 5 stars

Stunned by the heat of an unexpected kiss on a cold winter’s eve, two strangers from vastly different worlds turn hotheaded principles into burning passion.

Sabrina Jeffries is one of my favourite authors and this story doesn’t disappoint. It’s part of the Sinful Suitors series but stands nicely on its own. As usual, lively characters, strong emotion and an unusual premise give this tale something more than most. Stephen and Amanda were made to work hard to win their happily ever after but it was worth it.

Twelve Kisses to Midnight - Karen Hawkins - 1 star

In the snowy Scottish countryside a rakish duke has an unforgettable holiday encounter when the alluring lady her surprises under the mistletoe is not who he expected, but a long-lost love with a score to settle.

Hoots mon! Och, aye, if you’re looking for a cringeworthy attempt at a Scottish romance then dinnae look any further than this book. Ye hear me, aye? Life is far too short to force yourself to read such embarrassing tripe.

By Any Other Name - Candace Camp - 4 stars

Edinburgh is aglitter for Christmastime as a curious gentleman is in hot pursuit of an intriguing lady in disguise - one who refuses to reveal her true identity, but fears he has already stole her heart with his kisses.

Aaargh - this story was as cute as a button! Both Gregory and Rylla were fun, well-rounded characters and their romance was so sweet. This felt different from other ‘girl dresses as boy’ stories and Edinburgh felt authentic. The story was let down slightly by a few too many Americanisms but still a good read all round.

Sweetest Regret - Meredith Duran - 5 stars

Will the festive spirit of the season sweep feisty Georgiana beneath the mistletoe and back into the arms of dashing rogue, Lucas, who broke her heart two years ago?

I love a second chance at love story and I love a story where the hero and heroine are initially at odds. This had both. Packed with a great blend of fun, emotion and sweetness - Georgie and Lucas really stood out for me. Loved it.

Three great stories make this Christmas anthology a keeper. A definite read for those cosy nights in the run up to Christmas. 4 stars.

400 pages

Christmas Cravings by Emma Hamilton

Snow is on the ground and Christmas lights twinkle in the German Christmas market. The warm, spiced wine is just right, but there's still one key ingredient missing from her romantic dream. Will Mia's Christmas turn out to be sugar and spice and all things nice - or a deflated soufflĂ© of loneliness and regret without the man of her dreams? 

Christmas Cravings is a festive romance standalone episode from the Greedily Yours series.

About the series: Mia Maxwell loves food. She loves it so much that she's made it her career. She owns a food PR business that fills her days, and by night she's a food blogger with a burgeoning audience. With her 'Culinary Confessions of a Greedy Girl', Mia takes the reader on a delicious journey, searching for top dishes and the perfect man. 


This Christmas novella is part of the Greedily Yours series - a serial novel that’s available in 8 parts all focussing on Mia, a food blogger on the search for good food and the perfect man. Despite being part of a series, this little Christmas tale is a standalone story so you don’t need to have read the novels to understand and enjoy this book.

I really liked the writing style of the author. I’m not normally a fan of chick lit but this one really drew me in and made me keep coming back just wanting to read a little more each time. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I’m definitely going to check out the Greedily Yours series and any other books by the author.

Although the story wasn’t overly romantic - more sweet than anything - I was still really rooting for Tom and Mia. They were both very real characters and it was hard not to like both of them but Mia especially.

I was quite surprised that the main conflict was resolved well before the end of the story. Not that it matters but it kind of made the book one of two distinct halves.

In a series called ‘Greedily Yours’, obviously the food is a key feature of the book. And boy-oh-boy, if you’re not hungry when you start reading the book then you will be by the time you’re finished. Every sight, smell and taste sensation is described in delicious detail, in a way that makes it seem real - but unfortunately not real enough! There are also a few recipes included at the end of the story which is a definite bonus.

This is a quick (98 pages), cute and Christmassy story that is perfect for a lazy afternoon when it’s raining (or snowing?) outside. I would definitely recommend this tasty little story for anyone who enjoys food, Christmas and romance.


Bring Me To Life by Kira Sinclair

Subject: Evan Huntley, Special Ops

Status: Believed to have been killed in action…until now!

Three years is a long time. Long enough for Tatum Huntley to leave heartbreak behind for the idyllic town of Sweetheart, South Carolina. Long enough to start over. Yet not long enough to forget the devastation left behind when he died. Her husband. The man whose touch haunts her… And the man who just walked back into her life.

All Evan Huntley wants is to get the woman he loves back in his arms…and his bed. While her love for him never died, Tatum can't—and won't—forgive Evan for letting her believe he was dead. For leaving her alone. But can she resist giving in to the exquisite passion that still burns between them?


When you need some escapist fun - you really can’t beat a Blaze romance. They tend to be light, fun, sexy and a little shorter than a mass market paperback at roughly 224 pages.

Although this whole story centres around the grief and loss of a loved one (even if it turns out he is alive) the book never gets too deep into the emotions that might drag the story down. As it is, the book focusses more on the trust and love issues between Evan and Tatum - now that they are together once again.

I could really understand where Tatum was coming from and why she was so confused about what to do with regards to Evan - should she thank her lucky stars that her husband is back or push him away to protect herself from potential future heartache? The fact that she goes back and forth between the two options was completely understandable. Evan is a delicious male lead - who doesn’t love a hard bodied, tough, tattooed man with a soft streak when it comes to the woman he loves? He is a bit hard headed when it comes to his job and understanding why Tatum doesn’t jump back into his arms - but his male idiocy just adds credibility to their story!

Nice love scenes - hot and spicy. Just what you would expect from a Blaze. There are also some small cameos from others who have appeared in previous Kira Sinclair books set in Sweetheart, South Carolina. Despite this, the book stands completely alone so you don’t need to have read any others to enjoy and understand this one.

My only criticism is a personal one (and I didn’t let it affect my rating of the book). On several occasions the subject of suicide came up with one or both of the main characters remarking that it was a cowardly act. In many (presumably not all, but many) cases of suicide, it is the final and only option people feel is available to them. They may feel they are doing what is best for their family and that they, physically and mentally, just cannot possibly go on. I don’t think this is cowardly - it’s sad and desperate and shouldn’t be belittled by people who (luckily and thankfully) don’t understand.

Apologies for the rant - it’s been bothering me since I read what was otherwise a very enjoyable book. And the book was good and worth a read if you like the Uniformly Hot Blaze collection or just want a hot escape for a couple of hours.


224 pages

If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries

They are the Duke’s Men - an investigative agency born out of family pride and irresistible passion…

The heir presumptive to the Viscount Rathmoor, Dominick Manton once had his heart’s desire within reach - a bright future as a barrister and engagement to Jane Vernon, a wealthy baron’s daughter. Then a shattering betrayal by his vindictive brother George snatches away Dom’s inheritance and his hopes of offering Jane a secure future. Brokenhearted, and attempting to end their engagement without destroying Jane’s reputation, Dom stages a betrayal of his own to convince her that he’s not the husband-to-be that she thought.

Now George is gone and the viscountcy restored to Dom, since his brother’s widow, Nancy - Jane’s cousin and closest confidant - never bore an heir. But when Nancy goes missing, a panicked Jane calls on her former fiancĂ© to track down her cousin. Dom knows the mistakes of the past may be unforgivable, but now, entangled together in mystery and danger, will they rekindle a passionate longing that was never lost to begin with?


Ah, my not so illicit love affair with Sabrina Jeffries continues with the last book in the Duke’s Men series.

I was equal parts sad and happy for the end of this particular series. Sad because, well, who wants to be told that we will see no more of all the dreamy Duke’s Men and their lovely ladies? Yet happy because this means the 1) Dom will meet his match and 2) there’ll be a new series very soon! Woop!

Anyway, if you’ve never read any of the other Duke’s Men books, I would recommend you go back and read them before tackling this book. I’m sure it’s not necessarily essential but it does give you a background to the relationship between Dom and Jane, as well as introducing you to all the supporting characters in this tale. (Plus, if you don’t read the first books, you’re missing out on all the romancey, tummy flipping goodness of Sabrina Jeffries!)

We already know that Dom is an arrogant, methodical man who likes to be in control. It’s the addition of Jane - and the feelings she provokes in Dom - that really makes this a worthwhile read. I do so like it when a hero gets put through the ringer by the heroine and Jane certainly does that to Dom. There are so many feelings, history and angst between the couple that not only do you root for them every step of the way, you keep on reading in the hopes they’ll get their happily ever after sooner rather than later.

The book is fast paced - lots of things going on and lots of story to get your teeth into - and is rich with all the historical detail that I’ve come to expect from Sabrina Jeffries. Not only that but there’s the smouldering tension and sensuality (i.e. smooching and rumpy pumpy) that I just adore with Sabrina Jeffries books. It makes my heart happy!

Even though I didn’t agree with Dom, I felt that both he and Jane had very real reasons for acting the way they did - both when they broke off their engagement and when the book was set. It was all very realistic and that made for in-depth emotions and conflict.

I also really loved the way that Dom interacted with both Tristan and Lisette. In previous books I’ve felt that there was a barrier between Dom and his half-siblings but seeing them all together in this last book was really lovely and gave a wonderful insight into their lives growing up.

All in all, this is a fantastic end to the Duke’s Men series and a book I would highly recommend. I’ve been waiting a long time for Dom and Jane to get another chance at love and it was well worth the wait. If you’ve not read the rest of the series then still buy this book, just buy (and read) all the others first. I'm hoping that we'll see some of the other characters in this book very soon...

401 pages

Series in order:

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