Heating Up the Holidays (Harlequin Blaze #435) By Jill Shalvis

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All He Wants for Christmas... by Jill Shalvis

EMT Dustin Mauer has one Christmas wish: to make tough firefighter Cristina Lewis realize she's in love with him. And he's using his considerable bedside charm to convince her!

My Grown-Up Christmas List by Jacquie D'Alessandro

Toni Rizzo is done with obnoxious firefighters. But flirtatious fireman Brad Griffin is managing to put himself at the top of her holiday list—one steamy kiss at a time!

Up on the Housetop by Jamie Sobrato

When Dr. Lorelei Gibson gets stuck on her roof half-naked, she's mortified when she's rescued by hunky firefighter Ryan Quinn—her high school heartbreak! Until she learns he'd like to get naked with her... Heating Up the Holidays (Harlequin Blaze #435)

These were three short holiday novellas. They are great for when you are pressed for time and still want a steamy read. 1426825005 This anthology contains 3 short stories that take place around Christmas time but, to be honest, I didn't get much of a Christmas feeling out of them. The stories aren't particularly connected to each other, aside from the fact that the H/h in these stories live in the same city - Santa Rey, CA - or in the vicinity, and the heroine in the 2nd story is the owner of the florist shop where the heroine in the 1st story and the hero in the 3rd story buy some flowers and a Christmas charity card somewhere down the road. Confusing? Not really, as each story stands on its own and you can read them separately.

All He Wants for Christmas... by Jill Shalvis (3 stars)
This story is the sequel to Flashpoint and Flashback, but you don't have to read those books to understand it. Dustin and Christine work together at the Fire Station #34 - he's an EMT and she's a firefighter - and one could say their relationship is complicated. They had a one-night stand a few months ago, but things got stalled after that: she's more than willing to have a friends-with-benefits relationship with him, but he wants more and won't settle for a casual affair with her. So where does that leave them? Will she come to her senses and realize he's worth keeping forever before he gets tired of waiting and leaves?

Based on the previous books, I knew I'd have a hard time with Christina and, sadly, I was right. She grated on my nerves with her stubbornness and refusal to accept a true relationship with Dustin. Okay, she had some abandonment issues - she didn't know who her father was and her mother wasn't exactly maternal - but she'd known Dustin for 5 years and should be able to trust him after all that time. Anyway, Christina aside, this was an OK read for what it was worth: to give closure to Dustin and Christine's story that started in Flashpoint and was left hanging in Flashback.

My Grown-Up Christmas List by Jacquie D'Alessandro (4 stars)
Brad Griffin has had his eye on Toni Rizzo since she opened her florist shop 3 months ago, but he's kept his distance because she told him she was already involved when he asked her out. What she didn't tell him was that she was involved with her new business, and not exactly with someone. No, Toni doesn't have a boyfriend, but she needs to keep Brad at bay because she's got this rule against dating firefighters - and Brad happens to be a firefighter. Toni's cold shoulder works for a while, until Brad finds out there's no boyfriend in the picture and sets out to get her. But what does she have against firefighters? Will Brad be able to make her ditch her no-dating-firefighters rule?

This was my favorite story in the anthology. I loved Brad to pieces, and I laughed like a fool at his antics to convince Toni to have dinner with him. The man was a charmer! As for Toni, she was doing OK up until the moment her brain had a seizure and she took that stupid decision near the end of the story. I can't say what she did because it would be a spoiler, but it was like all her brain cells had left on vacation. Thankfully, it was a short vacation, LOL. All things considered, this was a very enjoyable read with only that minor glitch.

Up on the Housetop by Jamie Sobrato (3 stars)
Lorelei Gibson gave her virginity to Ryan Quinn when she was 16, only to have him broke her heart the next day. She's left Ocean Harbor Beach as soon as she graduated from high-school, determined to leave Ryan and everything else behind. Now, 15 years later, she's a grown woman - and a doctor - but she's never managed to forget him. So she returns to her hometown to find some closure, even though she isn't sure what awaits her. Naturally, fate plays its hand and lands Ryan, who's now a firefighter, on her examining table at the Ocean Harbor Beach Hospital E.R. Out of the sudden, Lorelei's suppressed anger over the way he treated her in high-school surfaces and she decides it's payback time. Her plan? Seduce him, have mind-blowing sex with him, and ditch him - just like he ditched her years ago. The problem is, Ryan isn't a callous teenager anymore and really regrets the way he treated her back then. Will Lorelei be able to get past her thirst for revenge and take a chance on this new and improved Ryan?

This story had an interesting premise, but it was too short. I know, this was a short story, I got that. The point is, I felt that things were a bit rushed between Ryan and Lorelei: considering they haven't seen each other for 15 years and their last encounter had been less than satisfying, I found it hard to believe how easily they fell in love with each other. In spite of that, I had fun reading this story and, yowza, the love scene at the hot springs definitely lived up to the title of this book. Is it hot in here or is it just me? ;)

So, to sum things up... This was a slightly better than average read overall, not bad for a quick and fun Blaze fix. And the cover isn't too shabby either... *drools*
1426825005 I read this mainly for the Jill Shalvis story 'All He Wants For Christmas' as it contained characters from the Firefighters series. I thought it was ok and would have liked to see a longer story tied into the other two. This was almost like an after thought that I really felt could have been a lot better.

The Jamie Sobrato title 'Up On The Housetop' - I am sorry but I didn't really get this story at all. It was almost like a little page filler that really was a load of nonsense and I could quite happily forget that I ever read it!

The best story of all three of them would definitely be the Jacquie D'Allesandro story 'My Grown Up Christmas List'. I really liked this little story and wished it had been full length and published on its own as it had a lot of potential. 1426825005 Heating Up The Holidays was a collection of 3 holiday stories by authors Jill Shalvis, Jacquie D'Alessandro, and Jamie Sobrato.

I loved Shalvis's All He Wants for Christmas (American Heroes: The Firefighters, #3. Shalvis delivers lovely characters with wonderful chemistry. I especially loved the push and pull between them. 5 stars

D'Alessandro's My Grown Up Christmas List was equally good. I thought D'Alessandro's writing style and storytelling fit perfectly with Shalvis's story. Firefighter Brad falls for flower store owner Toni the first time he sees her but she won't give him the time of day. After his buddy overhears why she might be giving Brad the cold shoulder, Brad does a full court press to try and win Toni's heart. I adored both of them. I honestly don't know how Toni resisted Brad for as long as she did. This guy is romantic and charming, on top of being drop dead gorgeous. Toni is definitely stubborn but I actually liked how independent she was. 5 stars

Sobrato's Up On The Housetop was cute but not as good as the first two. Lorelei had her heart broken as a teen and decides to return to her home town to face down her demon, namely firefighter Ryan Quinn. Ryan knows he was a jerk when he was younger and he wants forgiveness and a chance to make it up to her. I don't love revenge plots in romance, but as they go this one was decently done. It helped that Lorelei's behaviour provided some laughs. But the cheese was turned way up on this for me. I think I just didn't like how much of the story felt rooted in their past. Also, the end felt way too rushed and the feelings just didn't work for me. 3 stars 1426825005 Leído en Febrero 2013

Pasable... para pasar el rato

All He Wants for Christmas, de Jill Shalvis - El paramédico Dustin Mauer tiene un único deseo para Navidad: conseguir que la fuerte bombera Cristina Lewis se de cuenta de que está enamorada de él. ¡Y para convencerla utilizará todo su considerable encanto junto a su cama!

My Grown-Up Christmas List, de Jacquie D'Alessandro - Toni Rizzo está harta de los odiosos bomberos. Pero el apuesto bombero Brad Griffin se imagina ocupando el inicio de la lista de Toni… ¡con un ardiente beso tras otro!

Up on the Housetop, de Jamie Sobrato - Cuando la doctora Lorelei Gibson se queda atrapada medio desnuda en su tejado, se siente mortificada al ser rescatada por el macizo bombero Ryan Quinn, ¡su amor del instituto! Hasta que descubre que a él le gustaría desnudarse con ella. 1426825005


This is only a review of the RITA finalist novella, All He Wants for Christmas... by Jill Shalvis. It was a cute, well-written story with a bit of a twist -- the hero wants commitment and the heroine is reluctant. EMT Dustin Mauer and firefighter Cristina Lewis have worked together for quite some time. They shared a night of super-duper passion and Dustin want a real relationship. Cristina has a troubled past and a great fear of involvement. She keeps everyone at arms length. She likes the sex, but is afraid of more. Dustin refused to settle for less. Can they find their way?

Nicely done novella -- long enough for things to happen and feelings to grow. I liked it a lot. 1426825005 I really liked all three of the stories 1426825005 Every now and then, you run into a multi-author series, with mixed results. They run the gamut from...they must have wrote these while on a holiday together, through guess they shared a few notes via email, to well...I *think* they're all set in the same community...maybe?

I pondered if an editor pulled a handful of authors' names out of a hat, gave them the basic theme, and didn't bother to put them in touch with each other. Supposedly they're all centered around a florist shop located not too terribly far from a fire and rescue station. I say supposedly because all three heroes purchase an envelope from said florist shop as a charitable donation. One of the heroines was the owner of the shop. You'd think all these people would be tripping over each other. Neither the owner, nor her employee were mentioned by name in the other two stories, and I thought initially there was a vague set-up for the third one at the end of the second one but the timing was off.

Enough of that. The novellas themselves...

The first one brings to mind the thought of not shitting in your sandbox. The heroine apparently not only shit, she did it in more than one spot. Even better, if a H did what she did - use someone else for sex, then friendzone them afterwards like nothing happened, at least until she needed that itch scratched again - we'd be roasting him over a hot flame. The H got tired of it, decided he didn't really want to be an EMT any longer (it was a way of earning his keep while his brother was off in the military), and quit. She freaked out because she hadn't expected him to NOT be there whenever she was ready.

Second one, H spots h and falls for her instantly. She displayed polite indifference because he was a fire fighter. He asks her out frequently for months before she finally gives in. Then, after she almost forgot about a big floral order, she tells him she has no time in her life for him. Later, she gets word that a couple of firefighters were injured, freaks out and hunts him down.

Third one seems to initially be about one of the injured firefighters but the timing was off - that happened on Christmas Eve and this was at least a week prior. The h was one of those girls stuck in a mental time warp over the H due to her jumping his bones and him being too chicken to acknowledge that he'd boinked the weird girl. Seriously, how do authors expect me to take their heroines seriously when they pull this crap? Revenge sex over something that happened when you were 16? Get over it girl! In any case, she succeeds - not that he put up a fight since he had the hots for her (had them for her as a teen too but there's that peer pressure thing), then figures out that revenge isn't as sweet as you think it'll be. 1426825005 Stories of firefighters chasing women around christmas, apparently with an affinity for the same florist. 1426825005

Stories to heat up the holidays
4 stars

Blaze bring together another set of three red-hot stories all about sexy firemen and what they want for Christmas.

EMT Dustin Mauer and tough firefighter Christina Lewis had one wild and sexy night together but now she'll have nothing to do with him. All Dustin wants for Christmas is to make Christina realise that she's madly in love with him.

This was a cute story with likeable characters and some delightful festive romance.

MY GROWN-UP CHRISTMAS LIST by Jacquie D'Alessandro
Sexy firefighter Brad Griffen was head over heels for flower shop owner, Antonia Rizzo, the first time he laid eyes on her. Too bad that she has one rule: she doesn't date firefighters. But Brad is determined to change her mind - even if it takes all night.

This was my favourite story of the three as it was romantic, sexy and left you with a nice warm glow after reading it.

UP ON THE HOUSETOP by Jamie Sobrato
Dr. Lorelei Gibson was always the geeky girl at school yet she still had a crush on Ryan Quinn - the most gorgeous guy in school. Now all grown up, Lorelei is mortified when Ryan - now a hunky firefighter - rescues her from her rooftop, where she gets stuck, half naked. But that's until she realises that perhaps she has a chance for a little sensual payback.

This wasn't my favourite story of the anthology as it felt a little light without much depth or emotion. It was still a good enough read and easy to finish.

I always seem to feel that the festive content in these anthologies is a little on the light side - and this was the case in these stories, too. Having said that - the stories are readable, fun, sexy and will take your mind off the chaos of Christmas for a little while. 4 stars.