Get Lucky: a YA Anthology

As of the writing of this review, this fantastic anthology is still on sale for just 99 cents!  Definitely worth one-clicking this baby, there’s something for everyone!

Synopsis:
29366714A YA anthology featuring some of today’s hottest Young Adult authors!

Doubles Love by Ali Dean – Mackenzie Bell loves two things: tennis and the Kendrick family. She doesn’t want to be anything like her mother, who hops from one husband to the next. It’s one of many reasons why she’s never dated. The other reason? She’s in love with her best friend’s older brother, Jesse Kendrick.

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not by Kristen Kehoe – Kennedy Russo has had it rough. She’s become a pro at being invisible. But when she’s paired up for a 5 week assignment with golden boy, Gage, she starts to realize that anonymity may not always be the best option. Gage is on a mission to make her his friend, but will their tentative friendship bloom into something more?

Stroke of Luck by Cassie Mae – Jensen is well on his way to the PGA, if only he could focus. Getting stuck with his best friend as co-counselor at the golf camp will help—Penny’s always been one to push him. But when their alone time turns romantic, Jensen wonders if she’ll just be another distraction.

Someone I Used to Know by Tessa Marie – Charlotte was not looking forward to Spring Break. No technology and a boy she can’t stand. But when she realizes the boy is actually a hot guy now, and wants to hang out with her (!) she cant help but think this break may turn into something pretty awesome. But, is he harboring a secret that will challenge their budding relationship?

16 Kisses by Kelly Oram- All Cassie Caldwell wants for her sixteenth birthday is to finally be kissed. When Cassie’s older brother and his best friend—the lovable, sexy cowboy, Jared—discover her secret, Jared takes it upon himself to make sure her birthday wish comes true.

Four Letter Words by Ginger Scott – Dakota Wright has been making Jace Padgett look good for years…and she’s tired of it. What started as a favor has turned into a habit—one that she’s justified in her mind because Jace also happens to be six feet of gorgeous hunky quarterback, green eyes and a smile that can swing a girl to the moon. But the last favor she did for him may have finally tipped the scales, and Dakota’s ready to call it quits. One small hiccup—her heart can’t seem to let her. And when Jace starts to share pieces of the real him, Dakota begins to think her heart might just be smarter than her head after all.

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My Review:
Overall rating of 4 stars — a fantastic selection of great YA short stories.  There’s everything from sweet to a bit angsty in here, something for everyone to love.  And so many fantastic first kisses…definitely a lot of swooning.

Doubles Love by Ali Dean — 3.5 stars.  This one started off really solidly and sucked me in.  I thought for a short story that Mac and Jesse had some great chemistry.  I felt bad for Mac’s home life, and I enjoyed the sports aspect (even though I’m not a sporty girl).  I was a little disappointed in how it played out after the first kiss though.  The conflict I expected, but it resolved overly quickly, and I guess I just felt like it was a build up for no reason.  I did have to put the story down and get errands done, so maybe I just lost the flow of the story too?  Still, a sweet YA with a fantastic first kiss.

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not by Kristen Kehoe — 3 stars.  I had a hard time getting sucked into this one.  Mostly I just could not empathize with Kennedy very well.  I could see what the author was trying to do with her, but it just wasn’t working for me…but I think that might have been a personal thing.  Gage didn’t capture me right away either, but he got more adorable as time went on.  And eventually I did start to enjoy Kennedy, so the story ended better than it started.

Stroke of Luck by Cassie Mae — 4.5 stars.  Penny and Jensen were so adorable together, they had me smiling all over this story.  They had such fantastic friend chemistry, and I loved seeing them both start to see each other as more than just friends — it gave me the tingles.  You could feel the tension of this last summer together, and I was on pins and needles at the end.  Thank the baby jesus for the epilogue.  Jensen has definitely been added to my book boyfriend list, I love me a goofy adorkable guy.

Someone I Used to Know by Tessa Marie — 3.5 stars.  Definitely a cute YA.  Sometimes the choices that both characters made annoyed me.  I guess they were just immature and that did fit with their ages, but I wasn’t in the mood for that.  But I loved the moments of closeness (like at the dock and the boathouse) — you could feel the chemistry in those moments.

Sixteen Kisses by Kelly Oram — 5 stars.  Yup, this book had everything for me.  I loved Cassie — she was a little bit unsure, but oh so spunky and sassy.  I love reading about kisses, and I loved how different all the kisses were.  And Jared was just epic swoon.  I liked how he played his cards so that she would realize what was real and what was just fun.  It was the perfect short story for me, all wrapped up from beginning to end with great fun and chemistry.

Four Letter Words by Ginger Scott — 4 stars.  A part of me was epically sucked into this story.  My heart just hurt for Dakota, seeing her impossible crush and watching her get used again and again.  I couldn’t help but want to see more of why she was attracted to Jace.  It just felt kind of shallow, since for the most part he seemed to be quite the jerk.  A teeny part of me was hoping that some other nice boy was going to come along and show her what it would be like to be treated right.  Jace was redeemed a bit at the end, and my heart did break for what he was going through and his secrets.  But I guess it was just the kind of short story where I ended up wanting more b/c so much was going on.  I wanted to see what happened when they got to school again.  I wanted to see some consequences for Jace.  I wanted to see more of what brought them together.  So I was torn…b/c I really did gobble it up.

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12 Christmas Romances to Melt Your Heart by Various Authors

Synopsis:
26370721100% of the proceeds from sales of this anthology go to the Autism Society of America and straight into support groups for families touched by autism

Count down your Christmas holiday with a fantastic assortment of holiday romances written especially for this set. Humor, drama, suspense, and military heroes abound. Fall in love with new characters from a series you’ve never read and learn more about characters from your favorite author’s series you’ve been dying to hear about.

Each book is EXCLUSIVE to the anthology and NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED. Help us support a cause near and dear to each author in the set and to so many we love.

From NYT & USA Today Bestselling Authors & More!
~ Allie K. Adams​ ~ Merry TREXmas ~
Christmas turns to chaos when all the McKoys get together for the holidays. It takes a 12-yr-old autistic boy and his faithful companion to teach them all the true meaning of TREXmas.
~ Jami Davenport​ ~ Hearts On Ice ~
Drawn together by tragedy and broken apart by practicality, can two lost souls find each other again during a magical holiday season?
~ Riley J. Ford​ ~ Romance. Avalanche. Love. ~
Selma and Shaun decide to celebrate their anniversary with a Christmas ski vacation. When he reveals a huge secret he’s been hiding, she is crushed by an avalanche of emotions. She questions whether they’re meant to be together…until a real avalanche hits.
~ Geri Foster​ ~ Holiday Mischief ~
The five Avery Sisters create a little Holiday Mischief and find romance in the process.
~ Tammy S. Falkner​ ~ Yes You ~
You might remember them. They have two children named Reagan and Lincoln. Find out how their love story started in Yes, You. One bad boy, one good girl. The question – Who? Me? Yes. You.
~ Catherine Gayle​ ~ Mistletoe Misconduct ~
He says everyone deserves a second chance. She thinks it’s high time for him to turn that idea around on himself.
~ Tawdra Kandle​ ~ Underneath My Christmas Tree ~
When two hearts ignite, the most unexpected gifts can turn up under the tree.
~ Chris Keniston​ ~ Love Walks In ~
Annette Deluca believes you only get one chance at the love of a lifetime. It’s up to Michael Becker and his young autistic son to prove her wrong.
~ Katy Regnery​ ~ Marrying Mr. English ~
Long before the English brothers met their wives and girlfriends, their father, Tom, captured the heart of their mother, Eleanora. Travel back in time to Christmas 1981 and find out how it all began!
~ Krystal Shannan writing as Emma Roman​ ~ The Runaway Sleigh ~
Kidnapped from her front yard by Santa, a woman who hates Christmas finds unexpected joy in a holiday she swore to ignore for the rest of her life.
~ Becca Boyd ~ As We Dream By The Fire ~
Sadie never expected a handsome firefighter to crash into her living room on Christmas Eve, but when her tree catches on fire, he could save more than her life…
~Jodi Vaughn​ ~ Christmas In Cloverton ~
A blizzard, a lost cat, and a little bit of Christmas destiny gives Eliza a chance with the man she’s loved from afar for too long.

Find it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26370721-12-christmas-romances-to-melt-your-heart
Order it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1RvWVEf

My Review:
3 stars overall — I bought this anthology for one specific novella, but I wanted to read them all b/c I’m a holiday season reader!  This was definitely a hit and miss set of novellas.  I think there were a few that were really merely fan service, and so were not as enjoyable for someone who hadn’t read the rest of the books in the series.  And then there were some I just simply didn’t enjoy.  But I found a few gems that were sweet and perfectly Christmas-y, and I left the book I’d been waiting for til the last and it was a perfect ending.  So here are my reviews for the individual stories:

Mistletoe Misconduct ~ Catherine Gayle​
3 stars — For a girl that hates cheating, reading about the aftermath of it happening was hard for me…I’m about as forgiving as Elaine originally was.  So there was that.  And apparently I’m also ageist b/c I found I wasn’t as sucked in to the romance of this older couple.  But maybe that wasn’t age so much as the story was just meh for me?  I don’t know.  It was nice, just not outstanding.

Hearts On Ice ~ Jami Davenport​
3 stars — I think I might have enjoyed this one more if I’d read the previous books featuring these 2 characters.  Not that you had to to understand the books (there was sufficient background).  I just didn’t feel invested in the characters.  But then again, that’s hard to achieve with a short story anyways.  Also, the one word steamy scenes (they made quick fun love; they made slow love) was kind of startling (disappointing — I’d rather have fade to black).  I wonder if it’s always like that in her books.

Romance. Avalanche. Love. ~ Riley J. Ford​
2 stars — Uh no.  Didn’t enjoy the characters at all.  I’m just not a forgiving kind of reader, and the hero’s behavior in the relationship was just atrocious (well, maybe not quite that strong of a word, but I can’t think of a better one).  I was also not a fan of his recklessness.  So when you don’t like the characters, there’s not much left, you know?

The Runaway Sleigh ~ Emma Roman​
3.5 stars — I was a little bit thrown by the heroine at first…that much anger and bah-humbug was kind of hard to fathom.  But otherwise I thought the story was quite sweet, and for a short story it had some good things going for it.  Peter was adorable.

Merry TREXmas ~ Allie K. Adams​
2.5 stars — first things first, for an anthology that’s named 12 Christmas *Romances* to Melt Your Heart, I kind of expect a romance you know?  And there definitely wasn’t one in this short story.  I think this one was geared towards readers of Ms. Adams series, b/c for the life of me I could not keep up with all the different characters, and even the shifting POVs.

Holiday Mischief ~ Geri Foster
2.5 stars — Another book with multiple POVs that I didn’t understand, and only a hint of romance near the end.  I just didn’t feel it that much.  There was a lot going on, so the plot wasn’t quite as clear.  The “Father” was quite the jerk too.

Yes You ~ Tammy S. Falkner​
3 stars — Had some uber sweet moments, but then mixed in some volatile moments that I was less sure of.  Everything happened kind of quick, but that’s the nature of short stories…

Underneath My Christmas Tree ~ Tawdra Kandle​
3 stars — a bit of a different take on a romance, with the girl wanting the no strings sex and the guy holding out.  I liked that even in a shorter story we could see the relationship sort of building over time.  I wish we’d been told what happened in Trent’s past that had him taking a break, but I guess that’s why there’s another story for them coming.

Love Walks In ~ Chris Keniston​
4 stars — OK, this one was just all sorts of sweetness and “awwwww” and laughing at the sassiness of Annette.  Loved how Annette and Mike interacted with each other, and thought the glimpse into life with an autistic child was well done (not that I would know, but you know).  Ended a bit abruptly though…or at least I wasn’t expecting to turn the page and have it be done.

Marrying Mr. English ~ Katy Regnery​
4.5 stars — Oh yes!!  This was the book I bought the anthology for in the first place, and Ms. Regnery didn’t let me down.  The chemistry between the characters was phenomenal — gah, I wanted more!  And Eleanora was delightfully sassy and strong willed.  Even though it was a fast romance, it didn’t feel that way b/c of all the time they spent together.  I found myself laughing and sighing and all sorts of goodness.  The great thing is that even though this is a 2-part story, this story ends off with a satisfying enough ending that you don’t *need* to read the 2nd part…though if you’re like me, you’ll want more.  I also LOVED the tiny bits of fan service with the hints of where the boys names came from.  Can’t wait to read part 2!

As We Dream By The Fire ~ Becca Boyd
4 stars — sweet and slowburning!!  At first I wasn’t sure about Sadie, but I warmed up to her.  She and Hudson had some great little bits of banter, and I could feel the feelings starting to develop.  🙂

Christmas In Cloverton ~ Jodi Vaughn​
3…maybe 3.5 stars — Cute characters, fun “pushed together” situation.  It had all the makings of a Lenore book, but I just ended up losing it nearer to the end.  Could be my attention just wandered for other reasons.  Still, I did like it…

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

Synopsis:
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!

Find it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19387408-christmas-promises
Order it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LXkjT5

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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