Categories
3.5 stars Actor/Theatre adult - 18+ Angst Level Anthology BDSM Beth Jumper Book Christmas Contemporary Dreamspinner Families/Weddings Gay Geek/nerd/techie/gamer Heat Index Holiday Holiday Romance Length Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series Standalone Unrequited Love

Holidays: Trading Tridents (Advent 2017) by CM Taylor

 

Dreamspinner Presents

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

Blurb

DecemberCon 2017. John Perlan, aka YouTuber “SmileyNibor,” has come to the con for one reason and one reason only: to see his idol, actor Derek Kitow. And since Derek has announced he’ll be dressed as the original Aquaman, Perlan decides to come as the Aquaman reboot. It helps that he already has the beard and the bod to make a convincing Momoaman.

But when Derek Kitow makes his entrance, he recognizes Perlan from his tiny YouTube channel and wants him onstage! Has Kitow been following him online? Could SmileyNibor’s hero also be a fan? And what exactly does Kitow have in mind by inviting Perlan to meet him after the panel?

Review

Cosplay is a way to emulate a character or actor you idolize or fan girl over, so when John learns that his idol Derek Kitow is coming to the Decembercon dressed as the original Aquaman he creates a costume that is the rebooted version. He also put out a YouTube video of him making his Trident.

What is it like to come face to face with your idol? What is it like that your idol knows who you are and wants you. Of course there are a few more surprises in the story that you just don’t see coming. Still you end with a smile as they end their evening.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Beth Jumper Book Boss/employee Christmas Contemporary Families/Weddings Gay Gay Holiday Holiday Romance m/m Mild level angst Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Sports Standalone

Holidays: Alone for Christmas By Ashley John

GoodReads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32732677-alone-for-christmas?from_search=true

Blurb

With his third divorce looming and his bank accounts frozen, Chip Harington was surprisingly okay with spending Christmas alone, even if he was living out of a suitcase in his office. He had already decided to skip the office Christmas party, until some surprising words from one of his employees makes him change his mind.

Noah always expected the crush for his boss to fade, but after two years working under Chip, his feelings are stronger than ever. With Chip’s personal life in tatters once more, Noah never expected his boss to show his face at the office Christmas party, so he was even more surprised when his drunken attempt to kiss Chip turned into so much more.

Chip assumed his encounter with Noah was nothing more than a one-night stand, but when his employee emerges from a snowstorm on Christmas Eve, they are forced to spend Christmas together in a London office block. With the lines between employer and employee blurred, will either man emerge from the snow the same, or will their Christmas encounter change the course of their lives forever, making them wish they had spent Christmas alone after all?

Review

This is nice story of an office worker having a crush on his boss, going to the office Christmas party and ending up in bed together. Except that said boss is in his 3rd divorce from a beautiful woman. Okay so maybe he is gay after all.

When Noah realizes that his boss Chip is spending the holiday alone at the office he just cannot let him spend it alone. The 3 days snowed in are just so funny to see. It’s like college freshmen the first time they are away from home. The things they get up to will have you giggling throughout. There is some conflict, to make you think all won’t work out and then a HEA.

3.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Anthology Book Bullying Christmas Contemporary Dreamspinner Fade to black/No Steam Families/Weddings 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

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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Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Beth Jumper Book Boss/employee Christmas class difference Contemporary Families/Weddings Friends to lovers Gay Gay Heat Index Holiday Holiday Romance m/m Mid level angst Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Purchased Standalone

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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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Anthology Beth Jumper Book Christmas College/University Contemporary Dreamspinner Families/Weddings Gay Gay Heat Index Holiday Holiday Romance m/m Mid level steam/heat Mild level angst Monthly Theme Part of a Series Short Story 1-20 pages (1-5k words) Standalone

Holidays: The Storm’s Gift (2017 Advent Calendar – Stocking Stuffers) by A.D. Ellis

Dreamspinner Presents

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

Blurb

Snowed in together in their college dorm, two men share a quick connection that creates enough heat to spar with the blizzard outside.

Rory Blackwell plans to rejuvenate his mind and repair his battered heart after his world is shaken by an unexpected breakup. James Austin’s freshman-year plans of improving his social life crashed and burned, leaving him feeling as alone and outcast as he did back home.

One man is hurting while the other is eager to provide comfort. One is a virgin, the other experienced with other men. Both are looking forward to Winter Break, but can they take full advantage of their situation—or will the passion ignited between them fizzle out with the storm?

Review

Fate or destiny? Stuck in the dorm during Christmas break because of a massive ice and snow storm, James the typical novice freshman and Rory the confident senior discover each other. AD Ellis has laid out a story that is both possible and rings true with the given circumstances. She shows how a freshman worries about fitting in, missing family and not just suddenly becoming a different person once he arrives at college. Rory is a senior, an RA, and newly single, who is more observant than James expected.

Watch as they get together and have hot steamy sexy times

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
3.5 stars Actor/Theatre adult - 18+ Angst Level Anthology artists Book Christmas Contemporary Dee Dreamspinner Families/Weddings Gay Gay Geek/nerd/techie/gamer Heat Index Holiday Holiday Romance Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Standalone

Holidays: Pining for Perfect (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Ki Brightly

Dreamspinner Presents

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

Blurb

Stokely leads a solitary life, trying to do all the right things. He has a solid, respectable job, a properly decorated, respectable apartment, and goes to work every single day, no matter what. But it’s Christmas, and he hates Christmas, especially since his one guilty pleasure, listening to Asher Banks on the radio, is ruined with upbeat, holiday garbage.

Asher is the polar opposite—he loves Christmas to a fault and schedules himself into the ground with fundraisers to help the local community. When Asher and Stokely meet during one of the holiday spectacles Asher has thrown together, sparks fly, but neither one of them has ever had a real Christmas—or a real home. Will they be able to make one with each other?

Review:

A slow burn romance done well in fewer than 70 pages. The men bond over being foster kids. Stokley is the more stoic of the 2 men, so it was interesting seeing Asher wear him down with his cheery attitude. I liked how the story flowed, especially as Stokely warmed up, but his warmth and love was reserved for Asher only. Stokely still doesn’t like Christmas … ☺

3.5 stars out of 5

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Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Anthology Book Christmas class difference Contemporary DA Dreamspinner Fade to black/No Steam Families/Weddings Finding Family Gay Gay Heat Index Holiday Holiday Romance Hurt/comfort Insta Love m/m Mid level angst Monthly Theme Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Opposites attract Part of a Series second chance at love Standalone

Holidays: An Open Window (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Rick R. Reed

Dreamspinner Presents

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

Blurb

Two men. One Christmas Eve that changes the courses of both their lives.

Henry’s homeless and only wants a warm place to sleep on the coldest night of the year. A forgotten open window in a darkened house entices Henry inside with the promise of warmth and comfort. He knows it’s wrong, but he promises himself he’ll be out before the owner wakes on Christmas morning. Except he oversleeps and the homeowner, Jim, discovers a bearded stranger sawing logs under his dining room table. When the shock and the drama that ensues dies down, Henry and Jim discover that they might have found, quite unexpectedly, the Christmas miracle they’d both been longing for—love and home.

 

Review

 

This was just a bit too maudlin for me with not enough of the happy to quite balance it out. While I really applauded the approach to looking at life through different lenses and the unique way the story was laid out, I kind of wanted to see more of the middle part that got glossed over.

 

It was sweet, short and sentimental.

 

3.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
3.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Anthology Book Christmas Dee Dreamspinner Families/Weddings Future Gay Gay Heat Index Holiday Holiday Romance Humor Hurt/comfort Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Monthly Theme Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series second chance at love Space Standalone

Holidays: Salvaging Claus Day (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by J. Alan Veerkamp

Dreamspinner Presents

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

Blurb

For three years, Filo has reveled in silence and solitude as the sole occupant of a space station, where he maintains the communication satellite.

Everything changes with the appearance of Luz Espina’s lifepod. Filo shares many interests with the flirtatious Luz, though Filo’s isolation has strained his communication skills. Still, Luz pushes all his buttons… and reminds him of the last man he was attracted to—an attraction that ended in disaster because the man was straight. When Luz learns Filo has never celebrated a holiday, he vows to cobble together a Claus Day celebration for them to share. But is it merely a friendly gesture… or something more?

 

Review

 

A well-developed short story. We get to know Filo in the few pages, how he ended up in his current position and a bit of his past. I felt a twinge of sadness for him, because he’d been alone for so long. Then, surprise, we meet Luz. Well not really, if you pay attention to when Filo catalogues the storeroom inventory, you get a hint.

Anyway, back to the story – Luz is larger than life and a welcome distraction on the lonely space station. He is fun and does not know the meaning of boundaries J When he finds out that Filo has never had a Claus day celebration, he sets about creating one for Filo. It was so sweet. For a short story, it includes loss, loneliness, humour, heat and a believable HEA.

Overall, it’s a good story, definitely one I’d reread.

 

3.5 stars out of 5

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Categories
4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Christmas Closeted College/University coming of age Contemporary DA Dreamspinner Finding Family Friends to lovers Gay Gay Heat Index Holiday Holiday Romance Homophobia Humor Hurt/comfort Insta Love Little to no angst m/m May/December May/December Medical Mid level steam/heat Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Standalone

Regret Me Not by Amy Lane

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/regret-me-not-by-amy-lane-9121-b

Blurb

Pierce Atwater used to think he was a knight in shining armor, but then his life fell to crap. Now he has no job, no wife, no life—and is so full of self-pity he can’t even be decent to the one family member he’s still speaking to. He heads for Florida, where he’s got a month to pull his head out of his ass before he ruins his little sister’s Christmas.
Harold Justice Lombard the Fifth is at his own crossroads—he can keep being Hal, massage therapist in training, flamboyant and irrepressible to the bones, or he can let his parents rule his life. Hal takes one look at Pierce and decides they’re fellow unicorns out to make the world a better place. Pierce can’t reject Hal’s overtures of friendship, in spite of his misgivings about being too old and too pissed off to make a good friend.
As they experience everything from existential Looney Tunes to eternal trips to Target, Pierce becomes more dependent on Hal’s optimism to get him through the day. When Hal starts getting him through the nights too, Pierce must look inside for the knight he used to be—before Christmas becomes a doomsday deadline of heartbreak instead of a celebration of love.

Review

What can I say? I’m a sucker for Amy Lane Lite. I thought this was fantastic! I loved the slow build up and the achingly sweet way Hal and Pierce danced around one another. I loved the goofy “Looney Tunes” method of avoidance as well as the never ending holiday shopping list.

The entire relationship develops over a short period of time and it would have been great to see these guys later down the line, but I definitely think they got enough one on one time for us to predict success in the future.

If you’re in the mood for a lovely, tender and sometimes silly – low angst – holiday romance – this is the one for you!

Highly Recommended!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Anthology Book Christmas Contemporary Dreamspinner Families/Weddings Firefighters Gay Gay Heat Index Holiday Holiday Romance Little to no angst m/m Mild/low level heat Monthly Theme Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Part of a Series second chance at love Single Parent Standalone

Holidays: Dear Ruth (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Kim Fielding

Dreamspinner Presents

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

Blurb
Dear Ruth,
I’m not in the mood for Christmas. After a romantic relationship went up in flames, I returned to my hometown in rural Kansas. Then my mother passed away. I’m really busy with my job as fire marshal—and now with my mother’s advice column, which I reluctantly took over. There’s a sexy newcomer down the street, a guy with a young daughter and an unfortunate disregard for fire safety. He seems to want to be friends, but that creates problems that may be too hot for me to handle. The last things I need right now are flammable holiday decorations and too much holiday food. How am I supposed to give good advice to others when I can’t seem to get my own life straight?
—Bah Humbug in Bailey Springs

Review

This was amazingly and superbly sweet and a perfect start to this Advent Collection!

I just love a story about older guys and Kim Fielding is perfect at giving us “regular Joes” finding love in ordinary circumstances with extraordinary results.

 

This was low key, tender and very sweet.

 

Highly Recommended!

 

5 of 5 stars

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