Monday, December 19, 2011

A Holiday Treasury - Christine Feehan

DAY EIGHT - HAPPY HUNKY DAYS!

Happiest of Holidays from the Guilty Indulgence Book Club. We are pleased to be with you every day and hope you will all join us for our annual Happy Hunky-days - Twelve fun filled days of Christmas where we treat you with gifts of joy and happiness (aka free books and very yummy eye candy!). Please join us daily and all registered commenters will get a chance to win some really great books from our Stash of Goodness as we know you have all tried so very hard to be good this year!!! (Seriously, you can even be quite naughty and still get free books and swag - just register and comment!)

Christine Feehan’s A Holiday Treasury is a heart-warming joy. If you're like me, when I purchase an anthology that includes one of the books in a series, I tend to just read that story and then move onto another book in that series without reading the other stories included in the anthology. Which is what happened in this case. The second story in this book is part of Feehan’s Drake Sister series. Since she has a new book coming out this month in the Drake Spin Off series, Sisters of the Heart, it reminded me that I never read the other two stories that were included in the anthology. Since the Drake series has been out for a while I’m going to focus on the other two stories in this blog. If you haven’t read the Drake Sister Series it is a really great series and the story, A Twilight Before Christmas, included in this book is no exception…definitely one of my favorites. However, I would read the first Drake story first and then this one to get the full benefit. I guarantee you will be hooked from that point on and will want to read the rest of the series. So onto the other two stories, which are both stand-alone stories….

After the Music is the story of Dillon Wentworth and Jessica Fitzpatrick. They first met when Jessica was a teenager and her mom was asked to work for Dillon is his fabulous island house to help with the house and his children. Dillon was a musician in a famous band and needed the help due to his bands traveling and his wife’s lack of interest in the kids. Although not that much older then Jessica himself he was definitely an adult and she wasn’t so the relationship never went past a great friendship and mutual respect. Although, they both wished she were older and things were different. The story begins years later when Jessica is now older. Dillon has suffered from a terrible accident in which his wife was killed and most of his body was burned preventing him from continuing his career and raising his children. The children were placed in Jessica’s mom’s care and then with Jessica herself after her mom was killed in a tragic accident. After strange “accidents” continue around Jessica she decides it is time to face Dillon, force him to get to know his children and finally deal with the ramifications of what their lives have become. Dillon has locked himself any from the world and Jessica sets out to the island in the hopes of forcing the man she had a crush on all those years ago to come out of his shell, get to know his children and hopefully make their Christmas special as only a father’s presence can. As only Feehan can perfect, the sexual tension in this story in intense and the characters are so rich that you can’t put the book down after just a few pages. Dillon’s character is tragic and you find yourself so drawn to him that it is impossible to not cheer and cry all that the same time as Jessica manages to break down his walls and help him rediscover love, Christmas magic and the magic of being a father.

Rocky Mountain Miracle is the story of brothers Cole and Jase Steele and Maia Armstrong. Cole has just been given custody of Jase after their father was murdered. Cole is much older then Jase and from a different mother. After having run away from their very abusive, sadistic father years before he was unaware that he even had a half-brother or that had father had remarried. Although, not cruel like his father he was never taught how to love and has no idea how to mend the damage his father has done to yet another son. He has spent his life working undercover trying to stay off his dad’s radar and doesn’t know how to open up to anyone that is until Maia enters his life. Maia immediately captivates Cole. And as luck would have it she is the local interim vet, he has an injured horse and there is a blizzard on the way. After getting snowed in at his ranch the three are forced to work through past hurts and mend broken hearts. Maia provides the calming influence that Cole needs to learn how to be a big brother/male role model to Jase. Her gentle nature gradually works it’s way into his heart and he becomes willing to do anything including celebrating Christmas, something his dad would have beaten him for, to win her.

Both of these stories remind me of the feeling you get from watching the Dickens Christmas story. They both start off with a tragic group of characters and situation but the happily ever after is so heart warming that you finish wanting to jump for joy out how it all worked out. Both of these tales remind us that the world can be a very hard place but with love and Christmas cheer we can all make a difference in someone’s life. After all isn’t that what Christmas is really about – love, caring and giving of our selves. I hope these stories inspire you as they have inspired me to take an extra name off the angel tree or call on your elderly neighbor and let them know you care. Merry Christmas!

I give these four chocolate dipped strawberries.
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