Sunday, March 20, 2016

Brief Thoughts: Risky Christmas

Risky Christmas -- anthology

Authors include:  Jill Sorenson & Jennifer Morley

~ Goodreads ~

Average Rating: 3.0 Stars
-- Personal Rating: 3.0 Stars

This dual-story anthology has some good points and some bad points.

Holiday Secrets by Jill Sorenson got better as the story progressed, with a typical Romantic Suspense plot and the usual instalust/instalove romance device. But it's still not much to write home about. I'd say that this is not Jill Sorenson's best work as I have immensely enjoyed the two Aftershock novels of hers. Obviously it's a little harder to pack too much development into a short novella, and the entire story came to a close before I even realized it was there.

Rating:  3.0 Stars

Kidnapped At Christmas by Jennifer Morley was a more fleshed out plot with a better romantic development, but a somewhat scattered narration. And also we have a TSTL heroine, and so it lost some points. But overall, it was attention-hooking and entertaining in its own way. Still, it was a fairly mediocre read as a Romantic Suspense and also, I feel like Chloe talks too much and spends too much time telling us things we can deduce on our own. Also, the romance was a little wonky to stand behind.

Overall, this makes for an okay Christmastime read.

Rating: 3.0 Stars

This review was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in December 2015.

A First Impression (Originally posted on December 17, 2015)

Another day another Christmas themed book--this time with a little Romantic Suspense twist.  Right up my alley.

Except that I'm not sure how to take this one so far.

The first in this two story anthology, Holiday Secrets is written by Jill Sorenson about a single mother with two girls who are in hiding, on the run from the man who killed her husband.  This much detail we get from the first chapter of the book without much ado.

So it's great that we get right to the point.

But two things are bothering me already:

The good guy next door neighbor picks up a letter addressed to Santa in his mailbox, written by the two little girls next door.  They didn't want Mom to find it before the mail man comes by to pick it up, because Mom can't afford presents this year.  And so what does Brian do?  He buys the gifts the girls are asking for, dresses up as Santa, goes next door, and saunters right into their home when the girls readily throw the door open.  And then when Mommy dearest realizes what's going on, then practically kicks him out of her home, he has the galls to feel irritated about it?

Granted, he had only intended to leave the presents on the front porch then leave, but what actually makes him think that it was a good idea to walk into the home, invited by two young children who don't know any better just because they think he's Santa?  Of course their mother is going to scream at him and throw him out!  He's a stranger and he's in her home uninvited.

I don't think it was too big of an overreaction for a single mom with two daughters to make a big fuss about a stranger just sauntering into her home like that.  There are too many psychos in this world just waiting to snatch up unsuspecting children.  Which is why we teach our kids to never, never open the door to strangers.

But we'll let that slip by because it gets the story going and presents a strangely twisted "Meet Cute"... I suppose.  We'll see how the rest of the story goes.

"You eat dinner at noon?"

Leah remembered that Californians didn't use the same terms as Midwesterners.  "Lunch, I should say."

According to the very brief snippets of info, Leah is from Kansas.

So... I must be from a completely different realm of Kansas where we actually eat lunch at noon... and it's not called "dinner".  I might have been working on third shift for a long time and have no sense of major dining durations throughout the day, but for as long as I can remember... lunch has always been a noontime thing.

And we call lunch "lunch".

Is there another Kansas in the U.S. I am unaware of?  Or is this more of a western Kansas thing?  I was always under the impression that breakfast, lunch, and dinner times were fairly universal.  Maybe my part of Kansas is just a different world of Kansas on it's own.

Maybe I'm just overreacting.

But anyway...

I'm hoping that this book is still enjoyable despite these two glaringly obvious hitches.  I've really liked the two books in Jill Sorenson's Aftershock series, so I hoped that I would like this short Christmas fic as well.

This update was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in December 2015.

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