Johnny’s Fortune by Leanne Burroughs: Rosemary Traviata has had a crush on Johnny Fortunato since high school. But they aren’t in high school anymore, and Rosemary isn’t sure Johnny is serious when he asks her to dance. Johnny however is in love with Rosemary and is willing to do what it takes to prove to her he loves her and is worth her time.
The Way Home by Rebecca Andrews: Brody Justice and Abby Montgomery are both in a lot of pain from tragic losses. Brody lost his military squad in a black ops mission and Abby has lost another pregnancy to miscarriage. They meet on an icy road, but not in a good way. Brody takes Abby home with him when she’s released from the hospital with a case of amnesia. Can these two get past their pain to get to their future?
Heartfelt by Patty Howell: Cela Donovan has pledged that since her heart transplant 3 years ago she’s going to live life as much as possible. With one exception, no relationships. Knowing the survival rate for transplant patients, she doesn’t want to take that particular risk. Benjamin Wright’s 6 year old daughter Essie, swears she knows Cela, but no one can figure out why she feels that way. Until Ben and Cela start dating, and Ben finds out that Cela was the recipient of his dead wife’s heart. When Cela finds this out she’s not sure if Ben loves her, or the heart that belonged to his wife.
Window Wonderland by Isabel Mere: Ben Lightson is resigned to spending Christmas alone in his cabin in Arizona, the year is 2007. When he notices flashing from the windows of a house on a postcard, Ben is intrigued and pulls the card back out of the trash to examine it closer. When he touches the door, he is suddenly pulled into the postcard. In the house is Lady Vania Dahl, she’s in hiding to keep from being forced into a marriage she doesn’t want, and the year is 1644. Ben and Vania feel a connection and make love, before Vania has to flee again to keep from being captured. Ben is sent back to his time after stepping through the door of the manor.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Amber Dawn Bell: Mitch and Annie have been sweethearts since high school and are planning their life together when Mitch is severely injured in Iraq. Afraid to burden Annie with his injuries, Mitch sends her away. As Christmas nears, Annie keeps hoping for her ultimate Christmas gift, Mitch back in her arms.
Counterpoint by Erin E.M. Hatton: Peter and Eve Martin have been together for a while and have settled into married life with children. But neither is truly happy, and neither knows why. When Peter has a car accident on Christmas Eve while driving with another woman, Eve has some serious thinking to do. When Gabe, the chaplain comes in to talk to Eve and console her, she really thinks about their past. And how they got to where they were now. And about forgiveness. Can she? Will she?
Light of Hope by Jill and Julia: Hope Matthias was left pregnant and penniless when her husband, decided to desert the Civil War. She was forced to turn to her in-laws for help. Since then she has been treated as a virtual slave and her son Caleb, as an inconvenience, by her in-laws. Caleb only wants one thing for Christmas, and his friend Lola the elf, tells him he must go see Santa to get it. Jacob Richards has been chosen to play this year’s Santa in the annual children’s pageant. When he gets stranded at the Matthias’ due to a sudden snow storm, he gets the chance to truly play Santa and give Caleb what he really wants for Christmas. What Caleb really wants is for his mother to be happy and have someone to love.
Detour to Love by Deborah MacGillivray: Sometimes life and love takes you on a lot of really winding roads, with plenty of detours along the way. Morgan Galloway and Kaelyn Reynolds are both very familiar with those detours. They’ve been in love with each other for nearly 20 years, neither really knowing it. When they met and fell in love there was a 9 year age gap, which at 17 and 26 just seemed too difficult to overcome. Almost 20 years later and after plenty of detours, they are reunited. And that 9 year age difference is no longer an issue. But can they find their way past the detour and back onto the road to happiness with each other?
All the stories in this lovely anthology will touch your heart and give you something to smile about. They are all well thought out and wonderfully written. The characters are easy to identify with and each has their own quirks to keep you rooting for them.
I did have one minor issue with this work though. The story “Heartfelt” came off as a bit preachy. It wasn’t enough to turn me completely off the story, but it did make me just a little uncomfortable.
Other than that this work was well done and really enjoyable.