A Stella Advent Calendar Review Day 10: Traditions by Ann Anderson

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RATING 4,25 out of 5 stars

traditions-by-ann-andersonWhen Marcus and James started dating a few years ago, James invited Marcus home to spend the holidays with his close, Christmas-loving family. Marcus quickly realized once was enough, and since then, he’s stayed behind.

But this year will be different. Though the festivity and chaos make Marcus uncomfortable, he loves James, and he’s decided to put aside his unease so they can spend Christmas together—even if it means losing his hotel room to one of James’s siblings, braving the cold to go caroling, and battling the crowds so the children can visit Santa. It’ll all be worth it if Marcus can take his place in the family’s traditions—and maybe begin a new tradition for the two of them.

Traditions by Ann Anderson was my first book by this author and one of my favorite stories of this year DSP Advent Calendar. I love reading about established couples cause it can be easy to find a HEA but it’s harder to make it works during the years. It’s good to know how two people met and how they achieved their HEA, sometimes it’s better to know what happens later.

I liked Marcus and James’ story. James’ family is huge and a little too much in the Christmas mood, with too many lights to hang, too many carols to hear and sing and too many presents to gift. That is what scared Marcus the first Christmas he spent with them as James’ boyfriend, so much he avoided  joining them in the last years. But it’s a family full of love and this year Marcus has a plan he can act only with the help of James’ father.

A very good and sweet story. Plus I loved the ending, being a romantic at heart, it was a winner to me.

Highly recommended.

The cover art by Paul Richmond is simply amazing as everything he does.

Sales Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 35 pages

Published December 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635331722 (ISBN13: 9781635331721)

Edition Language English

Cover Reveal and One Day Book Blast: Tarnished Souls by Dev Bentham (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Tarnished Souls
Author: Dev Bentham
Release Date: December 16th 2016
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

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Tarnished Souls is a series of contemporary romance novels centered around Jewish holidays:

Life can be hard. Hard enough to leave two men tarnished and hopeless.They might be too damaged to see the truth in each other, but just maybe finding their bershert, their true love, will finally make them shine.

BOOKS IN THE TARNISHED SOULS COMPILATION

Learning from Issac

It’s hard to break out of a rut. For years, Nathan submerged himself into his job at St. Genevieve’s. He enjoys teaching, hates faculty meetings, loves his science and has committed himself to the cycle of college life. Along the way, he’s become resigned to being a gay man in a straight culture, a Jew among Catholics, and single in a world of couples. Then the brilliant Isaac Wolf appears in his classroom. Isaac’s a few years older than his fellow students, gorgeous, self-composed and Jewish.

Isaac has his own secrets, which Nathan finds out at the racy new club downtown where the boys who dance out front can be bought in the back room. Nathan thinks he’s about to get a lap dance, but behind the beaded curtain the man on his knees turns out to be Isaac. Nathan’s mind isn’t the only thing Isaac blows. Afterward, Nathan can’t stop thinking about that night. The question is whether Nathan can let himself fall in love with a student, much less someone with Isaac’s checkered past. Is it too late for a student to teach his professor the true nature of love and respect?

Publisher’s Note: This book contains graphic imagery of men having sex together. And enjoying it. However, the story is primarily a romance. Don’t be disappointed if you read pages and pages and pages without encountering acts, organs or orgasms.

Fields of Gold

Life is full of compromises. That’s what Avi Rosen tells himself. He’s a yeshiva boy turned historian, working on his dissertation and stretching his meager stipend by moonlighting as a closeted politician’s houseboy. Their relationship used to feel like a real affair. Lately it seems more like a job.

It isn’t until he meets someone decent that he realizes how corrupt his life has become. Pete is a tall blond farmer who charms Avi with his dazzling smile and his straightforward life. But even if he can believe this refreshingly honest man doesn’t have his own political agenda, will Avi find the strength to emerge from the dark life he’s chosen and find a future in the sun?

Sacred Hearts

Life’s a gamble–and lately David Schwartz’s partner has been losing so much that David must close their restaurant, the hippest little place in Portland. He sells everything and moves back home, but at thirty-five, he’s not eager to sleep alone in his childhood bedroom or to be supported by his father for the second time in his adult life.

David’s had enough. He needs to start over, maybe with someone like the elusive man he’s been seeing in his dreams. An old friend offers him a job catering a movie set in Puerto Vallarta. It’s been years since David’s alcoholism spun out of control along the highways of Mexico. Determined to experience Mexico sober, he stuffs his few remaining possessions in a backpack and takes the next flight down.

As Mexico prepares for Christmas, David lights Hanukkah candles, celebrating the return of the sun and wishing for true love. On the first night of Hanukkah, David meets a tall, dark stranger who rocks his world in a secluded moonlit cove. Is this the mystery man of his dreams–the answer to David’s prayers? And what must David sacrifice to make his dreams come true?

Bread, Salt and Wine

Some wounds never heal. George Zajac grew up in a religious family with a father who beat “the swish” out of him. At thirty-eight he’s a troubled man. Escaping his miserable life as a banker in New York, he moves across the country to start again in Los Angeles as the catering chef for a prestigious French Restaurant. Kenny Marks, a writer who’s currently waiting tables, is everything George cannot be—flamboyant, proud and sexually confident. Enthralled by Kenny, and against his own better judgment, George agrees to a date. Sparks fly. The sex is amazing. But even after the two get close, George is crippled by humiliating sexual hang-ups. Still haunted by his childhood, he lingers in the closet and can’t commit to a relationship with Kenny.

Love is the great healer, but is it enough? George’s emotional scars could drive Kenny away, and with him, George’s last chance at happiness.

The book in the Tarnished Souls series can be found on Goodreads

EXCERPT

(from Learning From Issac)

One Monday, Isaac looked up at me from under those impossibly long lashes, his smile slow and sexy, as I dropped the nearly perfect, graded midterm on his desk. The night before I’d added brilliant to the growing list of adjectives strung in my head beside his name. Which didn’t help. Smart was sexy. And in the morning, I’d woken from a dream so vivid I was surprised to find myself alone. My lips tingled with the fantasy of his beautiful collarbone beneath them. Now I looked down at that same spot peeking from beneath his unbuttoned stark white shirt. For a moment I stood mesmerized by his cider-colored skin against the white.

My eyes met his for an instant. Every year at least a couple of the young women flirted with me, usually shyly, but occasionally more overtly. Once before I’d had a male student awkwardly express his interest. But this was different. Every cell in my body was on high alert. Isaac’s half smile and the hot brown light of his eyes let me know I’d been discovered. He knew I wanted him. The shift in power between teacher and student was palpable.

I gave the briefest of nods. “Well done, Mr. Wolf.”

Isaac’s smile widened. “Thank you, Dr. Kohn.”

His smile and the promise it contained followed me around the room as I delivered the bad news of the first graded test. It left my heart pounding, whether from terror or anticipation, I couldn’t tell.

GIVEAWAY: Win a paperback copy of Nobody’s Home by Dev Bentham

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About the Author

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I write contemporary gay romance. My characters are flawed and damaged adult men who may not even know they’re looking for true love, but when they meet their bershert, their true love, their lives are transformed. My stories are set in the real world where gay men have gay friends, families who do or don’t accept them, personal histories they’re not necessarily proud of and a myriad of experiences that have made them who they are.

I live in Northern Wisconsin with my Boston Terrier and Chicago spouse. I’ve published short stories, poetry, newspaper articles and academic papers and have worked in nearly every profession from restaurants to retail to open-water diving and now write m/m romance out of my fascination with love, courage and gender.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

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An Alisa Review: Honeymoon Their Way (States of Love) by Morticia Knight

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

honeymoon-their-wayChad has pined for Raudel since high school, but he’s been avoiding him ever since Raudel caught him in an excruciatingly embarrassing moment. So when Chad’s sister invites Raudel to join them for her weeklong prewedding celebration at Lake Tahoe, Chad is horrified. He brainstorms his escape, until reality crashes down and he discovers he’s bunking with Raudel in the last available bedroom at the lakeside retreat.

 

Thrown together by the bridal party from hell, Chad and Raudel unite and attempt to survive Chad’s bridezilla sister, a crazy grandmother, an overbearing mother, and the search for the perfect chocolate fountain. Despite the little time they have together, they reconnect when unexpected discoveries come to light. Love may find a way amid the nuptial chaos, but it’s unlikely to be exactly the way they expect.

 

This was such a sweet and enjoyable story.  Chad has pretty much been hiding from life ever since Raudel saw him, not really moving forward or anywhere even after graduating from high school.  Raudel moved away for college after high school and has had to forcibly stop himself from seeking out Chad anytime he visited home.

 

Raudel and Chad have both been holding out hope that someday the other will open their eyes and see them as a potential partner, but without realizing what the other is thinking.  When they get thrown together at Chad’s sister’s pre-wedding celebration they are forced to confront their feelings for each other.  Raudel realizes that he will have to be the one to step up for them to even begin a relationship let alone have a future.

 

This story is told from Chad’s point of view, so it is easier to see his emotions and thoughts.  Once we actually get to meet Raudel it isn’t very hard to understand how he feels, unfortunately Chad has incorrectly assumed for years how Raudel would react to what he walked in on in high school.  Seeing both of them open up to each other and see that maybe it’s best to just jump right in was wonderful.  I was happy for them to have a happy ending amidst the pressure of Chad’s bridezilla sister.

 

Cover art by Alexandria Corza is perfect and I love the visuals for both of the characters.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe

 

Book Details:

ebook, 113 pages

Published: November 2, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781634778695

Edition Language: English

Series: A States of Love Story

Cover Reveal for The Last Dragonet by Shannon West and Susan E. Scott

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The Last Dragonet by Shannon West and Susan E. Scott

Series: Dragon Prophecies
Dark Hollows Press

Buy It at Amazon

The Last Dragonet

Luca Wessex is  Dragon Spawn. Son of a human mother and a Red Dragon father, he has been trying his best all his life just to survive and get by. His father is abusive, his mother is dead and most recently, a vicious and dangerous group of neighborhood Spawn have begun trying to recruit him as a member of their gang. When a pushy and gorgeous Golden Dragon named Dmitri appears, full of questions about the gang and his role in it, Luca tries to cooperate, but he’s no snitch.  Suspicious, the gang attacks Luca one evening while he’s working, and he’s rescued by Dmitri, who then kidnaps him and—for his own safety, he claims—takes him to his home in what some say is the most remote spot on Earth, an area of Russia called the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Dmitri has come home with a treasure, because what Luca doesn’t know is that he isn’t a Spawn at all but a species called a dragonet and the very last one of his kind. Because of a mysterious prophecy, Dmitri has discovered the beautiful boy’s life is in danger and he wants desperately to save him. But Dmitri is up against not only another Dragon, but also a powerful mage. Dmitri takes Luca under his wing—literally—and they begin to navigate a minefield of love and dangerous ancient prophecy. For the first time in Dmitri’s life, something is becoming more important to him than treasure, if only he can hold onto it.

About the Authors

Shannon West

Shannon West lives with her husband and two crazy dogs in the south. She likes to travel and read and write pretty much constantly. Shannon loves writing M/M erotic romance and loves to hear from her readers.  She is a 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Rainbow Awards finalist, as well as an Allromance.com Top 10 Author of the Year for 2015, and a BookStrand Top 20 author for the last three years running.  Her books have also been published in the French and Italian language, and she recently had one of her books translated into Japanese!

Susan E. Scott

Susan Scott lives with her husband in a small town in north Georgia. They’re both owned by their Yorkie, Sophie, who is the undisputed queen of the household. Susan enjoys scrapbooking, traveling, and reading and writing romance. Susan writes M/F and M/M erotic romance.