Monday, October 26, 2009

[ARC Review]--- "A Highlander Christmas"

Title: A Highlander Christmas

Authors: Sophie Renwick, Dawn Halliday, and Cindy Miles
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publication Date: November 2009
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Historical, Magic, Anthology
Pages: 336

Summary (B&N):
A festive anthology featuring three all-new stories, three sexy Scotsmen, and a magical holiday setting.

An enchanting trio of paranormal Christmas stories:

Dawn Halliday's Winter Heat...Lost in a blizzard, a young woman casts a spell over the brooding Highland warrior who rescues her.

Cindy Miles's A Christmas Spirit...A museum curator's tour of a Scottish castle leads to an unexpected encounter with a dead-sexy spirit.

Sophie Renwick's Yuletide Enchantment...Passion blooms between an anxious bride-to-be and a dark, sensual stranger from another world.

Places to Order A Highlander Christmas:

My Review:

Usually, I don't rate anthologies very high-- average rating, about a 3.5 or so is common for me. But with Highlander Christmas, there was no doubt in my mind that it would receive a 5 Star rating when I finished the last page!

When you get three very talented, very popular authors together, and have their stories all published in one book, you're sure to get one spectacular novel out of the deal. And with Highlander Christmas, that's what happened!

I don't even know where to begin-- all three stories were great, and I so loved reading each and every one!

Dawn's story, the first in the novel, could quite possibly be my all-time favorite of the three, if I had to choose. I almost forgot that her story was supposed to be a novella, part of an anthology, and therefore shorter in pages than usual-- you can't even tell! Why? Because the characters came alive in the pages, flourished and developed, and the connection, the love, between hero and heroine was clearly there, and very well done. Something that, usually, can be a bit challenging to accomplish in a shortened novel.

But Dawn, well, I already knew from her previous work that she could do it, and once again she managed to grab me from page one, and wrap the magic of her story-telling around me until the very end. Touching, passionate, and witty, I loved her "Winter Heat", which will definitely help to keep a reader warm during the upcoming winter evenings, snuggled up by the fire with this book! *Wink*

Next up was Sophie's "Yuletide Enchantment". Now, I've not yet read any of Sophie's contemporary romances, but I've been anxiously awaiting her upcoming paranormal series-- and this short novel is a bit of a prequel, I guess you could call it, for said series.

After reading this one, my mind was still a bit numb-- wow! I thought the plot/theme alone was very unique, not the usual ones filling the shelves today, and the story flowed nicely-- again, I almost couldn't tell it was a novella instead of a full length! The only problem, if you could call it that, is that the story teased me, leaving off at the end, and torturing me until the first novel, Velvet Haven, comes out this next year! *Cries* Otherwise, the characters were well done (and the hero, by the way, is very yummy!), there was plenty of romance, action, and a good dash of magic to captivate the reader!

The last story was Cindy's "A Christmas Spirit". I've read one of her books before, and I did enjoy it, so I had a fairly good idea of what to expect in this one-- and again, I wasn't disappointed. Although, to be honest, out of the three I would have to say this one would receive my lowest rating on it's own (but no lower than 4 stars, if that!), it was only because I didn't quiet feel the pull between the hero and heroine in her story. It was there, but it felt like it was a bit, well, rushed, like most novellas, and it only came in stronger at the very end. But I do enjoy her writing still, I always find a few witty areas and more than a few "Aw!" ones as well.

5 STARS! Over all, these three well-known authors worked their magic over the reader, pulling them in, and holding them in thrall until the very end. Wonderful, enchanting, and passionately written, these three paranormal Christmas novellas will leave you wanting only one thing: the hero to have as your own! Move over, fated heroines, you're going to have competition soon!

Thanks again to Sophie Renwick, whose blog I won this from last month!


Quick question-- which do you like better: My old signature (the blue/starry kind of TBQ) or my new one (below)?


Until Next Time,


Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Oh WOWOWOWOW!! I so can not wait to get my hands on this book!!!! Just alone for Sophie's book... and now you have intrigued me for the whole book!!! I. Must. Have. Now!!!!
Great review honey... and the 5 rate... only makes me want it more!!!
I hope you had a great day!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

I really, really, really want to get this book! Plus, the cover is to die for! Glad you finally got back on the internet! Thanks for the review - I'm glad you gave this such a rave, I was hoping you would!

JennJ said...

Oooo I'm so wanting this one I can't wait! Highlander in a kilt what's not to love plus throw in great authors oh yes a must have! Great review and congrats on your win hon! :)

sydney computer repairs said...

I am first time here at this blog. Its very nice and interesting. I am also a great fan of books. I want to visit here very often.

Leontine said...

I'm reading the final story of Cindy Miles and this bundle of novella's really gets my in the christmas spirit :)

JennJ said...

Hey hon! come on over to my place for a little surprise! ;) Hope you are having a great one!!! HUGS

VampFanGirl said...

Great review TBQ!!

I haven't read the entire anthology yet but I LOVED Sophie's "Yuletide Enchantment". It has me panting for VELVET HAVEN. Just a few more months!!

;) VFG