Rating:: 4.5 stars out of 5
Proposals don’t come with instructions.
Walter Lucas knows his boyfriend has been looking forward to the newest Walt Disney movie, Frozen, but he isn’t prepared for the reality that is the front row seat of Kelly Davidson’s cartoon obsession. However, there’s more going on in November than just the movie—something is brewing which Walter has been waiting quite some time to do. When Walter set up his elaborate Thanksgiving marriage proposal, it seemed like such a good idea, but as the holiday, the movie premiere and the question Walter never dreamt he’d be asking anyone converge…let’s just say even Alan Menken couldn’t sing and dance his way out of Walter’s tangle.
Warning: This short contains spoilers for Disney’s Frozen, obsessive pre-movie panic, and suggestions of cartoon role-play.
I realized earlier when reviewing Short Stay (Baz and Elijah) I had missed this short story in the Love Lessons series. I quickly went back to get it and see what couple I had missed and what part of their lives I had not gotten a glimpse into.
Well, Frozen Heart takes us into Walter and Kelly’s proposal and Kelly’s introduction to the Walt Disney’s movie Frozen (cue everyone singing “Let It Go”). Its Walter’s pre-proposal jitters, its Kelly’s pre Frozen release high anticipation, Thanksgiving, relatives…so much rolled into a small frame and it works so beautifully.
This is a short story but its everything you would hope it would be considering those elements. Its sweet, its romantic, its sexy. And if you love Walter and Kelly from Love Lessons, its absolutely wonderful in the way it makes Walter look at Kelly and fall even more deeply in love with him than ever before. Sigh. All to the tunes from Frozen.
I highly recommend this short story, along with the rest of the series. Pick them up and get started with your introduction to this wonderful group of memorable characters today.
Book cover is perfect, taking frozen lessons.
Sales: This is a free story and can be found here at Heidi Cullinan’s Website
Free Online Read, 19 pages
Published December 24th 2013
Original TitleFrozen Heart
SeriesLove Lessons #1.5
Love Lessons add them to your Goodreads list below:
In this free short story, we meet Adam Byron and Silas Grant. They’re looking to enjoy a good time during Pride weekend at the Oregon Coast, but they couldn’t afford to stay at the Buchanan House individually. They agreed, online, to share the expenses of one room, no strings attached.
Adam and Silas had the opportunity to exchange text messages before their trip and get to know a little bit more about each other. Even when they agreed before hand to keep it platonic between them, as soon as they see each other their attraction is quick and mutual.
We get to be part of their weekend. Plus, we see their interactions with some of the characters from the previous book. By the end of the story, the reader understands the magic of the Buchanan House.
Pride Weekend is a lovely story. It has the romance and the magic that was missing in the first book of the series. Perhaps because it concentrates in just one weekend in the life of the main characters and we get to experience the new found lust they have for each other.
This short story is a simple, but a sweet snippet in the life of two guests at the Buchanan House. They spent most of their time in their room, but even so, we learned about their past and what they want for their future.
There are a lot of smexy scenes, but the reader gets a sense of place and the opportunity to see a new relationship develop. What starts as lust, changes rapidly into great chemistry, and unexpected possibilities.
Overall, a great, sexy short– filled with an easy friendship and the start of an amazing relationship. The pacing works well. The characters are memorable, and their HFN is strong enough to be considered the start of a HEA.
The cover by L.C. Chase is beautiful. The colors, the couple, and the atmosphere are the perfect setting for this short story. Really inviting.
ebook, 50 pages
Published: April 22, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English
Rating: 5 stars out of 5 ★★★★★
He’s hidden his heart from everyone, but most of all from his best friend, Jamie–who also happens to be the boy he’s in love with.
But when a film Oscar makes about love and acceptance is chosen to be in the finals of a national competition, everything he’s hidden about himself threatens to be revealed.
Now Oscar thinks he must make the choice between the life he knows and the people he loves, and the life he wishes he had.
But life holds far more secrets and promises than Oscar expects.
I probably shouldn’t have loved this story as much as I did. There’s the gay guy falling for the straight guy trope, which I usually hate, it’s rather fluffy, when I’m a fluff-hater, and it’s a short story, when I prefer novels with 250+ pages. But this is Suki Fleet, and it’s free, so I figured I’d give it a shot. And it was so worth it.
Now, this isn’t your typical Suki Fleet story. It’s a lot less bitter and a lot sweeter than the usual things she writes and yet I still found myself in tears by the end.
This wasn’t the typical GFY trope, where the straight guy remains straight, even once he’s in a relationship with another guy. Jamie has doubted his sexuality for a while now, but with everything that’s happened over the last year or so, he just hasn’t had the emotional capacity to really worry about that. And Oscar isn’t out to the world at all and very much convinced that the love of his love will never return his feelings.
Both MCs were absolutely lovable. They were so different and yet they worked so well with each other. It was beautiful to watch them slowly become more than friends. The romance was breathtakingly beautiful and felt so incredibly real to me.
The little bit of angst that was there, was wonderfully done. Not too much to drag the whole story down, but just enough to counterbalance the otherwise very sweet tone of the rest. There was some homophobia and Oscar’s worries about coming out and I found myself just as worried as Oscar. I just couldn’t really see a satisfying solution for all the problems presented, and yet the ending was simply perfect. It was so incredibly romantic I suddenly found myself tearing up over it.
I loved how both MCs’ passions got so many on-page scenes and how they played an essential role in the whole plot. That was wonderfully done and I could easily relate to the joy they both felt when playing music and creating animations.
Overall, a beautiful little YA adult story about coming out and falling in love. It’s a lot lighter than Suki Fleet’s other works and it’s free, so this is the perfect chance to give her a try.
Cover: The wonderful cover was done by the author herself. It’s unique and works really well with the story.
Sales Links: Free at Goodreads M/M Romance Group
ebook, 83 pages
Published June 7th 2015 by M/M Romance Group @ Goodreads
CharactersOscar Moore, Jamie (Lima Oscar Victor Echo…)
setting Llanitheth, Wales (United Kingdom)
Newport, Wales (United Kingdom)
Llanhilleth, Wales (United Kingdom
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
After months of investigation aimed at bringing down a powerful cartel ends with undercover agent Alex Kley up on the auction block, he finds himself sold into sexual slavery at Willow House, an elite brothel on Omanai Station catering to humans and aliens alike. It doesn’t take long for Alex to realize that Illythe, the beautiful alien manager of Willow House, is actually little more than a slave himself. As Alex gets closer to Illythe in order to get the information he needs, he’s unable to keep himself from falling for the dark-skinned alien. Soon Alex may have to choose between his mission and his love for a man deeply involved in the hateful organization that Alex has worked so hard to take down.
Where Willows Won’t Grow is a freebie written for the 2014 M/M Romance Group’s DRitC event. Don’t make the mistake of letting this excellent read slip through the cracks because of a misguided thought that freebies are of lesser quality than books we pay for. Because I’m here to tell you, this story is an amazing read from start to finish and far more enjoyable than a large percentage of books I’ve spent good money on.
Set on a sensuously dark space station full of intrigue, sex and aliens, this story hooked me in from page one. The main characters are complex, well-drawn, damaged guys—one a human and one an alien. It’s hard to express how much I adore Illythe. I found him to be a uniquely memorable character that stayed with me long after I finished reading the story. And on the other side of the coin we have the ultra creepy Scion who made my skin crawl. Want a bad guy you love to hate? Yeah, well, I absolutely detested this dude about two minutes after he came on page. Ok, maybe less.
Reading Willows was by turns dark, exhausting, frustrating, horrifying, amazing, fascinating, and touching. It took me through the wringer with these characters, but kept me rapt the whole darn time. I simply couldn’t put it down.
I read it twice, a few months apart, because one reading wasn’t enough–the characters called me back. So if you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for? Didn’t I mention that it’s free?
Cover Artist: Author
There was a cover change from my first reading to now but since both represent the author’s interpretation of Illythe, my favorite character from the book, I enjoy them both. Both covers can be seen here.
Free Book: Find It Here at Goodreads M/M Romance Group
ebook, 132 pages
Published July 9th 2014 by M/M Romance Group @ Goodreads
original titleWhere Willows Won’t Grow
charactersAlex Key, Illythe settingOmanai Station
Rating: 3.5 stars
Kyle Slidell’s company offered him a promotion. Taking it cost him his boyfriend but offered him a fresh start in a new town with a lot more money. Once Kyle gets situated in his new apartment, his life consists of work, home to sleep and more work, making his life very dull and his days repetitive until he looks out his window into the apartment complex communal garden and spies his gorgeous neighbor naked under the full moon. He has seen Tobias around the building but has never worked up the courage to speak to him or hardly any of his neighbors really.
Tobias Rogan has watched the new tenant with more than usual interest. Tobias is drawn to Kyle, and because of the attraction he feels along with his past history, he has intentionally stayed away from him. But on a full moon, standing in the garden, Tobias knows that Kyle is watching him, wants him and he decides to act on his emotions. Tobias “accidentally” runs into Kyle in the hallway and invites Kyle over the next day under the cover of meeting all the neighbors in the building. The pot luck will accomplish several things, first to introduce Kyle around while indicating to those at the party that Kyle is under his protection, and the other is to simply get to know Kyle better.
Kyle finds the party awkward, his new neighbors a little on the strange side, and the actions of one new acquaintance hostile until Tobias intervenes in a manner even stranger. Kyle realizes that there are secrets being kept from him and he doesn’t like it. But after being attacked by a wolf in the garden, Kyle wakes up a werewolf and finds out that he managed to move into a werewolf apartment complex and Tobias is the pack alpha. What is a vegan to do?
Karenna Colcroft had me at vegan werewolf. I thought that was an hysterical premise and an original one at that. This story really shines when Colcroft is letting her imagination run quirky little circles around the typical shifter tale. Colcroft’s description of the pack trying to find vegan foodstuffs for Kyle to eat after he shifts for the first time is great. Flashes of that offbeat take on werewolves throughout the story had me waiting in anticipation as I turned page after page. Unfortunately, sometimes it appeared and other times it was submerged under too many words, too many repetitive passages and characterizations that felt a little incomplete.
The story is told from Kyle’s POV and while I appreciated his snarky, intelligent nerdlike outlook, I also found parts of his personality hard to believe in. This includes his reaction to the fact that Tobias and his pack have just ruined his life, which would have been more believable if it had contained more anger and less passive acceptance, especially coming from a man who hours earlier had told Tobias he wasn’t going to have a relationship with someone who was closeted and obviously hiding something from him. That man, pre werewolf Kyle, I believed in and understood. I cannot really say the same about werewolf Kyle. Tobias, pack Alpha, was another problematic persona. Tobias shifted from one type of character to another so fast that I thought he might have some schizophrenic tendencies. In one scene, he is the mind controlling Alpha, in the next he is tender lover. Yes, you can have both in the same character if you make a good case for the changes in attitude, but the author never really did that with Tobias’ character. To give the author credit, some of that did smooth out towards the end of the book, but it took far to long for Tobias to get there. In this particular case, it would have benefitted the story to have told part of it from Tobias’ POV to give the reader greater insight into the character.
Apart from some issues with characterization, I found the wordiness a little excessive, especially towards the middle of the story. I appreciate that Colcroft is setting the stage for future stories but the constant dialog about pack politics, rules, etc bogged down the narrative. Other authors have woven such details into their stories without hitting you over the head with them, and I wish this author had found a way to do that here. I hope that now which such backstory out of the way, the next book in the series will move forward at a more sprightly pace. I would like to see more consistency in the characters as well, so their actions match our expectations given what the author has told us about them. My last quibble? More of the wonderful humor Karenna Colcroft is capable of. It’s here, from the great premise to scenes found throughout the story. It is the reason I will come back for more and read the second and third installments of Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series. The good here far outweighs my quibbles and make this book worth your while.
Great cover by Winterheart Designs.
Other books in the series available in eBook from MLR Press, Fictionwise, All Romance:
Salad On The Side (Real Werewolves Eat Meat #1)
Tofurkey and Yam (MLR Holiday Release)
Veggie Burgers To Go (Real Werewolves Eat Meat #3)