OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS – Lisa Jackson, Mary Burton, Mary Carter, Cathy Lamb
Kensington Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-7582-9418-0
October 2014
Holiday Romance Anthology

A Ranger for Christmas – Mary Burton
December in Austin Texas

Professor of history Marisa Thompson has been in Mexico's Yucatan where she made an exciting discovery of an ancient Mayan tomb with writing carved on the walls. Old languages are a specialty of hers. She's barely back two days when a man from Texas whom she encountered there—and spent one night with—finds her to ask her help. Texas Ranger Lucas Cooper never forgot the woman he met and bedded that night in Mexico, only to have her disappear before he awoke in the morning. He'd inquired about her and learned her name and profession. She's just what he needs in an investigation into a drug cartel that uses an arcane code.

Marisa's past has made her leery of trusting relationships, and she is especially unfond—if there is such a word—of the Christmas season, yet she can't help the attraction she feels for Lucas. He makes her feel safe, but can he keep her that way in the face of danger?

A Southern Christmas – Mary Carter
The Historic Town of Wilmington, North Carolina

Young adult Danielle Bright and Nathaniel Hathaway have known each other forever and have been together for the last three. But when Nate plans an elaborate and very public Christmas Eve proposal, Dani tells him ‘no…' but doesn't get to finish with her ‘not yet.' Dani wants to try her wings at becoming a writer in New York, but Nate doesn't want to leave home. Two years later and Dani is in New York working at a light magazine, The Softer Side . Nate refuses all contact with her, so she conceives doing an article on Christmas in the South in Wilmington where she will strive to win Nate back. The handsome but so annoying photographer Sawyer Drake is to accompany her. When they arrive in Wilmington, Dani is met with surprises and shock!

What we have in A Southern Christmas is an entertaining romantic comedy revolving around four attractive characters who learn a lot about themselves and about love.

Christmas in Montana – Cathy Lamb
Kalulell, Montana

A sense of guilt and insecurities led Laurel Kelly to flee home twelve years ago. She carved out a successful career managing a hard-rock band. She traveled widely, but now she's ready to go home. Laurel moved back to Montana and the place that has been in her family for generations and would one day be hers, only to find her mother and aunt had sold the house and land…to Laurel's former boyfriend. She and Josh Reed had been together since high school until half way through college when Laurel ran away, leaving him bewildered. Can she convince him to sell it back to her? Christmas is coming and the whole Kelly clan will descend upon the old place. There will be her father, his two ex wives (one Laurel's mother) and his current one, plus a bundle of half and step siblings. There are reasons the family is referred to as the Wild Bone Kellys.

The story may focus on Laurel's long due healing and her relationship with Josh—whom I found irresistible—but the whole cast of characters adds much, especially her fun mother and aunt, long time women's activists. Christmas in Montana is a combination of comedy, emotional family dynamics, and romance.

Under the Mistletoe – Lisa Jackson
Christmas season in Connecticut

Megan and Christopher Johnson's twenty plus year marriage is failing for no particular reason, though it doesn't help that Megan's youthful crush just joined her law firm. Megan has divorce papers drawn up and waits for Chris to arrive to sign them…and waits. But when the phone rings, it's not Chris, it's the state police calling to tell her that her husband was in a twenty-three car pileup and has been flown to County General Hospital. When she arrives there, all she can learn is that he's in surgery, so again she waits…and she waits. During the hours that Chris is in surgery, her thoughts wander back to past Christmases. Will Megan realize that she may lose what she was about to throw away?

OUR FIRST CHRISTMAS is not a light and fluffy holiday book. Though it contains some humor and sensuous passages, it addresses some serious issues about life and love. But never fear, the stories all end on an uplifting note.

Jane Bowers