A Stella Review: Christmas Riches by H.L. Day

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Opposites might attract. But does that include age?

Christmas comes early for Aiden Malone in the form of a seductive blue-eyed stranger down on his knees. But a shock revelation about his new ‘friend’ has him running for the hills and cursing his stupidity before the night is out.

Tom’s not prepared to give up that easily. He may be rich, where Aiden’s poor. Innocent in a way that Aiden isn’t. And on the wrong side of twenty. But he’s old enough to know what he wants. And that’s Aiden. He just needs to persuade the older man to look past his hang-ups about age and wealth.

Lust and prejudice pull Aiden in opposite directions, severely testing his willpower. As Tom’s layers begin to peel away, Aiden discovers the younger man’s life of privilege may not be all it seems. If Aiden gives in, they could have the sweetest Christmas that either of them has ever tasted.

But Tom’s about to shatter their joy with a surprise announcement. Decisions need to be made on both sides. It’s down to Aiden, though, to stay strong and decide whose happiness is more important. His? Or Tom’s? Because they can’t have it both ways.

It’s possible their relationship won’t even last as long as it takes for the snow to melt.

I honestly wasn’t liking this new release at first, I wasn’t quite sure why at the time, I just wasn’t enjoying the story. Maybe I didn’t like the first encounter between the characters, maybe I didn’t like them at all. Still I went on with the reading and I have to say my stubbornness was well rewarded, as Tom was in trying to convince Aiden they were made for each other. Later I learnt to like both of them, I saw how lonely Tom’s life was, how unbelievable his parents were. He was only eighteen and he had gone through so much. I felt his desire to be part of something, to be loved and to love. There were so many differences between the two men, so many years, so many money. And then things changed, I realized how mature Tom actually was, I fell for him deeply when I saw him make hard choices, cause he was so sure of his love and his future with Aiden.

I ended up loving Christmas Riches a lot, the ending part was beautiful, the author couldn’t have written a better epilogue, it was perfect, so sweet. I liked the writing style too, the book was easy to read and the characters well done, I think I will look for more stories from H.L. Day, I’m curious to know what else the author delivered.

The cover art by is cute, I like the colors.

SALE LINKS  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 157 pages

Published November 15th 2019

Edition Language English

Into December and Our Holiday Stories. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Into December and Our Holiday Stories

It’s officially December and our holiday stories, in all formats, are here for our reading and listening pleasure!    While some of us may have returned to our comfort reads this holiday season, there are plenty of wonderful new stories out there to add to your reading festive list!

One of mine this year has been Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert!  How I loved that sweet contemporary fake boyfriend story!  If you are in the mood for audio?  Try this one, especially if you are already a fan of RJ Scott’s Texas series.  I loved listening to Home for Christmas (Texas #9) by R.J. Scott  and Narrated by: Sean Crisden.  Barb, our Zany Old Lady, just loved Mr. Naughty List (Home for the Holidays #2) by Leta Blake while I just finished the wonderful No Place Like Home by Annabeth Jacobs (which I will review this week) and The Christmas Oaks (Laurel Holidays #1) by V.L. Locey.

Peter Cratchit’s Christmas Carol by Drew Marvin was recommended by two of our reviewers!  Not to be left out?

A Christmas Wedding by A E Ryecart
717 Miles Christmas by Sophia Soames
A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote
Yuletide Treasure (Goddess-Blessed #3) by Eliot Grayson
Mr. Frosty Pants (Home for the Holidays #1) by Leta Blake and John Solo (Narrator)

 

Some of these stories we have reviewed already, some will be reviewed this week.  And there will be more to come.  What stories have you read or listened to that you have loved or enjoyed this holiday season?  Ones that have made your   annual  Holiday List?  Comment and let us know!

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, December 1:

  • New Release Blitz with Excerpt for Starlight (Dark Space #3) by Lisa Henry
  • Into December and Our Holiday Stories. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, December 2:

  • Review Tour – Annabelle Jacobs – No Place Like Home
  • COVER REVEAL Rialto (Unbreakable Bonds #8) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
  • BLOG TOUR A Broken Winter by Kale Knight
  • A Lucy Review: Snowdrop in a Storm (Snow Globes #3) by Ava Kelly
  • A MelanieM Review : No Place Like Home by Annabelle Jacobs

Tuesday, December 3:

  • RELEASE BLITZ Stocking Stuffers, A Holiday Themed Romantic
  • Release Blitz – Eli Easton – Angels Sing
  • BLITZ Pattern for an Angel by CJane Elliott
  • An Alisa Review I’ve Got You (True-Blue #2) by Becca Seymour
  • A MelanieM Review: Boy Next Door (Hot Off the Ice #4) by A.E. Wasp

Wednesday, December 4 :

  • Release Blitz – Warrior’s Way by M.J. Calabrese
  • Release Blitz, for V.L. Locey – The Christmas Oaks
  • TOUR Becoming Us” by Becca Seymour
  • An Alisa Review Becoming Us (True-Blue #3) by Becca Seymour
  • A MelanieM Review: Boys of Summer (Hot Off the Ice #5) by A.E. Wasp

Thursday, December 5:

  • Release Blitz  – Awakening (Wild Oak, Book 1) by JJ Harper
  • Release Blitz – Waxing Poetic for Christmas by Mara Townsend
  • A Lila Review Peter Cratchit’s Christmas Carol by Drew Marvin
  • A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Honour by A.F. Henley
  • A MelanieM Review: Skater Boy (Hot Off the Ice #3) by A.E. Wasp

Friday, December 6:

  • Cover Reveal – What Works For Us by Colette Davison
  • Review Tour – Jay Northcote – A Boyfriend For Christmas
  • An Alisa Review Rules for Santa (Davey’s Rules #3) by Susan Hawke
  • A Stella Review : A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote
  • A Melanie Review The Wolf and the Sparrow by  Isabelle Adler

Saturday, December 7:

  • Release Blitz Request – Red Popcorn Strings & Gumball Rings – Nell Iris

 

Release Blitz for A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote

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Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
 
Blurb
 

Archie’s posh parents want him to meet a nice girl–how can he tell them he’s fallen for a bad boy instead?


Closeted, innocent and lonely, Archie Arandale longs for someone special in his life. A Christmas party organised by his wealth management company is the last place he expects to meet the man of his dreams.


With his leather jacket, tattoos, and piercings, Cal Turner turns heads the moment he walks through the door. He definitely isn’t looking for a boyfriend, but Archie’s hesitant charm captures his attention, and sneaking off during the party to have a little fun can only make a dull evening more interesting.


After their reckless and thrilling encounter, Archie is keen for more experience and Cal is happy to oblige. The need for secrecy means this can only be a casual fling, yet as they spend time together in the run up to Christmas, their feelings become more intense than either of them had bargained for. How can Archie find the courage to tell his family about Cal, when Cal’s the exact opposite of the ‘nice girl’ they’ve been hoping for?


Contains: A closeted virgin, a tattooed biker, class differences, a dramatic coming out, a very inappropriate Christmas gift, and a happy ending (of course).

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.


One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.


Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press.


Website: https://jaynorthcote.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jay_Northcote
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotewriter
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction
Facebook author group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jaysplayground
Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/JN-readers
Jay’s books: http://author.to/JayNorthcote

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A MelanieM Review: Away in a Manger by JC Owens

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Two men from vastly different backgrounds; one city, one country. They have loved each other for over fifteen years, but the balance of their relationship has always been skewed, with Nathan desperately attempting to make Malcolm content on the ranch, when his restlessness and creative soul drives him to explore the world outside. After all this time, the differences were beginning to create a divide that seemed inevitable. Sometimes, love was not enough.

Then Malcolm’s nephew goes missing and a storm brings Nathan to his knees…

Everything they have is suddenly on the brink of disaster.

It will take a Christmas miracle to show two men that everything they are, everything they need, is tied up in a love that deserves a second chance.

Away in a Manger by JC Owens is one of those short stories that not only seems like a much larger book but one that you wish would go on to fill a series.  In just 53 pages, J.C. Owens manages to create a world of characters that feel real right  down to the horses and dogs, a ranch that  comes vividly to life, and an established relationship between two men that solidifies and deepens before our eyes.

Oh, and a missing teenager finds his way to a new home.  At Christmas.  And you don’t want to roll your eyes but embrace the spirit, the love that flows from the story and all the “miracles” it contains.

There is a depth and reality to all the characters here, that includes the horses and the dogs that play big parts in this tale.  I want to spend more time with all of them.  This story and these people cry out for a series of books.  I hope the author is listening.  Until then, spread out your holiday reading to just one more story and pick up Away in a Manger by JC Owens.  I highly recommend it.

Cover art by Kris Jacen.  Just gorgeous and perfect for the story.

Sales Links:  MLR Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 53 pages
Published December 13th 2018 by MLR Press
ASINB07LCLWQ2J

 

An Alisa Review: Best Christmas Ever by Terry O’Reilly

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Bowing to his parents’ homophobic demands, Professor Henry Rodimacher always chose Christmas with his family over spending it with his partner. However, when Jeremy became terminally ill, Henry defied his family and stayed home for Jeremy’s final Christmas.

After Jeremy passes, Henry decides it’s time to mend fences, so despite a raging snowstorm, he starts the long drive home. Before he gets very far, though, he’s alarmed to see a hitchhiker out in the weather, Henry offers the man a ride, and is surprised the hitchhiker is Jimmy Wilks, a former student of his.

The heavy snow eventually forces Henry and Jimmy to leave the highway and take refuge in an abandoned log cabin. As the two hunker down to wait out the storm, they give into their mutual attraction and celebrate a wonderful Christmas together.

Can their newfound love survive once the snow thaws? Will history repeat itself with Henry going back home alone, or will the magic of their best Christmas ever live on into the New Year and beyond?

I really liked the bulk of this story.  It starts with Henry being very shy and uncertain of himself because of his past relationship and family.  Jeremy seems to know what he wants but isn’t quite ready to say it out loud.

I liked how they interacted once they were on the same page and really did have a great little Christmas together, though everything just worked out great from their feelings to the owner of the cabin being fine with everything, not very realistic.  Most of this is told from Henry’s point of view so I feel a little more connected to him and was very glad for him to realize his parents’ restrictions are too much for them to ask.  There was a big flash of doubt for Terry near the end which didn’t seem like him but it was quickly resolved.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is a nice picture for the story.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 68 pages

Published: December 15, 2018 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634868334

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review : Midnight Angel by Kevin Klehr

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Dinner is overcooked. The guests haven’t arrived.

Luke is sitting alone at his dining table on New Year’s Eve. He was hoping to romance Nathan, one of the people he invited for this intimate evening meal.

As midnight draws closer, it seems an angel, who has magically appeared in Luke’s apartment, is the only person to drink champagne and watch the fireworks with.

But this angel has other ideas. He’s about to grant Luke the New Year’s Eve party he thought he wanted.

 

This was a different story and it’s so short I’m afraid to give everything away.  I understood the point of what the angel did but didn’t like the execution and mostly just felt for Luke as he was being blindsided.

 

In the end we get to see Luke find the love he wants just not in the way he had originally hoped.  Unfortunately I didn’t feel a big connection to any of the characters but felt as if I was watching from the sidelines.

I like the cover art by Natasha Snow is cute and one of the standard for holiday shorts this year.

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 10,500 words

Published: December 10, 2018 by Nine Star Press

ISBN: 978-1-949909-61-6

Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Calendar Review: Exit Through the Gift Shop by Kim Fielding

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Kim Fielding has a way with words.  No doubt about it.  And it doesn’t seem to matter if the words are in the contemporary, historical, paranormal, or other style. This short contemporary story she crafted for this year’s holiday season is a fine example of her work. 

Alex is a gifted artist, but he dropped out of college and now does house painting. Surrounded by professionals—from his dentist parents to his siblings who followed in their footsteps—Alex isn’t content with his life but doesn’t know which direction to take to change it.  This year, during his family’s annual Christmas Compromise—a vacation that’s a compromise between his dad’s frugal ways and his mom’s wish for extravagancethey are in Orlando. But not at the famous theme park.  Instead, they are at one that features Poseidon and all things ocean-related, including the gorgeous pirate Alex meets when they exit a ride “through the gift shop.” 

The two hit it off easily and by the end of his vacation, Alex has invited Todd to his family’s rental condo to spend the Christmas holiday and Todd offers a shocking proposal for Alex that might allow him to make more than one of his dreams come true. 

Very definitely one of my favorites of the season, I highly recommend this to lovers of romance.

The cover by Garrett Leigh is done in the style of the Warmest Wishes books and features a pirate in the center of the opening, an amusement park in the background. Bright and colorful, the cover shows the perfect depiction of Todd in his role as a pirate at the park.   

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 34 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644050682
Edition Language English
setting Florida (United States)

A Lila Advent Calendar Review: Haste Ye Back by R. Quincy Cameron

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

The situation seems ideal: a month off work and a sweet deal to extend his stay in an unexpected paradise. Needless to say, Aaron is thrilled to snag an extra few days in Scotland after his work conference to soak up the magic of the country.

However, his plans to tourist his way around Edinburgh before his January 1st flight home are thwarted by a strange influx of people into the capital. Add in trains that don’t run on New Year’s, fireworks, first-footing, and running into the same gorgeous stranger as he exits every other shop, and Aaron really should have googled what “Hogmanay” was before he found himself whisked into the whirlwind of Scottish revelry and the impossible draw of that sexy stranger who tastes like scotch and, impossibly, already feels like the beginnings of home.

Haste Ye Back is not quite a full story. It’s the hopes for something more. A seed for a future what-if. It’s lovely, romantic, and a bit too short. It leaves the reader wanting more. An epilogue many decades later or some time traveling to bring Aaron and Connor full circle.

The story is a set of vignettes taking place during Hogmanay – Scottish New Year’s Celebration. They give us a taste of a winter romance or the possibilities of one. Perhaps, this story is more about finding the right person at the right time and having that special moment to remember for a lifetime.

If you want a buttery sweet happy ending, this story may not be for you. If you want to learn more about other countries traditions and get happy feels, then go ahead and enjoy. Aaron and Connor have great chemistry and compensate for the lack of more… of everything.

The cover by Garrett Leigh follows the 2018 Advent Calendar | Warmest Wishes template but doesn’t add anything else about the story.

Sale Link: Amazon | Nook | Dreamspinner

Book Details:
ebook, 31 pages
ISBN: 9781644050668
Published: December 1, 2018, by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Calendar Review: Miracle on Three Kings’ Day by Beth Laycock

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Levi’s been in a funk ever since his father died a year ago in an accident that Levi partially blames himself for.  He lands in Spain to visit his brother over the holidays and learns that his brother, who was visiting Scotland, is stuck there due to a blizzard that’s closed the airports.  Not to worry though, his brother has arranged for his best friend, Alex, to let him into his house and then to show Levi around.

Levi is attracted to Alex but he’s so shy and insecure, and still wallowing in guilt about his father, that he doesn’t want to make the first move. Not my favorite trope, the insecure guy meets hot guy, but the author pulled if off well.  Add to that, the misunderstanding trope, especially when it comes to whether or not the hot guy is gay or bi or married or not, the originality was lacking.  There was, however, one really interesting point and that’s the traditional Spanish holiday, Three Kings Day, and the customs that surround it. That happens to be when Levi gets up his courage to pursue someone he really wants and the story closes on a HFN for the two very nice men. 

The cover by LC Chase shows a handsome young man leaning against a railing and looking out over the ocean during a beautiful sunset. The exact scene is included in the story and that, plus the colors used on the cover, make this one memorable.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 49 pages
Published November 30th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN B07L1LZGML

A Lila Advent Calendar Review: Haste Ye Back by R. Quincy Cameron

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

The situation seems ideal: a month off work and a sweet deal to extend his stay in an unexpected paradise. Needless to say, Aaron is thrilled to snag an extra few days in Scotland after his work conference to soak up the magic of the country.

However, his plans to tourist his way around Edinburgh before his January 1st flight home are thwarted by a strange influx of people into the capital. Add in trains that don’t run on New Year’s, fireworks, first-footing, and running into the same gorgeous stranger as he exits every other shop, and Aaron really should have googled what “Hogmanay” was before he found himself whisked into the whirlwind of Scottish revelry and the impossible draw of that sexy stranger who tastes like scotch and, impossibly, already feels like the beginnings of home.

Haste Ye Back is not quite a full story. It’s the hopes for something more. A seed for a future what-if. It’s lovely, romantic, and a bit too short. It leaves the reader wanting more. An epilogue many decades later or some time traveling to bring Aaron and Connor full circle.

The story is a set of vignettes taking place during Hogmanay – Scottish New Year’s Celebration. They give us a taste of a winter romance or the possibilities of one. Perhaps, this story is more about finding the right person at the right time and having that special moment to remember for a lifetime.

If you want a buttery sweet happy ending, this story may not be for you. If you want to learn more about other countries traditions and get happy feels, then go ahead and enjoy. Aaron and Connor have great chemistry and compensate for the lack of more… of everything.

The cover by Garrett Leigh follows the 2018 Advent Calendar | Warmest Wishes template but doesn’t add anything else about the story.

Sale Link: Amazon | Nook | Dreamspinner

Book Details:
ebook, 31 pages
ISBN: 9781644050668
Published: December 1, 2018, by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English