Categories
adult - 18+

Holiday Review: A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote


Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48915871-a-boyfriend-for-christmas

Blurb

Archie’s posh parents want him to meet a nice girl–how can he tell them he’s fallen for a bad boy instead?

Closeted, innocent and lonely, Archie Arandale longs for someone special in his life. A Christmas party organised by his wealth management company is the last place he expects to meet the man of his dreams.

With his leather jacket, tattoos, and piercings, Cal Turner turns heads the moment he walks through the door. He definitely isn’t looking for a boyfriend, but Archie’s hesitant charm captures his attention, and sneaking off during the party to have a little fun can only make a dull evening more interesting.

After their reckless and thrilling encounter, Archie is keen for more experience and Cal is happy to oblige. The need for secrecy means this can only be a casual fling, yet as they spend time together in the run up to Christmas, their feelings become more intense than either of them had bargained for. How can Archie find the courage to tell his family about Cal, when Cal’s the exact opposite of the ‘nice girl’ they’ve been hoping for?

Contains: A closeted virgin, a tattooed biker, class differences, a dramatic coming out, a very inappropriate Christmas gift, and a happy ending (of course).

Review

This book left me feeling giddy and optimistic. It’s a hopeful and fun read, very heartwarming, and surprisingly naughty…

The author brilliantly captures those first nervous moments of falling for someone, wondering if they’ll like you back, the excitement as well as the awkwardness that can come with firsts of any kind, and most especially the passion and delicious rush you get when falling in love.

Archie and Cal are, at first glance, an unlikely, but utterly adorable pair. The posh rich kid and the tattooed, slightly older, biker… how can anyone resist reading this story 😉 I loved that despite the small age gap, Cal and Archie are always on an equal footing and feel incredibly at ease around each other, almost from their first meeting.

Jay Northcote has a knack for writing real-life characters who seem completely genuine and authentic, and he pulls it off here too. He always makes me feel as if I could meet his MC’s just by setting foot in a pub in England, or maybe during a hike in Wales. A Boyfriend For Christmas is a light-hearted holiday romance with a great set of secondary characters, even those that make a rather awful first impression, and a great epilogue. Loved the humor and the inspirational gag gifts!

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Drawing the Prince (Stars from Peril #3) by Kim Fielding

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/drawing-the-prince-by-kim-fielding-10806-b

Blurb

Painting themselves a life together will be a royal ordeal.

Small-town boy Cal Walters doesn’t know whether he owes his phenomenal success as an artist to talent or to his connections to famous people. Doubt leaves him secluded—until a lost bet lands him on yet another blind date. But this one is different.

To Teofilo Vabriga-Kastav, playboy prince of the tiny nation of Porvunia and passionate art lover, Cal’s paintings are as intriguing as Cal himself. When Teo invites Cal to his country for an art competition, a whirlwind romance sweeps them up. But it can’t last—loyalties and obligations bind them to lives that are worlds apart.<

Cal and Teo might’ve found their perfect complements in each other, but to hold on to their happiness, they’ll have to get creative.

Review
This was an easy, quick read where our artistic Cinderfella gets his prince, is not saddled up with a stepfamily, horrible or otherwise, and goes on to live the dream in a slightly oversweet HEA.

I’ll confess that I’d hoped for a bit more tension and emotional depth in the story. I liked the book fine until it neared its ending and the MC’s came to the final hurdle to overcome, where things went a little downhill for me. The obstacles Teo and Cal ultimately faced shouldn’t have been as insurmountable as they made them out to be, which made me feel at least one of them wasn’t completely committed. I wasn’t impressed with the solution the author came up with either, which felt more than a little implausible, even for a book with a made-up country and royal family. I also didn’t entirely understand what initially caused Teo and Cal to be so drawn to each other, with Teo especially going out of his way to win Cal over.

The story had its moments though and will certainly do great for someone in the mood for something romantic and mushy to dream away by.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 3


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: The Witchstone Amulet by Mason Thomas

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-witchstone-amulet-by-mason-thomas-10731-b

Blurb

Protect it at all costs.

That’s what rugby player Hunter Best’s mother told him before she died. But when Hunter surprises an intruder in his Chicago apartment, he discovers her amulet stolen. Hunter pursues the thief—all the way through a strange vortex. He wakes in a bizarre and violent world, a benighted realm on the threshold of civil war.

The queen has become a ruthless tyrant, punishing any who oppose her, weakening the kingdom’s defenses against the brutal Henerans. To survive, Hunter must depend on the man who robbed him, a handsome former spy named Dax, now a leader of the resistance that believes the queen is an imposter—a Heneran disguised by magic… who also looks identical to Hunter’s mother.

There’s no love lost between Hunter and Dax, and even if Hunter grudgingly agrees with the resistance, he just wants to reclaim his property and go home. But he might be the only one who can oppose the queen and end her reign of terror.

Review

This is first and foremost an adventure story, set in a dangerous medieval-like world full of magic and peril. The romance comes in a close second, very much a slow-burn, though it still carries a punch emotionally.

Dax is a very enigmatic character, trying hard to remain aloof and save the day all by himself, driven by guilt and loss. It’s great to see him, ever so slowly, open up to Hunter. What I love most about Hunter, is how persistent he is and how driven to make a place for himself, first in his rugby team and later on in a world he never could have imagined even existed. His longing for acceptance and his unwillingness to stand idly when faced with injustice make him incredibly endearing.

The world-building is great and the secondary characters are also very well written, some quite intriguing in their own right. The author keeps you guessing as to whom Hunter and Dax can trust or when (definitely not if) danger will strike. I really liked that some of the characters find themselves quite firmly in a gray area, instead of having everyone be stereotypically divided into good guys and bad guys.

Recommend.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Fire and Obsidian (Carlisle Deputies #4) by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-and-obsidian-by-andrew-grey-10431-b

Blurb
Can a couple be more opposite than a thief and a cop? Or do they have more in common than they think?
Mattias stole to survive. He was damn good at it. But there’s no such thing as a victimless crime, and when he saw how his theft hurt people, he resolved to change. Now he works as a consultant, and while helping to investigate a rash of burglaries, he crosses paths with James.
Police Officer James Levinson doesn’t trust thieves, and that includes Mattias. James’s father stole to support himself, and James knows firsthand how that can destroy lives—it inspired him to go into law enforcement. Mattias is no different, from what he can tell… at first.
As they work together, Mattias and James realize there’s something deeper between them than just the physical attraction neither can deny. Given time, they might even grow to trust each other—unless the case they’re working on dredges up pasts both would rather forget.

Review

I very much enjoyed this new book in the Carlisle Deputies series and I loved the connection between Mattias and James. They really bring the opposites attract magic! I loved the humor and chemistry the MC’s shared and I think it’s great that it wasn’t too easy for them to fall in love. The trust issues are real and don’t magically disappear after the first kiss. There’s also a very well-written, Big Misunderstanding, that really amps up the emotional intensity of the story. I’m not usually a fan of this type of thing, but the author made it work beautifully.

One thing I’ve come to expect in an Andrew Grey romance is for one or both of the MC’s to get a raw deal when it comes to their parents. Here it’s both. Poor guys. I especially felt bad for James, because his father puts him in an untenable situation, morally and emotionally.

This is a really well-written story, a wonderful combination of romance and suspense.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 4.5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review