Heat Level 2 – Chili Pepper
All I Want for Christmas by J. Shanee Byers tells the story of a woman who meets the man of her dreams at the zoo, where the sparks immediately begin to fly.
Lost and Found at Christmas: A Paranormal Romance by Leanne
Castellanos tells a tale of a young woman with a hidden past getting evicted from her apartment. These events lead her to a mysterious ‘shifter…’
First Christmas by Adam Johnson is a brief tale about a business relationship. Naturally, with this being a romance anthology and all, this character might prefer pleasure to business.
Christmas Trees and Mistletoe: A Sunshine Bay Christmas Story by Jeanine Lauren tells a tale of a family Christmas gathering, which brings back memories of a love once loved.
A Very Spirited Yuletide: An Introduction to the Quartermoon Hollow Series by Margaret Madigan features vivid prose as it tells the story of a spirit waiting to cross over to the afterlife. But there’s nothing to say that she can’t have a little fun while she waits…
12 Gifts of Christmas by Jennifer M. Miller opens brilliantly, and keeps the amusement going. A play on the 12 Days of Christmas, but instead of gifts from a true love, these are terrible gifts from an even worse ex.
Christmas Goals: A Hockey Romance by Jenny Redford is a heartfelt tale about a woman who can’t let go of her prized hockey jersey… or of the man who gifted it to her.
Home for Christmas by Angela Scavone tells the story of a pop star’s dreaded trip home to New York, where she fears meeting the former love of her life. Through a bevy of wonderful one-liners, our pop star might find a new love of her life.
I’ll Be His for Christmas: Draper Falls Holiday Romance Book One by Stacey Wallace starts on Thanksgiving and counts down to Christmas. Over the course of this month, love blossoms between the lead character and the man of her dreams. Not only romantic, but crammed full of puppies, this Book One indicates there are—or will be—more Draper Falls Holiday Romances out there.
Christmas Redeemed by Tienna Wilde tells the story of a woman who—for quite valid reasons—hates Christmas. While the title hints at a romantic resolution to this hatred, the sense of danger permeating through her trauma stands out brilliantly.
Holly Jolly by Ashley Zakrzewski is a brief tale that carries a beautifully sarcastic tone as it tells the story about a man finding Christmas anything but jolly. But a woman named Holly might just change that.
Heat Level 3 – Jalapeño Pepper
Not So Merry: A Cutler Family Christmas by Lark Anderson is a tale of a small town girl and a big town ‘Santa.’ While things get a little hot and heavy, the characters and emotion shine through.
Fang’s Miracle: Wolfsbane Ridge MC by Marissa Ann tells the story of a member of the Wolfsbane Motorcycle Club and the woman he meets, while helping kids in hospital over the Christmas season.
Girlfriend by Christmas by Raquel Anne is a brief tale about a date which goes a little further. Could that be because of the title, the heat rating… or both?
Their Christmas Miracle by Tabitha Barret starts with a retail job before getting into the lead character’s intriguing and interesting background, not to mention the blossoming love.
The Christmas Party by A.M. Daniels tells the story of a Christmas party where a couple meet, then brings a little heat as it tells the story about what comes afterward.
Mistletoe and Margaritas by Maci Dillon and Sara Cunningham is such an awesome title, isn’t it? Outside of the title, it introduces a story about a woman with a distaste for Christmas, until she meets the man of her dreams.
Love Underwraps by Rayne Elizabeth and Stormy Winds tells the story of a high-powered CEO and the temp who starts working for her. Things don’t stay strictly business for long.
A Christmas Delivery by Amber Ghe is a story about a woman and the postman she falls for. As it provides a glimpse into the inner workings of these characters, our lead character definitely received a package for Christmas.
You Light Up My Life by Adina D. Grey tells a story about an executive, and the assistant he keeps telling himself is “only an assistant.” And wouldn’t you know it? It turns out he’s wrong.
Stanley’s Christmas Redemption: An MM Second Chance Romance by Gabbi Grey is a rarity for this collection: a male-male romance. These are rare in the collection, but it is nice to see a little diversity within the collection. This story is told from a beautiful perspective, and the less said about it, the better.
Yesterday’s Crush by Susan Horsnell is another Australian tale—it’s great seeing this little backwater getting some love (if you know what I mean). Taking place between 12 December and Christmas Day, a previous unrequited love becomes… requited.
Mistletoe Kisses, by K.L. Humphries and Chelsea McDonald, offers an ethical conundrum about marrying for money. But can love still blossom?
Kisses Under the Mistletoe by Lizzie James had me do a double take, given its similar name to the preceding story. Aside from that (and Christmastime romance), the similarities end; instead telling a tale about an affair between a barman and one of his customers.
Snowflakes & Serenades by Ainsley Jaymes tells the story of a musician returning home after fighting her contract to be able to do so. While enjoying her holidays with her family, she meets her long lost crush. This tale is an abridged version of the full story releasing in 2022.
Christmas Kisses Down Under: Christmas Lights Series 1, by Di Jones, is another story set in Australia, making for a title with a brilliant double entendre! Aside from these aspects, it’s a fun story about a tourist’s holiday fling with a hotelier.
In the Lights: Sweet Friends to Lovers College Christmas Short Story by Nikki Kimberley and R.J. Murray is perfectly encapsulated by that full title. A sweet tale with some lovely prose.
Cowboys and Christmas Trees: Lone Tree Ranch Series by Dawn Luedecke tells a story about a single mother who may justy find love again.
The Mistletoe Match by C.N. Marie is a sweet story about childhood friends reconnecting in new and exciting ways.
Santa Exchange: A Silver Birch Story by Katherine Moore tells a story about love and cookies in a law firm.
The SantaGram: A MM Second Chance Romance by A.L. Morrow is the second such story in the collection, providing something a little different to the male-female couplings in the vast majority of the collection. A sweet story with some lovely characters.
You’re in My Heart at Christmas… and Always by Marianne Petit follows its prologue with body odour, urine and a Hallmark Christmas movie. What follows from here is a lot of anguish, heartache, and ache-free heart.
A Vampire’s Christmas Concerto by Joe Quackenboss is a story about a newly reborn vampire looking for love. A sweet romance with a real love for music.
A Gray Christmas by S.E. Roberts tells the story of what starts as a romance, but grows deeper. This tale nimbly balances romanticism with light erotica.
The Winter Queen: A Courts of Faery Book by Faedra Rose opens with the North Wind in a vividly told story. This is the romantic beginning of a larger tale, which you can buy via the link provided in Secret Santa.
Once Upon a New York Winter by Rachel A. Smith paints a vivid picture of New York, to the very point that it sent my mind’s eye (as someone who has never visited the city) right into a classic Christmas movie based in the city.
Heat Level 4 – Habanero Pepper
Mistletoe on the Range: A Red Hart Ranch Christmas by Sofia Aves opens with a beautifully creepy prologue, which soon moves to a rural romance, from which more than a little steam rises.
The Magic of Mountain Air: Prequel to The Mixed Six-Pack by Danika Bloom brings a sense of with through the banter between its characters, as it tells a story about a young man and the best friend who he is in love with visiting a creepy cabin.
The Water Dragon’s Christmas Miracle by Thea Dane tells the story of a woman leaving her job working for (naturally hot, as these things go) mayor. This enables the two of them to embark on a less professional, more erotic, relationship.
Santa’s Pretty Secret: A Dark Romance Novella by Nova Edwins and Mia Kingsley tells the tale of a very naughty Santa Claus and the woman he kidnaps. This is dark, erotic, and fun.
Her Chief of Staff by Beth Fred is a tale full of political intrigue and romance. This is a long one; a novel in its own right.
Santa vs. the Shopper: A Billionaire Holiday Romance by Ivy Hunt is exactly as its title suggests, telling the story of the heir to a toy company finding his happily ever after.
Santa Biker: Royal Bastards MC by Nikki Landis tells the story about a woman and the biker who protects her, determined to claim her as his own.
A Savage Christmas: A Savage Sons MC Short Story by Emma Mountford is yet another story about a motorcycle club. This is an erotic story about a biker who meets a woman online; and, like the one above, is determined to claim her as his own.
Confessions of a Santa by Lexie Noir is the erotic story of a department store Santa and the woman he works for. This Santa comes more than once a year.
His Christmas Muse: A Vie De Mort Novella by Helena Novak and Natalia Prim is an erotic tale about a couple who meet at the Vie De Mort club and embark on an erotic sub-dom adventure.
Christmas of Dragons: An Embers of Dragonkind Story by Kyrii Rayne is a paranormal fantasy tale which interweaves a romantic narrative through its broader tapestry. A look at the books by the author shows that this is part of a far bigger series, which could explain its breadth.
Son and Country: Carter Hills Band Series by Emmanuelle Snow tell a tale of two country musicians and their history together, culminating in Christmas. Part romance, part erotica and part character study, it is a great read.
Operation: Get Holly Laid by Callie Vegas, the final story in this collection, has perhaps my favourite title of the lot. The dedication that follows it lets you know you’re in for some fun. And what transpires is fun. Erotic fun.
To summarise my thoughts, for such a tiny price, you get more than 3,000 pages of story (plus a cookbook!). With all the royalties going to Ronald McDonald House, by buying these—even if you read very little of it—you are securing a great bargain, while doing some good for children who need it. And at the end of the day, what’s more Christmassy than that?