An Alisa Review: What Works For Us by Colette Davison

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

An elf costume, a pair of lacy knickers, and a Christmas charity auction might make Sam’s Christmas wish come true.

When sweet barista, Sam, agrees to be a ‘slave’ in a Christmas charity auction, he’s thrilled to be bought by the man he’s had a crush on for the last three months.

Theodore is everything Sam is looking for in a man: older, authoritative, and caring. Unfortunately, Sam isn’t the most forward person when it comes to telling men he likes them. Wearing a sexy costume allows him to be a much flirtier version of himself, but can a naughty elf tempt Theodore into bed?

As their relationship intensifies, Sam finds something in Theodore he didn’t realise he needed: a man he wants to call his Daddy.

But Theodore isn’t out of the closet, and whilst Sam is happy existing in a bubble in the run up to Christmas, he knows that can’t last forever.

Can Sam risk giving his heart to a Daddy who might not ever be able to hold his hand in public, let alone commit to him?

What Works For Us is a Christmas-ish romance with an age-gap relationship, lacy underwear, role-play, Daddy kink, a smidge of hurt/comfort, and a guaranteed happy ending

This was a great story, I loved seeing Sam and Theodore find what they wanted even if it was hard.  All they needed was the right push to get things started but then another to make it right.

I liked that Sam and Theodore were willing to learn what the other liked and grow their experience and bond with each other.  I hated that Sam’s family made him doubt their relationship even if the inevitable fallout was what made Theodore finally accept and work for what he wants.

I loved getting to know these guys and being able to see them find the happiness and acceptance that they want and need even if they have to work for it.  I loved how adorable Sam was and how much Theodore cared for Sam and wanted his happiness more than anything and in the end they are able to work everything out for a great HEA.

The cover art is adorable and I like seeing Sam in his elf hat.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 251 pages

Published: December 17, 2019

Edition Language: English

A Lucy Review: This Christmas by J.R. Hart

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Alex Ross can’t catch a break when it comes to Christmastime. With a long history of bad holiday experiences—like getting rejected under the mistletoe or playing referee to his mother’s divorce—he’s just trying to survive it.

New in town and a stranger to everyone, he plans on ignoring the holiday altogether. That would be easier if his ridiculously cheerful new neighbor would cool it on the Christmas hype. Nicholas is annoying and loud. Worst of all, he’s also impossibly attractive and nice to everyone. It’s getting harder for Alex to deny his interest, especially when Nicholas leaves Christmas cookies at his door and wages a snowball fight against him on the coldest day of the year.

Can Alex open up to him and get into the holiday spirit before he endures another ruined Christmas?

I had a bit of trouble getting into this story because Alex’s issues are deeper than the blurb would lead you to believe.  He is new in town, set for grad school, but school wasn’t the main reason he’s away from home for the holidays.  His mother and stepfather are going through a divorce but his mother also suffers from severe depression.  His family, particularly grandparents, are big time homophobic bigots and he misread signals of his best friend, who is now an ex-friend.  That last one really made me sad because come on, Mike.  He is way in the closet and really has some internalized homophobia.

So now he has fled from Los Angeles to Omaha in search of a new start away from it all.  His plan is to get close to no one, let no one in and so save himself from having to leave again. 

Nicholas, on the other hand, is a ray of sunshine.  Or maybe a Christmas light show.  He’s relentlessly cheerful, caring and giving.  He loves Christmas and everything to do with it.  He has some amazing friends and he shares Christmas joy with everyone.  Naturally, he bugs the heck out of Alex.

They have a meet-cute over a box of peppermint bark, where Alex acts like a complete tool.   “Alex was indifferent to peppermint.  He didn’t have a personal grudge against the flavor, not really.  At Christmas, however, indifference became loathing. You have to get past the times he is so rude and obnoxious before he is likeable.

In a coincidence, they end up living in the same apartment building, actually on the same floor.  This gives them proximity and gives Nicholas ideas. For his part, Alex desperately wants a new friend but he is terrified that what happened with Mike will happen again.  It’s very difficult for him to claw his way out of the fear.  As we get to know his story, Alex was breaking my heart.  “He bit his lip, rolled over in bed and tried not to cry.  His cheeks burned hot with shame.”

Nicholas, despite his positive outlook, is lonely and he is bewitched by Alex, even when Alex isn’t being his best.  “Looking down at his apron and socks and then across the room at the baked goods littering his apartment, he was almost ashamed of the overindulgent way he’d been acting.”  Nicholas uses baking as a means to stay busy when everyone has holiday plans, so he has no reason to be ashamed. He doesn’t give up on Alex and the way the two of them flirt, via snow and baked goods, is adorable.  Nicholas also teaches Alex the value of chosen family.  “Alex always used to think the concept was cheesy and ridiculous.  Family couldn’t be changed, he’d always thought.  You were given one of them.  Family was family, friends were friends and the lines were clear.” But he comes to see the difference.  Family are the people who have your back no matter what, not necessarily the ones who share your bloodline.

The steps from fearful Alex to true Alex are sometimes very baby steps but he is brave and moves forward.  Their date in the blanket fort was so perfect I wanted to cheer.  “Here, things were private, soft and quiet.  They could talk and truly get to know one another.”  It was so Nicholas.  The epilogue was also perfect, although I do want to know what happened with Alex’s family.

This is a sweet, low angst holiday story that will definitely go on my holiday re-read list. 

The cover, ornaments and Christmas lights and that snowman, is perfect.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 209 pages
Published December 9th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781951057954
Edition Language English

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Unveiled (Master Chronicles #2) by Jamie Craig

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 Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Gideon and Jesse work together as private investigators and after years of friendship, become an established couple in book one. This isn’t difficult to follow if you haven’t read the first book, but your understanding of the characters will be very different. The case investigated here revolves around a missing young woman found killed after an exclusive party. Right after leaving a hideous crime scene where Jesse is emotionally devastated, Jesse and Gideon go to the vampire club Sangre where they participate in a gang bang that involves other vampires and a lot of blood. Why this isn’t traumatic for Jesse after the way the woman was killed, is a mystery to me. While there they rescue an empath named Emma who can sense and transmit the feelings of others.

The world building never had a hint of anything else paranormal except vampires, so it felt abrupt to have an empath thrown in to this world. The vampires must know Gideon works with the police. Why would they do anything illegal like sell him a human slave? They were able to rescue Emma because no one already “owned” her, so if she had already been bought, they wouldn’t have helped her? The author seems to skirt the line, maybe not wanting to go into non consensual territory, but that’s too little too late with these characters. Clearly there are limits and rules as to when they are the good guys. In book one, Gideon is not always shown in the best light so it felt like here, Emma was used to reassure the audience (and Michelle and Jesse) that he really is a good guy. I’m not sure why this is actually necessary since the audience can have more of Gideon’s POV any time the author chooses to write more of it. Both main characters seem pansexual so adding Emma into their mix wouldn’t be too unexpected if it were just sex, but laying the groundwork to add her to their relationship was unexpected. In this book, she is just used for titillation–a will they, won’t they–that could be expanded upon in later books.

Emma is also utilized to give them a lead on the case; she was taken while trying to find her sister, who went missing after dating a vampire. I didn’t like when a scene suddenly switched to Emma’s point of view for a very short time. The usual POV is Jesse’s. However, once Gideon and Jesse go undercover, Emma goes to help Michelle and there needed to be another point of view as action happens in different places. As the only other established character, I am unclear why this couldn’t have been Michelle’s POV. My concern is that because she’s a lesbian, and therefore will not be having sex with Jesse or Gideon, her POV is considered unimportant. For me, this seemed like a lost opportunity.

The interaction between law enforcement and the private investigators is really lacking. The world is built with humans knowing about vampires, but this is another situation where the author seems to hedge and not commit to that. Why are the police not asking Gideon for help on vampire cases? Why do the police only raid the party when Gideon says so? This is written as Gideon being the only vampire who actually cares about humans, but then the author has Rina, who was friends with the murdered woman, and promptly dismisses her of being capable of being a complex person.

While the use of humans, alive or dead, to entertain the wealthy is not an original idea, the “art” created by Jesse and Gideon with Emma’s help sounded interesting. Sadly, it wasn’t described in a way that came alive as scenery, it was used as a means to an end. The other artists and their creations weren’t shown, even though the story was Gideon’s POV at that point. Then, the final confrontation with the killer(s) fizzled out. In the end, I felt like I was left with many sex scenes, some more successful than others, without an intriguing enough plot or emotional connection to the characters to hold them all together.

The cover design is by Written Ink Designs (written-ink.com) with image(s) used under a Standard Royalty-Free License. It shows Jesse and elements of the art exhibits mentioned in the book.

Sales Link:  JMS Books LLC |   Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 176 pages, JMS Books LLC
Published (first published August 1st 2007)
Original Title Unveiled (Book II of The Master Chronicles)
ASINB001JMFBPW

Check Out the Release Blitz with Excerpt for What Works For Us by Colette Davison

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: What Works For Us

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Independently published

Cover Artist: Colette Davison

Release Date:  December 17, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Age-gap, role-playing, Daddy kink, out for you

Themes:  Self-discovery; sexual awakening

Heat Rating:  4 flames  

Length: 57 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads 

 

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

and  only 99c until December 22

Universal Amazon Link

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

An elf costume, a pair of lacy knickers, and a Christmas charity auction might make Sam’s Christmas wish come true.

 

Blurb

When sweet barista, Sam, agrees to be a ‘slave’ in a Christmas charity auction, he’s thrilled to be bought by the man he’s had a crush on for the last three months.

Theodore is everything Sam is looking for in a man: older, authoritative, and caring. Unfortunately, Sam isn’t the most forward person when it comes to telling men he likes them. Wearing a sexy costume allows him to be a much flirtier version of himself, but can a naughty elf tempt Theodore into bed?

As their relationship intensifies, Sam finds something in Theodore he didn’t realise he needed: a man he wants to call his Daddy.

But Theodore isn’t out of the closet, and whilst Sam is happy existing in a bubble over Christmas, he knows that can’t last forever.

Can Sam risk giving his heart to a Daddy who might not ever be able to hold his hand in public, let alone commit to him?

What Works For Us is a Christmas romance with an age-gap relationship, lacy underwear, role-play, Daddy kink, and a guaranteed happy ending.

 

Excerpt

He stood and opened the door, and his heart leapt into his throat. His whole body tingled as he found himself unable to tear his gaze away from what the young man was wearing.
Sam didn’t have the boxer shorts on. Instead, he wore a woman’s elf costume, which comprised of a short dress with a green lace-up bodice and bright red skirt. Due to Sam’s height, the skirt barely covered the top third of his thighs. The skirt was filled out with netting, like a tutu, making it even shorter. Sam was wearing candy cane-striped stockings. Theodore knew they were stockings because he could see the top of the suspenders peeking out beneath the white fake fur trim on the hem of the skirt. In his head, Sam wore a floppy hat—like the Santa ones that had been flooding the shops for the last three months—but in green to match the bodice. Theodore managed to drag his gaze down to Sam’s feet long enough to note that he was wearing black pumps.
“I didn’t think I’d be able to clean in high heels,” Sam said in a confidential whisper. He sounded and looked more confident than he had minutes before.
Theodore’s mind had turned to goo. He’d seen men in drag before, but this was different. Sam’s festive costume was tapping into desires that Theodore hadn’t realised he had. He could feel his blood pumping through his veins, racing to get to his dick rather than his heart. He had a sudden desire to pull Sam into his arms and kiss him. Hard.
Dear God, don’t let me get an erection.
Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse, Sam did a slow twirl. At the back, the skirt barely covered his bottom, giving Theodore the tiniest glimpse of white lace. A shiver ran through him, and he let out a little gasp of desire.
“Do you like it?” Sam asked.

 

 

About the Author 

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

 

 

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Facebook Group: Colette’s Cosy Corner

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Release Blitz with Excerpt for Inheritance (Deadly Curiosities #4) by Gail Z. Martin

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Inheritance

Author: Gail Z. Martin

Cover Artist: Lou Harper

Release Date: October 22, 2019

Genre/s: Urban fantasy with romantic elements.

(Note—Characters from my Morgan Brice (MM paranormal romance) books make several key appearances in this book.

Also, a long-time committed MM couple figure prominently in the plot).

Trope/s: Established relationships, strengthening commitment, supportive partners, protective partners

Themes: Friendship, found family, loyalty, family always has your back, trust

Heat Rating:  0 – 1 flame (No sex, kissing/hugging for MF and MM characters)

Length: 66 000 words/ 222 pages

It is the fourth book in the series but can be read as a standalone.

Add on Goodreads

 

 

Can Cassidy and her friends find the demon box, stop the killer ghosts, and break the Pendlewood curse before Beckford’s murderous cousins and the vengeful demon destroy them all?

 

Blurb 

Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curio shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them, and she teams up with friends and allies who use magic and paranormal abilities to get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.

Caribbean ghosts terrorize Charleston and start racking up a body count. Then Beckford Pendlewood, the heir to a powerful family of dark warlocks, shows up raving about a bound demon locked in a lost box and begs sanctuary. Can Cassidy and her friends find the demon box, stop the killer ghosts, and break the Pendlewood curse before Beckford’s murderous cousins and the vengeful demon destroy them all?

 

Buy Links – ebook and paperback 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

Excerpt 

From Chapter 1 

“It’s a ‘sailor’s valentine,’” I said, recognizing the style. I leaned closer, careful not to touch. While the idea of an intricate design crafted from shells sounded like a kitschy souvenir, antique sailor’s valentines could be true works of folk art and fetch thousands of dollars. This one was particularly well done, with a floral rose inside a nautical wind rose, enclosed in a detailed decorative border, and all of it painstakingly pieced together from naturally-colored seashells.

“We can authenticate the original ownership,” Alfred asserted, probably hoping to regain my professional respect. “It’s old—the date on the back says 1845, and the appraiser confirmed that the materials are consistent with that period. The writing next to the date reads, ‘To my darling Millicent, undying love from Joseph.’”

“Do you have any idea who Joseph and Millicent were?”

“Unfortunately, no,” Alfred admitted. “The representative said that it had been given by a sailor to his fiancée when he returned to port.” He cleared his throat. “Unfortunately, it was a parting gift, because the sailor had already married someone else. After that, the piece passed through various hands until it was acquired a few decades later by the family of the late owner.”

I walked around the piece, which was secured on an easel. The mahogany frame appeared to be in good shape, and despite the age of the piece, the shells had not discolored or come loose from their glue, and the glass had no chips or breaks. The shell work itself was a wonder, using a variety of types—common cockles, beaded periwinkles, baby’s ears, bubbles, jingles, and more—in an array of colors and sizes. I could understand why it could catch someone’s eye.

Assuming they couldn’t feel the psychic reek of malevolent energy that made me recoil. If it has that much resonance when I’m a foot away, I really don’t want to know how it feels to pick it up.

When an item gave off vibes that were that strong, I could usually get a read without having to touch it. I closed my eyes, aware that Alfred was watching, and reached out with my psychometry, stretching my gift toward the piece but not getting any closer than necessary.

Hatred and vengefulness hit me like a punch to the face. After all this time, the resonance was so powerful that I caught my breath and took a defensive step back. I saw everything, like a movie in fast-forward. Millicent’s happiness that her beloved had returned from the sea, and her delight in the beautiful gift. Joseph’s admission of betrayal. Her shock, turning to grief and then cooling into anger. A heated argument, and the swing of a candlestick in rage, leaving Joseph in a pool of blood. Fear, remorse, loss, and guilt, and then a knife blade that Millicent used to open veins and let herself die beside her faithless lover.

The vision ended as abruptly as it had begun, leaving me breathless. I might have spared some sympathy for Millicent, despite her reaction, if I didn’t feel the temperature drop and know from the prickle on my skin that Millicent’s spirit still clung to the tragic gift.

“Get back!” I reached into the pocket of my jacket and grabbed a handful of the loose salt I kept there for situations just like this. As Millicent’s spirit began to take shape and the air around us grew freezing cold, I hurled a handful of salt at her ghostly outline, making her flicker and vanish.

“Run!” I grabbed Alfred by the arm and dragged him with me as I sprinted toward the storage room door. I’d disrupted Millicent’s manifestation, but it wouldn’t take a spirit that strong long to regroup.

 

About the Author 

Gail Z. Martin writes epic fantasy, urban fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, SOL Publishing, Darkwind Press, Worldbuilders Press and Falstaff Books. Recent books include Convicts and Exiles, Sellsword’s Oath, Inheritance, and Night Moves. With Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of the Spells Salt & Steel, Wasteland Marshals, Joe Mack and Jake Desmet series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance including the Witchbane, Badlands and Treasure Trail series. Recent books include The Rising, Flame and Ash.

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