I was provided with an e-copy of this book for review, but it did not sway my opinion at all. I would have read it either way.
Sip your eggnog, linger under the mistletoe, and make a Christmas wish. Merry & Bright brings you six tales of Christmas cheer, featuring stories of budding romances, Southern charm, lost loves, heaps of humor, and lots of pie by authors Isabella Louise Anderson, Cindy Arora, Laura Chapman, Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, and Nancy Scrofano. From sunny Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South, Merry & Bright will take you on a heartwarming adventure you’ll love to visit again and again. Wrap yourself in holiday mirth and prepare to be swept off your feet.
Festive, right? The first story was A Very Dixie Christmas by Lauren Clark, and this may have been my favourite story of the bunch. It's about a mom, daughter, and their UPS man. I work for a courier company (not UPS), so I have a sweet spot for couriers, especially during Christmas. The UPS man delivers much more than gifts in this sweet story about a girl who questions her belief in Santa Claus. I loved all the characters, and would actually love to read a longer version of this story.
Christmas at Mulberry Inn by Cindy Arora made me want to spend the holidays in an inn far away, just not the way the characters do. It featured Saffron who is almost divorced and visiting her best friend, Taylor, who just happens to be Saffron's exes sister. Oh, and her ex is planning on spending Christmas there, too, with his new girl. Naturally, they decide to pretend that Saffron also has a new love interest, though the pretending may not be entirely necessary. This was a cute read with the potential to get real dramatic, but it didn't. It was sweet and hopeful, and if anyone can provide me with an inn in a small town, I'd appreciate it.
Ice Dating by Nancy Scrofano reminded me why I am so happy to be married and not have to worry about dating. Quinn and her friends decide to try ice dating, which is speed dating on skates. Sounds horrifying! I enjoyed reading about Quinn on her 'dates', as she was awkward, and funny, and perhaps a bit close-minded about the experience. With her failed dates behind her, Quinn heads for gelato where she has yet another awkward encounter with a man, Cameron, who works there. I liked this story, but I kind of thought the part where Quinn heads to her family's house & runs into her ex was out of place. I mean, I understand why because of what it led to, but it made me dislike Quinn a little bit. I think I was meant to feel bad for her, but I just didn't.
Meet Me Under The Mistletoe by Isabella Louise Anderson was a perfectly sweet story, but I had a hard time with the insta-love connection. Perhaps it's just because I'm not a love at first sight believer. I loved the setting in this story, though, and the idea of spending the holidays at a cabin is dreamy. I'd actually love to read a book about Lexi, as she was an aspiring author in her twenties.
Libby Mercer's Secret Santa was a lot of fun! Abbie is gifted a treasure hunt by her secret Santa at work. Convinced that her Santa is her boss and that she'll find a promotion at the end of her hunt, Abbie sets out & ends up in different places reminding her of her ex. What she finds at the end of the hunt is even better than what she was expecting. I really enjoyed reading this one, and the idea of a Christmas treasure hunt is fantastic!
The story I found most emotional was Twelve Drummers Drumming by Laura Chapman. Tuck and Autumn are newlyweds and majorly excited to spend their first Christmas together as a family. It's hard to review this story without giving it away, but I loved it. It's the story that felt the most like an actual novel with a clear beginning, middle, and end. I really liked the characters, and the ending will make you swoon. Read it for all the feels.
This is a really great collection of Christmas stories, and I think it should definitely be added to any Christmas lovers wish list!
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