Review: Christmas in the City by Various Authors


'Tis the season for free anthologies, and the first free holiday anthology that's just landed in my tablet is Christmas in the City! This came out three days earlier than was originally whispered about, the list of authors involved wasn't known by the romance reading public at large, with maybe only a name or two being released by an author. Well, consider the cat--or should that be cats?--out of the bag, and the clincher is that the twelve authors are writing duos and they've penned six all-new short stories! Four out of the six pairs have worked together before--Corinne Michaels and Melanie (Hold Me Close and Imperfect Match), Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward (a whole slew of books), Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway (the Rugby series), and Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy (the award-winning Him and its sequel, Us, as well as the WAGs duet)--with L.J. Shen and Helena Hunting plus Sierra Simone and Kennedy Ryan merging talents to become the two new pairs. Short, sweet, and sexy, these stories are loads of fun!

My top reads would have to be Epic by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, which has one of my all-time favorite couples, Ryan Wesley and Jamie Canning from their Him duet, AND appearances from another favorite Bowen-Kennedy couple of mine, Blake Riley and Jess Canning from Good Boy, and Baby, It's Cold Outside by Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow, which is a companion story to Imperfect Match. Bowen and Kennedy certainly do not disappoint in what could very well be one of the most awaited stories in the anthology. Wes and Jamie are still very much happily married to each other and are making names for themselves as a player and a goalie coach, respectively. Change could be imminent, however, and may not only find them in different cities but also opposing sides. On the other hand, Michaels and Harlow more than tickled my fancy with the story of Harlow North and Michael West. This one gave the adage "Love thy neighbor" a whole new meaning, and was every bit as fun-filled as I'd hoped it would be. Epic and Baby, It's Cold Outside both had me smiling with holiday satisfaction. Five stars.

Just the Tip by L.J. Shen and Helena Hunting, Kissmiss in New York by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, The Christmas Crown by Sierra Simone and Kennedy Ryan, and Songbird by Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway were all fantastic reads, too. Shen and Hunting's story has an American in Paris, Regina LaPenus, looking for her missing father and fin,ds a connection with a Brit in the City of Love, Horace Bamfield, in the process. This was lighthearted but had some heat to it as well as lots of humor. Keeland and Ward's story is about a dare that has two strangers, Margo and Chet, sharing a kiss, only to find out later on that they share a whole 'nother connection--she's Margaret Adams, not-quite-a-divorcee and he's Chester Saint, divorce lawyer of HER cheating husband. Lots of tension with this one, and the delicious kind of tension at that, plus some miscommunication and assumptions. Both stories get 4.5 stars.

As for The Christmas Crown and Songbird, I know the former is a story that'll be continued when Sierra Simone and Kennedy Ryan re-activate their wonder writing powers next year, and I'm REALLY hoping the same can be said for the latter because I seriously need Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway to give me more of this couple! Simone and Ryan's story mixes royalty with intrigue when Noelani, queen of Manaroa and regent to her minor son set to be king, and Brock Grimsby (aka Grim from Ryan's All the King's Men duology), security specialist and owner of a security company, share one heck of an unforgettable night together; while Reid and Cosway's short story (which also marks my very first read from Reid ever) is set in Ireland and has two lonely people, Ophelia Kelly and Broderick Adams unexpectedly meeting on Christmas Eve--and Broderick's last night in Ireland before returning to America--and find a kinship over music and more. Both these stories had me intrigued and I need MORE! 4.5 stars for each. ♥

Release Date: 01 December 2019 28 November 2019 (early release)

Date Read: 28 November 2019


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