Author: Jewel Amethyst, Farrah Rochon, Stefanie Worth ISBN: 9780843963199 10/2009 ANTHOLOGY Publisher: DORCHESTER
RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS:
The winter holidays can be very romantic if you are in a relationship, or even if you have someone to go to all those parties with. If you don’t, it can be miserable. The three stories in HOLIDAY BRIDES portray three women dreading their holidays, until just the right guy comes along.
In From SKB With Love by Jewel Amethyst, Venetta David is a young widow who found love as a teen and though her husband lived with leukemia most of his life, they thought their love could overcome the disease. Now he’s been gone five years, and her friends convince her to go party in Saint Kitts over the Christmas holiday break from her teaching job instead of spending the time mourning and grieving. Amethyst has a real gift for writing the tear jerker. She brings Venetta together with a man who is just perfect for her serious demeanor, and it looks like the love connection could be a healing time for them both. When Sean proposes, though, she just isn’t sure she is ready to move forward. Her clinging to the past could be her undoing. This story really touched me, and I was an emotional basket case by the end—but in a good way. The writing is tight and gives a lot to think about, while sharing the beauty of the Caribbean.
Farrah Rochon’s No Ordinary Gift is a tale of two people from totally different sides of town. While Kemah has worked hard all of her life to become a building contractor, Tyson grew up with everything handed to him. Not that he let his life slide or anything, but he didn’t really appreciate what he had until has very civic-minded mother passed away. At that point in his life, he takes up her baton in running a community center in the poorer area of town. At least once a week, when he meets with the staff and volunteers at the center, he is also aware of another hole in his life. He broke up with Kemah because she spent so much time at his mother’s deathbed and he is unable to separate her from this devastating event. Now it is Kwanzaa; Kemah wants to put on a program at the center to help the kids live by the nine principles, and Tyson realizes how much he’s lost by not having her in his life. Rochon deals sensitively with hunger, homelessness, and need in the midst of a loving story filled with hope and people putting feet to their faith. I found it to be an exceptionally heartwarming story.
HeavenSent.com by Stefanie Worth tells the story of a woman, a man, and a dating website run by a duo of romantic angels. Brenna has a list of things she wants to accomplish by New Year’s Eve, and she has systematically checked them all off. The only thing she is missing is a man—and she has a list for that, too. Then two guardian angels get in on the act with their matchmaking website and everything goes haywire. Brenna just keeps veering off in a different direction than the angels plan. Rochon’s plot has more twists than I could keep up with, and though everything works out by the new year, I’m still not sure I understand why. The logic leaps take a lot more than faith in angels to keep the reader believing that this couple can, should, and will get together, and the other aspects of their lives just don’t make sense. I must admit, though, that the romantic scenes are definitely hot.
HOLIDAY BRIDES makes for a highly entertaining read for those moments in the upcoming season when you just need to take a little bit of time for yourself. Draw the bubble bath, light a candle, and grab the book.