It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. If you’re thinking that was last month, you’d be right. But Ebook Review Central is featuring the Carina Press titles from December 2011, and that means it’s Christmas all over again.
Carina’s biggest titles in December were their three Christmas anthologies, A Clockwork Christmas (steampunk), Holiday Kisses (contemporary), and Men Under the Mistletoe (male/male). All three titles were published as collections, and, in case readers were interested in just one of the included stories, the novellas in each themed collection were available for individual purchase.
December is also the month when a lot of reviewers publish their “Best of the Year” lists.
Because of the Christmas anthology, and because of the “year’s best” lists, there’s something a little different about Ebook Review Central this month. The purpose of ERC is to show how many reviews are out there for ebook titles, and how many different reviewers and different opinions are in the blogosphere. Although many of us post our reviews in multiple places, an effort is made so that the same review only appears on ERC one time.
There are two exceptions. Because the Christmas anthologies include four separate stories, if a reviewer gave separate ratings for each story, the review is cited with the rating for each story. If the reviewer rated the book as a whole, ERC shows the review once with that rating only. Story collections are always examples of the YMMV principle, except that each reviewer has a different opinion of which story was the weakest or strongest story in the collection.
“Best of the Year” posts are the second example of a reviewer getting a second “bite” at the list. If a reviewer thought enough of a book to not just review it, but also list is as one of their best books of the year, that listing deserves a second mention on Ebook Review Central.
The Christmas collection that received the most reviews, both for the collection as a whole and for the individual stories, was absolutely Holiday Kisses. There were 15 reviews for the collection and 11 for each of the individual stories. This contemporary romance anthology clearly included stories that hit just the right notes for pulling at the heartstrings for the holidays. The standout story in the collection was definitely Shannon Stacey’s Mistletoe and Margaritas. This was a “second-chance-at-love” story about a widow and her best friend, who just happened to be her husband’s best friend as well. All the reviewers loved this one.
One Perfect Night by Rachael Johns is another Christmas story. This is also about second chances at love, but this time between two people who have come to expect that they will never get what they really want out of life. Peppa wants a family, but believes that she is infertile. Her fiance broke up with her when she found out. Cameron is a widower, and since his wife’s death, has refused to let himself get involved with anyone else. But when Peppa sideswipes his expensive car, and Cameron asks her to be his “date” to a family dinner to prevent his loving family’s inevitable matchmaking attempts, things snowball in ways neither of them expect. This 100-page novella is surprisingly deep.
And for something hot to warm you up on a cold winter night, the final featured title is Pulled Long by Christine d’Abo. Thirteen was the lucky number of reviewers, including a “Best of the Year” rating from Heather Brewer at Everybody Needs a Little Romance. If you are looking for a series of erotic novellas to heat up your winter try Long Shots. Ms. Brewer placed Ms. d’Abo’s entire Long Shots series (Double Shot, A Shot in the Dark, Pulled Long) on her Best of the Year list. The series has also been a previously featured at ERC. A Shot in the Dark was one of the Carina Press featured titles in November. Each story in the Long Shots series has featured one of the Long siblings, their coffee shop and a local sex club named Mavericks. Pulled Long is finally oldest brother Ian’s turn, now that his younger siblings are taken care of, and the man who has been waiting for Ian all along.
Now that we’ve transitioned from the holidays to a hot January, we’ll leave Carina Press for another month. But Ebook Review Central will be back next week with Dreamspinner Press’ December 2011 titles.