Some relationships get off to a bad start, some are full of misunderstandings, and in some cases one or both partners are so full of secrets and a rel...moreSome relationships get off to a bad start, some are full of misunderstandings, and in some cases one or both partners are so full of secrets and a reluctance to share any of them that I wonder if the two guys will ever manage to get their acts together. Derrick and Lee in this story suffer from all three of the above problems and the fact they manage to stay together is a miracle in its own right. Not that Derrick doesn’t try to get rid of Lee, whom he thinks of as a thief, but somehow he can’t. Not in good conscience. And the way this story is told, full of humor and quirky little observations about human nature, I definitely wasn't able (nor willing!) to put it down before it finally came to its heartwarming conclusion.
Derrick is a good guy with the worst luck. His boyfriend tragically died almost three years ago, and comfort eating has expanded Derrick's waistline to embarrassing proportions. It makes finding someone to share his bed with more difficult than h wants to admit. When he gets stuck at a tiny airport, miles from where he wanted to be to see his mother and brothers for Christmas, the guy he offered to share his room with empties his wallet and kicks him out. But what the guy ends up doing with the money when a group of blizzard-stranded kids need Santa to make an appearance makes Derrick question his assumptions about Lee's character.
As Derrick tries to drop Lee of at his brother's house, but instead ends up taking him home to his own mother's house when the man won’t let Lee in, then spends Christmas Eve with Lee, more and more of Lee's past emerges in tiny little bits. The whole situation is rather mysterious and Derrick jumps to a few conclusions he probably shouldn't have. This could have ended badly, but both Derrick is determined to figure out the truth and Lee seems as determined to sick with Derick.
I you like stories full of humor, even as potentially tragic situations arise, if you enjoy reading about men with so many misunderstandings between them that it seems like a miracle they’re still talking to each other twenty-four hours after they first meet, and if you're looking for a fun, slightly quirky, and heartwarming Christmas read, then you will probably like this short story with a wonderfully happy end.
The blurb had me curious about this book, particularly the bit about eight-year-old Adam gets his own back when a bigoted Santa tries to lecture him a...moreThe blurb had me curious about this book, particularly the bit about eight-year-old Adam gets his own back when a bigoted Santa tries to lecture him about his gay dad wanting a new boyfriend. Adam sounded like a great kid, and he definitely didn’t disappoint! I just love kids like that who know what they want, say what they think, and basically get the adults around them to listen because they approach life in such an uncomplicated way, entirely based on common sense. The old boyfriend made daddy cry – so, clearly, he needs a better one. I wish we were all so wise!
Garth trying to "cancel Christmas" is understandable from where he is, depressed about his cheating ex leaving, but he should have known better. When you have children, as he does, you cannot just ignore a major holiday. Luckily he comes to his senses with his mother's "help" as a reminder, and goes off to the mall for some last-minute shopping. The "Santa incident" mortifies him and he fears the worst when a built security guard approaches them, but then Adam becomes the guy's newest friend and "arranges" a date for the men. It made me laugh out loud.
Tony, the security guard who notices the commotion around the "fallen" Santa is the one who goes to talk to Garth, but needs to clarify a few things with Adam first. That whole discussion is just too cute for words, and when Adam ends up asking Tony to be Daddy's new boyfriend, Gareth is embarrassed but secretly hopeful, and Tony is totally with the program.
This is a wonderful and much-too-short story with great characters and a very, very romantic feel to it. I just hope Drew Hunt will write a longer book about Tony, Garth, and his super-cute son Adam! If you like romantic holiday stories, if you enjoy reading about kids for whom life is still simple, and if you're looking for a cute, sweet read with a Christmassy message of hope, then you will probably like this short story. I think it's adorable.
Out today, on 18 December 2013, this is a Christmas story of the "alternative kind". It's the story of Galen, a music student who loves Christmas, and...moreOut today, on 18 December 2013, this is a Christmas story of the "alternative kind". It's the story of Galen, a music student who loves Christmas, and Clifford, a mathematician who is an atheist and doesn't want anything to do with it. So, Galen sets out to find a different way of celebrating the "winter holiday" and comes up with a somewhat unusual solution - The Ten Days of Newton.
I had fun writing this one, and much of the research Galen goes through is based on my own attempts to find out what other other festivals there are. Like Galen, I had no trouble with the "usual suspects", but what does Newton have to do with Christmas? When I got to the bottom of it I smiled, and I hope you will too.
The book is available at Torquere Press and will be for sale at All Romance and Amazon later today.
Getting a second chance in life, a way to change a basic decision that will influence the rest of your life, is not an everyday occurrence. But Jeremy...moreGetting a second chance in life, a way to change a basic decision that will influence the rest of your life, is not an everyday occurrence. But Jeremy, who is in an unhappy relationship with an overbearing man who has made Jeremy a shadow of himself, is given that opportunity in this novella. I have to say I really like that concept, especially because it is such a seemingly small thing he has to do differently for everything to turn out much better for him. All he has to do is listen o his heart. What a wonderful Christmas message!
Jeremy is a secondary school teacher and doesn’t earn much money. He never had much to begin with, sine his parents disowned him when he told them he is gay, and he struggled to finish his degree. Meeting Will, a forceful, strong law student who directs Jeremy's life effortlessly and literally "buys" him with presents is what Jeremy thought he needed. There is only one catch: Jeremy isn't allowed his own opinion, since he has no taste according to Will. On top of that, Will is a cheater, but Jeremy thinks the financial security Will can give him is worth it.
When he isn’t even allowed a Christmas tree one year, Jeremy has finally had enough. The chance he is offered seems great, especially since he remembers his one regret, the "man who got away". But the solution isn’t as easy as he thinks, since has no memory of what happened the first time around when he is confronted with the same choice. The only thing that might work in his favor is listening to his heart this time…
If you like the idea of second chances for men who have made decisions they later regret, if you like your Christmas stories with a touch of true magic, and if you're looking for a read that goes from utterly depressing to very hopeful and sweet, then you will probably like this novella. It has definitely made me want to read the first book in this series!(less)
If, like me, you are not entirely sure about the meaning of the word "hootenanny", I bet you are not alone. Its current meaning is quite clearly defin...moreIf, like me, you are not entirely sure about the meaning of the word "hootenanny", I bet you are not alone. Its current meaning is quite clearly defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "1 chiefly dialect: gadget, or 2: a gathering at which folksingers entertain often with the audience joining in." Okay, so far, so good. Further digging into the word's origin revealed it is related with Hogmanay—the Scottish New Year celebration which, traditionally, is the biggest celebration on the Scottish calendar. Aha! Putting that together with the fact that the Scots are one of the biggest groups of settlers in the Appalachians, where this story is set (including the Scots' whiskey-making tradition and methods, leading to the area's 'moonshining' tradition) made my research brain shut up, and I was able to enjoy the story. The high point is a family get-together on Christmas Eve at which there is music, more food, and even more drinking. And, to use anther colloquial expression, it is a total hoot!
Josh is one of eight siblings, in a family where both his father and his mother also have several more brothers and sisters than the average one or two. He loves his family to bits, but they live in the Appalachian hills and he has become a "city slicker" by choice. He also knows that outsiders have trouble dealing with how loud and boisterous they can get, especially since his last boyfriend ran before dinner was over. When Clint insists he wants to go, Josh is hesitant. He even makes Clint "surviving" the family event a condition for a deeper commitment. It was pretty obvious he was totally nervous!
Clint is an only child from a family of only children. His biggest family gathering involves about a dozen people, so he finds it hard to imagine what "2000 of Josh's closest family members" will be like. Not only that, but some of them are total characters. I loved them all, but, like Clint, would have been more than a little overwhelmed. Clint stands his ground though, he is determined to spend "forever" with Josh. A few hilarious and some scary adventures later, they manage to produce the perfect ending for each other, but it was a close call!
If you like stories in unusual settings with characters that will make you smile (or sigh in exasperation), if you enjoy reading about men being "tested" before they are found "worthy" to become a life mate, and if you're looking for a read chockablock with surprises, fun events, and two very loving men determined to find somewhere private for some "personal" time, then you will probably like this novella.
Sometimes home is not where you expect it to be, which is usually where it has been all your life. At some point after you move out of your parents' h...moreSometimes home is not where you expect it to be, which is usually where it has been all your life. At some point after you move out of your parents' house you realize that you no longer fit in there in your old role as their child. This happens to Curt in 'Home for Christmas', and I liked the way his understanding wasn't a sudden epiphany, but rather a slowly dawning realization that he now belonged somewhere else. And even though Curt is scared to admit it, and it is rather early days, that 'home' is now with Bailey. Also, let me just say that after Curt and Bailey's first meeting in 'The Night before Thanksgiving' (reviewed here), it was a wonderful surprise to see them again in this sequel. It's now Christmas and Curt manages to get on his flight and go home to Chicago.
Curt is not a man given to emotional outbursts. He is a physicist, with a PhD, no less, just started a position as a professor, and more than busy getting a handle on lesson pans, his students, and everything else new in his life. That includes Bailey, whom he met at the airport bar and is beginning to fall for. Amidst al the teasing from his family, he does miss Bailey a lot. Once back home all fo that can be rectified, and the heat levels between these two increase significantly!
If you like stories about men not given to overtly showing emotions, if you enjoy reading about relationships that develop slowly, while not missing anything in the heat department, and if you want to catch up with Curt and Bailey, then you will probably like this short story.
This is a story about overwhelming passion too long delayed. Misunderstandings and circumstances may have held Jake and Ben apart so far, and Jake alm...moreThis is a story about overwhelming passion too long delayed. Misunderstandings and circumstances may have held Jake and Ben apart so far, and Jake almost messes it up again, but, once these two get going, there is no stopping them.
Jake is a conflicted guy. On the one hand he has wanted the six years older Ben for years, and all he has to go on is the one kiss they shared before he left for college. On the other hand his ex-boyfriend has deeply hurt him and Jake is now afraid to recommit. Especially with a man he barely knows and has basically admired from afar for five years.
Ben, although I didn't get to see his point of view since Jake tells the story, clearly is a guy who knows what he wants. He is a man of action, who managed to build his own business. He also knows that he wants Jake. The disappointment he feels when Jake hesitates almost costs them their long-awaited relationship.
If you like stories with deep passion and hot sex scenes, if you’re a fan of Christmas reunions, and if crushes turning into love attract you, you will probably like this short story. (less)
Going home for Christmas to see your family should be a happy event, but with the memories of what it was like to live in the small East Texas town it...moreGoing home for Christmas to see your family should be a happy event, but with the memories of what it was like to live in the small East Texas town it is anything but a joyful occasion for Jack. With a sick father and a mother needing some loving, how can he not go? But to then find out that the love of his life, Kent, who cheated on him in college, is also in town doesn’t exactly make things better. With all the signs pointing to a catastrophe, Jack is ready to be depressed. Except – it is Christmas, and miracles are supposed to be possible around that time…
Jack is a chef, happy in his independent life in Austin, and owner of his own restaurant. Used to running things the way he wants them and usually in control of his life. Now he's come home for Christmas because his dad needs him to make his famous Hollandaise for breakfast, and his mom can do with some moral support for a change. Those stress factors are enough to make him wish he were back in Austin, but then he runs into Kent, his old flame, who is also home for Christmas. The old pain of finding the man, his lover at the time, in bed with another student resurfaces, and makes Jack angry and aggressive. But then he notices that Kurt has changed…
Kent is a musician and has always regretted what happened when Jack found him in bed with a man he thought was a friend, except it turns out the other man wanted more. Too late for Kent to do anything about it, he had to watch jack leave and has regretted it ever since. Meeting him again, in their hometown of all places, makes him hope for a different ending to their encounter this time around…
With a nice setup pointing toward a long-term hurt possibly being explained, I loved seeing that Jack and Kent took it much further than that. Sometimes it is good to be a little older and to have gained some perspective, and this story is a wonderful example of two men dealing with old regrets and stepping up to shape their futures into what they should have been in the first place. If you like reunions of lovers who thought they'd lost the other one forever, if you like reading about men learning from their mistakes and going forward, and if you're looking for a sweet, Christmassy read with lots of hot action and some great banter, then you will probably like this short story.