I think the best way to review this collection of stories is by adding my comments after each synopsis. I'll give each individual story a rating and then a rating for the collection as a whole.
My 1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure
An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson
Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?
This was probably my favorite story out of all of them. In fact, I've already read it twice. There's just something great about surprise kisses. I laughed like crazy when Lucy is at the doctor (hiding her eyes) and says, "Some stupid guy kissed me at the airport." Then she finds Cole standing there and backtracks. "You're not the stupid guy. At least I don't think you're stupid."
An Unexpected Kiss would make the perfect Hallmark movie. The perfect amount of sweetness mixed with great chemistry. I give it a 4.5
Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis
Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancé, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.
Long lost love? Yep, this one is a classic love lost (or run away from) only to find that it was what she needed all along. Wade is so clearly a better choice from the first moment we meet him and Scott. He just has to make April see it. Of course, a week after reading I sort of get this couple mixed up with Molly and Kevin down below. I give it a 4.
Full Court Devotionby Cami Checketts
Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn't pursue him or even seem interested. Ty's career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.
This was another favorite. I loved Tyrese and Kazlyn from the first moment. Both are confident and sassy characters. Tyrese never gives up hope he can get closer to Kazlyn and she's there when he needs her the most. Sweet and pulled at the emotions. I give it a 4.5.
The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart
When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.
Another sweet story, that a week later I can't remember much about. I do remember Kevin's sister is sick, but get the story of Wade and April mixed up with Molly and Kevin. I give it a 4.
Update: After a second read I can say I probably relate to Molly more than any of the other girls. Maybe that's why I choose to forget? Instead of dealing with things that hurt her she ran away. Totally what I would do! She returns home because her dad has a heart attack, but that's only the first fear she has to face. Still give it a 4.
Risking it all for Love by Award-Winning author, Kimberley Montpetit
Succumbing to family pressure, Jessica Mason reluctantly comes home for Christmas. Ever since her high school boyfriend's death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica and religion have not been compatible. So, when she visits Michael’s grave, she's surprised to meet the handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down. Is she ready to take another risk on love?
Jessica just breaks your heart. Three years is a long time to hold on to guilt. And James Douglas makes the church look better and better for Jessica. I give this one a 4.
Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell:
As head of Snow Valley hospital's fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn't have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She's been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads.
My other favorite. What's not to love? A scared emo kid grows up into a handsome well adjusted man who just happens to turn Paisley to pudding. She fights it so hard and that's what makes this one so much fun. Another 4.5.
I know these are very short reviews, not very in depth, but it's been a while since I read them. All of the stories were good clean romances and my three favorites had some sizzle. As the stories went on, I enjoyed catching the little clues where the couples "passed" each other by. These authors did a wonderful job keeping the town of Snow Valley consistent. Each one took a character (all had been friends growing up) and told an independent story that also touched with the others. Very well done in my opinion.
There were several typos and spots where it looked like a sentence had been moved or changed and a random word was left behind. Some stories had more than others, but for the most part it was an enjoyable read.
I give the collection as a whole a solid 4.