Wednesday, December 17, 2014

TBR Challenge: Snowflakes and Stetsons anthology

The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle by Jillian Hart
Wrongly imprisoned, Caleb McGraw is finally free—but the bitterness he holds still makes him feel trapped. Until he sees the beautiful Caroline holding a little boy with eyes just like his own. Discovering his long-lost son is just the start of Caleb's Christmas miracles!
Christmas at Cahill Crossing by Carol Finch
One Christmas night, outcast Lucas Burnett finds a silver-haired angel buried in the snow. But Rosalie Greer is no pale spirit—she's a fiery, independent woman, as wild as the mustangs Lucas breeds. Can she be the one to finally thaw Lucas's frozen heart?
A Magical Gift at Christmas by Cheryl St.John
Meredith has always dreamed of a grand life but, stranded on a train in heavy snowfall with two young stowaways, she unexpectedly finds she has everything she needs with just one strong man to protect her..

Comment: I have had this book for a bit more than a year. I got it after Hilcia suggested it to me for the holidays and I immediately thought about it for this challenge. But last year I already had a book picked, so I saved this one precisely for this month's reading, as it fits the theme, holidays.
I was quite eager to read the three stories after seeing how Hilcia liked it, and I dived in right away. Sadly, I don't know if it was me or the way the stories felt like to me, but I wasn't dazzled by any of them...

The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle is a very cute story about a man who paid a price for a crime he didn't commit and when he finds out that caused problems to the women he had feelings for, he is miserable. Even more so when he discovers a child he never knew he had. The plot revolves around his helping the woman who is taking care of his son and how they come to terms with what he done and the fact they are falling in love with each other.
This was my least favorite story. I got the idea and it was interesting, redemption is always a good theme for Christmas, but I think this story sinned for it's small page count. I think a better and lengthier development would have suited the type of story much better. It's not that is badly written but I think the theme, the way the characters had so many things in their past to work out was done so fast and without the proper time to deal with their issues. My opinion. I'm glad things worked out well but the conflict because Caleb was in prison had to be taken care off differently to be better done, I think. The idea was there but for me the execution wasn't the most appealing one.

Christmas at Cahill Crossing is the story of Rose Greer an how she got to be stuck in a snow storm and was about to be buried beneath the snow when Lucas Burnett, a loner, saved her. After he saved her, she does everything she can to make him attend Christmas at Cahill Crossing instead of just being alone. He starts to like her and to be with her, so they start a relationship and despite the social differences between then«m, their feelings are stronger than anything.
I liked this story better but I admit I thought the physical intimacy started a bit too soon, considering the time they knew each other. Knowing each other from a distance doesn't count, I think. The stage was set though, for them to get closer. A snow storm and a savior are potent attractions to someone who already felt something for him, even if they had never talked before, but overall, I liked the story and the idea behind Rose's actions and feelings. She is a good heroine and perfect to do some saving too. In a way, this couple felt balanced and that helped a lot to make the story feel stronger. I'm curious about other characters as well. This wasn't perfect but I liked it more than the other.

A Magical Gift at Christmas tells the story of a US Marshall who is guarding a shipment of gold in a train and after trying to save it by leaving one of the train's carriages behind finds out a young woman and two children were left behind too without his knowledge. Now they have to work together to keep the gold saved from possible robbers and to keep the cold away. 
This was my favorite story, the main couple bonded well and worked together to reach an aim. I think this was where we better saw the character development, despite the limited page count. Jonah is serious but he isn't made of iron and by the end I believed his feelings changed and were shaped by what he felt and saw during the time he had to trust Meredith and have her help to take care of the children and to keep the bandits away. I think the author is talented to write short stories and it showed. The end was sweet and I even would have liked an epilogue, but overall, the story was well structured and stronger than the others. This was was really intriguing to read and made me eager to know more whereas the others weren't as addictive.

-> All in all, a satisfying collection of short stories, but it wasn't an amazing read. Despite one being better than the others, I still think this wasn't as powerful as I imagined. Maybe it was just my state of mind, but I didn't feel the pull other readers have talked about. Still, I plan to keep on reading Christmas anthologies that are usually well done and the ones I appreciate the best.
This had an author I've read before so I was glad I liked her story better. The other authors didn't win me over although I respect their goal with their stories here.
I have hopes next year my pick will be more exciting.
Grade: 6/10


  1. I read this one when it first came out, and only the St. John story "stuck" with me. I remember liking the Jillian Hart story better than you did - and being ho-hum on the middle story. St. John does well in the shorter format. I've enjoyed several of her contributions to other anthologies.

  2. Well, I think maybe I wasn't in the right mood for the book, but the stories didn't change it so...The last story is really the one I liked best.
    Better luck next year lol