A Jeri Review : Mr. Frosty Pants (Home for the Holidays #1) by Leta Blake

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

This was a little bit of a surprise. Not often are Christmas themed books full length. We get a lot of shorts and novellas. So even though the time span (not including epilogue) is less than two weeks, it is packed full enough for a regular sized book.

It almost seems inconsequential that it takes place during Christmas. The holiday brought Casey home to Knoxville for the first time in almost 4 years. He went away to NYU and his parents visit him there. But he left behind his best friend and serious crush, also the boy from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks.
Joel is not thrilled with Casey just showing up at his store. And he had every right to be pissed. His best friend just ghosted him almost 4 years ago. But Joel is a broken man. He grew up mostly without a mother and with a homophobic abusive father. And now that he bought out the family business after his father had a stroke, he is barely making ends meet and honestly doesn’t know how to let someone love him.
Joel just broke my heart. He had a little bit of a martyr complex going on. He didn’t HAVE to buy out the business. He doesn’t HAVE to deliver breakfast to his father everyday. But at the same time I get that he was holding onto the tiny bit of family he had. Equating family with love, although his father didn’t seem to love him at all.
Casey could have been a stuck up snob. Rich parents who finance everything, wanting for nothing. But he really was a down to earth guy. Even what he wanted to do as a career was fairly down to earth. It didn’t come across as fake- just sincere.
I think my only real sticking point is that they were so mature. I mean, they were 22 year old guys. Casey had his own apartment in NYC. Even with the responsibility that Joel shouldered, you would think a 22 year old kid would pop out once in a while. But no. They really had basically mature discussions about life and love. And while they laughed some- they weren’t kids. And at 22, you are still a kid in some ways.
Best friends to lovers, second chances, a demisexual virgin…..and a slobbering dog at Christmas. This is a solid 4 stars for me.
Cover art: Wicked Smart Designs.  This cover delivers.  Christmas, a  kissing couple, everything but the dog.  It needed that.
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 273 pages
Published November 7th 2018 by Leta Blake Books
ASIN B07KB2BX82
Edition Language English
Series Home for the Holidays #1 setting Tennessee (United States)

A Caryn Advent Calendar Review: A Everyday Hero by E.J. Russell

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is EXACTLY what I want out of a holiday short story!  Sweet, funny, and leaving me with a smile on my face when I finish it.  I frequently find short stories leave me feeling unsatisfied, like they could be better if only they were longer, but this one was Just Right.

Adam Tyler is a nerdy web designer who moved from Portland, Oregon – a place with familiar, benign flora and fauna – to Phoenix, Arizona, to be near his sister and her soon-to-be-delivered daughter.  He plans to be the perfect uncle, but when he came to inspect his new house, the menacing scorpion in the bedroom had him rethinking his decision.  After screaming like a little girl, he escaped to the safety of his pool (scorpions don’t swim, right?), finished hyperventilating, and commenced calling exterminators.  But since it is only a few days before Christmas, everyone is busy.

Except Strong Exterminators.  That’s a good name, right?  Garrett Strong came over right away, and not only rescued Adam from what turned out to be an average Phoenix plague of scorpions – and I am so very happy I live in Florida after reading this story, ha ha! – but showed extraordinary patience with Adam.  Adam was charmed, as was Garrett, and they went on their first date right away.  When other desert creepy crawlies threatened, Garrett was there to save Adam again, and Adam saved him right back by seeing right to the kind, generous core of a guy who truly was an Everyday Hero.

*Happy Merry Christmas Sigh*   

Cover art by LC Chase could not be more perfect!  That is exactly how I pictured Adam and Garrett, right down to the clipboard 🙂

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 54 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644050385
Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Burning Down the House (Escape from the Holidays) by Gregory L. Norris

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Leo’s quiet vacation in Vermont is cut short by news that his beloved grandmother’s in the hospital because she tried to burn down her own house. Feeling low and depressed that she might be falling victim to dementia, Leo takes comfort in a man he meets in the hospital’s Quiet Room. The encounter’s supposed to be a one-night stand, one and done, no strings attached, but Leo’s surprised when he wants more.

The problem is that Aaron comes with strings and complications—ones Leo isn’t sure he wants to deal with on top of his own problems. Leo’s going to have to reach deep if he wants more than superficial, but he’s determined to try if the universe will just cooperate.

This was an alright story and I liked the premise but the style of writing didn’t connect with me.  Often much was skipped or summed up in a paragraph or two and along with the writing style made me feel as if I was missing a lot.  Leo and Aaron are perfect for each other and quickly actually start a relationship much the Leo’s obliviousness and attempting to be a free spirit.  It was nice to see how they could combine their lives and make it easier on the ones that were sick.

The cover art by Catherine Dair is nice and is one of the holiday series styles.

Sales Link: Mischief Corner Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, ~11,500 words

Published: December 1, 2018 by Mischief Corner Books

Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: The Law of Miracles by KC Wells

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I’ll start by saying that there was literally nothing about his wonderful love story that I didn’t adore. It had all the ingredients that make a perfect story for me, including slow burn and two older MCs—both around 50—one of whom is a widower of two years and the other still recovering from the heartbreak of his long-term partner leaving him after over twenty years together. Add to that, adult children who are not only kind and compassionate, but witty and fun-loving and fully supportive of their father, Joshua.

This is a sequel to A Christmas Promise in which Joshua’s son, Micah, meets Greg, a young man who was lured into a gay bashing and then left for dead in the snow in rural Wyoming. And though it is a sequel, there’s enough backfilled information in this story that, in my opinion, a reader could read this without having read the first book and wouldn’t be lost. That being said, this was quite delightful as a follow-up to Greg and Micah’s love story.

Alex is the gorgeous, fit, state’s attorney who will be prosecuting Greg’s case against his bashers. The story follows a timeline of approximately a year—between the initial meeting to review evidence and the final trial outcome. During that year, Joshua meets Alex, the two hit it off and become friends, and then later explore their attraction to one another. What starts as two friends meeting for cooking lessons—Alex is going to teach Joshua—ends as two men who can no longer deny what they feel for one another.

But it’s a very long, slow burn. And I loved every minute of it. From the recipes being prepared (the author really triggered my hunger pangs with some of these mouthwatering dishes) to the camping trip the kids planned in the hopes of matchmaking, to the harrowing days of the trial, and finally, to Alex learning to trust again, every moment was just perfect. Even my family asked why I was constantly smiling. I tried to explain that I had fallen in love with two men who had captured my heart and wouldn’t let go. 

Concurrent with the development of feelings between Alex and Joshua, we were treated to glimpses of Joshua’s past with his lovely wife, Rachel, and Alex’s past with his partner, Theo. Greg was still on crutches when the story opened and Micah was still struggling to put together enough artwork for an exhibit he was set to do in their small town. They, too, were an essential part of this story and readers were treated to their growth as a couple as well as to witness the outcome of Greg’s work to convince other young men to stand against the thugs who beat them. 

From the first chapter, the author endeared these characters to me. Joshua’s repulsion over using his bare hands to squish the meatloaf he was preparing made him very human. The time that elapsed as he and Alex learned more about each other, met for coffee, watched movies, cooked together, and finally, acknowledged the spark of attraction was just right. My favorite scene—and there were many to choose from—is the Cards Against Humanity game Naomi set up. Little did she know her father had such an evil streak. It was great fun; so much so, I felt I was there. And my favorite quote in this book is an old adage: “There may be snow on the rooftop but there’s fire in the furnace.” That is most definitely very apropos here.

I could go on and on. There’s just so much to like, so many wonderful memories, such engaging characters that the least I can do is very, very highly recommend this story to lovers of MM romance, particularly those who enjoy men with a little “snow on the rooftop.”

The cover by Meredith Russell features two very handsome older men, each exactly like the author’s description of Alex and Joshua, set against a snowflake background.  Perfect in every way, I’m so happy to see a cover match the description of the MCs.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 305 pages
Published November 24th 2018
ASIN B07KVJCP74
Edition Language English

Want a New Holiday Story? Look No further than Mr Frosty Pants by Leta Blake

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 90,000 word approx.
 
Cover Design: Wicked Smart Design
 
Blurb
 

Can true love warm his frozen heart?


When Casey Stevens went away to college four years ago, he ghosted on his straight best friend, Joel Vreeland. He hoped time and distance would lessen the unrequited affection he felt, but all it did was make him miss Joel more. Home for the holidays, Casey hopes they might find a way to be friends again. But Joel’s frosty reception reminds Casey of just how hard he had to fight to be Joel’s friend in the first place. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle to get past that cool façade again.


Joel isn’t as straight as Casey believes, and his years of pining for Casey have left him hurting and alone, caring for his abusive father and struggling to get by. Unable to trust anyone except his rescue dog—and with no reason to believe Casey is interested in him for more than a holiday fling—Joel’s icy heart might shatter before it can thaw.


Can Casey and Joel’s love overcome mistrust, parental rejection, class differences, and four long years apart? Mr. Frosty Pants is a stand-alone, Christmas gay romance by Leta Blake featuring a virgin hero, childhood friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, and steamy mm first times.



November 16Joyfully Jay, November 19 Gay Book Reviews, November 22Love Bytes, November 28The Novel Approach, November 30Bayou Book Junkie

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here. We highly recommend it for your holiday reading.

Author Bio


Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

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New Release Blitz and Giveaway for Santa Daddy by Keira Andrews

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Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2rbXRFC

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2PbYFUA

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

 
Length: 30,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Design
 
Blurb
 

Mall Santas aren’t supposed to be hot.


Hunter Adams is hopelessly adrift after college. He’s still a virgin, can’t find a real job, and has no clue what to do with his life. In desperation, he returns to his humiliating old job as an elf at the Santa’s Village in his hometown’s dying mall. The Santa on the job is an unexpectedly sexy lumberjack, twice Hunter’s size and age. He makes Hunter feel very naughty—too bad he’s grumpy and intimidating.


Years after the tragic death of his partner, Nick Spini has his beagle and long, hard days on his Christmas tree farm. That’s plenty. But he can’t refuse a loyal friend’s plea for help and finds himself filling in as Santa at the local mall. Despite Nick’s attempt to stay aloof, the beautiful, anxious young man playing elf brings out his long-dormant daddy instincts.


When a surprise blizzard traps them alone in Nick’s isolated forest home, their attraction burns even brighter. Will they surrender to the sizzling connection between them and find the release and comfort they crave?


Santa Daddy is a holiday gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring an age gap, steamy m/m first times, daddy role-playing and light spanking, Christmas romance feels, and of course a happy ending.

 

Author Bio



After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:


“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

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New Holiday Release Blitz for All I Want Is You by DJ Jamison (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Cover Design: Jay Aheer
 
Length: 161 pages
 
Blurb
 

One kiss under the mistletoe destroyed a friendship. Will another Christmas kiss remake it into something better?


Eli hasn’t been home since he left at eighteen with a heart aching from his best friend’s rejection and his father’s intolerance. But when his father reaches out, Eli figures it’s time to make peace with his family. He doesn’t expect to come face-to-face with Turner too — or to learn that the straight friend he’d foolishly loved is actually bisexual — but once the shock wears off, he knows exactly what he wants for Christmas.


Turner’s life isn’t everything he’d once planned, but he’s happy to be the shoulder his loved ones lean on. They keep him busy, which is just as well since none of his dates have really clicked. He hasn’t been able to connect with anyone the way he did with his former best friend. When Eli shows up for the holidays after years away, Turner doesn’t know what hit him. But he knows one thing: This time, he wants to give Eli a reason to stay.


All I Want Is You is a friends to lovers, second-chance romance with an HEA.


Excerpt

Turner kissed him, and Eli’s heart exploded into a frantic pace. Turner’s lips were on his, finally. And all his anger, all his disappointment washed away on a wave of endorphins.

This felt right. It was as if he’d been holding his breath for eight years, and he could finally exhale.

But it was over too soon. Eli hadn’t gotten a taste of Turner’s tongue, the kiss quick and chaste. He hadn’t gotten to run his fingers through his hair. Hadn’t put his hands on him at all.

Nothing but their lips had touched, and it was the single, best kiss of his life.

“I’d like us to be friends again, real friends,” Turner said. “Even after you leave again for California.”

Oh, right. Eli would be leaving. Turner would be staying. Nothing had changed.

His racing heart slowed. Grew heavy. Thudded hollowly.

“Friends,” he repeated.

“I know you’re not staying long,” Turner added. “So, it’s just a kiss. Between friends.”

“A friendly kiss,” Eli said.

Turner chuckled. “Yeah.”

“Okay,” Eli said.

And yet he sensed something more between the lines of Turner’s spoken words. Honesty, yes, but also yearning. Could it be possible that Turner wanted him as much as he’d always wanted Turner?

There was only one way to find out.

Eli wrapped a hand around the back of Turner’s neck, tugged him close, and kissed him hard. If he was only getting one kiss, he was going to make it count. He was going to kiss the daylights out of Turner and decide for himself how much Turner Williams wanted Elijah Harp.


Author Bio


DJ Jamison is the author of more than a dozen m/m romances, including the Ashe Sentinel series and the Hearts and Health series. She writes a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual, with a focus on telling love stories that are more about common ground than lust at first sight. DJ grew up in the Midwest in a working-class family, and those influences can be found in her writing through characters coping with real-life problems: money troubles, workplace drama, family conflicts and, of course, falling in love. DJ spent more than a decade in the newspaper industry before chasing her first dream to write fiction. She spent a lifetime reading before that, and continues to avidly devour her fellow authors’ books each night. She lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons, two fish and, regrettably, one snake.

 

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