Release Blitz for Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together by Ari McKay (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 40,603 words
 
Cover Design: Bree Archer
 
 
Blurb
 

When a Christmas shopping expedition brings Tomy Peralta into Jason Winters’s yarn store, both men feel an immediate and intense spark of attraction, but dance instructor Tomy intends to propose to his boyfriend, Sean, at Christmas. Unfortunately for Tomy, marriage isn’t on career-minded Sean’s agenda. Heartbroken, Tomy throws himself into his work until his mother convinces him that learning to knit might help take his mind off his failed romance.


Jason falls hard for Tomy, but he knows Tomy needs time to heal and to trust in love again. As Jason teaches Tomy to knit, Tomy teaches him to dance in return. Just when it seems Tomy is ready for a new romance, Sean shows up, wanting Tomy back. Will Tomy give his heart to Sean once more, or will Tomy finally see Sean for who he truly is, and choose the man who helped him knit his heart together again?

 
Excerpt
 

Chapter One


TOMY PERALTA opened the door of the yarn shop, feeling a little out of place as the cheerful ringing of the bell announced his presence in this unfamiliar territory. Stitchin’ Time was one of Mama and Lola’s favorite stores, but Tomy had never been here before himself, only heard about it when they gushed and cooed over the hand-dyed yarn they’d bought there.

The shop itself was large, and the rent in the fashionable Lenox Square area of Atlanta must have been enormous, but it had a surprisingly homey feel. Rather than traditional retail metal shelving, whoever had designed the interior had opted for wooden storage units, woven baskets, and what looked like enormous pasta racks dripping with hanks of yarn instead of spaghetti. There were also finished knitted and crocheted pieces displayed on the walls and on hangers at the ends of the shelves. There were the expected sweaters and scarves, of course, but also stuffed animals, knickknacks, and one intricately cabled afghan draped over the sofa where a group of gray-haired women were gathered, chatting and laughing. Several of them looked up when he entered, but he was greeted with friendly smiles rather than surprise.

The sales counter was visible from the door, a large wooden affair with more baskets of yarn and other knitting supplies stacked neatly around it. Behind the counter sat a man, square-jawed, blond, and broad-shouldered, working a set of knitting needles with amazing speed and agility. He, too, glanced up, smiling, and called out to Tomy in a deep, smooth Southern drawl.

“Hey! Welcome! Feel free to look around, and let me know if you need any help.”

Tomy gave the man an appreciative once-over. Sure, he had a boyfriend, and he hoped to be happily engaged after Christmas, but he could still look. Then he glanced around, briefly considering whether he ought to muddle through on his own, but he dismissed that thought. He was way out of his depth here, and he didn’t even know where to begin. Best to ask the professional rather than waste time wandering around utterly clueless.

“Actually, I do need some help,” he admitted, offering a sheepish smile as he approached the counter. “I want to buy something for my mother and sister, and I know they shop here a lot, but….” He looked around again and shrugged. “I have no idea where to start.”

The blond put his knitting aside—Tomy didn’t know what the item on the needles was, only that it was deep forest green—and stood up. He was tall, at least four inches over six feet, and up close, Tomy could see his eyes were a soft blue.

“I know that feeling,” he said. He moved out from behind the counter, walking with a slight but noticeable limp. “Who are your mother and sister? If they’re regulars, I can definitely help you with things I know they’d like.”

“My mother is Ana Lucia Peralta,” Tomy replied, trying to ignore the zing of wayward attraction he felt for the hunky knitter. He’d always been drawn to tall, burly blonds, much to his boyfriend’s dismay. Despite being tall, blond, and hot himself, Sean got jealous easily. He wouldn’t even let Tomy watch any of the superhero movies with Thor or Captain America in them when he was around. “My sister is Lola Barrett.” He picked up the tasseled end of the navy blue scarf he wore, which was an elaborate pattern of cables and bobbles. “Mama made this for me, if that helps. Lola made the hat,” he added, gesturing to the slouchy hat he wore, which had wide abstract colorwork stripes.

Hunky Knitter stepped closer and looked at the hat, smiling slightly, then picked up the end of Tomy’s scarf, running his fingers over the cabling. “Ah, yes. I remember when your mother bought the yarn for this. It was a special order. She wanted a particular shade of blue, and I dyed at least four batches before I managed to get the color she was picturing.”

“You dyed the yarn yourself?” Tomy gazed up at Hunky Knitter, impressed by his crafting skills. “Thanks, I really like the color. She wanted it to go with my coat, and I think it’s a perfect match,” he said, holding out his arms to show the pea coat he was wearing.

“So it is. I’m Jason, by the way.” Jason held out his hand, his eyes crinkling at the corners as he smiled.

“Tomy Peralta,” Tomy said, enunciating his name to make it clear it was pronounced like Tony, not Tommy. “Nice to meet you.” He clasped Jason’s hand, which was warm. Jason’s grip was firm, the touch sending little tingles along Tomy’s arm, and he felt his knees wobble just a little. I have a boyfriend, and we’re very much in love, he reminded himself sternly.

“Nice to meet you too.” Jason released his hand with what Tomy thought might be a tiny bit of reluctance. “Yes, I dyed the yarn. I do custom work for people who want it, and I like to try out the various dyes and yarns just to see what they look like. I prefer not to sell or recommend things to my customers that I haven’t tried myself.”

“Are you the owner?” Tomy asked. He didn’t know many men who were into crafts, much less enough to own a shop devoted to crafting.

“Yes.” Jason’s grin became a little sheepish. “I know I don’t look like the kind of guy who’d own a yarn store, and to be honest, never in a million years did I think this is what I’d be doing, but I love it. I majored in marketing at Vanderbilt, but I was a football player. After graduation, I played in the NFL, but in my second season with the Falcons, I blew out my knee.” He slapped his right leg. “Had to get an artificial replacement, so it was goodbye, NFL. I started knitting during my rehab, and one thing led to another and… here I am.”

Tomy didn’t hear any trace of self-pity in Jason’s voice, only a matter-of-factness that implied he’d had to explain his situation before. Tomy imagined an ex-football player turned yarn shop owner got a lot of questions about his life choices.

“Who taught you to knit?” he asked, voicing the first question that popped into his head. Of all the therapeutic exercises in existence, he wondered how knitting ended up being Jason’s choice. “I know it has a lot of therapeutic value, but not for knees.”

Jason laughed. “It was mental therapy, mostly. Moving hurt, but sitting almost hurt more. My mother got tired of me always moving restlessly whenever I was in a room, so she taught me how to knit as a form of distraction. If I had something in my hands to occupy me, I tended not to dwell on the pain in my knee as much.”

“That makes sense.” Tomy nodded, and then he noticed the ladies on the sofa were watching them with avid interest. He knew matchmakers when he saw them, and he cleared his throat and took a step back so they wouldn’t get the wrong idea. “Anyway, presents? I’m open to suggestions. I have no idea what they might want or need, but I want to get them something they’ll really like this year, not just a gift card.”

“Of course.” Jason nodded, suddenly all business. “I know there’s a set of knitting needles your sister has had her eye on for a while. They’re rosewood. Your mother has indicated she’d like to knit an afghan for her sofa, and so perhaps a pattern and the yarn for it? I recently dyed a batch of a bulky superwash wool in tonal greens I think she’d like. That might run a little more than you’d like to spend, though.”

“Sounds perfect!” Tomy smiled widely, pleased with the suggestions. “Do you know which pattern she’s interested in, or is there a pattern book she might like? I don’t care how much it costs.” He gave a sheepish shrug. “I don’t mean to sound like I’m bragging or anything. It’s just that I want this to be a special Christmas. I’m planning to propose to my boyfriend, and I want everyone to be as happy as I am. I guess that sounds silly, but joy to the world, right?”

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.


Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.


McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

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An Ali Review: An Amy Lane Christmas by Amy Lane (bundle)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Celebrate the season with Amy Lane’s own brand of holiday cheer. 

Enjoy five classic Amy Lane Christmas stories, imbued with her signature blend of humor, romance, and heart-warming satisfaction as businessmen, lawyers, accountants, and teachers all find love this December. 

Includes: 
If I Must 
Christmas with Danny Fit 
Puppy, Car, and Snow 
Turkey in the Snow 
Going Up!
This was a great collection of some of this author’s older stories.  There are five stories here or varying lengths, and it’s a nice selection.  This is a good read for people who are already fans of this author but it’s also a nice place to start for people who have not read her before.
If I Must was the first book in the bundle and actually ended up being my least favorite.  It’s a friends to lovers story about two roommates who finally admit to their feelings about each other.  I had a hard time seeing the attraction between the two MC’s. 
Christmas with Danny Fit was a lovely story that tackles the issue of body imagine.  Kit is slightly chubby and shy and awkward and he’s got a crush on his younger, hotter, office assistant Jesse.  Kit takes to watching Danny Fit exercise videos to try and change himself.  The story looks at how you can miss what’s right in front of you while looking for that “perfect” person.
Puppy, Car, and Snow was a very sweet story.  It’s actually the third book in a series of short stories but you would be fine reading this as a standalone.  This story is about them spending Christmas with Ryan’s family. 
Turkey in the Snow is another sweet story.  Hank has his four year old niece living with him due to her mother abandoning her.  He’s not much into flamboyant guys but when Justin, the daycare worker at his gym does a good deed for him, Hank changes his mind.  This was a bit insta-love but it was just right for a holiday story.
Going Up is told by Zach who is a lawyer who lives in the building’s penthouse.  He comes from a very well off and conservative family.  He is getting by but is overall not very happy with his life.  One day when the elevator breaks he meets Sean, who is his total opposite.  Sean makes Zach see life differently and then men falling for each other is another charming tale.
This bundle is Amy Lane at her sweetest.  If you’re looking for some holiday stories filled with sweetness and no angst these are a good choice.
This cover was done by Alexandria Corza and I think it is nicely done.  It’s visually attractive and catches the vibe of the stories. Cover Artist: Bundle Cover Art by Alexandria Corza. If I Must, Christmas with Danny Fit, Turkey in the Snow by Catt Ford. Puppy, Car, and Snow by Anne Cain. Going Up! by Aaron Anderson.
Sales Link:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:Kindle Edition, 323 pages
Published December 25th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB0781B8MJQ
Edition LanguageEnglish

 

An Alisa Review: Christmas Kisses at the North Pole by Jessie Pinkham

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Rating:  2.75 stars out of 5

Adley is an unusual elf. He prefers skiing to parties, doesn’t like to sing, and cares so little for elf conventions that his brother despairs of him ever getting married. Which is fine, because Adley has no intention of marrying just anyone.

When he meets Keru at the annual Christmas Eve party, the two are drawn to each other. The party may be the most important event of the elvish social calendar, but neither Adley nor Keru minds leaving early to take a walk. They enjoy an idyllic and romantic first date under an aurora, rescuing a reindeer calf along the way, and a relationship seems promising.

But their second date takes a dire turn when a skiing trip brings them face to face with a polar bear. They’d like to keep seeing each other … if they can make it through their second date without being eaten!

Adley and Keru are two peas in a pod from what I can see with similar interests and disinterests.  Unfortunately this story just didn’t really have any high or low points it was just sort of blah.  Much of it was talking about the elf culture and very matter of fact with no feeling.  For two who got along so well and even had two date one right after another they moved slowly and there wasn’t anything that connected me to the characters.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is a sweet picture of Adley and Keru.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 46 pages

Published: December 23, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634865296

Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: A Cop for Christmas by Jamie Fessenden

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Mason Collier isn’t big on authority figures. When Office Steve Coleman pulls him over and gives him a speeding ticket, he doesn’t react well. He’s even less happy when he discovers the cop lives next door to his parents’ house.

No matter where they turn this holiday season, Steve and Mason keep running into each other, and whenever they talk for more than a minute, they piss each other off. But from wayward dogs to Christmas tree hunts to maple syrup festivals, it proves impossible to avoid each other in the small town.

If Mason can see the good man behind the badge, he might just get a cop for Christmas.

A Cop for Christmas by Jamie Fessenden is a sweet holiday romance, complete with overly energetic young lab and a cringe worthy meet/greet that every young couple loves to relate later on in their relationship.

The author does a lovely job of enveloping us in the atmosphere of the small town, snow, maple syrup and all so it’s very easy to fall in love with it’s inhabitants as we meet them along with Mason as he sees the place his parents call home.  The characters here are all well-crafted, so the loving family dynamics of the Collier family feels real as does the lonely trailer of Officer Steve Coleman next door.

I enjoyed every bit of the journey Mason and Steve take to their HFN ending…we will see more of them and how it plays out in the sequel A Viking for Yule.  There’s  some unexpected suspense, lots of romance, and more.    This is a small town and people who definitely deserve several visits back to see how everyone is settling in, and I’m not just talking about Mason and Steve.

Jamie Fessenden’s holiday stories made an  impact on me this Christmas season.  They are sweet, heartwarming, full of hope, romance, and love that will last past the New Year’s.  Read A Cop for Christmas and then head to A Viking for Yule.  I highly recommend them both!

Cover art by Reese Dante is terrific and works for the story and characters.

Sales Links:Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 123 pages
Published November 19th 2016
Original TitleA Cop for Christmas
ASINB01NB9811M
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Lila Release Day Review: The Werewolf before Christmas by Charles Payseur

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Ray seems like the perfect boyfriend—he’s gorgeous, incredibly romantic, and has a mechanical suit he invented to become the dastardly MantaRay. For Alec, who also spends his nights making life difficult for do-gooders everywhere, it’s a match made in supervillain heaven. Except that Ray is a bit too into the hit soap opera All My Werewolves. When tempers flare during what’s supposed to be a quiet night out, Alec nearly ruins everything over a stupid bet with an alien gorilla.

Desperate to prove his feelings to Ray, and with Christmas fast approaching, Alec decides the fastest way to Ray’s heart is to embrace the thing that threatens to divide them—a certain werewolf show with a certain actor who Ray admires. A simple kidnapping promises to do the trick, only fur (and fandom) fly when Alec’s romantic gesture leads to a very hairy situation. Can Alec prove to Ray how much their relationship means to him, or will his plans be ruined by the werewolf before Christmas?

The Werewolf Before Christmas is a very different type of story. Definitely not one that I read often. I had to start it twice because I had no idea what was I reading but I need to accept that it is a well-crafted short. After the reader gets to know the characters, the world, and the main plot, it’s easy to follow the action.

Perhaps a bit too easy. Especially when Alec sets to find his present. I liked the initial chase and all the little quirks and pop references but he gets what he’s looking for too quickly for all the planning and angst that went into it.

The author’s creativity is superb and the reason I’m rating this story four stars. Not one of my favorites but worth reading if you are looking for something completely different this Holiday season.

The cover by Paul Richmond is the same as the rest of the 2017 Advent Collection.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon | NOOK

ebook, 35 pages
Published: December 1, 2017, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781640803152
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Ever since ghostwriter Jason Burke ended up in loco parentis for his orphaned niece, Mallory, he’s been trying. He goes to parent/teacher events, and he makes packed lunches, so he definitely didn’t mean to forget about Christmas. He just hasn’t celebrated it since he left home under a cloud years ago.

Put on the spot, Jason makes the snap decision to take Mallory to see where he and her father spent their Christmases as kids. The last thing he expects is to run into Tommy, his ex—ex-best friend, ex-boyfriend—who is still living in town… and working as a sheriff’s deputy.

It’s hard to avoid someone in a small town—and maybe Jason doesn’t want to. He got Mallory a Christmas, and maybe now it’s time to get himself a Christmas boyfriend. But first, he owes Tommy some explanations.

Sweet, somewhat poignant, and full of romance and hope for the future,Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore contains so many elements that makes a wonderful holiday story.  Add in second chance at love, a recently orphaned child, and the “bestest present ever” and it becomes one I not only loved reading but absolutely recommend.

Tommy and Jason reconnect in their hometown after a decade or so has passed.  Sweethearts as teenagers, it ended when Jason left without a word to Tommy, leaving a wound and puzzle that exists to the present day.  Jason has returned with his orphaned niece in hand to show her where her he and her father lived and to give her some “Christmas” and snow.

Moore’s writing pulls us into these characters and their lives quickly through the poignancy of the situation and the sadness of the little 10 year old, Mal.  She’s grieving the loss of her parents, unsettled by the new guardianship of an uncle she barely knows, and acting out in exactly the way you’d think a little child in this situation would.  Especially when confronted by the reality of Jason and her father’s hometown.

With Mal at the center, Jason and Tommy (Tom as he insists on being called) start the process of reconnecting with each other, talking about the past, seeing if the sparks between them mean it’s more than attraction coming back to life.  It never feels like instant anything but more like two people who really do belong together, meeting again when the time is right.

I liked the ending.  It’s not a HEA, more a HFN which I feel is in line with the story.  It’s full of hope and exactly the right tone, considering all the decisions that still have to be made.  Anything more would have felt false.  Plus maybe next Christmas T.A. Moore will revisit this small family group and give us an update.  That I’d surely love!

Until then add Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by TA Moore to your holiday reading pile.  It’s exactly what Santa might have ordered.

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.  I love this cover.  Exactly right and stands out to grab your attention.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 57 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640803138
Edition LanguageEnglish

A LIla Review: Came Upon a Midnight Clear by Katie Porter

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Up-and-coming film producer Kyle Wakefield lives in the closet rather than risk the wrath of his influential, conservative parents. The only time he took a chance on love was a tempestuous teenage affair with Nathan Carnes. But when Nathan proved himself hell-bent on self-destruction and wound up in prison, Kyle closed off his heart.

Almost a decade later, Kyle’s production partner hires Nathan’s stunt company, Second Chances, to work on a big-budget action film in London. Nate is floored by his explosive reunion with Kyle. But he sure as hell isn’t surprised that Kyle still treats their mutual needs—and Nate—like dirty little secrets.

As the London holiday season casts its dazzling spell, the two men find themselves falling in love again. Kyle is one breathless kiss away from declaring himself to Nate—and to the world—but they cannot ignore secrets borne of youthful mistakes. To protect their bright new future, Kyle and Nathan will need all their passion and trust . . . and a little Christmas magic.

Came Upon a Midnight Clear is my favorite MM Romance story. I read it for the first time in 2013 and fell in love with Nate and Kyle after their very first scene together. For a couple of fictitious characters, their chemistry is palpable throughout the pages and the longing they have for each other makes their struggle to have a relationship real.

I re-read this book in 2016 and got a paperback copy as well. I loved rediscovering their love and all the scenes that made their relationship special. I’m not entirely sure why, but after reading over 1,500 MM books, this one still my favorite. And that’s why I just read it one more.

This is a re-edited version of this story, but the main events still the same. The only edits I noticed were related to technology and pop culture references. The sense of place, culture, and holiday spirit brings this story together. It’s not a traditional Christmas tale but a second chance love.

Since the start, it’s easy to see how good they’re together. Plus, how well they did without each other. They don’t need the other to be successful. Their relationship goes beyond that, to a friendship that stayed with them even after all the years apart. Their love is just an added bonus and the sex their way to connect.

And there’s a lot of sex in this story. Hard, raw, loving, but always as part of their developing story. This is definitely an erotic romance. Even so, the romance is as important as the plot itself. There’s a lot of angst too and Kyle’s and Nathan’s original relationship will pull your heartstrings, but it’s worth it.

This book is not perfect or a writing masterpiece but the authors did an excellent job developing the characters, creating an interesting supporting cast, and making Kyle’s and Nathan’s love believable. As a reader, we get to cheer for them until the very end. The epilogue is the perfect ending to the book. And yes, I’d read it again. 🙂

Also, Came Upon a Midnight Clear is now a 2017 Riptide Holiday Charity Novel benefiting The Russian LGBT network.

The cover by Natasha Snow is sweet and festive, just a bit too generic for this story. Other than the London Bridge, it doesn’t give the reader a feel for the story.

Sale Links: Riptide | Amazon | NOOK

ebook, 291 pages
Published: November 20, 2017, by Riptide Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-62649-673-6
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Advent Release Day Review: Homemade from the Heart by Bru Baker

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Craft store owner Grant has always been a sucker for a pretty face, and that goes double for a pretty face with an adorable sidekick. When seven-year-old Aubrey has her heart set on taking Grant’s already-full holiday craft series, he caves and gives up his one day off a week so she (and her hot guardian, Josh) can take private lessons. Their flirting ramps up week after week, and even though Josh isn’t with Aubrey’s mother, Grant can’t be sure the man isn’t straight. Maybe he’s just being friendly. And Josh, who most definitely is not straight, is afraid of being the creepy guy hitting on the teacher.

Frustrated by their stubbornness and cluelessness, Aubrey takes matters into her own hands. She decides the best gift to give Josh is something homemade and from the heart—a boyfriend they’ll both love.

Another absolutely adorable, full out Christmasy short story, Homemade from the Heart by Bru Baker is full of good cheer and romance.  How can it not be when one of the main characters owns and runs a craft store that’s making holiday crafts?  Hello Snowman and glitter by the buckets!  It made my inner kid want to reach for the glue and craft projects myself!

With a deft and loving touch, Baker’s characters come to life as Josh and Aubrey find their way to Grant’s store.  After finding Grant’s popular holiday craft series full, an improvised group of private lessons ensues and the road to romance is on.

I loved how natural, frazzled, and funny it all felt.  Nothing like a child, the oncoming date of Christmas and the need to make a series of presents can bring the pressure home and yet love of family too.  And both men are trying to make it special and find a path to each other as well.  The writing flowed, the storyline was fun and lovely, and the ending just right.

Homemade from the Heart by Bru Baker is one story I can not only recommend but wouldn’t mind checking back in on this couple later on in the year.  Aubrey too.

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht.  That cover is perfect for the story. Loved it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 55 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640803107
Edition LanguageEnglish
setting Illinois (United States)

An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: A Gift of Family by Tami Veldura

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5
Scott Burke has always desired a big family, but as a divorced single dad, all he has is his young daughter, Lexi. He pours himself into raising her, half-convinced he’ll never find what he’s looking for. When Brennan Price strolls into Scott’s life, he’d better have enough patience for both Lexi and Scott if he intends to stick around.
Brennan has a huge family and a successful career, but no one to call his own. Wooing Scott and his daughter is right up his alley, though, and he steps up to the challenge to prove he’s enough for both of them. His attraction to Scott is immediate, but he recognizes a family man when he sees one and hatches a plan to win Lexi over. Her handsome father is sure to follow….
This was an okay story.  I liked how Brennan wanted to woo both Scott and Lexi and his patience.  Their connection felt a bit forced and quick for Scott being a man that is supposedly cautious about bringing someone into their life he falls a but fast.  I thought Brennan seemed cute but didn’t feel as if I got the chance to know him.  For all their cautiousness and shyness the D/S feeling in the bedroom didn’t work for me, it was like they flipped a switch and it didn’t seem right for the characters.
Cover art by Paul Richmond.  This is the series cover for all the Stocking Stuffer Advent stories for 2017 and as such has nothing to do with the actual story.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 32 pages
Published: December 23, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
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