March 18, 2014
Ok, so I'm a little behind.
A Sparkling of Christmas Magic is a sweet anthology with a couple of pretty good short stories in it.
First of all, my favorite in the group is Christmas Cinderella, by Elizabeth Rolls. It revolves around a handsome rector, Alex, and Polly, the new schoolmistress. Polly is, of course, Cinderella and she has the requisite nasty relatives that all Cinderella's have. She just doesn't have the singing mice. Anyway, our Polly is a delightful, spirited heroine and the perfect match for a surprisingly lusty rector. I'm always a little taken aback to realize that men that stand behind pulpits also have Mr. Toads. Except for the I'm-not-worthy moment, this was a fast moving love story with plenty of chemistry. And, for a short story, the characters were surprising well-developed. Fun read. I also loved the wonderful relationship between Polly and her students.
Finding Forever, by Bronwyn Scott, is the next story in the book and my next favorite. It is the story of Catherine, who is returning home from years spent in Paris. She has turned into a stunning woman and she has returned to stake her claim on her childhood infatuation, Channing. She's always been in love with Channing, but things are not what she has always thought. She soon becomes disillusioned with Channing. Instead her eyes and heart fall on his older brother, the enigmatic Finn. Finn seems to have always loved Catherine, but he has been aware of her infatuation with Channing and has remained quiet. It only takes one kiss for all of that to change. This was an interesting story, a sort of triangle, because Channing also reveals his feelings at this time. I think this book probably deserved a full-size book treatment, because these three characters would have been a lot better if their feelings could have been explored more. But overall, it was a nice story; just wish it had been longer.
The last story in the book is The Captain's Christmas Angel, by Margaret McPhee. This is my least favorite story out of the three; however, it is a pleasing story. We have Sarah, who had an unfaithful husband, so she has the opinion that men cannot be trusted. Then we have Daniel Alexander, who is adrift in the ocean and has some big secrets. So, Sarah falling in love with a stranger with secrets may not be the wisest thing. Of the three selections in this book, this had the feel of a short story. There was a rush to fall in love and a rush to a HEA...could have been better in a longer format.