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

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.

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

His Fairy Godfather by Cate Ashwood & Nico Jaye

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 Fairy Godfather: by Cate Ashwood & Nico Jaye
Release Date: December 9th, 2016
Pages: 216 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAReAmazon

Since the death of his father, Trick Grigsby has fought to keep his head above water. Following in his father’s footsteps as a talented architect, he hopes to work his way up at the firm. Unfortunately, the company’s new owner barely resembles the man who was once Trick’s father’s best friend. Trick’s days are filled with drudgery and cruel remarks from the man who was supposed to be his mentor—along with his two sons, whose only jobs seem to be making Trick’s life miserable.

But all that is about to change.

Edwin Goodmaker struggled through his fairy godparent curriculum, but his mother—the reigning Fairy Queen—has a simple solution: Edwin will go to New York City and get some practical experience. When he meets Trick, Edwin knows he’s found a worthy charge, and he’s sure he can help Trick achieve all of his heart’s desires. Edwin falls for Trick, but with everything standing in their way, a fairy-tale ending might remain nothing more than a dream.

three-stars

It took me FOREVER to read this book. I was absolutely bored the first half of the book. Well, no I liked the whimsical notion that Edwin was and all he did, but it still took a long time for anything romantic to happen. I did enjoy them becoming friends first. So I would probably classify this as a slow burn. Don’t get me wrong here this was super sugary sweet fluff. I mean, even me being irritated couldn’t take the smile off my face when reading it. Edwin make life so much easier and happier because of his personality!

Poor Trick! He works for a firm that has his upmost loyalty because of his father. His father started the firm 10 years ago and Trick wants something to hold on to from his dad. It’s super understandable, but the abuse that he has to deal with about made me want to give up partial way through. It was like he was Cinderfella and Redden and his seeds were the Evil Stepmother and step-sisters. I don’t know how Trick was able to put on a calm reserve day in and day out. I wanted to lay into the whole damn bloodline at multiple points.

Edwin is a fairy Godfather in training. He has mostly everything down packed except for Summoning. He’s struggling in that big time, so his mother and H.F.I.C decides to send him to the human world to live with another fairy names Fredrick. Someone who can assist him in these organically. There he is thrust into this magical world. I loved seeing New York through Edwin’s eyes. He was so innocent and just believed the good of people from first meeting. I get why Trick fell. I think Trick needed to step back and re-evaluate what’s important in life. He had become so jaded and working at that company has forced him to become something that he didn’t like.

All in all, I think it was an okay book for me. I would have liked the first half to have been much lighter and Trick to gotten over some of the abuse at the hands of his abusers. Gah, I hate them more and more as I write this review. This also had some steamy scenes that I was surprised at. I didn’t think they would be compatible at first, but because they became friends and it grew into something it definitely worked out for me.

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.

About Nico Jaye

Proud purveyor of smuff and HEAs. Nico Jaye is a fan of all things HEA and has dragged her romance collection along for her moves from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Chicago to New York and back. She thinks reading is awesome and loves that she can hang out night after night with crinoline-wearing debutantes, brawny firemen in suspenders, and werewolf shifters with Scottish brogues.

An overall feline enthusiast, Nico secretly (or not so secretly?) adores Hello Kitty, cat GIFs, spontaneous traveling, pretending to be crafty, emoticons, hot menfolk, and parenthetical statements (not necessarily in that order). Although she’s open to trying a lot of things, this list will never include skydiving (yes, there’s a story about a parachute and her two-year-old self). Nico made it through law school without a drop of caffeine, traveled to Iceland on a whim to see the Northern Lights, and can touch her toe to her nose. Her favorite stories are those that marry smut and fluff (a.k.a. smuff) into a gooey ball of HEA and fuzzies. After starting as the pitcher for Team Awesome (literally) and visiting places like South Africa, Oman, and Fiji, Nico discovered that letting the boys in her head tell her where they want to go could actually be the most exciting journey of all.

Analog to Digital by Posy Roberts

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.

analog-to-digitalAnalog to Digital: by Posy Roberts
Series:2016 Advent Calendar-Bah Humbug
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Pages: 39 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

For years, Ethan and Toby have said they’ll never marry, despite Ethan’s secret wishes. So leaving sunny California for snowy Minnesota to witness his sister’s vow renewal is not how he wants to spend his Christmas Eve. It’s the second time she’ll say “I do” in less than a year, when Ethan saying those words to Toby even once is hopeless.

In the run-up to the ceremony, Toby seems to avoid Ethan, and doubts grow in his absence. Ethan can’t help noticing Toby spends more time with Ethan’s family than with him. Little does Ethan know, Toby has desires of his own. But if Toby doesn’t find a way to reveal them, Ethan could leave for home without him.

 

three-stars

 

I enjoyed the overall of the story. What I had a hard time was Ethan’s behavior throughout the book. For someone in an established relationship of more then a year to act the way he did towards Toby & his family was super childish. Here we go with ADULTS not being able to communicate with one another. If my other half surprised me by bringing me home for the holidays when I live on the other side of the country; I’m going to be ecstatic and grateful. That is the one thing he didn’t do. I get it. I understood why he was angry, but he never asked anyone anything, and the few times he asked he was satisfied with the answers. Nope. Not me. I am going to investigate until I get to the bottom of this. He threw little tantrums that took away from the story to me. FFS, Toby was a sweetheart. I liked how he wanted to see the sights of where he better half came from. I don’t think Ethan realized he was a mini vacation for Toby as well. Now that I got that out of the way, I liked the story. Posy as usual writes Realistic Ficiton, and this was no different. Both guys were seemingly relatable. It was a nice holiday read!

About Posy Roberts

Real life. Genuine men. True love.

Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.

Posy is married to a man who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep. Her daughter, a budding author and dedicated Whovian, helps her come up with character names. When Posy’s not writing, she enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.

Teddy Bears by Brandon Witt

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.

teddy-bearsTeddy Bears: by Brandon Witt
Series: 2016 Advent Calendar-Bah Humbug
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Pages: 47 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Other than working the front desk of a gay bathhouse in Denver, Brian McKay is a bit of a recluse. At the best of times, his social life consists of work, role-playing games at a local toyshop, and making YouTube videos with his Teddy Bear hamsters. The arrival of the holidays—with the annoying music, Christmas shopping, and all the reminders of how he disappointed his father—just reinforces his reclusive nature.

When James Olsen, a gorgeous daddy bear who frequents the bathhouse, notices him, Brian is at a loss. He’s not proud of his own bear status or his struggle with weight. The idea that James has interest in him beyond an easy hookup is more than Brian can fathom. But with a little bit of holiday magic, James might help Brian learn to accept Christmas again—and himself.

four-stars

I think this sums up what James means to Brian.

I really adored this story. I love the feeling you get when reading this story. Teddy Bears is such an adorable, feel good story. Acceptance plays a major theme in this story. I love how quirky Brian is. I love how unapologetic James wants him to be. It was really good. I also love that they are both over 40!!! I wouldn’t mind re-visiting these two in the future. I definitely need to see what shenanigans is Phillip up to. The whole bathhouse madness, bathhouse Santa, Angel & Spike plus whatever else is going on in town needs to be shared with the masses.

Brian McKay isn’t a grouch per say, but he doesn’t like Christmas. It stems from parents who didn’t listen to a thing their children wanted or was like for Christmas. Sure it’s not about the presents, but Brian just wanted something that would show his personality. Fast forward all these years later and he’s doing things he wants to do. He and his hamster star in their own web series! I freaking love this. He works at a Bathhouse where he meets a sexy Daddy Bear named James Alan Olsen. I really liked James. I think his confidence was able to slither onto Brian. Brian isn’t so secure with his body and things, and James likes him for who he is helps him a lot. I thought the pacing of the story was good, and the writing was spot on. It was a little teary eyed from me a time or two.  I would definitely recommend this Holiday story to people. It’s very sweet, comforting, and relatable as well. Brandon does an amazing job!

About Brandon Witt

Brandon Witt is many things. Above all, he is living the dream. After years of writing and reaching for the stars, he is a published author through Dreamspinner Press. Thus far, his novels include The Shattered Door, Then the Stars Fall, and three installments of the Men of Myth series. Also, he has short stories published in various anthologies.

For the first eighteen years of life, Brandon lived in a small Ozark town, El Dorado Springs, Missouri before moving with his family to Colorado. There he got degrees in Youth Ministry and Special Education and worked as a counselor and special education teacher for fifteen years.

The tension of his religious upbringing and being a gay man finds its way onto nearly every page in his novels, as does experiences that over a decade of loving children who have faced much abuse and many struggles. Reflecting what he has discovered to be true in life, Brandon’s writing does not shy away from challenges and conflict but also revels in the joy that can only happen when truly embracing and loving all that life has to offer.

#ChristmasHatesYouToo by E.F. Mulder

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.

christmashatesyoutoo#ChristmasHatesYouToo: by E.F. Mulder
Series: 2016 Advent Calendar-Bah Humbug
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Pages: 66 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

Born December 25, Noel Beebe is tired of having his birthday overshadowed by all things Christmas. While looking for love on social media, he comes across a prospective new beau just in time to celebrate the Big 3-0, someone who encourages him to take back his day and say thumbs down to Christmas! On a trip to the Big Apple, Noel does just that, flipping off the Rockefeller Center tree and demanding his coffee in a nondecorative paper cup as a fun birthday prank. His act of defiance is caught on video and soon goes viral, leading to a backlash all over the Twitterverse, Internet, and TV. Suddenly what Noel thought would be his best birthday—and even Christmas—yet is shaping up to be his worst. Can his family and his potential boyfriend prove to the world that Noel isn’t the Scrooge he’s been labeled?

one-star

It’s the holiday season so I’ve decided to not go on my usual rant. This is exactly how I felt at the beginning, middle and end.  I mean, it’s only 66 pages and it couldn’t have been that bad. Right?

I promised no rant, and gifs are the only way possible for this right now. So I feel like I needed medication to understand and read this. I’m sorry if that sounds mean, but its my truth. Love the hashtag, and the situation surrounding it. Other then that I’m at a lost at what the holy hell happened here. Somebody did not BETA this story. I know its short, but that doesn’t mean it needs to skip that process because it is much needed. It was some of the most discombobulated writing I ever read. Super choppy sentences, it would leave off one subject and jump into another. I swear this book should have been on Ritalin. This does not make for a happy Mika. I want holiday cheesy cheer, and this just left a nasty taste in my mouth. I’ve never read the author before either so I can’t critique his/her writing style. I didn’t care to much for Noel, Bart, Hung or Ethan. Goodness none of them except for little Emily because she was a bright spot in the dull book. I cannot recommend this book at all.

About E.F. Mulder

E.F. Mulder has been an avid reader and storyteller since childhood. Whenever a book was assigned for class, E.F. would be thrilled, even as other students grumbled. Soon, that love of a good story expanded to creating them herself. E.F.’s mother received a ton of catalogs in the mail and E.F. would spend many a lazy summer afternoon or quiet Sunday envisioning the goings on of the men and women—or men and men—in pretty clothes or decorating their Christmas trees when the holiday books showed up in late fall. This creativity also came in handy when playing Barbie with her sister and sometimes her brother. Since E.F.’s mother was a soap opera fan, sitting down for half of Another World and General Hospital daily after work, E.F. came to appreciate that sort of storytelling as well, where love could be a struggle, but also a miracle that conquered all. This sort of yarn spinning led to E.F.’s Barbie and her beaus going through some very interesting plotlines and later came in handy writing romance novels where the road to happiness has plenty of bumps. To this day, E.F. and her writing partner, David, love to throw romantic soapy twists into their tales.

E.F. also enjoys rainy days, crisp autumns, Christmas decorations, her four kitty cats, Molly, Speckles, Tuxedo, and Mama Bear, and working on a virtual farm when not writing. It’s so much easier to clean under the fingernails when done digitally. A love of QVC means the kitties have a fresh rotation of new boxes to play in and the cute UPS man gets to visit often. Maybe there’s a story there….