Image

❄ Christmas Delights continued…. and don’t forget it’s a freebie! ❄

Today’s Christmas reviews are for some more of the short stories in the Christmas Delights anthology. It’s a wonderful collection of stories and is available for free from Love Lane Books (Love Lane Books Christmas Anthology 2013).

Christmas Delights

As promised, I’ve accompanied each review with a matching carol. The stories in this review are:

  • Mistletoe and YouTube by Francis Gideon
  • A Jaguar for Christmas by Caitlin Ricci
  • Christmas Reunion by AJ Henderson

❄❄❄❄❄❄❄

Mistletoe and YouTube by Francis Gideon

Accompanied by: I’m Yours Under the Mistletoe Mash up

 

The Blurb: After exams finish for Matt and Aiden, there isn’t a lot left to do but watch Christmas YouTube videos and find new ways to kiss under the mistletoe.

So what did I think?  This was a cute light read. Just one quick scene. Very with the times as two college guys, Matt and Aiden, watch a YouTube clip of kissing under the mistletoe. Wanting to experience a kiss of their own, and with a bit of creativity involving the laptop and climbing under an IKEA desk, they manage to do so. 3 cute stars.

❄❄❄❄❄❄❄

A Jaguar for Christmas by Caitlin Ricci

Accompanied by: Jingle Cats (sorry, not Jaguars!)

The Blurb: Jackson doesn’t really understand why everyone is so excited about Christmas. The holiday hasn’t meant anything but loneliness to him for years. But when a new model comes in for a photo shoot, will it be the chance he needs to break out of his old routine and try something different?

So what did I think? This was  a really interesting premise but to be honest, the shifter element seemed pretty irrelevant to the story. It didn’t feel very Christmassy but it was  a nice story about a guy who finds a bit of happiness. It felt a little like the start of something so I wanted to read more to see where the story would take Peter and Jackson. 3 stars

❄❄❄❄❄❄❄

Christmas Reunion by AJ Henderson

Accompanied by: I’ll be Home For Christmas (Rascal Flatts)

 

The Blurb: Eric hasn’t looked forward to Christmas so much in a long time. After living away from his family for several years, he was excited to be moving back home in time to spend the holidays with them. A surprise from his past turns an already amazing Christmas into one that he’ll never forget.

So what did I think? I love a story of first love, separated in youth and then meeting up again later in life. Eric loved his friend Dillon. Dillon had been his best friend and was so accepting when Eric came out. But they only shared one very brief kiss on the day Dillon’s family moved away. And then life got in the way of their friendship  and their long distance correspondence stopped. Eric had spent years away from his family, first studying and now working, and is finally returning home to his family. The main problem with this story was that it was too short! I was really getting into it when it ended quite abruptly. I liked the style and I loved Eric’s wonderful family. I think it demands a sequel! 3.5 stars

Advertisements
Image

Serving Simon by Caitlin Ricci

Serving Simon is book one in the “Serving Simon” series.

Serving SimonServing Simon by Caitlin Ricci

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Simon has an offer for his stressed out roommate, but is this stubborn sub already too far gone for Simon’s methods?

Max’s high pressure job as a surgeon is getting to him and he’s starting to suffer for it. His roommate Simon has a solution for him, but is Max ready to give up control or will this Dom have to work for it?

Simon’s not used to dealing with such stubborn subs, but he can’t sit back and let Max’s health and sanity continue to decline in the name of his work. Enough is enough already and if Max doesn’t accept what he’s offering, then Simon might just have to come up with something even more drastic.

But when a night of passion between these two strong willed men exposes Simon’s secrets, it might be he who has to learn to trust and let go of the control he so desperately seeks.

So what did I think?

“As I was saying,” Simon said, his voice soft in the near darkness, “I want control.”
Max gulped, watching him in the moonlight streaming in from his open curtains. “Of what?”
His mouth turned up into a smile and Max froze, both dreading and needing the answer all at once. “Why, Max, that’s simple.” He took a breath. “I want to control…..you.”

Okay, I had some questions. Why was the head of surgery needing a roommate? Why did the roommate need to be there? But really, none of this mattered too much as the story just focused on the here and now as Simon helps Max deal with his stress levels using his unique methods.

The two men share quite an interesting dynamic and it is fascinating to watch Max respond to Simon, his physical response versus his thought process. Yes, there is some light bondage and sex but the focus is on Max trusting Simon and the emotional side of giving up control NOT on whips and pain.

Just when things were starting to heat up there’s a bit of twist near the end of this story. I don’t want to say what it is but if you peak at my Goodreads bookshelves  or tagging it will give you a clue! 🙂

I felt Max’s reaction to the revelations and easy acceptance was a bit unrealistic particularly given his medical background and felt the ending was somewhat rushed. I was left wondering – what does this mean? what happens next? Tell me more…..

This is the first book in a series so I guess I will need to read the next one to find out more (although I’m not 100% sure what the next one is about!)

Overall, I was drawn into this story but felt a little let down at the end as things wrapped up too quickly, hopefully something that the second book will remedy. 🙂

3.5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author. Thank you Caitlin for the opportunity to read and provide my honest review.

To find out more about Caitlin Ricci and her books check out her website.

Buy Serving Simon from Amazon.

View all my reviews

Image

M/M Romance Anthology: Out in Colorado

Out in ColoradoOut in Colorado

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

This collection brings six talented authors from the Centennial State together under one title, all offering their take on what it means to be Out in Colorado. These stories explore the cultures and mores of the state as only native authors can, each bringing a unique perspective on the diverse peoples and changing attitudes that are quickly coming to define this state in transition.

So what did I think?

A couple of quick words on each short story……

Something Old, Something Blue by George Seaton
This started off as a really interesting look at the world of mobsters followed by an unexpected twist into the world of the supernatural. There was very limited romance and I wasn’t overly fond of the ending, wanting to understand more of what happened next.

Casual Brilliance by Cari Z
This is the story of a man who starts a new job working in a lab. It is quite a unique setting, providing just enough explanation of the lab to set the scene. The romance is a slow build from colleagues to friends to lovers with some fun parts like a midnight sled run.

Spirit’s Fire by Tabatha Heart
A man stumbles through the forest to a cabin where he and his friends used to spend a weekend each year. The beginning really had me wondering what ‘the incident’ was that resulted in the friends being separated. There were some twists and turns. The characters were cute but I would have liked to have seen some romance, some kissing or touching. Once again, I wanted to know more about how things ended. Do Ivan and Tate get together? What about Agustin’s crush on Tate?

Take a Bow by Caitlin Ricci
This is a sweet story about bisexual Brandon whose daughter arranges for him to get dance lessons from her best friend Crispin who is an instructor. This is in preparation for her wedding. Turns out that, unbeknown to Brandon, she knew he was bi – not exactly sure how as he didn’t seem to get up to much action but it really didn’t matter in this short story. There are nice characters, some hot sex and a HFN ending as Brandon dances with Crispin at the wedding.

Frozen by Lichen Craig
This is a story that shows a relationship disintegrating. Told in present tense, Trevor is in a relationship with Ethan who treats him very poorly. He is a kept man and abused emotionally but once this changes to physical abuse, Trevor has the sense to run immediately. Trev is already recovering from an accident which stalled his career, probably one of the reasons he became attached to Ethan in the first place. I hated Ethan for his infidelity but found it hard to dislike Trevor even though he was the self-confessed homewrecker. There was a sweet happy ending, flowers and all. Thank goodness for Seth, Barbara and all the other good people in the world.

Slip/Slide/Snow by P.D. Singer
This was one story that was not for me. I enjoyed the start but when I discovered it was a story about an otter shifter, I began to have my doubts. I definitely ceased to enjoy this book once Lon spent time as an otter and we see him in detail cavorting in the house. He was totally childish “Yes, Yes, fishie in a can.”, playing with cereal on the floor, having a tug of war with his lover, and forgetting the words for things “Drippy – he was drippy and shaking would make everything slippy. Corey doesn’t like slippy. He bit the soft white thing hanging off the wall and yanked. It fell over him. Fun! He could play peekies!” I couldn’t work out if he was more pet-like or child-like but either way this just didn’t work for me in a romance.

3 Stars

Buy Out in Colorado from Amazon.

View all my reviews