Adult Contemporary Holiday Anthology. Books are original to this.
I’m a sucker for sexy holiday romances. With 3 authors I have read and loved, and two new-to-me authors, Baby It’s Cold Outside was a perfect anthology for me.
Searching For You by Jennifer Probst
Searching For You, I found out after reading, is part of Jennifer Probst’s Searching For Series. I did not realize this, and loved it anyway. It was honestly everything I love in a Christmas novella. Fun banter, sexy as hell, and totally romantic.
Riley is CEO of a major publishing conglomerate. Always working and striving for success, Riley is ready to find a man to share her life with. So she signed up with Kinnections, a dating service that has had a lot of success (apparently the women who own Kinnections are from the Searching For series). Riley has very particular tastes, and knows EXACTLY what she is looking for in a partner, so when the woman at Kinnections found a full match for her, they were surprised. Full matches never happen.
Dylan has been with Kinnections for 2 years and has been on loads of dates, mixers and socials, but he just can’t seem to find the right chemistry.
They’re personalities are completely opposite, yet the computer is sure Dylan and Riley belong together.
Turns out they know each other. Well. They were rivals in college, but they couldn’t deny their sexual attraction to each other. But Dylan is the irresponsible playboy, and Riley is the uptight hard worker. Can they work out together?
“Don’t you remember Cornell? We drove each other nuts. I’m a planner. I’d be early to class, you were late. I did all my homework, you got people to do it for you….You partied. I studied. You messed up the dorm and made it disgusting. I cleaned it up. Opposites.”
Riley is pushing away, but Dylan is pushing closer…and being caught in a blizzard is the perfect way to get in there.
I totally loved Dylan’s alpha, dirty-talking, commanding presence, and the playful banter is my favorite thing in a book.
“By the time I taste your pussy, you’ll beg me to let you come against my tongue. And I’ll demand it, Riley. Every last bit of it is mine.”
Searching for You is a perfect 5 star read. I have only read one of Jennifer’s books in the past, but I will have to get more if they are anything like this.
With banter, humor, sexual tension, romance, funny moments and very steamy parts, I loved the whole story. I never felt like it was part of a series and I missed something. Searching for You was it’s own story, and can be read at any time during the series, or on its own and it was a very full story for a novella.
Novella Rating: 5 stars, 5 Heat
It’s a Wonderful Tangled Christmas Carol by Emma Chase
Oh how I love Drew Evans! If you are not familiar with Emma Chase’s Tangled Series, I highly advise a read. Drew reminds me of Ferris Bueller. He talks to the reader, breaking down that 3rd wall, and he is such a guy. It’s awesome reading a book from the guy’s POV that is funny, sexy and romantic. This Christmas Carol-esque story can totally stand alone if you’ve not read the series.
Drew and Kate are so happy. They have a baby, and their lives together are great.
“Christ, you feel good, Kate. Always so goddamn good.”
It’s true. And it’s got nothing to do with the fact that Kate’s is the only pussy I’ve ever been in without a rubber.
It’s her. The life we’ve made together–the way she matches me in every way–her desire, her humor, her mind.
Drew has fucked up again (what else is new?). It’s Christmas Eve, and he left his lovely wife and baby on Christmas Eve to go to the office to prepare for a big conference call he has at 9 in the evening. He thinks Kate should understand, after all, she is ruthless in business too. But Kate knows where her priorities lie. In the darkened office, he is visited by three ghosts…you guessed it: past, present and future.
Emma Chase did a brilliant job with this one. It was a perfect Christmas story. I loved checking in with one of my favorite couples, and reading Drew’s take on things for a while is always fun and refreshing. I laughed, I even cried a bit, and I enjoyed seeing glimpses of the hidden Drew.
Novella Rating: 5 stars, 4.5 Heat
Saving Grace by Kristen Proby
Saving Grace is part of the Love Under The Big Sky Series, but it’s not a cowboy book, oh no, it’s about a sexy ski instructor. Grace’s friends have plans for a bachelorette weekend in Aspen. Even though they live in Montana, Grace is a known klutz, and has never learned to ski. Her friends decide it’s time she learned, and get her a weekend at the local ski resort, complete with lessons. Then they send her off with some advice:
“If you can’t bang the billionaire, bang a hot ski instructor,” Lo says.
“I’m not banging anyone!”
“Why not?” Jenna asks. “You’re hot. You should bang someone.”
When Grace is directed to her ski instructor, she walks over to the man talking to a teenage boy in the lobby. When she sees him, her first thought is:
“Jesus, down girl”
And then…“Holy Jesus on a stick, the man has a British accent.”
Grace is having a hard time concentrating as the gorgeous hunk of man tells her all about bindings and wax and other things she didn’t care about.
“What did I say?”
“You said something about bondage and hot wax.”
Grace and Bax were a fun couple. I really loved Grace, she was Klutzy and funny as hell, and I loved her “accents”. Bax was adorable and sexy. The story moved a little quickly, but hey, it is a novella. I never even realized it’s part of a series, it can totally stand alone. But I am now way more interested in reading this series!
Novella Rating: 4.5 stars, 5 Heat
Safe in his Arms by Melody Anne
I’ve not read Melody Anne yet, so it was a great way to get to experience a new author. The meddling townspeople of Sterling, Montana need to replace the elementary school teacher and Christmas Pageant coordinator who left her position. Since they don’t get many new people in their town, they also want to find a girl for Hawk, a good looking long-time resident of Sterling. The meddlers are on the school board, and are tasked with finding a new teacher. Luckily, all the resumés come with pictures.
Natalie Duncan finished college, and has been interning at an elementary school in her native southern California when in November, she finally gets the call she has been waiting for. Her own teaching position….her very first. The small town in Montana wasn’t really where she wanted to go, but it was a great stepping stone. Until she arrives in her smart little suit and pumps, and quickly realizes she has no clue how freaking cold and icy it could be in Montana.
When her cab pulls up to her rented house, she meets Hawk Winchester, landlord and firefighter. And the zing of attraction is something she has never experienced. After he rescues her from falling because of her stupid shoes, he takes off. Natalie knows she needs to get to town to get some new, warm clothes, so she heads to town without snow chains on her tires. You can imagine the trouble she gets in, no snow tires, no warm clothes and brand new to town. Luckily Hawk is there to rescue the damsel in distress.
“She’d never before experienced the intensity she was feeling at this moment, looking at Hawk. As this stranger held her gaze, she couldn’t seem to shake the irrational vision of the two of them entwined together in reckless passion. Oh this was bad. So very bad.”
This was a cute story, I especially loved the firetruck scene, but the heroine was just a little to stupid for my tastes. I mean really, who uproots their life, moves to another state, and has no clue that it’s a cold and snowy place! She teaches school, she should realize that it’s freezing in Montana mountains at the end of November. Then, to go out shopping on Thanksgiving and not realize it’s Thanksgiving? DUH, she just traveled, did she not notice anything?
This is related to the Billionaire Bachelors Series.
Novella Rating: 3 Stars, 4.25 Heat
Rekindle the Flame by Kate Meader
I had not read or even heard of Kate Meader, so this was all new to me. Darcy grew up in a very wealthy Chicago suburb. She has since changed her life and gone out on her own, but back in Chicago near her family, she had to look the part for the family Christmas photo. After that much time with them, it was time to blow off some steam at a local bar with her friend Mel. Darcy quickly realized that Mel had dragged her to the bar owned by the family of the guy who took her virginity and broke her heart years before, Beck Rivera, and she basically falls into his arms.
Beck is still the hot as fuck young boxer she had fallen for, but now he added the military background and firefighter career making him even more delicious. To him, she was ‘the one who got away’ but now there is a chance for a do-over.
“Except she was still so far out of his league she may as well be crater hopping on the moon. And oh yeah, he had dumped her without explanation in the name of doing her a favor.”
Beck and Darcy’s chemistry was still there alright, and his sexy spanish endearments were hot! But when he gets all macho bossy on her, she’s done- she just got away from her father, nobody else will be controlling her.
When Beck tracks her down…he realizes she is certainly not the same Darcy he remembered, when he finds his ‘princesa’ working as an artist at a tattoo shop, with plans on moving to Texas to take over another shop.
I finished this book about about a week ago, and finally getting a chance to review it. I honestly had a really hard time remembering this story, and had to go back to the book and almost re-read the whole story to refresh my memory. It was a decent second chance at romance story, but there was nothing very memorable to me. I guess I just didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked.
This is the beginning of a new firefighter series, coming out next year.
Novella Rating 3.75 Stars, 4 Heat
Baby it’s Cold Outside is definitely worth it just for the first 3 books. the other two were enjoyable bonuses. I don’t think you need to read any of the other series to love this anthology, but if you have, I think this should be a must-read.
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 4.5 Heat
Purchase Baby It’s Cold Outside