Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 by Various Authors


Authors: Merrillee Whren, Pat Simmons,
Cindy Flores Martinez, Josie Riviera,
and Victoria Pinder
Title: Sweet Christmas Kisses 3
  Published: September 27, 2016
 Publisher: Indie Writers, Inc
Series or standalone: series (loose)
Format: e-book
 Source: for review/own

Sweet Christmas Kisses 3 is an anthology of 17 novellas.  I received a bundle of 5 of them to review.  All of these are the first works I’ve read by these authors and will keep an eye out for future stories.

Second Chance Christmas by Merrillee Whren
A young boy helps his estranged parents find love again at Christmas.

3.5 roses

I get that the couple is married, but it didn’t sit well with me about mentions of the estranged couple’s choices of bedroom activity at some point of the book.  Yes, the couple is still legally married, but it has been four years since they have seen each other.  I just could not get past that.  I was expecting more of a Christmas feeling to this story. 

Christmas Eve Wedding by Cindy Flores Martinez
A maid of honor is swept up in the chaos of planning her best friend’s spur-of-the-moment Christmas Eve wedding.

4 roses

To me the, setting of this book captured the Christmas feel that I have of the season.  I thought this story began really strong.  I liked the dynamics between Al and Jillian and would have liked a longer story with them.  I just wish the last chapter was drawn out more.  It was really abrupt and tried to fit too much information at once.  I wish there was another chapter or two to really flesh things out better.  There is a couple in the book that already had a story.  I am interested in reading about them. 

Secret Wish by Victoria Pinder
Luke Morgan doesn’t believe in miracles, but this season Christmas brought him Caro Soliz, the family maid.

3.5 roses

I was confused a little bit with all of the family drama, but that may just be me. I really wished this book wasn’t a part of an existing series.  I didn’t really feel as connected to the characters with this story as I did in others.  There is a minor plot point that doesn’t get fully resolved either.  I would rather the whole novella have tied up completely.    

Candleglow and Mistletoe by Josie Riviera
A rising pianist and a pro stuntman winding down his career find love amid the glow of Christmas candles.

4 roses

I feel like this book me more into a wintery mood than Christmas, but I still rather enjoyed it.  I really like that it included a candle shop.  I liked that Gabe had a crush on Noelle since high school, but I do felt like it moved a little fast for each other since it has been a while since they have seen each other.  I also really hated some of the language in the story.  I do believe the pacing other than I mentioned was good.

Couple by Christmas by Pat Simmons
Divorcee Derek Washington wants to reconcile with his ex-wife by Christmas. Although he’s got a plan, with the help of his six-year-old son, Derek only has two weeks.

5 roses

This story probably had the best, true representation of Christmas.  Although the couple definitely had a past together, I did not feel over logged with any backstory.  To me, incorporating backstory is one of the hardest thing in book, let alone a novella.  I think Pat handled this the best I’ve seen in a while.  Most Christian books I’ve read don’t include the Holy Ghost as much as this one has.  I really enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I’d would.  I will say this novella isn’t fully complete.  The couple’s story will be continued in another novella.  Although I wish the story was completed in this novella, I think the ending was the right one.

Final thoughts on all:

I did enjoy this set as a whole.  I have bought the whole set and plan to read them all at some point.   As I read more stories in this set, I’m going to try to update this review and add them below this.  I think this is a great deal.  My biggest qualm is I felt like most of the stories had Christmas as an afterthought.  There were standouts in that regard, in which I think Couple by Christmas and Christmas Eve Wedding had it more for me.  I still recommend this set, especially if you want to sample a huge array of authors for a steal.  

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