Release Day/Time for Holidays: The First Noel by Joe Cosentino

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-first-noel-by-joe-cosentino-10018-b


Blurb

Bobby and Paolo’s Holiday Stories: Book Three

Each Christmas has marked a milestone in Bobby and Paolo’s love story. But will this year be their last noel?

It’s no surprise Bobby isn’t feeling much holiday spirit—not when he suspects his husband, Paolo, might be interested in his new business associate, the incredibly handsome Noel. On top of that, Bobby’s father is hanging up his Santa suit at the department store due to health issues; and worst of all, Geoffrey’s birth mother, funded by antigay extremists, is threatening their family. She’s trying to take away Bobby and Paolo’s adopted son, but she’ll have to face their supportive friends, family, and pastor before she can tear Geoffrey from the only real home he’s ever known.

With so many challenges in their path, the December grooms will need an extra helping of holiday magic this year. Rumor has it Santa’s on his way to spread some holiday cheer.

Review

The First Noel is the third holiday novella featuring Bobby and Paolo. This one picks up a year later, around Christmas time. Bobby and Paolo have adopted the young boy Geoffrey, but sadly things seemed to have hit a rough patch between Bobby and Paolo. Paolo is work long hours, has been seen out with a handsome man, and Bobby’s mother and best friend are convinced that Paolo is having an affair. To top things off Geoffrey’s mother shows up out of the blue, wanting her son back, while being backed by an antigay group. Bobby is also having to deal with the fact that his father’s health issues are becoming more serious.

For a story that took less than an hour to read, it really had all I like in a good book. In my opinion Bobby and Geoffrey are the stars of this story. Geoffrey is such an adorable little boy and Bobby is the backbone of the family. The secondary characters provide some comic relief. There is a tiny bit of drama and a whole lot of love.

4 Stars

 


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Time for the Holidays: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Story A Holiday Tradition by Chrissy Munder

Dreamspinner Presents

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

 

Blurb

 

3 of stars out of 5

 

Paul Carpenter has his life all planned out. Or at least his father does. The right school, the right degree, the right job. Paul is on track, until a bus accident has him sitting out a coveted internship, babysitting, or being babysat, by a grandfather he barely remembers during his holiday stay in a Florida RV park. His father’s reasoning? How much temptation can Paul find around a bunch of senior citizens playing bingo? There’ll be nothing to distract him from his studies.
It’s hard to muster his holiday spirit when Paul is used to snow and cold, not sun, surf, and plastic flamingos in Santa hats. But then Paul meets Kevin Lombardo, who offers to show him some new holiday traditions. Suddenly Paul’s fast track hits a curve.”

Review

A sweet story about priorities in life and finding what makes you happy.
Paul’s father is set up as the bogeyman. He is a single father who is determined Paul will have a career irrespective of what Paul actually wants. Grandpa is the fun one, to him life is for living to the full. Then we meet Kevin who cares about the people who live on the and his attitude towards life gives Paul a lot to think about not to mention his growing attraction to Kevin. The only niggle I’ve got is that it ends quite abruptly. There is a jump of a year at the end and it felt like a lot had been skipped over leaving me dissatisfied. I think this story is one that could be expanded in the future.

 

3 of stars out of 5

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Time to Comfort the Hurts/Release Day Review: Strays and Lovers by John Inman

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/strays-and-lovers-by-john-inman-10003-b

Blurb

Forty-six-year-old Eddie Hightower has a problem. He’s all alone. The only thing that saves him from facing that stark reality is the fact that he isn’t really alone at all. He has a house full of pets and a refuge full of stray unwanted animals he spends every waking hour trying to place in homes. While he loves what he does with all the joy in his heart, that same poor aging heart is still missing something. And Eddie knows exactly what it is. Romance.
But wait. Cue the music. Suddenly, beyond all hope, it happens. In the small desert town of Spangle, California, where Eddie lives, comes a sad young stranger with piercing gray eyes. They are the palest, most stunningly beautiful eyes Eddie has ever seen. Poor Eddie Hightower is swallowed up in their silver depths and disappears without a gurgle. The stranger’s name is Gray Grissom. Gray, like his eyes. Without hesitation Eddie opens his doors—and his heart—to the lost young man. After all, that’s what Eddie does. He finds homes for strays. But this is one stray Eddie intends to keep for himself.

Review

Eddie is a lonely man who spends his days caring for the animals at his rescue. He longs for the love and companionship of another person. He ends up meeting an unknown man named Gray at the hardware store he used to work at.

After a less than warm first meeting, Gray comes out to the animal sanctuary to help Eddie with building a new dog run. The two men spend the day working together and feelings start to form but then Gray leaves and Eddie is again alone. The next meeting between the men has Gray acting cold and callous once more.

Eddie leave Gray alone feeling rejected once more. Time passes and Eddie still thinks about Gray but instead of happiness, he feels considerable sadness at the loss of a potential friend.

Eddie eventually breaks down the walls Gray has built up around himself. Gray finally opens up about his past and both men admit to the attraction that had been stirring between them.

While their romance slowly starts to develop, Gray also starts opening up to Eddie more and more.

Eddie is a character that you can’t help falling for. He has devoted his life to helping unloved animals. Gray on the other hand was harder to get a feel for. His attitude changes are abrupt and at first, we don’t know why he is acting out that way. A lot of the secondary character are animals and they are all just as interesting as the humans in the story. This is a great, low angst love story!

4 Stars



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Time to Celebrate the Holidays: Santa Daddy by Keira Andrews

Goodreads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42904546-santa-daddy?from_search=true

Blurb

Mall Santas aren’t supposed to be hot.

Hunter Adams is hopelessly adrift after college. He’s still a virgin, can’t find a real job, and has no clue what to do with his life. In desperation, he returns to his humiliating old job as an elf at the Santa’s Village in his hometown’s dying mall. The Santa on the job is an unexpectedly sexy lumberjack, twice Hunter’s size and age. He makes Hunter feel very naughty—too bad he’s grumpy and intimidating.

Years after the tragic death of his partner, Nick Spini has his beagle and long, hard days on his Christmas tree farm. That’s plenty. But he can’t refuse a loyal friend’s plea for help and finds himself filling in as Santa at the local mall. Despite Nick’s attempt to stay aloof, the beautiful, anxious young man playing elf brings out his long-dormant daddy instincts.

When a surprise blizzard traps them alone in Nick’s isolated forest home, their attraction burns even brighter. Will they surrender to the sizzling connection between them and find the release and comfort they crave?

Santa Daddy is a holiday gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring an age gap, steamy m/m first times, daddy role-playing and light spanking, Christmas romance feels, and of course a happy ending.

Review

This is just the right kind of book to get snowed in with! Nick is just the right kind of grumpy lumberjack you want to cuddle with and hunter is so awkwardly sweet and insecure- the work perfectly together.
I loved the emotional depth Keira put into Nick’s past, and it really emphasized his reclusiveness and unwillingness to be around people. That made him being roped into playing Santa in the mall so very funny and charming. He and Hunter have instant attraction that is off the charts, you can definitely save up on your heating bills with this books.
I usually do like light kink in books, but I shy away from the more structured BDSM club themes and plotlines. Full time alternative lifestyle is not my preferred reading material. What I liked about this book is the balance, the kink is there but it is much more about the dynamic between the two then the props and rules and contracts like in other BDSM/heavy kink books (not that there is anything wrong about them, just my personal preference). It made the sex between them smoldering hot without being the main focus of the relationship. It is the perfect balance in my opinion and I was kind of sad it didn’t go on longer so I could have more of their hotness (there is plenty there, I’m just greedy).

I also loved Hunter’s relationship with his mother, and his own struggle with fitting into the “adult role” he thinks society expects his to uphold as a collage graduate. It is something I think many people can identify with, and showed that not everyone have to walk the same pre-designed path.

This is one of my favorite Christmas stories this season, and you should definitely check it out (Keira’s Christmas story last year, In Case of Emergency, was also fantastic) if you are looking for some holiday cheer with a heaping dose of “Yes daddy”.

Number of stars out of 5
4.5


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Recent Release: The Captain’s Ghostly Gamble by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40862277-the-captain-s-ghostly-gamble?ac=1&from_search=true

Blurb

When a ghostly dandy and his roguish companion try their hand at matchmaking, things definitely go bump in the night.

For centuries, foppish Captain Cornelius Sheridan and brooding John Rookwood have haunted the mansion they duelled and died for. Now these phantom foes must join forces to save both their home and their feuding descendents.

But when Captain Sheridan sacrifices his afterlife for the sake of true love, will Rookwood risk everything to keep his companion by his side, or is it too late to say “I love you”?

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

Review

John Rockwood and Cornelius Sheridan are 200 plus year old ghosts that haunt an old manor which was the cause of their dual many years ago. On the anniversary of their death two of their descendants, Jenny and Dan show up at the manor house. Dan, it seems, wants to sell the house while Jenny wants to prove the existence of the ghosts. The two ghosts find out that the pair are actually lovers but the constant bickering between them is causing a great rift in their relationship. To try and salvage the relationship between Dan and Jenny, the ghosts decide to manifest but there is a danger of this causing them to disappear forever. Before they do this John and Cornelius admit their long-standing love for each other.

I readily admit that I was skeptical about this story. A love story between two ghosts?!? I was pleasantly surprised by this little gem. The back and forth banter between the ghosts are snarky and funny. The fondness they have for each other was apparent to me as the reader, but the moment they reveal their love for each other was so sweet.

The human couple, Dan and Jenny were a bit annoying, since neither one of them seemed to really know what the other wanted out of life and just assumed that they each wanted to live a fancy life. One simple conversation would have solved that but then this story wouldn’t have had its dramatic climax.

I highly recommend this little story. Very enjoyable for such a short read.

4.5 stars

 


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Recent Release: Escaping Solitude (The Escape Trilogy Book 2) by Sara Dobie Bauer

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42189648-escaping-solitude?from_search=true

Blurb:

Ancient vampire Andrew escaped his tropical island exile with his beloved human sailor, Edmund. They’ve now returned to Andrew’s home in nineteenth-century New Orleans and must navigate not only their developing relationship—and equally haunted pasts—but also a hungry coven of vampires Andrew used to call friends.
Desperate to stay by Andrew’s side forever, Edmund examines the impressive coven library in search of an Elder, the only creature capable of turning Edmund. Although missing for centuries, Andrew believes an Elder must still survive somewhere; they just have to find him.
The search is put on hold when Edmund receives word that his mother is ill in London, and the lovers set off on an oceanic journey surrounded by new friends and old enemies. When things go terribly wrong, Edmund’s fragile human life hangs in the balance, and an Elder must be found or Andrew will be alone forever.

Review:
This is book 2 of the trilogy. It picks up with Andrew and Edmund landing in New Orleans, La – (Andrew had been exiled to a remote island). While in NOLA, Andrew learns more about Andrew and the company he kept before his exile. Andrew also gets to see another, somewhat hedonistic and sometimes darker side to Edmund. The one thing constant is their love for each other. So imagine my surprise when out of the blue, Andrew allows a ménage involving Edmund. For me, it came out of left field and almost made me stop reading. But the story is so good that, despite that blip, I want to see them get their HEA.
The story is short, but packed with historical imagery of 18th? century NOLA.
This installment ends on a cliffhanger, but by now I’m fully invested in the story that I can’t wait to read book 3.

4 stars out of 5


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Time to comfort the hurts: Falling for the Omega (Hobson Hills Omegas #1) by C.W. Gray

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42396684-falling-for-the-omega?from_search=true

Blurb

Story takes place in the Omegaverse. Book One in the Hobson Hills Omegas series:

Carter Benson is a lonely, scarred mess of an alpha. Honorably discharged from the army after being injured, he is left with very little that really matters. All he has is a Trust fund he refuses to touch, burns on his face, and a brand new prosthesis. He doesn’t have his family, he isn’t near his friends, and his face makes small children cry. So, he goes to Maine, finds a tiny town, and starts a business as a plumber. It doesn’t help his loneliness, though. Until a little girl hunts him down and forces him to be her new best friend.

Elijah Wilson has lived in Hobson Hills his whole life. So what that most of the townspeople think he’s a whore because he’s a single omega and got pregnant at eighteen? So what if they think he takes advantage of his grandparents by living on their property? Elijah and his large extended family know better. They know that he hasn’t dated anyone since before Olive was born. They know he works hard in the family business and is great with investments. They know the truth, but it can be hard living in a town that doesn’t care about the truth. It can also be really lonely. Until his daughter makes a new best friend.

When the two men meet, sparks fly. Their lives change for the better, but life isn’t always easy. Narrow-minded townspeople and greedy parents can cause a lot of trouble. But there’s always hope. There’s always love.

Author’s Note: 30,000+ words. This is a m/m, non-shifter, mpreg love story with no angst and no cheating, just a HEA. There are a few potty mouths, so beware. 18+ readers only, please.

Review

This book is set in the Omegaverse. You meet Carter, an Alpha military veteran. He’s a plumber and due to an accident in the military is disabled. He’s left with a prosthetic limb and scarring. Next you meet Omega Elijah. Single dad to an adorable girl that makes you smile every scene. He works on an apple orchard for a family business. Carter and Elijah hit it off right away, with less than subtle pushes from his daughter. The progression was very fast between them. The families were so funny to read, loved the banter. Good drama from meddling individuals that involves gossip, phone threats, and some arson. You feel for Elijah by the end. A few minor grammar and incorrect names used, but not enough to be distracting. Fast paced romance, family shenanigans, adorable kid, mpreg, and an omega that giggles and dances a lot.

Number of stars out of 5

4.5

 

Purchased for review

 

 

Release Day Review: Cops and Comix By Rhys Ford

release day review

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/cops-and-comix-by-rhys-ford-10013-b

Blurb

A Murder and Mayhem Short
It’s all fun and games until someone leaves a dead body on the floor.
Life for comic book store owner Alex Martin usually runs to the mundane. Sure, he has a regular influx of geeks and freaks, but for the most part, it’s a familiar weird. That all changes when he opens up Planet X Comics one morning and finds a corpse in the middle of his shop.
When Detective James Castillo is called in to investigate, Alex is torn between wanting to climb the man like a tree and giving him a wide berth. Luckily for Alex, the handsome detective is just as interested in him—as a suspect in the murder.

Review

This novella starts with a dead body, and you assume most of it will revolve round that drama and the struggle between Alex being extremely attracted to James and fearing he will be accused of murder.

I like that Ford chose to put enough of the romance and solved that conflict sooner than expected. I actually really liked Alex and James, they sort of had a slow buildup and it was very refreshing, considering most full length books jump right into the steam on the first date/meeting. There is a heaping amount of humor and a splash of bad Karma/Murphy’s Law mixed in and it makes for a truly fun read. And surprisingly (or not so much when you consider the talent of the author) you get well rounded characters in such a short story, James is a big softie and I liked his lack of macho ego. Alex is just the right amount of shy and geeky without turning into a total introverted outcast like some books tend to portray geeky/nerdy characters.

This short novella leaves you with a craving for more, written in Rhys Ford’s signature humor and fantastic writing style. The only reason I gave it 3.5 stars is that I felt it was a bit too short or rushed in some parts. Despite that it was just the kind of teasing taste to get you hooked on the series and I am definitely going to get the next ones and dive in.

Number of stars out of 5
3.5


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Release Day: Trex or Treat by Tara Lain

release day review

Dreamspinner Press
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/trex-or-treat-by-tara-lain-9979-b

Blurb

Josh Harris is all dad all the time. A busy college professor and devoted single father, Josh tries to be happy with only his son for company. But then Bradley “Trex” Trexler moves in across the street with his stepbrother, Bogo, and takes advantage of their empty home, making it into a haunted house for Halloween.

 

 

Review
This is a short, cute Halloween story and it’s really entertaining.
Tara Lain is great giving us interesting characters that you can get involved with really quickly, which is obviously a bonus in a short story.
Josh reads as a great parent in need of some companionship and Ernie is the most adorable and energised boy. The attraction between Josh and Trex shines through and it’s an enjoyable read. I love how involved both men are with their boys but also take the time to be with each other. I found this to be an enjoyable little story that was quick to consume but also touched the heart.
I definitely recommend this quick, Halloween romance. Always a winner with a Tara Lain story!

Number of stars out of 5
4


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Releases: Halloween Short Freebies!

Inn Love by Lucy Lennox

No blurb but a competition for a bed and breakfast pits two guys against one another in a haunted house.  But… they find love instead!

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36431512-inn-love?from_search=true

 

Review

This was an adorable little story about some meddling ghosts and a little boy who finally grows up to achieve his dream.

There were a lot of times that I was annoyed with Ryan and I got tired of the other “contestants” but it was a quick story that had some cute and sweet moments.

3 of 5 stars

Monster Till Midnight by E.J. Russell

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42509627-monster-till-midnight?from_search=true

Blurb

Brady dearly loves Halloween. But the haunted house extravaganza he staged in his new town–in a house that’s actually supposed to be haunted–is a total bust. But then, an unexpected visitor barges out of his corn maze…

Review

I wish this had been full length! I loved this so much! It was clever, with some fabulous twists in it and loads of laughs!

It was a minute to read, but I wish that we had more time with these characters and their discovery of love that is more hinted at than explored.

In any case – highly recommended for a quick, fun, Halloween read!

5 of 5 stars


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