Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Crochet My Heart by Carol Pedroso

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2019-advent-calendar-homemade-for-the-holidays-full-set-11522-b

Blurb
Accountant Tristan plans to make a ton of crochet items for his local LGBT charity to sell at their holiday fair. His only problem? He can’t crochet.

Fortunately, the community center offers a class, and it’s taught by Charlie, who is gorgeous and sexy and seems interested. At first. Can grandmotherly fellow classmate Ivy guide the clueless men to each other, or will it take something more serious to help them see the possibilities?

Review

Crochet My Heart was a fun, sweet, little holiday romance. For being a novella, this story has everything I look for in a book. There is a great meet-cute, awkward conversation, plenty of pinning and longing looks and even a little drama. The main characters, Charlie and Tristan were well thought out and the cast of secondary were all enjoyable as well.
I recommend this story for all crochet and holiday story addicts !
4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday review: Rainbows in Sea Glass by Kim Katil

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/rainbows-in-sea-glass-by-kim-katil-11591-b

Blurb

Kyle has loved James, his best friend’s older brother, for as long as he can remember. Unfortunately James is a player, and Kyle has no desire to be his latest conquest. When James suddenly turns the full weight of his charm on him, Kyle flees to Cape May Point to collect sea glass and Cape May diamonds to make a St. Nicholas Day present for his aunt.

James has always taken Kyle’s presence for granted and he’s shocked to find how integral Kyle is to his life and future happiness. Braving his family’s well-meaning attempts to help and a sudden winter storm, James heads to the shore to convince Kyle that the most precious thing they’ll find on the beach is each other.

Review

Nice enough story based on a promising trope with the MC finally getting a shot at his best friend’s brother, whom he’s been pining after for years.
However, it remained too formulaic and predictably corny, and even taking into account that it’s a novella, the story seemed a bit too rushed, with one particularly brusque jump between chapters that really bugged me. Both emotionally and physically the connection between the MC’s could have been developed better, now it all felt like a little too much too fast.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 2.5



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Love in 24 Frames by C.S. Poe

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-in-24-frames-by-cs-poe-11593-b

Blurb

Declan Groves is a CPA in New York City. His adult life is dictated by routine and borderline monotony. The need to express himself, in ways his career and crippling shyness have never allowed, leads Declan to becoming an amateur stop-motion filmmaker.

The one problem is that Declan is also in love with the Wandering Artist Studios receptionist Shota Watanabe. Shota has always had a smile and engaging comment ready for Declan, but even if it is more than casual politeness, Declan hasn’t been able to get out more than a tongue-tied sentence at a time. And a man like Shota surely has no intention of waiting forever.

So when an unexpected change to Declan’s daily schedule throws the two together outside of the studio, it might be the catalyst needed to explore what’s unspoken between them. But if they’re to have a future, Declan needs to find a way to tell Shota how he truly feels.

Review

Sweet holiday romance with two older MC’s. Declan is super shy and awkward and seeing him fumble his way through his (attempts at) conversations with Shota was quite cute. I liked how the relationship between the two men developed, unhurried, based on mutual liking and respect. Though still with quite a lot of nerves and worrying on Declan’s part. Near the end, things take an unexpected turn for the worse for Shota, but Declan comes to the rescue brilliantly and his 24 frames take care of the rest.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Silent Heart (Search and Rescue #2) by Amy Lane

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/silent-heart-by-amy-lane-11485-b

Blurb

Dog wrangler Preston Echo has been in love with his brother’s best friend, copilot, and business partner since high school—and Damien Ward knew it. As Preston grew into a stunning, hard-willed man, Damien began to dream of Preston too.

Then Damien almost died in a helicopter crash. While his physical wounds are slowly healing, the blows to his self-confidence and goodwill are almost worse. His body is broken and he’s afraid to fly—how can Preston love him now?

When Preston’s brother goes on a search-and-rescue mission and disappears in an earthquake zone in Mexico, Preston and Damien are thrown together in an effort to find him and bring him back. Preston’s merciless honesty—and relentless passion—may leverage Damien into his bed, but can Damien overcome his fears to allow himself to stay there?

Review

This is another great Amy read. It has injured characters. Check. Nearly impossible odds. Check. A guy with a lot of energy. Check. Up to now unrequited love. Check. Animals. Check. And – airplanes!

I hadn’t remembered Damien much from book 1 in the series, so if you didn’t read book 1 – have no fear. He was in it, but the focus was definitely not on him.

Preston is a great character and I loved his quirks and foibles. He isn’t going to be an easy guy to love but I think Damien is up to the task.

Highly recommended for fans of the author and quirky characters.

4.5 Stars



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Finding Yuletide Karol by L.A. Merrill

Dreamspinner:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2019-advent-calendar-homemade-for-the-holidays-full-set-11522-b

Blurb

Fifty years ago, during the Vietnam War, Lee Elbridge fell in love with an Army cook nicknamed Yuletide Karol, but they haven’t seen each other since.

Now, led by a clue in an old cookbook, Lee sets off on a road trip to find his lost love. He arrives on Karol’s upstate New York farm to find preparations for a handfasting in full swing, and is mistaken for the wedding planner’s assistant. As Lee is roped into folding hemp napkin goats and mashing fresh sweet potatoes, he is welcomed by Karol’s large, eccentric family of witches and pagans. When Lee and Karol finally get a moment alone, Lee tells him the truth, but it will take more than a little Yuletide magick to bring them together again after almost a lifetime.

Review
This was an amazing read! Lee’s is suffering through another work Christmas party, when he is given an old cookbook, which just so happens to contain the one thing he has always wanted….the last name of the man he fell in love with 50 years ago. He, then embarks on a quest to find this man.
I haven’t read a novella in a long while, if ever that touched me as much as this one did. Finding Yuletide Karol is an absolutely beautiful story.
5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote


Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48915871-a-boyfriend-for-christmas

Blurb

Archie’s posh parents want him to meet a nice girl–how can he tell them he’s fallen for a bad boy instead?

Closeted, innocent and lonely, Archie Arandale longs for someone special in his life. A Christmas party organised by his wealth management company is the last place he expects to meet the man of his dreams.

With his leather jacket, tattoos, and piercings, Cal Turner turns heads the moment he walks through the door. He definitely isn’t looking for a boyfriend, but Archie’s hesitant charm captures his attention, and sneaking off during the party to have a little fun can only make a dull evening more interesting.

After their reckless and thrilling encounter, Archie is keen for more experience and Cal is happy to oblige. The need for secrecy means this can only be a casual fling, yet as they spend time together in the run up to Christmas, their feelings become more intense than either of them had bargained for. How can Archie find the courage to tell his family about Cal, when Cal’s the exact opposite of the ‘nice girl’ they’ve been hoping for?

Contains: A closeted virgin, a tattooed biker, class differences, a dramatic coming out, a very inappropriate Christmas gift, and a happy ending (of course).

Review

This book left me feeling giddy and optimistic. It’s a hopeful and fun read, very heartwarming, and surprisingly naughty…

The author brilliantly captures those first nervous moments of falling for someone, wondering if they’ll like you back, the excitement as well as the awkwardness that can come with firsts of any kind, and most especially the passion and delicious rush you get when falling in love.

Archie and Cal are, at first glance, an unlikely, but utterly adorable pair. The posh rich kid and the tattooed, slightly older, biker… how can anyone resist reading this story 😉 I loved that despite the small age gap, Cal and Archie are always on an equal footing and feel incredibly at ease around each other, almost from their first meeting.

Jay Northcote has a knack for writing real-life characters who seem completely genuine and authentic, and he pulls it off here too. He always makes me feel as if I could meet his MC’s just by setting foot in a pub in England, or maybe during a hike in Wales. A Boyfriend For Christmas is a light-hearted holiday romance with a great set of secondary characters, even those that make a rather awful first impression, and a great epilogue. Loved the humor and the inspirational gag gifts!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: Christmas Ghosts by Jenn Moffatt

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/christmas-ghosts-by-jenn-moffatt-11562-b

Blurb

Dealing with the unexpected loss of his mother isn’t how carpenter Steve Browning planned to spend his Christmas. Hoping her costume jewelry can bring some happiness to others, he takes it to the local community theater, where he runs into his first love, Troy Baxter.

Troy’s trying to help his sister put on a gender-fluid version of A Christmas Carol, but no one on the cast or crew knows which end of a hammer to hold let alone use a power tool. Then a face from the past brings a present-day miracle… one that could lead to the happy future they both thought they gave up back in high school.

Review

This is a mellow second chance at love story, and I wasn’t blown away by it or the MC’s. The story builds up very slowly and the actual relationship-part of it felt sudden and rushed to me. I didn’t quite feel the magic between Troy and Steve.
I also didn’t much care for the fact that Troy had been back home so long, yet he didn’t reach out to Steve, not even when he was dealing with a devastating loss. It doesn’t really help sell the strength of their friendship or the love that supposedly still exists after all these years apart.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 2.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Book: Reindeer Games (Ace’s Wild #6) by N.R. Walker

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48572398-reindeer-games?from_search=true&qid=JmiKhEZws7&rank=1

Blurb

Reindeer Games Definition: activities to exclude outsiders

Industrial-art student Leif Caldwell and his best friend win tickets to the hottest party in town, the annual masquerade Christmas gala at the upmarket nightclub, Evoque. Not a gig they could ever afford to attend or buy costumes for, so Leif makes their masks. Given the holiday theme and the play on words, he makes a set of striking reindeer antlers and intends to have the night of his life.

Vintage Ridge’s resident millionaire and owner of Evoque, Russ Quarrington, hates the holiday season because it reminds him of everything he’s lost. All the money and success in the world can’t fill the void in his heart, and this year he’s particularly bereft. With the gala looming, his personal assistant insists Russ attends and that he wear a mask that offers anonymity, and hopefully find some festive cheer. Bored with the guys in town and tired of men only wanting him for his money, he reluctantly agrees.

But when Russ sees a mysterious man with a magnificent reindeer antlers and mask, he’s instantly intrigued. Even when their masks are removed, Leif has no idea who Russ really is, and what Russ discovers is a man who understands him. And for the first time ever, a man who doesn’t want what Russ has. This time, it’s Russ who wants what Leif has, what money can’t buy.

Russ and Leif are about to learn that sometimes Reindeer Games are the only games worth playing.

Reindeer Games is a 42,000 word novella.

Review

Reindeer games is a very cute story. It’s a novella, taking place over the holiday season but not necessarily a Christmas story. I loved the art and the imagery discussed in the story.  The family stuff was sweet.  And the smexy times were hot!   It definitely built enough around the emotions to be very satisfying emotionally – as are all Walker’s stories. I really loved that both parties had some growing to do – one surrounding their art the other surrounding family and acceptance. I love that families come in all sorts sizes and make up. Highly recommended. Five stars.  —My only small complaint was that with all the art – the cover is pretty uninspired 🙁 

5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Bachelor Thief (A Paranormal’s Love #28) by Charlie Richards

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48837439-the-bachelor-thief?from_search=true&qid=ksMHh1alKD&rank=1

Blurb

Into the Paranormal World: When a confirmed bachelor stumbles into the paranormal world, he must reconcile how his connection with a gargoyle will affect his life.

Attain Walsh knew something was odd at Nicholas Lindson’s ranch. Ever since his best friend married Sandra, things have turned…strange. Wanting to get to the bottom of things, Attain begins to show up unexpectedly. He’s shocked to stumble across Nicholas making out with someone other than his wife. The idea that his buddy was a cheat had never crossed his mind. Unable to help himself, Attain confronts Nicholas…and learns that the marriage is a sham. Both Nicholas and Sandra have separate partners. Not only that, but his friend’s partner—Bodb—isn’t human. He’s a gargoyle. When Attain meets more of them, he’s shocked to find himself attracted to one of the huge beasts—a dark-blue gargoyle named Ssimeas. Then he learns about mates—someone the gargoyle considers the other half of their soul—and Ssimeas claims that Attain is his. But Attain is a confirmed bachelor. He has no desire to be anyone’s soul mate. Can Attain convince the gargoyle to leave him alone? Or will the male’s flattering pursuit sway him into turning his life upside down?

Review

This is a new Charlie Richard’s based on her paranormal gargoyle series. It is pretty much as you would expect. The main character who falls for the gargoyle identifies as straight and has a very conservative family. There is not a lot of plot nor relationship building. It is pretty much exactly what the other gargoyle stories are. However if you enjoyed those, you’ll enjoy this. I should note however that the female in the story is awful and unnecessarily so I don’t think she behaved in any way like a normal person. And it absolutely detracted from my enjoyment. I would round it from 2 1/2 to 3 stars but only just barely I did feel that this was egregious. Three stars.



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
Uncategorized

Holiday Book: The Christmas Deal by Keira Andrews

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48695309-the-christmas-deal?from_search=true&qid=rhYywnxtoV&rank=2

Blurb

Will fake boyfriends become the real deal this holiday?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—except ex-Marine Logan is jobless and getting evicted. Worse, he’s a new single dad with a stepson who hates him. A kid needs stability—not to mention presents under the tree—and Logan’s desperate.

Then he meets lonely Seth and makes a deal.

Can Logan temporarily pretend to be live-in boyfriends to increase Seth’s chances at a promotion? If it provides a roof over their heads for the holidays, hell yeah. Logan considers himself straight—he doesn’t count occasional hookups with guys—but he can fake it. Besides, with his shy little smile, Seth is surprisingly sexy.

Make that damn sexy.

Shocked that Seth has only been with one man, Logan can’t resist sweetening their deal to teach him the joys of casual sex. No strings attached. No feelings. No kissing.

No falling for each other.

Easy, right?

The Christmas Deal is a steamy holiday gay romance novel from Keira Andrews featuring fake boyfriends, bisexual awakening, a clueless single dad with an angry preteen, and of course a happy ending.

Review
Christmas deal is a short story by Keira Andrews definitely holiday centered. It is the typical fake boyfriend scenario but of course it has some interesting elements like the fact that Logan was married very briefly to Connor’s dad and then Connor‘s mother dies and leaves Logan as a single-parent. Logan identifies as straight , however, he has some bisexual leanings that he is mostly in denial about. Seth is a sweetie who is definitely repressed due to a highly religious background. They get together through Logan’s sister and end up having to fake a relationship. Things that I loved : the relationship between Logan and Connor. The growth Seth did in regards to his family. What I didn’t necessarily see was a lot of development between Logan and Seth-  they seemed to have a relationship based mostly on the physical. However, we get a lovely epilogue that shows that they are doing really great down the line. Highly recommended. Four stars.

4 star



Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review