The four books in this anthology are tied together by the theme of finding romantic love during the holiday season. While each story has its individual strong points, only “Nine Lights Over Edinburgh” truly stands out. Author Harper Fox draws characters that are magnificently realized, flawed and human even down to the most minor of secondary character. Furthermore, each puzzle piece fits well, and the writing is full of action, suspense, character growth, and realism. Gregg's contribution to the anthology, “Mistletoe at Midnight” is an amusing, modern romance tale. Gregg's characters are witty, sharp, and warmly realistic. “I Heard Him Exclaim” by Z.A. Maxfield is a cute rendering of a familiar tale; lovely light reading with a hint of spicy southwestern fruitcake. However, readers might find that Lanyon’s “Icecapade” is not as strong as the other stories, as attempts to bring action into the story are slow and interspersed with the trite dialogue. Nonetheless, the romances in this anthology are stimulating enough to be read by lovers of the genre and newcomers to it alike.

In Gregg’s “Mistletoe at Midnight” Owen begins as a snarky grinch but his reunion with his first love, Caleb, gets him into the holiday spirit. The tale also includes all of the usual suspects for a holiday tale; the intrusive but well-meaning matchmaker of a mother, the brother who knows you better than you know yourself, and the horrible, narcissistic ex. In “Nine Lights Over Edinburgh” by Harper Fox, James is an alcoholic who is not sure where he fits into the world he inhabits, but after he gets involved with Tobias things get a little more clear. Maxfield’s “I Heard Him Exclaim” the disillusioned store Santa, Steve, loses his Christmas spirit, only to find it on the way to Vegas in the hands of the stranded man, Chandler, and his young niece. They teach Steve about how many different ways the holiday can be observed. “Icecapades” by Lanyon follows ex-thief Noel as he tries to prove to his crush, FBI agent Robert, that he is now reformed.
(Carina Press, Dec. 2010, dl. $8.99)

*Web Exclusive Review* Note: This title is an M/M romance

Reviewed by: 
Victoria Frerichs