Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story The Faller by Daniel de Lorne

Dreamspinner Presents

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

 

Blurb

Being caught with another man sends Charlie Young fleeing his family to the forests of southwestern Australia to scrape together steamer-passage to the big smoke of London. But life as a timber faller isn’t easy and it’s made worse when the men, he works with are brash, bigoted, and often brutal. All except Jack Tapper, who’s the kind of gentle giant that sets Charlie’s heart racing.
While the other men head into town for Christmas, it’s just Charlie and Jack and acres of forest. But trees tell no tales and a few days alone is the perfect opportunity to indulge a bourgeoning passion. When the men return and find things not as they once were, Charlie and Jack have to make the hard decisions about whether to stay where they are or run for their lives.

Review

Charlie is running away and trying to hide. He stops to work as a faller hoping to get some money for a ticket to London where he imagines he will be safe, but will he make it? The big men he is working with surely will not look kindly at him if they ever find out what he likes.
When the biggest man of them all turns out to be the one Charlie can count on will the two fight to stay or run?

Charlie has been through a lot and is learning early on how tough life can be. He longs for a chance to live and love. When a chance for love comes with Jack Charlie must make some hard choices. It was nice to see the way Charlie and Jack connected as their attraction turned into something more. There is so much Charlie must learn before he can truly be free. Charlie and Jack are good men who must let go of their past to find a future. Both men go through some self-searching and they learn the hard way that love is worth fighting for.

Number of stars out of 5: 3

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Tulsi Vivah by Anna Kaling

Dreamspinner Presents

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

 

Blurb

 

The festival of Tulsi Vivah ushers in the Hindu wedding season and tears away the love of Kristopher’s life. Three years of passion and tenderness are reduced to a shameful skeleton in the closet as Arjuna submits to the marriage his parents have arranged for him. His family has never even heard Kristopher’s name.

The festival, a ritualistic wedding between the holy basil plant, Tulsi, and her eternal lover, Vishnu, is as much of a play-act as Arjuna’s upcoming nuptials, but he believes the wedding will honor his parents and please Vishnu. So why is his Tulsi plant—whose leaves heal and bless the devout, who is Vishnu’s representative on earth—dying? Arjuna tends to her with all the care of a concerned parent, but it might take more than his devotion to save her. She might need Kris, with his clever green-fingers—and maybe a revived Tulsi can heal two hearts.

Review
Not exactly my cup of tea, but still a sweet and hopeful holiday romance. In the end. It took a while to get there.
I guess what bothered me so was that we have an established couple that breaks down, not because of an outside threat, but because of one of the MC’s himself. Not something I like to see in a romance. Pet peeve of mine.

I had a hard time warming up to Arjuna, because I hated how he treated Kris and even more how he broke up with him. So much in their relationship happened on Arjuna’s terms, which is just very unhealthy as well as unbalanced and I didn’t feel as if Arjuna appreciated Kris’ efforts enough. He suffered too during their separation, so that did win him some highly-needed bonus points. But then it also takes Arjuna (a lot of) time to realize it would be awful of him to marry Sharanya under false pretenses, and that initial willingness to spend a lifetime lying to a spouse like that again didn’t endear him to me.

I liked learning more about Hinduism and its mythology, and the really wonderful thing for me was that the Tulsi plant was used as a subtle way to show Arjuna that he should feel free to pursue love and happiness, even if it comes in the form of a relationship with Kris and not in that of an arranged marriage to a woman.

In the end, Arjuna makes some brave choices and is a very lucky man to still hold Kris’ affections. However, both MC’s had to face a learning curve in order to better understand the other’s point of view and create a stronger foundation for their relationship.
I loved the final scene where Kris finally meets Arjuna’s parents. A very heartwarming send-off for our MC’s.

Number of stars out of 5: 3

 

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Valley of the Kings by Blue Jones

Dreamspinner Presents

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

 

Blurb

Rival archaeologists Will and Jude slept together a year ago, on the night of the Summer Solstice at a dig in Stonehenge. But they were both wearing masks, so Jude has no idea it was Will he slept with, and Will’s been harboring a powerful, one-sided crush ever since. Now they’re in Egypt, competing to find the lost tomb of Queen Nefertiti. Jude falls through a crack in the cave floor, and when Will reluctantly climbs down to help him, they find themselves in Nefertiti’s tomb, surrounded by archaeological treasures—where they must spend Christmas stranded by a sandstorm. Will a few sultry hours stripped almost bare from the heat and sharing a bottle of whiskey sort out who should get credit for the discovery—and the real reason for the tension between them?

Review

Another good story in the collection. The blurb says it all, complete with a double meaning of sorts☺. It’s a fun read, with humour, a little adventure, a light tug on the heartstrings and a lovely end. The only thing I wanted to know is if they really discovered Nefertiti’s tomb. Hopefully Blue Jones will flesh this out as full novel and we get to find out? *Puppy dog eyes*.

I loved it!

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Santa on the Beach (Warmest Wishes) by Crystel Greene

Dreamspinner Presents

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

 

Blurb

The sexy Santa and the virgin dad….

Single dad Mario, twenty-one, has finally won shared custody of his five-year-old son, Sammy. They’re spending Christmas at a Tenerife resort to celebrate. The children’s swimming instructor, Josie, is sexy and fun, and Mario can’t stop dreaming about him. But Mario has no clue how to talk to a hot guy.

With his suntan, Speedos, and rippling abs, Josie seems to be the typical jock. He’s super sweet too, and everyone loves him. But he only has eyes for the fire-eyed little dad who looks like his son’s older brother and won’t stop policing the swimming class.

Sammy would like to be a king in the hotel’s nativity play. But he’s too afraid to go anywhere without his dad.
Mario would like a holiday romance with Josie, or even a little more, but between building his tech company and trying to do his part as Sammy’s father he has missed out on a lot and is too inexperienced to know where to begin.

Luckily Santa might have just the thing for everyone on his list..

Review

Santa on the Beach is such a sweet, heartfelt little story.

Mario is a 21-year-old father who finally got custody of his young son Sammy and they go to the Canary Islands for Christmas. At first Sammy shows no interest in participating in any of the kid’s activities but he agrees to participate in the swim lessons. There they meet swim instructor Josie. Josie unknowingly brings both father and son out of their shells. Mario is my favorite type of character, devoted father who is also awkward and shy and just wants to be loved. Josie has wanted Mario from the first moment he saw him. He is so sweet towards Sammy as well. I wish the story had an epilogue of some sorts but maybe there will be another story somewhere down the line.
4 stars

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest ReviewReviewed by Aerielle

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Make a Circle by Elliot Joyce

Dreamspinner Presents

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

 

Blurb

Pagan punk musician Lucas is fully prepared to spend this Yule with the rest of the band and his beautiful bass guitar when Oliver, his boyfriend of almost a year, asks if he wants to join the rest of the Han family for their annual winter celebration. It comes as a shock since Ollie has gone to great lengths to keep the two apart, and Lucas always assumed he was the reason. Since they’re planning to be together long-term, Lucas can’t say no to meeting Ollie’s parents, but he better brush up on his manners and his Mandarin because this is going to be a holiday season like no other—and it has some surprises in store for both of them.

Review

I liked this story. I wasn’t 100% sure I got the message, if there was one. The story centred around family and acceptance but in my naivety I thought Oliver has already been accepted by his family, well that was the impression I got from the way they treated him. It was more the case that the older members of his family were having a hard time breaking habits and kept speaking without thinking. I know that is hurtful but it doesn’t come across as malicious in the story. It’s not just that Oliver is gay there is another aspect his family had to understand and accept. I don’t want to give it away because it is an important part of the story. His family is big and loud with the usual family drama. Lucas is worried about fitting in because he doesn’t speak mandarin. For this reason he doesn’t realise that they liked him straight away. Just like with Oliver though the family members were thoughtless and did not think to include him in conversation by switching to English which left him feeling on the outside.

Overall it is a lovely story, with a warm family welcome for Lucas, even though he had to hear that through Oliver. Just a snapshot of a holiday moment in this couple’s relationship.

3 of stars out of 5

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

 

 

 

Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Slow Summer Heat by Renae Kaye

Dreamspinner Presents

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

 

Blurb

Geoffrey Saxon is in his forties, a bit plump, a lot fuzzy, and rather boring in bed—and thanks to a very public breakup, everyone in his street knows it. However, what they don’t know is that Geoffrey sometimes watches his hot young neighbor, Vaughn, in the pool. Vaughn has invited Geoffrey to join his pool parties, but Geoffrey knows it’s only pity.
As if things can’t get worse, Geoffrey’s air conditioner breaks during a heat wave in Western Australia—and just before Christmas. In search of some relief, he camps out in his backyard, where he also has a prime view of Vaughn swimming… naked. When Geoffrey’s injured falling from his spying post, Vaughn comes to his rescue and Geoffrey doesn’t think he can be more horrified.
But he could be in for a sweet holiday surprise. Is he ready to take the dive?

Review

This is awesome! So cute. So funny. So sweet and so sexy!

It’s short – so you have to buy in but we get the long lead in via another method so it totally works.

It’s pretty steamy and totally adorable – highly recommended! (Of the 4 I read it’s the second best!)

4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Twenty-Nine Hours to Eternity (2018 Advent Calendar Daily – Warmest Wishes) by Elizabeth Noble

Dreamspinner Presents

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

 

Blurb

Being gay and pagan can make for a lonely holiday season, as Ian knows well. He’s used to celebrating alone. The last place he expects to meet a like-minded guy is at LAX during a twenty-nine-hour layover.

Ian’s never felt so comfortable or compatible with another man, even if there is an air of mystery to Race.

Race is no stranger to holiday isolation, and he decides they should seize the opportunity they’ve been given and observe the Saturnalia the way it was meant to be. A grand celebration ensues, where every moment is special and every meal a feast. The ancient traditions take on new meaning as the men find meaning in each other. But each of them has a destiny and for their paths to continue together, it’ll take a kind of magic that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

Review

 

I like my holiday romances sweet, mushy even, with a lot of family and friends surrounding the MC’s and most of all, with an optimistic, if not realistic, outlook on life. It’s the season of hope and peace for all. Sappy as that may sound. So a terrorist attack wasn’t really what I’d been hoping to find…

The story centers around Ian, a human, and Race, an enigmatic stranger, slightly less human. Both men are pagan, though exactly what that means, is left a bit vague. They meet at an airport and spend a day together waiting for their flights. They fall into like, into lust,… and then things take a turn for the worst. Not just for the characters, but sadly also for the story.

I find it very strange that Race lets the man he supposedly loves walk away from him straight into a violent and painful death. Doesn’t scream love to me. Perhaps a clearer explanation of what being a “timekeeper” entails would have helped to make sense of that. So they get to spend eternity together, yay, not so the other people who died in the attack. Where is their silver lining? Ian and Race don’t spare them a second thought but immediately go on their merry way to their happily-ever-after.

Though this wasn’t badly written per se, the plot and the MC’s did not appeal to me at all.

Number of stars out of 5: 2

 

 

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Season to Shimmer by Kim Katil

Dreamspinner Presents

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

 

Blurb

One morning close to the holidays, Nolan wakes up to two surprises: a distress call from his younger brother and a beautiful man in his bed. Nolan, an art gallery owner, has always been discreet about his sexuality, but when his baby brother plans to come out at the annual family gala, Nolan wants to have his back—and that means showing up with a man of his own on his arm. Nolan knows just the man for the job.

Skylar, who owns a karate studio in St. Augustine, can’t get his one-night stand out of his mind. When he runs into Nolan at his gallery he is more than happy to volunteer his services as arm candy. Out-and-proud himself with his striking blue/green hair, Skylar is all in. Their adventure means a fancy salon, family drama, lots of sex, a ninja hippo, and palm trees lit up in a very suggestive way. By the end of it, what started as a hookup might become much more.

Review

What started out as a hook up ended up turning into a whole lot more. Nolan and Skylar end up meeting again after their hookup and both men can’t take their eyes off each other. When Nolan decides to show up at a party with another man to try and take the heat off of his little brothers coming out, Skylar agrees to be Nolan’s date. Nolan is very protective of his brothers and immediately jumps in to take the wrath from his step father. While this is a very short story I feel that the ending and admission of love was rushed. Otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

4 stars

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story Guess Who’s Coming to Karamu by Cy Blanca

Dreamspinner Presents

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

 

Blurb

Grant Cary, a twenty-eight-year-old grad student, has let his Kwanzaa shopping go to the very last minute. In his rush to get home, he quite literally bumps into Will Sheritan, a fortysomething software developer, in the elevator. But luck favors (or curses) the adventurous, because their elevator shuts down due to a blackout. Grant and Will learn about each other’s pasts and find more than just a casual interest.
Will has never celebrated Kwanzaa, and he’s reluctant to enter into a relationship, but exploring a new tradition—with a new friend—might brighten his lonely holiday. And if Will accepts Grant’s invitation to join his family for the Karamu feast, Grant might get his Imani gift early.
Review

Waiting until the last minute to buy his gifts has always gotten Grant in trouble, this time it gets him stuck in an elevator with a stranger during a store blackout. Could this be a blessing in disguise? Grant finds a new friend in Will but will with this friendship last past the elevator?

This story is a cute read. We have all wondered what we would do if stuck in an elevator and Grant gets to find out first hand. Grant is an interesting character with a painful background who finds something with Will. It was nice to watch the two men begin to connect as they wait for the elevator to begin working again. Grant has some interesting inner dialogue and keeps readers engaged to the story. Their adventure is open-ended and makes you wonder just what will happen next. It is a light and fun read with a touch of angst to it. Grant and Will begin to learn that life is what you make of it and for life to get better you have to try again.

Number of stars out of 5: 3

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story That Turtle Story by CS Poe

Dreamspinner Presents

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

 

Blurb

Nor O’Brien spends his days in sunny Key West caring for and rehabilitating sea turtles. He doesn’t need anything else in life, expect maybe a significant other to cuddle with after a long day. But recent heartbreak has left Nor salty, and he’s not in the mood for anything, Christmas included. Then Eugene Montgomery walks into Turtle R&R, claiming to have found a clutch of eggs in distress. Nor is smitten with the tourist at first sight, and at the suggestion of his screwball colleagues, indulges in some no-strings-attached fun. Nor and Eugene are quick to get along, happily enjoy each other’s company, and take in the island’s unique holiday pleasures together. But Nor would never leave his turtles, not for any man. So when his rebound fling turns into strong romantic feelings for Eugene, it’ll take a Christmas miracle to keep the two together forever in Key West.

Review

This is an adorably cute story! It’s short, sweet and fits just right.
The blurb describes the story, so I won’t restate it; just know that it has everything – humour, attraction, some learning (turtles☺ ), colorful characters (Gus), a mini angst/misunderstanding and the promise of an HEA. I loved it!

4 stars out of 5

Copy generously provided by publisher