Note: This is an ARC review specifically of one of the stories in this anthology, Naughty List, by Melanie A. Smith. I received a copy and this is an honest, voluntary review.
The most important thing I could note here isn’t just that Naughty List is everything you’d want from a steamy-cute Christmas romance. It’s how funny this story is! Joanie’s frank and hilarious narration keeps the story rolling and adds so much depth and enjoyment.
Greg is a sweet guy and obviously caring, yet he doesn’t come off as a mismatch for Joanie. His efforts to play it cool can be really amusing, though he does find his footing when matching her naughty banter. Add the best friend and her fiance, plus ample self-aware jokes about Hallmark Christmas movies, and it’s a very well-rounded story even with the shorter page count. I felt like I got to know everybody really well.
This was a fun, short and steamy Christmas romance in a small, snowy town, with just the right number of missteps on its way to an HEA.