Hugs, Kisses, and Mistletoe Wishes by Collected Authors Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Eight authors come together to bring readers the first all-star collection of holiday romance novels for the 2021 holiday season from high-profile romance authors in the romance collection, “Hugs, Kisses, and Mistletoe Wishes”. 

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The Synopsis

Hugs, Kisses and Mistletoe Wishes…a Sweet Christmas Romance Collection. Celebrate the magical holiday season with this special gift straight from our hearts, eight enchanting love stories to cherish all year long. Rekindle your love of the holidays with these heartwarming romances.

Roxy Boroughs: THE SPRITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

A wisecracking Christmas sprite takes a heartbroken woman on a magical journey to discover the true meaning of love and family, but only if she has the courage to act before it’s too late.

S. L. Dickson: MY CHRISTMAS HERO

When a firefighter finds and returns a Christmas sock monkey to its rightful owner, he finds a woman with a zest for life. While the romance sparks, a tragedy occurs. Will they get a second chance? Will a kiss under the Mistletoe fulfill their dreams?

Raine Hughes: LOVE IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS

Ready to move into their newly purchased home, Jamison Baker and his two young girls discover the previous owner and her female boarders haven’t vacated. Until new accommodations can be found for the women their only option is to share the renamed house, Baker’s Harem…er, Haven. Jamison can’t imagine how he’ll live with thirteen females, especially the feisty Kat Madison.

Ellen Jorgy: SAFE IN HIS ARMS AT CHRISTMAS

Mix one scared city girl with one guilt-ridden country boy doctor and you get a recipe for love at Christmas, but hidden agendas emerge that could crush not only their hopes of love but might end Nicole’s life as well.

Shelley Kassian: A GENTLEMAN FOR CHRISTMAS

In this Downton Abbey meets Outlander romance, a veterinary surgeon pursues a high society lady at the height of the Christmas season. Differing cultures and a high-class father complicate the romance. Will a carol’s song and a horse’s Lady Luck make the season brighter?

Katie O’Connor: GINGERBREAD DREAMS

Poppy Holiday needs a buy a new oven for her bakery. Darius Badeaux has a reputation to shed. They only way they can both achieve their dreams is by winning the Annual Gingerbread Baking Competition. Together. Too bad there’s a hurtful past hanging between them. Will the season of giving bring them together to build the perfect gingerbread house and salvage their careers, or will the past crush their dreams and their hearts?

Sherile Reilly: A WISH UPON A CHRISTMAS KNIGHT

Orphaned, Melody Blackwell, lives under the control of her selfish uncle who betroths her, for financial gain, to a cruel old man. Cursed for centuries, Samuel Knight is brought to life by the fair Melody. Together, they must fight an ancient curse that threatens to destroy their love and then kill them. Can they survive?

A. M. Westerling: EVEYLN’S BEAU

After a disappointing Season, Lady Evelyn Kendall retreats to Kendall Hall in Cornwall. Her immediate future does not include a husband, although a renewed acquaintance with long-time family friend Oliver Harrington shows promise. When a local vicar offers her an opportunity to organize a Christmas pageant for disadvantaged children, Evelyn accepts, never thinking it would lead to disaster for both her and Oliver. 

The Review

These breathtaking romances

such a delight to read. I know we’re in the spooky season right now, but I’ve always felt it’s never too early to start dipping our toes into the holiday season, and fiction is the perfect way to do so without skipping over the Halloween season. These authors did a great job of crafting whole and unique worlds within this collection that felt original and yet meshed well together with all at once. 

What stood out to me as a writer was how natural the author’s various sub-genres within the sweet romance genre overall. Everything from fantasy and historical fiction romances to more dramatic turns, all within the holiday setting, and each author brought their own unique voice and writing style into their narratives expertly. The emotion and charming wit that each protagonist and romance inspired were fantastic to watch unfold, as was the incredible writing of the character interactions within each story.

What always has stood out to me as an author and reader during the holidays is the sense of hope and understanding each tale brings. It’s a time of warmth, where magic isn’t just a silly child’s fantasy but instead a promise of better things for us all. Each story captured that wonderfully, bringing out the romance and passion of each relationship explored while fitting within their own respective genres neatly. Whether the story was filled with great sadness, a beautiful beginning, or even a needed ending, each story found hope and life in the narratives presented here. 

The Verdict

A memorable, magical, and entertaining collection of holiday romance novels, the collected works found within “Hugs, Kisses, and Mistletoe Wishes” is a must-read for the 2021 holiday season! Inviting and engaging on both a creative and emotional level, each author crafted a narrative that kept the reader hooked from the first moments of each story, and warmed our hearts as these characters grew and evolved throughout their romantic journeys. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

Katie O’Connor lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She married her high school sweetheart and is living her happily ever after. She is the mother of two grown daughters and is extremely proud of her five grandchildren.

Katie’s career path has been long and twisted, with most of her life devoted to her family. She’s been a waitress, chambermaid, cashier, store manager, as well as a lab and x-ray technician. She is an avid quilter and crafter. She finds inspiration and relaxation in the wilds of Alberta.

She’s dabbled in writing since high school because something drives her to create stories. She swears it’s impossible for her NOT to write. Unsatisfied with one genre, Katie writes contemporary romance, fantasy/paranormal romance and erotica. Recently, she’s crafted her first cozy mystery with the intention of publishing a cozy mystery series.

She believes in all things magical; including dragons, fairies, UFOs, ghosts, and house pixies. But most of all she believes in love, romance and hope.

https://www.katieohwrites.com/

SHELLEY KASSIAN has been writing timeless love stories filled with romance or dark fantasy (romantasy) for more than twenty years, novels that include her recent beach read, A Sea for Summer. A history enthusiast, she’s traveled far and wide to explore secret gardens and medieval castles, having an avid interest in the Tudor period. Her prose has been described as “near rhapsodic,” “pitch perfect,” and “stylishly straightforward, rarely relying on complex turns of phrase.” Reviewers have said her narrative conveys “imaginative fantasy,” “fascinating characters,” and “refreshing romance.”

Shelley’s taken creative writing courses, holds board positions within professional associations, and retains a Professional Editing Certificate. Drawing on her expertise, she has mentored novice writers, but her passion comes alive while scribing her stories into novel-length fiction. Shelley shares her life with her husband, adores her adult children and three grand pups, and when not relaxing at her seaside cottage, lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

S.L. Dickson writes romantic stories about strong men and women who make a difference. She sets her stories in small towns and rural locations, although some of her characters are city dwellers. She is passionate about storytelling and appreciates the support of her husband, Bill, family members, beloved friends, and her many writing colleagues.

Shaa’s favorite place to write or retreat is at her cabin. She enjoys canoeing, swimming, hiking in the forest, or sitting on the dock listening to the call of the loons; even watching bald eagles soar in a blue sky. A favorite family time is when her children and grandchildren come to visit. Family gather around the camp fire, roasting marshmallows and sharing their life stories, whether the season be summer or winter.

Just for fun, Shaa wrote a short story called – Mind Traffic. by S.L. Shaa Dickson. It’s a fun story about life from younger years to the Golden years. Hope you enjoy it.

In Shaa’s spare time, she shares a fun hobby with her family. She often sets up acrylic paints and paints on smooth river rocks, old plates and flat paint stir sticks. Art is life and life is art, and whether the tools be words or a brush stroke, they make our world a more beautiful place.

Shaa and her husband reside in northwestern Ontario with their sheltie mix dog, Lacey.

Before launching her writing career, the multi-talented Roxy Boroughs was an accomplished stage and film actor who appeared in the TV series DEGRASSI JUNIOR HIGH; and top-rated movies such as IT MUST BE LOVE, starring Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.

Look for her romantic comedy CRAZY FOR COWBOY; her suspense series PSYCHIC HEAT, featuring the award-winning novel A STRANGER’S TOUCH; and the popular FROST FAMILY CHRISTMAS series, marrying sweet romance with cozy mystery.

November 2021 marks the release of two original heartwarming holiday stories. Watch for THE SPRITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, published in the sweet romance anthology HUGS, KISSES AND MISTLETOE WISHES; and A CHRISTMAS CAROLE, featured in CHRISTMAS ROMANCE DIGEST 2021: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, edited by Tracy Cooper-Posey.

Roxy is married to her first love, so she not only writes romance, she lives it! If she’s not typing away at her desk, she’s reading, quilting, whipping up a fabulous new recipe, or hiking around the Rocky Mountain village she calls home, where mule deer and bighorn sheep roam the streets.

“From vikings to viscounts, join the adventure, live the romance.”

Living by the motto “You don’t know unless you try”, A.M.Westerling started writing historical romance because she couldn’t find the kinds of fun stories she enjoyed. After all, she thought, who doesn’t enjoy a tasty helping of dashing heroes and spunky heroines, seasoned with a liberal sprinkle of passion and adventure?

Westerling, a former engineer, is a member of the Romance Writers of America and active in her local chapter. As well as writing, she enjoys cooking, gardening, camping, yoga, and watching pro sports. She lives in Calgary, Canada.

http://www.amwesterling.com/index.html

Raine Hughes was born in central Canada, growing up on a dairy farm in a prairie province. She milked cows in the lands down under (Australia and New Zealand) as well as in Canada before settling down with her husband and assorted livestock and exotic birds. With a favorite TV show being the I Dream of Jeannie series, naturally Hughes thought of writing something similar and started her own Down to Earth Magical Romances in sub-genres including paranormal, fantasy and contemporary. She likes to write on the ‘sweeter’ side rather than ‘dark’ because the world needs more ways to lighten the mood. As a member of a Canadian chapter of the Romance Writers of America, as well as having membership in other writing groups, she enjoys reading most any romance along with books in a variety of the other genres.

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