So This is Christmas by Josh Lanyon

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

So This is Christmas: by Josh Lanyon
Series: The Adrien English Mysteries, #5.5
Release Date: December 30, 2016
Pages: 127 • Format: eARC
Published By: Just Joshin Publishing, Inc
Purchase Links:
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God Help You Merry Gentlemen…

Arriving home early after spending Christmas in jolly old England, sometimes amateur sleuth Adrien English discovers alarming developments at Cloak and Dagger Books–and an old acquaintance seeking help in finding his missing boyfriend.

Fortunately, Adrien just happens to know a really good private eye…

 

 

 

five-stars

It took me a couple of days to try to figure out what words to describe this story, but I still have no words because this book has been one of my happiest book pleasures ever. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought we would see Adrien & Jake again. They are in my Book Royalty. I love the Adrien & Jake story. It isn’t nice, easy, or sweet. These two have fought extremely hard to get where they are and it’s PERFECT.

This picks up right after book 5. Jake & Adrien are returning from a holiday in London. We see the old gang, some familiar faces and the love between these two. I don’t think we’ve ever see Adrien this content and happy before, and its a beautiful thing. It wouldn’t be an Adrien English story without someone contacting him directly or sometimes indirectly for help. This time it’s Kevin, the cute hottie from book 2 needs some help. Reading this I often found myself smiling for no apparent reason then it feels great to revisit these two. I truly love Josh Lanyon’s style, and felt like this was the most contemporary story we’ve seen from her ever in my opinion.

Ask anyone and they will tell you I wasn’t team Jake ever in a day. I re-read the series prior to reading this and sometimes I forgot why I was so angry at him, but book 4 and seeing him change was something else. I forgive all the tears, anger, and pain that he put Adrien in. We see Jake grow as much as Adrien did in the years since the first book. You can see the personal growth that Jake obtained because in this last book he was so carefree, open and loving. It was like seeing a new Jake, but I firmly believe he just grew up.

With all the happiness and that ending, I couldn’t ask for a better ending to these two. I am forever grateful that Lanyon decided to bless us with this happiness. I loved it, and it’s highly recommendable to fans of this series.

About Josh Lanyon

Bestselling author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance, JOSH LANYON has been called “arguably the single most influential voice in m/m romance today.” Granted, that was yesterday.

Today Josh’s work has been translated into nine languages. The FBI thriller Fair Game was the first male/male title to be published by Harlequin Mondari, the largest romance publisher in Italy. The Adrien English series was awarded the 2nd Annual All Time Favorite Male Male Couple by the Goodreads M/M Group. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist for Gay Mystery, and the first ever recipient of the Goodreads Favorite M/M Author Lifetime Achievement award.

Josh is married and lives in Southern California.

Falling Snow on Snow by Lou Slyvre

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Falling Snow on Snow: by Lou Sylvre
Release Date: December 23rd, 2016
Pages: 73 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

 

Beck Justice knows holiday sparkle and snappy carols only mask December’s cruel, black heart. He learned that lesson even before he landed on the streets eight years ago, and his recent step up to a tiny apartment and a busker’s permit for Seattle’s Pike Place Market has done nothing to change his mind. But one day in the market, Oleg Abramov joins his ethereal voice to Beck’s guitar, and Beck glimpses light in his bleak, dark winter.

Oleg, lucky to have a large and loving family, believes Beck could be the man to fill the void that nevertheless remains in his life. The two men step out on a path toward love, but it proves as slippery as Seattle’s icy streets. Just when they get close, a misunderstanding shatters their hopes. Light and harmony are still within reach, but only if they choose to believe, risk their hearts, and trust.

three-stars

Its kinda hard for me to review this book. While I do enjoy Lou’s Loving Luki Vasquez series, I hadn’t read anything else by her. Her writing is so different then what I’m use to. Her words are very descriptive and some times her stories don’t show the actions being done. I felt like this story was a tad convoluted. It had a lot going on, and I’m not 100% certain I like either MC together or apart.

I feel like when you introduce a character like Beck who has so much background story then we need more then 79 pages. I really would have liked it to be longer, because quite frankly I didn’t understand him being homeless. Yes, it sounds dumb because I know it can happen to anyone, but it went from him being kicked out his home to being homeless. It never stated if he reached out to any of his family or even his story. Things like this bother me until I get answers, and unfortunately I never got an answer so I was distracted most of the story. Yes Beck seems to overcome this part of his life, but his feeling of abandonment isn’t going away.

Oleg reminded me of a scattered brain person on pixie dust. LOL. That’s the best way for me to describe him. He kinda got thrust into the story. I really don’t have much to say about him, just that he’s lonely and he sleeps his way around. No problem for me, he’s grown so he’s allowed to do as such.

I can say the relationship aspect of the story was very rushed and harried. It happened so fast that you can miss it in the blink of an eye. I don’t know if I can recommend this to people. It’s an okay holiday read, but it didn’t really feel as such to me. Hopefully the author’s next work gives me the same excitement as her previous series.

About Lou Slyvre

Lou Sylvre lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State, penning mostly suspense/romance novels because she can’t resist giving her characters hard times but good love. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow, and he makes a point of letting her know when she’s taken a plot tangent too far. He invites readers to give their feedback as well! Lou Sylvre hails from southern California but now makes the Puget Sound Region in Washington State her home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading fiction from nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Not zombies, though—she avoids zombies like the plague unless they have a great sense of humor. She gets lots of help from Boudreau, a large cat who was apparently an English major, but she refuses to put his name on the byline. Lou plays guitar (mostly where people can’t hear her) and she loves to sing. She’s most often smiling and laughs too much, some say. Among other things and in no particular order, she loves her family, her friends, the aforementioned Boudreau, his sister George, and their little brother Nibbles, a chihuahua named Joe, a dachshund named Chloe, and a chihuahua/dachshund puppy named Mogui. She takes pleasure in coffee, chocolate, sunshine, and wild roses, and every beautiful thing in the world.

Holiday House Swap by Sarah Madison

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Holiday House Swap: by Sarah Madison
Release Date: December 21st, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Reclusive writer Noah Kinley is facing a dilemma: how to confess to the world he’s really the author of a best-selling romance series. For years, his friend Julie has been the face of his brand, but she wants her life back now. Fast running out of ideas for his popular series, Noah wants to break out into other genres. Not that he’s writing much of anything at the moment anyway, thanks to paralyzing writer’s block. With his publisher breathing down his neck for the next installment, he hopes a change of scene will get his writer’s juices flowing again. Desperate enough to try anything, during the holidays Noah swaps his isolated cabin in the woods for a gentrified horse farm.

USAF Major Connor Harrison has chosen forced retirement over facing charges for an unauthorized mission to rescue a buddy from behind enemy lines. No one expects him home for the holidays, and he certainly didn’t anticipate finding a stranger in his house, much less Noah Kinley with his acid tongue and a wry sense of humor that pierces all of Connor’s defenses.

Both men need to figure out what the next chapter in their lives will be—and whether it will include each other.

three-stars

This was my first read by Sarah Madison. I didn’t dislike it. I’m always hesitant to try new authors, but I like Holiday reads so I was at an impasse of sorts. Holiday House Swap is exactly what it sounds like but have two people falling in love. Noah seems to be a reclusive author who lives in Maine to write his New York Times Best Selling Series. I say recluse, because he’s anything but timid and shy. If anything, he’s vocal, adamant and has no problem voicing his opinions on things, or trying to come up with a conclusion of sorts. Connor Harrison is fresh off the plane that is, a retired Air Force Pilot coming home to a stranger in his Jacuzzi.

It had plenty of funny moments to me, and both guys initially got to know one another better. The relationship did take a while to progress we can see them sizing each other up. I didn’t expect this Noah. I think I’m blown away by the confident Noah that we seen. In my head the confidence was going to come all from Connor. Not to say it wasn’t welcomed. It wasn’t the case, it was more of Connor being unsure of himself based on previous experiences. I did like that the plot focused on them apart and different aspects of their life then the passion level. I would have liked to see what became of Connor’s land and such. It was such a focal point of the story and we never got closure. I didn’t really like that.

All in all it was an okay book, but it wasn’t anything spectacular to me. It was very low steam, and it’s fine when we have something else to invest in. The problem was that as soon as we get invested it’s an epilogue and then over. Umm no ma’am. I want to see some progress together. Where do they live? We know, but I want to see some things happen. We’ve had all this buildup and then an instant later a proposal??? I think not folks.If you like low steam, nicely told stories, with okay guys then this is right up your alley folks!!!

About Sarah Madison

Sarah Madison has a large dog, and an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. She enjoys photography, hiking with her German Shepherd, and competing her horse in the sport of combined training and eventing. Writing has become a passion that sometimes take precedence over everything else. As a matter of fact, when she is in the middle of a chapter, she usually relies on the smoke detector to tell her when dinner is ready.

You can contact Sarah at akasarahmadison@gmail.com.

Guest Post & Giveaway with Lou Slyvre

Oh My Shelves welcomes Lou Slyvre to the blog with Holiday Cheer and A Giveaway. Her newest release Falling Snow on Snow is out December 23rd. Don’t forget to follow the blog tour, comment below and enter the Giveaway!

 

Falling Snow On Snow: by Lou Sylvre
Release Date: December 23rd, 2016
Pages: 79 • Format: eBook
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonBarnes & NobleKoboIndigo Books

Beck Justice knows holiday sparkle and snappy carols only mask December’s cruel, black heart. He learned that lesson even before he landed on the streets eight years ago, and his recent step up to a tiny apartment and a busker’s permit for Seattle’s Pike Place Market has done nothing to change his mind. But one day in the market, Oleg Abramov joins his ethereal voice to Beck’s guitar, and Beck glimpses light in his bleak, dark winter.

Oleg, lucky to have a large and loving family, believes Beck could be the man to fill the void that nevertheless remains in his life. The two men step out on a path toward love, but it proves as slippery as Seattle’s icy streets. Just when they get close, a misunderstanding shatters their hopes. Light and harmony are still within reach, but only if they choose to believe, risk their hearts, and trust.

Hi! Lou Sylvre here, very happy to have a spot on Oh My Shelves for the first time ever! This is stop two on my “official” tour for Falling Snow on Snow, a holiday novella releasing in three days from Dreamspinner Press. I’m excited about this book—mostly because I admittedly love the characters. I interviewed MC Beck Justice over at MM Good Book Reviews on December 16, so today I thought we might like to get to know Oleg. He was a little reluctant to talk, so I got some other people involved, too.

Character Interview

I’ll start with the only question Oleg would answer. Do you think the romance you and Beck Justice have will last? I mean, it’s brand new. Is he your one and only, and if so, how do you know?

Ms. Sylvre, don’t pretend you don’t know. You’ve seen me with Beck. You know how hard I’ve fallen for him. And yes, I think it will last. Remember what you wrote about my mom and dad’s example?

Oleg’s mother had done her best to instill in her children a belief in the miracle of love at first sight. It had happened for her. She’d been a rising star at the Moscow Conservatory of Music when she’d seen his father perform at a wedding. They’d become devoted to each other within days, married within months, and through all their years—and despite all she’d let go of for a poor Jewish boy—she’d never once regretted her choice.

And it’s almost like it was fate for us to meet anyway. That day in the market, it was only chance that led me past while he was playing, and maybe I wouldn’t even have noticed if it hadn’t been that particular song, “In the Bleak Midwinter” is one of the winter songs I love best—to sing, I mean—and his music, the chords and patterns yes, but mostly the depth of it, the… I guess it was loneliness, or longing I heard. I felt compelled to join him. And it was all like that, chance meetings. It could have gone so wrong. But… anyway. Yes. I believe our love will hold true.

After that, Oleg thought he’d said more than enough, so I found his oldest sister, Lara, in her photography studio, which is at the family home in Greenwood—a middle class neighborhood in Seattle. I asked her what she would want the world to know about Oleg, particularly since she’s always been protective of him.

Ah, well… yes. I’ve always tried to look out for him. He is so much younger than the rest of us, you know. Such a little boy when we came from Russia. The rest of us, we all still keep our roots in culture from our home—not because we choose that, so much as because we can’t help it. It is who we are. But Olejka, he’s different. He’s in two worlds, you might say. And sometimes I think he’s two people. (She laughs, and it is a delightful sound!) No, no. I don’t really mean that, but always, even when he was little, he was quiet and thoughtful, but with a wild streak.

I know you wrote about how I tried to hide him so he wouldn’t have to go to kindergarten when he was a boy. I was so silly, but I was just a kid too. Even so, I worried for him, going to school. I was afraid the kids would be mean because he’s so… soft, in a way. But then I worried too what if that wild streak comes out? Then he would really get in trouble. It was not useful, my “helping,” and he did fine in school most of the time. But even after he grew up… You know, going out, he called it. Men… strangers. I’m so glad now he has Beck, because, well I don’t want to speculate on their private lives, but I imagine that tall, strong guitar player might give him an outlet for that wild streak, if you know what I mean.

Lara has to tend to her work, so I leave her in the darkroom and am on my way out of the house when I run into Andrei Abramov, Oleg’s father. He seems a rather self-contained man, and studious, with glasses and an absent-professor look to him. He’s just shown one of his music students to the door, and when he turns, he looks surprised to see me. After a greeting, he surprises me when he just starts talking. Lara’s accent was mild and musical, but Andrei’s is thick, though subtly different from what I think of as a Russian sound. I listen carefully, and after just a few words, I’m able to understand him without trouble.

You’re here to talk about my son, Oleg, yes? He is very precious to us, you know. He was always small, not so robust as a babe, and in Moscow we struggled to keep him healthy. We didn’t have much. It was very hard on the children and my wife, whom I miss so much. Mostly, it was hard because of me, because I’m Jewish, and she gave up everything to marry me. We came here to America, and it got easier, after a while, though many of our fellow refugees didn’t fare so well. Oleg grew strong, and that was a blessing. Then we learned he was gay, as you say, and again we gave thanks we were here, not in Russia. Not long after we came here, my brother, both gay and Jewish disappeared from Moscow—or at least we’ve been unable to find him. Possibly he’s in prison, or dead. Oleg, he is so much like that brother of mine, one who loves men, looks like him, too. But Oleg, he has been safe here—free to be the person he was born to be. But now I worry, these politics, these changes I see all around. I know Beck is a good man, and he will do good by my son. But I worry for their future. Do you not?

I tell Andrei that yes, I do worry, yet I have hope, and encourage him to hold on to the same. I’m very surprised when he sees me to the door and then hugs me in farewell. I step out into the rain—it’s a cold pelt today, coming down hard enough to feel like ice. As I step out on the paved walkway heading for the street, Beck comes striding toward me, and when we meet, he greets me warmly, with that great big smile of his. We chat about weather and such for a moment and then I ask him, “What are four of your favorite things about Oleg?”

Four! Hard to choose, but I’ll try.

  • His smile—it’s never the same, it says so much without him having to add words, and it’s always from the heart.
  • His voice, of course. My god, there could not possibly be an angel who could sing more wondrously.
  • I love the way he’s so very practical, always sees the way to get something done, but it never gets in the way of the part of his fun-loving side.
  • This is a little personal. (He blushes.) But when we make love, he gives himself so… consciously, yet with complete abandon, and I always know it’s me, he’s loving. Nothing random or habitual about it. Every moment, every motion, every look and word and touch, they each matter to him more than anything else in the world—and so it’s that way for me, too.

But there’s so much more to Oleg than I could put in a list. You just have to know the man, Lou. Then you love him. That’s just the way it is.

I thank Beck, but we’re both freezing, standing out in the winter rain, so he trots up to the door, and I run out to the curb where my car awaits. I’m glad I got to talk to Oleg’s family. He’s a guy worth getting to know, I think—and I hope you agree! If you haven’t read Falling Snow on Snow and you’d like to, it’s up for preorder now. And don’t forget the rafflecopter giveaway, with a couple of chances to win the book, and more.

∗∗∗∗GIVEAWAY∗∗∗∗

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks, Tamika, for hosting me, and thanks, everybody, for reading! I’ve got a number of stops coming up on the tour, and I hope you’ll join me. Here’s the schedule and links.

 

Author Bio

Lou Sylvre lives and writes on the rainy side of Washington State, penning mostly suspense/romance novels because she can’t resist giving her characters hard times but good love. Her personal assistant is Boudreau, a large cat who never outgrew his kitten meow, and he makes a point of letting her know when she’s taken a plot tangent too far. Apparently an English major, he helps a lot, but Lou refuses to put his name on the byline. (Boudreau invites readers to give their feedback as well!) When Lou isn’t writing, she’s reading fiction from nearly every genre, romance in all its tints and shades, and the occasional book about history, physics, or police procedure. Not zombies, though—she avoids zombies like the plague unless they have a great sense of humor. She plays guitar (mostly where people can’t hear her) and she loves to sing. She’s most often smiling and laughs too much, some say. Among other things and in no particular order, she loves her family, her friends, the aforementioned Boudreau, his sister George, and their little brother Nibbles, a chihuahua named Joe, a dachshund named Chloe, and a slew of chihuahua/dachshund puppies. She takes pleasure in coffee, chocolate, sunshine, gardens, wild roses, and every beautiful thing in the world. You can contact here at any of these spots:

Blog:http://www.sylvre.rainbow-gate.com
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLouSylvre
Twitter:https://twitter.com/Sylvre
Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4873260.Lou_Sylvre
Email:mailto:lou.sylvre@gmail.com

What Happens At Christmas (Millworth Manor, #1) by Victoria Alexander

Series:
Narrator: Elizabeth Wiley
What Happens At Christmas Book Cover What Happens At Christmas
Millworth Manor #1
Victoria Alexander
Historical Romance, Victorian Romance
Kensington Books
October 16, 2012
audiobook
352

You are cordially invited to Christmas at Millworth Manor. . .

Camille, Lady Lydingham, requests the pleasure of your company at a festive house party, as she endeavors to coax a marriage proposal from Prince Nikolai Pruzinsky of Greater Avalonia.

The hostess's relatives will be in attendance--in this case, a troupe of actors hired to impersonate a proper English family in order to fool the Prince.

Gate-crashing, distractingly handsome first loves like Grayson Elliott are most unwelcome.

Games will be played.

Motives will be revealed.

Mayhem may ensue.

And hearts will be won--and lost--in the most romantic, magical season of all.

Please RSVP!

This was a very amusing Christmas story. It was just what I needed like a hot cup of chocolate on a cold winter night.

Camille, Lady Lydingham, wanted the fairy tale life so when she met a prince who was travelling. Camille put a plan into motion designed to charm Prince Nikolai Pruzinksy of Greater Avalonia into proposing to her and making her a princess.

The problem was that she didn’t feel that her family was the “right sort” to endear the prince to her, as they were quite eccentric. So Camille decided to hire a troupe of actors to portray a proper and respectable English family. While Camille and her married twin sister Beryl, Lady Dunwell, put their scheme into motion, Camille’s first love Grayson Elliot came by.

Grayson had decided that Camille was the one that got a way and he came to woo her back. Unfortunately he walks into this grand spectacle of a Christmas holiday with Camille’s faux family. Both Prince Nikolas and Grayson wanted to prove they were the right suitor. Her twin sister just wants her to be happy. The rest is just comedic genius.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this story so much but it was funny. Camille was very likable even though she was a bit of a dreamer. I give her a A for the trying in earnest to pull of a ruse of this magnitude. It required nerves of steel and sheer willpower to remain committed when parts of her story were falling part. Camille and her sister improvised so well, I almost expected them to decide to go into the theater afterwards.

I liked the drama because it felt like watching a live play with the blunders, bloopers and improvisation. The romance was also sweet and heart felt. I was pleased with how the love story was resolved. The audiobook narrator did an awesome job with various voices. I was never bored in this story. If you want an entertaining Christmas story and a second chance romance, I highly recommend this one.

Ezi

Audiobook Review: Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Narrator: Suzanne Elise Freeman
Twelve Days of Christmas Book Cover Twelve Days of Christmas
Debbie Macomber
Contemporary Romance
Random House & Publishing Group
October 4th 2016
audiobook
288

Continuing in a festive annual tradition, #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber returns with a new original holiday novel full of romance and cheer—and the magical prospect of finding love in the most unexpected places.

Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. No matter how hard she’s tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her at every turn, preferring to keep to himself. But when Julia catches Cain stealing her newspaper from the lobby of their apartment building, that’s the last straw. She’s going to break through Cain’s Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness.

To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts to humanize Cain are far from successful. Julia brings him homemade Christmas treats and the disagreeable grinch won’t even accept them. Meanwhile, Julie’s blog becomes an online sensation, as an astonishing number of people start following her adventures. Julia continues to find ways to express kindness and, little by little, chips away at Cain’s gruff façade to reveal the caring man underneath. Unbelievably, Julia feels herself falling for Cain—and she suspects that he may be falling for her as well. But as the popularity of her blog continues to grow, Julia must decide if telling Cain the truth about having chronicled their relationship to the rest of the world is worth risking their chance at love.

This one was really a yummy and cute holiday story.


Julia Padden was trying to secure her dream job while working retail at Macy’s. One day, she discovered her cold and standoffish neighbor Cain Maddox was stealing her newspaper, Julia’s best friend Camie suggested Julia kill him with kindness. So Julia started the Twelve Days of Christmas Blog, where she wrote everyday about ways she was showering Cain with kindness and it became an overnight sensation. To protect his identity and because she didn’t like him very much, Julia dubbed her neighbor “Ebenezer” on her blog. Soon, Julia began getting insight into Cain’s life and quickly found out that he had been dealt a hard hand in life and was unapproachable because being vulnerable to people was too scary for Cain. They soon began letting see who they really were underneath, like peeling away layers of clothing.

After about a week, Cain asked Julia out on a real date and Julia realized that she had come to actually like Cain. She decided to continue with the blog but see where this new “thing” with Cain would lead. They began to really form a bond until Cain discovered that Julia had made him a project of sorts and he felt betrayed. Would Julia be able to convince him it was all real?

This story was cute, amusing and sweet. I enjoyed it like a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night. It was lighthearted reading with a very subtle reminder that we cannot always judge a book by its cover as well as reminding us that a little act of kindness can go a long way to thaw out the coldest of hearts.
Julia was really a nice person who tried to fill her days up with as many activities and good deeds because she was avoiding dealing with her feelings of loneliness. Cain used a thorny exterior to keep everyone at bay since he had severe trust issues. It was nice juxtapose of precociously happy versus grumpy grouch. I loved the interplay with blogging and the holidays. I could picture something like this actually happening and everyone loves a happy ending. Debbie Macomber is an author I discovered with another Holiday book Starry Night and she has a gift with writing heart felt romances. but the message was woven well into the feel good romance story.

This is the best Christmas story I’ve read this yea and I plan to read more by this author soon.

Ezi

Interlude: First Noel by Tal Bauer

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Interlude:First Noel by Tal Bauer
Series:The Executive Office #1.5
Release Date: December 19, 2016
Pages: 125 • Format: eARC
Published By: NineStar Press
Purchase Links:
NineStar PressAmazon

Before Ethan returns to DC…
Before he becomes Jack’s first gentleman…
Jack and Ethan share their first Christmas together.

Step back to Jack and Ethan’s first Christmas season and the tentative early months of their relationship under the world’s spotlight.

Three months into Ethan’s transfer-in-exile in Des Moines, Iowa, the pressures of dating Jack, the president of the United States, start to wear Ethan down. His weeks are measured by the days he works in Iowa, chasing counterfeiters and financial crimes, and the weekends he manages to steal with Jack back in DC. The media stalks his every move, he’s isolated by his coworkers, and loneliness hammers at his heart.

In DC, Jack tries to piece together a global alliance to take down the Caliphate, while the world seems focused on tearing apart his personal life. Hostility surrounds him from all corners of the globe, but a surprise offer from President Sergey Puchkov may pave the way for a tentative alliance…and perhaps the beginning of a friendship.

As Ethan finds himself in the middle of an investigation that rubs too deeply against his soul and Jack tries to balance leading the free world and keeping his and Ethan’s relationship going, the two men must face what their love has become…and where they are heading together.

five-stars

While I’m ecstatic to get this novel, it’s making me a little ragey because I want the next in the series so bad. Excuse my grouchy ways, I’m battling the cold demon in my City. I’m not ready for freezing temperatures! I’m pleasantly happy to see Ethan & Jack again. Man, Tal doesn’t do anything half assed. They went into this book with more then a Holiday novella in store. This was a solid storm with so much happy, romancy, feelings. I always wanted to read about their mini break when Ethan was away, and it was everything I could want and more.

Ethan & Jack are just now getting to that special place in their relationship but they are apart from each other. They have most weekends when Jack isn’t busy. This is definitely not a stand alone. Don’t even think about reading it without book one. We see them grow together as a couple, and a lot of first happens here in this book. I really enjoyed seeing Jack open up about his feelings and being super protective of Ethan.

I’m not going to lie, I was starting to worry about Ethan. I don’t think he can handle being alone from his friends and Jack. He was able to do his job, well I should say and stay true to his love with Jack. I did like the relationship that he was building up with Becker his partner. Hopefully we’ll see him in the future somewhere in this series.

It is so going on a favorite of mine this year. I enjoyed all the little things they did for each other, to the big pronouncements of love, endearments, first dances, and special Christmas presents. I will admit to being worried that being such a short book in length we would have to deal with the political formula like the rest of the books in the series. Do not be worried folks, this is strictly romantic. It’s all about the romance and their relationship and what’s to come in the future. If you are fans of this series, then I definitely recommend this to you. If you haven’t read Enemies of State then I dare say get on it folks! Don’t miss out on a brand new fan favorite couple! Tal, I’ll be looking for book 3’s release date soon. I don’t have much wine left to hold me out!!

About Tal Bauer

Tal Bauer writes LGBT fiction and romance, bringing together a career in law enforcement, trauma medicine, and international humanitarian and disaster relief work to create dynamic, strong characters, intriguing plots, and unique, exotic locations. Tal’s stories weave together pulse-pounding adventure, cunning intrigue, and sweeping romance. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.

How the Supervillain Stole Christmas by Charles Payseur

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

how-the-sv-stole-christmasHow the Supervillain Stole Christmas: by Charles Payseur
Series:
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Pages: 30 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
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Rex Devious (Dr. Devious to meddlesome do-gooders everywhere) can go toe-to-toe with superheroes without blinking an eye. So picking out a Christmas present for his new boyfriend should be no problem. After all, he and Sanjay seem perfect for each other. But with a terrible track record for finding gifts that won’t scare his potential partners away, Rex is paralyzed with insecurity. Until, of course, he decides to change tactics. Instead of having to pick out that perfect present, why not just destroy Christmas altogether? If his nemeses (or his conscience) can’t stop him first, he might just become the supervillain who stole Christmas.

 

four-stars

Okay, so people might not know this about me, but I’m a giant nerd at heart. I am in love with superheroes and now villains thanks to Mr. Hugh D’Ambry!!!! I am a super huge fan of anything weaponry with a NATOR in it. I binge watch episodes of Phineas & Ferb without the kids around, and Teen Titans Go. I’m also an X-Men, Supernatural, and anything PNR related fangirl. So to read a holiday novel about a super villain and a commoner just made me jolly little night!

 

 

I just wanted to use this gif as an example of a NATOR weapon. LOL. Rex is a super villain that everyone knows in Metro City, and this holiday season that guy that he’s dating and liking Sanjay asks him to his Christmas Work Party. Shouldn’t be bad right? Wrong, immediately Rex gets anxiety thinking of all the times he’s given exes presents that have gone wrong. Presents that he thinks they would appreciate since they are personal and things he’s created. He’s panicking and then Audrey opens her big mouth. I kinda want an Audrey of my own. She’s the equivalent of Jarvis from Iron Man. If you still are clueless (Shame on you) then she’s an A.I. system he created and functions with. Rex kinda beats himself up about how to end Christmas. In the midst of this time a couple of Super heroes comes and destroys his weapons. I liked Rex’s sense of humor about them, and his ability to be reasoned with. I thought Sanjay was a cool guy, we really didn’t get to spend much time with him, but overall I think he liked Rex for Rex. I would have like to see this atleast 100 pages just to get a better feeling for Sanjay. It was a cute little novella, with just the right kind of destruction, and douchebaggery with good vs evil. If you like things of this nature then its recommendable for you! If not, then give it a shot, you never know what you might find!!

About Charles Payseur

Charles Payseur lives and writes in the frozen reaches of Wisconsin, where he enjoys the craft beer and excellent cheeses of the area a bit more than is strictly healthy. Along with his partner and growing herd of pets, he avoids doing household projects by reading and writing, and his short fiction and poetry has been published or is forthcoming at Strange Horizons, Nightmare Magazine, and Lightspeed Magazine, among others.

The Mistletoe Effect by Cate Ashwood

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Mistletoe Effect: by Cate Ashwood
Release Date: December 9th, 2016
Pages: 116 • Format: eARC
Published By:
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Although Christmas is his favorite time of year, all is not merry and bright for Danny Ellis. After being laid off and facing eviction, he’s eager to make a fresh start. When a friend mentions an opportunity in Sin City, he packs up and heads west. Unfortunately, plans run awry when his truck breaks down a little more than halfway there and he’s stranded in the cold with no money, nowhere to stay, and no way to get to Vegas.

‘Tis the season, but not for Merrick Holland, who loves being a part of the community in the small town of Rowley Bridge. Christmas has been a little tainted since his father died three years ago, and when people start to deck the halls, he withdraws. When Merrick finds a man asleep inside his bakery one morning, rather than call the police, Merrick makes him a cup of coffee, and after hearing his story offers him a job and a place to stay.

The two men strike up an unlikely friendship, but with Christmas only three weeks away, could a little holiday magic bring them together? 

four-half-stars

 

Definitely one of my top reads this year!!! Call it the quintessential holiday read, Christmas read or straight sugary fluff, but what you won’t do is call it bad. This was pure romance!! Sugary sweet amazing-ness for Danny & Merrick. I don’t read many Cate Ashwood books, but I might start if they leave me happy and content!! My one downfall is that it isn’t longer. I know, I ask for a lot from these authors, but this book could have been 50 pages longer, or Christmas never ends in Rowley Bridge for me.

 


This is Rowley Bridge in my mind!!

Danny is down on his luck. He’s at rock bottom people, and just trying to drive cross country to Las Vegas for a a job. Things don’t go according to plan. His truck breaks down in this cute little picturesque town. It’s Christmas in a few weeks, and having not eating a full meal in weeks Danny breaks into a bakery. Unbeknownst to him, it was the best thing he could have done in his whole life. I think meeting Merrick gave Danny more stability then he could ever know. Both guys are lonely, and have dealt with tragedy. At such a special time in the year, they both are dealing with internal strife. Ashwood popped my heart right open with these two. I love them from the first interaction to the last one. I am super happy with this book, and its definitely put me in the baking mood!!!!

Merrick is such a great guy. I really appreciated him opening up his doors, arms, and heart to a complete stranger. It puts a little faith back in humanity for me. Everyone thinks Merrick hates Christmas, but in actuality the holiday is a reminder of his father’s death a few years back. He doesn’t hate it, but it brings sadness to his life. I think him meeting Danny was the best thing for him as well. His true nurturer side came out, and it allowed him to pick himself up and also got him back into the spirit of life. I really think him being with Danny also gave him reason to live again. He wasn’t doing much but working, he didn’t seem to have a social life at all, not even a pet. Hell, I expected a pet in a situation like this, but was surprised that he didn’t have one.

I read this book in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down, and maybe the ending was rushed. If anything, I’m a little peeved at that seeing as the rest of the book was gloriously paced. They fit together so well. I would not mind seeing these two together again in the future. I think Cate did an amazing job with the atmosphere and characters. I will definitely shelf this on my comfort reads shelf, I can see myself grabbing this to make me happy in the future, or in a week. LOL. I highly recommend this book friends, really great holiday read!!!!

About Cate Ashwood

Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.

Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, son, and two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.

His Needs by Kris T. Bethke

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

His Needs: by Kris T. Bethke
Release Date: December 14, 2016
Pages: 113 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Prss
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

When State Trooper Travis Kinslow is injured right before Thanksgiving, the only positive is that for once he won’t be working during the holidays. Since he has no family, Travis was absorbed into his best friend, Joe’s, and he considers them as good as his own. Everyone except Joe’s brother Noah. Travis has been in love with the younger man for much of his life, but he’s always kept his distance.

As an ER nurse, Noah is a caretaker by nature. When his brother’s best friend is hurt, he’s happy to help Travis while he heals. He’s only ever allowed himself to think of Travis as the next best thing to an older brother, but by the light of the Christmas tree, Noah finally sees Travis’s true feelings. And in that moment, everything changes.

When faced with opposition and a Christmas nothing like they imagined, will their hopes for the future be enough to carry them through?

 

four-stars

I’ve been on a Holiday high lately. It’s only being Holiday reads with the exception of the Warden’s newest book. I usually have a major issue with first person narrating, but surprisingly I was okay with this one. I think it was because it was telling a story regardless of the page count. It’s how I perceived it. Travis gets the man of his dreams and I like seeing them buildup towards something. I’m a little shocked at how long it’s taken Noah to realize that Travis has been in love with him for a long time. I questioned it, but I guess Travis was able to put aside him wants and desires to maintain a platonic friendship for all these years.

Travis didn’t bet on getting injured and being invalid for up to 6 weeks, but when his surrogate mother barges into the room and dictates his well care then he knows its all over. Travis is sent home in the care of the family that took care of him when his family decided they didn’t care enough for a kid. I wouldn’t say care enough, more like his mother was a drunk and his father was an abusive prick. Travis is not to surprised when Noah shows up to care and check up on him. He is after all a ER Nurse and its his job. I enjoyed seeing Travis trying really hard to not let his unrequited love show through to Noah. He’s been in love with Noah since he was 17, and he thinks Noah doesn’t like him back in the same capacity. In fact Travis has grown up with Noah’s family since he was a kid so he’s treated like a brother & son of the family.

Noah is the baby of a big family, and knowing that he’s the baby he can possibly get his way. He convinces his mom that he can take care of Travis. Noah realizes that Travis is in love with him, and he’s super happy about. He gets to have a lover and his best friend. I do think the phsyical side went a little fast, but that’s only my take. I can see why it did, they’ve only be knowing and lusting each other their whole life.

I thought this was a cute holiday read. Both guys deserved some happiness. I did love the big family setting, and found myself smiling and laughing at times. This is so recommendable folks.

About Kris T. Bethke

Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head and weekend naps are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with an aquarium full of tropical fish and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal.