I read three out of the four short stories in 'An Enchanted Season'.
I purchased the book mainly for Nalini Singh's, 'Beast of Temptation'. I love her Changeling-Psy series and didn't want to miss out on this one. Short story is not my favorite writing style but I enjoyed getting the back story of Tamsyn and Nate who are important secondary characters in the Changeling-Psy series. Tamysn has to overcome Nate's reluctance to make her his mate (he thinks he's doing the right thing since she is much younger). Tamysn does a good job of bringing Nate to his senses. I'm a sucker for a love story where the hero takes a while to realize how much he needs the heroine but once he does, nothing stands in his way.
Maggie Shayne's, 'Melting Frost' was boring. The love story came together too quickly for me; would have liked more story development
'Charlotte's Web', by Erin McCarthy was very enjoyable. Charlotte and Will are best friends. Neither is aware that they both love one another. The revelation of their feelings is a very satisfying read with some funny moments. The last chapter is a bit rushed but Erin McCarthy introduces the readers to a story about Charlotte's sister, Bee, which I hope means a sequel. This was my first Erin McCarthy story; I will be checking out some of her other stuff.
I was very surprised to find these authors together in an anthology. Their styles are so varied that I found only 2 of the stories to my taste and the other two were hard for me to read because I did not care how the story ended. I found this worth the read for the stories I like but this would not be a keeper book for me.
I have recently found that I read compilations much faster than other stories, so I wanted to get through as many of the ones in my library as I could. I started with this one because it's a little late in the season for it and I have always like Erin McCarthy. I was however extremely disappointed with these stories. I never felt like I cared about the characters. Here is a brief overview of the four stories that are included in this book:
Maggie Shayne's "Melting Frosty" brings two opposite characters together. They both have lost their families early in life around the holiday season, but they take this loss very differently. Matt feels like the holidays are the worst time of the year and that there is nothing special to be happy about, where Holly feels like her mother would want her to make sure each holiday was just as special (if not more) than the ones that they celebrated together. For this holiday, Holly follows the signs back to her old home, where Matt plans to purchase that home. There is a blizzard and the two of them end up stuck in the home together. As any true romance story, this is all that it takes to ensure that they will end up being happy together for a lifetime. As I mentioned, I just didn't get caught up in the characters. The premise that both people were damaged at the same type of year when they were younger leads to no sympathy or even lasting connection between these two characters. Also, I had to go back and flip through this story before writing this because I could not remember it.
The second story is by Erin McCarthy. It is another addition to her characters from her ghost town city boy falls in love with country girl type series. In this case, the two lovebirds end up being best friends that grew up together in this country town. So, we end up getting two country kids instead of the normal ones. The best thing about this story is that it is a quick read; it is the shortest of the stories in this book. McCarthy does not have to build much on the setting or characters because she has referenced it all in other books. So, she spends more time describing Christmas decorations and special powers that the main character ends up with. Erin is pretty good at describing sex scenes and she has a few good ones in this story. I remembered it, so it obviously was better than the first tale.
The third story is by Nalini Singh called "Beat of Temptation." This is the first time I have read anything by her. I actually found the characters in this story more interesting than the plot. The development of the instinctual mating between Nate and Tammy is described very well. The plot is rather pointless though. They put in the problem of someone trying to take the pack's land, but there is no point in doing so. The more interesting conflict is between the two main characters, everything else is just ancillary. With that being said, this was by far the best story in the compilation.
The last story in this book is by Jean Johnson. The three magi show up to help out a couple that seems to have everything going wrong. The couple runs a bed and breakfast that is not doing as well as it used to. They are on the verge of loosing everything and the three local punks have showed up to make everything worse. However, three other guests show up to make everything better. The three local punks end up being reformed sweethearts that help out as much as possible. The couple ends up getting married and their money problems are completely solved. It's amazing what a blizzard and three strangers can do. I know it seems like I just gave you a huge spoiler, but the story is projected from the beginning. I didn't spoil anything for you that you wouldn't have figured out within the first sentence or two. I don't expect these types of stories to be completely surprising, but sometimes it is nice to have a few shockers in there.
I think most of the time I read paranormal romances because they offer some fun, humor, and interesting sexual encounters. This book didn't offer much of that. I suppose you could say that it was a fun read, but there was very little humor or sexual encounters involved. I'm just not really interested in it and I wouldn't recommend it.