All I’m Asking For by Brighton Walsh, Christi Barth, Kat Latham
All I’m Asking for is a series of short stories Tinsel My Heart by Christi Barth, Season of Second Chances by Brighton Walsh, and Mine Under the Mistletoe by Kat Latham. Ordinarily, I love stories centered around the holidays, but this anthology, though each were interesting in their own ways, was lack luster overall. Overall, this is a cute set of stories and each on its own is worth picking up for a few minutes. Most books that I read draw me into their worlds, wishing for more. With these I was wondering how much longer they would last, and not in a good way. Were they worth picking up? Yes, but have a cup of caffeine at your side and don’t read these when you’re tired unless you want to fall asleep.
Tinsel My Heart, my favorite of this trio, is about Jack and Becca. They grew up together doing school/community theatre with their friend Ty. Jack and Ty moved to Hollywood to become movie directors/directors leaving Becca behind to care for Gran and do local theatre. Ty and Becca were high school sweethearts though Becca and Jack had crushes on each other back then.
Though corny in its premise, this story drew me in like neither of the other two. I cared about the characters, even rooting for their play to do well. There were definite “Awwww!” moments in this story and I would recommend it as a stand alone or with Season of Second Chances.
Season of Second Chances is about two former lovers who meet at the airport when their flights are cancelled due to inclement weather. Logan offers Claire a place to stay until the weather clears and she can get a flight out of town. A short time together and they are stepping on toes catching up before falling straight into bed.
There is some good character development in this story and the author does get you to care about the characters. Logan’s daughter is a nice addition to the story, showing what a good match, even family they make together. Like it had been when they were together before, Claire discovers everything else is second place to his work and leaves to go home. Logan, with a little help from Claire’s sister, gets a reality/priority check and goes chasing after her.
Mine Under the Mistletoe is a story about two strangers who traded houses for the holidays but due to the weather flights were cancelled and they ended up spending their Christmas vacations together. Ashley is a English teacher from San Diego who took a vacation to London for a chance to experience Christmas the way it was “meant to be.” Ollie is an educational software designer who is running away to San Diego from Christmas.
This unlikely pair has a few ups and downs as we discover that Ollie is a modern day Grinch and why – that this is his first Christmas without his sister who died last year Boxing Day or the day after Christmas. That Christmas means so much to Ashley due to her connection with her mom who died a few years ago.
The ending is cute, and I loved the descriptions of the panto. The story was very slow to build and didn’t draw me in though.