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TWO 5, 4.5 and TWO 4 Stars for Winter Wonderland (Minnesota Christmas #3) by Heidi Cullinan #MM #Holiday @heidicullinan

1.5

Title: Winter Wonderland (Minnesota Christmas #3)
Author Name & Publisher: Heidi Cullinan (Samhain Publishing Ltd)
Publication Date & Length: November 10, 2015 – 205 pgs

Synopsis

Finding Mr. Right can be a snow lot of fun.

Paul Jansen was the only one of his friends who wanted a relationship. Naturally, he’s the last single man standing. No gay man within a fifty-mile radius wants more than casual sex.

No one, that is, except too-young, too-twinky Kyle Parks, who sends him suggestive texts and leaves X-rated snow sculptures on his front porch.

Kyle is tired of being the town’s resident Peter Pan. He’s twenty-five, not ten, and despite his effeminate appearance, he’s nothing but the boss in bed. He’s loved Paul since forever, and this Christmas, since they’re both working on the Winter Wonderland festival, he might finally get his chance for a holiday romance.

But Paul comes with baggage. His ultra-conservative family wants him paired up with a woman, not a man with Logan’s rainbow connection. When their anti-LGBT crusade spills beyond managing Paul’s love life and threatens the holiday festival, Kyle and Paul must fight for everyone’shappily ever after, including their own.

Warning: Contains erotic snow art, toppy twinks, and super-sweet holiday moments. Best savored with a mug of hot chocolate with a dash of spice.

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Review

FiveStars

Only Heidi Cullinan would write a story about a subby bear falling for a toppy twink who makes ice sculptures. And only Heidi Cullinan could manage to include a town Christmas carnival, a sister with Downs Syndrome and an ailing elderly neighbour without the story turning into a sugary sweet after-school-special gloop.

This is the third Minnesota Christmas book and they are all holiday guilty pleasures. There is always an edge of humour (penis snow sculptures, Grindr stalking…) and always a hint of kink to counterbalance the sweet Christmas stories. This whole series is perfectly pitched: sexy, sweet and ever-so-slightly kinky Christmas fun.

I love Heidi Cullinan’s characters. She doesn’t do stereotypes, she writes people. In this story, Kyle’s sister, Linda Kay, has Downs Syndrome. But she also has spirit, and personality. Kyle’s affection for his twin his balanced by the burden of responsibility he feels for her. I loved LInda Kay and I really loved the relationships between the members of Kyle’s family.

I really enjoyed Kyle and Paul together. I love the way Kyle’s exuberant personality draws Paul out of himself. If Paul was a little flat in the first two books, Kyle brings him to life and makes readers see how special he is. I also love the way Kyle and Paul’s friends help him move beyond the harmful relationship Paul has with his family.

So – having gushed through this whole review, my recommendation won’t be surprising. If you enjoy Christmas stories but still need a little edge and a little realism, read the Minnesota series. Save the books for a cold winter night by the fire and enjoy. I know I’ll be re-reading all three this Christmas.

Sarah

FiveStars

This book was so good!!! I have not read the first two books in this series and I honestly did not feel lost at all.

Kyle has been making a snow sculpture for Paul to find when he wakes up in the morning in his yard and without saying what it was I thought it was so sweet and at the same time so funny. Kylie has had a huge crush on Paul for the longest time but Paul will not acknowledge it due to his own fears and their age difference.
Watching Kyle break down those walls around Paul’s heart was honestly so sweet to see how much he really does care for Paul.
Unusually although I do like sweet books most of the time I find they can be too sweet which for some reason throws me off the book. With this book that was not the case at all, you get the perfect amount of sweet and lets not forgot the steam because these two together, lets just say it was so hot!
I was rooting for Kyle and Paul through this whole book. You meet so many different characters in this book also.. Ones you will love and others you will not be a fan of at all. I thought the author did such a beautiful story for Paul and Kyle and this book was perfect for Christmas too.

So I will leave this review with I 100% loved this book!

I would definitely recommend this book!

Kara

FourStars

Paul has not been so lucky in life.  He has a family that uses him as a whipping post and friends who all found love before him, despite how much he has wanted to find someone to share his life with.
Kyle is a genuine, soul deep, honest to goodness wonderful person.  He has a family who he cherishes and a job that he’s good at and loves.  What he’s missing is Paul.
While I really enjoyed this story, I did find that it was somewhat juvenile in the presentation.  While I thought that the snow sculptures were genius, the back and forth that Paul and Kyle did was immature and got on my nerves.
I loved how Cullinan was able to portray how Minnesotans get around in the winter – it’s very true.  Having grown up there, we used to ride our snowmobiles to school, the store, etc.
The intolerant family and community members seemed like an afterthought.  And, the contractor, Dale, that was just a strange throw in.
So, while I enjoyed the story, I wish that it had been more “grown up”.
AvidReader
FourStars
 This was a sweet fun read. Kyle has loved Paul forever. Kyle starts by sending texts and leaving perverted snow sculptures on Paul’s porch to get his attention. When Paul busts him leaving his latest sculpture Kyle gets some help from a few people close to Paul to try to win him over. Paul thinks Kyle is too young but after getting to know him, he thinks he might just be exactly what he has always wanted. This book reminded me of something you would see on the Lifetime channel, well, minus the hot sex and the perverted sculptures but it was that sweet and gave you the feels. Great holiday read.
~Angie
FourandHalfStarsI love Heidi Cullinan and loved this book. It is her 3rd book in her Christmas series and who doesn’t love a good romance at Christmas time? This book had humor and was very well written. But I’ve come to expect nothing else from Ms. Cullinan. I immediately fell in love with Paul. He has so many issues to deal with in his life and just wanted to find someone to love. It took me a little while to warm up to Kyle but I loved his antics. I was great to read a light-hearted romance that did not have angst.

Definitely a must read holiday story for all m/m readers.

~Lynn

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Filed under 4 Star, 5 Star, Angie, AvidReader, Kara, Lynn, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah

TWO 5 Stars for Mending Noel (North Pole City Tales #1) by Charlie Cochet #MM #Holiday @charliecochet

1.5

Title: Mending Noel (North Pole City Tales #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Charlie Cochet (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 1, 2012 – 64 pgs

Synopsis

All is not sparkly snowflakes and sweet candy canes in North Pole City. Office workers Tim and Noel do nothing all day but antagonize each other—petty fighting that might be based on hatred… or a heated mutual attraction. It’s up to Jack Frost and his elf-friend Rudy to broach the hostilities and introduce some Christmas kisses, but is the Frost Prince up to the challenge of launching a new romance when someone’s trying to break his holiday spirit?

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Review

FiveStars

I thought this book was so cute!
So you get Tom a elf who works in Santa’s workshop. He has a boss named Noel who is always giving him a hard time. Well Tim stumbles on some criminals who work for the mouse king and hears their plans which put him in danger.
I just have to say this book was so sweet and when Tim finds out why Noel acts the way he does lets just say the sparks between these two you could definitely feel them after that. I have to say I loved Tim’s character he was just so cute and sweet. Noel at first I was not a fan of how mean he was but he grew on me after he opened up with Tim.
I thought this was a perfect book for Christmas.

All together I really loved this Novella!
I would definitely recommend this book!

Kara

FiveStars

**AUDIOBOOK REVIEW**

This was probably one of the cutest stories I’ve ever listened to. All the references and Christmas-y things were adorable. I loved the entire story start to finish even if it wasn’t one of the sexiest stories by Charlie Cochet, it was still wonderful.
Normally I don’t particularly care for holiday stories, this was great. It was so happy, yet not. It was believable too.
There was numerous times I was laughing while listening to this book because it was just so perfect and funny.
I can’t wait to get further into this series.
Renee

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4 Stars for The Holiday Hoax by Skylar M. Cates #MM #Romance @dreamspinners

1.5

Title: The Holiday Hoax
Author Name & Publisher: Skylar M. Cates (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 12, 2014 – 83 pgs

Synopsis

I’m Evan Goodman, budding actor, future star, college freshman. Oh, and let’s not forget—recently dumped. If only my family wasn’t expecting to meet my new boyfriend over the holiday break. Enter JD Laurens—a sweet and quiet science major who mostly keeps to himself. When he gathers the courage to come out, poor JD gets abandoned by his only family right in front of me, and now he has nowhere to go for Christmas. But I have a proposition for him: pretend to be my boyfriend for the holidays so I can take him home. It’s a win-win. What could go wrong?

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Review

FourStars

This was a very sweet story, but I would categorize this as a YA romance.  It was about acceptance, finding family and loving yourself.  What this story is not is about friends becoming lovers.  They were never really friends to begin with, they just kind of fall in to this situation.  And, while I wanted to do some bodily harm to Tyler, I was so glad that he was not part of the story.
The family life that Evan has is one that everyone wishes – supportive, loving, fun.  What JD comes from is all too familiar – cold, closed off and prejudice.
Overall, this was a sweet story with the potential for so much more.  However, it does deliver on the holiday aspect and sweet romantic whimsy.
AvidReader

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