Published by Harlequin Source: Netgalley
Genres: Best Friends Sibling, Christmas, Contemporary Romance, Military, Pregnancy & Babies, Romance, Second Chances
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Three stories salute the romance of holiday homecomings
Christmas Angel by Lindsay McKenna
When Navy SEAL Kyle Anderson gets a call saying Anna Campbell needs him, he doesn't think twice. On the Montana ranch where they grew up, holiday magic permeates every acre, kindling long-awaited love. But will duty trump desire?
Unexpected Gift by Delores Fossen
Tailed by a camera crew, Air Force Captain Gabe Brenner returns to Texas to deliver a Christmas message to his best friend's sister Kelly Coburn. But she's had her own delivery: beautiful baby Noel…Gabe's daughter.
Navy Joy by Geri Krotow
Chief Petty Officer Ian Cairne arrives stateside for Christmas with a four-legged friend: his late buddy's military service dog. Fortunately, the beautiful town vet Wendi Cooper is willing to take this odd couple into her home—and her heart.
So this book is another collection of Christmas stories with a military twist, I seem to be on a short story Christmas kick the past few days.
Christmas Angel: Lindsay McKenna was my favorite of the short stories out of the three. I really think the reason why it was easy for me to like this story more than the others is because the characters had a long term relationship before hand, so it was easy to see how a relationship could be rekindled in the very short amount of time the short story provided for. Kyle and Anna were childhood sweethearts, and when he joined the military he broke her heart. It’s really easy to read the pain between these two characters, but at the same time the love they have for each other is palpable from the beginning of the story. It was really easy to pull for these two to find a way to work it out, and I just really liked the characters in this one.
Unexpected Gift: Delores Fossen was probably my least favorite, but it was more of a personal hang up then a problem with the writing. So Gabe comes home to find that Kelly, his best friends little sister, has had a baby girl, and the baby is his. Yeah, talk about a dramatic entrance. I really don’t like women who don’t tell the father of their child they are pregnant (unless there is some kind of legit reason, like they tried to find them and couldn’t or it was an abusive situation or something, barring that, it’s hard for me to ever be okay with it). So from the beginning Kelly and I really didn’t mesh. I also thought she was really wishy-washy. Gabe I liked, I liked that he was an honorable guy, I liked that he took his daughter immediately, and I liked that he tried to do considerate things for Kelly. I did think the insta-love needed a bit more fleshing out to be believable though.
Navy Joy: Geri Krotow I liked for the most part, I really liked the inclusion of animals into the story. Wendi is a vet who has more than a few animals at home and has recently adopted her twin sisters’ three year old daughter after her sister and her husband died. Ian is recovering from the loss of his friend, the previous owner of his dog, and needed to find a place to stay that was pet friendly, enter Wendi. I liked the two of them individually and together, I liked how the animals all interacted with each other, and were catalysts for the two of them getting closer. I did think that the end of the story was more than a little rushed, but you will have to read it to understand why I think that.
Overall, I thought this was a cute collection of Christmas stories, and I did appreciate the military twist (who doesn’t love a guy in a uniform). That said, the stories were a little two quick to have the development they needed in my opinion, so it felt an awful lot like insta-love rather than taking the time to develop something more organically. But if you want something quick and sweet with a Christmas feel, this would definitely be your cup of tea.