'Twas the Night - Sandra Hill, Trish Jensen & Kate Holmes

Released November 2010


'Twas the Night offers a trio of Christmas tales finds its way to Belle Books. Originally published by Leisure/Dorchester in 2001 under the title Here Comes Santa Claus, readers who missed this romance anthology of sorts have the chance to enjoy some fine holiday stories.

The basic premise involves a Christmas wedding in Maine. Sam, Kevin and Stan were foster children at the White Mountain Home for Boys in Snowdon, Maine. Now George, a man who means the world to all three of them, is about to get married, and he wants his "boys" to be his best men on his wedding day.

Each author writes the story from their character's point of view. Alternating chapters are written by one of the three authors--Sandra Hill, Trish Jensen and Kate Holmes).

Things start off with Sandra Hill's Sam Merrick, a Blue Angels pilot, heading to Maine. Unfortunately, a snow storm cancels flights all along the East Coast leaving Sam in an unpleasant mood. George suggests Sam hitch a ride with the Santa Brigade, a group of charitable elderly men and women heading up to Maine via bus. Sam has no intention on riding to Maine with a group of elderly men and women until he learns his childhood crush, Reba Anderson, is the director of the retirement community on the Santa Brigade. Sam would love to rekindle things with Reba, but she's not quite as forgiving.

Trish Jensen shares P.I. Kevin Wilder 's point of view. On his way to Maine, Kevin stopped off in Schenectady, New York, in an attempt to locate Callie Brandt, a woman dodging an arrest warrant. A problem on the tracks has canceled train service. Kevin's only hope of getting to Maine for the wedding is by agreeing to join Sam and everyone on the Santa Brigade. As the biggest troublemaker of the group, Kevin's not thrilled to be joining elderly men and women who always viewed him as a juvenile delinquent--hence his nickname JD. Callie Brandt happens to come across his path right at that moment giving him the perfect opportunity to play dumb and have her escort him to the truck stop where the Santa Brigade is meeting him. With Callie in custody, the bus ride is about to get even more exciting.

Finally, Stan Kijewski's story is shared by Kate Holmes. Stan, quarterback for the San Diego Typhoons, is in Vermont where he's been requested to give Dana Freeman a ride. George saved Dana from a home for girls and she's heading to Maine for his wedding. Dana's nothing like what Stan was expecting from a Vermont woman. Stan's been the object of Dana's fantasy for as long as she can remember.When they learn roads to Maine are closed due to the storm, they have no choice but to join the Santa Brigade.

What follows in the trio of tales as the couples head north and east to reach the Maine wedding on time. Romances between each couple are definitely heated and full of passion. I happened to enjoy Sam and Reba's the best, likely because I felt they had the strongest connection. This doesn't mean the other romances were lacking, but Sam and Reba had a teen romance that's being rekindled throughout the story.

As a side note to part of the storyline, I've lived in Vermont for close to four decades and few roads ever get closed in heavy snow. Even in a blizzard, roads are open to any one adventurous enough to drive them. There may be temporary detours due to accidents or highway and police department warnings to stay home but the interstate and major highways don't close.

If you want a lighthearted contemporary romance, you won't go wrong with 'Twas the Night. It's a great way to relax from stressful holiday preparations or trips to overly crowded stores.


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