Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Silver Screen Kisses (An Echo Ridge Anthology)

Silver Screen Kisses is a collection of stories inspired by movies from everyone’s favorite list. Written by award-winning and bestselling authors, these contemporary romances take the reader back to Echo Ridge in the spring, when the promise of new love is budding just like the tulips around the Emerald Inn Bed & Breakfast.

My comments will be in italics after each story synopsis.

My Fair Lacey by Janette Rallison 
Lacey Johnson has dreamed of opening a restaurant for years. All she needs is one little loan to make it happen. But with the way Lacey talks and dresses, she looks more like someone who would hold up a bank than someone who’d ever get a loan from one. When Garrett Halifax, her roommate’s Harvard-educated brother, volunteers to change her image and teach her to speak correctly, she jumps at the chance. But she quickly finds she’s in over her head. Pretending to fit in with the town’s elite is harder than she thought, and despite her best efforts, she’s falling for Garrett. Could someone who is handsome, rich, and educated ever consider her as more than just a project? A contemporary twist on My Fair Lady, this is a story that is sure to please Echo Ridge fans.

This fun take on My Fair Lady was a lot of fun with the modern take on the classic story. I’ll admit, listening to Lacey talk at the beginning was painful! So job well done for Rallison. I also appreciated that even though Garrett was strict and worked Lacey hard while she was practicing her grammar, he was always nice to her. You get these little glimpses of how he might feel even though he’s trying to stay professional. There were many great things to enjoy in this story, but I don’t want to spoil any surprises.  

You’ve Got Email by Heather Tullis 
Maria never expected to fall in love with a man she’d never met, but she can’t wait to get to her laptop every night to chat with Bobwhite67. She would be happy to focus on getting to know him better, but her two jobs and two sons keep her ridiculously busy. Then there’s her ex-husband’s bookie, who’s impatiently waiting for the last couple payments on his debt.

Bret can’t help but notice how hard the beautiful Maria works and the similarities she has with the Zoomama he’s been talking with online. Though he really wants to make things easier for her, Bret accidentally gets her in hot water with both of her bosses. Can he get Maria to give him a chance in the real world and not just online?

Brett is such a sweetie! I don’t know if I’ve ever watched the movie You’ve Got Mail, but I enjoyed this story between two people who have developed a relationship online. They’ve been attracted to each other in real life too, but always stayed apart out of shyness, or something. Anyway, I really liked how Brett handled the situation when the time came to meet and everything fell apart. Wise man!

The Princess Bride of Riodan by Rachelle J. Christensen 
When a mysterious man offers to help Elise redecorate the old Bed & Breakfast, she gladly hands him a wallpaper steamer. After she discovers his true identity, she doesn’t know whether to curtsy or run and hide. Unfortunately, hiding isn’t an option because her heart is already tangled up with the handsome prince. At the same time, Elise’s old crush from high school wants a relationship and she’s forced to decide whether to chase after a fairy tale ending or stay grounded in reality.

Another swoon worthy story. Elise is so cute and quirky with her non-stop talking. She’s honest to a fault and in the end that’s what saves her heart. Wes is the island god who steals her heart without even trying. I loved the characters and how they fit into the classic royal falls in love with commoner, feels betrayed by something, but all is right in the end trope. I loved that Christensen had them go watch Roman Holiday. That movie does not end well for the romantic of heart! It makes the bumbles and worries all the more pertinent to Elise’s situation.

My Best Man’s Wedding by Cami Checketts 
Jessica Mason made a vow to marry her best guy friend, Josh, when they turned thirty. When Josh calls with the news that he's coming home to Echo Ridge for his wedding, Jessica is determined to break up the happy couple and take her rightful place as his bride. Gentry Trine, a coworker, agrees to pretend to be her fiancé to stir up feelings of jealousy. However, Jessica didn't realize fake fiancés could kiss like champions, and make a girl smile nonstop. Can she figure out which is the right man for her before she loses them both?

Ah, finally we get Jessica and Gentry’s story. They’ve been around since the beginning of the Echo Ridge collections, and I was even happier to see they were meant for each other. Jessica’s best friend is getting married after a 2 week engagement and she’s determined to save him from it. For herself. Gentry sees his chance to get as close as possible to the woman who stole his heart, and hopefully convince her they belong together. I love Jessica’s confusion as the story progresses. Being a “change is hard” kind of person myself, I understand how someone can hold onto an idea for years with no basis in it being real or right. The end and the scramble to right everything is my absolute favorite part of the story.  

While You Were Skiing by Lucy McConnell 
Mia Davis’s new job in guest relations at Ruby Mountain Ski Resort gets complicated when the gorgeous Ryder Montgomery falls off the ski lift, tells everyone they are engaged, and then loses consciousness. Worried about a head injury, Mia plays along, making him lunch, kissing in the front entryway and planning a future together; a future Mia wants with all of her heart. Things become all the more complicated when Ryder’s estranged family gets involved. Caught up in the fantasy and romance, Mia has to tell the truth or risk losing a part of herself and the man she loves forever.

Okay, While You Were Sleeping is one of my favorite Rom Coms. I loved the way McConnell twisted this one around a bit. Mia is sweet and loving, Ryder every bit as swoon worthy as she thinks. I loved how she referred to him as her Black Dimond man and all that implied. Both have good hearts and they just needed a chance to get together. Two rambunctious boys are just the ticket they need. Favorite part? Leaning. :) Whoo!  

Getting lost in Echo Ridge was a great way to spend my weekend! I give the entire collection a 4.5 and clean rating.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.
R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot


Cami Checketts said...

Thank you so much for reading, reviewing, and sharing! It's a very fun set.

Rachelle Christensen said...

Thanks for this excellent review! So glad you enjoyed it! :)