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:
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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.

Wrapped Together by Annabeth Albert

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.

wrapped-together-coverWrapped Together: by Annabeth Albert
Series:Portland Heat #5
Release Date: December 6, 2016
Pages: 112 • Format: eARC
Published By: Lyrical Shine
Purchase Links:
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In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .

four-stars

My favorite Holiday read so far. Annabeth never disappoints me! This was such a cute story. It was really good. I loved the tone of the story, and ZOMG Hollis was Kinky Boots big time. This is a Christmas Story part of her Portland Heat Series. (Which I adore big time).

Hollis isn’t a fan of Christmas, he’s still grieving over the death of his parents. He’s anti-Christmas at this point, and doesn’t want to be forced to celebrate or be cheery. Wrapped Together is a friends to lovers story. Someone he’s know most of his life Sawyer seems to be the bane of his existence. I loved how meticulous Hollis was. I like seeing different qualities to different characters. He was suffering from being guilty about his parent’s death so he’s punishing himself. Along comes Sawyer, who’s so tenacious and won’t take No for an answer.

Sawyer is fun, flirty, open, and easy going. I really liked him. I liked him a lot for Hollis. I love the pacing of the story, and seeing them open up to one another. Albert doesn’t disappoint with the writing or the heat level in this book. No matter if Hollis tries to run away from Sawyer, in the bedroom they are super duper compatible. Hollis had some passion inside him. He just needed Sawyer to ease it on out. (Note to self: NEVER GOOGLE KINKY GIFS) You are going to see somethings that you shouldn’t. Gross. LOL.

Back to the story at hand, I really enjoyed this, and can see myself re-reading it again. Every time I finish a Portland Heat book, I always say I wish it was full length. This was no different. I want to see every milestone that they take as a couple. I think these two guys were damn near perfect for each other. They bring out the best in one another. Highly recommend this book. Really great holiday read, and Albert never disappoints!

About Annabeth Albert

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Wrapped Together by Annabeth Albert

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Title: Wrapped Together

Series: Portland Heat #5

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher: Kensington Books

Release Date: December 6

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 35,000 words

Genre: Romance, contemporary, friends-to-lovers

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Synopsis

In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .

Excerpt

This excerpt comes from chapter one of WRAPPED TOGETHER, when Hollis and his long-time frenemy Sawyer engage in a friendly bet sure to put their holiday cheer to the test!

****

I took a sip of my now tepid, almost-gone tea. Ugh. The good barista was on duty, the one who went with Ev from the knitting store and who always happily made my tea with the same care he did the fancy coffee drinks. I left the group, happy to have the excuse of needing a refill, but as I stood in line, Mary Anne joined me.

“Hollis Alcott, we almost never see you at these things!” Her voice seemed to ring out above the din. “Will you be participating in the contest this year?”

“I doubt it. My fall display is already set.” I tried not to sound too dour—she always had the best houseplants and had custom-ordered the rare fern I’d wanted.

“Ah, well, that’s too bad. You let me know if you change your mind. I’d be happy to lend you some poinsettias or other decor. I know you could do a splendid, tasteful window.”

It was my turn to order, so I gave her a smile as a reply before handing Brady my stainless-steel tumbler for tea and ordering a scone to go. I had to wait down at the other end of the bar for my order, and as I was waiting, Sawyer came loping over, a smile on his boyish face. His wide shoulders stretched the hoodie in distracting ways.

“Hollis! Did I hear you say you’re not decorating?”

“You did.”

He frowned. “I know how much you hate the holidays, but I bet you’d get an uptick in sales if you decorated. I heard Mary Anne offer to help. I could, too. I’ve got gobs of lights.”

“Thank you but no.” Truth be told, I could use the increase in sales, but it wasn’t enough of a motivator to get me ready for the onslaught of red and green.

Sawyer’s head tilted, considering. Oh no. I knew that look too well. A Sawyer who was scheming was downright dangerous. “We should bet, you and I.”

“No,” I said firmly. I stepped away from the coffee bar to let Mary Anne and others wait for their orders, but Sawyer kept step with me, effectively pinning me in between two tables on my path to the door. I sighed and repeated my objection. “No. The last time we bet, I believe you cracked a wrist.”

Sawyer waved a hand, dismissing my concern. “We were fifteen. We’ve had other bets since then.”

We had, but there was one in particular I was determined not to remember right at that moment. This was the peril of having known someone for almost two decades. “How precisely would one even bet on this?”

I let my inner musings escape before I could rein them in, and Sawyer smiled. He knew he had me. Whatever nervousness and shyness captured my tongue around large groups did not, unfortunately, extend to Sawyer. “Well, I was thinking whichever of us makes it into the top three is the winner of our bet, and then the loser has to do whatever the winner wants for an evening.”

Oh, I did not like this. “Anything?”

“That wasn’t a no.” Sawyer’s grin showed the sort of charm that made him so darn popular. “And I wasn’t thinking of something kinky. Trust me here, Hols.”

“Don’t call me that.” And I most certainly did not trust him. I was pretty sure the always-affable Sawyer didn’t have a kinky bone in his body, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t up to something. “But I could get you to do any task of my choosing?”

See, the thing about me that Sawyer knew was that I have a very hard time resisting a bet. Always have, hence the aforementioned bet freshman year of high school about jumping over auditorium seats during drama class. I’m also notoriously cheap. And as it turned out, I did have a job for him.

He nodded. “Anything.”

“I have a bathroom I want painted at my store. Including the trim.”

Sawyer, to his credit, didn’t look remotely pained. “That’s fine. I’m good at painting.”

“And you? What would you want?” I had no idea why I was asking. I certainly wasn’t planning on agreeing to this ridiculous plan.

“A surprise.” He winked at me.

“I don’t like those.”

“I know. Which is why you need one. But if it makes you feel better, I’ll specify no sex or nudity involved.” Sawyer had mercifully dropped his deep, clear voice to softer tones. I still bristled at the thought of anyone overhearing this.

“Or humiliation, public or otherwise.”

“Oh, Hollis, you know me better than that.” He held up his hands. They were big, capable hands, and I had to blink to get my eyes to look away. “Now, come on. I dare you. Bet me.”

Purchase

Kensington Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

 

Wrapped Together Teaser 1

Meet the Author

annabethAnnabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open— no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.
Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency

Website | Facebook | Twitter |
Goodreads
| Facebook Group | Annabeth’s Mailing List

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Krampus Hates Christmas by Andi Van

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.

krampusKrampus Hates Christmas: by Andi Van
Series: 2016 Advent Calendar-Bah Humbug
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Pages: 104 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
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Karl Kringle hates the modern-day Christmas. He was born to be Krampus, but the Holiday Council refuses to let him help his brother Nick—aka Santa Claus—with the Naughty List until he finds his holiday spirit. To meet that challenge, he’s turned human and dumped in a strange apartment.

Lewis Weatherby loves the holidays and always has. Not only do his parents own a pumpkin patch and tree farm, he’s also inherited a Christmas-themed shop. All he wants from Santa is the man of his dreams, and the Big Guy might’ve just delivered. Lewis’s new neighbor Karl is gorgeous, sweet, and has a fantastic sense of humor—if his jokes about being Krampus are any indication.

Soon getting home is less important to Karl than what will happen when Lewis inevitably realizes the truth behind his jokes. He’s finally starting to understand the real joy of the season—now he just has to figure out how to hold on to it.

four-stars

Krampus was AMAZEBALLS!!!!

Definitely a top contender in my 2016 favorite Holiday Reads!

This was my first book by Andi Van, and I loved there quirky sense of humor, and writing. Krampus is a different take on the holiday romance aspect. He’s the twin to Saint Nick, opposite in every way, shape, size and form. In in my mind Krampus original form is a Minotaur. I couldn’t get that image out my mind. LOL. I found myself laughing at the antics of these characters, having the best cheese smile on my face, and tearing up at the end.

Krampus just wants to help his brother with Christmas, but the council decides he’s not ready and doesn’t have the right spirit for it. Noel (Santa’s Husband) decides to step in and help his brother in law out. He sends Krampus to California, to stay in a nice apartment and find his holiday cheer. He’s given an illusion to look like an attractive tall guy named Karl, and staying next door to sweet Lewis who owns a holiday shop.

I really liked Lewis, and adored his best friend Jerry. Lewis is smidge overweight in his 40’s and doesn’t feel so great about himself. Putting these two together just seemed right. They were super compatible from the first meeting. I liked how open they were with each other,( within reason on Karl’s side). I loved how Karl was to willing to do new things, but stay true to himself. I think their journey was really adorable and sweet. I loved NOEL!!! I wanted more parts with him and Nick. Andi Van if you do read this, please consider giving us another holiday treat with these two! I liked Lewis’s family alot. I think they were great and very accepting of Karl and his family history when everything came to the light.

This was super fun to read! Highly recommend it, and can’t stop smiling thinking about it!

About Andi Van

Andi Van is a foul-mouthed troublemaker who lives near San Diego with a small fluffy thing named Koi, a baseball bat that’s forever being used for things other than baseball, and a fondness for rum and caffeine (though not necessarily together).

Andi is fluent in three languages (English, sarcasm, and profanity), and takes pride in a highly developed — if somewhat bizarre — sense of humor.

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.

Release Day Blitz: Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles by Eli Easton

Merry Christmas Mr Miggles – Eli Easton

Author: Eli Easton
 
Release Date: November 23
 
Length: 50,000 words
 
Blurb

Toby Kincaid loves being the junior librarian in his hometown of Sandy Lake, Ohio. He spends his days surrounded by books and chatting with the library patrons. He especially adores the head librarian, Mr. Miggles, who is kind, witty, knowledgeable about everything, and hopelessly addicted to Christmas. Sean Miggles is also pretty cute—especially for an older guy who wears ties and suit pants every day.

But Sean keeps himself at a distance, and there’s a sadness about him that Toby can’t figure out. When Sean is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he gives up without a fight. Toby realizes that he alone can save the library—and their head librarian.

Toby will need to uncover the darkness in Sean’s past and prove to him that he deserves a second chance at life and at love too. And while Christmas miracles are being handed out, maybe Toby will get his own dearest wish—to love and be loved by Mr. Miggles.

 

Author Bio

EliEaston_300x300-300x300Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer, and a profound sleeper, Eli is happy these days writing love stories as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in rural Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, two cows, pot belly pig, and cat.

Her website is www.elieaston.com
You can email her at eli@elieaston.com
Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008994061782

Giveaway

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About Eli Easton

Having been, at various times, and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of metaphysical thrillers, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest writing.

A Christmas Kiss by Annabelle Jacobs

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.

annabelle_xmas_printA Christmas Kiss: by Annabelle Jacobs
Release Date: November 18, 2016
Pages: 145 • Format: eARC
Published By: Annabelle Jacobs
Purchase Links:
Amazon

Keeping secrets from your best friend isn’t right, but it’s easier than admitting you’ve fallen in love with him.

Sharing a late-night kiss with his best friend, Alex, is Riley’s dream come true. Waking up to discover Alex was too drunk to remember anything is more like a nightmare. Scared the truth could destroy their friendship, Riley keeps quiet and pretends nothing happened.

Alex can’t shake the feeling that he said or did something stupid on their group’s drunken weekend away—why else would Riley be avoiding him? Although the explanation he finally gets sounds plausible, Riley’s still acting strange, and trying to figure out why that is unearths emotions Alex has worked hard to bury.

Riley knows not telling Alex how he feels is probably selfish, but he wants one last normal Christmas before he has to come clean and face the potential fallout.

He should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.

three-stars

I really wanted to love this truly I did, but I got so tired of them walking in circles around one another. It’s an average friends to lovers trope, nothing spectacular but I did enjoy the writing a lot. Alex & Riley are best friends and have been inseparable since forever! I think I was more in love with the setting of the story. It was a wonderful experience reading, and I love reading about staying at the lodge.

Too bad the setting couldn’t be the entire book. I dislike miscommunication/or no communication. For this book, I’m pretty pissed off more because they are best friends who talk about everything and yet they never discuss feelings towards one another. I do find it hard to believe that it never came up. It just doesn’t seem realistic. I don’t think if I have a best friend and have some sort of attraction towards them that it’ll never come up. I don’t think that everyone else can see it except the intended target.

I am not sure how I feel about Alex & Riley together. I didn’t really see the connection or feel the love between the two. I mean, I know Riley likes Alex, but Alex never talked about his feelings for Riley. It kinda seems one-sided or them being together just because they can be.

All in all, I think it was an o-k read. It didn’t bring me necessary holiday joy, but it was low-steam and an okay friends to lovers trope. I do enjoy Jacobs writing, and look forward to more from her!

About Annabelle Jacobs

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her three rowdy children, and two cats.

An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.