Mistletoe at Midnight
Ooohwee! What a great start to this anthology! We have a sexy veterinarian and a sexy professor, two men who loved each other back in high school and meet up again 15 years later. I loved this story. There's even a cute little beagle. LOL You know an author is truly talented when she can pack as much story as she did into a small amount of pages. We learn Owen and Caleb's backstory and get caught up on their present, as well as meet Owen's family. Well-rounded out characters and some great sexual tension. Loved the ending. Hot stuff!
Nine Lights over Edinburgh
Ok, I hate to say it, but this one...I had my doubts when I first started reading it. Like a forty year old alcoholic cop? As much as I love my cops in m/m...alcoholics are a touchy point with me. But I truly enjoy Harper's writing and I forged on and the I was so very glad I did. Nine Lights is a great story and I truly came around to McBride's tale. He was wounded and flawed and he found himself a great man. And I thought the subject matter, human trafficking would be too much. But that plot was sufficiently in the background enough (never mind that McBride's daughter was kidnapped because of it) that it didn't take away from the budding romance and rebalancing of McBride's life. Strong writing and I really liked McBride in the end. And Toby...can't I get a YUM??
I Heard Him Exclaim
I've really truly enjoyed everything I've read by ZAM and I Heard Him Exclaim was no exception. Poppy was a sweetie pie and Steve and Chandler were great characters. I like how Steve's recent health scare made him appreciate each day and not to look gift horses in the mouth. This was a good balance to Chandler's worry about raising Poppy and worrying about what people think of him. Good stuff. And hot (sex in a pantry, woot woot). Again, the characters were well written, even the secondary ones. Steve's family, his sister in particular, are fun.
Everything Josh Lanyon writes is full of awesome. I like the dynamics between a former cat burglar and the FBI agent who was after him ten years ago. Truly good stuff! Icecapade begins with Noel waking up after a drunken night with Robert Cuffe, the FBI agent who's been on his tail for years. He sneaks off with his stolen diamond but with a pang in his heart - he liked Robert but he doesn't want to go to jail. Ten years later, Noel is now an author. An author who's main character is a jewel thief and in his latest book has just come out, as being in love with the man who's chasing him, a character based on Robert. Noel has decided not to call Robert on New Years anymore when the man himself shows up on his doorstep, claiming Noel has masterminded the latest string of jewel heists. Noel knows he's innocent and despite his claims, Robert is still a hard nut to crack and he knows Robert doesn't believe him. He also knows Robert still wants him. And that gives him hope.
Icecapade was the perfect ending to this anthology. Despite Noel's past, he's still a redeemable character and I was definitely hoping he'd get his man. I thought showing Robert how he's changed, with all the little adventures with his neighbours, was cute and fun. And I like how Robert kept Noel on his toes. That is one sexy copper.
Overall, I'm giving His for the Holidays an A+. Four excellent authors and four excellent stories. I highly recommend reading this anthology and even gifting it to your friends.