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Once Upon a Christmas    by Lisa Plumley order for
Once Upon a Christmas
by Lisa Plumley
Order:  USA  Can
Zebra, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Make your holidays a little cheerier with Lisa Plumley's latest offering, a charming three-story anthology titled Once Upon a Christmas. It includes Mistletoe and Holly, Christmas Honeymoon, and A Baby for Christmas.

In Mistletoe and Holly, accountant Holly Aldridge is more than a little surprised when her live-in boyfriend, Brad, announces that he's moving out with the excuse that he needs more space and time to himself. Holly, who's never understood the meaning of spontaneous, is desperate to get Brad back, despite the misgivings of her best friend Clarissa who's always been vocal about her dislike of 'Brad the Bad'. Enter Sam McKenzie, (who just happens to be Clarissa's cousin and the man she thinks is perfect for Holly). Sam's back in town for Thanksgiving and needs a place to stay - isn't it handy that Holly needs a new roommate to help cover expenses? Sam has never believed in love at first sight, but when he meets Holly, he quickly changes his mind.

Stacy Ames is in Las Vegas posing as her cousin Janie after the latter and her new husband decide to honeymoon in the Bahamas. Not one to waste a perfectly decadent 'honeymoon suite', Janie convinces Stacy to take a little vacation and be pampered for the weekend. But when her sexy and infuriating ex-boyfriend Dylan shows up to help Stacy pull off her Christmas Honeymoon - as well as convince her that he was a fool to leave her - she can't believe her bad luck. In the third story, Chloe Carmichael was only trying to comfort her neighbour and best pal, Nick, after his most recent break-up. Unfortunately, she didn't anticipate that the Kahlua, coffee and sympathy she offered him would get them in bed together, and a few weeks later, leave her pregnant with Nick's baby. Now she faces a bigger dilemma. Does she tell Nick, a man who has made it clear he's not ready for marriage and fatherhood? Or will she raise their baby all on her own? Find out in A Baby for Christmas.

With almost twenty books to her credit, Lisa Plumley has perfected the art of romantic comedy. In Once Upon a Christmas that talent and Plumley's distinct voice come alive again. Fine characterizations, amusing situations, and her trademark breezy style will make you smile and laugh out loud - and add extra zest to your Yuletide season.

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