The Christmas Cabin: Valentine Valley, Book 0.5 by Emma Cane - 3 Stars
Emma Cane penned a sweet, gentle, romance in The Christmas Cabin. I don't generally gravitate towards books with children in them - because they so often feel like plot-muppets - but I actually liked Nate, though he acted older than his 5 years.
I really enjoyed that this was a story the couple, Doug and Sandy, told to their family each year. The first chapter definitely made me curious to read about their children even if this story didn't completely wow me.
Can't Wait: Hunted, Book 0.5 by Jennifer Ryan - 3.5 Stars
This is probably my favorite story in this anthology. I'm a sucker for friends to lovers, and this was such an enjoyable one. Caleb and Summer were perfect for each other.
I loved how he didn't want to hurt her, or his friendship with her brother. He really struggled with how to handle the feelings he had for Summer and I particularly appreciated how he went all-in once he made up his mind. Summer, on the other hand, had no reservations about what she wanted. She made sure Caleb knew she wanted him and had no qualms about putting herself on the line.
But what I really appreciated here was that we got to see why Caleb and Summer are so great for each other. Lots of small moments and conversations, and I had no doubt that they'd be happy for the rest of their years.
Baby It's Cold Outside by Katie Lane - 3.5 Stars
This book started off on a great note for me! The heroine was funny, in a self-deprecating way and it immediately endeared her to me. Alana likes for everything to be planned and in it's place, but she's always been attracted to the wrong sort of man. When she meets someone on the internet that appeals to every part of her - and no good picture to go by - she decides to go for it. Except then things go wonky when she shows up at his ranch to meet him.
I can't say too much about the story here for spoiling it (though I think you'll probably guess the truth quickly enough). I will say that I really liked both the hero and heroine. They were smart, kind, and the chemistry between them was incredibly sexy.
I have one, kind of nitpicky thing about this story. Alana gets stuck in a blizzard and to keep warm she drinks alcohol. This is a common, incredibly dangerous, misconception. Drinking alcohol while stuck in a blizzard is deadly. Now I could have gotten past this if it had later been revealed that it was the wrong thing to do, but then she meets the hero and he gives her more alcohol to "warm her." NO! No, no, NO! Please do not drink alcohol or caffeine if you're in danger of hypothermia. Again, this is a common misconception though. So I don't hold it against the story, but I had to say something. I hate that this myth keeps getting spread.
Overall, I truly enjoyed this anthology and will be looking for more from these authors.