Category Archives: Holiday Themed

Perfect Alignment (Thorne and Dash # 3) by Sylvia Violet

✨✨Reviewed by Kiwi✨✨

TITLE: Perfect Alignment

SERIES: Thorne and Dash #3

AUTHOR: Silvia Violet

PUBLISHER: Silvia Violet Publishing

LENGTH: 242 pages

RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2016

BLURB: Thorne proposed to Riley. Riley accepted.

Thorne thought that was that. They’d take a nice trip, get married, and spend a week luxuriating in a five-star hotel with occasional excursions to fabulous restaurants.

Riley imagined a traditional wedding with all the trappings. With all their friends and family. At Christmas.

Thorne concedes reluctantly, and a flurry of wedding planning ensues. At the same time, Thorne is wrestling with a recalcitrant client, and Riley and his business partner, Susan, are consumed with renovations and planning for the opening of their bakery. Stress on top of stress makes both Riley and Thorne doubt their relationship, and a major misunderstanding nearly silences the wedding bells.

By the time they reach their happily ever after, they’re both going to deserve all the romance they’ve been dreaming of.

REVIEW: This is the third installment in the Thorne and Dash series. In this story, the two become engaged. The proposal and engagement was cut and dry: Thorne proposed and Riley accepted. It’s the actual wedding planning that becomes a major issue. Both men have different ideas on their dream wedding. Thorne wanted something simple with little fanfare with just their loved ones in attendance with a long relaxing honeymoon whereas Riley wanted a traditional wedding, complete with all the pomp and circumstance. Stress from work and lack of communication causes the two men to crack. Reading this story gave me unpleasant flashbacks of my own experiences planning a wedding. It were those memories that had me wanting to Gibbs smack Riley at he back of his head. I thought that Thorne’s idea of a simple ceremony with a very nice reception then off to a luxurious honeymoon was a great idea and much more practical considering the date. There was too much outside stress these men had to deal with in terms of work and to with the added stress of planning a wedding scheduled for Christmas was a logistical nightmare. Reading that stressed ME out.

I absolutely love this author’s work and reading this made me want to strangle both men but the ending was so very sweet. I love how this author portrays her characters. These men aren’t perfect but they’re perfect for each other and with love, patience and hard work, they always find their happiness.

I would definitely recommend this series.

Please note that this is a series and even though it may be read as a standalone, I definitely suggest you read them in sequential order so you can get a better grasp of the characters.

**This book is also available in audiobook format.***

RATING: 4.5 stars

BUY LINKS:
Amazon

 
Audiobook Format

 

 

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Veiled Loyalties (Bissonet & Cruz Investigstions #2) Scotty Cade

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Veiled Loyalties

SERIES: Bissonet & Cruz Investigations, Book 2

AUTHOR: Scotty Cade

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

LENGTH: 154 pages

BLURB: Halloween is Beau Bissonet’s favorite holiday, from carving pumpkins to decorating his yard to donning a costume and scaring the neighborhood kids. But this year his Halloween is about to take a different turn, one that will challenge his skills as a detective and his commitment to his partner in work and love.

A year since Beau and Tollison solved The Royal Street Heist, found love, and formed Bissonet & Cruz Investigations, they are thriving personally and professionally. That is until Tollison’s ex, Bastien Andros, shows up out of the blue. Naturally, Beau’s suspicious, but two days after Bastien’s arrival, he goes missing, and Tollison worries his past may catch up to him.

A mysterious package makes clear who has Bastien and what’s at stake. With both Bastien and Beau’s lives now at risk, Tollison has only one option: travel to Zurich, Switzerland, secure and deliver the ransom, keep both men safe, and stay true to himself at the same time.

REVIEW: This is a nice follow up to Royal Street Heist. It’s been a year since Bissonet and Cruz solved the heist and they’ve started a new life together as partners both personally and professionally. Life is good and they’re content. That is until Cruz’s ex-boyfriend makes an appearance in their lives. Beau’s getting a bad vibe from the ex and with good reason. Their peaceful and content lives are turned upside down when the ex disappears, making it clear that the ex is involved in something shady and it drags Cruz and Bissonet into it. There is another great mystery for the beautiful couple to solve and there is just as much excitement, adventure, twists and turns in this book as it was in the first. Cade did an excellent job of fully developing these characters and the storyline, plot and dialogue is really good. I love how the author, in all of his work, churns out these beautiful men who are strong enough to be able to express how much they love each other. While it was a bit mushy (for me, I’m not the romantic type) and there was more sexual heat and lots of passion between the two this time around but I felt that it fit perfectly seeing as these men are still newly into this relationship. They’re in that ‘honeymoon phase’ of a relationship that many have gone through. I loved it.

He did a great job of describing the scenery of the exotic locations where the couple travel in order to solve this mystery. This enabled me to visualize these beautiful locations. This book was a little bit shorter than the first one but he managed to pack quite a punch into this book. I hope this isn’t the last we see of this duo.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS: 

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

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Blog Tour: Holiday Want Ads Anthology

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Author Names: Avery Duran, Shira Glassman, Emjay Haze, Kassandra Lea, Dale Cameron Lowry, G.O. Noce, Marie Piper, Rob Rosen, Angora Shade, Robin Watergrove. Edited by Deelylah Mullin

Book Name: Holiday Want Ads

Release Date: December 9, 2015

Blurb:

Whether reading Facebook ads, Craigslist, or the classified section of the local newspaper, there’s always something interesting available in the want ads… if you’re looking. In our Holiday Want Ads Anthology, Torquere Press offers ten beautiful stories of found love from ten talented authors.

In Compatible Gardens, Angora Shade weaves a tale about strangers on a city bus. Emjay Haze reveals a little Elfin Magic in her workplace romance. Little White Lights, Marie Piper’s feature, highlights illumination as a gift. In Wrapped Up, Kassandra Lea brings readers a holiday storm full of anxiety for both the storm and a question’s response. Avery Duran brings us a winter ball, complete with a Prince Charming in Matzo Ball. Eitan’s Chord, Shira Glassman’s offering, brings readers a visit from three Chanukah fairies creating magic from their passion. Thank You, Craig highlights fireworks and the versatility of a fire escape. G.O. Noce tells about a Boyfriend for Rent, and both parties in the agreement get a lot more than they bargained for. Looking for a Soft Center, by Robin Watergrove, shows how articulating one’s wants is much harder than simply writing an ad. And Dale Cameron Lowry gives readers an ex-Mormon hiring a bartender who helps with a party and builds a friendship—possibly more—with his employer in Mi Alma.

Enjoy Holiday Want Ads!

Pages or Words: 59,000 words

Categories: (Please keep in mind that as an anthology, not all stories will necessarily contain all categories.)

BDSM, Bisexual, Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Humor, Lesbian Romance, M/M Romance, Ménage/Poly, New Adult, Romance, Trans*

Excerpt:

from Compatible Gardens by Angora Shade

Sweet mercy, I hate the bus. The university is a busy place, and no matter what hour of the day I find myself in need of transportation, the bus is packed. And it’s not just students. Teachers, local residents, and even businessmen from the surrounding area are regulars, not to mention the crazies who ride all day long and do nothing but stare. The bus smells the way intimate spaces usually do too—musty, stale air, mixed with a collage of too many personal scents—and the seats are stained, worn, and uncomfortable. I tell myself it’s time to invest in a bicycle as I watch the 60 West pull up to the curb. I grasp my sweater tightly around my chest, and force myself to believe Fate has opened a door for me today, and I have to walk through it.

The bus door closes behind me, and something squeaks loudly as the driver peels off the curb before I’ve sat down. My balance shifts, and I lurch toward a startled elderly man. He frowns at me despite my mumbled apology, and I stumble my way down the aisle over bags and shoes headed for the first available seat. I’m lucky there’s one up front where I’ve walked in. The seats here face inward like a bench rather than in pairs toward the back, and the extra space makes the ride more bearable. I pray today will be less crowded. I pray Fate will continue to behave.

Fate is why I’m here. This may be my last chance for finding a new apartment with a decent roommate, and the bus is the fastest way to my goal. The fall semester is coming to a close and the holidays are approaching, which has made my task much harder. Housing should be established by now, but I’m not happy. Remaining in loud dorms with inconsiderate, obnoxious jerks for a day longer than I have to would be torture. There’s no privacy, no calm, and hearing the sex noises my current roommate and her boyfriend make in our shared room makes me nuts, not to mention trying to share a bathroom with eight other girls. The food is terrible, nothing’s ever clean, and illness spreads like wildfire. It’s a joke. I’m a junior now anyway. I figure I’m past due to get out. I need space where I can breathe with a room of my own away from the garden of weeds.

Soon. Now. Pronto.

Buy the book:

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&products_id=4559

Goodreads Link:

Publisher: Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris
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Ghosts of Halloween Past (Sequel to Blind Devotion) by MD Grimm

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7016

GhostsofHalloweenPastLGBlurb

Sequel to Blind Devotion

Wolf shifter Sheriff Jack Ulger and cougar shifter Travis Kuger protect the shifters and their human allies living in Haven, Montana. They have known each other for nearly a decade but weren’t always friends. One Halloween night, as teenagers, that changed when Travis saved them both from an abandoned mill and the ghosts haunting it.

Years later, it’s Halloween again, and Travis never shared the ghostly experience with anyone, least of all the skeptic Jack. But he soon regrets the omission when Jack becomes trapped in the same abandoned mill while trying to find two lost kids. Jack must now protect the children, fight off a spiritual attack, and find a way to freedom. Travis knows something is wrong and enlists the help of their friends, and he can only hope they’ll be in time to save Jack from the dark entities.

Review

This is a nice Halloween story that takes a look at Jack and Travis before they’d mated and again, later, after they’d been together awhile.

The ghost story is spooky and creepy – just like you’d want for a Halloween story!

I enjoyed seeing some of the back story for our couple as well as seeing them again, more fully mated.

For fans of the series this is a must read!

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Cold Feet Audiobook by Jay Northcote Narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Cold-Feet-Audiobook/B016J9TQXM/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1446220523&sr=1-1

cold feet audioBlurb

Best friends snowed in together. When the heat rises, will they get cold feet?

Getting snowed in at a remote cottage in Wales with someone he’d fancied for ages isn’t exactly how Sam expected to spend Christmas. His feelings for Ryan are pointless. Ryan’s straight—or so he thought.

Until now, Ryan’s kept his feelings for Sam buried. Why ruin a friendship over what might only be gay experimentation? Playing it cool seems safer, until a cold snap makes sharing body heat vital. In their Welsh safe haven, anything seems possible.

As Ryan’s reserve melts away, Sam wants more than stolen kisses under the mistletoe. But a sudden thaw means making decisions. They could face the New Year together—unless one of them gets cold feet.

Review:

(From book previously on this site)

Sam and Ryan are best “mates” (I love the British!) from university planning on a holiday in the country when the snow comes. Instead of being a casual thing with four roommates – now it’s an intimate stay between the two.

Sam is openly gay and has known he’s had feelings for Ryan forever. Sam knows those are pointless as Ryan is straight. (We’ve heard that before, right?!)
Ryan has had feelings for Sam pretty much since Sam came out and made Ryan look at sexuality in a different light. But Ryan doesn’t have the fearlessness Sam does, so he hesitates from jumping in the “gay” pool and watches for a while. Being snowbound forces those feelings to the surface and he and Sam begin to explore their feelings (and each other!).

**
This is a lovely short-story perfect for the holidays. The set-up for forcing Ryan to confront his feelings felt natural and their easy, slow start into moving things physical also fit the age and the setting. There is a bit of steam and smolder, but most of this is about their changing feelings and their emotions. Though we do get a very HEA ending, it also left us feeling that this was really the beginning of their relationship and we were just glimpsing its origins.

This isn’t as angsty as some of Jay’s other novels, certainly not as steamy, but it is every bit as sweet and sentimental – full of all the wonderful “feels” that she is great at delivering.

Of course, I’m always a sucker for the GFY theme, coupled with the British and the friends to lovers… it hit all my buttons in a big way!

Audio

Matthew Lloyd Davies is wonderful! He does all the voices so well, including the women! I love the varieties of accents he uses to give the speakers a local flavor. Very nice narration.

I highly recommend this holiday treat and give it 4.5 of 5 hearts!

4.5

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Symphony in Blue (Blue Notes 4.5) Audiobook by Shira Anthony Narrated by Andrew McFerrin

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6998

SymphonyinBlueAUDBlurb

A Blue Notes novella

Are you a fan of the Blue Notes series? Would you like to know where the couples from the first four books are now? This is your chance to catch up! Aiden and Sam are finally getting married. But when Cary and Antonio’s baby daughter makes her appearance a bit earlier than planned, the big reception is put on hold. David Somers normally conducts orchestras, but this time he devotes his energy to “conducting” his friends so that everyone can join him at his Milan villa for a reunion at an intimate Thanksgiving dinner.

Sam and Aiden, Jules and Jason, David and Alex, and Cary and Antonio are soon assembled, and each couple shares something they are thankful for. Played out in four movements, this symphony is a celebration of friendship and love, orchestrated by David.

NOTE: Although novels in the Blue Notes Series are standalone books and can be read in any order, this holiday novella is a sequel to the first four books in the series.
Review

In books 1-4 we met these characters: Jules and Jason (Jazz musician and manager), Aiden and Sam (Lawyer and Opera Singer), David and Alex (Musician and Conductor) and Tonino and Carey (Lawyer and Cellist). They all had their love stories to tell. This is after.

They’ve gathered for Thanksgiving both to celebrate the holiday and to wish Aiden and Sam congratulations on their engagement and to welcome Tonino’s and Carey’s new baby girl to the world.

Each couple has a little something “more” to add – but I’m not telling!

This was a very sweet “epilogue” of sorts and fun for fans of the series. If you haven’t read the books I doubt you’d be as entranced, but I’d recommend reading the entire series to fans of great writing, romance and music.

The audiobook is absolutely amazing! I have loved Peter B Brooke and his narrations of the previous four books, so I was cautious about this one. Why did they change? Will he be as good. There were ways that Andrew McFerrin was as good and in some areas I think even better. I LOVED it. He really and truly “acted” (like the touching scenes like when Carey and Massi have their “moment”). He does all the accents very well including the kids and women!

I very highly recommend this book and the audiobook and give it 6 of 5 heartsamazing

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Holiday Hoax Audiobook by Skylar Cates Narrated by KC Kelly

Dreamspinner Presents
http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/The-Holiday-Hoax-Audiobook/B015HQB6OA/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1443754449&sr=1-2

holiday hoax audBlurb

I’m Evan Goodman, budding actor, future star, college freshman. Oh, and let’s not forget—recently dumped. If only my family wasn’t expecting to meet my new boyfriend over the holiday break. Enter JD Laurens—a sweet and quiet science major who mostly keeps to himself. When he gathers the courage to come out, poor JD gets abandoned by his only family right in front of me, and now he has nowhere to go for Christmas. But I have a proposition for him: pretend to be my boyfriend for the holidays so I can take him home. It’s a win-win. What could go wrong?

Review

Evan is “dating” this self-centered, cheating, popular guy from his major who drops him right before Christmas. He goes to the Donut Shop to fuel up for his trip home for the holidays and sees JD “out” himself to his very mean, hateful brother, who tells JD never to come home – ever. (And it turns out JD’s brother is his ONLY family- big jerk!)

Evan hatches a plan to save both JD and himself from a horrible holiday. JD can play Evan’s boyfriend, Tyler, (who the family was expecting to meet) and JD can have a place to go over Christmas.

Needless to say – the tricking doesn’t fool anyone, and mom is suspicious of Tyler/JD. But – as you can imagine – JD is a far better boyfriend to Evan than Tyler ever was and what started as a hoax ends up as a HEA.

**
Your heart will bleed for JD and the way he just shines in the face of Evan’s family is so touching. Neither Evan nor JD have much “experience” so the smexy times are pretty tame, but very sweet. This reads almost like a young adult title, but that doesn’t stop it from being a really sweet and fun book full of goofy holiday games and sappy moments.

I really enjoyed this and didn’t miss the smexy times.

Audio

KC Kelly did an absolutely fabulous job with this. He is excellent at the pacing and emotion and does a really nice job with JD voice.

5 of 5 hearts

5

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Devil Night (Vampire of Waikiki book 6) AJ Llewellyn

Amber Quill Presents http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1963-Devil-Night.aspx

DevilNightBlurb

(Book 6 of the A Vampire In Waikiki series)
It’s Halloween in Waikiki, the holiday some call “Devil Night.” Tem and Divine Thunder, celebrating their first Halloween together, invite all their family, friends, neighbors, and former gay-porn co-stars to Trick or Treat. Tem’s gone berserk hiring caterers from every single island, and they’ve even built a spook house on their property for the festivities and planned moonlight pony rides.
Tem’s in full-scale party diva mode when things start going horribly wrong. One by one, their guests start disappearing, and even Tem’s beloved cat, Moontime, goes missing. And then from their mountaintop home on Tantalus, they see that Chinatown is on fire.
Tem and Div throw themselves into action, but are they too late to solve the mystery of what’s happening and stop the madness?
NOTE: This story was previously published with the ISBN: 978-1-55487-407-1. This reissued version of the story has been revised and reedited.

Review

A fun, scary, sexy, and funny way to end(?) the series of Tem and Div.

Tem is out in his Tiara but sad when his party ends in a fire. Ghosts from the past show up to keep things interesting (because a Halloween party thrown by real vampires isn’t enough?!). Poor Moontime goes missing and Div is left to pick up the pieces.

As always there is lots of laughs and steam and another great addition to this off-beat series.

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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Ma Ma Loa (Vampire in Waikiki Book 3) by AJ Llewellyn

Amber Quill Presents
http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1898-Ma-Ma-Loa.aspx

MaMaLoaBlurb

(Book 3 of the A Vampire In Waikiki series)
Waikiki vampire Jimmy Thunder is excited to finally have his cherished mate Tem all to himself. With their family members gone, and this being Valentine’s Day, he has one thing on his mind—some hot undead, man-on-man action. Except Jimmy’s life is never that simple.
Tem is troubled by bad dreams of the life he left behind. And Jimmy, the go-to guy for Waikiki’s undead denizens, is required to come up with a new Ma Ma Loa. But who, or what, is a Ma Ma Loa? Can’t a guy be left in piece to enjoy love’s most famous day?
NOTE: This book was previously published (with no assigned ISBN). This reissued version of the book has been reedited.

Review

This short story starts with Tem remembering his sordid past and feeling depressed because his brother moved away. But now it’s Valentine’s day and Jimmy has something exciting to give him.

There is lots – lots and lots – of sex. A fair amount of whining. Some really interesting folklore. And another happy ending for our pair of unique Hawaiian Vampires.

I didn’t love this book simply because Tem was really annoying for most of the book. I did enjoy the folklore and I still love Jimmy.

2.5 of 5 hearts

2.5

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A Vampire Christmas (Vampire in Waikiki book 2) by AJ Llewellyn

Amberquill presents http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/1823-A-Vampire-Christmas.aspx

vamp christmasBlurb

Waikiki vampires Tem and Jimmy Thunder are happily undead and married, about to celebrate Christmas when their cat Moontime brings an unusual treasure to the door…a baby in a box. But this is no cute, cuddly kid. It’s a demon baby with red eyes and razor sharp teeth. Jimmy, hopelessly besotted with his hot and sexy husband, sees his new life of man-on-man fun being wrecked by this snarling, spitting, forked-tongued little incubus that has apparently won Tem’s heart.

With half of Waikiki’s wacky residents coming to Christmas dinner, what’s a devoted husband to do? Jimmy calls in all kinds of favors to figure out the identity of the kid, how he got to them, and how to ensure this will be a merry—not marred—Vampire Christmas.

Review

This is the short, funny, kinda bizarre and very steamy next installment in the Vampire in Waikiki series.

Tem finds a cursed baby and wants to keep it and name it George… ok not George but Beezlebub. Div is worried about raising a baby and losing some of Tem’s attention. But it becomes clear that the baby needs their help so they enlist the help of some more of their strange acquaintances and… hilarity ensues.

Interspersed with the hilarity is all the way-hot-vampire-porn-star-sex and it’s both sweet and raucous.

If you enjoyed book one in the series you will want to keep going. This is better (in my opinion) than book one as it seems to have found more focus and since the characters are already developed we get to simply enjoy them.

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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