Most of the books I read specifically to review come through NetGalley and are ebooks. But when I saw Harlequin had a collection of Australian Christmas short stories coming out - and when I saw how gorgeous the cover is - I wrote to them to ask if I could have a paperback. And it is really as lovely in real life as I had hoped (I love a gold foil detailed cover!)!
This is a collection of short festive romance stories from five Australian authors, all set around our summer christmas. While I love a bit of snow in a cosy christmas romance, there was a something a bit special about being able to recognise our experience in these ones. The stories range from super sweet to pretty sexy, with some covering pretty serious issues and even a bit of a super natural twist in there.
My favourite story was probably the first one in the collection - Under Christmas Stars (Alissa Callen). It was very sweet - very much the Australian version of the UK or small town USA based Christmas romances I love at this time of year, and it all felt so familiar.
Here's the blurb from the website:
My other favourite was 12 Daves of Christmas (by Juliet Madison), which was a bit more Christmas adjacent, and was the story of a writer who sets off on a road trip with her grandmother's ghost - it was very funny and also quite moving.
I also thought this was a perfect way to get a feel for some Aussie authors I hadn't come across before - I would definitely keep an eye out for more of their work.
I definitely recommend this for any fellow Australian cosy Christmas romance fans keen to read something with the extra charm/comfort factor of feeling familiar to our own experience.
Giving a rating for a short story collection is always tricky, because obviously you're going to like some stories more than others, but overall I gave this a solid 3.5 Christmas stars out of 5, maybe even 4.