A Stella Advent Calendar Review: Mosquitoes and Mistletoe by Ren Holly

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

After Andrew’s boyfriend dumps him just before Christmas, he decides to take a job far, far away from city life. It’s a dishwashing job on a remote island off the coast of Georgia. Expecting sunshine, palm trees, and some quality alone time, Andrew is surprised to find alligators, mosquitoes, rattlesnakes, and Garrett—a devilishly handsome naturalist. Andrew desperately tries to resist Garrett’s charm, because a twice-broken heart before Christmas is just not an option. Besides Andrew’s new friend Anna might already have a thing for Garrett.

But where do Garrett’s interests lie, and will Andrew find out before he’s surprised by a visit from his ex?

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar “Warmest Wishes.”

I have to say I was nicely surprised by this novellas, the love story between Andrew and Garrett caught my interest from the beginning. There was never a dull moment, the scenes were all well done and it was clear the romance was growing. I adored Andrew, and his passion for baking was a bonus, but I was conquered by his strength and honesty. Both him and Garrett were positive and open persons. I saw their hearts and the attraction they felt.

Mosquitoes and Mistletoe has been the first title I read by Ren Holly and I liked it a lot, the writing style was great, the reading flew easily and it was a joy to follow these two young men into a new adventure. A very cute story.

The cover art by L.C. Chase is not a favorite of mine, although it fits the plot, I don’t like it so much, I’m not even sure why.

SALE LINKS Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 64 pages

Published December 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ASIN B07L1ZJ7NZ

Edition Language English

An Alisa Release Day Review: Sunshine in the Dragon’s Heart by Jaime Samms

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

When Sunny retires to the northern Ontario wilderness to mourn his parents’ deaths, he’s hoping the change of scenery will afford him some peace and quiet.

His hopes are soon spectacularly dashed.

In self-imposed exile, dragon Emile runs across the Fold between his dimension and Sunny’s—and right into Sunny’s arms. Centuries out of touch with human culture, bright, beautiful Emile incinerates any hope Sunny had for an ordinary existence. With dryads and water sprites coming to life all around them, Sunny can’t deny the magic Emile brings to his life—or his heart. But that same magic leads the unrelenting dragon who would keep Emile captive right to them. To save his love, Sunny will have to reach deep and find some magic of his own.

This is the ultimate story of people from two different worlds coming together.  Sunny finds Emile on his new property but feels the need to protect and keep him.  Emile is trying to escape from being forced into a situation he never wanted and finds acceptance with Sunny.

Sunny is surprised by his own quick acceptance of Emile in his life since he hasn’t wanted to be around other people since his parent’s deaths.  Emile doesn’t want to bring back the dragon’s of the past though there is another trying to push it and he’ll have to find his own strength to stop it.

I loved Sunny’s dedication to the plants and creatures around him and how he easily accepted Emile and the magic that came with him.  I liked the Emile found the place he was meant to be and live his life.  I liked this story but at times felt like I was being bounced between Sunny and Emile and I would have to go back to read a few pages to make sure I knew what was going on.  The only other thing that threw me off was the timeline, I am not exactly sure over how much time this book took place but it would seem to be a short time but it would talk as if it had been a longer time.

I love the cover art by Tiferet Design and the visual of Emile.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 226 pages

Published: December 4, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-973-4

Edition Language: English

Series: Perchance to Dream

A Lucy Review: Christmas Angel (The Christmas Angel #1) by Eli Easton

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

When John Trent, a dedicated member of the new Bow Street Runners, finds an exquisite carved angel floating in the Thames, he can’t stop thinking about it. He tracks down its creator, a sad and quiet young sculptor. But neither the angel nor the sculptor is done with John just yet. The blasted angel refuses to leave him be, behaving not at all like an inanimate object should.

Alec Allston is resigned to the fact that his love will ever be a river that flows out and never flows in. All he wanted to do was create a special gift so that a small part of himself could be with his unattainable and noble beloved, always. But when the gift keeps showing back up at his shop in the hands of a windblown and rugged thief-taker, Alec will need to reconsider his conviction that love is destined to remain an aethereal ideal.

A holiday historical with non-noble main characters?  Sign me up!  This is a lovely story of how low you can feel when the one you’ve poured your heart and soul into isn’t worth what you give and how hope can make all the difference.  When Alec has become so heartsick over the rejection of William, his love, he can think of only ending the pain permanently.  “I loved someone…With every part of my being, every beat of my heart, purely and completely.  And now…” He swallowed.  “Now he’s gotten engaged.”  It is only by the words of a beautiful woman that he reconsiders what he is about to do and is grateful for it later.  A sculptor, he creates a beautiful Christmas Angel as a farewell gift to William in her likeness, only to have it returned to him by John Trent, who fished it out of the Thames.  To have such a gift tossed away like garbage is just too much.

Trent is a Bow Street Runner, honest and wanting to make a difference to those who suffer as his family did.  He lives in the most amazing boarding house with people who understand being different than society.  I want, so dearly want, Mr. Stockbridge to have a story and have some happiness.

When the angel is sold and yet Trent finds it again, Alec decides she was meant for Trent. This is how the wooing of Alec by Trent begins and it is so sweet. Trent takes him for walks, brings  him food and basically treats him as though he were precious.  I loved that and Alec deserved that.  The comparison to William comes later and made me laugh.  “In fact, he’d never seemed more foppish to Alec, more a…a gilded turd.”  As with so many entitled people, William only wants something if someone else wants it more. 

Both main characters were interesting and worth connecting to.  I felt the descriptions of the period, including powdered wigs, sodomy trials and the very strict social parameters with the ever present threat of death for who you love were detailed and rich.   I want to know all about Trent’s friends at the boarding house.  Mr Stockbridge….

Cover Art:  Meredith Russell.  I love this cover.  Perfect for the story and period.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to borrow with Kindle Unlimited 
 

Book Details:

ebook
Published December 2nd 2018
Edition Language English
Series The Christmas Angel #1 setting England

The Christmas Angel Series
 
Summerfield’s Angel – Kim Fielding –  Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Soldier’s Wish – N.R. Walker – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK

Holiday Review Tour and Giveaway for Christmas Angel (The Christmas Angel #1) by Eli Easton

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to borrow with Kindle Unlimited 
 
Length: 25,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
The Christmas Angel Series
 
Summerfield’s Angel – Kim Fielding –  Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Magician’s Angel – Jordan L. Hawk – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Homecoming – L.A. Witt – Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Soldier’s Wish – N.R. Walker – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Shrewd Angel – Anyta Sunday – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Christmas Prince – RJ Scott- Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

When John Trent, a dedicated member of the new Bow Street Runners, finds an exquisite carved angel floating in the Thames, he can’t stop thinking about it. He tracks down its creator, a sad and quiet young sculptor. But neither the angel nor the sculptor is done with John just yet. The blasted angel refuses to leave him be, behaving not at all like an inanimate object should.

Alec Allston is resigned to the fact that his love will ever be a river that flows out and never flows in. All he wanted to do was create a special gift so that a small part of himself could be with his unattainable and noble beloved, always. But when the gift keeps showing back up at his shop in the hands of a windblown and rugged thief-taker, Alec will need to reconsider his conviction that love is destined to remain an ethereal ideal.

This book is one of seven stories which can all be read and enjoyed in any order.

 
The Christmas Angel Series
 

In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas angel through the years. Whether it’s 1700s England (Eli Easton’s Christmas Angel), the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding’s Summerfield’s Angel), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk’s Magician’s Angel), World War II (L.A. Witt’s Christmas Homecoming), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker’s Soldier’s Wish), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday’s Shrewd Angel), or 2018 (RJ Scott’s Christmas Prince), the Christmas angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need its blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.  We highly recommend it.

About Eli

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.

In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

In 2018 Eli hopes to do more of the same, assuming they reschedule the apocalypse.

Her website is www.elieaston.com
You can email her at eli@elieaston.com

 
 

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Book Blitz for Defensive Play ( A Boys on the Brink Novella) by Jamie Deacon (excerpt and giveaway)

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DefensivePlay_OutNow

Title: Defensive Play

Series: A Boys on the Brink Novella

Author: Jamie Deacon

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: November 30, 2018

Genre: Gay YA Sports Romance

Length: 21,500 words

Add to your Goodreads shelves

About the Book

Blurb

DefensivePlay

One glance is all it takes to bring his defences crashing down…

Seventeen-year-old Davey has never made friends easily. Shy, geeky, crippled with social anxiety, he feels isolated from his peers, and only his position as defender for the school football team fills the void of loneliness. On the pitch, his deft footwork has earned him the respect and acceptance of his squad, though at a price. Desperate to hold onto this camaraderie, Davey conceals the truth from everyone, even his own family.

Then, during the annual Brookshire football tournament, his eyes meet those of a rival player across the field and a spark flares between them, one neither boy can deny. Adam is everything Davey longs to be—confident, popular, comfortable with his sexuality. Davey aches to explore their connection, to discover where it might lead, but how can he follow his heart and risk rejection by his teammates, the closest thing to friends he has ever known?

Excerpt

The rain has stopped. A soft mist hangs in the air, turning the distant streetlights a hazy orange. After the stuffiness of the clubhouse, the night is bitterly cold and I pull on my sweatshirt against the chill. I sit on the steps overlooking the car park, heedless of the damp that seeps through my jeans. Elbows on knees, I rest my chin in my hands and close my eyes, attempting to clear my mind. I don’t want to think anymore. I just want to sit with nothing but the dark and the quiet for company.

I haven’t been hunched there long when the door opens, ejecting a stream of warmth and thumping bass. I glance behind me, although I know who it will be. My body goes still. Adam lets the door swing shut and, just like that, we’re alone.

He doesn’t seem surprised to find me on the steps. Perhaps he saw me leave. Has he followed me? My insides clench. What if Adam thinks I did it deliberately, that I meant to lure him out here. Maybe I had. Maybe, deep down, a part of me hoped Adam might come, even while the rest of me prayed he wouldn’t.

This time, when our gazes connect, there’s no one to see, no football match to act as a buffer. I drink him in. Even in the faint glow filtering through the frosted pane in the door, his eyes are a vivid blue.

“Hey,” Adam says. Such a simple word that expresses so much. There’s recognition there, like we’re childhood friends meeting after years apart, but uncertainty, too. He has a nice voice, I register through my turbulent thoughts—warm and slightly husky.

“Hey.” My reply emerges somewhere between a croak and a squeak. Cringing, I stare down at my feet.

“It’s Davey, right?”

I fling him a startled look. Had this boy—this confident, gorgeous boy—actually gone to the trouble of finding out my name?

One side of Adam’s mouth lifts in a crooked smile. “Well, I had to know who the lunatic was who almost took my leg off.”

“God.” I bury my face in my hands. Of course Adam was going to ask about me after what happened on the pitch. “I’m so sorry.”

He laughs and nudges my thigh with the toe of his trainer. “I’m kidding. Seriously, you did us a favour.”

I dare a peep at him, unable to rid myself of the thought that he has pursued me out here to take the piss. That wouldn’t be anything new, after all.

“It’s true.” Adam crouches on the step beside me, his expression amused but without malice. “Rob warned me about you. He said the rest of your defence was pretty solid, but probably weren’t quick enough to catch me. You were the real threat.”

I grimace. “I’m guessing he wasn’t expecting me to take you out quite so spectacularly, though.”

“Funnily enough, that wasn’t included in the pep talk. Still, I should be thanking you. You made our job a whole lot easier.”

“Don’t remind me. You should’ve heard the guys after the match. I’ll never hear the end of it.”

Adam laughs again, and I can’t hold back a smile. Here I am, having an actual conversation with an amazing-looking boy—a boy who’d caught me checking him out, no less—and I’m not making an ass of myself.

The door behind us bursts open and several guys spill out. I tense, guard raised. Will they think it odd us sitting out here alone? I scan their faces, but none are from Farnstead. A moment later, they barrel down the steps without giving either of us a second look and head for one of the cars parked nearby.

As they pile in and the engine growls to life, I exhale, shoulders slumping. I can feel Adam studying me and keep my gaze lowered.

“You’re not out,” he says, “are you?”

“What?” My entire body goes rigid. He knows. I’d already guessed as much, but suspecting it is one thing; being confronted with the indisputable truth sends me spiralling back into panic mode. Why had he really followed me out here? I’d thought…been sure I’d read something in his eyes when they locked with mine, but what if I’m wrong? Do I truly believe someone like Adam, someone popular and self-assured, would have sought me out? Unless…

I see again the Brookminster players in their huddle, sniggering, moments after Adam caught me staring. I’d reassured myself they weren’t laughing about me, but perhaps my fears had been well founded. The cold certainty settles like a snowball in my gut. I’d given myself away, and now the other lads have sent Adam out here to chat me up, trick me into an admission I won’t be able to take back. For all I know, his mates are somewhere close by as we speak, listening in.

“Hey.” Adam extends his palms in what is probably supposed to be a calming gesture. “It’s all right. I know and it’s all right.”

“You don’t know anything,” I snap. The instinct for self-preservation, to keep my protective wall intact at any cost, propels me to my feet. “You hear me? You don’t know anything about me.”

Before he can respond, I’m down the steps and sprinting into the darkness, phone already out to call my parents. All I want is to go home, crawl into bed, and forget today ever happened.

Purchase Your Copy!

Kindle UK | Kindle US | Nook | Apple Books | Kobo | Smashwords | Beaten Track Publishing

About Jamie Deacon

Author Bio

Rainbow Books

Jamie lives in a tranquil spot close to the River Thames in Berkshire, England, and has always been just a little out of place—the only redhead in a family of brunettes; an introvert far more at ease with dogs than with people; a connoisseur of simple pleasures in a society intent on the quest for wealth and fame. Despite an outward cynicism, Jamie is a romantic at heart, and, when not immersed in a book, can mostly be found writing emotional stories where young men from all walks of life are forced to navigate the sometimes painful reality of growing up, coming out, and falling in love.

Connect with Jamie

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Defensive Play, Jamie Deacon is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card. For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open to entrants world wide, and closes at midnight EST on Friday December 7, 2018.

Good luck!

Enter to win. \