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