Tag Archives: Holiday

TWO 4 Star Review for Candy Man (Candy Man #1) by Amy Lane {AUDIOBOOK} #MM #Romance @amymaclane

CoverTitle: Candy Man (Candy Man #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Amy Lane (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: December 3, 2014 – 136 pgs

Synopsis

Adam Macias has been thrown a few curve balls in his life, but losing his VA grant because his car broke down and he missed a class was the one that struck him out. One relative away from homelessness, he’s taking the bus to Sacramento, where his cousin has offered a house-sitting job and a new start. He has one goal, and that’s to get his life back on track. Friends, pets, lovers? Need not apply.

Finn Stewart takes one look at Adam as he’s applying to Candy Heaven and decides he’s much too fascinating to leave alone. Finn is bright and shiny—and has never been hurt. Adam is wary of his attention from the very beginning—Finn is dangerous to every sort of peace Adam is forging, and Adam may just be too damaged to let him in at all.

But Finn is tenacious, and Adam’s new boss, Darrin, doesn’t take bullshit for an answer. Adam is going to have to ask himself which is harder—letting Finn in or living without him? With the holidays approaching it seems like an easy question, but Adam knows from experience that life is seldom simple, and the world seldom cooperates with hope, faith, or the plans of cats and men.

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Review

FourStars

This is a fun and sweet story that really lights up your heart. With a little Pixy Stix magic you meet Adam who really pulls your heartstrings. He is a little down on luck when life has slapped him down one too many times at the age of 27. When he stumbles into Candy Heaven and into a much needed job you get to meet Darrin. A gay Magical Willy Wonka who is a little like a fairy god father to those who work for him. (You kinda wish he was yours as well he is just that good) He sees the need in Adam and since the Pixy Stix never lies welcomes Adam into the fold and pushes him in the direction of Finn. Finn is 24, fun loving and carefree. He’s never had life stomp on his heart and he is just what Adam needs to learn that alone isn’t always better. You just want a Finn of your own to hug and squeeze!

 Adam struggles to accept the friendship and care that Finn so easily wants to give to him. Finn however is persistent and you just love him for it! But Adam does have real issues that he needs to deal with and with the friendship he finds in his co-workers, Darrin and Finn he slowly gets his life back on track after a few hurtles. Finn and Adam have a very evident connection and some rather steamy moments along the way. The secondary characters in this book make me excited for more stories about the family who work at Candy Heaven and maybe the Magical Willy Wonka Darrin who is their ring leader. From the first chapter I was caught up and couldn’t put this book down. I plan to read the other stories in this series

Jessica W.

FourStars

**AUDIOBOOK REVIEW**

This was definitely one of the lower angst books I’ve listened to by
Amy Lane. Normally I’m not a big fan of sweet romances, but she made
this one work.

This was a slow starting story to me as we learned what was going on
and how it all started at the candy store, but once it got going I was
much more interested in it as a whole.

Can’t say it was my favorite Amy Lane book, but it certainly wasn’t
bad either. Finn was the saving grace of this book for me. His light
was just spectacular. He was determined to help Adam deal with his
past hurts and it was just sweet and nice and made the whole story
come together.

While i loved the actual story itself, I have to say that I felt like
the narration actually took away from it. It was a bit over the top
for me. It felt too forced at times when it didn’t feel like that’s
what was needed in a particular scene.

Renee

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5 Star Review for Fire of the Heart (Hearts of Parkerburg #3) by Havan Fellows and Lee Brazil – #MM #Romance #Holiday @LeeBrazil @Havanfellows

Beacon Hill, Boston in snow.

Title: Fire of the Heart (Hearts of Parkerburg #3)
Author Name: Havan Fellows & Lee Brazil
Publication Date & Length: February 2, 2016 – 175 pgs

Synopsis

Craig Gilchrist is the oldest of five siblings, the captain of the Parkerburg Fire Department, and all around buddy his friends run to when they have a problem. Unfortunately, he’s keeping a secret not only from the whole town, but his family as well. Living in the shadows works for him until one fateful night when a hot stranger walks across a smoky barroom, forcing Craig to make a move that could rock the foundation of his existence…and fill the void in his heart he doesn’t realize he has.

Melrose escaped the end of a bad relationship to start over in Parkerburg. With the support of his cousin and a job waiting tables at a great restaurant, he thinks his life is finally going pretty smoothly. That’s when his path crosses that of Craig Gilchrist, local fire captain. The big, beefy firefighter is definitely not his type. So why does he suddenly star in all of Melrose’s fantasies?

With Melrose at his side, Craig finally has the motivation to step out of the shadows and let Parkerburg see the real him…until trouble arises and the truth comes to light that perhaps he doesn’t know the real Melrose.

Lies and fears play havoc with their newly acquired relationship. Luckily, once ignited, the hearts of Parkerburg don’t burn out so easily.

The Hearts of Parkerburg stories can be read as standalones, each with a HEA…but trust me, you’ll want to read about all the sweet happenings in this quaint little town.

Christmas in His Heart – Dermot & Xander’s story
Heart on the Run – Chaz & Sprocket’s story
Fire of the Heart – Craig & Melrose’s story

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Review

FiveStars

This is a wonderful book. I could not stop reading until the very end.

Seeing as this is book three in the series it has the previous characters that it touches base on but is primarily about Craig and Melrose.

Craig is a captain at the fire department. He is a strong man with loving friends and family. He also has a secret that he has kept from everyone. He’s gay.

Melrose is truely the strong one in this book though. He moves to town to live with his cousin after leaving his ex and the abusive relationship he was in to start his life over.

These two men meet and the sparks fly from the start. They have a rocky start with both of their secrets but they overcome that and become a strong couple that people in the town could look up to as role models.

In my opinion this book shows the difficulties that people go through when they decide to come out of the closet. It shows the heartache that they feel and the fear of losing those that are close to them.
It is also a book that shows one can overcome things in their past such as an abusive relationship and insecurities with them selves because of it.

Another great book that I would recommend to others

Tosha
ThreeStar
I haven’t read the previous books, but this one is book 3 of the Hearts Of Parkerburg series. Craig is the captain of the fire department and he’s in the closet. When he meets Melrose, the hunky firefighter finally has a reason to be out in the open.
This story has a hot firefighter with a great heart, romance, comfort healing. I liked Craig and Mel, though I’m not sure about the writing structure. Seemed like when things get good, it cuts and fades to a different scene. Also, after being in an abusive relationship, Mel needs to go see a professional or something. Maybe a couple’s therapy.
~Cookie

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5 Star Review for Heart on the Run (Hearts of Parkerburg #2) by Lee Brazil and Havan Fellows (Character Interview) #MM #Holiday @leebrazil @havanfellows

Beacon Hill, Boston in snow.

Title: Heart on the Run (Hearts of Parkerburg #2 – Standalone)
Author Name: Lee Brazil & Havan Fellows
Publication Date & Length: November 14, 2016 – 197 pgs

Synopsis

Charles Darwin Millsworth, Chaz to one and all since infancy, has no wish to live up to the grandeur of his name. Fortunately, his Southern belle mama isn’t at all inclined to push her son into a career that won’t make him happy. She thinks he needs to loosen up and enjoy life. After all, that’s the whole point of being independently wealthy, isn’t it?

Chaz can see her point, but his father died in his forties as did his father before him. As far as Chaz is concerned, he has limited time on this earth to make his dreams come true. And he refuses to leave anyone weeping over a wasted life.

Sprocket Moretti is a simple guy. He loves his job, enjoys college, lives in his beloved childhood home—why worry about the little things when the big stuff looks so good. Unfortunately one of the little things he tries not to stress over is a broken friendship with a very hot and bewildering sous chef. They were pals, hung out and had fun. But one night they stepped over that invisible line, and the next morning Chaz kicked Sprocket out of his bed and his life.

Now, no matter how much Sprocket tries to charm Chaz, the guy has no desire to return to their pre-sex playful bantering ways. And if Sprocket stays true to his motto, this little thing—Chaz—should be written off and never worried about again.

If Sprocket had known one night of reality altering orgasms would endanger their easygoing friendship… How do you finish that sentence when all your mind wants is its friend back and all your body wants is another taste?

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Review

FiveStars

Heart on the Run is my favorite in the series so far. I loved book one, but book two surpassed book one.

This book still has the Characters from book one in it but it is primarily focused on Chaz and Sprocket.

Chaz is a chef in the making. He is closely guarded where his feelings are concerned because he is worried about the what ifs of the future.

Sprocket is a funny, tatted, pierced, want a b playboy who has a best friend and roommate,Mason.

These two are unlikely pair but their chemistry with one another is off the charts. The two cannot seem to keep their hands and other parts of their bodies off of one another.

Chaz tries to not let Sprocket get to close but it is a futal fight and Sprocket is just along for the ride.

I really enjoyed the easy partnership and friendship between these two even though they do whatever they can think of to try to push one another away. As I said CHEMISTRY.

Then there is Mason…..all I can say is hilarious. Loved me some Mason. He is a total trip in his own and then you put him with sprocket and Chaz and they make the book.

Would definitely recommend this book for others to read

Tosha

Excerpt

Sprocket grabbed the grande hot chocolates—with a dash of his favorite flavoring, pecan—and reached the gazebo with five minutes to spare, per the clock tower.

He set the drinks on the bench of the gazebo so he could spread the blanket across the floor.

“Wow, that’s a huge blanket,” Chaz stated as he took the three step up to stand at the edge of it.

“Never took you for a size queen.” Sprocket winked as he handed him a cup of steaming goodness. “So, what’s for lunch?”

“Oh, well…” Chaz held the basket close to his chest as he slipped off his shoes and situated himself in the middle of the blanket. “Not much.” He pulled a thermos from the basket. “I made homemade tomato soup and chicken salad sandwiches.” He set the thermos down and pulled out wrapped sandwiches, a bag of croutons, a plastic bowl with a translucent red lid, and a small stack of china dishes in rapid succession.

“My grandma used to make me tomato soup and grilled cheese all the time. Except she’d actually grill the cheese before putting it on the sourdough toast. I tried to make it once…didn’t end so well.” He laughed as he shook his head, settling down next to Chaz on the blanket.

“But I’ve heard you and Mason talk; you cook most of the time between the two of you.”

Sprocket accepted the sandwich handed to him and nodded. “Yep. Well you know, we both can cook, but neither of us gets much fun out of it.” He unwrapped the sandwich and picked up half, biting into it. He couldn’t suppress his moan. Damn that was good, and Chaz put nuts in it for crunch, walnuts and pecans. How did he know pecans were Sprocket’s favorite? A part of him wanted to believe maybe Chaz had asked around. Anyone in Craft Time would know and Prudence did too.

Not that it mattered either way. Nothing strange about a friend—and only a friend—knowing something as mundane as that. He quickly chewed and swallowed. “And we definitely don’t do fancy.

Unless you count roast, but even then I sprinkle the seasoning on it and throw it in the oven. No fuss, no muss.”

With his next bite, something popped in his mouth, making him want to gag. He held it back, and while Chaz gazed out over the park at the kids running in the playground Sprocket lifted the toast to see what he bit into. Grapes. He grimaced as he quickly plucked the halved grapes out of the salad and dropped them on the napkin by his leg.

“You don’t like grapes?”

Sprocket jumped. Fuck…busted. “I like them fine. I like them right off the vine, frozen, even mashed up as wine…don’t like them so much with seeds, though.”

“Or in a sandwich, apparently.” Chaz noted, gesturing to the evidence on the blanket between “Well…” Sprocket jammed the rest of the sandwich in his mouth and chewed slowly, biding himself some time. While he was trying to break down the enormous amount of food in his mouth, he grabbed the other half of the sandwich and proceeded to pick the grapes out of that also.

Chaz raised an eyebrow at him, and he shrugged. He’d already been caught, no use faking it up Reaching over, Chaz snatched Sprocket’s wrist and guided it to his mouth. Sprocket gulped the food in his mouth down, his stomach somersaulting either from the partially chewed lump it just received or because of the man sitting across from him on the blanket.

This wasn’t what friends did. Friends didn’t use their friend’s fingers as utensils. Still, he probably could’ve gotten past this moment if there hadn’t been a smidge of mayonnaise on the tip of his nail. Chaz spotted it, and while staring Sprocket in the eye, he put that spot right in front of his mouth.

They sat like that for an eternity. Sprocket could feel his heart pounding fast, wondered if his pulse alerted Chaz to his extreme interest in the man’s next move.

He wanted to shout at Chaz to lick him. Do it now. Put him out of his misery. There was nothing Sprocket wanted more than to experience the wetness of Chaz’s tongue as it cleaned the white stuff from his finger. That was a lie. Sprocket wanted them to make more white stuff that had to be cleaned off, the kind you couldn’t purchase in a store. Well, maybe you could purchase it…but he really didn’t want his brain to go off on that tangent.

Finally—finally!—Chaz licked the condiment off. Before he could move back and call an end to this little episode, Sprocket broke free of his grip and hooked his hand behind the other man’s neck, holding him there, unable to move away.

When their lips met, it wasn’t gentle and coaxing. Sprocket wasn’t in that kind of mood. He wanted bad and he wanted now. Fuck friends. That whole concept was overrated if it kept him up all night in need. Anyway, this wasn’t his fault. Chaz started this shit; Sprocket would finish it.

And this time, he’d be better prepared. When Chaz kicked him the fuck out of his life, it wouldn’t tear him apart. Because no matter what, he’d make sure there wasn’t a spot in his heart for Chaz. Sprocket willingly would give up half his bed for the man, but nothing more.

While diving his tongue in Chaz’s mouth—reaching far enough back he could say with great certainty Chaz no longer had tonsils—Sprocket damn near convinced himself that he could do that, too.

Then Chaz whimpered, his hand pressing against Sprocket’s chest, right over his heart, and Sprocket knew he was a goner.

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4 Star Review for Christmas in His Heart by Havan Fellows and Lee Brazil – #MM #Romance #Holiday @LeeBrazil @Havanfellows

Beacon Hill, Boston in snow.

Title: Christmas in His Heart
Author Name: Havan Fellows & Lee Brazil
Publication Date & Length: February 2, 2016 – 119 pgs

Synopsis

Christmastime brings joy to hearts everywhere. Between snow angels, festive clothing, holiday decorations, and of course, all the beautiful lights, it’s hard not to partake in the season.

Unless you no longer have Christmas in your heart.

Dermot Alasdair has never shared the horrific memories that keep him from celebrating the happiest time of the year, nor does he ever plan to. He’s fine being alone and shut off from everyone; he has his restaurant and that’s all he needs. He believes that, too…until the craft store next door from his eatery hires a perpetually smiling annoyance. Really, it isn’t normal for someone to be that happy all the time.

Xander Leahman didn’t know what he was getting into when he accepted an invitation to visit his best friend and help her interview people for the newly created position of manager at Craft Time. When a surly man bumps into him and then walks away with an enticing sway to his hips, Xander decides the position—and Dermot—are perfect for him. Now all he can think of is finding ways to get Dermot out of his clothes. Well that, and how to open this grinch’s heart to the Christmas season and, hopefully, love.

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Review

FourStars

Christmas in his heart turned out to be better then I thought it was going to be.

This book has two main character… Xander and Dermot.

Xander is this care free spirit that constantly has a smile on his face. People gravitate to him because of his happy attitude. And of course Xander loves Christmas.

Dermot is the opposite of Xander. He is serious, rarely ever has a smile and does not do anything that involves Christmas.

This is a book that shows when u meet the right person that you can overcome your own personal hang ups if you love someone and if they love you also. I found this book to be inspiring. It shows what love can actually do for a person who thought they did not have any love left in there heart to give.

I would definitely suggest this book to be read by others

Tosha

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Excerpt

“Hey! Good morning!”

The cheerful greeting broke through his concentration, and Dermot looked up to see the new manager of the Craft Time craft store sweeping the sidewalk in front of the shop. “Hey,” he muttered sourly. Xander Leahman made his head ache. Just one glance and he wanted to snap at the man to comb his hair, put on a heavier jacket, and for Christ sakes why wasn’t he wearing gloves outside in this weather?

Dermot wasn’t going to stop. He had no plans stop and talk to the smiling man. Xander bubbled more than a bottle of shaken soda water. Dermot didn’t have time for his chatter, and he didn’t have time for the strange, compelling not-quite-nausea he seemed prone to in Xander’s company.

Maybe he was allergic to the man’s cologne, or deodorant, or shampoo. Dermot leaned forward and sniffed surreptitiously, but he couldn’t smell anything other than cinnamon and vanilla. An overwhelming urge to bake overcame him, and he jerked himself upright.

He was an executive chef, not a pastry chef. He didn’t bake, and especially not something as…plebeian as oatmeal raisin cookies, which was what Xander smelled like.

“Excuse me.” He deliberately stepped around Xander, who put out a hand and caught his arm.

“I saw you coming down the street.” Xander set the broom aside and picked up a steaming mug from the windowsill. “It’s not as good as Prudence’s coffee, but I made it fresh this morning.”

Blinking in astonishment, Dermot stared from the mug to the hand on his arm. He could really… “Thanks.” He accepted the mug and inhaled the rich aroma of good coffee, scented with cinnamon and…yeah, vanilla. And he’d thought it was Xander who smelled so good? He didn’t know whether to be relieved or embarrassed. “I needed this. That walk feels longer every day that the temperature drops.” The first sip exploded on his tongue with soothing heat and delicious flavor and he bit back a moan of appreciation. Continue reading

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4 Star Review for Benoit’s Surprise Christmas by Catherine Lievens #M/M #Romance @authorCLievens

28474064

Title: Benoit’s Surprise Christmas
Author Name & Publisher: Catherine Lievens (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: January 20th 2016- 50 pages

Synopsis

Belgium expat Benoit Girault has only worked in the administrative department of Toys for All in Milwaukee for a few short months, but it’s long enough for him to miss everyone back home and to fall for coworker Jake Manning—not that Jake ever notices him. Or so Benoit thinks.

Jake notices Benoit all right, but he doesn’t want to risk mixing business with pleasure, not when it could create problems in the office. So when Jake’s friend and boss, Randall, tells him to team up with Benoit to organize a Saint Nicholas party, he’s less than thrilled. But as they work together and Jake nurses Benoit through an illness, he realizes some people might be worth risking it all for.

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Review

FourStars

This was a good book. Very sweet. Foreigner in a job, in America, gets to work with his crush and they become friends then boyfriends. Great plot line.

The main characters were solid real characters. One is very sweet and shy, but has just the right amount of assertiveness not to be run over. The other is insecure and buff and sweet all at the same time. A great mix.

I loved the ending. That was so sweet and family oriented. I don’t want to give away the ending, but trust me, it was really good.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a sweet romance with characters that are real and who loves a nice happy ending.

Ariel

Excerpt

“YOU WANT me to do what?”

Jake’s boss smiled at him as if he were asking nothing much—the bastard. Randall knew exactly what he was doing, just like he knew Jake would react like he did. He hated parties, and everyone in the office knew it.

“Organize a party for the new clients.”

“Janet usually organizes the parties.”

“She’s busy with another contract. The Belgian clients are yours, Jake. It seems obvious to me that you should be the one in charge of this.”

“But I don’t know anything about the saint you’re talking about.”

“You have enough time to learn something about him and about the Belgian traditions that go with it.”

“You can’t do this to me, Randall. Please. I’m already busy with this new contract. I don’t have time to organize a party.”

“The clients were delighted when I told them there would be a party.”

Jake gaped at his boss. “You told them?”

“Of course. When Mr. Leblanc said he was bringing his wife and son along, I just knew we had to do something for the kid.”

“Someone could take him to the zoo,” Jake muttered.

“Jake, we’re a toy company. Why would we take a kid to the zoo?”

“It’s not like we actually have the toys in this office. That’s what the stores are for.”

Randall set his jaw and narrowed his eyes. He obviously wasn’t going to be swayed by Jake’s protests. But what about pleading? “Randall, I just don’t have the time to do everything on my own, especially if you want a kiddie party.”

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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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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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