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Beanbag Love

I read. I write. I talk about reading and writing. That is when I'm not driving kids somewhere or teaching them. Married, educated, domesticated. I really enjoy the friends I've met through a variety of different message boards and venues regarding reading and authors. I try to take a positive view when I write reviews but sometimes I can't. Those times are few and far between, but they do exist. I'm mostly an old softy, though. I think so anyway.

Currently reading

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
That Holiday Feeling - Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, Robyn Carr The Macomber and Woods stories were pretty lame. I hadn't read anything by either of them before but I was particularly unimpressed with Macomber's contribution. Zero chemistry with that couple. And knowing that it was a story fans of one of her series had asked for (regarding a side character in a past installment) made it even worse. This story is exactly why you should be careful about requesting stories for your favorite side characters. I know I'll still do it -- as will everyone -- but never forget that it's a good chance the author's going to phone it in if the inspiration wasn't hers/his to begin with.

Woods had a better story line. Although, like Macomber, she went with the "strangers to soulmates in sixty seconds" trope it flowed more smoothly and there was a believable spark between the two leads. The holiday details were richer and more engaging as well which I tend to think is kind of important in a holiday themed anthology.

Carr's story was far and away the best of the three. The Virgin River setting is always a hit with me but the success of her contribution was due to a patient narrative with two engaging characters who really seemed perfect together. It didn't feel forced and I liked that, even though they didn't actually know each other, they weren't total strangers to begin with. They also fell in love over a longer period of time which made the whole thing much more satisfying. And there were puppies. I love puppies.

SILVER BELLS by Debbie Macomber: 1 star
THE PERFECT HOLIDAY by Sherryl Woods: 3 stars
UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE by Robyn Carr: 4.5 stars