THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Author(s): 

Stories of scrooges and seduction are served up by a sextet of Brava authors this holiday season.

Shalvis and Garbera, veteran series authors, offer similar, sexy stories of workaholics who finally get a chance to kindle some office romance by the yule log in their respective tales, "Ms. Humbug" and "Seducing Scrooge." Long-simmering attraction finally flames between a man and his best friend's sister in McCarthy's "Snowed Under," while high school sweethearts get reunited for Love's road-trip romance, "I'll Be Home for Christmas."

The volume's most original stories are the bookend tales. In the opener, "White Knight Christmas," Foster's noir tone entertains, even if the pairing of a protective detective with his damsel-in-distress neighbor eventually turns to treacle. The finale, "The Good Girl's Guide to a Very Bad Christmas," is a sweet, fairly traditional romance--a departure from Adams' usual deliciously over-the-top heroines--featuring a coffeeshop clerk/aspiring actress who manages to snag a role on a TV show and her handsome co-star's attentions.

Overall, this anthology delivers on the sexy Brava name and might really hit the spot if you're already itching to break out the eggnog and start celebrating. (Oct., 384 pp., $14.00)

Reviewed by: 
Tara Gelsomino