Category Archives: Holiday Themed

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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Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane

Riptide Publishing Presents http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/christmas-kitsch

ChristmasKitsch_500x750Blurb

Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.
Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them—just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity—Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not—but then Oliver kisses him goodbye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.
But even Rusty’s newfound awareness can’t help him survive a semester at Berkeley. He returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver Campbell is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. Oliver may not have much money, but he’s got something Rusty has never known: true family. With their help and Oliver’s love, Rusty comes to realize that he may have failed college, but he’ll pass real life with flying rainbow colors.

Review

Rusty is a good kid. He’s popular. Plays sports. Has girlfriends. Does what his parents tell him to. He’s not the “quickest” but he’s not stupid either.
Oliver is the “new brown kid”. He’s small. Snarky. Gay. And in need of a friend. Despite Rusty’s peer group’s objections, Rusty befriends Oliver and Oliver helps Rusty through his last year of high school.
When it comes time for Rusty to go to Berkley, where he just knows he’s going to fail, Oliver does all he can to assure him that he’ll be there for him and that he knows Rusty won’t get lost in the shuffle. And… he kisses Rusty.
Rusty is left at school, lost, scared, trapped with a crazy but warm-hearted-hyper-sexual-roommate, and the memory of Oliver’s kiss to make him question everything he is or wants to be.
When it becomes apparent that Rusty is in fact NOT ready for Berkley – though he tries damn hard – he is ready for Oliver and KNOWS that Oliver is more than just his best friend. When Rusty gets home for Thanksgiving Oliver is there to greet him and the two kiss again. This time they get caught by Rusty’s homophobic family who immediately throw Rusty out of the house.
Luckily Oliver’s dad is amazing and he helps Rusty to get his bearings again.
What follows is Rusty’s jump into the deep end of adulthood and his navigation of his first real relationship that also happens to be his first gay relationship. Oliver’s impatience and love both help and hinder him in this process, but the underlying support he and his dad offer Rusty give him the strength to grow into the man he needs to become.
**

This is another of my all-time favorite Amy Lane books. Another one I’m hoping will soon become an Audiobook. (Hint, hint!)
Rusty is so very lost but he’s also so sweet and lovable you want to reach through the pages and wrap him in blankets and kiss his cheeks.
Oliver is just smart and snarky enough to ease the saccharine sweetness of Rusty’s goodness and make them a real, fun, and sexy couple.
I loved the interactions with the secondary characters. The role model of Oliver’s dad. The hilarity of the cousins. The hero-worship of Rusty’s sister. And the eventual grace of Rusty’s parents.
I read this book when I need a warm hug on a rainy afternoon and it always makes me feel better.

I can’t recommend it enough.

6 of 5 hearts

amazing

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Creature Feature 2 By Poppy Dennison and Rhys Ford

Dreamspinner Presents:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5478

creature feature 2Blurb

Two Men. One Apocalypse.

Rise of the Revenants by Poppy Dennison
Vampyres are on the loose in Detroit, and novice hunter Taz Cohen is on the job. The mission seems simple: stop the vamps. But Taz knows nothing about the mythical creatures, so he’s in for the fight of his life. Then he meets insanely attractive construction worker Darren Foster, who jumps into the battle with both feet. Sparks and bullets fly as they struggle against the vampyre horde and their attraction to each other. Avoiding gruesome death from the undead might be easier than shielding their hearts from each other.

Legacy of Blood and Death by Rhys Ford
For Javi Navarro, Detroit will become another blood-splattered city in his rearview mirror after he puts its dead back into the ground. Expecting an easy hunting job, Javi instead finds a kiss of ancient vampyres on the hunt for a descendent of their long-dead creator.

Reclusive Ciarnan Mac Gerailt abandoned his family legacy of blood and death magic after it nearly destroyed him. Unfortunately, the Motor City can only be saved if Ciarnan resumes his dark arts and joins forces with Javi Navarro, the hunter who brought the vampyre apocalypse—and hope for the future—straight to Ciarnan’s front door.

Review

(From Previous Site)

Rise of the Revenants:
Taz is a hunter of werewolves (not shifters) and now vampyres (kind of like zombies but with more reasoning ability). Some old and powerful witches made these vampyres and now it is up to Taz (and later Javi) to clean up the mess.

Darren is a construction worker who happens to be working on sites that these vampyres are haunting. We find out there are no such things as coincidences, and there’s a reason for the vampyre’s location choices. Darren has lost a friend to their attacks so he is devoted to the idea of taking them down. It helps that he and Taz are super attracted to one another and that by chipping in he gets to help keep Taz close and safe.

This story “bleeds” into the next and at the end Darren and Taz have won the battle if not the war and are headed toward a future together.

Legacy of Blood:
Javi is a hunter of vampyres and is hot on the trail of one of the descendants of the witches that created the monsters. When he meets him he finds a powerful witch who no longer practices because he’s afraid of what his power can do. He convinces him to help as a layman and the two plan a trap for the “ticks”. Along the way, the two manage to find lots of common ground and chemistry together. When the final battle occurs, our boys are victorious and Javi and Ciarnan plan on sticking together to fight for Detroit’s future. We also find that Taz and Darren are still together and planning a future in Detroit as well.

Both stories were pretty detail oriented, laying lots of back-story, and focused a lot on the battle/action. I am hoping this is because there is a series planned? (Would be awesome!) The ending certainly leaves it wide open for such an occurrence.

Taz and Darren’s story isn’t as sweet or loving as Ciarnan and Javi, but you definitely feel their feels, and trust that they have a future together.

Rhys, in the way that she does so well, manages to throw the Kincaids (Hellingers) into her story and maybe we can see a cross over in the future.

There are also lots of “hunter” references, both boys drive Chargers and Javi can’t understand why anyone would drive an Impala unless it was to get busy in the back seat.

Both stories are funny, full of action and some hot sex and all around fascinating tales.

I highly recommend it with 4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Creature Feature Audiobook by Poppy Dennison and Mary Calmes Narrated by Jeff Gelder

Dreamspinner Presents:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5457

CreatureFeatureAUDMedBlurb

Diagnosis Wolf by Poppy Dennison

Thanks to his good-for-nothing brother, Andrew Hughes is up to his eyeballs in debt and needs a job fast. When a nursing position opens up in Myerson, Arizona, Andrew has no choice but to take it, despite a warning about how difficult a patient Caleb DiMartino can be. Andrew can deal with a little trouble—but Caleb’s strange family, the armed guards, and the unknown cause of Caleb’s mysterious illness may be beyond his skill set.

Landslide by Mary Calmes

For three years, paranormal courier Frank Corrigan has been working for incubus demon Cael Berith. Cael knows Frank is his mate, but Frank is pretty sure Cael doesn’t even like him, never mind want to spend the rest of his life with him, so their personal relationship is at an impasse. When Frank’s sister, Lindsey, gets bitten by a werewolf she’s sleeping with—and possibly witnesses a murder—Frank rides to her rescue. If he’s lucky, he might just save his love life too.

Review
(From Previous Site.)

Diagnosis Wolf:
Andrew is a nurse sent to the house of a shifter (not a werewolf) who has been possibly poisoned by enemies of their family. Caleb (the shifter) finds Andrew to be very attractive and it’s his protective instincts of Andrew that help him to start the recovery process. Andrew’s brother has gotten into deep water and is hoping to use Andrew’s connection to the rich DiMartino family to get out of debt. When push comes to shove, Caleb and his family manage to solve the medical mystery and defeat the bad guys (with Andrew’s help, of course.)

Landslide:
Frank is a special human, immune to most effects of paranormal power and as such acts as a liaison between the various “species”. On one mission he meets Cael, a demon of great power, who claims to be his mate. Frank doesn’t believe him and makes the poor demon wait 3 years before finally succumbing to seduction and finding true love. In the meantime they defeat some bad guys and mostly make you giggle.

**

This is the first time I’d read anything by Poppy Dennison and it was wonderful. It is a full story, richly detailed, and though it lacks the “fated mate” scenario in some shifter stories, it has enough of those elements to keep my sappy heart happy. The love was sweet and the sex was hot and the action exciting.

And then there’s Mary’s story… how can you NOT love a Mary story. Frank is hysterical. Ever the doubting Thomas, he thinks Cael (like the vegetable Kale) is “repulsed” because he’s not a twink and therefore not Cael’s type. Of course, Cael is ridiculously patient and let’s the misunderstanding go on for three years… three years! (Mary must have a thing for three years… remember Sam and Jory?!? ) But when they do get together it is sweet and sexy and very, very satisfying.

Audio
Jeff Gelder does a nice job with both narrations. The recording takes a minute to get used to, there is a vague tinny sound to it, but it kind of lends itself to the creepy nature of the stories and it blends into the background after awhile.

He didn’t do any over the top voices or any serious “acting” but he doesn’t distract from the stories themselves either and it was a nice listening experience.

I give the book a 5 of 5 hearts, the audio a 4 of 5 hearts and an overall 4.5 of 5 hearts. I highly recommend both the book and the audio version.

4.5

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Three The Hard Way by Sydney Croft

Riptide Presents: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/three-the-hard-way

three hardBlurb

This title is part of the ACRO universe.

Lovers Taggart Brody and Justice McKinney possess special abilities that make them valuable to agencies who employ—or enslave—people with extraordinary talents. When tragedy tears them apart, Justice finds purpose working for the good guys: ACRO, the super-secret Agency for Covert Rare Operatives. But he never forgets Taggart or the past they once shared.

Heartbroken, Taggart runs from who he is . . . right into the arms of Ian Bridges. But Ian, battling his own demons, betrays Tag to the terrorist organization Itor. After months of torture, Tag manages to escape, but kills an ACRO agent in the process.

With nowhere left to turn, Tag disappears into the Alaskan wilderness, but it’s only a matter of time before his enemies track him down. He reaches out to Justice, and somehow Ian finds him too, hoping to right his wrongs. With ACRO and Itor both bearing down, the three men must figure out how to forgive, how to work together, and how to love each other—or the coming battle will destroy them all.

******************

Twenty percent of all proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the It Gets Better Project.

The It Gets Better Project’s mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them. Visit their website for more information and to find out how you can get involved.

Review

Tag and Justice are boyhood friends with special powers. They become lovers but separate when their mothers are killed by the evil Itor and they don’t agree on how to get even.

While separated Tag meets and falls in love with Ian who ends up getting Tag kidnapped and tortured by Itor.

Finally Tag is free, Justice has found Tag and now Ian has found Tag and Justice. Both men want Tag but Tag isn’t sure he wants either man back.

A huge blizzard and an avalanche lock all three men together in a cabin in Alaska, forcing them to make decisions about the rest of their lives.

**

Threesomes can be hard to write/read. The romantic soul in me finds it hard to accept Tag and Justice opening their relationship to Ian, but Sydney Croft does a pretty good job of selling it.

There is a lot of detail covered in this relatively short story. Action. Explosions. Intrigue. Special powers. And a fair amount of sexy times too.

If you are a fan of threesomes you will find this very satisfying. If you love secret agent/ x-men type paranormal stories, this has a lot to offer. If you are a romantic purist, you may be disappointed.

Writing/Editing 4.5

Romance 3

Sex/Heat 4

Storyline 4.5

World Building/Characterizations 5

Overall 4.2 of 5 hearts

4

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The Last Thing He Needs by JH Knight

Dreamspinner presents:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5262

last thingBlurb

Tommy O’Shea is raising his seven younger brothers and sisters without any help from his drug abusing father and stepmother. Since he was fifteen years old, he’s managed to keep the children fed and out of foster care. It takes up every ounce of his energy and the last thing he needs is romance complicating his life further.

Rookie cop Bobby McAlister doesn’t belong in Tommy’s harsh world, but Tommy can’t push him out. As their unlikely friendship turns into a tentative relationship, they weather the daily storm of Tommy’s life with a lot of laughs and more than a few arguments.

Tommy isn’t used to trusting outsiders, and he’s never asked for help in his life. But when a tragedy strikes the O’Shea family and threatens everything he’s fought for, he’ll have to learn to do both to recover from the brutal hit.

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Review

Tommy O’Shea has a rough, rough life. He’s in charge of his 6 younger siblings, didn’t finish high school, has drug-addled parents messing things up, and he’s very, very poor.

Bobby McAlister has been around for most of Tommy’s life. He’s an only child who lives at home with his recently widowed mother. He’s a gay cop who only wants to love and be loved.

It isn’t easy for Tommy to trust, everyone he knows has let him down, so when Bobby comes around, he is immediately treated with a heavy dose of skepticism.

Through time, perseverance and a lot of love, Bobby worms his way in and the result is this amazing love story written by JH Knight.

JH Knight a new author to me, but she now goes on my “must read” list.

I was blown away.

The story is so sweet, so tender, yet tough and gritty at the same time.

The problems Tommy and his family face are realistic and heart-breaking and I really loved that the “gay” part was really the least of their worries.

This was a story about trust, devotion, optimism and most of all, family. Despite all the odds and all the reasons why things really should not have worked out, family prevails, and in ways we could never predict.

I really loved the relationship between Bobby and his mother, June. I just think her involvement in the story added that the icing to this delicious cake of a book. She rounded out the family and brought everyone in that much tighter. She reminded us that you’re never too old to need a “Mommy”.

I felt the love scenes were erotic and touching and just numerous enough to add texture to the story without being the focus. The kids were amazing and I really hope we see more of their stories in the future.

I fell in love with this book and will definitely be reading it again.

I highly recommend it, giving it 6 out of 5 hearts!

amazing

 

JH Knight gave us a WONDERFUL present with this “Epilogue”:  https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/7586073-have-yourself-a-merry-little-free-short-read

 

SO WONDERFUL!

One Holiday Ever After by Tere Michaels and Elle Brownlee and Elizah Davis

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5849

one holidayBlurb

The holidays are a time for celebration, discovery, coming home, and maybe even miracles for those who are lucky. From the streets of New York City, to the wintery wonderland of the Maine woods, to the quaint, small town charm of Idaho, the men in these stories have different holiday desires. They’re looking for familiarity or fresh starts, but they have one thing in common—their happily ever afters might be waiting in the last places they think to look. Come see what they unwrap in these stories by three acclaimed authors of male/male romance.

Holiday Roommates by Tere Michaels

As an actor without prospects, Nate Brandywine needs an emergency roommate for the month of December. During a humiliating gig as a Christmas elf at a NYC department store, he meets Sean Callahan, his producer and a man struggling under the weight of a past-due loan. Sean’s desperate for a place to stay in the city for a few weeks. A month of sharing a workplace and an apartment with someone you can’t stop flirting with? Maybe the holidays won’t be so terrible after all.

Review

This is a very cute, sweet, light holiday romance about two “roomies” who find they have a lot in common. They spend a lot of time flirting and the dialog is what makes this story so great. Tere Michaels is an excellent writer and her sense of humor really shines in this one. (A nice light read after the much darker Who Knows the Storm). I especially loved the parts where Nate is promoted over and over in his store production Christmas show – really funny!
4 of 5 hearts

4

Holiday Sanctuary by Elle Brownlee

Chris Declan is trekking through the wintry wonderland of rural Maine, searching for inspiration and himself, when he’s literally and figuratively taken by storm. First by the surprise blizzard that finds him seeking refuge in Paul Bak’s secluded cabin, and second by Paul. Making the best of being snowed in together soon becomes a comfortable friendship with fireside chats, a quaint holiday celebration, and more. But despite their growing closeness, there’s one thing they avoid—what will happen when the snow clears and the holidays end.

Review
Chris ends up finding shelter in Paul’s cabin and the two end up “falling in love”. This is one of those stories where you will either really love the “insta-love” or be frustrated by it. Since it’s a holiday story – I let my disbelief go and found it charming. I didn’t think the writing was as good as Tere Michaels’ story, but it was still a pretty good offering.
3 of 5 hearts.

3

Holiday Homecoming by Elizah J. Davis

Gavin Anderson never thought making it as a writer in LA would be easy, but when his latest project falls through, he gives up on Hollywood and heads to Bonabri, Idaho in hopes that the peace and quiet of his childhood home will help him figure out his next move. Instead he finds Eric Nichols, his parents’ cute and charming housesitter who is there to experience the small town Christmas festivities. Gavin’s plans for quiet reflection are no match for Eric’s holiday cheer, and he soon finds himself swept up in the spirit of the season. Gavin thought his life had hit a dead end, but in coming home he finds what might be a new beginning.

Review

Gavin ends up falling for Eric, the housesitter. There is no sex in this story but lots of funny lines, and warm feelings. I was really enjoying this, but was a little bewildered by the abrupt ending, though it generally left me with a strong feeling that these boys were going to make it.
4 of 5 stars

 

4

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A Paranormal Chipmunk Christmas by Jackie Nacht

MLR Press Presents http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=JN_CMCHR

chipmunk christmasBlurb

A vicious horde of chipmunks? Dallas and Gunner knew that meeting their mate’s family wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. How could it be when they had eighteen brothers and sisters? This bear and wolf are about to be put to the test—surviving this family holiday. Will they be able to escape just the four of them or will they be taking some of the siblings back to White Pine…involuntarily?

Review

This super cute little holiday story brings both Dallas and Gunner into the crazy chipmunk household for Christmas. Needless to say there are lots of funny moments, some hot smexy times and a very sweet “gift exchange” at the end. If you’ve been enjoying the series so far you won’t want to miss this little story.

I loved it!

4 of 5 hearts

4

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