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It Must Be Christmas by Jennifer Crusie, Mandy Baxter & Donna Alward

It Must Be Christmas by Jennifer Crusie, Mandy Baxter & Donna Alward

Another holiday anthology up today – come celebrate the season with Jennifer Crusie, Mandy Baxter and Donna Alward

It Must Be Christmas

I have already read one of the three stories in this anthology, a single novella release from last year. Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie is a rom-com novella that I found left me with questions and a solid lack of character development.  Although I’m sure fans of the author would enjoy it, I haven’t yet found another title from her to pique my interest.

Next up are the stories from Mandy Baxter and Donna Alward, both authors that are new to me – so let’s see what they bring.  Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher from Mandy Baxter, and I’ll be honest: billionaires in any and every form aren’t exactly burning up my must-read list. But, being fair to the author, the connection between Nate and Chloe, if a bit contrived because of his money, did ring true, and the story (and Chloe’s intentions) were built to tug at heartstrings.  Solid writing, steamy moments and a huge growth trajectory for Nate made this story intriguing.

Lastly is Donna Alward’s sweet story, Christmas at Seashell Cottage. A story of two broken people running to find that ‘missing’ piece in a small town, but afraid and unable to open up and share themselves because of their pasts.  Sometimes a bit of Christmas spirit and plenty of hope, with a twist to throw everyone out of their comfort zone is all you need.

I love and hate anthologies for one reason: the ability to sample new authors and find favorites often comes with the flip-side that reinforces why another author hasn’t been added to my tbr pile.  While this anthology will get a solid 3.5 rating from me, this is solidly down to the writing of Donna Alward and the sweetness with which she shared a complete and rich story in a novella, not a common occurrence.  This is a good sampler for readers either familiar with one of these authors, or none of them, who want three very different holiday infused stories.

It Must Be Christmas by Jennifer Crusie, Mandy Baxter & Donna Alward

Title: It Must Be Christmas: Three Holiday Stories
Author: Jennifer Crusie, Donna Alward, Mandy Baxter
Genre: Anthology - Holiday, Contemporary Romance
Published by: St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN: 1250106370
Published on: 4 October, 2016
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 384
Rated: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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About the Book:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when love is in the cold and frosty air—and desire reaches the boiling point. . .

Hot Toy
From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Crusie comes a hilarious, sexy story about a determined shopper who grabs the last action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the arms of a sexy secret agent. Mayhem under the mistletoe ensues. Business as usual this Christmas season…right?


Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher
Nate wants to stay away from all the women who want his money in Mandy Baxter’s story set deep in the heart of Texas. But when gorgeous do-gooder Chloe Benson comes knocking at his door—in search of funds for her charity—Nate can’t ignore the passion he feels for her. Maybe love is priceless after all?


Christmas at Seashell Cottage


’Tis the season in Jewell Cove when local doctor Charlie Yang finds her quiet, steady life disrupted by both an abandoned baby in the nativity manger and ex-SEAL Dave Ricker. Are these turn of events too good to be true? Or is Christmas working its magic—for real— Donna Alward’s heartwarming holiday story?

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.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: