Saturday, January 2, 2010

Review: Better Naughty Than Nice by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Jill Shalvis & Rhonda Nelson

Better Naughty Than Nice
By:  Vicki Lewis Thompson, Jill Shalvis & Rhonda Nelson
Publisher:  Harlequin
224 pages

Three naughty tales from three naughty authors.  All three stories have a Claus brother in the mix, to matchmake in his own sort of way.  Mr. Damon Claus is Santa's naughty, younger, much fitter brother and he sure can stir things up.

No Mistle Required by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Riley Kinnard and Hayden Manchester are childhood friends, neighbors and teenage lovers who split up many years ago due to a misunderstanding that they both continue to pay for.  When they find themselves home for Christmas with a little friendly or unfriendly rivalry in the pursuit of the best Christmas light display, things get blazing.  Throw in a little help from Damon Claus,  holiday decorator extraordinare and some old neighbors, David and Marlena Faulkner, who are dying to get the couple back together and you have a very fun, very naughty little Christmas story.

Her Secret Santa by Jill Shalvis
Arson investigator, Ally Dauer can't forget the brief time spent with firefighter, Eddie Weston before things just seemed to fizzle out.  During the course of collecting toys for needy boys and girls, she gets a few "toys" of her own, thrown in by none other than Damon Claus, novelty store owner.  Eddie joins her in an investigation where fire continues to build between them and they realize that resistance is futile and they belong together.

Snug in His Bed by Rhonda Nelson
Viv Foster works hard for her money, which she's hoping will pay for a dream vacation to London over the Christmas holidays.  She despises Christmas due to her father leaving at that time as a kid and regrets not getting to know a half-brother.  She's working double duty when a chance encounter with a mall Santa, you guessed it, Damon Claus, who she smacks for copping a feel.  Somehow, it goes to court where a judge, bearing an uncanny resemblance to that same mall Santa, sentences her to community service at a Christmas tree farm.  She remembers going to that farm as a child to get trees and that there was a young fellow there who always caught her eye.  Hank Bailey, owner of the farm feels the attraction but can't help feeling a bit guilty at what brought her to him, also ruining her chance at the London holiday.  He asks her to design the farm a website, which is her day job, substituing that lost income.  Sparks fly and Viv realizes that Christmas truly is magical.

These really were nice and naughty stories that I truly enjoyed and hated to see them end.  The women were strong and independent and the men were virile and exciting.  What more could you ask for the holidays?

*This book was received via my library swap program.

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