Tag Archives: Christmas

4.5, 4 and 3 Star Reviews for Devin December by Kate McMurray #MM #Holiday

1.1

Title: Devin December
Author Name & Publisher: Kate McMurray (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 23, 2015 – 102 pgs

Synopsis

A freak blizzard strands flight attendant Andy Weston at LaGuardia Airport on Thanksgiving. Tabloid reports about Hollywood It couple, Devin Delaney and Cristina Marino, breaking up in spectacular fashion keep Andy sane. And then Devin Delaney himself turns up at the gate Andy is working. Against all odds—and because there’s nothing else to do—Andy and Devin begin to talk, immediately connect, and, after Devin confesses the real reason he broke up with Cristina, have a magical night together snowed in at the airport. But the magic ends when Devin boards his flight home the next morning, and Andy assumes it’s over.

Then Devin turns up on his doorstep. Andy is game for a clandestine affair at first—who could turn down one of the hottest men on the planet? But he soon grows tired of being shoved in Devin’s closet. As Christmas approaches, it’s clear that this will never work unless Devin is willing to make some big changes. Devin has a holiday surprise in store—but will it be enough?

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This book was the typical type of book were one of the men is in the closet and one is out and proud. What made it different was the story behind it and how Devin came to realize that if he wanted a relationship with Andy he had to come clean about who he was. Let me say I wasn’t going to give this story a 4.5 stars rating until I discovered that the author had put an epilogue on her website. The epilogue made the whole story complete. I don’t know what Ms. McMurray was thinking about when she wrote a story that just abruptly ends but it was a good that she posted the finish of story the way she did. Great job Kate, I always loved your stories and will continue to read.

LynnFourStars

Hmmm, where to start?  Devin and Andy are adorable.  Their relationship begins kind of in a whirlwind – they are stuck at the airport, during a holiday.  To pass the time, they chat, make out, and try to fight their attraction.

What I loved about this story was that you got to see both sides of the relationship.  It was well thought out, methodical and did not have a rushed feel to it.  I really loved how Andy’s personality allowed him to shine in this story.  Devin was the “famous” person, but I felt that Andy had much more presence.

Despite their hidden relationship – I felt that they spoke a lot, were really open and their communication was key to their relationship.

Overall, this was a sweet story about finding and being your true self.  Allowing love to conquer.

AvidReader

ThreeStar

Love in a blizzard, in an airport, between a femme flight attendant and a hot famous actor. The concept is good, but the airport part went too long. It lasted about 50% of the book, so I found it lagging, and, regretfully, boring.

After the airport, it got much better. The growing relationship between the actor and the flight attendant was wonderful. I loved the attendant’s personality and his ability to speak his mind. The ending was great with a wonderful happy ending. It seemed to me, though, incomplete. I wish the author would have completed it.

Overall, it was a good book. If you press through the first half you get the reward of the last half which is really good.

Ariel

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Filed under 3 Star, 4 Star, 4.5 Stars, Ariel, AvidReader, Lynn, M/M, New Release, Review

One 4 Star and Two 3 Star Reviews for Whispers of Old Winds (Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar) by George Seaton #MM #Fantasy

1.5

Title: Whispers of Old Winds (Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar)
Author Name & Publisher: George Seaton (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 30, 2015 – 38 pgs

Synopsis

After Sam returns home from two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, he moves to the Colorado mountains, where he hopes to begin a new life with his husband, Michael. Sam becomes the sheriff of sparsely populated Pine County, while Michael opens a curio shop for tourists where he sells his art. When Sam and his deputy attempt to rescue a body from a dangerously fragile mountainside snowpack, Sam’s perception of the world, his husband, and the veracity of truths whispered in old winds, are called into question.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”.

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Review

ThreeStar

So I want to start of this review by saying while I liked the premise of this story, I have to be honest and say this one really was confusing to me.

I really do not even know how to explain what happens in this one because I am honestly still sitting here confused. This one kind of took a 180 from what I was expecting to happen.

So this was a very short story and I do not want to give away any spoilers all I can really say is I felt like for a story like this it felt a little to rushed to me and left me feeling kind of confused.

All together sadly this Holiday Novella was just not for me…

Kara

fourstars

This is the first book I ever read by this author and I really enjoyed this book. It was great from start to finish and as I was reading it I could wait to find out how it ends and that is surprising as I don’t really get into some of the fantasy that much but this invoice was surprisingly really good. Excellent job Mr. Seaton I will definitely be looking into more of your books.

Lynn

ThreeStar

This was a bit of an unusual story to me. I think there was a lot of promise there, but it felt like there was a lot that was left unexplained or thoroughly explained maybe so it left me wondering if what I was guessing was right or not.
I think that the writing was good and that was really a saving grace here, but I would’ve loved some expansion on SO many parts to make the story a little bit more conclusive.
Renee

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TWO 5 and 4.5 Stars for An Assassin’s Holiday (Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar) by Dirk Greyson #MM #Mystery @dirkgreyson

1.5

Title: An Assassin’s Holiday (Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar)
Author Name & Publisher: Dirk Greyson (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 1, 2015 – 54 pgs

Synopsis

Brick Colton has been hired to kill Santa Claus—or at least the kindhearted accountant playing Santa for the kids in an orphanage. Brick grew up in an orphanage himself, but that isn’t the only thing bothering him about the contract on Robin Marvington’s life. The details don’t add up, and it’s looking more and more like someone has set Robin up. As Brick investigates, Robin brings some much-needed cheer into his life, the light in Robin’s soul reaching something in Brick’s dark one. But all of that will end if they can’t find the person who wants Robin dead.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”.

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Review

FiveStars

Brick is hired to kill a Santa Claus on Christmas…

But once he sees who is behind the costume he finds he can not do it after all.

This was such a sweet holiday Novella but it was also sad and dark in parts because of everything Brick had gone through growing up and how it shaped his life to this point.

I really do not want to give away any of this story because it was just so good you really need to read this one for yourself. But I will say I loved the way this author wrote these characters and this story!

All together I really loved this Holiday story!
I would recommend this Novella!

Kara

FourandHalfStars

Absolutely loved this book even though it was kind of a dark read but I’ve come to expect no less from this author. This book was extremely fast paced and the author was able to pull this off in only 54 pages. Brick and Robin were amazing separately and together. The author drew me immediately into the story right from the beginning. As I read this story holiday story I immediately began to feel for both characters. They both started out the same but their lives were completely different. The author made me believe that an assassin can find love with a person completely different.

Lynn

FiveStars

Oh this was such a good little story that falls into the holiday
category although it really could be read at any time of the year.

I liked the fact that we got to see under the hard core assassin
exterior to the man who had feelings and didn’t just do his job
without thinking about it. The way these two men connected was just
great. I really enjoyed watching as they went from Killer/Killee to
much more than that.

Such a great story.

Renee

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5 and 4.5 Stars for Talk Turkey (Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar) by Bru Baker #MM #Holiday @bru_baker @dreamspinners

1.5

Title: Talk Turkey (Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar)
Author Name & Publisher: Bru Baker (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 1, 2015 – 58 pgs

Synopsis

Carson is a California transplant settling into life in the Windy City. On his first Christmas away from home, he assures his worried family he’ll be having a real Christmas dinner.

Recent culinary school graduate Tom Stockton earns some extra money giving out cooking advice at the Talk Turkey hotline. Tom’s honeyed voice and sharp sense of humor are attractive to the lonely Carson, and Carson finds reasons to call the hotline again and again. But on Christmas Eve, Carson’s call is less playful and more panicked with the big meal looming. Carson is just looking for advice, but Tom has a surprise in store that might lead to much more.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”.

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Review

FiveStars

This holiday story was seriously the most sweetest but at the same time funny story I have read in awhile!!!

So this is Carson’s first holiday alone since he has just moved away from his family. Not wanting to worry his mother and family about him being alone for the holidays he decides to act like he is having a friend over for dinner so he must make a turkey on his own for the first time which he has no idea what he is doing. So he sees a sign for a how to cook a turkey hotline and from there this story gets hilarious..

You get the humor between the banter of Carson and the hotline operator, then there was Carson trying to figure out how to cooks this turkey. But you also get the sweet with a little sad mixed in. With Carson and this mysteries phone line operator which honestly was just so sweet! Then there was Carson feeling alone on the holidays which was sad that he would not have his family around him celebrating.

So without giving away any more spoilers which hopefully I did not lol. I will leave this review with I loved the way this author wrote these characters and this sweet holiday story!!

I would definitely recommend this book!

Kara

FourandHalfStars

I loved the humor in this book, it was sweet and funny and I immediately love Carson. Tom was also great and it was clear that Carson got to him with his inability to prepare a turkey. This was definitely a hotline romance. Great job Ms. Baker

Lynn

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5, 4 and 3.5 Stars for All I Want For Christmas by Clare Lydon #FF #Holiday @clarelydon

1.5

Title: All I Want For Christmas
Author Name: Clare Lydon
Publication Date & Length: October 22, 2015 – 258 pgs

Synopsis

This Christmas, Tori Hammond is on a mission to find love. Her ideal present under the tree would be a shiny new girlfriend, so Tori gives herself one month to find that special lady by December 25th. Christmas spells romance and she’s going to grab some.
However, Tori’s dates bring their own complications, and when someone unexpected strolls back into her life, her Christmas girlfriend quest is turned upside down. Will Tori land on her feet and find the woman of her dreams? And if she does, will it be who she expected?
From the author of Amazon No.1 best-sellers London Calling, This London Love and The Long Weekend, Clare Lydon has created another page-turner bursting with seasonal attitude and wit. If you’re a fan of Christmas rom-coms, prepare to laugh out loud and be swept off your festive feet!

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Review

FiveStars

Tori loves Christmas with a passion and the only thing that would make it better is to share it with a girlfriend this year.  With a month to go she signs up to a dating app and so the quest begins.
Her hilarious forays into the lesbian online dating scene are a delight and totally madcap.  Holly, Tori’s flatmate, is ever supportive but something seems to be on her mind.  When a blast from the past turns up all gorgeous and interested, it causes friction between the two best friends.
This is a terrific read and I loved every page of it.  The London setting was excellent as I could picture all the places they went.  It was so well written and absorbing that I couldn’t put it down.  It is a real feel-good story with characters I loved and I came away from it with a huge grin on my face.  A Christmas cracker of a read and so deserving of 5 Stars!
Kitty Kat
FourStarsThis was a sweet holiday romance, that made me want to smack the main character upside the head. Tori seems to be a sensible woman, ready to start dating again after the end of her last relationship. It’s a surprise then, that she does so many unimaginably stupid things. The catalyst for this departure from reality? Her first love, Nicola Sheen, who broke Tori’s heart after their first lesbian kiss in high school. Apparently, Tori has unresolved feelings, and is willing to do quite a lot to relive the memories and feelings of her first love. The problem? Nic is the fiance of one of Tori’s friends.

Tori starts the book by decided to get herself a girlfriend by Christmas, which gives her a month to find, date, and girlfriend a woman. The dates she finds herself on are sometimes funny, and sometimes a sad commentary on the reality of online dating. But it’s her reunion with Nic that throws everything into turmoil. And she finds herself doing things she knows are wrong. Like kissing someone who’s engaged to marry someone else. Like doing other things with that same person. Like offering a gift she’s giving her best friend to that someone else. All of which not only made me cringe a bit inside, but seriously wish I could be there to smack her head when she does stupid stuff like that.

The end is well telegraphed. Tori ends up with the person you think she’ll end up with, and thank goodness, because that person definitely deserved some happiness after all of Tori’s drama. Still, I kept expecting something more to happen with Nic in those last few chapters, not because they should have, or that I wanted them to, but because that was the kind of poor judgment and decision-making Tori trained me to expect. All in all, the book was a nice story. But Tori made me want to hit her. Not sure that’s a win.

~AmyP

ThreeandHalfStars

I really enjoyed the opening banter between the two main characters. As the book continued I liked the message it sent  regarding how our true friends know us without us having to vocalise it.
A modern and up to date novel, mentioning the lack of gay bars in London as well as using modern and humorous idioms when describing girls names.
This was a feel good novel with quite a few amusing antidotes, easy to read and a nice seasonal stocking filler.
My only criticism was the ending, it was so obvious what was going to occur right from the opening chapter.
~Chris

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5 and 3 Stars for Where You Lead by Mary Calmes #MM #Romance @Dreamspinners

1.5

Title: Where You Lead
Author Name & Publisher: Mary Calmes (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 25, 2013 – 68 pgs

Synopsis

ATF agent Peter Lomax isn’t a hearts and flowers kind of guy, but he can be possessive, and it caused problems until Carver Fleming. Carver may be part of the art world, but he gets Peter, loves belonging to the man, and Peter treasures the way Carver understands them together.

Carver loves Peter, but he’s fully aware that six months doth not a commitment make. Carver wants to make the relationship last forever, but he’ll have to leave their life in Chicago to take care of the family he loves. He wants to do it with Peter by his side, but going from the city of Chicago to tiny Colt, Kentucky is a big change.

Carver has only one Christmas wish: Please, oh please, let Peter fall enough in love with Carver’s family to follow Carver home.

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Review

ThreeStar

This story was sweet, fluffy and short.  There really isn’t much to this story.  You have 2 main characters and are plopped in to the middle of their relationship.  Peter and Carver are an unlikely couple in that neither really sees that they are a catch.  One wants to move home, due to family duty and love, without having to give up his love.
While I have to admit that I sided with Peter in the argument, I can understand why Carver posed his issue in the manner he did.  So, even though this book wasn’t really my cup of tea, I can suggest it to others who are looking for a feel good, short sweet story.
AvidReader
FiveStarsMary Calmes did it again. She made another home run, a goal, a touchdown. You get the message. She wrote another amazing story.

I really loved this book. From the very beginning it pulls you in immediately. The first few pages is a dialogue between two people with a third on the side and what they discuss is hilarious. I laughed so hard. Then when I read the next scene that was it. The book had me. I couldn’t put it down.

The two main characters, Pete and Carver, are already partners and their love is evident. They only have eyes for each other and nothing and no one can separate them. The plot line is very sweet and wonderful. Carver taking Pete home to meet his family and his hometown.

The dialogue between Carver and Pete is so funny, but loving at the same time. Their bantering tickles your funny bone and makes you want to read more.

I wish this was not a short story. The story is so great from the first page to the last.

I highly recommend and encourage everyone to get this book. The author has a history of great and amazing books and this one has hilarity to it that just can’t be missed.

~Ariel

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5 and 4 Stars for Champagne Kisses by Lynda Aicher #MM #Holiday @Lyndaaicher

1.5

Title: Champagne Kisses
Author Name & Publisher: Lynda Aicher (Riptide Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: December 14, 2015 – 83 pgs

Synopsis

The Christmas Eve wedding Evan Cleary pulled together in four weeks is crashing down around him and taking his fledgling event planning business with it. With an empty altar and over a hundred guests arriving soon, he turns to the resistant, gorgeous brother of the runaway groom for help.

When Richard Patterson’s flamboyant brother storms out hours before he’s scheduled to marry his equally dramatic partner, Richard is left dealing with the fallout. The last thing he wants is more drama, yet he can’t deny his attraction to the effeminate event planner trying to salvage the wedding.

Evan thinks his crush on Richard is a lost cause, but one steaming kiss later, he learns different. What starts as a night of hot sex turns into a connection neither expected. But Evan knows their relationship is hopeless unless the ultra-conservative Richard can embrace every part of him—both in private and in public.

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Review

FiveStars

Evan is a event planner and his first big event goes wrong when both grooms break up and stop the wedding. Richard is one of the grooms brother who takes care of his family and is very set in his ways.

Okay these two men together… The steam OMG!!! It was just so damn hot! Now I will say this, the way this author wrote this steam between these two men was just I have no words.. It was honestly just so damn good. Then the was the sweet between Evan and Richard. The way everything in this book worked together in this book was just awesome!!! This book has been one of my favorite reads of the year and I honestly did not want it to end.

Lynda Aicher grabs you from the beginning of this story and does not let you go until the end. The way she wrote these characters and how you could really feel how much these two men cared for each other was just so damn good! I do not want to give away any spoilers because you really need to read this book for yourself. So I will leave this review with I 100% loved this story and I would definitely recommend this book!

Kara

FourStars

The concept of this book was great. A wedding planner feels an attraction towards the grooms brother. The sexual tension is high. Will they finally admit their attraction for each other? If they do, how far will it go? The grooms have a falling out and the wedding goes bust. What will happen now? I’d loved it. It had so much potential.

The beginning of the book starts out really good. The plot thickens and we start to learn about the characters, but being a short story, it doesn’t develop very much. It goes straight towards the two main characters meeting and getting together. That takes a good percentage of the book and then they have a falling out and then the end of the book has them getting back together again. End of story. I was disappointed.

This book had so much potential. Like I said, the concept and the plot was so good. The characters getting together, which took a big percentage of the book, I wish some of that would have been used for more character development and dialogue. This could have been a five star book.

I rate it 3.5 stars, but since I can’t I’m leaning towards 4 because the plot and characters were so good. I do recommend this book for the same reason, but be warned it is a short story and a good chunk of it is spent in the honeymoon suite of a hotel.

Ariel

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