Holidays: The Probability of Mistletoe (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by E.J. Russell

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2017-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-stocking-stuffers-9042-b

Blurb

When software engineer Keith Trainor decides to start his own company, he knows exactly who he wants as his partner: Parker Mulvaney, his best friend from high school. But in the ten years since graduation, their contact has dwindled to nothing, and it’s all Keith’s fault. If he hadn’t tried to kiss Parker under the mistletoe at the winter formal their senior year, Parker wouldn’t have bolted. At their ten-year reunion, Keith intends to do everything in his geeky power to make amends.

Parker should have known that scheduling the reunion the day before Christmas Eve was a recipe for a headache of monster proportions. But when Keith sends a text that he’ll be attending, the evening doesn’t look so bleak. Can an unnecessary makeover, a nostalgic breakfast, an abortive shopping trip, and a whole lot of mistletoe culminate in a long-overdue first kiss?

Review

I didn’t want this to end! It was sooooo cute and sweet and funny and charming and…

It has an adorable geek, a sweet extrovert, a family of nuts and tons of mistletoe!

This was a very slow burn, no heat holiday story with lots of heart. These two boys were just meant to be and Parker’s grand gesture was treated really well (though I kinda wanted him to explain it more to Keith and have Keith appreciate it more…)

I wish we could have seen these guys at least through their “first time together”, but… it was still wonderful!

Highly Recommended and among my favorites of the bunch!

5 of 5 stars

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Posted in 5 star, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Anthology, Book, Bullying, Christmas, Contemporary, Dreamspinner, Fade to black/No Steam, Families/Weddings/Holidays, Friends to lovers, Gay, Gay, Geek/nerd/techie/gamer, Heat Index, Holiday, Holiday Romance, Humor, Little to no angst, m/m, Monthly Theme, Morgan, Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words), Part of a Series, second chance at love, Standalone, The one that got away, Unrequited Love | Leave a comment

I’m Yours (Redwood Shifters, #6) by Lily Harlem

release day review

GoodReads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36346631-i-m-yours?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Convincing the man of your dreams he’s the one, is easier said than done.

Bradley has spent years on the road, wandering from town to town and hunting out the hottest Californian guys to have fun with. So finding himself restless at the thought of continuing his nomadic lifestyle is somewhat of a mystery to him.

Luckily his friend Malec, a shifter like him, has extended the offer of a place to stay and Bradley soon finds himself immersed in life at the Redwood Shifters camp.

The trouble is, when he least expects it, Bradley’s life is turned upside down. His handsome face and model body have always worked in his favor, but not anymore. Convincing the shy guy with glasses and dreams of working in the local library that he’s his mate, his one true love, proves to be Bradley’s biggest challenge yet.

Review

This is a fun, very sweet and sentimental series that isn’t afraid to be sappy. I love that once Bradley recognizes who his Mate is he’s all in and not resistant to doing what it takes to make him his.

I’ve been really enjoying this series and look forward to the next one!

Highly recommended for shifter romance fans and fans of dogs and nerds!

3.5 of 5 stars

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Posted in 3.5 stars, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Author Provided, Book, Bullying, Contemporary, Fated Mates, Gay, Gay, Geek/nerd/techie/gamer, Heat Index, Hurt/Abuse, Little to no angst, m/m, Mid-grade, Mild, Morgan, Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words), Paranormal, Part of a Series, Race/Species Difference, Shifter, Standalone | Leave a comment

Cruising by Cate Ashwood

This story can be downloaded for FREE here: https://www.instafreebie.com/public/F… (less)

Blurb

Best friends Dylan and Jake have been inseparable since college, but Dylan has one secret he can’t bring himself to share with Jake—he’s completely, utterly in love with him.

Jake’s friendship is the most important thing in the world to Dylan, so as much as it hurts to see him with other people, Dylan keeps his mouth shut about his true feelings. When Jake wins a cruise to Alaska, he asks Dylan to go along, but what Dylan doesn’t know, is that there’s more on offer than a dream vacation.

Can Dylan and Jake sail off to their happily ever after, or are they cruising toward disaster?

Review

This was a low angst, fairly high steam, and full of fun romance about two best friends who have managed to go years without being able to admit their feelings for one another.

 

My only complaint was that I didn’t really get enough info to fully connect with the MCs. It was a nice short story though!

4 of 5 stars

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Posted in 4 star, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Author Provided, Book, Contemporary, Friends to lovers, Gay, Gay, Heat Index, Little to no angst, m/m, Morgan, Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words), Scorching, Standalone, Unrequited Love | Leave a comment

Holidays: All I Want by Stella Starling

GoodReads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33127540-all-i-want?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

Shy retail clerk Elliott Gaffney’s Christmas wish isn’t something Santa can grant him, but that doesn’t stop it from being his favorite time of year. Especially since he gets to work at Chicago’s prestigious Ashby’s department store in “the North Pole,” doing his part to make the magic of Christmas come alive for others.

All Bennett “Ash” Ashby wants for Christmas is to forget about it. Unfortunately, his father is forcing him to pay penance for the media frenzy caused by his latest public sex scandal. The Ashby heir, working as a lowly department store Santa? Only the fact that no one will know it’s really him can save Ash the embarrassment of being stuck in a fat suit instead of partying with his friends.

But when Elliott catches Ash’s eye, Christmas starts to look a whole lot brighter. And even though Elliott would never have the guts to say yes if he knew who Ash really was, falling for “Ben,” the new Santa, is another story all together…

Review

When you keep Christmas in your heart your dreams really can com true. Elliott has always kept the joy and spirit of Christmas in his heart and it shows in everything he does.

You have the disreputable, moneyed bachelor who’s name is always in the headlines. His father decides that he needs to be punished for his latest indiscretion. Playing Santa is the last thing Ash wants to do, but working with Elliott slowly shows him the true meaning of Christmas. And although this is a romance it’s also a sweet message on keeping the spirit of Christmas.

Elliott has always loved the Christmas holidays at the department store he works at. It started when he was a child and his mother would bring him in to see Santa. As an adult he now works at the store and tries to see the the children that need it the most keep their belief.

4 of 5 stars

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Posted in 4 star, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Beth Jumper, Book, Boss/employee, Christmas, class difference, Contemporary, Families/Weddings/Holidays, Friends to lovers, Gay, Gay, Heat Index, Holiday, Holiday Romance, m/m, Mid, Mid-grade, Monthly Theme, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Purchased, Standalone | Leave a comment

Holidays: Poison Marked (2017 Advent Calendar) by TJ Nichols

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2017-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-stocking-stuffers-9042-b

Blurb

Kill his lover or disobey his king and instigate civil war?

As the feared court poison master, Nikko is sworn to do as his king bids. As the lover of the king’s nephew, Lord Rodas, Nikko must hide his affection or risk being labeled a traitor and punished. A former thief who clawed his way into the palace from the filthy streets, Nikko longs to be deserving of Rodas’s love.

A respected war hero, Rodas is in a delicate political situation. He is not the kingdom’s natural heir, though many support his claim over the wastrel, Prince Fortin. The last thing Rodas wants is war. His highest ambition is for Nikko to openly wear the jewels he’s bestowed on him as a public declaration of their love.

Neither man is prepared for the king to order Nikko to poison Rodas during the solstice feast or for the deadly intrigue they’re plunged into, which exposes their affair and rocks the foundations of the kingdom.

Review

I was a little hesitant to read this story of a man ordered to poison his lover by the king, but I’m so glad I did!
Nikko is the royal poisoner to the king, (if there is such a title). He is also in love with the king’s nephew, Rodas.
Rodas is well liked, but runs afoul of the king because the Prince, (Fortin), is jealous of him. Nikko is torn between his loyalty to the king and his love for Rodas. I was pleasantly surprised at how the events played out, with Nikko playing Russion roulette with poisons and antidotes.
I definitely recommend this story; it’s a nice balance between love, intrigue, a bit of mystery and a (unconventional) HEA.

4 stars out of 5

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Posted in 4 star, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Anthology, Book, Christmas, class difference, Dee, Dreamspinner, Established Couple/Sequel, Families/Weddings/Holidays, Fantasy, Gay, Heat Index, Hidden Lovers, Historical, Holiday, Hurt/comfort, m/m, Mid-grade, Mild, Monthly Theme, Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words), Paranormal, Part of a Series, pining, Standalone | Leave a comment

Operation Green Card by Andrew Gordon Blog Tour and Giveaway!

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About Operation Green Card

 

Arkady Izmaylov is a family man. He’s also gay. In Russia. His sister Natalya has been telling him to get out for years, but it’s only after an attack in the street that he finally concedes and says yes to her desperate plan of him marrying a stranger for a green card.

 

Jason Cooley was taught from birth that he’s no good to anyone. Then the military taught him he was good enough to save other lives, but that purpose got amputated along with his leg. He’s now working security at Wolf’s Landing and sending monthly checks to his ex for their daughter’s education. When Natalya asks him to marry her brother, Jason knows right away he’ll do it more for the mission than the money she’s offering. But when he actually meets Arkady, his mission turns complicated.

 

Jason quickly discovers he’s not as straight as he thought. He’s also the man of Arkady’s dreams. Arkady must convince Jason that he’s worth loving, and that Arkady won’t disappear from his life like everyone else. Because Arkady has always wanted a family of his own, and he’s not letting go of this one.

 

Available now from Riptide Publishing!

 

About Bluewater Bay

 

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

 

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

 

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield,  Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

 

Check it out at Riptide Publishing!

 

About GB Gordon

 

G.B.Gordon worked as a packer, landscaper, waiter, and coach before going back to school to major in linguistics and, at 35, switch to less backbreaking monetary pursuits like translating, editing, and writing.

 

Having lived in various parts of the world, Gordon is now happily ensconced in suburban Ontario with the best of all husbands.

 

Connect with Gordon:

 

To celebrate the release of Operation Green Card, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 16, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

 

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SA Stovall Guest Post for Thirty-One Days and Legos

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SAS:

Hello internet! This is SA Stovall, author of Thirty-One Days and Legos, here to wish you all Happy Holidays!

Real talk: I love stories of adoption. In my life, lots of people have entered my family through unconventional means, and adoption is just one of life’s many wonderful, yet unconventional, circumstances. Building a family on love really hits home for me, so after I wrote my short story, Ranger Station Haven (about foster kids getting lost in a National Park) I knew I wanted to follow their story with one of finding a new home.

Thirty-One Days and Legos takes place one year after the end of Ranger Station Haven. While Ranger Station Haven was a more whimsical tale of Christmas heartwarming goodness, I wanted to bridge the gap of fairy tale to reality with Thirty-One Days and Legos—Owen and Carter, the married couple of the story, finish their parenting classes and are ready to take two new kids into their home. While Owen is super excited to be a father, and has enough energy for a small star, Carter is a bit of a prickly grump, and worries he won’t be the best parent, though he wants to try.

Luke and Edmund, the two boys, aren’t a handful, per se, but they do have scars from their life before. Edmund wants to adopt a cat (because he’s adopted, and now they’re best friends, you see) and Luke remains quiet and distant, much to Carter’s frustrations.

I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but instead of whimsy, I tried to capture the feel-good warmth of a hard-won relationship. Carter wants to be a good father, and he’s going to do everything he knows how to do that (even if he appears grumpy to most people). His relationship with Luke takes center stage of the story, while Carter and Owen discuss what needs to be for the future.

Ranger Station Haven is a short story, and Thirty-One Days and Legos is a novella. My goal, and hope, is to write a novel with the new family for next year—one where they’re a family dealing with park ranger business, and warm feel-good holiday cheer. Thirty-One Days and Legos sets up what I hope will be a good start to a Christmas story for everyone like me: happy at the thought of festive cheer, new families, and lots of love.

Real talk again: I love Christmas (and any holiday that celebrates friends and family). My favorite Christmas stories when I was younger were a Christmas Carol and the Gift of the Magi, both stories focusing on the cheer and love of the season. I always loved that Scrooge joined Tiny Tim’s family for Christmas dinner, and I liked the idea that he joined their family, almost like a reverse adoption.

It’s this kind of passion I hope I get across in my writing. I want everyone to be happy around the holidays, no matter who they are. Sure, gifts are nice, but the spirit of family and love is what really gets me smiling. I tried to capture that feel with Thirty-One Days and Legos. Not only are kids adopted, but so is a cat—and Carter’s determination to make everything great is the love-glue that holds it all together!

So, as one person who loves the festive spirit, I wish everyone a happy holidays! Whatever you celebrate, I hope you’re surrounded by friends and family—and hopefully you all enjoy Thirty-One Days and Legos!

Buy Links
https://www.amazon.com/Thirty-One-Legos-Ranger-Station-Haven-ebook/dp/B077SY2CCQ/

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/thirty-one-days-and-legos-by-sa-stovall-9138-b

Blurb

Park rangers Carter and Owen Williams have decided to expand their family and adopt two brothers—boys they rescued a year before when they tried to escape the foster system and flee to Canada. After completing their parenting classes, Carter, a reserved man who enjoys the simple life, swears he’ll be the best father possible. His patience is tested, however, when one brother adopts a cat out of the snowy Voyageurs National Park and the other brother refuses to talk about what’s bothering him.

Owen wants to make sure their first Christmas together is a special one, and he decides all of December should be a celebration. He has an activity planned for each of the thirty-one days, but none of them seem to go off without a hitch. The cat has fleas, the boys need to attend a court hearing, and Carter is more than a little overwhelmed.

But Carter is 100 percent determined to make his new family work. He just has no idea how….

Author Bio
S.A. Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate.

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was the moment Stovall realized that story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world, and she hopes you enjoy.

You can contact her at the following addresses.

Twitter: @GameOverStation
Website: https://sastovallauthor.com/

Posted in Tour/Guest Post/Blitz | 1 Comment

Audiobook: Something Brewing at Joes by SJD Peterson Narrated by Chase Johnson

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/somethings-brewing-at-joes-by-sjd-peterson-8629-b

Blurb:
The promise of a dream job lures Murphy to Tampa, but he arrives to the rude awakening that the offer is on hold. Now he’s got two choices: slink back to Michigan with his tail between his legs or stay and look for work. Things perk up when he goes into a coffee shop and learns the owner is looking for someone to renovate the apartment above it. He happily takes the job, only later realizing he’s met Joe Sterling, Kaffeinate’s proprietor, before… when they hooked up at a club Murphy’s first night in Tampa.

Murphy and Joe are both proud, passionate, and outspoken. Neither is looking for a relationship, though they can’t deny they go together as well as coffee and doughnuts, in spite of their tempers. But that’s before Joe learns Murphy will be working for the corporation he believes is harming local businesses and the environment—and if Murphy will be supporting it, Joe wants nothing to do with him, dooming any possibility of an unexpected happy ending.

Review:
Reviewed previously by Beth here: http://openskyebookreviews.com/somethings-brewing-at-joes-by-sjd-peterson/

Beth really liked the story and I mostly agree with her. It’s solidly written and does have some really strong characters that drive the story at a fairly nice pace.
For me the story lacked that “hook” that grabs you and makes you want to keep reading. I was just not that invested in the story. It was nice and the writing was good, but I was never “captivated”.

3 of 5 stars

Audio

I enjoyed Chase Johnson’s narration.  He definitely does a lot to make this a performance more than merely a narration and he distinguishes all the characters nicely. It was a solid production, though sometimes it felt a little like dinner theatre in that the acting was a bit over the top.

I think listening to this is a great way to experience the story and I’d definitely look for this narrator in the future.

4.5 of 5 stars

Overall 3.5 of 5 stars

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Posted in 3.5 stars, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Audiobook, Book, Construction Worker, Contemporary, Dreamspinner, Gay, Gay, Handyman, Heat Index, Insta Love, m/m, Mild, Mild, Morgan, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) | Leave a comment

Thirty One Days and Legos by SA Stovall

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/thirty-one-days-and-legos-by-sa-stovall-9138-b

Blurb

A Ranger Station Haven Christmas Novella
Park rangers Carter and Owen Williams have decided to expand their family and adopt two brothers—boys they rescued a year before when they tried to escape the foster system and flee to Canada. After completing their parenting classes, Carter, a reserved man who enjoys the simple life, swears he’ll be the best father possible. His patience is tested, however, when one brother adopts a cat out of the snowy Voyageurs National Park and the other brother refuses to talk about what’s bothering him.
Owen wants to make sure their first Christmas together is a special one, and he decides all of December should be a celebration. He has an activity planned for each of the thirty-one days, but none of them seem to go off without a hitch. The cat has fleas, the boys need to attend a court hearing, and Carter is more than a little overwhelmed.
But Carter is 100 percent determined to make his new family work. He just has no idea how….

Review

The author tells us that reading the first book in this series is not necessary, but I think it might be.  (Book one was from last year’s advent  :  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33001905-ranger-station-haven?from_search=true)

On the one hand, I totally understood where these guys were coming from as the author did a great job of giving enough background information without retelling their “falling in love” story, but… I had such a hard time understanding what Owen sees in Carter. He was soooo grumpy and while it’s sort of explained I still didn’t feel like I connected with him – as far as his romance with Owen.

I loved the children part. Ugh! Totally crying! It was so sweet! Carter’s relationship with Luke and Legos is adorable and for that alone this was worth reading.

Overall I think you should read book 1 then read this because it was really sweet and if I’d liked Carter more I think I’d have liked this story more.

4 of 5 stars

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Posted in 4 star, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Book, Bullying, Christmas, Contemporary, Dreamspinner, Established Couple, Established Couple/Sequel, Fade to black/No Steam, Finding Family, Gay, Heat Index, Holiday, Homophobia, m/m, Mid, Morgan, Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words), Part of a Series | Leave a comment

A Shining Knight By Rebecca Locksley

eXtasy Books

http://www.extasybooks.com/a-shining-knight/

Blurb

Can a hard-bitten, horse-mounted fighting man adjust to the peaceful modern world? When nerdy medieval language scholar Gabriel Sussman finds himself responsible for two medieval crusaders stranded in the modern world, the whole question is complicated by his serious crush on the knight, Jordan De Courcy. Surely such a manly man could never be interested in someone like Gabriel. Or are Gabriel’s slim, pale-skinned good looks just the things to appeal to medieval tastes?

Review

I love time travel books, so when given the opportunity to review this book I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed. Rebecca Locksley has woven a story that is both believable and interesting at the same time.

We have a Knight and his Squire dropped into the 21st century from the time of The Crusades. Because of their superstitions and fairytales they are lead to believe they are in another realm. An Elfin realm, where magic is commonplace. So much of what they first see is explained away as magic. The stories timeline travels over many months so that the 2 misplaced travelers are slowly exposed to all the modern world.

Sodomy is a crime in the knight’s time, so that even though he uses his squire for physical relief he makes no move on his benefactor. In a comedy of errors the truth comes out and Lord Jordon and Gabriel finally get together.

This story blends the belief and values of 11th century with the opportunities and advancements of the 21st century. Of a man who wants to go home to his own time where he was a man with a purpose and a titled lord, with a man who has only left his hometown once in his life and always felt he would be alone.

The sexy times are hot and the implications of the off screen times are good too. If you want a play by play of the sex scenes this is not the book for you.

4 of 5 stars

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Posted in 4 star, Action/Adventure, adult - 18+, Alternate World, Angst Level, Author Provided, Beth Jumper, Book, class difference, Contemporary, Gay, Geek/Jock, Geek/nerd/techie/gamer, Heat Index, Hurt/comfort, m/m, Mid, Mild, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Opposites attract, Paranormal, Secret Identity, Speculative Fiction, Standalone, Teacher, time travel | Leave a comment