I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Merry and Bright by Jill Shalvis
Genres: Cozy Romance
Published by Kensington Books on September 24, 2019
Source: the library
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Also by this author: It’s in His Kiss, He’s So Fine, One in a Million, Forever and a Day, Second Chance Summer, Sweet Little Lies, Get A Clue, The Trouble with Mistletoe, Chasing Christmas Eve, “One Snowy Night”, Rainy Day Friends
Three short sweet stories taking place during Christmas in a cozy romance anthology.
“Finding Mr Right” is quite unexpected and great fun with Maggie Bell, a bookworm chemist who spouts facts when she’s nervous…like when she re-encounters the hunky Jacob Wahler, who’s earthquake-proofing the company run by two competitive brothers, Tim and Scott West.
Shalvis sets us up with a nice bit of foretelling with Janie, Maggie’s UCLA professor sister who did not have the geek gene, telling Maggie Mr Right is, ahem, right around the corner. Now if only she can get her legs shaved…
It’s a sweet and fun story I was quite happy to re-read.
“Bah, Handsome!” is a Scrooge of a story with Hope O’Brien’s loan due in 21 days or she loses her dream of a bed-and-breakfast inn up in the mountains. Danny Shaw is her stepbrother’s errand-running lackey sent to ensure Hope pays him back…or better, takes the inn from her.
It’s a cute start when Danny gets stuck in the snow, and Hope refuses to let the scumbag in. A terrifying list of what needs doing soon follows with Hope struggling to give her guests a good time even as she battles Danny with her perceptions of his purpose there. Shalvis uses a third person dual protagonist point-of-view between Hope’s and Danny’s perspectives, so we get an up-close and personal view on their thoughts. Yet another sweet story I very much enjoyed.
“Ms. Humbug” finds Cami Bennett, a workaholic city planner, trying to talk herself into having fun but can’t get past the self-image she formed as a kid. It’s that “Whale-Tail” nickname that has her hating the new mayor. The confident and sexy new mayor. It’s a case of opposites attract, for Cami lives for rules and Matt Tarino prefers to duck around them.
Shalvis again uses third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Cami’s and Matt’s perspectives, making it even more fun as we listen in on their thoughts. And I absolutely adore Matt! He’s so down-to-earth! Sigh…
The Cover and Title
The cover is bright and cheerful with its pastel yellow and pinkish orange sunset sliding behind a brownish mountain with a white stucco and clay-roofed house, an arched window and porch frame just before the deep turquoise steps leading up to the front door. It’s an unexpected contrast of bright green grass and flowering bushes against the Christmas lights strung along the roofline, beribboned wreaths at the windows, toy soldiers standing guard on either side of the entrance, the gift-wrapped packages at the front left (lower) corner surrounding a little white dog with his red ribbon sitting in a red-lined basket next to the flagstone sidewalk.
The author’s name is at the top in red with an info blurb in black immediately below it. The title, in white, is centered to the right of the dog in his basket with a testimonial in tiny print below that on the right.
The title refers to the theme behind these three romantic tales, for they all end up Merry and Bright.