This anthology has the standard boy/girl misunderstandings but because the Holiday season is involved, there is magic and romance and SNOW! I’m such a sucker for Holiday Romances. In fact, every year I buy three or four and save them for Christmas Eve, then stay up most of the night and immerse myself in other people’s joy. Wow, that sounded pitiful! Really though, it just makes me feel good to read about happy endings on Christmas…what better time to clear up old slights, fulfill expectations, and start anew? It always makes me feel wonderful. And if a few tears fall, then all the better.
The collection begins with Robyn Carr’s Midnight Confessions where a not-so-sunny jilted bride (named Sunny) retreats to Virgin River to mend her broken heart. There she happens upon a kindred soul afraid to take another chance on love. But of course it’s that season of miracles, and love blooms. The characters inhabiting Virgin River sound so intriguing, and Robyn has written a whole series of stories about them. I’m going to have to pick up every one. But this short Holiday selection is a particular winner!
Next is Jean Brashear’s Midnight Surrender. Now this diversion truly filled a place in my heart. Jean places her story in my hometown, Austin, Texas. It’s the story of Jordon, a sharp and aggressive lawyer who lives in a loft above our main entertainment district, Sixth Street. I wonder if any other town has a street like Sixth Street? It’s seedy, raucous, funny and sad with college kids, sophisticated music aficionados and homeless people mingling together in one blocks-long party. It especially comes alive on Holidays…Halloween where the wilder the costume the better, Christmas with so many lights that you can’t see the stars and particularly New Years Eve. Jordon feels like this venue fits her to a T, but then she meets carpenter/handyman, Will, an Irish heart-breaker. Will has been looking for his perfect woman so that he can settle into his perfect quiet Irish life here in America. Jordon certainly doesn’t fit the bill, but there’s just something about her that touches him and he sets out to prove to her that she is in fact his perfect woman. The story of this surrender is just lovely, and the fact that it takes place in a town so dear to my heart doesn’t hurt either. Great job, Jean!
The last selection is Victoria Dahl’s Midnight Assignment. This is the story of a bank, the FDIC, a cold Omaha New Years and missed opportunities. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Romance where the lovers were FDIC investigators. Those people have hearts? Wow, this is good to know! Actually this story is very touching and timely and I enjoyed it tremendously. Noah and Elise are working together again after two years to transfer the ownership of a small family-owned bank in Omaha. Although on the surface it seems to be just another bank caught up in slightly too risky loan practices, Noah discovers that maybe there has been some embezzling going on. Elise, the head of the team, doesn’t want to believe that the 90 year old owner and her son, who seem so nice, really have been involved in something so shady. But as Noah and Elise argue through many hectic days and nights, sparks other than anger set them afire. Wow, I wish I could experience a New Years like this one!
Even though I couldn’t save this Anthology until Christmas Eve, it still put a warm glow in my heart. Fantastic job, ladies!