AN Enchanted Season Mass Market Paperback – Nov 3 2009
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About the Author
Nalini Singh is passionate about writing. Though she’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China and the temples of Japan, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her the most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer.
Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand. For contact details and to find out more about the Psy-Changeling series, please visit her website.
Maggie Shayne is a national bestselling author who has appeared on the USA Today and Waldenbooks bestseller lists. When she's not writing, she spends her time exploring the mysteries of the cosmos, reading Tarot, collecting crystals, and studying the customs and rituals of long-forgotten civilizations. She lives in upstate New York.
Erin McCarthy, the author of A Date with the Other Side, Bad Boys Online, Smart Mouth, Houston, We Have a Problem, and Mouth to Mouth.
The best part about being a writer is the joy of entertaining others. Whether it’s sad or scary, silly or sexy, I love knowing that one of my stories has given someone a good time. I hope this is one of those stories for you, too. Currently I live in the Pacific Northwest. Feel free to drop by my website for a chat.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Melting Frosty" by Maggie Shayne shows what happens when opposites collide. Matthew has hated Christmas ever since his father died, while Holly has embraced the holiday season more than ever since losing her whole family just before Christmas. Can these two apparently mismatched souls ever find love together? A certain black hat seems to think so....
What a tear jerker! Maggie Shayne has always been one of my favorite authors and "Melting Frosty" showcases just why her books remain on my keeper shelves. Holly is the ideal woman to melt Matthew's cold heart and I couldn't help but cheer her on every step of the way. The inclusion of the black fedora hat is ideal and adds a touch of mystique to this aptly named tale. "Melting Frosty" shows that every action in the universe has a meaning if only one looks for it, just as Holly does.
In "Charlotte's Web", Erin McCarthy introduces readers to a witch in denial about her powers. Charlotte Murphy comes from a family of witches but she wants to celebrate Christmas the traditional way. She has loved her friend Will Thornton for years, but does he reciprocate her feelings?
Erin McCarthy always writes a charming tale and "Charlotte's Web" is no exception. Fans of her Vegas Vampires series will note that "Charlotte's Web" is a bit spicier, focusing more on the sensuality than the humor. Bree, Charlotte's sister, is an interesting secondary character and actually intrigued me far more than Charlotte did. Perhaps Bree will get her own tale?
"Beat of Temptation" by Nalini Singh is part of her Psy-Changeling series. Tamsyn Mahaire is the Healer of the DarkRiver pack, an unusually high position for one so young. The mating bond between Tamsyn and Nate Ryder snapped into place when Tamsyn was only fifteen years old. Now, at age nineteen, Tamsyn is ready to claim Nate for her own... or lose him forever.
"Beat of Temptation" is a passionate, beautiful tale of the power of love. Nalini Singh captivates readers with this precursor to the beloved books starting with SLAVE TO SENSATION. As always, her story perfectly encapsulates both the joys and the heartaches that falling in love entails. If you haven't experienced the magic of Ms. Singh's wonderful series, "Beat of Temptation" is the perfect opportunity to get a taste of what this incredibly talented author has to offer.
"Gifts of the Magi" by Jean Johnson concludes this anthology. Steve Bethel and his fiancé, Rachel Rutherford, are trying to make a living from the Bethel Inn. A freak blizzard has led to cancellations of all of their scheduled guests, leaving a mortgage they can't pay due to their miserly banker. However, unexpected visitors have arrived and miracles will be in store this Christmas.
What an enchanting tale! Jean Johnson has crafted a very clever tale that touches on the holiday spirit for all religions. The universal theme of helping another in need is shown clearly throughout this heartwarming story. The love between Rachel and Steve runs deep, and their sudden fortunes are sure to bring a smile to even the most miserly.
AN ENCHANTED SEASON is the perfect blend of stories to warm up those cold winter nights. Maggie Shayne, Erin McCarthy, Nalini Singh, and Jean Johnson provide readers with their own unique brand of stories in this superb anthology.
COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES
"Melting Frosty" by Maggie Shayne. (5 stars)This was my favorite story of the four, it fit the magical romance theme perfectly. Fate and possibly loved ones from the great beyond conspire to bring Matt and Holly together for Christmas. At first glance Matt and Holly seem to have little in common - Matt is a cynic who avoids attachments and Holly approaches life with joy and faith. But they not only feel an instant connection with each other but discover that they have both survived tragic losses as children. I couldn't help but root for Holly and Matt to both find what they were missing in life and couldn't wait to see if Holly's zest for life and a little Christmas spirit could bring love back into Matt's life
"Charlotte's Web" by Erin McCarthy,(4 stars) set in the same town as her Heiress For Hire and A Date with the Other Side (Berkley Sensation). Charlotte and Will have had a close platonic relationship for years. Both are secretly in love with the other, but afraid to take a chance at expressing their deeper feelings for fear of ruining their friendship. But when Charlotte discovers that her family wasn't kidding about witchy powers being hereditary, Charlotte knows just the spell to cast. - This is one of my favorite themes, best friends longing for more and McCarthy really had the two more-than-friends sizzling as Charlotte and Will take the chance at moving their relationship to a new level.
"Beat of Temptation" by Nalini Singh. (5 stars) I love Singh's Psy-Changeling series. This story is a prequel to Slave to Sensation (The Psy-Changelings, Book 1)and a more than respectable addition to the series, very well fleshed out even in this short format. Changelings Sentinel Nate and Healer Tamsyn are mates and are reoccurring characters in the series. Nate has yet to claim Tami, he's much older and wants to give her time to grow up. But after fours years Tami is all woman, fully ready to make the leap and she begins to think that while his leopard knows she's his mate, the man doesn't want her. But Nate doesn't realize how much his lack of commitment is torturing Tami, and if he's not careful he may just lose her forever.
"Gift of the Magi" by Jean Johnson. (3 stars) Not as romantic as the other stories, since Steve and Rachel are already in love. But Steve and his fiancé Rachel have let their troubles get in the way of their relationship as they are are in danger of going under financially and losing the bed and breakfast that has been in Steve's family for generations. But when three strangers come to stay Christmas Eve at the pair's Inn, Steve and Rachel find that even if they need a little help, they already have the greatest gift, each other. If you trimmed the love scenes to get a PG-13, this story would be right at home in Reader's Digest, it has that uplifting angels-among-us quality to it.
I would have bought this book for Singh's story alone, I am a huge fan of the Psy-Changeling series, so the stories by Shayne and McCarthy were just added bonuses. This was a nice light romantic read, perfect if you are in the mood for some mistletoe magic.
Other books in the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh:
Visions of Heat (The Psy-Changeling Series, Book 2) (Berkley Sensation)
Caressed By Ice (The Psy-Changeling Series, Book 3)
and coming soon
Mine to Possess
~Melting Frosty by Maggie Shayne~
Matt and Holly both suffered tragic loss during the Christmas holidays when they were children, but each reacted completely differently to the pain. While Holly looks for the joy and love in all things, Matt expects only emptiness and sorrow. Brought together by a series of miracles, stranded together by a snowstorm, this pair will have an everlasting effect on each other...
If ever a story were written that made one believe in miracles - especially the miracle of love - it would be Maggie Shayne's Melting Frosty. She had my eyes watering by page three of her story and the waterworks never really stopped after that. I don't truly know which touched me more - Matt's despair or Holly's hope. Both were palpable in their intensity and made for an unforgettable and heart-warming read.
~Charlotte's Web by Erin McCarthy~
Friends. That's what Will and Charlotte have always been, much to her dismay. Oh, it isn't that she doesn't want his friendship, it's just that she has longed for much more than that for years. But Will doesn't seem to see her as anything more than a buddy. It's time for Charlotte to tap into the magic of the holiday season and her family's own witchy heritage to try and catch Will's attention in a big, romantic way...
I am always a sucker for romances with friends who have loved each other from afar for too long. In Charlotte's Web, Erin McCarthy does the theme right with the love affair between Will and Charlotte. Pair Charlotte's barely hidden desire with long-stifled magical abilities that have a delicious way of granting her fondest wishes where Will is concerned and you have a sexy, fun tale that you will be more than happy to snuggle up with on a cold winter's night...
A Date with the Other Side
Heiress For Hire
~Beat of Temptation by Nalini Singh~
It is years before most shape shifters find their mate - years during which they enjoy independence and sexual freedom with multiple partners before settling down. Nate was always drawn to Tamsyn, although he was much older than her. But when she turned fifteen, something clicked and they recognized each other as mates.
Still, Nate was determined to allow her space and freedom in which to mature and find herself before he claimed her as his. Admirable enough, but that very space and freedom turned torturous for the frustrated Tammy, until four years later when she is so ready to explode she'll do anything to break Nate's hated self-control...
With the first book in the Psy/Changeling series, Nalini Singh garnered another fan with this reviewer. With each subsequent story in this riveting series, she proves she is no one-hit wonder, delivering intense stories filled with passion, intrigue, and best of all, love.
Beat of Temptation follows very admirably in that vein. While it is technically the fourth story in the series, the fact that it is a prequel makes it easy to read out of series order, granting newcomers the chance to sample this talented author's work without first needing to read the other books in the series. Of course, I fully expect anyone who reads Beast of Temptation will rush right out to purchase all of the other books in this series.
The first in this saga to mate two Changelings together rather than a Changeling with a Psy, this tale was no less fascinating for it. In fact, watching Tammy and Nate's denied lust for each other escalate into uncontrollable passion made for some extremely powerful scenes that defy the reader to put the book down until the story's end.
Throughout it all, we still enjoy glimpses of the Psy world as they plot against the Changeling packs for their own financial gain.
Fans of the Psy/Changeling series will adore this glimpse into Nate and Tammy's past, and new fans will find it an excellent entry point to this mesmerizing world.
Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changelings, Book 1)
Visions of Heat (Psy-Changelings, Book 2)
Caressed By Ice (Psy-Changelings, Book 3)
Mine to Possess (Psy-Changelings, Book 4)
~Gifts of the Magi by Jean Johnson~
Steve and Rachel are just one mortgage payment away from losing their cherished bed and breakfast inn. The biggest blizzard to hit town in years seems to dash all of their hopes and dreams as reservations go unfulfilled from guests unable to make it to the inn. But the blizzard brings some very unusual miracles, too...
Jean Johnson is a new author for me. I found her story, Gifts of the Magi to be just as spellbinding and emotional as the other stories in An Enchanted Season! Truly, Ms. Johnson easily holds her own in this roster of very talented authors and is a writer I will be looking for more from in the future.
In her story, she brings us the gift of miracles large and small - some magical and some simply born of the human spirit. These miracles will stay in my heart for a long time to come and I daresay will have me considering people in real life a little differently from now on.
Melting Frosty by Maggie Shayne - Both Matt and Holly have had traumatic experiences in their youth surrounding the holidays. But the two of them end up having very different feelings about the Holidays. Holly loves and embraces them while Matt despises them.
This story starts out a little cheesy and far fetched but quickly turned into an enjoyable Christmas tale about two strangers with more in common than they originally thought.
Charlotte's Web by Erin McCarthy - Charlotte and Will have been best friends for a long time. Both of them are also secretly in love with the other, they just don't know how to change this friendship into a more intimate relationship. Luckily Charlotte's sisters, who fancy themselves witches, have some ideas of their own.
This was one of my favorite stories. Charlotte and Will are adorable and along with all the heat and chemistry there are some funny moments, too.
Beat of Temptation by Nalini Singh - Nate and Tammy are changelings, part of a leopard pack. On her 15th birthday they knew that their souls were connected and they were fated to be mates. Because of their age difference Nate has been putting off consummating their relationship, claiming he wants Tammy to see the world before they settle down.
This is probably the least Christmas related story of the bunch, pretty much the only link to Christmas is that of a tree. I have never read this authors work so at first I was a little lost in the Psy-Changeling world, but this quickly became one of my favorites. The author did an excellent job of making me see and believe these characters. The emotions they go through are written so clearly that it's easy to feel them.
Gifts of the Magi by Jean Johnson - Rachel and Steve have taken over his family Bed and Breakfast. But due to a tornado and their insurance company claiming bankruptcy they are coming close to losing it all. Then in the middle of a snow storm 3 strangers come to stay. This is a twist on the three wise men.
This story was by far my least favorite. It is one hokey moment after another and the dialogue was so cheesy, it was really hard for me to get through. It really came close to ruining this book for me. The story was just boring and too miraculous; it came off a little preachy and just did nothing for me.
As far as anthologies go this one was very enjoyable, had it not been for the Jean Johnson's story I probably would have given it a 5. The first three stories are wonderful, unique and very entertaining.
The others? Pretty boring stuff. Not terrible romantic overall, little dramatic or character development from the lot. I've read Maggie Shayne's work before, but I liked her full length novels much much better. For the "headliner" if this bunch, she missed the mark by a lot. The other 2 authors I haven't read (or heard of) before, but -- again -- nothing to write home about.
The book overall is certainly worth a library trip, but I'm annoyed at spending $11-plus (at a brick-and-mortar store) for this one. It's a keeper for Singh's story, but the others were a disappointment.