Heating Up the Holidays 3-Story Bundle by Lisa Renee Jones, Serena Bell, Mary Ann Rivers

Today I bring you an anthology – a 3 story bundle – each story is a mid-length novella, and all are just perfect bites for a quick afternoon read when you just need a quiet retreat!

The collection starts with Play With Me by Lisa Renee Jones.  True to her form, her characters are often deeply troubled, bruised not broken, and there is an element of coming together to heal the wounds.  Kali is a recent transplant to Vegas, having moved there for a job that disappeared while she was en route.  An interview with a temporary agency lands her a position as the personal secretary for the CEO of a casino group, and Damon West is everything one would expect of a man in that position.  The twists as the two decided on their relationship trajectory, and the secrets revealed as they worked to their happy ending was cleverly portrayed and well devised.  I’m a fan of this author, and find her talent for first person narration brings an immediacy to the story that is often less apparent in other works.

Second up is Mary Ann Rivers, who I was fortunate to have read previously with her novel The Story Guy.  In this anthology she brings us Snowfall, a lovely novella featuring a female microbiologist living in Ohio, far from her home, and dealing with a diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative condition that can result in blindness.  Jenny is fighting against the restrictions her disease brings, and refusing every attempt to engage in life despite the diagnosis.  Her OT Evan, who has displayed the patience beyond patient has coaxed, cajoled and ultimately stepped over the line of professional, as his feelings for her take over.  Jenny, for her part has been engaged in a on-line relationship with a photographer, filling her nights with dreams and chat often of a sexual nature.  While I twigged to the mysterious photographer long before Jenny did, I found the story and the excitement Jenny displayed for her work, and the odd bits that reference it were adorable and gave her a likability that her actions early on often lacked.  Again, the path to love isn’t simple here, but there is an ending that will make you smile.

Lastly is a new author to me, Serena Bell and her title, After Midnight. This was not a story of new love, but of overcoming issues and learning to trust an old flame.  Nora and Miles  met on New Years Eve a year ago –  instant attraction and things dreams are made of.  But they were separated before they could exchange information, leaving both wondering.  Nora is, however, far more reluctant to allow Miles back into her life after she obtained his contact information. Still thinking he will disappear, and holding onto past issues from bad breakups, she is only willing to trust in her judgment to make initial contact.  Miles, however, has retreated from opening the door to a relationship and effectively cut himself out of the game before it starts.  Another beautifully crafted short that shows the slow growth of a relationship when both sides are hesitant and reluctant.

Heating Up the Holidays 3-Story Bundle by Lisa Renee Jones, Serena Bell, Mary Ann Rivers

Title: Heating up the Holidays
Author: Lisa Renee Jones, Mary Ann Rivers, Serena Bell
Published by: Loveswept
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 378
Rated: five-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon iTunes
See this Title on Goodreads

As leftover turkey and stuffing give way to stockings and little black dresses, this tantalizingly sexy eBook bundle offers up holiday-themed novellas from a trio of beloved romance authors. Lisa Renee Jones gives a dedicated reporter and a powerful businessman a chance to count their Thanksgiving blessings in Play with Me; Mary Ann Rivers presents Snowfall, the story of a woman who confronts a life-changing event—hopefully with a special man by her side—just in time for Christmas; and in Serena Bell’s After Midnight, an explosive New Year’s kiss leaves two strangers wondering whether they’ll ever see each other again.

PLAY WITH ME by Lisa Renee Jones

Kali Miller has spent three years reporting fluff stories, waiting for the article that will launch her career to new heights. When she suddenly finds herself forced to take a job as an executive secretary at a Vegas casino, Kali meets the subject of what will surely be a shocking exposé: her boss, Damion Ward, the arrogant and undeniably sexy CEO. But after Damion invites her to help him plan a Thanksgiving charity event, Kali begins to see another side of the man. And when she surrenders to the exhilarating tension simmering between them, Kali hopes her story will have a happy ending.

SNOWFALL by Mary Ann Rivers

Jenny Wright can’t get enough of her erotic conversations with someone she knows only as “C.” Flirting online helps Jenny temporarily escape confronting the changes to her life as she slowly loses her vision. Jenny’s occupational therapist, Evan Carlisle-Ford, is helping her prepare for the challenges ahead, but the forthright, trustworthy man can no longer ignore his growing attraction to his fiercely intelligent client. Now Jenny must choose between the safe, anonymous “C”—or the flesh-and-blood Evan, whose heated kisses can melt snow faster than it can fall.


The clock is ticking down to midnight on New Year’s Eve, and all Nora Hart and Miles Shephard can think about is kissing each other—even though they met just minutes before. Then, as fast as Miles enters Nora’s life, he’s gone . . . and she never even gets the name of the man she thinks might just be “the one.” One year later, Nora and Miles are reunited. The chemistry between them is just as strong as they remember. But Miles broke her heart once before—and this time around, Nora’s not sure whether she can give love a second chance.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Lisa Renee Jones

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series, which is now in development for a television show to be produced by Suzanne Todd of Team Todd (Alice in Wonderland). Suzanne Todd on the INSIDE OUT series: Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense. Sara’s character is strong, flawed, complex, and sexy – a modern girl we all can identify with. I’m thrilled to develop a television show that will tell Sara’s whole story – her life, her work, her friends, and her sexuality.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is presently working on a dark, edgy new series, Dirty Money, for St. Martin’s Press.

Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

About Mary Ann Rivers

Mary Ann Rivers has been wearing a groove in her library card since she was old enough for story time. She’s been writing almost as long—her first publication credit was in Highlights magazine. She started writing and reading romance in the fifth grade once she stumbled on the rainbow of romance novel book spines in the library’s fiction stacks.

She was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals, and leading creative writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a Nurse Practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients.

Mary Ann lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son. She writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line.

About Serena Bell

USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes stories about how sex messes with your head, why smart people sometimes do stupid things, and how love can make it all better. She wrote her first steamy romance before she was old enough to understand what all the words meant and has been perfecting the art of hiding pages and screens from curious eyes ever since—a skill that’s particularly useful now that she’s the mother of two school-aged children.