Holiday Magic by Fern MichaelsI haven’t read a story by Fern Michaels in years and after reading this novella, I’m wondering what has happened to her writing over the course of years. Holiday Magic, lacks the romance and allure that I want―no need in my story. Stephanie Marshall is a domestic abuse survivor. After suffering years of abuse from her ex-husband and fighting to get away, she is putting the pieces of her life back together. The one thing that she wants is to provide a loving and nurturing home for her two daughters. She is one step closer to achieving this goal of getting a dream home. All she needs to do is work through the holiday and provide the rest of her down payment. She deserves a bit of holiday magic. Patrick O’Brien runs the ski shop that Stephanie works at. He is strongly attracted to Stephanie but she sparks something inside of him that he is afraid of. This holiday season he is dealing with a lot of family issues and heartache (he lost a niece). Honestly, I hated Patrick. He acts like an ass for the entire story. Since this is a short story (100 pages), a more desirable and suitable hero would have been the best choice for this story.Instead of Stephanie receiving any holiday magic, she receives in my opinion, a bit of holiday glum with Patrick’s mean and nasty behavior. He berates her in front of her small children, friends and co-workers. His cold and vindictive behavior leaves little to be desired and their HEA felt forced and really unrealistic. Overall, this story did nothing to bring me holiday cheer. A Very Merry Christmas by Cathy LambCathy Lamb is a new author for me and I will not be rushing out to get her books anytime soon. The story feels very choppy and the writing was juvenile. Her characters and scenes jumped all over the place. The author waits a whole chapter and scene later to explain something that was in a previous chapter. I had a hard time following the story and the characters did not appeal to me. Meredith acts a little unrealistic and is contradictory in the story. The begin of the story starts with Meredith in a bar, kicking some butt after a guy gropes her. She is a feisty cowgirl. Shortly after that she reveals that she runs a B&B and is raising her two sister’s children. So how does she have time to be rough and tough in the bar? Then she is asked to direct the town’s holiday concert and she begins a relationship with Logan. I didn’t connect well with the characters. Meredith does have it rough and her story is heart breaking but I could have done without this story.The last two stories, A Very Maui Christmas by Mary Carter and A Cedar Key Christmas by Terri DuLong, I did finish. I really do hate to DNF a book because it is so disappointing to me but in this case, the stories in the anthology lack a lot of character development, romance and realism. In A Very Maui Christmas, the story never really picks up. From the very beginning I became uninterested in the story. I had to eventually skim through the pages and I still felt nothing. A Cedar Key Christmas by Terri DuLong was a straight DNF. I gave up at this point. Why should I subject myself any further? I’m slightly disappointed because a big name author like Fern Michaels probably draws attention to a book but even she did nothing for me in this book. It’s not like there aren’t four chances to get it right in here but each story fails in its own way.