by Christine Bell, Ros Clarke, and Faye Robertson
This collection consists of three romantic comedies, and here are the mini reviews for each.
Little White Lie by Christine Bell
Leah Latrelle has been crushing on her co-worker Mick Kilpatrick for awhile now, and she's been able to hide the attraction so far...except for the little white lie she told her family. In order to Leah's family not to worry about her, she said she was dating Mick. She would have been able to get away with it, except that now it's the holidays, and her family wants to meet the famous Mick. To Leah's surprise, Mick isn't opposed to playing her boyfriend while her parents are in town.
This was a sweet story about what it means to be happy, and allowing ourselves to be happy. Also - catnip (misunderstandings, fake relationships, etc.).
All I Want for Christmas by Ros Clarke
Anna is having a bad "morning after" the company Christmas party. Yet again, she had a little too much to drink, and yet again, she might have gotten a little to comfortable singing karaoke. More specifically, singing All I Want for Christmas is You to Hugh, a fellow co-worker. And if that weren't bad enough, her solo was followed up by a kiss with said co-worker (again). But Hugh decides he's not going to let Anna get away from him this time. He wants to know why she keeps denying her attraction, and why she keeps rejecting him. But soon Hugh is going to understand that Anna's reasons are a lot more complicated than he expects.
This is by far my favorite romance short story in this collection. It could very easily be made into a feature length novel in my opinion. Anna is a sweet, strong, and hardworking woman, and Hugh is a strong, and understanding man. I loved that she wasn't playing hard to get with him, and that he wanted to help her. I don't want to give away what Anna's reasons are, but what I do want to say is that I loved, and appreciated that Hugh could have tried to convince Anna of getting something done...but decided that wasn't what love was. Hugh decided that love is knowing something may be difficult, but doing it anyway because of the person you love.
Holly's First Noel by Faye Robertson
Holly is a teacher who gets a very unfortunate phone call from her boyfriend while at work - turns out he wants to break up with her right before Christmas! Holly finds herself crying in the closet in her classroom, and finds the next door teacher, Noel, has stepped in to help out with her class. They aren't close friends, not at all, just colleagues that can't seem to be anything less than awkward around each other.
Feeling sorry for the turn of events, Noel, who is a bit lonely himself, decides to invite Holly out for a cup of coffee during lunch. An invitation for coffee soon turns into an invitation for Holly to spend Christmas with Noel...as friends, of course.
This was a truly cute and Christmas-y story. Holly is a great protagonist in that, she's awkward and odd, in a totally endearing way. Noel is sweet, and thoughtful. It is a far-fetch story, but a magical one.