Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Week Review: Judith McNaught and Jude Deveraux’s SIMPLE GIFTS - four heartwarming Christmas stories: JUST CURIOUS, MIRACLES, CHANGE OF HEART AND DOUBLE EXPOSURE - 5 Stars for these wonderful Christmas love stories!

I don't generally like short stories--I find there just isn't enough "meat" for me. But this collection is different. I picked it up for the Judith McNaught romance of Nicki DuVille (a character in many of her historical romances) and Lady Skeffington. But what a pleasant surprise to find not one but four 5 star Christmas romances!! Each story is well crafted and will capture your heart. My only thought was that each justified its own full length novel they were so good.

You won't be disappointed...this is a keeper and can be read any time of the year though each has a Christmas theme. Here are the stories:

By Judith McNaught:

MIRACLES - Nicki DuVille is living the life of a handsome nobleman who has all the women he wants but no intention of settling down with any of them. But then he meets Julianna Skeffington who asks him to "ruin" her so that she won't have to marry the old lord her mother has selected. Caught running out of his room by their hostess and Julianna's mother, Nicki is forced to wed her and he is not happy about it and refuses to even see her until his ailing mother has a Christmas wish.

DOUBLE EXPOSURE - Correy Foster, ace photographer and sister by marriage to the very successful Diana Foster, queen of the Foster "Beautiful Living" empire (think Martha Stewart), was in love with the dashing Spencer Addison as a young girl until he broke her heart. Now, many years later and all grown up, she is asked to photograph the holiday wedding of his niece to be held at his mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. She agrees to do it believing she is so over him. Ah, but is he over her?

By Jude Deveraux:

JUST CURIOUS - Karen loved her husband and even though it's been 2 years since he died, she has yet to move on. Though she has a gift for business, she is working as a typist to save money to start her own some day. And she thinks of the boss, McAlister Taggert ("Mac"), as an ogre who sends his many fiancés running out of his office after seeing the prenuptial agreements. Though she doesn't work for him directly, Karen has typed the agreements for his secretaries so she knows just why. But then he meets her and offers her the chance to fill in for his ex-fiancé for a week at Christmas and to be in a family wedding. She never has anything to do at Christmas, so she accepts even though she can't stand the man.

CHANGE OF HEART - Two endearing and precocious teenagers, Eli and Chelsea, one very smart and one very rich, conspire to match Eli's mother to the man heading the Taggert empire, Frank Taggert, a man Eli has come to see as a father figure. His mother, Randy, is a softhearted single mom who loves her son and ekes out a living as a nurse. Eli and Chelsea enlist the help of Frank's brother, Mike to hire Randy to nurse Frank while he recovers in a cabin high in the mountains. Neither she nor Frank knows of the matchmaking attempt but both succumb to the undeniable attraction between them while admitting nothing.

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