A Vampire’s Christmas Carol

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A Vampire’s Christmas Carol

I am a major fan of the Charles Dickens story and read it and watch every film version I can find each Christmas. This was a perfect retelling with a vampire to rival Scrooge as a bad guy. This was a different type of vampire as well since they would not be considered technically dead, even though they are dead. This follows the original story very closely with the visitation by three guides, in this case a demon, an angel and a panther shifter. They appear for more or less the same reasons that Scrooge was visited by his spirits, in order to make him a better man and save him from himself.

Ben Prescott was an ordinary man until the Christmas Eve he was attacked and turned into what he considered a monster, he became a vampire, and he took the perception of evil to heart. His entire life was altered and he fell into a dark place because of the losses in his life and told himself that the things he did were justified. When he was about to make a mistake that could send him to the underworld for eternity ,Fate in the form of someone who cared, stepped in to give him a second chance at life by giving him a glimpse of what his future could hold if he does not change course.

There was a nice little twist to the story which may or may not be expected but I didn’t see that particular one coming. There is a Marley to start him on his journey, though not Jacob. This is a great addition to the holiday season for lovers of the paranormal.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
She flew back to the little town of Desolate. Headed into the town’s only bar. William and Jamison were already inside, waiting for her. William glanced up at her approach. His lips quirked. “A demon, a shifter, and an angel walk into a bar…” “And all hell breaks loose,” Jamison finished with a laugh.
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A Very Shitake Christmas

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A Very Shitake Christmas (Shitake Mystery #1.5)

This was short but pulled me in immediately and had me like the characters and ready to follow them. I always like a book with a strong female character and Mo is definitely strong in her own way. The setting is contemporary and makes it perfect. The language is what you would expect with little quirks to keep it interesting from both the Brits and Americans. The relationships are very real and do not seem forced or rushed but built from the bottom up.

Imogene ‘Mo’ Tuttle had worked as a private detective until she met Ross Grant and would have been fired for trying to protect him. They have since moved in together and she is still out of work while he has been cast in one new movie with another to start after filming ends on this one. To really make things interesting Ross’s father Bertram contacts Mo and tells her he will be coming for Christmas, she of course assumes she has 6 months to prepare, but he celebrates the historical Christmas in June.

Mo gets a cal from her old boss wanting to hire her back, but Mo is not interested in going back full time but is willing to take work as an independent contractor. Her first job is to serve a restraining order on a man who is very good at eluding them. When she gets to close to things he takes revenge in a novel way.

This was a fun read without any big mystery or anything but characters who had plenty of personality. After reading this I have to read the first book in the series since this was 1.5 and find out how things got started.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Silver Bells

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Silver Bells

This was a sweet story with an interesting take on Santa and who and what his reindeer are. It was hard for me to get into the story which was not very short. The character were just dropped in without any real introduction as to who they were. It was hard to have any feeling for either of the characters even though you knew you should because this was going to be a sentimental tale. Once you get past the rather lackluster beginning the story moves a lot more quickly.

Dash Bartholomew lives and works on the south side of Howle, a less than desirable area. He keeps the carousel animals looking good for the summer season through the winter. He has a harness with silver bells attached that he can no longer hear. Merry is a homeless woman who ducks into the barn he works in to get out of the cold and wind. She is a proud woman who will not accept charity but is willing to work and help Dash with the animals. She can hear the bells and finds the sound sweet and comforting because she heard similar ones when she was a child. These two people have more in common than they know.

There were a lot of short cuts taken, I have no idea when they were supposed to have fallen in love because there was nothing to indicate it had happened. Like I said, a sweet story but not very filling.

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Wolf Who Stole Christmas

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The Wolf Who Stole Christmas (Xmas Tales – Legendary Lovers)

This is a short and sweet novella with just a hint of the erotic. The story progresses swiftly but does not lack a plot that involves and pulls you in. The characters are actually very well realized in a short period of time and make you feel what they are feeling. The dialogue is good and keeps the story moving forward. There are a few problems with words being wrong or grammar, but it is minor and does not take anything away from the story.

Holly is the only daughter of Santa and Mrs Claus. She has eyes only for their engineer, a wolf shifter named Furio, who is very tightly wound and does not seem to be interested in her. Then there is Jack Frost who has made no bones about his interest in Holly and with the blessing of her family who think he would be a great catch. Furio has a troubled past and does not think he is good enough for Holly, but he does want her, even if she cannot see it.

This is a very nice addition to a holiday reading list.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Spirited Season

A Spirited Season

A Spirited Season

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
All the stories were fun without the need to have any darkness creep in with paranormal elements. They were light and maybe a little frothy but definitely entertaining and full of holiday spirit. The writing is great and flows along at a great pace from story to story even though each is different and unique.

“A Christmas Peril” is a play on the classic “A Christmas Carol” which finds Barbara Marr being visited by 3 very scary ghosts just before Christmas. It gets so bad that she stops sleeping and throws her whole life into disarray. Getting to the bottom of her haunting makes for a very interesting and surprising ride.

“Make My Wish Come True” finds Delaney Pearce doing her Christmas shopping after a bad breakup and making wishes the whole time, but of course not expecting them to come true. What she doesn’t know is that she has a genie who is listening and willing to give her all the things she wants. But does she even know what she truly wants from her life?

“Two Turtledoves” is a nice story about an antique that helps to bring two lonely people together during the holidays even as they feel they do not need anyone. This was a sweet tale of how loneliness affects you and what can bring happiness.

“Squawkin Around the Christmas Tree” has a jealous husband who turns to witchcraft in order to find out if his wife is cheating. What he finds out is way more than he had expected and got back something he had lost.

“Jingle Spells” Kendall Rhodes was having a Christmas Eve party because she had been fighting with her father and did not want to see him. Her friend Delaney was in attendance as well as a guy that she really liked. When the lights go out she cannot figure out what is going on and then is told that someone has placed a spell on her home. But who would such a thing and why? The fun is in finding out the culprit and what secrets are revealed because of it.

“O Christmas Tree” On Christmas Eve three men a working to repair a cell tower near some woods. One man has no family and while he is in no hurry he wants to get his friend’s home. But he finds that sometimes love and family can find you when you least expect them. A love story for the holidays.

Each story gives a feeling of the holiday that we sometimes forget about but need to feel. These made me smile and just be glad that I don’t have to worry about the supernatural during my happy season. Enjoy!