Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Getaway

Christmas Getaway
By Anne Stuart, Tina Leonard,
Marion Lennox
Publisher: Harlequin
Published on November 2008
ISBN-13: 9780373837298
288 pages

Christmas Getaway is an anthology of three well-written stories that are related with each other, and offers exciting holiday romantic suspense. Here is a glimpse of what to expect:

"Claus and Effect" by Anne Stuart: Imagine you are the bride-to-be trying out for your wedding gown at the stores when all hell breaks loose. Not only that, you are then kidnapped by (guess who?) Santa Claus! who happens to be a cop. That is what happened to Dr Eloise Pollard (or Ellie) when she is being whisked away by James Fitzpatrick (or Fitz) who is the santa-in-disguise amidst the chaos. Apparently Fitz is being framed into a diamond heist committed by his fellow law officers and is now being the hunted. Ellie who is just a week from getting married gets herself into uninvited trouble. One thing leads to another: Fitz is injured even before he kidnapped her and being a doctor albeit a veterinarian, Ellie gives him medical treatment. Sparks fly. And the story gets better.

Lots of laugh-out-loud moments for this one and it reads like a breeze. Before I know it, it is over and I reluctantly move on to the next one. I did wish it would not end so fast but I understand it is a short story...

"Caught at Christmas" by Tina Leonard: Jean Norville is the maid of honor for her best friend's wedding, but on the wedding day the groom is missing-in-action and horror of horrors, a shootout happens. The shooting is aimed at her! From leading an ordinary life as a librarian to suddenly being on the run, Jean is rescued by Sam Broadbent and is now under his watch. When she pieces it together, she suspects this is due to her overhearing the telephone conversation of Connor O'Bannion (the groom) at the rehearsal dinner party talking angrily at someone about "find the diamonds, kill the kids, end of story is how I figure." Sam is an utterly good looking Texas Ranger and dislikes Christmas. But that is about to change with Jean around.

I have enjoyed this story but not as much as Anne Stuart's. There is also humour but with less impact on me. It is closely-related to the last story because Jean is the maid of honor for Molly Broadbent, a law firm partner and Sam's sister.

"Candy Canes and Crossfires" by Marion Lennox: Molly Broadbent is about to marry Connor O'Bannion but becomes a jilted bride when her groom did not show up on the wedding day. What happened instead is a shootout at her wedding and her maid of honor being taken away for protection. She is being shoved into a rose bush by some guy named Joe Cartland in an attempt to save her from the gun shots. Joe is the uncle of the three children who are supposed to be killed as mentioned in the second story. Following that Joe takes the children to Australia to stay in the holiday house belonging to their deceased parents. Guess what? Molly goes to the same place for her 'honeymoon' to forget about the unfortunate incident and meets them there.

It is a sweet story, this one. It is nice to read how Joe tries to take care of the terrified children. It is nice to read how Molly opens up to Joe by telling him a secret nobody else knew, and decides to be brave with her feelings. It is nice to see Joe doing the same for Molly.

All the three stories share the same male protagonists not being a fan of Christmas and finding love, but somehow opening their hearts when the right women come along. The three stories gel together and connected well. My favourite of the lot is "Claus and Effect" by Anne Stuart.

Note: I read this book with Melody and it was fun doing so! I am glad she asked if I would like to read it together with her. Since I do not have a ready copy of it, I placed an order with The book came in good time. I look forward to more of such read-togethers in the future!

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