christmasheroesThe first two stories in this five story were actually quite wonderful. Especially the first one.

1) Career military attorney, Captain Tracy Keener is low on the JAG totem pole, which is hard enough. But to be fingered to actually DEFEND the man who caused the death of his entire team? It is career suicide, one that will destroy all of the hard-won traction she has gained in her career since the deaths of her husband and baby daughter – a daughter she didn’t even get to see when the car wreck caused by her drunk husband killed her daughter before she was even born. Captain Adam Burke, a Special Operations officer, has to be guilty – everyone knows it. Or, is he?

Filled with mystery, suspense, and a high level of military knowledge, DUPLICITY By Vicki Hinze has guaranteed that I will add her to my read list. Her writing was tight, story line exceptional for what it is, a military suspense/romantic thriller, and the editing was good. Worth the price of the book in and of itselhappyf, even  at the original $6.99 price.

5 stars

2) SAFE WITH HIM by Rita Herron is another suspenseful mystery/suspense novel with a frightening premise. Kaylie and her daughter CeCe are awoken in the night by her husband, Joe. There is a man in the house . . . a man with a gun, and a determination to slaughter Kaylie and CeCe while Joe watches. When Joe gives his life to save his family, Kaylie and CeCe are pushed into the witness protection program, running, changing homes often, and never knowing what will happen next.

On the run, her last WitSec protector dead, Kaylie seeks desperately for a place where they will be safe, where CeCe can enjoy a short period of rest, and a quiet Christmas day. As expected, things are not what they seem, and there is no way to know where they can be safe . . . and who they can trust. IMAGE happy_face_team

A well written story, though not as good as the previous story it was still exciting and kept my interest. The little daughter was a sweetheart.

4.25 stars for the forced ending

3) And now, they blow the whole freaking collection. The third story . .. Can someone please put a ZERO STARS rating in these reviews?

TvomitAMING MAGGIE by Peggy Webb, was, in a word, VOMIT worthy. The “heroine” goes from being a strong, determined, honorable woman, an animal rights activist with a good heart and a wonderful soul, to being a weak willed, whiny, oversexed second grade teacher with no backbone, no will, and a mind wrapped around falling into bed with a totally useless spoiled rotten rich boy. A rich boy who is not only determined to put Maggie in her place, to “tame” her (what, is she some kind of illiterate savage to be ‘tamed’?), but is also a hunter. A man who rants about how “noble” hunting is, how “manly” while hiding in blinds, sneaking around downwind, and then shooting defenseless animals from far away with high powered rifles. Oh, yea. Manly” and “powerful” and “noble”….. wow. Sort of like holding down children and beating them to death is! Yea! If hunting is so “manly” why doesn’t her little rich boy get himself a knife and go stalk his prey and take it down with knife and his teeth? Now THAT would be manly. What this guy and all his little buddies do is cowardly – and she laps it up like a dog licking his privates.

So. No matter how well she was raised by her widowed father to be a strong, independent, loving woman with principles, we get her panting after the guy like a mindless bitch in heat – even though he stands for everything she hates and is determined to fight against. She might as well have laid on the ground and let him wipe his feet on her. Actually, that is exactly what she does in this disaster of a book.

It was actually disappointing in that I really thought, at first, that she was going to be a character I could like – until she rolled over and showed her belly. Ugh. There were multiple opportunities for her to state her case in a reasonable, logical manner. Instead, the author makes her ‘heroine’ basically illiterate. Instead of standing up on the check writing table in the little rich boys bank and stating her case after he humiliates her in the paper, she blathers and goes all weak in the knees over “Oh, he’s so hot!” God. 12 much? Oh, I am sure there was an HEA at the end, but I couldn’t make it even a third of the way through before wishing it was in paper so I could rip the book up and use it to line the cat box. Come on – – – how, in anyone’s universe, did this particular piece of trash end up in a collection about “Christmas Heroes”????

Ruined the whole collection for me. 0 stars, and can someone hand me a trash can so I can toss my Christmas Cookies??

4) Sorry. I was so pissed about the previous bucket of garbage I couldn’t force myself to read any farther.

5) Ditto.

Overall? I will check out more of Hinze’s stuff, and possibly Herron’s work,  but someone hand me a blowtorch – I have an appointment with Barnes and Nobel to find the Web listings and light a little Christmas bonfire. . .