Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mina Carter's "Secret Santa"


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!)

Secret Santa, Mina Carter, Summerhouse Publishing, December 2011
The Christmas Season is always manic in A&E, but it’s nothing senior nurse Jo Micheals isn’t used to. Recently escaped from an abusive relationship with a violent ex, she’s looking forwards to actually enjoying Christmas.

What she doesn’t expect is a pair of expensive earrings in the department ‘secret santa’ or for a kiss under the mistletoe with her sexy but grumpy boss to set off a sequence of events that nearly ends in her loosing her life. And her heart…

I love secret santa drawings - the angst of finding the right gift, the anticipation of finding out who drew you and if they figured you out as well as they thought. The gifts are never fancy but usually sweet or funny or downright bizarre but always in the spirit of the season, from the heart and appreciated. However, that being said, I have never gotten sparkly things from hot docs in my hospital so I have to really appreciate the fantasy this story provides.

Secret Santa opens with Jo Michaels, an ER nurse, receiving a pair of sparkly earrings from her secret santa. Shy, introverted, with a history of a very abusive marriage in her past, Jo competently does her job and handles even the scroogiest of doctors. Dr. Drew Carson has thrown himself into his work in emergency medicine since his divorce. Nurse Jo not only catches his eye but knocks his socks off when she appears in his office sporting a sprig of miseltoe and the sad excuse that she didn't have time to shop for his secret santa gift. Their kiss spawns a date which lasts all night thanks to a snowstorm. But does the light of the new day bring regret or something more sinister?

I am always pleasantly surprised when short stories manage to create a world and characters that feel like those in a much longer tale. This new twist on two people who were previously spurned in love, taking that leap of faith and finding love again makes an excellent holiday treat. Ms. Carter captures both the spirit of the season and that dream of hopeless romantics with her tale of faith renewed and the promise of new beginnings. Even in it's brevity, this Christmas novella has all the action, romance and barn-warmed lovin' any reader could possibly want on a cold winters night!

I give it 4 chocolate dipped strawberries and I'd like that sparkly ring the doctor hinted at.....Mmmmmmm!
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