A Stella Review: Yours For The Holiday by DJ Jamison

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

Fresh off a break-up, Remy is in no mood to share a room with his brother’s best friend during a holiday stay at home. Jason Hendricks has always treated him like a little brother to tease and taunt, all the more embarrassing because Remy has secretly crushed on the jerk since puberty. But when Jason confides he’s bisexual, Remy realizes the crush he loves to hate could be the perfect rebound.

Jason has always found Remy appealing. He didn’t handle his attraction well when he was younger, but now Remy’s a grown man and Jason’s no longer afraid of his feelings. Some playful flirtation sounds like a great way to spend Thanksgiving break, but he’s not prepared for Remy’s newfound sex appeal or his decision to make Jason his rebound fling. Jason doesn’t want to risk fallout with a family that’s always been there for him, but he’s not sure he can resist.

When the two part ways, they don’t plan to stay in touch, but soon they’re texting, trading sexy pictures and helping each other cope with family drama. Remy agrees to be his for the holiday, continuing their secret fling over Christmas, but Jason knows that won’t be enough. He’ll have to find the courage to be open and honest with his best friend — and the whole Wells family — if he wants a chance at love in the new year.

Yours For The Holiday was a huge success to me, yes I love holiday stories, but what I love more is the “enemies to lovers” trope, especially when it’s so well done like this one. IMO the author delivered a lovely and real book. I ended up truly enjoying it.

The novel was well written and engaging, I love how the writing was focused on the MCs approaching lovers and not more as enemies, even if sparks still flew between them, it was another kind of spark.

I particularly liked how Jason, once he realized something more could finally happen with Remy, started to wooing him until he knew Remy was his. He never lost the hope and the intention. And then the second characters, family and friends, played an important role in the story, supporting the MCs and helped the plot to be more realistic.

The author did great with this new release cause I felt the characters, I heard their feelings always and laughed with them a lot. I have to say I was sad when it ended, perfect ending but I wanted them to be with me a little more. Highly recommended.

The cover art is simple, I like it.

Sales Link:  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 168 pages

Published November 20th 2017

ASIN B077GNH1B4

Edition Language English

A Stella Release Day Review: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by Brandon Witt

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Fifty-six-year-old Samuel Phillips is all alone on his small farm in the Ozarks, with nothing but a menagerie of chickens, pheasants, turkeys, and other birds as company—which is just the way he likes it. In fact, if Samuel had his way, he’d tear down his neighbor’s house so his solitude could be absolute. One day Faloola, his favorite turkey, escapes, forcing Samuel to make the trek next door. When Raymond Webber—sixty-seven—answers the door as naked as the day he was born, Samuel doesn’t know whether he’s more annoyed… or attracted. The two men are opposites in every way—Samuel is serious, while Raymond believes in free love and herbal relaxation. The weeks leading up to Christmas are rocky to say the least, but some holiday spirit might help them get past their differences….

I’m a fan of stories with adult characters, but I have to admit I had never read a mm romance about a character well into his sixty years. I was very curious and of course, being this a Brandon Witt work, I had no doubt he would deliver something good. And he did good, it was easy to picture these two men in my mind. I fell into the story from the start and I had to finish it in a one standing, even if it was too late in the night and I should have been already asleep. I needed to know what was going to happen and I couldn’t wait for the next morning.

I liked how Samuel and Raymond interacted, of course I felt bad for Samuel and Faloola, the wandering turkey. But the ending was really sweet, how Raymond made amends was superlative. I loved them together and would love to read more about them.

Hope is the Thing With Feathers is part of the DSP Advent Calendar, it’s a short story, just what you can expect from this collection. I feel pretty satisfied by what I was able to learn about the characters, still I’m always greedy to have more Brandon Witt works on my hands and I so hope this short will be developed into a novel. I would so read it.

The cover art by LC Chase is cute and I like it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 48 pages

Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781640802919

Edition Language English

Series 2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers

A Stella Review: Trusting Him (Bromley Brothers #1) by Laura N. Andrews

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Event coordinator Trey Bromley is the youngest of three brothers and is out and proud. The last thing he’s looking for is a man who doesn’t know what he wants. After a chance meeting with David Rossi, a security guard who has recently discovered his bisexuality, Trey begins to question exactly what he wants and how much he’s prepared to bend his own rules.

Trusting Him was a pleasurable surprise, it’s the first book I read from the author and I’m so ready for more. It’s also the first book in the Bromley Brothers series and yes I’m dying for the coming stories about the other two brothers. I adore series like this one, where the main characters I will meet in the next books are important characters in the present story I’m reading. I started to love all of them here in Trusting Him and I already know they all will deserve the perfect person beside them.

I liked Trey and David a lot, the first so outgoing and full of joy, the second so cold and reserved but it’s just a guise and then when they are near each other, sparks flied. The relationship they began  was hot and sweet, with a little misunderstanding. At the end they were well done and explained, I knew a lot about Trey and David, their pasts, their dreams and needs. And although I had just one POV (Trey’s), it was enough to me and that’s cause the author delivered an awesome novel, good writing, enough development in the plot but nothing too much.

Everything was well balanced, the main love story beautifully blends with the friends and families relationships and that’s the reason why I enjoyd and  feel to recommend Trusting Him.

The cover art by Claire Smith is lovely, I like it.

SALE LINKS  Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 178 pages

Published October 28th 2017 by Hot Tree Publishing

ASIN B074VVKFZ3

Series  Bromley Brothers #1

Edition Language English

A Stella Review :​ Eggplant Highlights and Mustard Yellow Jeans by Sarah Hadley Brook

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Seth Robinson manages a local kitchen boutique and has had a crush on a customer who frequents the shop. Though too shy to start up a conversation about anything other than kitchen appliances or the newest cooking gadget, Seth still hopes to catch the other’s eye. Seth has a tendency to change his hair color a lot, and when he gets purple highlights, it finally sparks a conversation between the two men.

Chris Berger runs a catering business in Bellflower and loves visiting Karlee’s Kitchen Essentials, where he can chat with the cute manager. He has a unique way of looking at the world and colors and is intrigued by Seth’s highlights.

Unfortunately, when they manage to get together, they’re both dealing with major upheavals in their lives. Will they be strong enough to work together to find their happily ever after?

This story is the first I read by the author and I have to say I was pleasurably surprised by the writing style, I found myself soon into the characters’ lives and the reading flew so easily it was a joy to be at the ending part and feel so satisfied. Sure what caught my eyes was the title and the blurb, and then the author delivered a very well done story, I’ll be interested in reading more by her.

Yes, there was little development in the plot, and yes, maybe I was able to know a lot about the main characters and their past, but what I learnt was enough to deeply let me enjoy their love. And it was enough to me to become a fan of Seth and Chris, and to hope Seth would put some trust in his and Chris feelings. They were cute together and alone, especially Seth with his shyness. Add to them the lovely Karlee, Seth best friend and boss. She was a bonus and give the all story more reality and smiles.

I want to recommend this new novella if you are looking for a quick, light and heartwarming story, this could definetelly be for you.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is simple and well done, it fits the plot. I like it.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 94 pages

Published September 30th 2017 by JMS Books LLC

ASIN B075Q5NG2R

Edition Language English

A Stella Review: Finding Home by Meg Harding

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RATING 3,75 out of 5 stars

Jaden Matthews has never known his father or his father’s family, but he’s about to get a crash course on having siblings. With the recent passing of his grandmother, he’s discovered he has three half-brothers and part ownership of a gym. In Serenity, Florida. His life in New York has hit a rocky road, so maybe this is the vacation he needs to get things back on track.

Chase Michaels lost his future in a car crash almost ten years ago, and he’s made a new one for himself in Serenity. One that doesn’t include getting emotionally involved with people who are just passing through. But Jaden makes his common sense flee and his gut react. He’s got one month with the man who made him believe in taking a chance.

Finding Home is the third book I read by Meg Harding and I’m now ready to say I like this author’s style quite a lot. With this new release she gave me everything I want in a story. The plot and the setting are very well done and the writing is pretty good.

What I truly loved were the characters, all of them, not just Chase and Jaden but the three brothers too, Zane, Elliott and Phoenix. How they were inclusive versus a new brother never seen and who is ready to take off them their grandmother’s inheritance, the same grandmother he never actually saw. Nonethless they were ready to show Jaden the beautiful town they lived in, hoping they will be  able to persuade him to stay and live close to them. I think they set a good example and very few people in their places would have thought with the heart and not  with the wallet.

I just hoped to have a little more about their own personal stories, I know Finding Home isn’t the three brothers’ book, but a little more would have made the story more complete. The same critic I have to move to the MCs and that’s the only reason why I haven’t rate the title higher. Although I enjoyed the novel a lot and I knew some of the MCs’ backgrounds, I missed something I can’t quite put my finger on to truly connect with Jaden and Chase, I saw their hearts but I wasn’t able to feel them. But this is just a sensation I had due probably to just my mood.

Anyway if you’re looking for a sweet and light story to relax, give Finding Home a chance. I can’t wait to read more by this author.

I love the cover art, it’s simple and clean but eye-catching and easy to remember.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 200 pages

Published July 3rd 2017 by Oceanside Press

ASIN B0711ZG4W9

Edition Language English

A Stella Release Day Review: Love Wanted by John Inman

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RATING 4,25 out of 5 stars

When it rains, it pours. Not only has Larry Walls been evicted from his apartment, but his hours have also been cut at the department store where he works, leaving him facing homelessness.

Meanwhile, Bo Lansing, a total stranger to Larry, toils at a dead-end job as a fry cook while attending night classes to become a certified chef. When the school closes its doors without warning, leaving Bo in the lurch for thousands of dollars in tuition, his dream of becoming a chef is shattered and his financial troubles spiral.

Desperate for a new beginning, each man answers an ad for live-in help posted by a wealthy recluse, and wonder of wonders, they are both hired! Just as their lives begin to improve, a young Kumeyaay Indian named Jimmy Blackstone joins the workforce at the Stanhope mansion.

When Mr. Stanhope’s true reason for hiring the young men is discovered by one of the three, a fourth entity makes its presence known.

Greed.

With all these players vying for position in a game of intrigue orchestrated by one lonely old man and a mischievous ghost, can a simple thing like love ever hope to survive the fray?

After having so loved My Dragon, My Knight a couple of months ago, I was very eager to read this new release by John Inman. I’m surprised by how much I actually enjoyed Love Wanted, it has all the elements that should have brought me to dislike the novel. Instead it was a huge success. Probably this review will contain some spoilers so better skip it if you don’t want to know a couple of things.

First of all if you like me are not a fan of multiple POVs this should not be your story, to me sometimes even just the two MCs’ POVs are too many, so go figure when each character has its own POV.  In this case they were perfect, I deeply fell in love with all the characters so of course I wanted to know everything was going on their minds. And their voices beautifully mengled together to create a lovely narration.

And just when I was engaged and in love, the author decided to turn one of my beloved MC into a greedy and nasty person. I was shocked, angry and didn’t really know what was going to happen, especially cause I tend to not read blurbs when the authors are the ones I prefer. First I learnt to love him, then I had to learn to hate him and want him away from Larry.

And then in this novel you will find ghosts and I’m easily spooked, but these ghosts are awesome and funny and jealous. At last there is going to be a death, and it was predictable and natural, I know he was going to die, but still I wanted him to live forever so it saddened me a little.

These are all the elements why I should have despised Love Wanted, instead I adored it and the main reason why this happened is simply and powerful, I couldn’t resist Roger and his love for Jeremy and all the people in his life. He is a force of nature and he caught my heart.

Hats off to John Inman and his amazing writing.

The cover art by Maria Fanning is fitting and simple. I like it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 270 pages

Publication Date: June 19th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635334721 (ISBN13: 9781635334722)

Edition Language English

A Stella Review: Angel by JL Merrow

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

How do you know if you’re one of the damned?

As a child, Don wanted to become a priest. Now a grown man mostly at ease with being gay, he’s left the Catholic Church and has chosen instead to help people through his work as a parole officer.

His strong faith is shaken when his latest assignment turns out to be Michael, a young man Don hasn’t seen since he took Michael to church as a child — and saw his parish priest cast Michael out of the church as a demon.

Meeting him as an adult re-ignites the obsession Don had with the boy he couldn’t save. But can Michael be saved at all? Or is the strangely compelling demon with a taste for risky sex as damned as he believes himself to be?

JL Merrow is an amazing writer, I’m a huge fan of her works. It seems I already missed this short when it was first released, I couldn’t miss it this second time.

The blurb tells you everything you need to know about the story, I read it and liked it. Angel is a super short story, well written, quick and engaging. Being so short there wasn’t really space for a lot of development in the romance part, to be honest pretty inexistent. But the author was great at showing me how deep Dan was into Michael, from the moment they met again twenty years later, Michael is everything Dan can think and dream of. From that moment Dan will go after him and try to save him.

I have to say I wish Angel was a little longer and I would have preferred to have Michael POV too. I was interested in the MCs and yes, I wanted more about them, about what happened all the years they were apart, and I wanted more of them together. For these reasons I was going to give this short just three stars, then the ending part blew me away. The last pages were really beautiful and emotional, the feel of acceptance, the feel of love mixed with fear, all of these filled my heart.

The cover art by Witten Ink Designs is well done, simple, clean and fitting.

Sales Links:   JMS Books LLC | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 34 pages

Published March 11th 2017 by JMS Books LLC (first published February 24th 2010)

ASIN B06X3TDMW5

Edition Language English

A Stella Review: Momo, My Everything by Posy Roberts

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RATING 3 out of 5 stars

Brave the spotlight for the man he loves, or stay alone in the shadows…

William Harris is a reserved man, private and guarded. He has no one to go home to. He’s never found a man worth sticking around for. He’s never been in love. And he’s convinced he’s happy with his lone-wolf life.

Nate Kelly is William’s opposite, social and easy going. He comes into William’s life as the elegant geisha Momo. When William realizes Momo is a man in drag, he’s captivated.

From their first date, William’s world changes. Nate is nothing like his usual type. And William soon finds out being with this carefree man means always being on display and attracting attention, which makes him want to retreat. He tries to keep Nate at arm’s length, but it’s no use. Nate’s transformed his life in a matter of months and keeps drawing him back in.

If they stand a chance, William has to be comfortable standing next to someone so at home in the limelight. Their future together and William’s happiness depend on it. Is Nate the man finally worth giving up William’s solitary existence? Is he worth sticking around for?

*Extensively reworked from the short story, The Measure of a Man.

Momo, My Everything was already released in the 2014 with the title The Measure of a Man, it was really short and I’ll be honest and say it didn’t satisfy me, I read it and it was just meh. It was very rushed and unfinished. I was so happy to know the author rework on it turning it into a novella.

Posy Roberts is one of my favorite authors, I loved all the books she wrote, I like her writing style and adore the characters she depicts. But this re-release was not a huge winner to me. While I enjoyed it and appreciated the plot, there were some snippets I wasn’t fond of. First of all I adored Nate, he’s sure and pround of himself and what he works as, I liked him so much as I despised William, he didn’t convince me at all, he annoyed me cause he often seemed to me unsure and some of his words/thoughts were unexpected.

I felt the story was dragging, there were too many things unsaid, too many scenes with secondary characters and very few scenes just between Nate and William, often what happened was just told to the reader and not actually showed. Did they really love each other? I actually don’t have an answer. And having only William POV didn’t help at all. I missed a connection between the MCs, the attraction was not totally understandable. Knowing how good the author is, I think she could have easily handled this story so much better. It’s probably I missed something or simply it wasn’t for me, I don’t know.

That said I still feel to recommend Momo, My Everything to all the fans of Posy Roberts. I gave it three stars because I liked it. If Posy is a new to you author, then I would recommend to start somewhere else, this one could maybe disappoint you.

The cover art by Natasha Snow is definitely better than the cover of the first edition, more eye catching. I like it.

Sales Links  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition, 95 pages

Published February 28th 2017 by Labyrinth Bound Press (first published October 10th 2014)

Original Title The Measure of a Man

ASIN B06X9B9B1V

Edition Language English

A Stella Release Day Review: Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter

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RATING 3,75 out of 5 stars

datinginretrospectfs_v1Giving the commencement speech at his alma mater doesn’t fit Clay Keller’s meticulous schedule. As Chief Executive Officer of Travel Mogul—the largest travel connoisseur company on the West Coast—he has no time to get back in touch with his country roots. He left fifteen years ago without a second look, but a medical scare makes him change his mind about the speech and brings him face-to-face with his only regret.

Time always moves slower in Southeastern Iowa, and Aaron Grant loves it. He’s added solar farms to the Grant Lanes portfolio and has been teaching at the local university for a decade. The last thing he needs is to have his tenure application compromised by the return of his ex-boyfriend. If he had known who the commencement speaker would be, he would never have volunteered to be the administration liaison.

A proposal—to date for a year—will help them discover that time changes a person, even when everything else stays the same.

Clay has spent the last fifteen years in LA, he is now back to the town he grew up, the town he left so many years before to follow his dreams away from Iowa and away from Aaron, the boyfriend he left behind and  now wants to reconquer.

I have to admit I had some problems with Dating in Retrospect. I read  Tow Trucks & New Year’s Kisses a couple of months ago and liked it a lot, so I was very happy to have this new release on my Kindle. I think my big issues was with the MCs. I loathed Clay since the first time I saw him, he had the nerve to pretend fifteen years hadn’t passed, he acted like it was yesterday he and Aaron were together. The way he approached his ex-boyfriend was unbelievable, I truly wanted to slap him on the face and I didn’t understand why Aaron didn’t do it.

Then, going on with the reading, I started to love the story a lot. All the dates the couple found time for were very sweet and let me know them better. I followed them in the renewing of the love and desire they had for each other. I quite liked them both and I was able to see Clay from another point of view and I understand his attitude better. Plus the second characters were lovable too, especially Aaron’s dad, he was really a great man, the father all of us should have.

I’m a huge fan of “second chance at love” stories and adult characters. Although with some difficulties, I quite enjoyed Dating in Retrospect and can’t wait to read more by the author.

The cover art by L.C. Chase is adorable and well done. It caught my attention even before I read the blurb.

Sales Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 107 pages

Expected publication: February 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN 1635333059 (ISBN13: 9781635333053)

Edition Language English

State of Love series

A Stella Release Day Review: Letters from Cupid by Ari McKay

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

letters-from-cupid-by-ari-mckayAfter breaking up with his partner, English professor Dr. Derek Chandler feels like a failure who will never win at romance. His aloof colleague, Dr. Macon Pinney, disagrees and pens an anonymous note of encouragement to Derek, which he signs “Cupid.” Thus begins an exchange of correspondence, a courtship through words where the two men find out they have a great deal in common. Meanwhile, Derek reaches out to Macon, not knowing Macon is his anonymous pen pal. Derek reveals through his letters that someone close by has piqued his interest. Could he mean Macon—or has Macon missed his opportunity and lost Derek to another man?

Perhaps the time has come for Cupid to put in an appearance, and when better to do so than Valentine’s Day?

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2015.

Surprisingly Letters From Cupid was the first book I read by Ari McKay. This is actually a second edition but I haven’t read the previous one so I am not sure how much the story was revisited.

Derek has just been left by his boyfriend, he’s a little depressed especially because Valentine’s Day is approaching but he is well aware his ex boyfriend wasn’t the right person and Derek wasn’t really in love with him. Now he is single and some days before Valentine’s Day he finds a letter from Cupid in his office at the University he works as an English professor. From that moment a correspondence between Cupid and Derek begins.

Macon teaches creative writing at the same University, he is a reserved man, the hermit of the English department. Until one night a flat tire will bring him to know Derek, his neighbour of offices.  And between a chat, a coffee and a croissant, the crush is assured.

I liked the writing style a lot, I was caught in the story since the first words I read and it was a quick and easy. I liked the double POVs, I followed the MCs thoughts and wishes and it was a beautiful journey. I found the novellas cute and sweet, I loved how Derek and Macon met, and I adored the final part, to know a little more of what happened to them was perfect.

I feel to recommend Letters From Cupid by Ari McKay, it’s the right story to read on this Valentine’s Day or any other day you want. I’m surely going to check out more stories written by these two authors.

The cover art by Bree Archer is adorable. I love it.

Sales Links

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 2nd Edition, 94 pages

Expected publication: February 14th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 4th 2015)

ISBN 1635334454 (ISBN13: 9781635334456)

Edition Language English