Last year I ended up getting a bit addicted to Christmas anthologies, not only are they a great way to discover new (to me) authors but they are also perfect for getting little bite sized pieces of Christmas spirit. You know going in that the stories are going to be fun to read and leave you with a smile on your face and that is exactly what I got with each of the four stories in the Baby, It's Cold Outside anthology. I hadn't read books by any of these four authors before but I'm definitely going to be looking out for all of them in the future. If you're looking for a collection of sexy stories with hot heroes who are just what the heroine needs to keep the cold away then look no further - this is definitely a must read selection!'Tis the Season to Kiss Santa by Kate Hardy (3 stars)
In this first story we meet Ellie who absolutely loves everything about Christmas and spending time with her extended family. After a nasty break up she has travelled to the other side of the world to be with her godmother who is recovering in hospital and she is quick to volunteer her services at a Children's Christmas party. Mitch is the complete opposite of Ellie, throughout his childhood Christmas was never something to look forward to and now he is more than happy to ignore that time of the year completely. He only ends up agreeing to play Santa at the Christmas party because he hopes it will get him the promotion he has spent months working towards. Can Ellie teach Mitch the real meaning of Christmas and melt his heart?
I did enjoy this story but I have to admit it was my least favourite of the four. I liked the way Mitch started to reassess his life after watching the children at the party and was pleased to see him start to warm up as he got to know Ellie. I think my main problem with the story was that the conversations between them sometimes had a bit of a stilted feel to them and it didn't always feel true to life. I also felt that they rushed into having the big chat about not being able to guarantee anything long term - they had only met that afternoon so I didn't feel like that was something they would or even should be talking about so quickly. I know that things often move quickly in a short story but it came across as particularly rushed. It was still a sweet story though but I think I'd have enjoyed it even more if it had been a longer novel where there was time to develop the relationship more slowly.'Tis the Season to Love Shopping by Heidi Rice (4 stars)
Kate moved from London to New York for her dream job but she left her boyfriend behind and their attempts at a long distance relationship were a disaster. Lonely and miserable she decides she might as well make the most of the Christmas day quiet to catch up on her work. When she ends up getting stuck in the department store with her boss's son thanks to a sudden blizzard things quickly start to heat up between them but can she trust a playboy with her heart?
I really enjoyed this story and would love to see more of Kate and Ryder in a future book. This story really does show that you shouldn't judge people by your first impressions or rumours that you hear about them. Both Kate and Ryder completely misjudge each other but as they get to know each other better they realise how wrong they were and how much they actually have in common. I loved the idea of being trapped in a department store and just being able to wander around and take whatever you needed to make it through the night, it sounded like a lot of fun and would be even better of you had someone as hot as Ryder to pass the time with. This story had everything I look for in a romance - great chemistry, fun banter, a sexy, protective hero and a likeable heroine.'Tis the Season to be Kissed by Amy Andrews (5 stars)
Tamara is sick of men who are only interested in one thing, she is determined that she will no longer sleep with someone unless they have at least a chance of building a future together. She's not looking for guarantees but she wants someone who is looking for the same things from life as she is so has instigated a new rule - she won't even kiss a guy until their 10th date. To escape the New Year celebrations she is spending time alone in her friend's family cabin but the last thing she expects is for her very sexy, much younger brother to arrive. Luke has recently arrived home from Afghanistan and is planning on surprising his sister, it turns out the surprise is on him when he meets her drunk but adorable friend.
Without a doubt this was my favourite story in the anthology, I had so much fun reading it and as soon as I finished I wanted to go back to the beginning and start it all over again! Tamara is the kind of girl I think most women can relate to and she had me laughing out loud at the way she drunkenly propositions Luke. Now Luke, what can I say about Luke? I guess the main thing is he was absolutely delicious! Not only is he a returning hero with an incredibly chiselled body but he is also a genuinely nice, caring guy. I want to know where I can find a Luke of my very own please. I loved the connection between Tamara and Luke, they are so obviously attracted to each other but she is determined to resist him. I really enjoyed seeing him slowly break through her defences, the way he manages to fit their first 10 dates into the space of a day was hilarious but surprisingly romantic and I'm never going to look at a game of scrabble in quite the same way again! When they finally give in to their passion it was explosive and my only disappointment was that I wasn't ready for the story to end.'Tis the Season to be Tempted by Aimee Carson (3.5 stars)
Evie has always been the black sheep of her family, she was the wild child who wanted to go off and do her own thing while her brother and sisters were happy to tow the family line and get a good education and find a good career or at the very least marry someone who fitted the family's idea of successful. Having spent 10 years away from home travelling with her ex boyfriend and his band she hates the idea of coming home with her tail between her legs now that things have all gone wrong. Wes has been her brother's best friend since childhood, he fits her parent's idea of the perfect guy - rich, successful and the CEO of his own company - so that automatically means that Evie shouldn't be interested in him. He couldn't be more different than any guy she has dated before but in spite of that she has always felt a surprising attraction to him. When they bump into each other on the way home sparks fly and they are both forced to reconsider what they want from life.
This was another enjoyable story, Evie was terrified of flying so she gets herself into quite a state by drinking too much on the plane. Watching her proposition Wes was really funny but he found her incredibly hard to resist. When she has had time to sober up Wes takes great enjoyment at teasing her about the things she said but she turns the tables on him when she sets out to seduce him. Because the couple have known each other for so long and we get to see things from both of their points of view it was much easier to believe how quickly things progress between them. The attraction between them is intense and the way Evie sets out to get her man was great fun to watch.