Dear Santa, Dear Dad by T.J. Masters

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.

dear-santa-dear-dadDear Santa, Dear Dad: by T.J. Masters
Release Date: December 14th, 2016
Pages: 48 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

2nd Edition

Two days before Christmas, widower Steven drives to the North of England to meet his estranged son, Andy, hoping for a reconciliation. Steven rejected his son when, as a nineteen-year-old student, Andy came out to his parents. Andy now enjoys a happy and fulfilling relationship with Peter, who initiates contact with Steven by forwarding an almost childlike letter to Santa, in which Andy asks for a father who loves him.

Andy isn’t quick to forgive his father, but the bad weather conspires to strand them all together over the holidays. Father and son experience a steep learning curve, not helped by Steven’s realization that his son’s lover is older than he is. But proximity and familiarity have a way of breaking down barriers, and if all three men can work together in the spirit of cooperation, this Christmas might be one that changes their lives forever.

First Edition published by Amazon Digital Services, 2013.

two-stars

Okay this didn’t go at all how I expected it to go. The blurb is clear, BUT it’s needs to be stated that the romance isn’t the main character or from the POV of the main character. I feel completely mislead. I like the idea that Steven wants to reconcile with his son who he completely turned away from for being gay. I’m all for making amends, but I do not want it to happen at the expanse of my holiday story or it to be the entire plot for the story.

I really didn’t get a chance to know Peter or Andrew. I would have liked alternating pov’s for the couple, or at least to get their feelings on the situation. I definitely don’t think it should be classified as a romance at all. It wasn’t a romance for the main person, it was more a redemption story and making amends during the holidays. I didn’t really care for it. I wish it could have focused on Adrew & Peter and the making amends storylines had played second fiddle.

About T. J. Masters

T.J. Masters is a fifty-six-year-old author and life coach living in Hertfordshire just to the north of London, England. T.J. has shared thirty years of suburban life with his civil partner Ian, and they enjoy the love and support of T.J’s large Irish family who all live nearby. In 2009 T.J. took early retirement from a thirty-three-year school teaching career and decided to follow a new path. After qualifying as a life coach, T.J. found that he was coaching a couple of authors who were going through the process of giving birth to the book which “had always been inside them.” This rekindled T.J’s long-held desire to write and get published.

With a lifelong passion for books, learning, and the sharing of knowledge, T.J. woke up to the realization that he had stories to tell, books to write, and less than half a lifetime left to do it in. As for the kind of books he is writing… well, let’s just say that he decided to channel over thirty years of experience in the gay BDSM lifestyle into a genre where it would be most appreciated!

Alongside this passion for books and writing, T.J. also found an outlet for his inner geek and has become a great advocate for social media in various forms. Blogging has become a great outlet for T.J’s many interests including the writerly ones. The author has a website where he blogs regularly and he loves to interact with his readers and followers a

Bear Among the Books by T. J. Masters

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.

Bear Among the Books: by T.J. Masters
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Pages: 230 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspiner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Forty-eight-year-old Ben Thompson is a librarian, a passionate book lover, and a man who embodies the definition of a bear. He’s also lonely after the loss of his long-term partner. Young ex-gymnast Jason Barnes piques his interest, but Ben quickly realizes there’s more to Jason than his good looks. While Jason visits the library almost every day, he never checks out a book.

With gentle persistence, Ben befriends Jason and learns the nineteen-year-old’s tragic secrets. After years of abuse at his father’s hands, Jason was kicked out of his family home for being gay. And despite his apparent love of books, Jason never learned to read. Ben offers to teach him, and the two men bond over their lessons. Ben can’t deny his attraction to Jason, but he wonders if Jason is too young and too handsome to return his interest. With the help of the close-knit library team and Jason’s growing self-confidence, they move beyond the books and into the bedroom, where their own story is just beginning.

three-stars

Yeah Angie, that’s how I felt. Ummm. My first reaction is that I think the subject of the story had the greatest potential ever!!! Ideally this was a huge Age-Gap. Seriously, it was a 29 year age difference. Like holy f****. This was a big deal, and I didn’t know what to think of it. I’m trying to convey my issues with Ben personally. I mean, he’s Jason teacher, lover, and employer. It was to fast and too many boundaries being crossed. I’m all for love, and everything but the way the story was written, Jason seems to naive. He’s been through A LOT. I don’t know why no one mentioned him getting any therapy for his situation, and maybe gardening is his own therapeutic way. But the love seemed so one – sided because Jason is so out of depth on everything.

It’s like ALL of Ben’s reservations about Jason were coming true. I’m not saying that he couldn’t love Jason, but let’s be real the trauma that Jason has been through in his life, and his lack of education should have been front and center for me. I would have liked Jason decisions to not have been made on the cusp of him not wanting to be along. He is literally floundering his way around. He has no self-confidence, and no reassurance of his abilities. This was to easy, and I would have preferred the angst and some sort of emotion with this story. It was monotone and everybody was so damn cheery, and nice.

Call me a Grinch, but this would have been the perfect story for uncontrollable crying, and in my head I would have liked after all the ANGST that is possible for them to part ways. I would have liked Jason & Ben to come to terms that they’ve loved each other for this small amount of time. I would have liked for them to realize that they are better with one another, and Jason goes on to someone else. Ben has given him love, and the tools he needs to survive. I would have liked Ben to realize that Jason needs someone else. I just didn’t want them together in the end. This needed some tears, emotions, and mental instability on my part. Hell I might just need to write a story. I would have preferred to feel like this at the end.

Instead I’m left feeling nothing.

About T. J. Masters

T.J. Masters is a fifty-six-year-old author and life coach living in Hertfordshire just to the north of London, England. T.J. has shared thirty years of suburban life with his civil partner Ian, and they enjoy the love and support of T.J’s large Irish family who all live nearby. In 2009 T.J. took early retirement from a thirty-three-year school teaching career and decided to follow a new path. After qualifying as a life coach, T.J. found that he was coaching a couple of authors who were going through the process of giving birth to the book which “had always been inside them.” This rekindled T.J’s long-held desire to write and get published.

With a lifelong passion for books, learning, and the sharing of knowledge, T.J. woke up to the realization that he had stories to tell, books to write, and less than half a lifetime left to do it in. As for the kind of books he is writing… well, let’s just say that he decided to channel over thirty years of experience in the gay BDSM lifestyle into a genre where it would be most appreciated!

Alongside this passion for books and writing, T.J. also found an outlet for his inner geek and has become a great advocate for social media in various forms. Blogging has become a great outlet for T.J’s many interests including the writerly ones. The author has a website where he blogs regularly and he loves to interact with his readers and followers a

Diary Dates by T.J. Masters

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.

diary-datesDiary Dates by T.J. Masters
Series: Christmas in July
Release Date: July 23, 2016
Pages: 52 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Link:
Dreamspinner  • Amazon •  ARe

Postgraduate student Andrew Chin arrives in London not only to study, but to explore life away from his traditional family in Singapore. His adventure begins at the airport, where he finds the diary of a wealthy British businessman and endeavors to return it.

James Howard is twice Andrew’s age, and he’s not used to selfless youngsters. Despite a rocky first meeting, the two develop an unlikely friendship as James introduces Andrew to the city. James is looking forward to the festivities leading up to Christmas in London and maybe a celebration with Andrew. But will a nasty bout of the flu ruin their romantic holiday?

Not if Andrew has anything to say about it.

three-stars

I enjoyed this story alot for the amount of pages that we were given. It was a cute novella. Definitely a slow burn between the two. It was more friends to lovers then expected. Andrew moves to London from China wanting to experience everything great about it and go to school. He is such a kind soul, and you get that right from the beginning when he finds a diary of some sort. His decision to locate the owner tells you the kind of person he is. I liked that he seemed so shy and timid around abrasive and bold James. It’s kind of a facade for James because he is a successful business man, and expects everyone who comes in contact with him in some regard to want something from him. Well Andrew didn’t and I think it blew James away. This started a really sweet friendship between the two. I loved seeing them go on their outings together and experience different things. This was a breath of fresh air and I felt like them being together was very organic to the soul. This was a first for me by this author and I really enjoyed it. Looking for more from this author.

About T. J. Masters

T.J. Masters is a fifty-six-year-old author and life coach living in Hertfordshire just to the north of London, England. T.J. has shared thirty years of suburban life with his civil partner Ian, and they enjoy the love and support of T.J’s large Irish family who all live nearby. In 2009 T.J. took early retirement from a thirty-three-year school teaching career and decided to follow a new path. After qualifying as a life coach, T.J. found that he was coaching a couple of authors who were going through the process of giving birth to the book which “had always been inside them.” This rekindled T.J’s long-held desire to write and get published.

With a lifelong passion for books, learning, and the sharing of knowledge, T.J. woke up to the realization that he had stories to tell, books to write, and less than half a lifetime left to do it in. As for the kind of books he is writing… well, let’s just say that he decided to channel over thirty years of experience in the gay BDSM lifestyle into a genre where it would be most appreciated!

Alongside this passion for books and writing, T.J. also found an outlet for his inner geek and has become a great advocate for social media in various forms. Blogging has become a great outlet for T.J’s many interests including the writerly ones. The author has a website where he blogs regularly and he loves to interact with his readers and followers a

Guest Post: T.J. Masters

DiaryDates_FBbanner_DSP

Oh My Shelves welcomes author T. J. Masters to the blog with his Christmas in July release from Dreamspinner Press – Diary Dates, available July 23, 2016 – and share with us thoughts on settings in books and share an excerpt.  

* * * * * *

Setting

Story settings in general work on two levels. There are the places that different parts of the story take place in, but there is also that setting in time and space where the story itself exists. In the case of Diary Dates the setting is London during the last quarter of the year. Andrew has arrived in London to begin his Masters degree so it is the start of the academic year in September. London has many attractions for a young international traveler but one of the things which Andrew is most looking forward to is the run up to Christmas as the city prepares itself for the festivities. There is the famous Christmas Tree given by the people of Norway every year to light up Trafalgar Square. Then there are the major shopping streets of London’s West End each trying to better the others with their Christmas lights. All are alien to this young man so eager for new experiences.

~Excerpt~

They continued on like this for the next few weeks, with James gradually introducing more and more of the city to Andrew. They always had a good time, and Andrew felt himself growing increasingly attached to the older man, but it was during one event he had been particularly looking forward to that he began to wonder if their relationship might develop into something more than just a promise to visit different parts of London together.

They had arranged to meet each other on Regent Street for the switching on of the elaborate Christmas light decorations, something which, for Andrew at least, would mark the true beginning of the season. It was already getting dark when he spotted James striding towards the crowds toward him, looking impressive and imperious in his black wool coat.

“Hello there,” Andrew said, smiling.

In response, James pulled him into a quick but firm embrace. “Hello yourself,” he replied. “I’ve been looking forward to this.”

Hearing that made Andrew feel more relieved than he would have cared to admit. Part of him still worried occasionally that James was only taking him to all of these places out of a sense of obligation. Of course, nothing in his demeanor ever suggested that was the case, but it worried him all the same. It was good to be reassured that James was planning on enjoying himself as well.

“Where should we watch the lights go on?” Andrew said, feeling like an overexcited child. “Where’s the best spot?”

James laughed. “Well, the whole street is going to be pretty busy, as you can see, but I had somewhere in mind. Follow me.”

 They navigated their way through the increasingly dense crowds of people filling Regent Street. After a few minutes of walking, James pulled Andrew into a small alcove that housed the door to an upmarket café. It was closed at that time, however, and by standing there they could see the long row of lights suspended along the length of Regent Street.

“Acceptable?” James asked, smiling.

Andrew nodded. “Perfect!”

They waited for another forty-five minutes for the countdown to begin. Finally the lights blazed to life and suffused the entire street with a beautiful golden light that made it look as if one of the dioramas from the department stores had come to life.

Andrew was so busy admiring the lights that it took him a moment or two to notice that James had shifted his position so that they were standing more closely together—almost touching, in fact. He waited for James to move away, thinking it was an accident. When James didn’t, Andrew cautiously returned the gesture by sidling closer to him.

James looked down and smiled. “So?” he said. “What do you think?”

It was difficult to know if he was talking about the lights or their physical proximity to each other. “I love it,” Andrew said.

“Good.”

James turned away to look at the lights again.

 


diary-datesDiary Dates by T.J. Masters
Series: Christmas in July
Release Date: July 23, 2016
Pages: 52 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Link:
Dreamspinner • Amazon •  ARe

Postgraduate student Andrew Chin arrives in London not only to study, but to explore life away from his traditional family in Singapore. His adventure begins at the airport, where he finds the diary of a wealthy British businessman and endeavors to return it.

James Howard is twice Andrew’s age, and he’s not used to selfless youngsters. Despite a rocky first meeting, the two develop an unlikely friendship as James introduces Andrew to the city. James is looking forward to the festivities leading up to Christmas in London and maybe a celebration with Andrew. But will a nasty bout of the flu ruin their romantic holiday?

Not if Andrew has anything to say about it.


About T. J. Masters

T.J. Masters is a fifty-six-year-old author and life coach living in Hertfordshire just to the north of London, England. T.J. has shared thirty years of suburban life with his civil partner Ian, and they enjoy the love and support of T.J’s large Irish family who all live nearby. In 2009 T.J. took early retirement from a thirty-three-year school teaching career and decided to follow a new path. After qualifying as a life coach, T.J. found that he was coaching a couple of authors who were going through the process of giving birth to the book which “had always been inside them.” This rekindled T.J’s long-held desire to write and get published.

With a lifelong passion for books, learning, and the sharing of knowledge, T.J. woke up to the realization that he had stories to tell, books to write, and less than half a lifetime left to do it in. As for the kind of books he is writing… well, let’s just say that he decided to channel over thirty years of experience in the gay BDSM lifestyle into a genre where it would be most appreciated!

Alongside this passion for books and writing, T.J. also found an outlet for his inner geek and has become a great advocate for social media in various forms. Blogging has become a great outlet for T.J’s many interests including the writerly ones. The author has a website where he blogs regularly and he loves to interact with his readers and followers a