Recent Release: Home for Christmas (Texas #9) by R.J. Scott

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42931944-home-for-christmas?from_search=true

Blurb

Can Connor show River a real family Christmas?

When Connor finds River on the roof of the campus admin building, he doesn’t know what to do. His friend is drunk, and shouting into a snowstorm, a bottle of vodka in his hand. The easy part is getting River down; the hard part is insisting River comes home with Connor for Christmas.

River doesn’t have a family, or any place outside of college that he calls home. Not that it matters to him; he’s happy being alone for Christmas in his budget motel, watching reruns of Elf. Only, Connor keeps telling wildly improbable stories of the perfect family celebrations at his parents’ ranch in Texas, and it’s wearing River down. He didn’t ask to be kidnapped. He didn’t want to fall in love with the entire Campbell-Hayes family. But he does.

From one Christmas to the next. This is Connor’s year to rescue River, and himself, for them both to mess things up, make things right, fall in lust and finally, for Connor to show the man he loves what being part of a family can mean.

Review

I was a big fan of the Texas series when it first started… I’m not sure I’ve actually read every book in the series – but most of them?

In any case, this is the next generation and it’s Jack and Riley’s college aged kid. I’m not sure – but this feels like soap opera aging – where you see the child born and then in 2 years they’re a teenager! LOL or I’m just getting too old to remember everyone’s age!

In any case this was really sweet and it was fun seeing Jack and Riley again as parents.

If you’re a fan of the series you’ll love this, if you just want a sweet holiday hurt/comfort – this is for you, too!

3.75 (rounded to 4) of 5 stars

Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Boyfriend Cruise by Deanna Wadsworth

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-boyfriend-cruise-by-deanna-wadsworth-10060-b

Blurb

A Pride of the Caribbean Getaway
The Pride of the Caribbean is a cruise ship unlike any other. Paranormals working on board the enchanted ship hide in plain sight, under the benevolent protection of a demigod captain and his fairy husband.
And this is a shipboard romance unlike any other.
Josh Gilbert’s well-meaning family booked a gay-friendly cruise for Christmas in order to find Josh a boyfriend. Hoping to escape the constant parade of bachelors—and the collapsible fishing rod dangling mistletoe his mom keeps in her purse—Josh takes solace in a growing friendship with the ship’s photographer, Nathan. Though Josh is falling for Nathan, he worries it will never be more than a shipboard fling.
Nathan recently became aware of his incubus heritage and has finally learned how to control his demon side. But Josh has awakened more than just the demon’s need for orgasms—Josh has awakened Nathan’s heart. What’s developing between them is the real thing, but can Josh ever accept Nathan’s promiscuous past… and love a sex demon?
Amid lush tropical settings, family hilarity, holiday costume parties, sexy snorkeling adventures, gingerbread martinis, and mythical creatures, will Josh get his Christmas wish and finally find the true love he’s wanted for so long?

Review

This was very cute and I enjoyed it’s mix of holiday charm, paranormal surprise and new to sex romance.

It was a little goofy at the beginning but after about 30% it settled down into a lovely story with some heat and sweetness.

Recommended for fans of paranormal romance!

4 of 5 stars

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Release Day Review: A Whole Latte Sass By Marguerite Labbe

release day review

Dreamspinner: 

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/a-whole-latte-sass-by-marguerite-labbe-10070-b

Blurb

Geek Life: Book Two

It’s no secret cosplayer Felipe Suero is looking for his happily ever after—in his love life as well as his career. He’s getting his degree so he can quit his miserable job and start his own costume business. Now he just needs to land the sexiest silver fox to ever attend a con.

Trask Briscoe’s life revolves around staying clean and sober, running the Magick Den, and attending local cons. His rules haven’t left much room for romance. But he can’t deny Felipe has caught his complete attention. He’s just not sure what he can offer a man so full of joy and sass.

When Trask finally accepts Felipe’s offer for a cup of coffee, he soon finds himself on a second date and a third. Between cosplay projects and roleplaying games, they discover a deeper connection than either of them expected. And Trask realizes that sometimes rules are made to be broken.

Now Felipe just has to convince his family—and Trask—that Trask has more love to offer than he ever dreamed.

 

Review

This book was an unexpected delight and I immediately ran to buy book 1 in the series because the cameos of those characters just captured me.  Marguerite has fantastic writing and I am so happy I got to know her, as now I have a new author to follow.
The gaming and geeky world described in the book is very accurate, as someone who was part of it many years and have friends who still are very into it I enjoyed how detailed it was- yet not too much for someone who is not really in this scene. I learned some new things on the way, mostly about roleplaying. Trask and Felipe are such fun, interesting and complex characters, I felt like their relationship, with all its hardships and Felipe’s family not always supporting it, was very mature, even if Felipe has a tendency to dramatic outbursts and storming off- they work it out and in no place is there a time where they just give up because of a misunderstanding. Feeling get hurt, yes, but in the end they always try to talk about it and figure out how to make both happy.

I think one of the things I liked the most was that when they did finally start dating and had their first kiss, there was no ‘explosion/electricity/shivers’ and all those other over the top descriptions we so often get in Romance and M/M Romance. It was very refreshing to see them act on their mutual attraction in more real-life way. It make it that much more interesting, and I liked that they took time to get to know each other more, in the romantic aspect. Despite some parts of the story that might have been a touch slow for me, the author wisely added POV’s of characters from book 1 and ones I assume will be in book 3. It was quite unique, because it gave just enough insight into these other characters, tempting you to read more about them (like Morris and Theo from book 1) and gave you an outside view of Trask and Felipe. I don’t think I have ever come across a book that had this kind of POV in M/M before and I really liked it!

Number of stars out of 5

4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

Time to Celebrate the Holidays: The Captain’s Cornish Christmas by Catherine Curzon, Eleanor Harkstead

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42392361-the-captain-s-cornish-christmas

Blurb

For a lonely Cornish lifeboatman and an author who’s more used to crime scenes than love scenes, this Christmas is going to be very merry indeed!

When Jago Treherne agrees to man the Polneath lifeboats one snowy Christmas, he knows he can forget turkey and all the trimmings.

Yet when he boards a seemingly empty yacht and stumbles upon sexy Sam Coryton enjoying an energetic afternoon below decks, Jago soon realizes that he might be unwrapping a very different sort of Christmas gift this year!

Publisher’s Note: This book is related to the Captivating Captains series.

Review

This was a cute Christmas novella revolving around two men who’ve known each other for years. Jago is a lifeboat captain who goes out to check on a missing boat, which is manned by Sam. This brings both men back into each other’s orbit and the romance flies.

I really enjoyed the opening scene between the two men. Jago seems to have given up on finding love because of how demanding his job is. Sam is tired of the fast past of the big city and just wants to retire to the quiet countryside. Jago is shy and awkward (my favorite type of hero) and Sam is more relaxed and confident. Sam has wanted Jago for year’s, but the timing never seemed to be right. He sets out to woo Jago from the get-go. Jago can’t believe a man as wonderful as Sam would be interested in him but Sam has no problem proving that his feelings are genuine.

While this is apart of a series, each book is a stand alone and can be read and enjoyed in any order. While I wish these stories were a bit longer, I highly recommend them !!

4 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Audiobook: Love Happens Anyway by RJ Scott Narrated by Sean Crisden

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Love-Happens-Anyway-Audiobook/B07KFPTB1Q?qid=1545259106&sr=sr_1_11&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_11&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=YHWG1TZ8336AY89GBJ7V&

Blurb

Hiring a boyfriend for Christmas, what could possibly go wrong?
Derek is facing yet another Christmas where his life feels out of control. He has a new career that doesn’t feel like his, and parents who would just love to see him settled down. All he needs is a temporary buffer for the parties he has to attend, and for his parents to leave him alone. Enter, Luke.
Luke is 20,000 dollars short for the renovations on Halligans, his family’s bar in New York’s Financial District. A favor for a buddy has him agreeing to play the part of boyfriend to a guy with more money than sense.
But when the spirit of Christmas works its magic on the two men, and they begin to fall for each other, Derek runs scared, and Luke needs space.
It doesn’t matter what obstacles you throw in the way of love, or how much you run in the other direction, because, when you’re least expecting it, whether you want it or not, love happens anyway.

Review

Soooo cute! This is adorable! We have a really sweet guy who has hit a rough patch and an adorable but weaker guy who hasn’t really stood up to his folks like he should.

This is pretty much the ideal set up for a “fake boyfriend” and it plays out pretty wonderfully.

I found it easy to fall into and was mostly swept away – the narration helped make this so easy!

There were a couple of things that brought me out of the story. Derek’s life is too easy and I didn’t always understand why his super sweet family was the cause of such angst. I also felt like he was offering a huge sum of money for 4 dates without sex.

But… it was pretty fun and I enjoyed it – especially with Sean Crisden’s narration – his voice is so sexy and easy to listen to!

4 of 5 stars for the story and 5 of 5 for the narration

4.5 of 5 stars overall


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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

 

Release Day Review: The CEO’s Christmas Manny (Beyond the Boardroom #1) By Angela McCallister

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-ceos-christmas-manny-by-angela-mccallister-10040-b

Blurb
Anything but business as usual.

Billionaire CEO Nic Price lives for his job. With sales down and grumbling from the board of directors—including Nic’s permanently dissatisfied father—the last thing Nic needs is distraction from the new manny, whose freewheeling approach to childcare is outlandish… and who makes Nic feel things he’s never allowed himself to feel.

Ex-teacher Sasha Lindsey is all about fun—that’s the reason people love him, so he has to be. After a bad break-up leaves him jobless and homeless, the live-in manny job with Mr. Price seems like a windfall. But his chemistry with Nic is off the charts, and he can’t afford another workplace romance disaster.

Can Nic leave his dominance in the bedroom and open his heart to the best thing that’s ever happened to him? Or will Sasha’s leap of faith backfire and ruin his chances at the family happily ever after he’s always dreamed of?

Review
I love stories where the single parent falls for the governess/manny, and even more so when it’s a holiday romance. The Sound Of Music is one of my favorite Christmas movies, so I’m all for aloof, closed-off workaholics who could use a little help reconnecting with their family and desperately need someone to love and be loved by in return. So okay, the kids are already teenagers and the single parent is their uncle and not their father, but the magic is still there.

Sasha is very much a people-pleaser, a warm-hearted, giving person. Not only by nature, but also out of necessity as he fears that people will not want him around otherwise, which was quite sad. He needs someone to love him even when he’s not being all that upbeat and to really see him.
It seems unlikely that uncle Scrooge could be the one to give him that, but there’s more than meets the eye to Nic as well. Though Nic definitely has some issues that need dealing with and shackles to throw off before he can be there for Sasha, or Lucy and Ben, for that matter. He makes some pretty awful mistakes along the way, unfairly blaming Sasha and pushing him away when things start going south with his business and his parents from hell. Not well done. Luckily, he has Lucy and Ben to talk some sense into him, as well as his friend, Percy.

I really like slow-burn stories like this one and I loved seeing the connection form between Nic and Sasha, the feelings that grew stronger alongside their physical attraction. I also enjoyed the scenes with Lucy and Ben, who are an integral part of the story and not just part of the décor.

This was a well-written, heartwarming romance, the perfect read for the season.

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 Review:

I enjoyed this story- it’s a mix of hurt/comfort, mild angst balanced with dashes of humour and heat.
Nic is a workaholic, only because he feels the need to live up to his parent’s expectations (I disliked them ☹). He has custody of his niece and nephew, but because he’s so busy with work, he emotionally neglects them leading to them acting out. After the kids drive away the last nanny, Nic hires Sasha – (assuming Sasha is a ‘she’) – sight unseen. Sasha is sort of an unconventional nanny – for one, he’s really a very well qualified teacher in math and other subjects and for another, he has ‘think-out-of-the-box’ ideas for approaching learning.
When both men meet there is an instant attraction, both fighting it for different reasons.
I was a little surprised at how quickly they gave in to their initial lust and mildly peeved at Nic for blowing hot and cold with Sasha. When Nic blows cold the final time, all hell breaks loose, leaving Sasha pretty much out in the cold.
What I appreciated is that even when Nic gets Sasha back, it’s not all sunshine and roses – he really has to prove to Sasha that he won’t bail when things get tough, nor will he shy away from Sasha’s issues.
I really enjoyed the story – the kids were nice and Percy (Nic’s best friend) was a good secondary character – I hope he gets a story ☺

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

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

 

 

 

 

Time to Celebrate the Holidays: Christmas Cole audiobook by BG Thomas narrated by Paul Morey

Dreamspinner
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/christmas-cole-by-bg-thomas-6184-

Blurb
Javier Torres was a sweet, plump, and very unpopular child. But over the years, he turned himself into a gorgeous gym god. The problem is he’s also become an egotistical snob. But one day his arrogance pisses off the wrong little old lady, and he wakes up to find that, like the Prince in Beauty and the Beast, he’s been transformed into something from his personal nightmares. Javier has nowhere to go but back home, where to his surprise, he is greeted with open arms, not just by the family he remembers, but by his new brother-in-law, Cole. Cole suspects there might be a pretty heart to go with the pretty face locked inside that new body, but has Javier learned enough to earn Cole—instead of coal—for Christmas

Review
This title is part of the 2011 Advent Calendar: I’ll Be Home for Christmas.
I quite enjoyed this take on the beauty and the beast / it’s a wonderful life type of story. It’s also a moral lesson of judging people by looks rather than who they really were. And how shallow he had become. It took a harsh lesson before he was able to see what he had become. He didn’t really understand until he went home to see his family and meets Cole again. Javier’s partner Mark is a horrible person especially the way he treated Javier after he was transformed.Quite a message in this story but it is heartwarming. The love and acceptance of family and of oneself.
The narrator, Paul Morey, does a fair job but I felt that the emotions were missing. After all Javier did suffer his worst nightmare and was deserted by Mark at Christmas. The characters were portrayed well enough. I could make out who was who and there was some characterisation.

3 of stars out of 5 for both story and narration

 

Purchased by reviewer

 

 

Recent Release: Old Acquaintance by Annabelle Jacobs

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42960918-old-acquaintance?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Blurb

 

There are two sides to every story, even those buried in the past.

 

When Sam spots the hot guy moving in next door, he’s all for going round to introduce himself. That soon changes when it turns out his new neighbour is Charles Whitmore, an old school acquaintance. Sam didn’t like him back then, for good reason, and fifteen years haven’t altered that.

 

Splitting up from his long-term boyfriend means a move across the city for Charlie. As luck would have it, his immediate neighbour is a guy he went to school with, Sam Gellar. While Sam is less than welcoming, his best mate is more than happy to invite Charlie into their social circle. Whatever problem Sam has with him, Charlie resolves to get to the bottom of it because, frosty beginnings aside, Charlie likes him.

 

With Christmas just around the corner, fate pushes them together, and they get on much better than they ever did at school. Despite his efforts not to, Sam develops feelings for Charlie, and they appear to be reciprocated. If Sam wants to take things further, he needs to either confront Charlie about their past—a past Charlie seems to have forgotten entirely—or let it go and move on. Sam knows deep down that he can’t let it go, but can’t find the right time to bring it up either.

 

Review

 

Old Acquaintance is a short and sweet novella about two former schoolmates who end up neighbors. Sam has despised Charlie since high school after Charlie attacked a good friend of his. Charlie ends up moving in next to Sam after his long-time relationship dissolves. Sam and Charlie grow close while Sam does construction on Charlie’s sister’s house. Sam fights his attraction towards Charlie due to what happened in high school. When Sam finally confronts Charlie there is the inevitable fall out. No need to fear the guys make up and live happily ever after.

 

This book has a good cast of characters. I liked Charlie and his sister and Sam’s friends but for a good part of the book I didn’t really like Sam. He just irked me, but his reluctant acceptance of Charlie’s cat Storm redeemed him in my eyes.

 

4 stars

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review