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

 

 

 

 

 

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

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

 

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

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

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

Time for the Holidays: Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane (re-release)

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/christmas-kitsch-by-amy-lane-10019-b

Blurb: Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.

Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them—just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity—Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not—but then Oliver kisses him goodbye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.

But even Rusty’s newfound awareness can’t help him survive a semester at Berkeley. He returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver Campbell is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. Oliver may not have much money, but he’s got something Rusty has never known: true family. With their help and Oliver’s love, Rusty comes to realize that he may have failed college, but he’ll pass real life with flying rainbow colors.

Review: Rusty is a “nice boy”. Tries hard, plays football, dates girls… but he’s not the “quickest”. He can eventually figure things out – given enough time- but he takes awhile to get there.
Good manners and a fascination for the new kid – chocolate to Rusty’s vanilla – prompts Rusty to befriend snarky, openly gay, Hispanic and funny Oliver. Oliver can hold his own with Rusty’s “friends” but it’s Rusty who becomes Oliver’s best friend in the last year of high school.
When it comes time for Rusty to go to Berkley, where he just knows he’s going to fail, Oliver does all he can to assure him that he’ll be there for him and that he knows Rusty won’t get lost in the shuffle. And… he kisses Rusty – telling him to just “think about it”.
Rusty is left at Berkley- lost, scared, trapped with a crazy but warm-hearted-hyper-sexual-roommate (Rex), and the memory of Oliver’s kiss to make him question…everything.
When it becomes apparent that Rusty is in fact not ready for Berkley – though he tries damn hard – he is ready for Oliver and knows that Oliver is more than just his best friend. Rusty goes home for Thanksgiving and is greeted by Oliver and kisses. His family witnesses this and kicks Rusty out of the house.
Luckily, Oliver’s family is there to help Rusty pick up the pieces and get him set up. What follows, is Rusty’s jump into the deep end of adulthood and his navigation of his first real relationship that also happens to be his first gay relationship.
Oliver’s impatience and love both help and hinder him in this process, but the underlying support he and his dad offer Rusty give him the strength to grow into the man he needs to become.
**
After Gambling Men, this is my favorite Amy Lane book. It is sweet, funny, tender, lightly sexy and really wonderful.
Rusty’s character is so open and honest as is Oliver. I love that the two have constant communication about their feelings, but even so, still manage to run into trouble because relationships are hard! Oliver just can’t understand Rusty’s reluctance to have him move in and Rusty just can’t be pressured in to giving Oliver anything but a wonderful home.
Oliver is just smart and snarky enough to ease the saccharine sweetness of Rusty’s goodness and make them a real, fun, and sexy couple.
I loved the interactions with the secondary characters. The role model of Oliver’s dad. The hilarity of the cousins. The hero-worship of Rusty’s sister. And the eventual grace of Rusty’s parents.
I read this book when I need a warm hug on a rainy afternoon and it always makes me feel better.
I can’t recommend it enough.


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Review
There is a special place in my heart for Amy Lane and her books. It was through Amy’s Little Goddess series, I followed her carefully laid out book crumbs which led me to the world of MM romance. She was also the first ‘real live author’ I wrote to after reading her work and I was so excited when she wrote back.

Knowing how Amy writes, I was expecting to shed a few tears over this book, and I wasn’t wrong.
Rusty is an absolute sweetheart. With his upbringing, he could have been a really arrogant bully, but he isn’t. He knows he isn’t that smart, but he still tries his hardest. He doesn’t want to go to college as he knows it will be too hard for him, but he goes anyway to please his parents.
His one rebellion is to fall in love with Oliver Campbell. And he gets kicked out of home for it.

I adored Rusty right from the beginning. Reading the book from his point of view, he may not quite have rose tinted glasses, but there is an innocence to the way he sees the world that can’t help but charm the reader. Oliver may be the smaller of the two boys, but he is smarter and does everything he can to fiercely protect Rusty.

This book is what Amy Lane does best. Great characters and a story that will rip out your heart and stomp on it before carefully putting it back inside you to beat another day.

4.5 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Haunted Seas (San Capistrano Series 5.5) By Angelique Jurd

Good Reads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42427557-haunted-seas?from_search=true

Blurb
Life in the San Capistrano beach house is good. Ben and Alex’s family is settled and happy as they navigate day to day life. As they prepare for Halloween they get some news that may finally offer Alex the closure on his past he so desperately needs.

Review
I fell in love with Alex Davis in book one of this series and haven’t fallen out of love yet. He is such a beautiful gentle man who deserves everything good that comes his was.
In this short story, we drop back in on the world of Alex, his husband Ben and their three children, just to take a wee peak at how life is treating them.
In this quick visit we get a chance to see that life is pretty good for the family. The girls are growing, Lucy has found her two-year-old teeth and temper, Ally’s determined character seems to be back on track and Jamie is tentatively exploring his sexuality.
But once again, an explosive piece of news rocks the calm-ish waters of Alex’s life, leaving him a little lost on how he should feel, but as always, this beautiful tight-knit family rally around to love and support.

This is not a stand-alone book and you will need to have read the rest of the series to understand the story. I highly recommend reading them all. This also looks to be a gateway into book six Safe Haven, that will hopefully be with us in December 2018

4 stars out of 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent Release: Clutch (Forbidden Desires #1) by Piper Scott and Virginia Kelly

Good Reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42208487-clutch

Blurb

Bookish, snarky, and fiercely independent Nate Boudreaux leads a solitary life. Between teaching classes at the university and working toward his PhD, he doesn’t need a partner to occupy his time, and he certainly doesn’t need a man like Alistair Drake complicating his future.

Alistair Drake, black sheep of the tremendously wealthy Drake family, is more interested in adding another notch to his bedpost than another zero to his bank account. When a Grindr message brings him to Nate’s doorstep, then straight to his bed, he has no reason to believe that what they share will be more than a simple hookup, until, three months later, a tug on his soul informs him otherwise.

For the Drake family has a secret—one that will force Nate and Alistair together as much as it will demand that they be torn apart. One that Alistair and his brothers have carried all their lives… and one that Alistair and Nate’s future children will carry, too.

Bound to each other by the three precious impossibilities, Nate and Alistair have no choice—no matter the consequence, they will fight for their forbidden clutch.

Review

This book gives a different quirky twist to the usual mpreg alpha/omega story.
Both Nate and Alistair are likable characters who fit together well. The relationship between them moves along at a fast pace, with both snark and vulnerability balancing out the romance.
The comedy elements had me laughing out loud more than once through the story and the way Alistair takes off hand comments literally adds to the charm of the book.
The cast of secondary characters were a great addition, with an obvious set up for a following story that I look forward to reading.

4 stars out of 5

 

Purchased by the reviewer