Ficlets by Annabeth Albert

Homecoming (Out of Uniform #1.5) 

GoodReads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35335077-homecoming

Blurb

When Pike’s perfect homecoming for Zack is spoiled, the two must work together to ensure their future is bright.

 

New Status Needed (#gaymers #1.5) 

Annabeth Albert Link
http://annabethalbert.com/

Blurb

Free #gaymers short story, available exclusively for newsletter subscribers. Featuring Adrian and Noah from Status Update.

aprox 5,000 words / 20 pages

 

Love Connection (#gaymers #3.5) 

Annabeth Albert Link
http://annabethalbert.com/

Blurb

A short story featuring Ryan and Josiah from CONNECTION ERROR. It’s got some heat and sweet and a glimpse at a special moment.

 

Reviews

These are all super cute little blips from some of our favorite couples. If you haven’t checked these out you should!

5 of 5 stars

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Copies Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Doctor’s Orders by Lucy Felthouse Narrated by Peter Revel-Walsh

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Erotica-Sexuality/Doctors-Orders-Audiobook/B0723BYFP1/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1503453634&sr=1-1

Blurb

Hospital porter Aaron Miller isn’t expecting a very exciting birthday. He and his doctor boyfriend, Blake Colville, are working opposite shifts, leaving Aaron to go home to an empty house and the prospect of another shift the following day. Just as he’s leaving work, however, an unexpected sexy encounter in a supply cupboard leaves him feeling in a much more celebratory mood. And an impending dirty weekend away with Blake just puts the icing on the non-existent cake. But who needs cake when you’re dating a dominant doctor?

 

Review

A real sexy short break.
What a little gem of a story. Blake and Aaron play in the bedroom rather than 24/7, so this glimpse into their busy life was perfect. Aaron wasn’t really expecting to celebrate his birthday their working schedules made it difficult to be together, so being pulled into a cupboard by his Doctor boyfriend Blake started the story off in the perfect way. I loved how Lucy Felthouse conveyed the depth of their relationship so quickly at the start and established the nature of their D/S relationship as well. The games they played on their weekend away were hot and fun.

I’ve never listened anything narrated by Peter Revel-Walsh before. I admit his accent took me awhile to settle into but once I had he was perfect for these two British lads. My view of the narration is that the story was read me rather than performed, which was fine. I had no difficulty identifying who was speaking in this style and I think it suited the story. Overall I think it’s perfect if you want to listen to a short steamy feel good story.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Men In Uniform Month! Unsportsmanlike Conduct Audiobook by Angela S. Stone Narrated by Jack Raleigh

audiobookreview

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Unsportsmanlike-Conduct-Audiobook/B071D6MCF6/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1494448591&sr=1-1

Blurb

Hockey defines Owen Carter’s existence. He lives and breathes the sport. A man’s man, no one – not even his parents – knows the truth about his sexuality. When his teammates set him up, he resigns himself to the idea of a blonde bimbo.
The last thing the Owen expected to find was devastatingly sexy and intensely male cop Addison Krause. Addison’s everything Owen imagined in the perfect guy, but can he take his shot or will he let the best thing that ever happened to him walk away?

Review

I was attracted to this because I love hockey and it seemed cute and had some potential. I’d not heard the narrator before, but the sample seemed good enough and it wasn’t very long so…

Short stories are hard because you have to jump right in and give a background, current action and potentially an epilogue in only a few words. They need to be tight, focused and really geared toward portraying one (or a few) certain feelings/points/etc.

Since this is a short story about a closeted hockey player, as expected the main focus is his personal journey and decision to come out. It’s also about falling in love and it’s also about being true to yourself. That’s just too many things for THIS story to accomplish.

I didn’t get a good feeling of connection between our MCs and their weekend relationship moved from zero to Forever way too fast without giving me something to believe in. There are some hot smexy times and some “deep” discussions and then we’re transported to several months later.

I think the author would have benefited from focusing on only one of these major points and delivering on it than painting so wide a canvas.

Unfortunately the narrator, Jack Raleigh made this a very distracted listen because he kept switching his accent for Addison around and I couldn’t tell if he was German, French, Russian or a Vampire.

All in all I was glad this was short, thought it was an okay story with too much to tell in too little time and the narration was interesting if not actually good.

(2.75 rounded to) 3 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Puss in Prada by Marie Jacquelyn

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/Puss-Prada-Marie-Jacquelyn-ebook/dp/B06ZZCD3L9/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1494445717&sr=8-1&keywords=puss+in+prada

Blurb

Still struggling with his recent breakup, Alexander runs headlong—literally—into a witch who leaves him far less than human. Now a wise-cracking cat with a taste for expensive clothes, he is forced to live with the ex he can’t get over and help the man find someone who will finally make him happy.

 

 

 

Review

If you’re in the mood for something VERY different and VERY funny and a little bit sweet – this is for you!

Alexander somehow ends up as a cat – who can talk and reason like a human. He runs back to his EX boyfriend for sanctuary and what we find is the two of them living as an old “married” couple three years later.

Alex wants Ethan, the Ex, to “move on” and find a new boyfriend – or does he?

Highly enjoyable and funny with a cute cast of characters and a HEA.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

New Lease by B.G. Thomas

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/new-lease-by-bg-thomas-8357-b

Blurb

2nd Edition

Wade Porter spent his whole life in the shadow of a lover who doled out snippets of love and time as he saw fit—and who insisted that love stay deep in the closet. But now that man is gone, and Wade finds the oceanside cottage where they spent so many weekends together in the Florida Keys cold and empty. He has come one last time, not even sure he wants to keep living.

To his surprise, the house next door is occupied by another bereaved and lonely man. Kent Walker is an artist of romantic gay paintings who is open to the future—and determinedly interested in Wade. Kent wants to show Wade the beauty in being an openly gay man and the possibilities for a real relationship.

Maybe Kent can help Wade let go of the past and discover a better way to live—and love.

First Edition published in Two Tickets to Paradise by Dreamspinner Press, 2012.

Review

This is the first story BG Thomas published, as he explains in the preface to this very short story and I think it’s very sweet and sentimental and really well written.

It’s a very short story and rather melancholy for most of it. Wade’s previous partner was a giant dick and it’s very hard hearing Wade be sad that his partner is gone and not want to smack said partner around for treating Wade so poorly.

On the other hand, Kent is wonderful and such a bright beam of life for Wade that you do feel uplifted by the end that Wade might finally begin to have a life he deserves.

If you’re in the mood for a short, sweet if a bit sad story with a lovely HFN – this is for you!

4 of 5 stars
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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Something Permanent by Roan Parrish

Blurb

*Valentine’s Day 2017 Short Story*

Available here for free: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/RuYf5

 

 

 

 

Review

(Other books in this series reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/?s=roan+parrish)

OMG. I love, love, love this! Colin is sooooo sweet and I love seeing him and Daniel work on their relationship. (Rex’s present was damn sweet, too!)

I really hope we get to see more of these guys – maybe a wedding – or two?

6 of 5 stars – amazing!

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Copy Purchased For Review (Free!)

Matthew’s Present By Sarah Hadley Brook

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Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/matthews-present-by-sarah-hadley-brook-7935-b

33003473Blurb

Matthew Blick is almost thirty years old, and he hates the thought of another holiday alone. He has become a bit of a wet blanket when Christmas rolls around every year. So much so that even his five-year-old niece, Hannah, knows something needs to change. She asks the department store Santa to bring her uncle a man to love, and when Santa sees her uncle, he formulates a plan to set that possibility in motion.

Santa shows up at Matthew’s house and at first Matthew can’t place him, but then the memories of his first kiss flood his mind and he is shocked to find that Santa is the man he has carried a torch for since high school. Will this twist of fate help Matthew change his view on the holidays? Only a kiss can tell.

 

 

Review

This is a short story – takes place in one day – about a somewhat bitter, single man – Matthew – uncle to Hannah – who visits a department store Santa and is given a “present”.

The identity of the Santa is belabored for the entirety of the story and it’s the only “suspense/hurdle” in the story. Because a simple question or removal of the costume would answer the question it was a bit annoying that it persisted in being the “issue” for as long as it did.

Once the identity is discovered the story actually becomes interesting but then quickly comes to a resolution.

The writing was fine and the idea was sweet, but just as I got involved in the story it ended so I was left feeling a bit let-down. I think this would have worked better with a bit more length because the back story sounds intriguing and I’d love to see how these guys move forward with the new knowledge.

In any case, it was a nice story.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Anyplace Else by Kim Fielding (Advent Calendar 2016)

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Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2016-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-bah-humbug-7705-b

 

B33001951lurb

Grant Beaudoin should be thrilled to escape Minneapolis at Christmastime and grateful to lounge on a Hawaiian beach. Instead he is mired in self-pity and drowning in too much tequila. His twin is marrying the perfect man, while Grant is stuck in middle management with no love life in sight. A walk into the rain forest leads to a meeting with a doomed man who has a story about a holiday that predates Christmas. Grant comes to realize that difficult endings can lead to new beginnings—and perhaps a brighter future.

 

Review

Hmmm. So. Kim Fielding is one of my auto-buy- auto-loves when it comes to authors. She’s an amazing writer and a great person, too! This, however interesting and intriguing, didn’t quite work for me as a short, Christmas story.

First, it takes place in Hawaii but is really a Croatian story and I’m not sure why we needed to start in Hawaii. Grant eventually ends up in Croatia – for a reason I’m unclear on – and that part made a little more sense, but the part that happens in Hawaii didn’t really make sense to me.

Second, though it happens over Solstice/Christmas, Grant is at a wedding and NOT celebrating the Holiday and his “love interest” isn’t either so…

Third, I’m just not sure how happily ever after our MCs are. It was barely a romance (the two find one another at the very end) and even that has only a hint at their future.

I think the story and the premise are really fascinating. Given more time to develop the story and flesh out the part where our MCs end up together I think it could have worked really well. It was just too short!

Having it start in Hawaii didn’t make sense either. Maybe if the wedding had taken place in Croatia and gone from there? I’m not sure. But the sudden geography change just didn’t make a lot of sense.

I won’t say I didn’t enjoy it, because Kim really is an amazing writer and I thought the story-telling was fascinating – but I didn’t really like it in this setting and thought it was a bit too depressing considering the others in it’s midst. Maybe if it’d been it’s own story and a bit longer? Anyhow, it’s not my favorite from this author, Speechless (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15733541-speechless?from_search=true) and Astounding! (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25668553-astounding?from_search=true) are!

2.75 (rounded to 3) of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

The Fortune Cookie by Matt Burlingame (Advent Calendar 2016)

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33003516Blurb

Thirty-three-year-old technical writer Laurence Hart is a modern-day Scrooge when it comes to the holiday season—and the rest of the year, too. He doesn’t like most people, they don’t like him, and he’s happy to keep it that way. Over lunch with his best friend, he receives a fortune cookie promising him true love. The next day, forced to work on a holiday charity committee or lose his job, he meets Nick, a jolly ginger giant who loves all things Christmas. Together they face numerous obstacles to put together a holiday fair to raise money for children in foster care, in only four days. While Laurence has to mend his curmudgeonly ways to make the event a success, Nick’s holiday magic might mend Laurence’s heart.

 Review

Short, sweet and no steam. Laurence “don’t call me Larry” is a man with a past and now he’s acting like a dick because he was hurt over the holidays 8 years ago. Nick – who acts and is suspiciously like Santa – doesn’t give up and keeps at him til he finds the truth and the heart beneath the grump.

It’s a cute story if totally predictable and anyone who loves big, gingery, bears will want to take a look!

3.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Bite Night by Clare London (Advent Calendar 2016)

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Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2016-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-bah-humbug-7705-b

33001858Blurb

Creatures of the Night and Santa’s Christmas duties don’t mix. Every myth and bedtime story tells you so.

But on Christmas Eve, when the Elves walked off the job over pension rights, it was time for me—Irwin, the only vampire on Santa’s payroll, despite recent diversity initiatives—and my trusty team to help out. Just deliver a few parcels, Santa asked me. Just help out on your local patch. Just for one night.

Armed with my reluctance to face all that human sentimentality, and accompanied by a wise-cracking werewolf and an unruly fairy with a taste for vodka, I did my best. Honest.
But we were heading for disaster until I came face-to-face with cute babysitter Benny. It’s Santa’s Number One Rule—no interaction with the clients. But Benny somehow managed to upset my appetite, inflame my libido, and restore my faith in the Christmas spirit, with one cheeky smile and a tasty body piercing.

It’s Christmas, and the show must go on!

Review

Reading this is like a little bite of delicious, rich, chocolate cake. It’s so good, but too little to be filling!

Clare London gives us a ragtag group of paranormals who work for Santa delivering presents. They are HYSTERICAL! The pixie gets drunk, the werewolf is a grumpy bastard and the Vampire a sweet and sentimental soul who falls for a pair of big eyes.

The “elves” have strict rules to follow while delivering their packages on Christmas Eve and I think they manage to break them all! The most important: don’t be seen leads them to: don’t interact with the “client”, followed by the unwritten one: don’t kiss the client!

This is super cute, sweet and funny. Way too short in my opinion, but delightful.

4.5 of 5 stars

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