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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sugarplum: Canine Christmas by B. J. McCall

Sugarplum: Canine Christmas by B. J. McCall
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (28 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Born just after the stroke of midnight, Joy Kingston is a Christmas baby. Just dumped by her boyfriend, Joy is suddenly alone for the holiday. Deciding to shake things up for her thirtieth birthday, Joy turns to her two best friends, Karin and Michelle, for help. She wants a man for her birthday, a sexy hunk wearing only a purple bow around his neck.

Police officer Jake McCabe is Karin's step-brother and he's had a thing for Joy for years. When Karin and Michelle tell Jake about Joy's unusual birthday request, he volunteers for the job. Jake knows what he wants and he's willing to wear a purple bow to get it.

But is Joy prepared for a werewolf who packs heat and wants her for his mate?

This book has the cutest, most original marriage proposal I’ve ever read and I adored every moment leading up to it.

Canine Christmas is a condensed version of the best part of a romance book; the big moment when plans and hopes come together with the promise of a great future or an abysmal failure leading to lots of extra conflict. I’m happy to report this was all fun and excitement with a paranormal aspect sure to please readers who like that genre and look for it. There’s plenty to enjoy.

This story covers Jake and Joy, two friends with a long background of childhood friendship behind them.

Joy is best friends with Jake’s sister, Karin and their mutual friend, Michelle. I enjoyed the clear picture of camaraderie and caring between the women and the dialogue shows that. I liked the fact that there is a level of trust between them all otherwise this plot would never have worked. I got a kick out of Joy’s birthday wish and the delivery was more than I could hope for. It wasn’t a blatant or flimsy excuse to get hot and heavy. A reader gets the inside track on the hero’s emotions and intentions. I don’t think Karin or Michelle understood what Jake said at one point but I did, and I thought it romantic.

Jake’s hope and Joy’s despondent situation combine to bring about a very sweet and hopeful scene ripe with possibilities that comes to fruition as soon as Joy finds her present by the Christmas tree. The authors did a good job of letting a reader understand how this whole thing affects the hero and heroine emotionally.

Another thing I liked is the teasing prospect that Jake may or may not lose control of his wolf in the heat of passion. The scene with the moon’s rays through the window was as hot and steamy as any erotic romance reader could wish. The scene that happens after that is what made this story work for me and had me very happy indeed.

Sugarplum: Canine Christmas is a wonderfully well written short story that hit my happy buttons. It was a perfect balance of background story with in-the-moment revelations to make this book a must read for anyone’s holiday reading pleasure. Jake and Joy were a delightful couple and their happily ever after is as touching, passionate and romantic as this reader could wish in such a short tale. I had a fun time reading this book.

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