Santa Baby by Jennifer Crusie, Lori Foster, and Carly Phillips .
Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie
Mayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game - in the arms of a sexy secret agent...
I'm not going to make comments on any of the BCC's today. With 3 stories to review, it will just take too much space. I am, however, putting them up there, so if you've read the story, you can leave comments on them for me!
Trudy Maxwell is on a mission to find her nephew the Major MacGuffin, the Tough One Two. Of course, it is THE hot toy of 2006 and of course no store has any, and of course it's Christmas Eve. But Trudy does not plan on letting her nephew down, his father promised him that Santa would deliver this toy, and since that same father then took off with the Nanny, Trudy finds herself in the worst toy store around searching frantically for the toy. Anything to avoid telling her nephew that it "fell off the sleigh."
While searching for the 'Guffin, Trudy finds herself face to face with Nolan, the professor she had three dates with and never heard from again. Trudy is truly a Crusie heroine, "In October, I cared. In November I decided you were a thoughtless, inconsiderate loser. And in December, I forgot all about you." She also finds herself with Reese, the infant that had worked as her father's Research Assistant. When Trudy amazingly finds a MacGuffin One, every one in the store seems to want it. Turning down offers from Nolan, Reese, and a pushy woman in the check-out line, Trudy finally escapes the store to hail a cab. When who should appear in a cab? Reese the infant that was flirting with her. Reese informs her that he knows of a place where they have the MacGuffin Two's and if they want to get one, they need to hurry to the warehouse.
Nolan pushes himself in the cab with them, and the three of them head to the warehouse to get the MacGuffin and save Christmas! Unfortunately, Reese and Nolan are not what they seem and Trudy finds herself in the middle of a government battle for Chinese codes.
I very much enjoyed this story. Even if it wasn't a Crusie I would have enjoyed it. There was not one sex scene, and I have to say, that is one of the things I loved about it. The whole thing takes place over the course of one night, Trudy has only had three dates with Nolan anyway, so a sex scene would have been too much. Ending it the way she did, Crusie leaves the reader with the blissful feelings of good will and love that can only happen at Christmas time. This is definitely a must read for any time of year!
I loved this story. Like Char, I really liked that they didn't have sex. I had no problem passing this one to my oldest, and she loved being able to read a Jenny book. Plus, the story was fast-paced without being hard to follow. I have to admit that my favorite part of the book was when Trudy was talking about past Hot Toys, and she mentioned Barbie. You'll have to read it to understand, but really, I read it to all the kids, and they laughed (well, after they got over mommy calling Barbie a bitch, that is). To me, this was a perfect Crusie, and I really enjoyed it.
Christmas Bonus by Lori Foster
Tow dedicated coworkers with a lot of secrets (and fantasies!) between them must plan a Christmas party side by side - and discover a love worth celebrating - in this steamy office romance.
Oh, I so want to say something on that, but I said I wouldn't so I'll refrain. Eric Bragg and Maggie Carmichael have known each other for a very long time. Eric has been Maggie's father's right hand man and Maggie's secret crush from day one. With her father now gone leaving Maggie in charge of the business, Eric and Maggie seem to be a bit uncomfortable around each other. That's to be expected though, she wants him, he wants her, but with Maggie now in charge of the company, Eric refuses to make a pass at her in fear people would begin to talk bad about her.
This is actually a cute story. There is a 10 year age difference between Eric and Maggie (he's 32 and she's 22) and I've read a few people say that that bothered them. Especially since Eric's had a thing for Maggie for 5 years (she would have been 17). This didn't bother me one bit, but you must understand, my husband is 12 years older than I am. I met him when I was 16 (almost 17) and I fell in love with him right away. We didn't start dating until I was 21 though, and I guess that is why the age difference doesn't bother me.
The story heats up as Maggie decides to take matters into her own hands and uses mistletoe as an excuse to get Eric to kiss her. Things just get hotter from there. I didn't so much mind the fact that the main characters did have sex in this one. After all, it wasn't as if they had just met, they'd know each other for quite some time. I liked that aspect, and I liked how Foster brought two people who loved each other together just in time to start a New Year together.
I can't really explain how I felt about this story. There were parts that I enjoyed, like Maggie being a romance writer. There were parts that I didn't like, like Eric showing up at her apartment sure he'd get sex. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't my favorite book ever. Not a bad read at all, some really hot sex scenes, and it had an HEA, of course. And the age difference didn't bother me at all either. They were comfortable together, they knew each other, and that made it more than ok.
Naughty Under The Mistletoe by Carly Phillips
A "mistletoe moment" begins when a no-nonsense lawyer intent of seducing her boss meets his twin instead - after giving him a scintillating kiss that leaves him begging for more...
Okay, before I start talking about this one, you need to know - I am not a fan of Carly Phillips. I have only read one other book by her and I couldn't even tell you what it was, only that I didn't like it and had no intention on reading another. But since I had already read the other two, I gave this one a shot. I didn't like this one at all.
Toni Larson is playing elf at her company Christmas party and has a plan. She is going to use mistletoe as a way to seduce her boss, Stephen. The timing is perfect. She can put her good-girl ways behind for a night, then leave for Christmas vacation only to come back and work at a different location. She won't be breaking any office policy by making her move tonight. But, when Toni lays the kiss on the man she's set her sights on, she discovers it isn't him, but his twin brother.
Max Corbin is not the typical Corbin. He gave up the lawyer lifestyle to be a private detective, but has come to his father's office party to mend some fences, his father is getting older and ailing, it's time to try and make nice. As he studies the so called "party" he sees a beautiful elf eyeing him. As he walks over to her, he is given the kiss of his life - and he wants more.
My reasons for not liking this book are fairly simple. Two strangers meet by kissing, have sex and fall in love over the course of one night. I'm sorry. I know that love at first sight happens all the time. But this was just too much for me to comprehend. I even understand that Christmas time is magical and that possibly that magic is what the author was relying on to make this a plausible story. I just didn't buy it. Any of it.
I see I'm not the only one that had a problem with this story. I tried to be fair about it in my head. I mean, it is a Christmad anthology, so maybe Ms. Phillips was going for the magic of the season. Some of the scenes were really well written. However, like Charity, I just was not impressed with the "I love you" after one night together. If they had agreed that they really liked each other and would see where it would go, I could have agreed with that. However, I'm really not one to believe in love at first sight at all. This drives my husband to fits, but it's true. I think love takes time, and work. And while I know that half the fun of romance books is the fantasy of it, this part just sort of icks me out. Just sayin...
So, now you know what I thought. What did you think? I'm curious. I know Dee has read it, so I'm hoping she comes in here and adds her thoughts to this review as well. (And you got your wish...)