Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Special Holiday Review: Midnight Kiss--An Anthology by Robyn Carr, Jean Brashear, & Victoria Dahl

This is a delightful holiday anthology of stories built on the practice done worldwide on each New Year's Eve known as the "midnight kiss." Millions have found themselves wrapped in the arms of a stranger, spouse, lover or friend as the old year fades away and the new year begins with horns and noisemakers, fireworks, toasts and the singing of Auld Lang Syne. Here are three stories written by some of romance literature's most beloved authors, each different in its characters, plot, scenario, and storyline, and yet each is pointed toward that magic midnight moment.

Robin Carr crafts a short story set in that familiar community of Virgin River where Sunny has retreated as the firsts anniversary of her failed wedding--she was actually left at the alter--approaches. Her memories are still so painful she has come to visit family in the hopes that getting out of Los Angeles will help get her through this awful day. She first rejects and then finally allows conversation with a tall, handsome and personable man who turns out to be a medical resident from Los Angeles who has also come to Virgin River for some peace and quiet in order to catch up on his studies. Together they begin to form a very tenuous acquaintance, exploring the beginning of a relationship, a careful and watchful journey by two people who are wondering how they can move on from overwhelming disappointments.

Jean Brashear tells the story of an attorney who has locked away any aspects of her softer side, who rarely ever allows anyone to see anything other than her harsh, prickly, brash and mouthy courtroom exterior. She is a woman who seeks male companionship for personal release, the queen of one-night-stands. Along comes a quiet man, a friend of friends, an artisan and woodcrafter, who is not sure he wants to have anything to do with her but who is fascinated with her. Their budding relationship is full of emotional ups and downs. The reader can feel Will's frustrations as he encounters block after block to her inner self, as well as Jordan's panic as he gets closer and closer to who she really is.

Victoria Dahl write a beautful love story of two FDIC agents who are a part of a team sent to close a bank. They are engaged in a tug of war, sniping and snarling at one another, and yet under all the clash are two people who long for the comfort of one another's embrace. How do they resolve past issues in order to move into a new relationship? Where can they find enough trust to match their passion?

All three of these stories are well worth the time to read and all will bring the warm fuzzies of the heart to the surface. The are worthy additions to the entertainments of the holiday season and will engender some serious thought for the reader about the meaning of the new year in one's own personal experience, hopes, dreams, and goals. Each of these stories is so well written that they are a joy to read apart from their holiday significance. All the authors know what they are doing. This is one very, very good book and I recommend it to all lovers of romance fiction. Happy Holidays!! I give this book a 4.5 out of 5.

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