Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story The Legend of Gentleman John by TJ Nichols

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb
Banyn, a fae, escorts the souls of children to Magh Meall, but one Christmas, he comes for a lad who isn’t quite dead, and he breaks a rule rather than wait while John fights a battle he’ll ultimately lose. So begins a long-running affair that crosses the border between life and death, the human and fae realms, and even oceans to strange countries with different gods and rules.

John Rourke renounced a religion that had no place for him and returned to the old ways. Convicted of theft, he is sentenced to transportation and suffers brutal punishment—until he escapes to live on his own terms as a bushranger. When vengeance against his tormentor consumes him and threatens his life, John finds he has only one holiday wish—to see his fae lover one last time.

Review

Review

This story is told in the style of a fairy tale rather than a love story, which to me, made it more interesting than the usual holiday short that is around.

 

John Rourke is a man born with a soul that doesn’t match his body, in a time when that is not allowed. From a poor family he begs and steals to survive until one night, he isn’t supposed to. But the fae escort sent for his soul, helps him live instead and creates a bond that will see them through many years.

 

The timeline on this story does jump around causing me to stumble a few times with where and when I was reading, but I really enjoyed this legend and especially the final scene at the end. 

Although we are not given a huge amount of time to get to know the character of John, what is learnt makes him an interesting and likeable man. Someone who is battling everything life has thrown at them and doing their utmost to survive in a hostile world.

I would have liked for this story to be more drawn out and expanded, but as it stands, it has been one of the more interesting holiday offerings I have read.

 

4 stars out of 5

 

 

 

 

 

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Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Death to Christmas Sweaters by L.E. Franks

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

Chess and Benjamin are casual lovers, each hiding his devotion to the other and his wish for more. But Chess is a wealthy playboy who—Benjamin believes—will never settle down. And Chess is sure, with the way Benjamin keeps him at arm’s length, that he can’t be interested in getting serious.

They’re destined for a head-on collision as Chess plans for a holiday escape designed to send Benjamin’s ardor spiking like the temperatures in Los Angeles, while Benjamin desperately drags his feet, wanting to cool things down to protect his vulnerable heart. But when the ghosts of Chess’s Christmas past and Benjamin’s unwelcome present converge at LAX, it’s obvious there are other forces at play and about to take over.

Drawn into their respective family dramas at a joint gathering, will Chess and Benjamin finally take a stand for each other and the relationship they both want, or will the holiday finally take its toll?

Review

This was a fun short story.

We first meet Chess and Benjamin when they are already in a relationship, both wanting to make it a more permanent thing, but each not sure what the other is thinking and so it looks like a break up is inevitable.  But thankfully they manage to stumble their way through to their own happily ever after.

 

I did enjoy this book. It was an easy read with both main characters being extremely likeable.

There was an array of friends and relations popping up throughout who mostly added to the story although some did feel superfluous. Even though we were introduced to a lot of characters for such a short tale, as a taster to a writer, it would make me look for more work by this author.

 

3.5 stars out of 5

 

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Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Boca Dreams by Scudder James Jr.

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

You can’t correct the past.

Or can you?

Stephen’s not proud of who he was back in boarding school—spoiled and a player. Now, at the holiday reunion ten years later, he has a chance to show his former classmates who he really is: out and proud, devoted to helping others, and partnered with Victor.

Stephen understands why Victor, who grew up in a poor and abusive household, hates the rich kids at the reunion, but his attitude is ruining everything. Luckily Stephen bumps into Aaron, a former grunge rocker who has also changed. Stephen never forgot their one steamy night together.

With the help of three very unusual personifications of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, can Stephen revisit his mistakes and find the happiness that’s eluded him?

Review

Ahhh this was a sweet one. Even with a bud head Victor… if you zipp him out, thereis just a kind, friendly and sweet read.

 

Stephen will show off and come out as gay with his partner Victor at the reunion.

But… at the reunion everything turns out else than expected.

Stephen has the reputation being a rich guy with a bad attitude, nobody really know him who he is now. The same is with Aaron…

When Aaron sees Stephen he knows his feelings are still the same..

They had a one night thing…long ago… but not really. Both are still attracted to each other.

 

I loved Aaron he was kind, considerate and sweet. Stephen was adorable innocent and thank goodness he was into Aaron.

Really nice written, super short holiday read. Nice engaging characters and the environments well done.

Dreams come true!

 

 

Number of stars out 4 of 5

4 star

 

 

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Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Haste Ye Back by R. Quincy Cameron

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

The situation seems ideal: a month off work and a sweet deal to extend his stay in an unexpected paradise. Needless to say, Aaron is thrilled to snag an extra few days in Scotland after his work conference to soak up the magic of the country.

However, his plans to tourist his way around Edinburgh before his January 1st flight home are thwarted by a strange influx of people into the capital. Add in trains that don’t run on New Year’s, fireworks, first-footing, and running into the same gorgeous stranger as he exits every other shop, and Aaron really should have googled what “Hogmanay” was before he found himself whisked into the whirlwind of Scottish revelry and the impossible draw of that sexy stranger who tastes like scotch and, impossibly, already feels like the beginnings of home.

Review

Aaron is on vacation where he meets Connor. They literally bumped into each other before, but didn’t spend time. Met a second time and decided to make the most. I enjoyed the instant chemistry in this short story. There was a hot scene between them. I enjoyed reading about another culture, wanting to look this celebration up now. I could definitely see this being a longer book. Good holiday read. If only all vacations ended this exciting.

Number of stars out of 5

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Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Holiday Island by A.D. Ellis

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

No peacocks were harmed in the making of this story.

Rafa’s nautical skills are less than stellar. He’d rather be a full-time artist, but he has a duty to the family business and a fear of standing up to his father and brother.

Carpenter Lucas is determined to rebuild his business after a lover’s betrayal nearly destroyed it. But he runs into a snag when he misses the last boat to the job site.

Rafa offers to take him, but Rafa isn’t much of a sailor.

When they end up on the wrong island, fears for survival gradually give way to an appreciation of the beauty around them—and each other. Rafa insists a holiday miracle will save them, and he teases Lucas for being a Scrooge.

In the end, Rafa’s miracle might come from the last place he expects: inside himself.

Review

This advent calendar short story was so adorable to read. Good descriptions of the island. The scenes involving peacocks in the distance was really cute. There are sexy mm scenes without being graphic. The brother made me want to kick him. Only complaint is that it’s just too short. There are multiple potential chapter routes that the author left open for a full novel, but still a great read.

Number of stars out of 5

5

 

 

 

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Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Barbies and Beaches by Asta Idonea

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

For the first time ever, Shane is not looking forward to the annual Boxing Day barbecue at Matty’s house. He recently divorced, none of his friends know what to say to him now, and Shane is tired of the pity and awkwardness. Things take a turn, however, when he meets Matty’s English cousin.

Neil is struggling with the Australian heat, having left the UK after a bad breakup. When Shane suggests the two of them head to a secluded beach to cool off, the growing intimacy between them might make both reassess their current situation.

Review
Just a few beers with the guys and then he can withdraw. Shane doesn’t want to be there but… it’s a 26th December tradition. He is intrigued by the sleeping guy on the couch.

Neil thinks it’s time to return to the other side of the world where it’s not so terrible hot… he can’t handle the heat. Who is that guy watching him ‘sleep’?

Two men sneaking out of the party. The two both with baggage… and a lot of attraction.

Sweet read, just enough developed to get into the feelings and understand where they come from.
I loved the entourage and the way this story is written. Engaging personalities put in a bubble and having a hea. Well done. A sweet short Christmas read!

Number of stars out 3 of 5

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Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Miracle on Three Kings Day by Beth Laycock

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

Levi’s family knows he needs to find a way out of his funk and be a part of the world again. His brother, Jesse, invites Levi to join him in sunny Spain for the holidays, but a delay at the airport finds Levi at Jesse’s home while his brother is stranded in Scotland. Luckily Alejandro—Alex—is on hand with a key, a friendly smile, and a willingness to keep Levi company. He might even manage to draw Levi out of his shell for some mutual flirting.
Levi surprises himself when he accepts an invitation to spend New Year’s Eve with Alex at Alex’s café, but is he ready for more when it means jumping back into life feetfirst? Besides, with an ocean between them and Alex hiding a part of his life that Levi isn’t sure he can handle, they’ll need their own Three Kings’ Day miracle to stay together.

Review
Levi seems a likeable chap, who has suffered from the death of his father, which has subsequently caused him to have problems with his writing career and close himself off from life.
He arrives in Spain to find his brother is still stuck in Scotland and so heads to the café to collect a spare key from the brothers best friend, Alex.
From that meeting friendship and flirting follow all gearing towards Three Kings Day, a traditional Spanish holiday.
This story was okay, but nothing really happened. Even the ending came upon me suddenly, with nothing definite set for the future of these characters. Both Alex and Levi are quite bland, no highs or lows expressed, although each has a backstory that was lightly touched on and could have made them more interesting. Maybe if this was expanded to more than a short story it would have been more engaging.

2.5 of stars out of 5

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Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story The Last Birthday Party by Mere Rain

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

Their favorite holiday is going away. Will it take their friendship with it?

Since 1989, the birthday of the Emperor of Japan has been celebrated on December 23rd. But this is the last year; the Emperor is abdicating, and next year there will be no holiday.

For twenty-year-old Akihito, the holiday has always been special. It’s his birthday, too, and a perfect excuse for spending the entire day celebrating across Tokyo with his life-long best friend, Kenji. But now that they will no longer get the day off and will soon face adult responsibilities, will they drift apart? Or if Akihito confesses the secret love he’s held in his heart for years, will their closeness be ruined? One thing is certain: nothing will be same by the end of the day.

Review

This Advent Calendar short is such a sweet read. You have Akihito and his best friend since childhood Kenji. The memories of their antics together made me smile. Plus how sweet they are. I enjoyed the bits on the culture that are included in the book. Small moments of pining, nothing dramatic. I was so very happy with the ending. This is a great “feel-good” book to add some extra sweetness to your day.

Number of stars out of 5

5

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Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story An Everyday Hero by E.J. Russell

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

When Adam Tyler’s sister announced she was pregnant, Adam decided to move from Portland, Oregon, to Phoenix, Arizona, to fully embrace the uncle experience. However, he didn’t count on the move being delayed until three days before Christmas—and three days before his sister’s due date. And he definitely didn’t count on finding a scorpion in his bedroom. Cue the panicked calls to exterminators.
Garrett Strong doesn’t consider himself at all remarkable—his ex certainly didn’t think so—and Garrett’s pest-control business is circling the drain. Although Adam is his first new client in months, that isn’t the only reason Garrett goes above and beyond for him. He feels a real connection to the younger man and intends to do everything in his power to make sure Adam feels safe and welcome in Phoenix—venomous intruders notwithstanding.

Review

This is my favorite of the 4 I read!

I loved this!!!

It is soooo cute and the guys are so adorable together! There is a wonderful back and forth POV and two opposites totally attracting! I’m a Portlander so finding out about the terrors of Arizona was hysterical and eye opening!

I learned right along with Adam about scorpions and snakes and fencing – Oh My!

Garrett is so self effacing and in need of a big hug – it was wonderful to see the two find each other.

I only wish the story were longer – as is the case with any good story.

Highly recommended!

6 of 5 stars

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Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Summer Santa by Ward Maia

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/2018-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-warmest-wishes-10067-b

 

Blurb

Sam is a journalist struggling with the recent transfer to his magazine’s Brazilian office. He doesn’t speak the language and isn’t all that familiar with the customs. It also isn’t easy to make friends when you’re the new guy. Then there’s James, his friendly and gorgeous coworker, who is so out of Sam’s league, he knows he doesn’t stand any chance with the handsome Brazilian.

Just as Sam is preparing to spend Christmas away from his family, an unexpected surprise spins his lonely holiday plans around. Another unforeseen gift is James’s offer to show Sam some of the city’s holiday traditions. With his significant low self-esteem, Sam doesn’t know what to make of James’s offer and apparent interest. Can some last-minute decorations and an impromptu meal make Sam’s apartment feel more homely?

Maybe everything could come together in a wonderful way—if Sam can find the courage and confidence to accept all James wants to give.

Review

I just love holiday stories and Summer Santa doesn’t disappoint. This short story is full of pining, self-doubt and crazy family members. Sam is faced with going through the holidays alone in a new country, but his zany family ends up coming to the rescue. Sam ends up connecting with his co-worker James during this time and they embark on a sweet, new relationship. I loved everything about this sweet little story!!

5 stars


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