I enjoyed this, although I was a bit lost as to what Michael's role really was as the rift keeper. I guess the point is he wasn't sure either, but I wI enjoyed this, although I was a bit lost as to what Michael's role really was as the rift keeper. I guess the point is he wasn't sure either, but I was a bit lost about this whole solstice offering thing and what he was supposed to do. I didn't blame him for being crabby that no one would explain it, but it left me not sure why everyone was freaking out. What would happen if he didn't do what he was supposed to? I did like the grumpy fish. I have a fish and I think mine would be grumpy, and I liked the modern spin on the Queen's court and holiday party, but it just kind of left me puzzling rather than just enjoying. Maybe just me. ...more
Is it real witches? You decide. A funny story where the more outlandish his family's knitwear gifts, the closer he seems to be to catching the attentiIs it real witches? You decide. A funny story where the more outlandish his family's knitwear gifts, the closer he seems to be to catching the attention of the older hottie he sees in the tube station regularly. I can't believe he wore the hat. He's a better family member than I ever would be. ...more
This was a very sweet story about young love and it's not overly Christmas-centric so you could read it anytime. A couple of times I wanted to smack RThis was a very sweet story about young love and it's not overly Christmas-centric so you could read it anytime. A couple of times I wanted to smack Rusty upside the head a few times. He seemed to think if he couldn't give the guy 3000 square feet with a picket fence then he couldn't have anything. But then, he was 19, what the hell do kids know these days. ;-) Still it was very sweet and Oliver's family, especially his dad were quite the crew. Rusty's family, well, his sister was great. :-)...more
Well it’s no secret I adore this author’s work and it just meshes with me in all the right ways, and this story was no different. Yes, I’m reviewing aWell it’s no secret I adore this author’s work and it just meshes with me in all the right ways, and this story was no different. Yes, I’m reviewing a Christmas story in February, but while the Christmas market is the impetus to get them back together, it’s not a “Christmassy” story.
I liked that Riley is self-aware of his failings and even that he’s still in love with Stan five years later, and yet he chooses to just ignore it most of the time and pretend it’s not an issue. I did find him to be a bit flighty and perhaps he was pretty selfish when you hear about what happened to precipitate the break, but it has been five years, he’s older and hopefully wiser moving forward.
I thought the whole sub-story with the gull was hilarious. I actually had pigeons build a nest on my balcony once. Annoying. I felt for Riley. Just lots of things to like about this story. His relationship with his female friend and coworker was nice. She was caring without falling into the dreaded “interfering female friend” category. His interactions with his stuffy boss and the staff Christmas party (I have to say that would NEVER happen where I work, thank god LOL), were all very real but with that little extra edge that makes fiction more fun to read than real life.
So don’t stay away from this one if you are thinking “I’m over Christmas stories” because the main thrust of the story (ha! thrust) is not Christmas. If anything, I would have liked to see a bit more between when they agree to try again and the epilogue, but it was what I needed as I’ve had some so-so reads lately and it was the pick-me-up I was looking for....more
Mixed feelings here. In general it was a cute story of opposites, the surly Nick and young enthusiastic Kit. Nick grudgingly offers Kit a ride home duMixed feelings here. In general it was a cute story of opposites, the surly Nick and young enthusiastic Kit. Nick grudgingly offers Kit a ride home during a storm when Kit's car breaks down. Then when Kit's family is stranded by the storm and can't get home, Nick hangs around until they return. You then find out why he was driving from New York to San Francisco. His negative attitude was quite extreme and he was kind of an asshole to be honest. Granted, there may have been some reason for that, but I think what he really needed was some therapy. He had baggage. And given (view spoiler)[he was going to commit suicide, I had to suspend some belief that just falling in love with young enthusiastic Kit made the desire to commit suicide go away with no treatment. (hide spoiler)]
I must confess that I tend to judge books more harshly than perhaps a Christmas movie, because lord knows that all those sappy Christmas movies have not a lick of rational thought in them and people fall in love in a day and have all manner of amazing conversions that real life would never occur. So I sometimes need to let things go, especially in holiday stories.
Still, I enjoyed it and liked Kit a great deal. ...more
A cute story about a lawyer who is ordered by his boss to purchase the man's younger twinky brother at a bachelor/ette auction to raise money for charA cute story about a lawyer who is ordered by his boss to purchase the man's younger twinky brother at a bachelor/ette auction to raise money for charity. He has no clue why he's been told to do so and wonders if it's a test of his willpower. The date is completely out of his control which at first doesn't go down well, but it doesn't take long before they are back ripping each other's clothes off with a bit of a BDSM edge (very mild). I liked that Travis was kind of the typical high power jerky lawyer, but appealing in his way and rather soft underneath. A nice holiday read....more
**spoiler alert** As some noted this was rather understated, but I was left wondering how things got where they were. Not much background and not bein**spoiler alert** As some noted this was rather understated, but I was left wondering how things got where they were. Not much background and not being familiar with biker toy drives I didn't really get what going on until a ways in. Also, I didn't get the reason for leaving.
“You want my dick in your ass, and I want yours in mine. I’m no engineer but I know it doesn’t work that way."
A 32+ year old man didn't know how they could work it out when they both wanted to top. Um. You've never heard of versatile? You've never watched a porn flip-fuck? Or was he just saying "I don't bottom ever"? I was just baffled. As excuses goes it was the weirdest one I've ever heard. ...more
Kind of a different take on the North Pole with more of a porny bent to it. It was interesting to see the elves as little sex machines and to3.5 stars
Kind of a different take on the North Pole with more of a porny bent to it. It was interesting to see the elves as little sex machines and to see Lars and Rudy take it as an open relationship which you don't see often in m//m. This is totally my issue and superfical, but the idea of flavoured spunk was lovely but I have a deathly (not literally, I'm not allergic) to peanut butter which was Lars. The idea of mixing peanut butter with cinnamon (Rudy) was so-off-putting, I nearly had a gag reflex just reading it. That is weird and just me, but it was a fact none-the-less. Why not fruit cake? :-)...more
A cute story with lots of gingerbread stuff and firemen, not a bad combo, I was just felt a bit like I was left hanging. Kevin had been so far in theA cute story with lots of gingerbread stuff and firemen, not a bad combo, I was just felt a bit like I was left hanging. Kevin had been so far in the closet and so what was the result of him coming out? Although it appeared everyone except his coworkers knew anyway. Kevin was a dick to Alex but I appreciated that he knew he was and why he was doing it, even if I didn't like it. Just a bit more at the end would have improved it for me. Still a cute holiday read. ...more
Some I liked, some not so much, but I can't really complain as it was a freebie and is the first Christmas stories I've even read this season, so wasSome I liked, some not so much, but I can't really complain as it was a freebie and is the first Christmas stories I've even read this season, so was a good start. ...more
This was a sweet gentle story, but I’m afraid I got a bit lost in the mythology. It starts with KThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This was a sweet gentle story, but I’m afraid I got a bit lost in the mythology. It starts with Kyle standing on the shore as a big storm is approaching, depressed at the thought that he truly is the last of his kind. He’s been searching for decades. He is mystified by many of the modern things around him, but goes to a local bar, where bartender Anluan immediately recognizes him as fae and says as much. Once the bar closes, they tell each other more about themselves, and then head back to Anluan’s apartment.
I’m not much of an aficionado of the fae mythology. I understood vaguely what Kyle was, I do know some of the basic creatures of the mythology, merpeople, selkies, etc. but I tend to get lost in the Unseelie, Seelie, etc. politics/mythology. So when the two men were explaining their complicated heritage (neither being purebred and thus stuck in the human realm), I wasn’t quite sure of the significance of it all. However those who adore that mythology will probably find it perfectly clear and make total sense. Perhaps an area upon which I need to educate myself.
Once back at the apartment, they realize they are mates and proceed to have sex, which made me snicker a bit. It was, I think, a rather typical gay relationship problem perhaps, two strangers meet, one says he wants to top, the other says I thought I’d top, but I’ve never, neither have I. Ooops. Compromise time. :-) But they worked it out of course, it’s a romance.
While this is a New Year’s story and takes place New Year’s Eve, that really doesn’t play into the plot so you could read it anytime and not feel it’s out of time. I liked both characters and I thought Kyle and his feelings of being all alone in the world and the last of his kind were well-drawn. You wanted to give him a hug. I would have loved to see him exploring the new world more. His first interactions with a flush toilet or a TV or microwave would have been fun. That tends to be one of my things, I love the details of a character out of their time, but it is a short and ends on a suitable romantic HEA, of two lonely men who found each other....more
This story had potential, but I found there were a few chunks missing that left me wondering whatThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This story had potential, but I found there were a few chunks missing that left me wondering what happened. It begins with the two men sitting in the car in the snow, and then there is a bit of a flashback as Scotch remembers how they met, on another cold night. Scotch was sitting outside his apartment as his roommates host a party. Soon he’s joined by Jimmy who lives across the street who strikes up a conversation. The story then cuts back to several weeks later where the two are sitting in a car in the cold looking at the newly fallen snow in a park. After chatting for a bit, Jimmy convinces (without much effort) Scotch to have sex in the backseat, Scotch’s first time.
It was the skipped portion that left me wondering what happened. How did they go from chatting on the steps to dating. Jimmy is much more open than Scotch. Scotch seems to be a wanderer, temporarily finding a place to stay until he moves on, but you never really find out much about him. Where he came from or what brought him there remains a mystery. While you don’t find out anything about Jimmy either, you get the impression he’s just a regular guy. I did like how Jimmy brought out a side of Scotch that you could tell was not normally there. He had difficulty believing that Jimmy really cared about him, but I got that sense of hope and wonder from him.
There’s not much to the story, just the meeting and the sex. The sex is realistically done for a first time, but Jimmy is tender and caring and wants to make it as good as he can for Scotch’s first time. Scotch is suitably nervous. You can tell there is caring on Jimmy’s side and tentative hope that it’s real on Scotch’s. As with most super shorts, it’s hard to get a handle on the characters and a little longer story would have been nice, but still, this is the second story I’ve read by this author and I really like her style and I liked the atmosphere of the guys being cloistered in the car and surrounded by the snow and quiet, that sense of being alone in the world of white....more
A very cute follow-on to the first story which I didn't realize until I read Ruby's review and recognized some things. I was happy to see Mike's storyA very cute follow-on to the first story which I didn't realize until I read Ruby's review and recognized some things. I was happy to see Mike's story. I love me a flamboyant twink and it was nice there was no family drama. George's issues were not explored too deeply, but I was so glad that the ending suited the story and there was no declarations of ever-lasting love after 48 hours. ...more
I did not read the blurb before I started this story, and I have to confess the author got me atThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
I did not read the blurb before I started this story, and I have to confess the author got me at the beginning. I’m reading away, thinking historical fantasy, then… Gatorade? What? Well done. :-)
Taj and Dan are preparing for their first Christmas together and Taj has volunteered to help with the Christmas celebration of their Society. He’s pretty new to the whole thing (I got the impression introduced to it all by Dan) and is loving the active involvement in holiday celebrations. It seems Taj hasn’t really had a good Christmas history, so he’s throwing himself full-steam into this year, which is leading to a bit of burn-out and overkill. Dan is used to lots of family and friend celebrations and even he’s thinking it’s too much.
I liked the descriptions of the celebration, in which the better halves of the reigning couple (in this case Taj and another woman) are the king and queen of the celebration, forcing their partners to serve them. And the descriptions of jousting and the fair and the easy friendships they had with the other players was fun, however I think the fact that it switched from role playing (with different names and personalities) to everyday life and back and forth kind of kept me at a bit of a distance to the story. Others may not find that.
I also found that a couple of issues were raised, such as Dan’s fear that Taj likes it a bit “too” much when he gets rough were kind of thrown out but then not addressed at any point. So this was nicely written and different with the role playing and different traditions, however I think I would have been more interested in finding out how Taj and Dan met as it seemed an interesting story. Still, a nice change from the traditional “straight” contemporaries....more
A sweet story that doesn't skimp on the shit life that is hustling on the streets for abandoned kids, but it doesn't pull the story down too much, itA sweet story that doesn't skimp on the shit life that is hustling on the streets for abandoned kids, but it doesn't pull the story down too much, it just doesn't hide the reality either.
My only quibble was (view spoiler)[ I wanted to know what the deal was with his mother at the end. Did his Grandparents cut off his mother after she threw him out? Did she have a change of heart? How would she feel that he came home? (hide spoiler)]
But despite that, a very hopeful story that with the right support, kids can get off the street and get their lives back on track. As a parent my heart aches with these stories because I can't envision ever tossing my child out on her own. Unfortunately I know too many do. ...more
This story reads very much like a Hallmark holiday movie, where despite rough times, everything works out neatly at the end, tied up with a ChristmasThis story reads very much like a Hallmark holiday movie, where despite rough times, everything works out neatly at the end, tied up with a Christmas bow. Marty has been crushing on goth boy Casey for the year Casey has been coming into Marty’s family diner. Finally he makes a move, but thanks to the sudden departure of an employee, rather than a date Casey gets roped into helping, which works out since he’s homeless and needs the work.
Before long, when Marty’s family find out Casey’s story, that his family tossed him out on Christmas when he was 16 because he’s gay, they’ve practically adopted him, have him move into Marty’s apartment and then warn Marty to keep his dick in his pants in case things go badly. This despite practically throwing Marty at Casey for ages. This confused me, and Casey once he found out why Marty went from asking him on a date, to shunning him like the plague.
Simultaneously, it seems Marty was gay bashed behind the diner a few weeks ago, and now it happens again, but much more severely and the police (and everyone) suspect there is more to it. As well, Marty is trying to reconcile Casey’s family and they feed the homeless every Christmas. Very much “lifetime movie” material.
In the end, the bad guys are caught, and to not spoil it I was rather raising an eyebrow at the motive, but … Casey is reunited with his family because now his step-mom goes to PFLAG so it’s fine now. Okay, I hold a grudge, but it would be a frosty Friday the day my spouse kicked my child out of the house, for any reason. I know it was supposed to be an “awwww” moment when Casey gets his dad back in his life, but the guy was a dick for letting his 16-year-old be kicked out, and then letting his wife poison other family members so the kid had nowhere to go. Casey has been on the streets homeless for 4 years, I think most would not have had the drug and prostitution-free live he had. I just couldn’t forgive his father for that. *shrug*
So if you don’t mind stories that take things to that perfect over-the-top place there you envision them all standing around the piano singing carols, all reunited with loved ones, bad guys in jail and true love fine, you’ll probably adore this. But I just found it a bit “too” much, but mostly the Casey family storyline left me cold because I didn’t think it was enough, even though he told his step-mom it would be fine, I put more of the blame squarely on his father, which Casey didn’t. But that’s me. :-) Others may find it terribly sweet and love the reunion....more
This m/m/m Christmas short follows some pretty typical lines for a BDSM threesome, but on the whole it was an enjoyable read. Alec and Kono have a terThis m/m/m Christmas short follows some pretty typical lines for a BDSM threesome, but on the whole it was an enjoyable read. Alec and Kono have a terrific relationship, but Alex knows Kono would like to experience being a sub, and that’s really not his thing. But he loves watching, so figures asking his old college roommate and good friend who is a Dom to join them for a week as a Christmas surprise for Kono fits the bill. He figures Alec and Kono will do their thing, and he’ll just watch and do what he wants, despite Swan telling him that if he agrees he’s in charge, period.
Things get off to a bit of a rough start. Kono is happy as anything to get to serve and have Swan order him around, but Alec has a bit more difficulty adapting to being told what to do. While he and Swan used to have casual sex, he never thought that Swan had any particular attraction to him, even though if he admits it, he’s been in love with Swan as well as Kono. And it seems Swan feel the same, in love with both men but not wanting to say anything.
There is a lot of sex in this story, but it only takes place over the first couple of days as Kono and Swan try to be patient with Alec’s penchant for running off when he doesn’t want to deal with something, and resisting Swan’s domination. There isn’t much in the way of heavy-duty BDSM, it’s more the D/s aspect of the relationship with some light spanking and discussions, as Kono reveals his real desires, afraid that Alec will think less of him or be upset. So there is quite a bit of emotional reveals on all sides, and of course like all good m/m/m romances, they end up happy ever after.
If you like Sean Michael’s writing style, you will enjoy this story. There is nothing particular unique or outstanding about the plot or the characters, but I enjoyed reading it, and it was nice to see an m/m/m Christmas story which seems there’s not many of these days....more
This is essentially a set-up and sex scene between an established couple, but the short format leThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This is essentially a set-up and sex scene between an established couple, but the short format left me feeling as if I didn’t really know much about them. Skyy finds late Christmas eve a note in his car from his lover. He is to follow the instructions which leads to a bit of a scavenger hunt. This includes buying specific items, using a disposable camera to take sexy photos to be developed and a few other small things. When he finally gets to his lover’s parents home (they are away), they use his purchases and finds to have a hot sex scene involving food which seems to be a fetish of theirs.
I was wondering how they got together, what their relationship was. They mention a couple of years, Skyy is much smaller than his lover apparently and the first time they had sex was in his parents’ house, so I assume they aren’t that old, but they don’t live together. I just was hoping to find out more about them beyond the sex. Yes, it’s obvious they love each other and that it seems the lover is the leader, but Skyy is happy to indulge him, but it was all left a bit of a mystery. While I enjoy a hot sex scene as much as the next m/m reader, I really like to know the couple and I felt that was a little lacking here.
However the story is short, and the sex hot if you like some messy food play with your loving. They both seem like nice guys, Skyy maybe a bit crabby at the start, but he perks up with the quest he’s set upon by his lover. So if you’re in the mood for a little hot quickie, it’s the way to go, but you won’t really get much of a feel for the two men outside of their sex life....more
I quite like the premise of this holiday story, that is a friends to lovers story. Once Kevin getThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
I quite like the premise of this holiday story, that is a friends to lovers story. Once Kevin gets Erik’s name in the Christmas draw, he decides to give him one gift each work day, revealing the giver on Christmas eve. He’s been best friends with Erik for a long time and they work well together, in part because they are opposites. Erik loves to be in front of the jury, is comfortable with people, but Kevin hates that, but can work miracles with research. He takes a deep breath and decides to make his feelings known through the gift exchange.
He starts with romantic gifts, candles, a movie, chocolate, but when Erik fears it may be a woman crushing on him, he runs out to buy gay pride stickers and puts them on his office door. LOL Kevin then decides to up the ante and starts giving more risque gifts. The fun part was Erik didn’t WANT to know. He really didn’t have any family to celebrate with, and he was loving the game of getting gifts. Part of Kevin’s enjoyment of the game was watching Erik’s delight, which I think is what good friends turned lovers would feel. The gifts and discussions of crushes, also wakes Erik up and when Kevin confesses to having a crush on someone, he finally looks at him in a different light.
It was fun to see the different gifts and both of their reactions. Kevin trying to pretend he didn’t know what they were and Erik trying to make Kevin blush. You knew they were good friends who knew a lot about each other and were perfect for each other, if Kevin was a bit more confident about his strengths. Perhaps the law firm they work for was a bit too perfect. The description of the holiday party they hold had me envious and figuring it must be the thing of urban legends, mind you, at my work we have to pay for our own party, so I may well just have been jealous. :-)
I really enjoyed it, and it’s not overly sugary or sentimental, but the different gifts and the banter between the two best friends made it a great holiday read....more
I had mixed feelings about this story, mainly the ending which was very abrupt. It starts with NeThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
I had mixed feelings about this story, mainly the ending which was very abrupt. It starts with Neil avoiding going home because now that his mother has passed, he really has no family and a lonely holiday has no appeal. He comes across a young homeless man begging outside the grocery store, so he offers to buy him a sandwich, rather than give him money. The young man agrees, and when Neil returns, on impulse he invites the man home with him.
Naturally, Kai figures he’s for hire and offers himself for a price. Neil is rather shocked, he hadn’t really thought about that aspect, he just wanted company. However, now that Kai has put it out there, he’s not against the idea. An extremely hot and slightly kinky sex scene makes up a large part of the book. It’s obvious the two are compatible in bed, but the next morning, Kai prepares to leave after Neil pays him, however Neil has a bit of a breakdown and ends up crying on Kai’s shoulder.
It was fine up to now, but then suddenly, it’s one year later and Kai never left. The end. Wait. What? But how did that happen? Why was Kai homeless? How did they work that out? Did he get a job? Become his houseboy? I was just left rather stunned by the epilogue which felt a bit tacked on in order to create a HEA, rather than a HFN if Kai had agreed to stay for Christmas and just left them to work it out.
So there is nothing inherently wrong with the story or the writing, but I just couldn’t past the slightly confused and disgruntled feeling I had at the end. I wanted more, I wanted to know about both of them, and if they were compatible and see the relationship grow. Not all people may feel that need so much and if you enjoy the author’s work, you’ll probably enjoy this Christmas story....more
This was a fun little story that didn’t fall too far into the sugary sweet Christmas fare. As theThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This was a fun little story that didn’t fall too far into the sugary sweet Christmas fare. As the blurb says, Steve owns/runs his own bakery in San Diego and Jackson is a lawyer in New York. They met playing an on-line game and clicked and Jackson initiated Skype conversations. Now nearly a year later, Jackson is coming to San Diego to meet in person. Steve suddenly realizes he’s “fat” and is determined to use those 100 days to Christmas to get fit, because Jackson is gorgeous and he doesn’t want the man to be disappointed.
A very amusing section entails short journal entries of Steve’s quest to join a gym and get fit. I loved this section. Steve is a bit flighty at times and very funny. His personal trainer’s insistence he jog and his reaction is amusing and ofttimes, he ended up bringing a plate of cookies and their “training” session ended up being sitting around dipping cookies in caramel sauce and chatting. Jackson found his stories hilarious as well.
Finally, Jackson is about to arrive and Steve realizes he’s only lost 10 lbs, not the 40 he had hoped for. He spends much time decided how to best camouflage his tummy and bum, however as with all great romances, Jackson loved him exactly how he is. It was very sweet and while the ending could have appeared rushed, the fact that they had been talking to each other on-line for over a year made it seem perfectly natural to me. I think the fact that the author let you see this happening over a period of time, the way Jackson teased Steve, rather than just saying “oh, they talked for a year” really made the ending fit well without feeling tacked on or hurried.
If you are looking for something a bit light and appreciate a character who does not have six-pack abs and frets about it some, Steve is an adorable character and I liked him a great deal. I was happy he found a guy who loved him the way he was, even if it was less than romance novel perfect....more
This little short is a cross between romance and erotica. Karl and Mike have been a couple for aThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This little short is a cross between romance and erotica. Karl and Mike have been a couple for a long time and both recently got medical internships in New York City. However, both are feeling particularly blue this Christmas Eve, stuck in their super tiny apartment and missing their friends in New Orleans, where there was always a traditional Christmas Eve gathering. Even though their friends promised them a surprise, it’s now too late for mail delivery. Just as they are about to distract themselves with a little action, a knock on the door reveals Santa. They are surprised that their friends managed to get them a gift, however….
Soon Santa drops the costume, and he’s really a hot ripped young guy. Before long a steamy threesome ensues, with some revelations for both men. It seems Mike had a few things he’d like to try out that he thought Karl wouldn’t like, and vice versa, so it’s a revealing night for all. Kris tells them he’s sure he’ll be back, but he has to run.
I’m saying it’s combination of erotica and romance, because there’s never any real option of a threesome permanently and the sex is hot and raunchy and suitably kinky. You don’t find out much about Karl and Mike, beyond the fact that they met at one of the infamous New Orleans Christmas parties and both are doctors. I was a bit curious about their history together, but on the whole, it’s a spicy little threesome interlude story. There is a twist at the end which I won’t reveal but it added some fun to the mix.
If you have a few minutes and are looking for something sexy, a nice choice....more
This is just a short little semi-public interlude that leads to what could be more. As the blurbThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This is just a short little semi-public interlude that leads to what could be more. As the blurb notes, Jamie’s car is dead and he’s called the service company to come and give him a boost. He’s stunned when hot Italian Stefan shows up, and manages to embarrass himself several times in the first minutes of meeting the man by rambling incoherently, and then getting caught ogling the man. However Stefan doesn’t mind in the least, and before long they are rubbing off against his Mini Cooper.
As I said, it’s short and there’s not much beyond the two men meeting, and sharing information. You don’t know much about either man. Jamie is in the military and has been in Germany for about 18 months and Stefan is in Germany to “supervise” his younger sister who is going to school there. That’s about it. The main thrust (ha!) of the story is the two men’s instant attraction and acting on it.
I like this author’s style and writing, and if you are in the mood for a little short with some nice local colour talking about the Christmas markets in Germany, it will be perfect. But if you are looking for something with more in-depth characters, not the way to go. Perhaps one day the author will give us a glimpse of what happens with Stefan and Jamie afterward. I will say I am pleased the author did not try to turn a short interlude in a parking garage into a HEA with declaration of love. The ending perfectly fit the story and what transpired. So kudos for resisting the urge to wrap everything up with a Christmas bow, no matter how oddly shaped the box. ;-) ...more
This story hits some of my hot buttons, so I may have overlooked some things because stories abouThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This story hits some of my hot buttons, so I may have overlooked some things because stories about poor abandoned lonely soldiers do it for me. Berg has just gotten out of the army and when his civilian lover sort of invited him to come by for Christmas he heads off, only to have the door answered by his wife. Ack! Standing soaking wet in the freezing rain, DJ comes home and can’t just send the guy off, so invites him in, very quickly realizing that it was probably his dick neighbor whom he knew had relationships with men.
Berg is feeling lost and stupid and alone, but agrees because he really has nowhere to go. DJ is instantly attracted, although he has found most guys aren’t interested when they find out he’s a cop. But that doesn’t seem to bother Berg, and after a nice dinner, and even a visit by DJ’s ex can’t ruin their relaxing evening, which soon leads to some making out.
Okay, you say. Berg just found out he’s been a piece on the side, and DJ broke up with his boyfriend two days ago, should they be thinking about a relationship so soon? Sex? Okay, I know guys tend to not think about sex the same way I might, and I think both realized that their relationships weren’t all that. Berg obviously had no clue who his lover really was, and DJ had realized his ex was a bit of a pretty boy jerk, so it wasn’t like either was nursing a true broken heart, perhaps more of a bruised ego.
I also liked that they didn’t just fall into bed and live happily ever after. Berg had some serious issues. He didn’t believe a hot guy like DJ would want him for more than just a fling and there was some go, don’t go, happening on the sex front until he decided to try. Also Berg’s experiences with sex where not the most positive being furtive activities while in the military, and I liked DJ’s soft gentle way of sharing his experiences. Yes, they were only together the one night and even DJ admitted it was kind of soon for him to be thinking beyond Christmas, but there were no confessions of love. There was however, a definite attraction with both men being a bit older and looking for a relationship rather than random sex.
So while some people may find the story seemed to move a little fast, I just wanted both of them, but especially Berg who’d had a hard life, to get the HEA he deserved, especially after the married jerk treated him so badly. It was a nice story without being over sugary or overly angsty, and I think worth a read amongst the many stories out there....more
I enjoyed this little story, about a young man discovering more about his family and finding loveThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
I enjoyed this little story, about a young man discovering more about his family and finding love on the slopes (not that I enjoy skiing). Ethan works at a deli and rather than spend his holiday with his feuding family has decided to stay at school, however his roommates loud and frequent sex with his girlfriend is making him crazy and he really has no money to do anything. However an unexpected windfall from mysterious Aunt Dee Dee in Hawaii, gives him the funds to sign up for a ski trip through the campus travel agency.
Simultaneously, Henry’s rich friend bails on him because he’s ill, but he goes anyway. Thanks to a screw up with the reservations, Henry offers Ethan to share his room, which thanks to his friend is a luxury suite. I loved the difference in the two men and how Henry brings Ethan out. Ethan is not interested in Henry and just wants to be alone for a while after dealing with the roommate, however before long Henry has wormed his way in and he’s wanting to spend time with him. Henry is more outgoing. He’s decided it’s time to get a boyfriend, rather than flings, and things Ethan might have the potential to be the one.
It happens over a few days, but you see Ethan come out of his shell and become more relaxed and open around Henry. Ethan also has had few sexual experiences, and while Henry comes off a bit cocky about his own prowess, it’s all done in good fun and he doesn’t come across as obnoxious.
There were some nice secondary characters, ranging from the deli owner’s cranky obnoxious aunt, to his coworker and boss, who all had distinct characteristics. I also liked Ethan’s conversation with his aunt and her partner. His aunt’s homosexuality caused discomfort with the family years ago so she moved away, and she’s really only reconnecting. It was nice to see Ethan feeling that he had an ally in his lesbian aunt, and it was a sweet conversation as he realized she’d be someone he’s like to get to know.
So on the whole, while it’s kind of a light fluffy story, the combination of reconnecting with family and two young men having fun at a resort and finding romance was a nice read that kept me going without the forced HEA or too much syrupy sentiment....more
This book is meant to be taken tongue in cheek and it was very well done. After all, every time IThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
This book is meant to be taken tongue in cheek and it was very well done. After all, every time I read “minions” it makes me giggle a bit. William is super-grumpy this Christmas, and nothing annoys him more than being disturbed during his Sunday evening ritual of watching cooking show host Ricky Joe. The minions are tired of William being such a grump, not just about Christmas, but in general, so decide to get him a present. Uh huh.
Meanwhile, Ricky Joe is gritting his teeth trying to fend off his bosses advances, and is getting a bit burnt out, however he never suspected he’d be kidnapped in the parking lot. At first he’s freaked and William is furious with his minions, but it doesn’t take long until they are getting along and joking around, and sharing a passionate kiss. Maybe William will keep the minions around a little longer. When he finds out about Ricky Joe’s boss, he’s determined to stake his claim and warn the man off, only Ricky Joe may not be as ignorant about the paranormal as William presumed.
I love me a good surly character and William definitely fits the bill. He’s old-fashioned, he can’t remember what a computer is called, he makes and stakes minions as the mood takes him, but it’s all done with a light hand, that makes you roll your eyes a bit at William’s sulky behaviour. His surprise when Ricky Joe reveals what he knows was well done.
There’s not much to the relationship, they meet, decide to celebrate Christmas together and make the minions happy… maybe. :-) But I’ll leave that for you to find out. It was a lot of fun to read and each chapter is started with a little paragraph written as if it’s Ricky Joe’s script, talking about different Southern foods, from okra to fried chicken and 24black-eyed peas. It was a cute little addition, and I enjoyed reading each one to see what was on the menu for that chapter. Definitely worth a read if you like your Christmas stories a little more on the irreverent side....more
The blurb pretty well explains this story. Evan is missing his family this year as he’s been forcThis review can be found at Brief Encounters Reviews.
The blurb pretty well explains this story. Evan is missing his family this year as he’s been forced to keep his shop open this year because the economic hard times have hit magical people as well as normals. However his upstairs neighbour has ensured that he will have a nice dinner and he’s mostly just hoping to avoid his other neighbour who appears to hate his guts for some unknown reason.
When he gets home, he finds said neighbour, Kian sitting in the hallway. At first he’s a bit snarky, if the guy is stupid enough to leave the hospital before being healed and wants to sit in his hallway, fine. But eventually he brings him in to the apartment and offers him help and to share the Christmas dinner. He always thought Kian was hot, but he’s not even sure the guy is gay and in typical bumbling fashion makes a mess of it, although during dinner things seem to heat up and before long the kitchen counter is being used for something more than prepping food. Evan soon realizes that his neighbor spiked the food with Satyr wine and then he promptly passes out.
It was a cute story, but I never really found out why Kian had such antipathy towards Evan. He later says he’s just that way, but the way Evan explained it was more than that, although his neighbour was obviously not above a bit of matchmaking. I just didn’t really get a feel for either man that much so wasn’t very invested in them. It takes place over a fairly short period of time, so you don’t find out much about either man or the world they live in, maybe that was the problem, I felt a bit dropped into a world without much background.
Still, I enjoyed a story that was outside the contemporary genre in which so many holiday stories fall. The magic though plays a facilitating role in the relationship, but not a large part....more