A MelanieM Advent Story Review: Christmas Miracles of a Recently Fallen Spruce by Brandon Witt

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Sleigh Ride Advent StoryPaxton Peterson’s favorite day of the year is his annual Gay Boy Christmas dinner. He’s checked and double-checked his to-do list, because nothing stresses him out like the unexpected. Confident everything will run smoothly, Paxton embarks on his yearly snowshoed hike through the Rocky Mountains near his home. His perfectly planned evening is cut short by Logan Charles’s careless enjoyment of his brother’s snowmobile, and Paxton is stranded in the woods. It’s the worst thing that could’ve possibly happened to him—or maybe the best.

Christmas Miracles of a Recently Fallen Spruce by Brandon Witt was that unexpected present you find under the tree, the one you have no idea what’s inside from the shape or in this case the title.  What Brandon Witt delivers is a delightful tale of a annual hike gone wrong when he gets hit by a snowmobile.  The characterizations are realistic, the  scenes beautifully rendered, glowing yet natural, and the men funny and real.

I so wanted to spend more time with them and to see what happened as the door shut behind them.  No instant love, nothing more remarkable than a new connection that sparkles and might turn into something wonderful for the future.  I loved this story and hope that the author will take this couple and revisit them in the future.

Love Christmas stories but without a lot of sweetness or holiday overtones?  This is the one for you.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon

Book Details:

| Buy It Here

Kindle Edition, 25 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB018RRVVV4
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Review of Silver Publishing Holiday Short Stories- Someone Like You by L.M. Brown and An Unexpected Gift by Ashlyn Monroe

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Review:  Someone Like You by L.M.Brown

Rating: 4 stars

Someone Like You Silver storyTodd Hunter and his boyfriend, Deacon Jones, had been inseparable right up until Todd went away to the university, then all communications from Deacon stopped.  Now Todd is home on break and is determined to find out why Deacon hasn’t called or replied to any of his emails.  For Todd, Deacon is the “one and only” and he thought he was that for Deacon too.

While Todd has been away, Deacon has undergone several major upheavels in his life, and he has held them all back from Todd.  Todd is “the one” for Deacon. Now Todd must figure out what has gone wrong with Deacon if the young men are to find their HEA.

Someone Like You is L.M. Brown’s twist on boy from the wrong side of the tracks storyline, and I think the author did a lovely job with it.  Brown’s two main characters, Todd Hunter and Deacon Jones are vulnerable, likable and very easy to relate to.  Brown’s story is as much about family expectations and obligations as it is about a first love that also is the one that lasts.

Too often when a story has young men finding their “soulmate” early, the notion seems a little too much like a teen crush than a love to build a relationship on, but L.M. Brown does a credible job of making us believe that just perhaps the love Deacon and Todd feel for each other  will be a love to last their lifetime.  And Brown does it all in just 89 pages.

So if you are looking for a sweet holiday story, one that is quick to read and yet leave you smiling into the evening hours, this is one for y0u.

A Most Unexpected Gift by Ashlyn Monroe

Rating: 2.5 stars

Aarika Marshal has a mischievous mind, and when she decides to give her boyfriend, Rafe, a most unusual gift on Christmas Eve.  Aarika decides to give herself a sexy gift too, all in the same package.  The gift in question is her bi-sexual best friend Clara who has long held a crush on Rafe.  When Rafe’s twin brother, Rhett joins in, the shenanigans kicks into high gear and it will be a very smutty Christmas for all.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains multiple sexual situations, including MF, FF, MFM, and MFF. Not M/M

“Clara laughed as Aarika pushed her into the closet. “Shh, he’ll be home any minute,” Aarika warned her best friend. “Push your boobs up so he gets a good look.”

That opening line pretty much indicates how the story, and what little plot there is, will go.  Aarika decides to have her best friend have sex with her boyfriend, Rafe and herself too.  She prepares her “surprise” but is surprised in turn when Rafe turns up with Rhett in tow.  This is our introduction to Rhett, who looks over his brother’s girlfriend’s body:

“You told me she had a smokin’ body, bro, but I think you left out just how nice her tits are.”  Classy, so very classy, and a perfect indication of what little character Rhett has.  In fact, all the people involved come across as mostly one-dimentional characters.  And the plot is as simplistic as the men and women involved.

And from that scene the story goes downhill from there.  For Christmas, we are given wooden characters, silly dialog and a plot that would grace a 80’s porn flick.  If this was  your Christmas wish, then Ashlyn Moore has delivered just the short story for you at 34 pages in length.  But for me, I have higher expectations for  my holiday fare and at 34 pages, this one was 34 pages too long.