A Soldier's Christmas Anthology (GR Cleanup Project)

Soldier's Christmas - Rachel Lee, Merline Lovelace, Catherine Mann

Another lost little review that is part my GR Cleanup Project. 


The first story I’ll be Home by Rachel Lee sets the tone for the rest of the novellas to follow, all rushed tales of romance and predictable schmaltz with bits of action and quasi-danger strewn in almost as an afterthought. This one is about a Navy Seal who returns home for the holidays. He’s shut off emotionally, has been this way for years and this caused him to lose his first wife who couldn’t put up with it any longer. He’s all lonely and miserable and boo-hooey when he conveniently gets snowed in with another houseguest named Maria. Her presence evokes a sudden and brilliant epiphany and he is able to fix himself and drop all of his emotional baggage like a hot potato in order to woo Maria. She’s a pretty young thing with dreams of wanderlust who instantly and totally understands him after a day or two together. He makes all her dreams come true. The End. Seriously? Sorry, not buying it. Meh. Only in Romancelandia.

Next up is Merline Lovelace’s A Bridge for Christmas. If that title doesn’t get your blood a-sizzling I don’t know what will. A Bridge? For Christmas? For real? “Some Hot Sexy Time in a Beast Infested Cave for Christmas” would’ve worked better for me but I’m odd like that. A beautiful young architect joins the reserves after 9/11, leaving behind a promising career and a perfectly suitable fiancé who she quickly forgets when she’s stranded with a handsome Special Ops agent after a bridge collapses on some sort of mission. They give in to their lusty needs despite impending danger at all corners. This plot is scattered with strange events that are supposed to make me melt or shiver in fear but left me shaking my head in disbelief. The heroine is somewhat annoying (with her feckless ways and forgotten fiancé and all) and the love story was super rushed and not at all believable. More Meh, I’m afraid to say.

And last up in this collection of Magnificent Mind-numbing Meh is The Wingman’s Angel by Catherine Mann featuring two about to be divorced Air Force officers who are stranded (yep, again!) together and are forced to work out their issues while being pursued by danger and freezing their tootsies off. They have communication issues, a not-so-big (to me) secret is revealed and all is well again in Romancelandia. I can’t tell you much more about this one because honestly all of the stories are starting to blend because they were all so bland, formulaic and similar and my brain has shut down.

I felt no emotion while reading any of these stories. The plots were flimsy, the characters weren’t interesting, or sympathetic or funny. The last story repeatedly stated that the hero was a laugh riot. Too bad we never saw it. It would’ve been nice to see it come out in the dialogue. Telling me he’s funny does me no good whatsoever as a reader. Books like these can quickly burn a reader out on romance.

Total waste of time.