A Lucy Review: Stay Awhile by Kassandra Lea

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

The holidays are usually a whirlwind of busy activity for Anson—decorating, baking for friends—but this year, his heart isn’t in it. He’d hoped coming out to Daly as asexual would be the right thing to do. Since then, he hasn’t heard a word from the handsome photographer.

Now Daly’s suddenly shown up at his front door, asking Anson to trust him, to come with him. He doesn’t dare hope in case this is just another build up to a bigger heartbreak.

The story starts with Anson, drinking hot cocoa and feeling heartsick.  His cat, Noodles, is his only company right now. He’s been waiting for some kind of message from his boyfriend, Daly, and so far hasn’t received one, until Daly shows up at the door.  Apparently, it’s been weeks since he heard anything from Daly and now Daly starts out by enthusing about the pie Anson made.  That was a little odd, but Daly wants to show Anson something. 

I was excited to see this holiday book featuring an asexual MC and I was curious to see how the sex aspect would be handled.   It is a short story at 33 pages and so there isn’t time to fit everything in.  We get the flashback of Anson and Daly’s about-to-be first kiss, which is followed by “And that was the moment he chose to blurt it out, the words popping out of his mouth.  “I’m asexual.”  So that was how Daly finds out, except I can’t help but think he had to have some idea when you’ve been with a guy for months and haven’t even shared a kiss.

While I liked what was here, I felt like I had been dropped into the middle of a chapter.  We are told Daly needed time but we aren’t shown that, or what his actual reaction was, or how that conversation went after Anson’s blurt out.  I needed that to better connect with these guys.  The end also seemed a little too easy, needing more of a conversation.

So it’s a very short, sweet scene of Anson and Daly.

Sales Links:  Mischief Corner Books | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1, 33 pages
Expected publication: November 28th 2018 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC
ASIN B07K6S8L6K
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Old Christmas Magic by Kassandra Lea

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Drew McLean has had a run of bad luck and it’s dampened his Christmas spirit. But the last thing he expects to find for the holiday is a demon.

While strolling in the late-night snow, Drew hears screeching tires and a sad scene is awaits him around the corner. A man kneels beside a dog hit by a car, distraught and broken.

The man is Artem, a demon sent to find a pure soul. Drew matches that description to a T. The problem is Artem’s never really been good at the demon gig.

Will a little Christmas magic help them both find what they’re looking for?

I found Old Christmas Magic by Kassandra Lea surprisingly moving.  The story of a demon who doesn’t wish to actually be a demon and is tormented because of his actions that betray his feelings is poignant and one that amazingly works as a holiday story. Sent to earth for one final mission to prove himself, Artem is distraught, knowing he doesn’t fit in anywhere. The author makes Artem someone we connect with emotionally as we see him suffer over the plight of the dog, his feelings about Drew who helps them both and Christmas the time of the story.

The characters are well done, the events flow to help you understand Artem’s plight, his growth and joy at discovering Christmas and the relationship being built between himself and Drew.

My only issue is at the end.  The author strove for the HEA and included an insta love element when really none was necessary or believable.  Leaving Drew and Artem at starting a relationship, finding each other at Christmas, having Artem learn that he did have a place somewhere after all, well, that would have been perfect.  Sometimes a HFN is all that’s called for.   A HEA turned this story from a potentially great story into a nice one.

Still, Old Christmas Magic is a different take on the holiday fare with a demon finding his Christmas magic when he had none at all. Lovely.

Cover art is different.  Artem is all broken and battered, definitely not wearing a golden mask.  But the car and the street is a element from the story and its eye catching, that’s true.

Sales Links:  JMS Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published December 2nd 2017 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN13
9781634865524

A MelanieM Review: Wytch & Prinze by Kassandra Lea

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Medium Jacob Wytch lives in the forest with his fluffy dog Gruff and his ghostly fairy godmother Amelie. When he gets a call from his friend Renwick Prinze, he panics. Jacob has been pining for Renwick longer than he cares to admit. Instead of admitting, however, he listens to Amelie and begins to sabotage Renwick’s beds in hopes of inviting his dashing friend to sleep with him.

Wytch & Prinze by Kassandra Lea is a retelling of the Princess and the Pea fairytale turned M/M romance and it’s a fun one. Successful medium Jacob Wytch and his dog Gruff live alone in the forest, an outcast in town due to the nature of his gifts and his name which is of no comfort at all to his superstitious townspeople.  His best friend, living that is?  Renwick, a chef gaining favor and success, due in part to Jacob’s help.  But there’s more to it, Jacob’s fallen in love with Renwick but is too scared to change the status quo of their current friends relationship.

In a cute turn, Lea has his fairy godmother be a ghost, Amelie, a young girl killed during a fire at a Rave.  I really loved the character of Amelie.  She’s quirky, determined and I honestly wanted to know so much more about her.  I could actually see an entire series built around Amelie and the people she decided to help.

Which brings me the reason why a story I found so charming wasn’t rated higher.  I loved the premise, the setting, the dog, and absolutely adored Amelie.  Jacob Wytch, who was a wreck when we meet him, I liked him too.  Not adored, liked.  Ditto Renwick.  I wish I had more of a feeling of them together, their friendship prior and who they really were as people.  As characters, the author didn’t give me enough of a connection to them as I would have liked to have had.

There are some missed opportunities to do just that here.  The author brings the characters together, but the readers only get a few scenes (not talking of sex but connectivity) to see any chemistry.  Instead it’s more conversations with Amelie or internal arguments with themselves, which would work if the story itself had been much longer.  Which it isn’t.

Those are the places where I feel the author missed the mark.  Overall, the story is a sweet, cute, romantic fairy tale.  I enjoyed it and wish the author would revisit the characters and universe again to give us an update on them and of course, Amelie!

Cover artist Natasha Snow: Cover art tells us immediately we’re in fairy-tale land.  I liked it.

Sales Links

Less Than Three Press LLC

Book Details:

ebook, 10,000 words, 20 pages plus
Published April 19th 2017 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781620049969
Edition LanguageEnglish