Friday, January 2, 2015

Review: Snowy Days, Steamy Nights Anthology

Snowy Days, Steamy Nights: Come in from the Cold
January 2, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
325 pages

Steam up your snowy nights with this new anthology of six deliciously sexy romances by the following bestselling and award-winning romance authors:  FROSTED by Katy Regnery, GROUNDED by Kate Forest, MELTED by Jennie Marts, REKINDLED by Susan Scott Shelley, SMITTENED by Jamie Farrell, SNOWED by Veronica Forand

FROSTED (Katy Regnery) – When Grace Luff's children send her to a Silver Wings weekend at a luxury resort, they are hoping that the 56-years-young widow will meet a man to lift the loneliness she's endured since the passing of her husband over three years before. Grace, who barely remembers how to date, doesn't expect to meet anyone special, so she’s surprised that the owner of a local ski rental shop, Tray Bradshaw, makes her heart leap with interest and attraction. When a rogue snowstorm traps the pair in an abandoned cabin, they'll get to know each other, and discover that it's never too late to change...or fall in love.

GROUNDED (Kate Forest) – Biologist Julia won’t tolerate another frigid Chicago winter studying the frozen Great Lakes. But with every hour of her flight delay, her chance on a research voyage in Florida slips further away. Jeremy must get to Florida to sever the noose-like obligations of his family's boating business so he can become curator of a Chicago museum. Stuck in an airport, waiting out the snowstorm of the century, can two travelers headed for opposite paths find love while trapped in Concourse B?

MELTED (Jennie Marts) – Painful memories from long ago resurface when Emily Wells travels to Colorado to clean out her family’s vacation cabin for its new owner. Strongest among them? Her recollections of Logan Chase, Emily’s first love, to whom she gave her heart one magical summer, only to have it broken when she never heard from him again. Logan had never forgotten that summer romance and can’t believe it when he finds Emily packing up the little cabin that he has recently purchased for renovation. Despite the passage of years and their stormy history, Emily and Logan can’t deny the fierce attraction that still sizzles between them…Will one snowy night together be enough to melt her frozen heart and give them both a second chance at love?

REKINDLED (Susan Scott Shelley) – Actress Gemma Norwood and carpenter Adam Hudson are thrown together four years after a gut-wrenching break-up. Both are looking to make major changes in their lives, but after one kiss, rekindling their relationship is all that matters. When family obligations and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities threaten to tear them apart again, the warm glow of a happily-ever-after seems as impossible as starting a fire in a snowstorm.

SMITTENED (Jamie Farrell) – Dahlia Mallard is determined save her ice cream shop by getting country music superstar Billy Brenton to attend her risqué flavor-tasting event. But the closest she can get to Billy is his drummer, the womanizing Mikey Diamond. The more she gets to know Mikey, the more she wants to save him from his bad boy ways. When he discovers she’s using him to get to Billy, will she still be able to have her ice cream and eat it too?

SNOWED (Veronica Forand) – Lorena Rubio’s life is turned upside down when she’s kidnapped by Andrés "Con" Conesa, right hand man for the drug lord who murdered her sister. Con, who is deep undercover for the FBI, must keep her at a cabin in the snowy Sierra Nevada Mountains until the rumor that she’s provided specifics about his drug cartel to the police is confirmed or denied. Their attraction ignites in the middle of this frozen hideaway, but Lorena is unwilling to offer her heart to a criminal. When the cartel boss arrives and wants Lorena put on ice for snitching, Con must decide whether or not to blow his cover for the woman he craves beyond reason.

**All stories included in Snowy Days, Steamy Nights are either short-story or novella length, giving readers the perfect opportunity to "meet" a new author or enjoy a sweet treat from a present favorite.**

This is a great compilation of winter-themed stories. I enjoyed some more than others, but loving 5 out of 6 stories is pretty good I think. Coming in I was most familiar with Katy Regnery, and she still landed my favorite spot. But this was also a great opportunity to find new authors. And I found some great ones I hope to read more stories from in the future. Plus, these are all a little different, making this a truly enjoyable winter read.

FROSTED (Katy Regnery) – What's not to love about this story? Two "older" people meet by chance, both single after years of widow/widower-hood. She's from the rich life, he's from a simple life. Both have loved before but still have plenty of life left in them and are open to finding love again. But can it really be that simple? Perhaps not. And this is where Katy Regnery weaves her magic. One of my favorite things about her writing is the great character development. Getting to know Grace and Tray on a deeper level, and in particular watching Grace find herself again and open up to potential with Tray, was touching and thoughtful, with just the right amount of suspense and the perfect dose of steaminess. I fell in love with Grace and Tray, and my only wish is that I could read more about them. Seriously, they were fabulous! Don't let the fact that they are "older" dissuade you from their super sweet story. (5 stars)

GROUNDED (Kate Forest) – Julia and Jeremy have an adorable meet-cute. You gotta love an airport romance. But beyond that I really liked the chemistry between Julia and Jeremy. They were really cute, both dealing with personal turning points in their lives, but that didn't distract them from some very sweet and genuine bonding. It's hard to resist connecting with someone you find who truly believes in you. But what I also loved is that they still had personal dreams and had to weigh the choices between potential romance and their careers. Really enjoyed this couple and this story. (5 stars)

MELTED (Jennie Marts) – A second-chance romance in the snow. Logan and Emily's story made me a bit sad from the number of years they've been apart. The reveal of why the miscommunication was well done, even if it was frustrating. But there was such a tenderness and sweetness to their long-standing feelings for each other that I could forgive them their mistakes from the past. Their love story was very sweet, and the tie-in to the ending was the icing on the cake. (4 stars)

REKINDLED (Susan Scott Shelley) – Another second chance romance. This one felt very real. When you consider two people taking a chance on their dream careers that pull them away from each other, you can see how that distance would ultimately pull them apart if they hadn't really prepared for how hard that would be. But what I liked about this was that Gemma and Adam had not only their lost love to confront, but issues with those very careers that pulled them apart in the first place. I loved how they were brought back together, could feel their connection and the love that still lingered, and truly appreciated how the author resolved their dilemmas and reunited them. (4.5 stars)

SMITTENED (Jamie Farrell) – Okay, so this was my lease favorite of the stories. For some reason I just couldn't connect with Dahlia, Mikey, and their relationship. It was an interesting story, but something was missing. But I have a couple other books from this author, so I'm hoping I'll enjoy her full-length stories better. And I want to find out what happens with Will in the next story. (3 stars)

SNOWED (Veronica Forand) – This was a nice change of pace because it had the whole drug cartel, life-in-danger twist. Despite the mortal danger, or maybe enhanced by it, I could definitely feel the connection between Lorena and Con. And the more the story revealed, the more I rooted for this couple and their less-than-ideal circumstances. I enjoyed the build up and suspense, loved the sweetness of this couple, and thought the ending rocked. (5 stars)

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