The Book Gourmet

Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.



Professional Reader Reviews Published
Hot for the Holidays - Lora Leigh, Allyson James, Anya Bast, Angela Knight Angela Knight’s Vampire Ball was yet another installment in her Mageverse series, but it was a rather disappointing read. The series also started with a novella in an anthology, but Lance and Grace’s story at least had “body”, it was nicely written and well-paced.Kat and Ridge’s story only seemed to be trudging along without much substance. It was simply too short and the characters bland. Not even the timely appearance of Lance could save it from doom.A Little Night Magic by Allyson James also suffered from its shortness. Despite the hurried explanation of the few focal points of the backstory, I found myself scratching my head a few times, wondering just what the heck was going on. I felt too detached from everything that was going on, the characters and everything else.I’m not much for Native American “legends” of shape shifters and skinwalkers and this story didn’t change my opinion.Anya Bast’s Sweet Enchantment was a nice respite from the previous two not-so-good stories. It wasn’t anything stellar, mind you, but still the second best in this anthology. It wasn’t even close to K.M. Moning’s depictions of the goings-on in the Seelie and Unseelie courts, but the pacing was good, the story had a natural flow to it, and the two leads endeared themselves to me.I actually found myself wishing it was longer, I truly wanted to see what happened next.And now we get to Lora Leigh’s A Christmas Kiss...I’ve been waiting for this story since the epilogue in Aiden's Charity. And let me tell you I wasn’t disappointed. This was a classic Leigh Breed novella with plenty of steamy attraction, steamier action, a little bit of angst, lots of conflicting emotions, great buildup to the finale, and loads of hunky Breeds.The AC epilogue gave us a tantalizing glimpse into what could’ve been between Hawke, a Wolf Breed and Jess, a traitor working for her father. Well, A Christmas Kiss delivered on that glimpse, explaining Jess’s treason, giving a heart-wrenching description of both Jess’s and Hawke’s suffering in the year of her imprisonment and the three months after her release. The steam rose off the pages in their first "touching but not kissing" scene, the throat constricted at Jess’s first view of her new house, the heart sped up at the confrontation with the villain, and tears rose at the description of the angel with the broken wing.Wonderful. I’m giving this anthology a 5 star rating based solely on Ms. Leigh’s contribution!