Saturday, January 4, 2014

Harlequin Holiday Collection - Leslie Kelly, Merline Lovelace, Debra Webb, Marta Perry (Harlequin - Dec 2011)

And a Dead Guy in a Pear Tree by Leslie Kelly
A struggling B&B owner scrambles to hide the dead body wrapped in her Christmas tree from a visiting camera crew—and from her still-irresistible reporter ex.

Holly is trying her best to save the family inn from going out of business.  She's arranged to have a tv crew come in to do a story on them in an effort to get some publicity.  When she finds a dead body in her Christmas tree, they have to find a way to hide it before the cameras arrive.  When her ex, Zach, knocks on the door she thinks he's with the tv crew, but he's really an investigative reporter searching for diamond thieves.  What follows is a hilarious case of "where's the body" as Holly and her employees try to keep Zach from finding it and he's determined to protect her.  Terrific sparks between the two as they end up working together.

Seduced by the Season by Merline Lovelace
A waitress and a sexy FBI agent mix business with pleasure while investigating a crime over the holidays.

Sophie is a doctoral candidate in ancient art at Trinity College in Dublin and Clint is an FBI agent searching for an antiquities thief.  They join forces when Clint realizes he doesn't have a clue what he's looking for but Sophie does.  They're also incredibly attracted to each other.  I loved the way that Sophie jumps right in to help Clint.  She also loved showing him around Dublin and exposing him to her world.  I loved the intensity of the takedown, and their reunion was great.

Evidence of Desire by Debra Webb
A crime lab worker finds herself in danger six days before Christmas...and only her off-limits but oh-so-attractive coworker can help.

Olivia is a new lab worker who has moved there from Boston.  She is really attracted to Jacob, who doesn't seem to notice her at all.  When she begins to experience a string of bad luck - computer files missing, emails going astray, car not starting, being followed - she appeals to Jacob for help.  She sort of throws herself at him with her thanks as she works to get to know him.  Jacob is attracted to her, but was hurt romantically in the past and doesn't want to get involved.  I enjoyed the mystery aspect as well as the romance.

Season of Wonder by Marta Perry
And two childhood friends rediscover their sense of wonder—and love—when reunited for the holidays.

My least favorite of the four stories.  Allison has brought her daughter to the island to rest up before a major surgery.  She is also preparing the cottage in order to sell it.  She meets her childhood friend David and he offers to help her with the repairs.  He thinks she'll be moving back to the island and is looking forward to getting to know her again.  I was bothered by her attitude toward him - she seemed to look down on him for what she sees as a lack of ambition.  I liked David a lot.  He was marvelous with Allison's daughter.  I was glad to see him tell Allison what a pill she was being.

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