Monday, January 30, 2012


Publisher: HeartSent Books
Date published: October 19, 2011
ISBN None Assigned
Romantic Fiction
Reviewed by Lynne
Obtained via publisher

The HEART SENT CHRISTMAS anthology is a set of three beautiful love stories, written by three talented authors.

SECOND CHANCES by Heidi Katros is a heartwarming tale that inspires hope. Sylvia Hewlitt, a rich young widow, lost her husband to drugs and recklessness, only to discover later his ultimate deception. Anxious to put her heartache behind her, she decides to spend Christmas alone the following year, traveling to the Sugar Mount Resort near Banner Elk, NC where she encounters a familiar police detective, Stephen Breslow, through unfortunate circumstances. A near tragedy quickly draws Sylvia and Stephen together, and both soon come to realize there may yet be hope for a second chance at love and happiness, despite the differences in their separate worlds.

CHRISTMAS MAGIC by Kate Hofman is an intriguing love story, set in the beauty of Italy, that is sure to make your heart tingle with a strong desire to visit there one day and enjoy your own romantic encounter amid the wintry skiing slopes.

Crista Ballantyne, through a misunderstanding, broke off her relationship with His Excellency, Luca Allessandro Assante, Marchisi di Montevarchi, believing him too possessive and jealous of her. When fate brings them back together again, this time Luca is intent on making Crista his wife, if she will have him. But, as danger threatens Luca’s very existence, Crista soon comes to realize how important he is to her. Realizing how much they still love one another, Crista soon agrees to marry Luca, amid the growing fear that someone is intent on murdering him. Despite this, her affections for Luca grows along with the danger and intrigues against him.

LAKOTA CHRISTMAS by Diane Davis White is a wonderful love story between those of two cultures that are often at odds with one another.

Julianne Porter and her mother, Regina, are spending their first Christmas alone since the death of their beloved father and husband some months earlier. Julianne’s secret fear now is that she will never marry and raise a family of her own. After all, who would she meet out on the Nebraskan plains, such an isolated place? Fortunately, fate is on her side when a handsome Lakota brave arrives at their home, seeking assistance from Regina, a gifted healer.

Finding herself attracted to the Indian, Ethan Knows The Way, Julianne is quick to squash any feelings she has for him, knowing they are from two different worlds. But as time goes on and Julianne discovers the true hearts of the Lakota people, especially during the Christmas season, she suddenly realizes that, regardless of their differences, that people’s hearts are the same everywhere and that she may just be willing to allow her own heart to speak for itself and guide her into the state of true happiness she has been longing for.

HEART SENT CHRISTMAS is an enticing anthology of heartwarming love stories that is sure to lure the readers in and set their hearts aglow with the spirit of Christmas.

SECOND CHANCES by Heidi Katros is a pleasant read that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was easy to care about the hero and heroine, Sylvia Hewlitt and Stephen Breslow. Although they come from different backgrounds, I found myself secretly cheering them on, aware that sooner or later they were going to get together. As they struggled through their doubts and misgivings regarding their growing affection toward one another, you easily feel their pain and confusion.

Ms. Katros’ plotting, dialogues and interesting twists and turns were expertly weaved together, making SECOND CHANCES a fast, light read and a wonderful way to spend a cold wintry afternoon, sitting before a blazing fire with a hot toddy in hand.

CHRISTMAS MAGIC by Kate Hofman is indeed a magical love story that snagged me right from the start. The interesting pull was what led me to keep reading and turning pages to see what would happen next, the fact that our hero and heroine, Crista Ballantyne and Luca Assante, had once been engaged, only to have that engagement broken off because of Luca’s negative behaviors.

I loved the way Ms. Hofman brought Crista and Luca back together, then added a bit of suspense and dangerous intrigue into the story to keep one riveted. Her talented plotting, interesting European tidbits about Italy, dialogues, and unique flare for steamy love scenes held my interest a good while. What added to this was the outstanding characters Ms. Hofman added to move CHRISTMAS MAGIC along.

I liked the various security men written into CHRISTMAS MAGIC. Guido was a nice addition to this story and makes one feel as if he has his own story to tell. The minor characters are perfectly tuned for this enjoyable love story. The fact that many of them are extremely loyal to Luca is a nice touch. I especially like Andreas Hörbiger, the ex-Olympic skier, Pietro, Luca’s valet, and the caretakers at Luca’s palatial villa in Montevarchi who had to deal with all of Luca’s ex-paramours. That lent some humor to the story that I found refreshing.

If one is seeking a bit of CHRISTMAS MAGIC, steamy love scenes, a touch of Europe, and a bit of mystery and suspense, then I would definitely recommend CHRISTMAS MAGIC, a pleasant, interesting tale for anyone seeking an interesting story of love and intrigue with which to while away the long winter days.

LAKOTA CHRISTMAS by Diane Davis White is a heartwarming love story that anyone interested in Native American history would enjoy. I loved it. As a fan of Native American romances, I find LAKOTA CHRISTMAS to be a very pleasant story that kept me turning pages.

It is easy to care for the two main characters, Julianne Porter and Ethan Knows The Way. From the beginning, I was anxious for them to get together, wondering how Ms. White would pull it off.

Ms. White’s skill at dialogue and plotting weaved a wonderful tale. Always casting the Lakota people in an interesting, believable light, I thoroughly enjoyed learning more of them as I read LAKOTA CHRISTMAS. The fact that the Lakota celebrated Christmas was an interesting aspect of this story. I know little of Native culture to know how many of them believe in the white man’s God. So it was a pleasure to read how this holiday was brought into the story. I found the Lakota tribe kind and accepting toward Julianne and Regina and found this a very positive aspect of LAKOTA CHRISTMAS.

I came away from LAKOTA CHRISTMAS with a warm feeling in my heart for Julianne and Ethan and, more importantly, for the Lakota people. This is a well-written story that anyone who loves history and who is interested in Native American culture might enjoy.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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