Monday, December 19, 2011

Pam's Review: Unwrapped anthology

~Erin McCarthy, Donna Kauffman,Kate Angell

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Brava
Publish Date: September 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0758251327
ISBN-13: 978-0758251329

From Goodreads:
From the streets of Chicago to the back roads of Kentucky to the wild dunes of a Scottish isle, mistletoe and mischief are this season's hottest gifts...

Blue Christmas
While a blizzard blankets the world outside, Blue Farrow burrows into the arms of her highway hunk at the No Tell Motel. The road might be closed for dangerous conditions, but the couple navigates their own Kentucky Christmas curves. Nice and oh-so-naughty, Blue and her man open up to each other as they keep the Yule log burning.

Santa in a Kilt
The wind-whipped December sands of the isle of Kinloch invigorate Kira McLeod as she sets out to tame rugged Shay Callaghan, a Scottish bachelor as wary of a wedding ring as a snowman is of the hot sun. It'll take all the wiles of the canny islanders to weave a perfect Celtic Christmas for all....

Snow Angel
Snowed under in Chicago, free spirit Allie is trapped in Dutton's department store on Christmas Eve when the lights go off and the holiday romance heats up. Our snow angel finds herself face to face with the dashing Aiden, the heir to the retail riches and her host for a night of winter wonder...

Hmmmm, a Christmas anthology. Three romantic stories, one book, with Christmas as the theme? Sounds good right? Well, it mostly was; let me break it down by story:

Blue Christmas by Erin McCarthy
This was my first time reading anything by Erin McCarthy, but it most certainly will not be my last. I read Blue Christmas, approximately 90 pages, in one sitting. The main character'’s name is Blue, and she meets her leading man with fate’s help of a car accident due to a massive snow storm. (Fortunately no one was hurt). The storm is so bad that both of them have to stay the night at a local hotel. See where this is going? This was a great story with fantastic writing, and if I were to rate it by itself it would be a five star story.

Santa in a Kilt by Donna Kauffman 
The only reason I read this story all the way through was because it was only a hundred pages. I'’ll be honest; this one took me a few days to read because I was so bored. The story is about Shay Callaghan and Kira McLeod. They both have emotional baggage; Kira was hurt from a divorce, and Shay is wary of relationships because he sees couples downfalls in his profession as a divorce attorney. Not only is the story boring, but random things happened that had nothing to do with the plot, and left me saying to myself, why did I have to read those extra pages? Anyways, if I were to rate this story by itself, it would be a one.

Snow Angel by Kate Angell 
This is a Christmassy story that starts out on the ski slopes. Allie loves skiing and meets a handsome man named Aiden; they end up having a one night fling. Allie wakes up and gets scared; her feelings are way too strong for him. So she leaves him before he wakes up. Neither of them could find each other if they wanted to; they didn’t know each other'’s last names. Three years later they bump into each other and have a little snowbound time together. I really liked this story. It felt warm and romantic. This alone would be a four.

So, two out of three great stories is why this book only got a three star rating from me. It would have received a much higher one if not for Santa in a Kilt (the story, wink wink).

My Rating:
3 stars

Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Yeah, anthologies are definitely hit or miss! The Kate Angell story sounds good, and also familiar. I read one a few years back where a hockey player and a Chicago concierge hook up whenever he comes to town. Then a massive snowstorm hits and they have to/get to spend more time together. Now I can't remember who wrote it or where it came from! Argh...must go research. Thanks for the heads-up (and reminder!).

  2. I recently had a DNF Donna Kaufman book, and the blurb sounded like fun. I love the second chance at love stories, and Erin McCarthy is a great author. But to buy an anthology those reasons alone, is a difficult decision.

  3. Sarah: Hmm, that story does sound similar to the Kate Angell story, but yeah, it was really good!

    Aurian: I agree; I probably wouldn't buy this book unless it was secondhand.