16 March 2008

5 Cup Review for Romance Upon a Midnight Clear



ISBN# 978-0-9800356-1-2
November 2007
Highland Press
Trade Paperback$9.95
262 Pages
Romance anthology

Rating: 5 Cups

Johnny’s Fortune by Leanne Burroughs

Rosemary Traviata had liked Johnny Fortunato since high school, but he was always way out of her league and barely noticed her. So why is he interested in her now? Did his friends put him up to it?

Johnny was entranced by Rosemary in high school but she was younger than he and what would his friends say if he were with her? He had a reputation to uphold. But now they are adults and things are about to change.

Johnny and Rosemary find their attraction to each other seems larger than life, yet they still need to deal with issues and find out if what they truly want is right in front of them or doomed before it has a chance to grow?

I admire the characters in this story and how they handled themselves and their issues. Even though this is a short story, it left me with a warm, glowing feeling and rooting for this couple to end up together.

The Way Home by Rebecca Andrews

Life has once again dealt Brody Justicea a horrible blow. He is in a nasty storm with fog, ice, rain, snow and boulders falling around him. When he swerves to avoid one, he collides with another car making his already bad year worse.
Abby Montgomery is in that other car. When she awakes, she has lost most of her memory, barely remembering what happened. With no place to go and not knowing who she is, she accepts an offer from Brody to recuperate at his place.
Abby and Brody are troubled people at their meeting. They need to deal with what is inside them before they can move forward with the intense attraction they feel for each other. But is it possible that one of them cannot do that?
Bittersweet describes this story; heartache and tenderness combine to make an emotional read that you will regret it if you miss it.

Heartfelt by Patty Howell

Cela Donovan is having a strange week. She keeps running into a young girl named Essie who insists she knows Cela. Yet, Cela cannot remember this child no matter how hard she tries. What a puzzle it becomes when she meets Essie’s father. The sparks between them shine bright.

Ben Wright has had a tough year. His wife died in a terrible accident and he is raising his daughter with the help of his sister. Now Cela has dropped into his life and he is so smitten he wants to be with her always.

When Ben tells Cela something she does not know; it could be the end of what they have started. He does not want to do it, but if she learns from another source, she may think he wants to be with her for the wrong reasons. He cannot do that to her or his daughter.

Miracles seem to be a part of this story. Fate is directing this couple on a wondrous course that is an emotional rollercoaster. This is a very heart-touching read.

Window Wonderland by Isabel Mere

Ben Lightson is not in the mood for the holidays. They seem to make him even more miserable and cantankerous. That is until he sees the light flickering on the card and thinks he is going crazy.

Lady Vania Dahl is from the year of our Lord sixteen hundred and forty-four. She is in hiding from her betrothed, a prince she refuses to marry. When she meets Ben, who seems to appear out of nowhere, she is more than intrigued with him.

Ben and Vania have come together from two different times and places, yet they have a strong attraction to each other. They allow their feelings to be fulfilled before Vania must flee and Ben finds his way back home.

Strangely entertaining describes Window Wonderland. Such a large amount of imagination has gone into this story. It makes you smile and wonder “hmm..what if?”

I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Amber Dawn Bell

Mitch Ferguson joined the Marines because he loves his country and is willing to fight to the death for it. Death is almost exactly what happens to him when he is seriously injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq. His whole world is now changed.

Annie has loved Mitch since grade school and has worried about him since the moment he left for Iraq. She wants to spend the rest of her life with him, only fate has something else in store for them. When he is injured, Mitch pushes her away.

Both Annie's and Mitch’s life have changed to something they never thought could happen. She does not want to go on without him and he doesn’t want her to see him as half a man. Can this couple get a Christmas miracle to save them from ending their life together?

Such turmoil these characters go through. This is a very realistic story that can happen to anyone and grabs your gut from the beginning, leaving you breathless in anticipation of the outcome.

Counterpoint by Erin E.M. Hatton

Eve’s marriage is crumbling and fast. She and her husband cannot seem to get along. In her opinion he is being a stubborn fool about everything. She works hard raising their children and keeping house, so why does he argue with her instead of helping out once in awhile?

Pete is frustrated and exhausted. He feels that all he does is work, work, and more work but never seems to get anywhere. His marriage is a mess. After another fight with Eve, he decides to go with another woman and ends up in the hospital in critical condition.

Eve’s mind races with all kinds of thoughts while keeping vigil at Pete’s side. She is angered by his betrayal. Is this the end of her marriage whether he lives or dies? A stranger comes to offer help and to take her mind off her problems. But, will that help her situation?

Second chances are very rare. Reading this one becomes unsure whether there will even be a first chance for love let alone a second chance. Very deep emotions run in this book. An excellent soul searching read.

Light of Hope by Jill and Julia

Jacob Richards wishes he had someone to be there when he gets home, a family of his own. He vows, while driving through a sudden snowstorm, that once he makes it home he will start looking for a wife. This storm is so bad he worries that he might not get to play Santa for the town children this year. However, he will be the one who gets the biggest present this year.

Hope Matthias’ life is bleak since her husband left for the war and has not been seen since. She and her son are living with her in-laws, who treat her like a slave. She is so lonely and wants to get on with her life but she has few options to make that happen.

Hope and Jacob form a bond when he needs shelter from the storm. He is alarmed at her circumstance and offers to help her. She is unsure what to do about the situation with her husband but accepts Jacob's offer. Both feel the spark between them and hope it ignites into a roaring flame.

Deception that keeps another from love is such a shame. These two determined people decide to go for what they want against many obstacles and tell a tale of strength and love. A very good story.

Detour to Love by Deborah Macgillivray

Kaelyn Reynolds spent her summers with her aunt and uncle in Kentucky. She loved those times because she fell in love with Morgan Galloway. He was older and barely noticed her, or so she thought.

Morgan Galloway always does what he is told to do and lets people push him into things like a marriage he never wanted to be in. That was before but now he has grown and learned from those times and mistakes. After seeing Kaelyn again, he has no desire to let her get away this time.

Morgan has a glimmer of hope that he never had before of being able to be with Kaelyn after all this time. He cannot see any valid reason why he cannot be and plunges straight in to convince her that they belong together. Yet, with the way Kaelyn feels, does she really need that much convincing?

Being true to oneself is the great lesson this story offers. Follow your own heart as this couple learns to do. A sweet romantic tale that leaves you with a smile on your face is what you will find in this read.

Each of these stories is well-written and will stand-alone and when grouped together, they pack a powerful punch. Each author shares exceptional characters and a multitude of emotions ranging from grief to elation in their stories. You cannot help being able to relate to these stories that touch your heart and will entertain you at any time of year, not just the holidays. I feel honored to have been able to sample the works of such talented authors.

Matilda Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

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