An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: The Storm’s Gift (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by A.D. Ellis

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5
Snowed in together in their college dorm, two men share a quick connection that creates enough heat to spar with the blizzard outside.
Rory Blackwell plans to rejuvenate his mind and repair his battered heart after his world is shaken by an unexpected breakup. James Austin’s freshman-year plans of improving his social life crashed and burned, leaving him feeling as alone and outcast as he did back home.
One man is hurting while the other is eager to provide comfort. One is a virgin, the other experienced with other men. Both are looking forward to Winter Break, but can they take full advantage of their situation—or will the passion ignited between them fizzle out with the storm?
This was a nice story, more on the side of sexy than romantic.  James is very insecure and when he isn’t able to get home to his family for the comfort he needs he pretty much gives up.  Rory has gone out of his way to not notice James but the vision of him mostly naked in the elevator won’t leave his mind.  Rory provides the comfort James needs but it still seems fragile at the end of the story.  While Rory insists it isn’t a fling you can’t help but wonder when they had never really talked before the blackout.
Cover art by Paul Richmond.  It’s the wonderfully humorous cover that brands the Stocking Stuffer series this year.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 34 pages
Published: December 11, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Not Just for Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Ben has Christmas, cats, and mistletoe on his side…. Jason doesn’t stand a chance 

For Ben Slater, moving back to Bristol means being closer to his family, living with his best mate, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. But there’s also Jason, his best mate’s eldest brother. Ben’s had a crush on Jason for as long as he can remember, but the eleven-year age gap has always seemed insurmountable.

Jason Armitage works as a vet at his uncle’s practice. He owns a cute cottage on the outskirts of the city, and a loving dog. The one thing missing is someone to share it all with. His brother’s best friend seems a bad choice, but Jason can’t help taking a second look. Ben’s changed a lot since Jason last saw him; both in appearance and attitude. Gone is the shy young boy, replaced with a confident, twenty-four-year-old man.

In the run up to Christmas, the festive period gives Ben the ideal opportunity to show Jason what he has to offer. But concerns for his brother’s feelings hold Jason back. If they have any chance of making this work, Ben must convince Jason that he’s old enough to know what he wants, and Jason needs to believe that a relationship with his brother’s best friend won’t ruin their friendship

When you are looking for holiday romances you want something that’s heartwarming, has characters you can connect with and a storyline with enough holiday elements that pull you in and keep you smiling until the last page. Not Just for Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs does exactly that.

It’s pretty much angst free.  Best friends move into together, Ben has had a crush on his best friend’s older brother for years . Now that he’s grown up he finally has a chance for the guy to see him in a more mature light.  Yes it’s a all staple and it still works here. Throw in the fact that Jason is a vet, there’s rescue kittens and pups, and well, darn it, this story is nigh irresistible!

It also helps that Annabelle Jacobs writes such wonderful characters with lovely supporting secondary cast. Here it’s families that work so well to bolster the men as believable, loving human beings.  It’s easy to fall in love with them, and watch them doing the same with each other.

If you are looking for a lighthearted, sweet holiday romance, look no further than Not Just for Christmas by Annabeth Jacobs.  It’s a lovely read at this time of the year or as the title says not just for Christmas but all year long.

Cover art by Natasha Snow is perfect for the character and storyline.  It’s adorable.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 207 pages
Published November 28th 2017
ASIN B07846NHZ4

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Leaning Into A Wish (Leaning Into Stories #3.5) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This is a sweet romance, one that can be read as a holiday story or simply a continuation of the Leaning Into series.  It features Ryan Haskell, a secondary character who in the past had a relationship with Wes before Nick came along and who was actively trying to break up Josh and Finn in their story.  Ryan works in the Conrad Winery and is best at his favorite task: conducting tours and selling the wine that is now a part of his life’s work with a group of people he has adopted as his family. 

Each year the winery hires interns and this year, Danny Meyers, a straight jock with a wonderful outgoing personality is driving Ryan crazy. Why? Well on the surface it appears he just rubs Ryan the wrong way when he jokes around or even just brings his bright personality into a room.  Why should one guy be gorgeous, built, athletic, and personable all in one package?  And to top it off, he keeps flirting with Ryan, even though he’s straight.  Way to make a guy crazy! 

Off and on throughout the story, the subject of wishes comes up.  We learn Ryan’s greatest wish is to love and be loved in return.  And we learn the value of believing your wishes can come true.  When Danny realizes his own wishes and dreams are all centered in the Napa Valley and a career as a tennis pro is no longer really an option, he gets the help of Geordie, the co-owner of the winery, to help Ryan weave through the path of his own doubts so that Danny can help Ryan find that wishes can come true.

Though the story is short, the characters are well-developed and the situations are infused with humor and good intentions.  There’s plenty of opportunity for the relationship to develop and there’s a really sweet ending. 

This could technically be read as a standalone, since there are multiple recurring characters from previous books, but it will be a much better reading experience for those who have read one or more of the earlier stories. 

I highly recommend this one to all lovers of contemporary MM romance and if you’ve already read the others in the series, this one is a win-win.  Be sure to ask Santa for this sweet stocking stuffer. 

~~~~~

Cover art by Reese Dante features a bare-chested man—mostly a torso shot—similar to others in the series, and set against a background of fields of grapes—one vine decorated with a Christmas wreath. By the style of the cover, it’s easy to link this book to the rest of the series, and it’s certainly eye-catching. 

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 126 pages
Published November 20th 2017
ASINB077MYSF1S
Series Leaning Into Stories #3.5

A Jeri Release Day Review: An Unlocked Mind (Secrets #2) by K.C. Wells & Parker Williams

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

I really enjoyed the Collars and Cuffs series by these authors. And I also enjoyed the first book in this crossover series. This one though…it was kind of meh for me.
We met Rob previously and he was a giant jerk. So knowing that he was one of the main characters of this book, I was looking forward to his redemption. We do get that eventually.
I did like that Vic never gave up on Rob. Even though he was adamantly hetero and against BDSM. Even the against BDSM thing didn’t really make sense because he would still go to the club to watch. And when he did it seemed like he wanted to be a Dom. And even though it turned out that he was, in fact, a sub, it is never addressed that he thought about being a Dom.
Vic was super patient and very kind. He really seemed more like a Daddy than a Dom though. He stressed that BDSM was a big part of his life that he was not willing to compromise on, but there really wasn’t a lot of BDSM in the story at all. And what of it there was, was very light.
Rob and Vic were a good fit. I liked them together. They seemed to have chemistry, and even when Rob was a complete brat- Vic never belittled him. In fact, he really helped Rob grow and see the mistakes he had made and offered suggestions on how to remedy them. Again, way more Daddy than Dom in my opinion.
So while this was definitely my least favorite of the series, it won’t turn me off of them and I look forward to more.
Cover art by Reese Dante.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 330 pages
Expected publication: December 11th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB0784S44QK
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSecrets #2

Blog tour for The Perfect Gift (Bobby and Paolo’s Holiday Stories #2) by Joe Cosentino (guest post and excerpt)

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The Perfect Gift (Bobby and Paolo’s Holiday Stories #2)
by Joe Cosentino
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Sales Links: Pre-order from Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Joe Cosentino back again with his new holiday release, The Perfect Gift.  Welcome, Joe!

✒︎

Don’t you love holiday romance stories? Since the December holidays are such a magical time of year, I adore MM romances that include elaborately decorated trees and wreathes, Dickensian villages, Victorian carolers and bell ringers, vendors selling hot mulled cider and roasted chestnuts, and bay-windowed shops. So, I wrote one! Let’s backtrack a minute.

As some of you probably remember, I wrote a holiday short novella loosely based on my trip to the magical and gorgeous island of Capri: A Home for the Holidays. Bobby, a young, Italian American law student traveling to Capri during the winter holidays meets his quaint Italian relatives, and falls in love with his handsome, muscular, sexy Italian distant cousin, Paolo. Readers (and listeners to the audiobook performed by the talented Joel Leslie) loved Bobby and Paolo. They were also enamored with the gorgeous and romantic Island of Capri. However, since the story ends with Bobby and Paolo coming back to Bobby’s home in Pennsylvania, readers wanted to find out their fate as a couple. They also wanted Bobby and Paolo to experience the December holidays in the USA. The Perfect Gift, the second Bobby and Paolo Holiday story, was born.

The two-part novella begins a year after A Home for the Holiday ends. In “December Grooms,” Bobby and Paolo are living in Philadelphia as a junior lawyer and junior fashion designer. When Paolo proposes, Bobby’s family and friends are intent on giving the couple a gaudy, elaborate wedding against their wishes. Bobby and Paolo jump through quite a few holiday hoops and finally have their perfect December wedding. A year later in “An Unexpected Present,” since it’s again Christmas time, the couple tour many of the quaint and wonderful holiday sites in their area. They also exchange beautiful gifts, and enjoy spending Christmas with Bobby’s eccentric family and hilarious friend Jared. While playing department store Santa, Bobby’s father suffers a heart attack. A man in a Santa suit, who Bobby assumes is his father’s replacement, brings the young couple to the hospital room of a sick little boy. Could this boy be the holiday gift leading to happily ever after for Bobby and Paolo?

I hope you all read and enjoy my romantic holiday novella. I also hope you get everything you want for Christmas—and something you didn’t know you needed. Here’s my special holiday gift to you. Please know that it comes wrapped in a huge ribbon of love. Happy Holidays!

THE PERFECT GIFT (Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories, Book 2)

by JOE COSENTINO

published by Dreamspinner Press, e-book $4.99

Back in America after finding A Home for the Holidays and each other in Capri, new couple Bobby McGrath and Paolo Mascobello are ready to tie the knot during the winter holidays. Their families, friends, and pastor offer more advice than sages on speed. So, young lawyer Bobby and fashion designer Paolo are caught in the matrimonial holiday circus. Will a shocking turn of events somehow lead to the perfect wedding for the December grooms?

The following Christmas, Bobby and Paolo aren’t feeling the holiday spirit. They have a nice apartment, designer clothes, entertaining and supportive friends and family, but little time for each other. While out shopping in their quaint local holiday village, Bobby and Paolo encounter Gregory, an adorable seven-year-old who changes their lives forever, offering them a true holiday miracle… if they’re willing to accept it.

What Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words said about A Home for the Holidays, Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Book 1:

“I adore the character of Bobby…the heartwarming family moments…the love the author has for Capri and the people there flows off the page in every word he has written…..When you finish reading this story, you will want to book your own flight to Italy and boat to Capri.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Excerpt of The Perfect Gift (Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories, Book 2)

A few minutes later, Paolo and I sat across from each other at our cherry dining room table. The scent of Italian cheeses, garlic, olive oil, mushrooms, spinach, and chicken filled the room. Between bites, Paolo asked, “What is it that you wanted to ask me?” The candlelight from our antique brass candleholders made him look incredibly sexy. He didn’t need much help.

I took in a deep breath. Though I had rehearsed my speech a hundred times over the last few months, what came out was, “I bought lemon gelato for dessert.”

He blew me a kiss. I caught it and placed it over my heart. Ready for take two, I took a sip of my herbal tea in a failed attempt at moistening my bone-dry throat. “Paolo, we’ve been living together for almost a year now.”

“Are you tired of me already?” He winked at me.

I slid to the edge of my seat. “During that time, have you… did you ever think about….”

He swallowed his food. “Bobby, I told you before. I look at other men. But you are the only one I want.”

“And you’re the only one I want.”

“Then it is a good thing we live together.” He continued eating.

“Do you miss your life in the villa with your family in Capri?”

“Not when I am with you. Don’t worry; we will never end up like Edgar and everyone else getting a divorce.”

“Why not?”

“Because we do not need a piece of paper to validate our love.”

The lawyer in me surfaced. “That piece of paper would enable us to make healthcare decisions for each other in emergency situations, and to protect our wills from a family member who might want to contest them.”

 

About the Author

Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday stories: A Home for the Holidays and The Perfect Gift, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, (Lethe Press), Drama Luau, Drama Detective; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. He was voted 1st Place Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015, and 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Romance Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine. He has also won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions including for In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

Review Tour – Not Just For Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 48,000 words approx
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
Blurb
 

Ben has Christmas, cats, and mistletoe on his side…. Jason doesn’t stand a chance


For Ben Slater, moving back to Bristol means being closer to his family, living with his best mate, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. But there’s also Jason, his best mate’s eldest brother. Ben’s had a crush on Jason for as long as he can remember, but the eleven-year age gap has always seemed insurmountable.


Jason Armitage works as a vet at his uncle’s practice. He owns a cute cottage on the outskirts of the city, and a loving dog. The one thing missing is someone to share it all with. His brother’s best friend seems a bad choice, but Jason can’t help taking a second look. Ben’s changed a lot since Jason last saw him; both in appearance and attitude. Gone is the shy young boy, replaced with a confident, twenty-four-year-old man.


In the run up to Christmas, the festive period gives Ben the ideal opportunity to show Jason what he has to offer. But concerns for his brother’s feelings hold Jason back. If they have any chance of making this work, Ben must convince Jason that he’s old enough to know what he wants, and Jason needs to believe that a relationship with his brother’s best friend won’t ruin their friendship.

November 28 – The Blogger Girls, Gay Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Gay Media Reviews, Mikku-chan
December 2 – Making It Happen
December 4 – BooksLaidBareBoys, My Book Filled Life, V’s Reads
December 6 – OMG Reads, Fannatality
December 8 – Valerie Ullmer, Au Boudoir Ecarlate, The Geekery Book Review
December 11 – Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Nicole’s Book Musings
December 13 – Hearts On Fire Reviews, A Book Lover’s Dream Blog, BFD Book Blog, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews
December 15 – Drops Of Ink, Bayou Book Junkie, Diverse Reader, Book Lovers 4Ever, Lelyana’s Book Blog 

Excerpt


Ben tried not to look, but inevitably his gaze was drawn to Jason still sat on the sofa. He stood as Pete stepped back, and Ben got a proper look at him. Ben wasn’t the only one who’d changed a little over the past couple of years. The last time he’d seen Jason, his hair had been short, like an army cut, and he’d had a beard. He’d looked hot then, but now…. Ben had to forcibly shut his mouth so he didn’t gape.

Jason’s thick dark hair, still shaved at the sides, was now a good couple of inches longer on top. And he was clean shaven. Ben kind of missed the beard, but without it Jason looked much younger, and his strong jawline was a thing of beauty. He looked thinner, too. Ben frowned because Jason ate like a horse and had always been bulkier than his brothers. That thought somehow made its way out of Ben’s mouth.

“Have you lost weight?”

Jason laughed softly, one hand immediately going to his stomach. He patted his belly and sighed. “God don’t you start. Mum’s already been on at me about not eating properly.” He pulled Ben in for a quick hug. “It’s good to see you, even if you do put the rest of us to shame.”

Oh God, that voice. As smooth and deep as Ben remembered.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We absolutely recommend it!

 
Author Bio
 

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it – fighting enemies and adversity – but they always find love in the end.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJacobs_fiction
Website: www.annabellejacobs.com
Email: ajacobsfiction@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ajacobsfiction

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