Christmas Promises anthology by Lynne Graham, Carole Mortimer, and Marion Lennox

13548108The Christmas Eve Bride by Lynne GrahamRocco thought he was done with Amber after her betrayal two years earlier. But when he unexpectedly runs into her, the attraction is still strong—so he asks her to become his mistress! Amber only accepts so her baby boy can have a better Christmas. But Rocco’s plan for revenge changes as he begins picturing a future with Amber…and their son.

A Marriage Proposal for Christmas by Carole Mortimer

Cally Turner thinks Noel Carlton is an egotistical playboy! The only reason she’s agreed to work for him is so she can give her daughter a Christmas to remember. But as she spends more time with Noel, she begins to wonder what’s more irritating—his infuriating arrogance or unexpected tenderness?

A Bride for Christmas by Marion Lennox

Wealthy businessman—and contented bachelor—Guy Carver is in Australia to take ownership of Jenny Westmere’s wedding salon. It’s strictly business. So no one is more surprised than Guy himself when he realizes that the deal he really wants to ink is making Jenny and her little boy his family by Christmas!

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My Review:
The Christmas Eve Bride:
2.5 stars — *sigh*  It’s been awhile since I last read some Harlequins, so I’m not sure if this one was actually worse, or if my tastes have just changed.  But yeah, this one was a dud.  I didn’t warm to the characters at all, nor their relationship.  It had the usual set of attributes I’m used to from these books (alpha male, some sort of previous relationship with a misunderstanding breaking them up), but it just felt forced.  I would see occasional moments where Rocco was kind of funny towards Amber, but that was like a few sentences.  It just didn’t flow for me.  And as far as a holiday read — it had very little Christmas-ness to it, other than the end being on Christmas.  So it didn’t fulfill that need for me either.  Oh well, hopefully the next one’s better.

A Marriage Proposal for Christmas:
3 stars — I think I realized what I forgot about these Harlequins….so much quick love.  I was actually enjoying this one, even though Cally could be a little annoying at times.  But then suddenly after 2 brief meetings and a day or so together and they were in love?  *sigh*  I guess I’m just cynical and lost my Harlequin glasses somewhere along the way, but it just took away from it all for me.  At least this one was more of a holiday read — had a bit more Christmas element to it.  Here’s hoping the 3rd one’s a winner.

A Bride for Christmas:
3.5 stars — ok, this one still had that fast love that I’d forgotten about Harlequins, but the characters were actually likable, so I was able to roll with it a bit more.  Jenny was hilariously sassy with Guy, I loved it.  And Guy wasn’t too bad himself — you could see how Jenny sort of woke him up.  And the whole scene with Henry at the beach was sweet and touching.  Actually, the secondary characters were pretty great all around (Lorna and Jack are great in-laws).  So-so on the Christmas aspect….more like just a circumstance.  But I still enjoyed myself, and it was a much better read than the first 2.


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