All I Want by Rachael Renee Anderson, Kaylee Baldwin and Jolene B. Perry
Holiday romance anthology*e-book, 225 pages
Published November 2012 (first published October 2012)
THREE STORIES. THREE COUPLES. ONE HOLIDAY.
Pretty Near Perfect by Jolene Perry
The last thing Norah needs is to be attracted to anyone – especially in her deceased fiancé's parents' home. Collin’s starting a new career, and has no business getting involved – especially while staying with his roommate’s family, who very kindly offered to take him in for the holidays. Unfortunately, you just don’t always pick the most convenient time and place to fall for someone.
Six Days of Christmas by Kaylee Baldwin
When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother - someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted.
Twist of Fate by Rachael Anderson
When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty's mailbox, Ty's faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fiancé is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her - make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all.
There are times when I read something and there's this intense instant case of love. Every thing about the story grabs me--from the characters to their conflicts, their dialogue, the setting--everything. That's how I felt about All I Want.
First off, I don't dole five stars out often but I had to here. I don't think I stopped smiling during my entire reading. I loved all three stories but Pretty Near Perfect by Jolene Perry is my favorite. There was something melancholy and magical about Norah and Collin's story. Norah was spending Christmas with the family of her deceased fiance. Being placed in his bedroom is rough and Norah spends most of her time outside, away from the constant reminders of her beloved. The whole year she spent grieving and handling her loss, only to be faced with the ghost of her love all over again. Until she literally runs into Collin. The way Norah handles her thoughts and feelings with admitting her attraction to the writer/adjunct professor is endearing. Norah being a photographer and Collin a writer made them special in my mind. Norah touched me as I saw this sad woman intent on claiming her life back seek out another chance to be happy. I liked both characters and cheered for them to get together.
Six Days of Christmas by Kaylee Baldwin truly captured the spirit of the holidays and let a young woman convinced she didn't need God or the wonder of Christmas in her life see otherwise. When her friend's stepfather (who is like a Santa himself) shows her in a sneaky, roundabout way just what she's been missing by celebrating the six days of Christmas, falling in love with Jimmy (also her best friend's younger brother) is a delightful surprise.
The author captured the magic of the holidays through Stan and his daily affirmations. I loved the idea of the note chain and watching Natalie get sucked up into the joy of the season while letting go of her rigid, workaholic ways to actually open up to embrace living her life so she can see what a great guy Jimmy is. I laughed when he showed up in his bed the first night she stayed at her friend's house and immediately knew he was the one for Natalie. Six Days of Christmas is utterly charming.
Kenzie and Ty's story warmed my heart in Twist of Fate by Rachael Anderson. From the opening scene with the two going through their mailboxes (they share the same name in reverse order), this was a case of best friends becoming something more. Schoolteacher Kenzie has a heart of gold and the cool, funny Ty knows he has feelings for his engaged neighbor which he can't act on. The mail plays an important role in this story and I chuckled at these two. Opposites do attract as evidenced by their love story and adding in Ty's visiting mother only sweetened and intensified the tale.
While we rush trying to get ready for the holidays, we need to also settle back at times and remember the meaning behind Christmas and why we come together with family and friends. Let these three love stories enchant you with their romance, unforgettable characters and heartfelt situations. Highly recommended.
Rating: Loved it!
Cover comment: Suits me.
Book source: I received a promotional e-book copy from the tour presenter in return for my honest review during a book tour.