In the spirit of Christmas I am posting some reviews of the holiday themed books I have read this month.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!!!
The Best Christmas Ever by Anel Viz ~ 4 stars
A very touching story that centers on a man’s need to know why he loves his partner. Brandon and Donnie have been together almost 13 years. From the beginning Brandon has been questioning the reason why he is with Donnie. He acknowledges that he enjoys Donnie’s company and likes that he is his center of attention. He likes being needed, but he can’t help but feel guilty that he is taking advantage of Donnie or feel like taking care of Donnie is a big responsibility.
Brandon tells the story of how they met and all that went along with it. From the first time they got together through his hesitations and misgivings to finding the answer to the question that has hunted him from the beginning – “What’s in it for me?”
I enjoyed the glimpses into their past and into their current life. Through it I could see how much Brandon had come to care about Donnie through the years. They might have been different and their relationship a little more uncommon than most, but it was real and honest and in the end it didn’t matter what he gained from his relationship with Donnie. What mattered was that he was in a relationship with Donnie because he loved him and he was loved in return.
Fractured Heart by Piper Whitney ~ 2.5 stars
Cole is a single father who lost his wife three years ago and still misses her. Although he still feels sad and lonely he wants his daughter to have a good Christmas, so he decides to head to his parent’s house for the holidays. His friend of 13 years, Syd, has agreed to go too. Suddenly Cole starts seeing Syd differently. He thinks that maybe they could make a life together and he can love again. But is he making this decision just because he is lonely or is he truly ready to love again?
The story was sweet if a little unbelievable and predictable. I could overlooked some of it because it is a feel-good holiday story and goes along with Christmas wishes and the magic of Christmas, but it was still a bit far-fetched to me. The writing was good and I liked the concept behind the story, I just think that it would have gone better if it were developed more. I would have loved to see more interactions between Syd and Cole as well as more hesitation and doubts about where this relationship was going. I think that it would have added to the believability of the story.
The characters were great to get to know, even if I felt that I needed to know more about Syd. I enjoyed Katie. I feel that she added to the story a lot and it is because of her and her Christmas wish that I can overlook some of the events in the story.
All in all, a light, feel-good read.
I received this book from Manic Readers and would like to thank them and Silver Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
Secret Santa by Rebecca Leigh ~ 3 stars
I liked this one. Martin is a Marine who each year volunteers for the toy drive. There’s a new Santa this year and Martin is in lust. He imagines how it would feel to sit on Santa’s lap and whisper in his ear like the little kids are doing. Needless to say that his thoughts are of the naughty kind. Santa is well, unlike any Santa I’ve seen. Dark, long hair, perfectly muscled and very well endowed. I also enjoyed the innuendos that were thrown in. They were cheeky, but still had me grinning like the fool I am.
All in all, a nice, short read that made me wish I could wrap Santa’s gift for him and sit on his lap too! Bwahahaha!
A Not-So-Straight Christmas by TN Tarrant ~ 3.5 stars
Sam and Morgan are stranded for a week during a snow storm. They are co-workers and friends and are attracted to each other, but each thinks that the other is straight. Will they be able to open up about their past and explore the attraction?
I liked this story very much. The writing was very good, with great dialog and lovable characters. Sam and Morgan had their reasons for keeping their sexual orientation to themselves, but when it was time to be open with each other, they didn’t hesitate. I liked that they had a great friendship first, which added to my enjoyment of the story and made their getting together more believable to me. The author, TN Tarrant, really did a great job of bringing their past to the page along with their desire for one another in just a few pages worth of story. The author even included a prologue that left me grinning like a fool and wanting to read more about these two characters.
This was light and sweet with enough hot and tender moments to make it a great read.
I received this book through Manic Readers and would like to thank them and Silver Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
Xavier’s Xmas by Amber Kell ~ 3 stars
Frankie is a twenty something art student who moves out of Xavier’s house him a chance to meet somebody. He’s been in love with Xavier for three years but thinks that his feelings are not reciprocated. Xavier regrets not telling Frankie how he feels and now finds himself drinking alone at Christmas, until Frankie calls asking to come back home.
This was a sweet holiday story about new beginnings. I enjoyed the characters and their honesty. And I liked the emotions that were brought to the page. From longing to happiness, I could feel them all, which added to my enjoyment of this feel-good story.
I Don’t: A Christmas Wish by Kari Gregg ~ 4 stars
Seth wants to get married to his partner Owen. Especially now that Maryland’s Question Six has won. But Owen doesn’t see it’s right to get married when there are so many others GLBT causes that need equal attention.
Wow, to say that this was an interesting story would be an understatement. I could see where both Owen and Seth were coming from and that in of itself was what kept me interested in the story.
I enjoyed getting to know both main characters and see how each struggled with their convictions, especially Seth. Although he felt insecure and unwanted by Owen as a result of his decision, he truly believed in their love and the bond they had built in their two years together.
I loved the secondary characters too. Especially Seth’s mother, she was hilarious in her protectiveness of Seth’s virtue. I enjoyed their interactions and was even laughing out loud at some of the things that happened in the story. But although there were many funny moments, there were also some emotional moments that really touched me and made feel a whole of a lot for both Owen and Seth.
I enjoyed this short story very much and would love to read more about these characters.
I received this book through Manic Readers and would like to thank them and Kari Gregg for the opportunity to read and review this title in exchange of my honest opinion.
A Christmas Eve Wish by Nicole Dennis ~ 3.5 stars
Logan is a celebrity TV chef who needs a break from it all. He drives to his isolated cabin only to find it a mess. His new neighbor Joel helps him out and offers shelter for the blizzard that’s coming.
I liked the story and the concept behind it. I could clearly see Logan’s inner battle with himself over his career and his desire to have a life outside of work. Joel was very understanding and open about his life. They both were great characters to get to know. I enjoyed their banter and their chemistry and would love to read more about them.
My only complaint would be their declarations of love, but what the hell, this is fiction after all and the story was very good.
The Match Before Christmas by Eden Winters ~ 4 stars
Barry is ready for a more out of life. He especially wants to have someone to spend his Christmas with, so he decides to fill out a profile for an online dating site. The ‘dates’ are not working out and just when he is about to give up Adam contacts him.
From the dating encounters to the yearning Barry felt to connect to that special someone, the story was funny and emotional and I enjoyed it all. I admired Barry’s determination and his willingness to help his friends find their partners. He was open and affectionate, even if a that left him feeling more inadequate as the failures continued.
I liked how Adam and Barry came together, after everything that Barry went through it was nice to see him meet a normal guy. I was cheering them on from the moment they met and I was glad when they finally decided to go for it and give the relationship a try.
I already bought the other installments in the series and I can’t wait to read more about their relationship.
Snow and Mistletoe by T.C. Blue ~ 3 stars
Richard is looking for a job and finds it where he least expects it – in the bar he frequents. He doesn’t see himself as attractive so he settles to a life of work and spending time with his friends. Suddenly he starts receiving gifts at his door. His first thought is that his friends are just trying to make him feel better, for he couldn’t fathom that anyone could be trying to woo him.
I liked Richard. He was insecure and apparently has had a rough past so I understood his reluctance and his reaction when he found out who was sending the gifts.
I enjoyed the way the author went about telling he story. There was enough information to know that Richard’s insecurities came from events of his past, but not enough to weigh down the feel-good vibe of the story. I also liked that at first I was kept guessing about Richard’s admirer, it added to my enjoyment of the story. And then once the truth was out, it made Richard’s reaction and what came next more interesting.
All in all, a good feel story of finding what you’ve always wanted staring you right in the face.