Feather from the Sky by Posy Roberts

FeathersFromtheSkyAUDLGTitle: Feathers from the Sky
Author: Posy Roberts
Series: A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”
Narrator: Paul Morey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (10-30-14)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: Cal Thompson is going a little mad over the Christmas holiday, stuck in a tiny house with fourteen members of his immediate family. There’s no privacy and no boyfriend to help him cope—because Philip is still a secret, though not for long. Cal’s family knows he’s bisexual, but they’ve always assumed Cal would marry a woman and be fruitful and multiply. Just as he’s ready to set the record straight, his parents tell the family they’re selling the family house and tip this introvert’s world on edge.

Philip Sherman arrives at Cal’s family home to find his lover mourning the loss of his home, paralyzed by the abrupt and unexpected announcement that trumped his own. Though Philip takes the setback in stride, they won’t be able to avoid the calling of their hearts for long: Cal needs to reveal the truth of his relationship with Philip to his family, and Philip has a question he’s desperate to have answered.

Product Link: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Feathers-from-the-Sky-Audiobook/B00OZUWCG6

Reviewer: Tams

Review: Cal has been dating his best friend Philip for three years, and they’ve been living together as a couple for more than half that time. Headed to his family home for Christmas, he has decided to tell his parents the truth about his sexuality, only to be taken aback when his parents tell him they are selling the house and relocating for his dad’s job.

His family is large and loud and their home is small and meager, but it is just that, their home. A lifetime of memories are wrapped up in those four walls, and Cal is having a hard time accepting the news. Philip is very gracious and understanding of Cal’s feelings and doesn’t put any pressure on his boyfriend to tell his family the truth about their relationship. Turns out part of Cal’s family already figured out what he and Philip mean to each other, and the other part could really care less.

For such a short story, there was a lot of content. There is a little something about each member of Cal’s large family, but the core of the story is Cal and how his emotions are playing out with the undue stress he has put on himself about coming out to his family, which is only compounded by the news of the house being sold. He and Philip were so sweet and passionate with each other, and that ending was picture perfect, especially the reference to Feathers in the sky.

This is the first audio for me where Morey does a foreign accent, and he totally nailed it. I especially loved how he put Cal’s thoughts to words and gave them feeling and depth. Perfect little snack for the Holiday season, definitely a must listen!

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Under a New Star by Leo d'Entremont

UnderaNewStarLGTitle: Under a New Star
Series: Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calender package “Celebrate!”
Author: Leo d’Entremont
Genre: Science fiction
Length: Novella (77 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: In the 26th Century, mankind has breached the light speed barrier and begun to colonise other planets. They’ve also learned to Design human beings, known as Morphs, for specialised colony missions. Adrian is an Aerial Morph, on his way to colonise the low-gravity planet Eridani VI with his scientist Partner, Michael. In violation of the rules of the Morph Projects, they’ve been lovers for months. Michael cares more about his work than anything, while Adrian doesn’t take anything seriously except Michael. Before they arrive at their new home, they need to curtail their relationship before it destroys their professional Partnership.

The colony ship is scheduled to arrive at their destination on Christmas Eve. Some old holiday traditions persist, but when Adrian and Michael have differing ideas about what’s best for their relationship and their careers, holiday gifts and ideas for new beginnings lead to crossed signals.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calender package “Celebrate!”

ISBN: 978-1-63216-754-5

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5858

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This was just… wow! This is certainly science fiction and there are many stories that go along these lines: colonists are leaving earth for a new planet. But in the spirit of Christmas, this is definitely lends to the historical context of colonists leaving the old country for the new in what is their first Christmas away from home, in this case Earth. I’m thinking in particular to the references to “Solstice” and “Longest Night”, both are accurate terms and certainly what was celebrated before Christianity began to dominate cultures.

In this story, Michael is a normal human, which simply means the only genetic alterations he’s experienced are those to remove susceptibility to disease. Adrian is a Morph, which are genetically altered humanoids grown in labs. This is something commonly seen in science fiction, though the first thought that came to mind were the GELFs, in the TV series seaQuest DSV. But, in the spirit of Christmas, in this book they have wings to adapt to the low gravity of their new colony. The idea is that Morphs are paired with an ordinary human by some mysterious group to work together – some matches are just more perfect than others.

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book. Michael is the stoic, hardworking scientists who would keep to himself if not for Adrian. Michael is cute, clever and professional. Adrian, for a genetically engineered life form, is up to all sorts of mischief but is incredibly sweet, particularly when it comes to Michael. Both men have each other’s best interests in mind for everything they do. There were times when I wanted to give Adrian a slap because Michael was trying, but that’s all in the best parts of the book.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Snow Globe by L.E. Franks ~ Audiobook

SnowglobeAUDLGTitle: Snow Globe
Author: LE Franks
Narrator: Dave Gillies
Genre: Contemporary/Holiday
Length: 58 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (11-10-2014)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: Kris Hamilton escaped the rat race in LA to live his dream of owning an art studio and making snow globes in a Christmas-themed town in northern Minnesota. But life in a tiny town isn’t as peaceful as advertised, and being treated like an outsider is making Kris’s Tourette’s flare up. When he inadvertently offends Tyr Tollefson—a beautiful blond giant of a man—Kris is ready to chuck it all. But he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Tyr’s cousin Bun, who shows them the magic of Christmas and gives them both a lesson in love and acceptance.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Product Link: http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Snow-Globe-Audiobook/B00PCWDW4M

Reviewer: Tams

Review: Kris Hamilton turned his online snow globe making business into something full-time, buying into a store in Minnesota, and moving his life across country. Only to be ceremoniously ostracized by his neighbors because he is different. Kris is tall, thin and has the appearance of an Anime character come to life, he’s gay, and he has Tourette’s. Any one of these characteristics would be frowned upon in this straight-laced Midwestern town, but Kris seems to have nailed the trifecta.

When Tyr Tollefson and his niece stumble into Kris’s store and are witness to a full on episode, Tyr gets the wrong impression. But Kris’s personality shines when he starts to get to know Try and Bun, and Tyr learns the real reason behind Kris’s outbursts. While Kris is unable to control what comes out of his mouth most of the time, his outbursts serve to bring him and Tyr closer together as an odd form of communication. But inexperience and a town full of judgmental people threatens to drive a wedge between them.

This was a super short Christmas themed story. I was surprised at just how much content was given for a book just shy of an hour in length. I loved the detailed descriptive of the town, Kris’s work and Kris and Tyr’s appearance overall. I seriously had a visual of these two men and where they lived just by the words used for them. This was my first LE Franks book as well as my first Dave Gillie’s audible, it will not be the last for either of the aforementioned! What a great collaboration of written word and the translation of them.

Definitely a must read for any fans of the genre that are looking for a heartfelt, romantic read for the Holiday. Again, it is very reasonably priced in both Audio and E-book. Cheap enough, in fact, that this would be a great option for gifting, as well.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

A Lion in Tales by Andrew Grey ~ Audiobook

ALioninTailsAUDLgTitle: A Lion in Tales
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”
Narrator: KC Kelly
Genre: Holiday/Contemporary
Length: 2 hours and 9 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (9-19-2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: Larry Kincaid isn’t ready to be a parent, but when his sister dies in an accident, he takes his nephew, Angus, into his home. The change throws Larry’s life into limbo until he meets Joshua Langdon.
To Joshua, Larry is a lion: growly and strong, but too proud to ask for help. Joshua gets past his defenses and finds a place in Larry and Angus’s family, but Larry’s pride gets in the way. Can they turn their holiday romance into a relationship that lasts into the New Year?

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Product Link: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/A-Lion-in-Tails-Audiobook/B00NP4H6FK

Reviewer: Tams

Review: Short, Sexy, and Steamy wrapped up in a pretty red bow! My three favorite colors, oh how I’ve missed you!!

Larry Kincaid inherited the responsibilities of being a father to his young nephew, Angus, when his sister passed away. Every day is about going through the motions with Larry thinking of what is best for Angus. All that changes when he takes Angus to a local shop to get a tux for their annual Christmas party. Angus is immediately enamored with the shop worker, Joshua Langdon, as is Uncle Larry.

Circumstance leads Larry to invite Josh to the Christmas party, and the two share a very heated, very passionate night for an after party. But when Josh leaves in the night without so much as a word or a note, Larry is hurt. A past relationship that went bad left a sour taste in Larry’s mouth and he jumps to conclusions about why Josh left. Then refuses to hear his explanation. As fate would have it, the two meet again by chance, shopping for Christmas trees. Can Larry let go of the past, be a father to Angus, and have a relationship with Josh?

Trademark Andrew Grey with the perfect plot and precise character development. The flow from start to finish was steady and graceful. Larry is a lion when it comes to his role as a father figure and his business, but when it becomes more personal with Josh, he acts like an unsteady kitten. Until Josh calls him out on it, and then it’s on! What he has to do is find a balance between being Angus’s father and Josh’s lover. This book seriously made me laugh, cry, and swoon.

If you’re looking for a fun Holiday read that is equal parts sexy and sweet, then this is the book for you.

Updated Audio review December 2014…
I do love when a narrator can take a story I’ve already read and enjoyed and add just that little something more to it. There were actually little things in the story that I either missed or just didn’t quite catch when I read it, or perhaps Kelly’s rendition of the written word just brought something new to it. Larry lost his sister and became the sole guardian to his young nephew and he constantly worries that he can’t give little Angus what he needs. Josh sees the man who Larry truly is. A fiercely loyal, strong single father and the perfect partner for him.

Through Christmas parties, fancy suits and decorating trees these two men fall in love and show a promise of becoming a family. Kelly took Grey’s words and told them in a way that expanded an already fantastic story. Like I said before… Short, Sexy and Steamy! The perfect companion to the written work.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Holiday Invasion by Elle Sommers

HolidayInvasionLGTitle: Holiday Invasion

Author: Elle Sommers

Genre: Holiday Novella

Length:  Short (35 pages)

ISNB: 978-1-62798-588-8

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts

Reviewer: Mickie

Blurb: Lukas and Taylor are looking forward to Christmas with their two-month-old daughter. However, Taylor’s parents and Lukas’s siblings decide they shouldn’t be alone for the holiday and invade the house. Their intentions are good, but it changes Lukas and Taylor’s plans. So not only is Taylor learning the ropes on his new job, but his and Lucas’s once-quiet house is now overflowing with people, and not all of them get along. Their holiday might crash and burn if they can’t bring their families together.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4490

Review: My Momma always said if you have nothing nice to say…. I never listen. But, I will be brief. I feel like these characters may possibly already be ‘known’ to fans of this author, like I was always missing the ‘why’ of why I should care about them…if that is not the case, (and this IS a standalone), this book fell very short for me…if it IS the case, (and these characters ARE part of an already familiar series), it STILL fell very short for me.

Holly and Oak by J.L. O'Faolin

HollyandOakLGTitle: Holly & Oak

Author: J.L. O’Faolin

Genre: Holiday

Length: Short (28 pages)

ISNB: 978-1-62798-593-2

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Mickie

Blurb: Twice each year, during the solstice, the Holly King battles the Oak King as Nature takes its course. This year, however, Holly concedes defeat far too easily. Curious about his brother’s haste, Oak nags his brother into revealing his secret: a new relationship with a human. While loving a mortal is not taboo, Oak fears his brother’s love may run too deep. But despite knowing he risks his heart, Holly is determined to share warmth with his Sergio for as long as the world will allow, if not beyond.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4495

Review: The imagery in this story, though it is short, is vivid and lovely. The story is enchanting. These characters made me happy to meet them and sorry to see them go. I only regret this wasn’t a longer read.

Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf by B.G. Thomas

19083948Title: Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf

Series:  N/A

Author:   B. G. Thomas

Genre: Christmas themed Contemporary

Length:  Novella (95 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2013)

Heat Level:  Mild

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Eli/Mandingo

Blurb: Kit Jefferies, a part-time department store Christmas elf, is an artist who loves life and his family. Unfortunately, his car dies at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere as he is heading home for Christmas. Enter Nick St. George. 

Nick is a very unhappy man—he’s achieved his professional goals only to find the rest of his life bleak and empty. Deciding there was only one way to make everything right, he is on his way to San Francisco on a dark mission, and even the horrible sleet storm that blocked his path won’t deter him. That’s when he found Kit. 

At first, Nick is pretty sure rescuing Kit was a big mistake. Kit’s personality is just too, well, effervescent. But as the miles go by, Kit begins to bring light to his dark heart. It might even be bright enough to illuminate a Christmas miracle. 

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Purchase Link:   http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4506

Review: Nick is a douche when you first meet him and most people would have written him off altogether, but for whatever reason he’s kindly towards Kit and so they embark upon an unlikely road trip, which will lead Nick into spending time in Kits’ infectious presence. Kit’s inability to curse or be mean is representative of the true meaning of Christmas and what Kit does for Nick is in every way what we expect to see in a Christmas miracle. Nick is finally able to see that there is more to life than he first thought and that he must have the courage to not only save himself but to reach out and capture happiness when it is facing him.

Kit is able to see the Nick that Nick himself is not able to see. When Kit gives Nick his Christmas gifts, Nick is finally able to see himself in a way he’d never seen himself before and it is that single act of kindness and compassion which will change the trajectory of both their lives.

This is a lovely and heart-warming story about the holidays and the true meaning of Christmas, complete with the Christmas miracle that Kit will give to Nick.

In Another Life by Cardeno C.

InAnotherLifeLGTitle: In Another Life

Author: Cardeno C.

Genre: Contemporary, Holiday

Length: Novella (84pgs)

ISNB: 978-1-62798-579-6 (Heartwarming: 978-1-61581-636-1)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1st December 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: At age 18, Shiloh Raben is tired. He no longer has the energy to deal with mean classmates, inner doubt, and fear of familial rejection, so he takes a razor to his wrist. When he wakes up in the hospital, Shiloh meets Travis Kahn, the EMT who saved him and didn’t leave his side.

Travis is handsome, smart, and funny—the type of guy Shiloh would never be brave enough to approach. But his near-death experience has an unusual side effect: the life that flashed before his eyes wasn’t the one he had already lived, but rather the one he could live. With visions of a future by Travis’s side, will Shiloh find the strength to confront his fears and build a life worth fighting for?

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4481

Or as part of the Heartwarming collection: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4512

Review: Shiloh is tired of being bullied, he is tired of hiding himself, and he is scared of how his parents will react if he tells them he is gay; so he takes the only option he thinks is open to him. When Shiloh’s life flashes through his mind it isn’t his past but a future that he has not lived yet, a future with a man who will be his whole world. When Shiloh awakens in the hospital with the EMT who saved him by his side, the future vision of himself and the EMT are fixed firmly in his mind. Travis is an EMT and he has great plans for the future, when he saves Shiloh he discovers those plans now include the cute patient who knows more about him than he should.

There are so many words that I would like to utter but they mainly consist of Ohhhh Ahhhh sweet and cute, and *sigh* soooo romantic. We are given a true treat with this wonderful holiday story that shows the despair of a young man who feels he doesn’t have anything to cling to. It then takes us on a journey to a possible future that he would miss out on and then we are treated to a sweet ending when the course of the future is changed with Shiloh’s knowledge and his actions. The love that is discovered first in the future and then in the present is incredibly sweet but also passionate, a meeting of soul mates who are meant to be whether in the future or in the present.   

Shiloh and Travis are a couple that we see in the future, a developing love when they are older that is struck with tragedy, and in the present, a new love as young men that has hope. The first half of the story is with Shiloh at 36 which then flicks back to Shiloh at 18, in both parts we are treated to a wonderful relationship between Shiloh and Travis, and both characters are wonderful giving us a brilliant story that both delights and has hints of sadness.

Ah, there are so many wonderful and bittersweet moments in this story but the lingering thoughts that stay with me was how everything was altered by Shiloh’s very first action. Without Shiloh’s first desperate actions we would never have seen the future that should be, Shiloh would never have met Travis when he did in the present and would never have changed Travis’ habit to alter the eventual outcome. Puzzled? Well, you won’t be when you read the story and discover that maybe, just maybe, Shiloh’s actions changed both their futures for the better.  

I recommend this to those who love stories of a love that was meant to be, incredible characters, a story that draws out your emotions with ease and a story that brings family together.                        

A Solstice Journey by Felicitas Ivey

SolsticeJourney[A]LGTitle: A Solstice Journey

Series: 2013 – Heartwarming Advent Calendar

Author: Felicitas Ivey

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Holiday

ISBN: 978-1-62798-599-4

Length: Novelette (59 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Upon leaving his company’s Christmas party, Gunnar Dagviðurson decides to walk to the train and enjoy the snowfall, only to get caught in a winter storm that magically transports him to a mysterious foreign realm. That’s how Celyn finds him, stumbling blindly through the snow, and Celyn takes Gunnar home to a castle of faery. Gunnar wants to find his way home for Christmas, but suddenly he’s faced with a choice: does he go back to his adopted family in the human world or stay with the magical family he’s found?

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4501

Review: As enticing as the main idea for this story was I found it somewhat detached.

Here we have Gunnar, being different from all the races known to mankind, raised by a loving family that adopted him when he was little. He grows up to be really content though and chasing a career as an accountant. After the company Christmas party though Gunnar walks his way home only to be lost in a strange snowstorm and find himself in an altogether different realm where elves and dark elves exist and he is supposed to be one of the former.

Okay, so honestly, if I found myself lost in a strange place from one moment to the other and weird people come get me calling me elf, I’d have panicked. No matter how, no matter what, I would not have Gunnar’s reaction. He seemed to take it all in stride and the only time he panicked was when he saw the Yule Cat, and even that was detached from emotions, never making it down to me (the reader).
I don’t know what to make of this story really. Fantasy-wise it was fun, a world I’d love to know and read about. The core of the story though was so bland. The romance itself was lukewarm at best. I mean come on, you have an Elf and a Dark Elf, the very combination entices you to put things on fire let everything burn to ashes, yet it was not. As if it was a matter of course that Gunnar and Celyn would get together and be good for each other. Even the part where they were supposed to be together and the passion, the lust, the wanting, the falling for, everything were skipped making me think what was the point of even writing the story in first place. Was it only the journey from one real to the other? But then again the journey was that much of a shocker what with all the hints we got from the beginning of the story, so it came as a matter of course too.

I don’t know, this story had the potential to be awesome but wasn’t, it had the potential to be steamy hot and sensual as hell but it wasn’t, it had the potential to be dramatic and affect you with suspense but that was seriously lacking, so in the end for me it was just another read will lots of potential.


Gaudete by Amy Rae Durreson

GaudeteLGTitle:   Gaudete

Author:  Amy Rae Durreson

Genre:  Contemporary

Length:  Novella (74 Pages)

ISNB:   978-1-62798-586-4-1-62798-586-4

Publisher: Dreamspinnerpress.com (December 1st, 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Reviewer: LeeAnn

Blurb: Every Christmas, child chorister Jonah Lennox used to meet Callum Noakes at Aylminster cathedral when Callum’s mother came to sell roasted chestnuts at the market. After years of friendship, an argument separates them, apparently forever. Putting away the memories of his lost friend, Jonah left the cathedral and moved on with his life.

When Jonah returns to the cathedral after ten years away, the market in the cathedral brings back memories—and Callum, who has made a life for himself as a woodturner. Upon meeting again, attraction pulls them together, and the holiday may inspire their old friendship to mature into new romance.

Purchase Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4488

Review:  I really liked this story. I love how friendships from the past can turn into romance and love of your lifetime later. They do say friendship should be the foundation of romance, which I agree as I am married to one of my best friends. J

I loved the flash backs to their childhood. Really gave great insights to the things they did and went through when younger. Heartbreaking at their last meeting when young though.  How ever, they were there for each other…anchors if you see what I mean. J

I highly recommend everyone read this!

Alaska by Kim Fielding

AlaskaLGTitle:  Alaska

Author:  Kim Fielding

Genre:  Contemporary

Length:  Novella (45 pages)

ISNB: 978-1-62798-603-8

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (Dec. 1st 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts

Reviewer:  LeeAnn

Blurb: Best friends Scott and Marco meet on a rooftop on Christmas Eve, each temporarily escaping from his difficult home life. With no gift to share, Marco instead promises to someday rescue Scott and take him to Alaska. As the years pass, they meet—first by design, then by chance—on occasional Christmas Eves, only to find life growing increasingly difficult. They treasure the few moments they have together, but will they ever reach Alaska?

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4505

Review:  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book and throughout it, I kept wondering will these two ever catch a break? I had a heavy heart through almost this whole book…happy when they were able to reconnect, but sad when years went by without any contact at all.

However, I NEVER gave up hope and I was thrilled by the time I got to the end of this story. Not a fuzzy, heart thumping story as there is no sex, but there is an enduring love that was awesome to witness.

Celebrating You by Grace R. Duncan

19090820Title:  Celebrating You

Author:  Grace R. Duncan

Genre:  Holiday

Length:  Short (49 pages)

ISNB: 978-1-62798-595-6Pages56

Publisher: Dreamspinnerpress.com (December 1st, 2013)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: LeeAnn

Blurb: With the world’s population down to almost nothing and his husband dead, Daniel is sure he’ll spend Christmas alone with his dog, cats, and goats. Jake has been wandering aimlessly since the world went to hell and he lost his partner. As far as he’s concerned, there’s nothing to celebrate. But he finds himself helping Daniel with his Christmas tree and listening to him describes all the things to be thankful for.

Through tree decoration, dinner, and a chess game, Daniel and Jake discover a connection between them that hints at a possibility both had long declared impossible. When the chess game is over and they’re in each other’s arms, they realize how good it feels… and how right. But after having lost everything, are they willing to believe in the possibility of something beyond basic survival?

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4497

Review:  They feel the “zing” when they first meet, but both have lost someone they loved.

I enjoyed this story very much. The connection they had right off the bat. The love that quickly grew, whether they wanted it to or not was great to read. Having these two, their menagerie of animals and their wonderful Christmas that led to a future was wonderful. I strongly suggest you read this.

You won’t be sorry.

Wrapped Up In You by Lucy Wheldon

WrappedUpInYouLGTitle: Wrapped Up In You

Series: 2013 – Heartwarming Advent Calendar

Author: Lucy Whedon

Genre: Romance / Holiday

ISBN: 978-1-62798-602-1

Length: Short Story (33 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Friends of Norris Mason and Danny Falk said their relationship was guaranteed to last. But lack of communication and individual insecurities broke them apart, and their love affair ended with Danny seeking employment in Japan. Now its two years later, Danny is back in town, Norris hasn’t let go of his love for Danny, and their friends are determined to see them happy again—together. A bit of Christmas matchmaking may encourage a new start for Norris and Danny… if they’re willing to take a chance.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4504

Review: I’m a sentimental sap, full stop. Oh, I’m so ridiculously mellow and grinning like a fool with this little Christmas story.

Norris has been wrapped up in memories of a love lost for two and a half years. He’s still working, living, and enjoying his friends but the empty feeling his lover left after he left is still there, now during the Holidays more so than ever. This time though when he joins the Christmas party at his friend’s house Norris is faced with a shocking surprise.
Danny has returned back in town and is not only under the same roof, breathing the same air as Norris is, he actually chases him down asking for another chance.

So normally, I’d say yeah a bunch of crap – excuse my language – an ex is an ex and should very well stay so, but damn, did I want this silly, sappy, sentimental story to end the way it ended. From the very first line I liked the tone this story is written. I loved every freaking little detail of the scenery. The house it takes place, the over-the-top Christmas decorations, the dammit fish – oh that brought up a round of laughter from me – the ex that comes out of the blue and the shock our main character experiences. The sentimental emotions that struck you out of nowhere as if you’re a hopeless romantic, and the fact that it’s so in the spirit of the holidays that you simply can’t help but be jolly and joyful and hopeful and want everybody happy.

All right, somebody stop me. What I’m trying to say is, I loved this story; it was nice paced, full with only the necessary details to make it interesting for you, it was actually quite engaging and had a way to suck you in, and very romantic. Strongly recommended for fans of the genre.

A Swift Herd for Solstice by Andi Van

SwiftHerdforSolstice[A]LGTitle: A Swift Herd for Solstice

Series: 2013 – Heartwarming Advent Calendar

Author: Andi Van

Genre: Paranormal / Shifters

ISBN: 978-1-62798-605-2

Length: Short Story (50 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5~4 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Martin Jones is driving home after working retail on Black Friday when he nearly hits an elk in the middle of the road. A drunk elk. A drunk, talking elk. Martin is pretty sure he’s hallucinating—right up until he discovers shape shifter Haven Clarke in his bed the next morning. Their awkward meeting leads to a friendship that quickly deepens, and soon Haven has to take Martin to meet his herd’s leaders. What Martin finds out may change his life forever.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4507

Review: All right! This is definitely one of the most amusing shifter stories I’ve read in a long while. As in the beginning of the story makes you laugh hard and shake your head and try stilling the giggles that threaten to get out all over again.

I loved it! It is indeed an instant love sort that normally would have running the other way, but the sweet Nature-child in me, simply couldn’t be bothered with that when I was faced with an astonishing elk. A drunk elk! A drunk talking elk! Oh my, I’m still grinning at that.

So yeah, this story is not just a paranormal/holiday story (Winter Solstice mind you not Christmas) it’s actually a lovely romance decorated head to toe with humor and some really lovely men. It’s fast, it’s engaging, it’s hot and sensual, and it’s a bit emotional too. Most of all it’s so light and funny it makes you read through it with a single-minded determination until the sappy awww-inspiring end comes and makes you melt just because.

I grew a particular fondness for Haven here and somehow I wanted so much more from this character. I wouldn’t mind a novel of his own at all.

As it is, I find this story a lovely addition for all the fans of paranormal romance. Very well, worth it and I believe you’ll enjoy the heck out of it. Recommended!


The Trouble with Elves by Therese Woodson

TroublewithElves[The]LGTitle: The Trouble with Elves

Series: 2013 – Heartwarming Advent Calendar

Author: Therese Woodson

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Holiday

ISBN: 978-1-62798-594-9

Length: Novelette (78 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2013)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Cal Martin loathes Christmas music, especially the clichéd carols pumped through the mall speakers on endless loop. Even worse is the holiday-themed hell of Santa’s Village that looms right in front of the sports store he manages. It’s yet another hurdle for Cal as he tries to survive the world of retail during the soul-sucking holiday season… until he catches a glimpse of one of Santa’s elves and becomes infatuated with the cheery, gorgeous guy dressed in candy-cane tights.

Of course, just walking up to the guy and asking him out isn’t easy, and a botched attempt at matchmaking ends up turning a simple courtship into a mess for the gossip page. What can Cal do to overcome his social ineptitude, correct erroneous assumptions, and maybe have a merry little Christmas of his own?

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4496

Review: Honestly, I thought this would be yet another boring Christmas romance, thus I’m so glad I was surprised. Yes, I was surprised by the plot, by the characters, from the turn of events and pretty much everything, but mostly from the depth that this story managed to (so subtly) get.

Cal Martin is not just a retail employee, managing a sports store at the mall. This character has much more hidden than shown in plain sight. His crankiness with the Holidays and the cheery Christmas music is just the tip of the iceberg to this character’s treats. I loved that this author managed to give him some dimensions and not let him be as flat as he first appeared. By the end of the story he definitely got to be one of those characters I so love to read and respect even.

And Xander, the elf… oh my. Just plain adorable. The fact that the author didn’t shy away from portraying his surrounding world exactly the cruel way they get with someone a bit different (though I admit I just couldn’t get how his “friends” never saw how pretty fantastic he was) was one of the best parts of the story.

You’d think that two guys finding each other attractive and crushing on each other would be pretty straightforward, right? Wrong! That doesn’t happen when you have meddling people surround you and you’re a bit inept at sticking up a conversation. What I didn’t expect though was how exactly messed up the situation would get. The twin factor was brilliant and funny as hell even as it screwed up everything for our pair for some time. But the romance development, the flirting and walking on eggshells, and the silent pinning, all that was just lovely. I felt slowly melting along with Cal and after finishing the story I was left with this silent sigh and content.

Definitely, a Christmas story you’ll want to read. The Trouble with Elves is one that will make you laugh and enjoy a nice night, especially if you accompany it with a hot chocolate and some candy cane 😉 Recommended!


Scanty Santa by Troy Storm

ScantySantaLGTitle: Scanty Santa

Series: 2013 – Heartwarming Advent Calendar

Author: Troy Storm

Genre: Erotica / Holiday

ISBN: 978-1-62798-583-3

Length: Short Story

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: The holidays are looking anything but happy for Evan, whose partner skipped out and left him struggling to hold on to his suburban home. Up the street, an equally hard-working Sam is also hustling to hang onto his piece of real estate. Neither has met the other until neighborly Evan offers a desperate Sam—a scantily clad Santa—a ride to his late-night stripping gig on Christmas Eve. Can this one-off adventure turn into a mortgage love affair, or will they both be left with a sock full of coal come Christmas Day?

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4485

Review: My oh my, what a naughty, naughty read this one. Sheesh! If it was any hotter, I think my pc would be on fire.

As unexpected as it was with the whole horniness bleeding from every pore of this story, I sure didn’t mind it. Damn, now I want one such Santa of my own.

Ok, miserable day at work, nothing exciting waiting for you at home, Christmas Eve is bound to be yet another sorry day. But! You’re about to round the corner to your street when you notice a scantily dressed muscular Santa looking terribly like your mouth-watering, drool-evoking neighbor peering under the hood of his car on a dark cold night…

Can it get any better? Yes! Said scantily dressed Santa is out of gas, in a hurry to a gig that promises to get off of his already skimpy outfit… And he needs your help…

Well, well, well. It appears to be Evan’s lucky night and he must have been a good boy this year for Santa to visit him.

Yes people, this is pure erotica in the Christmas spirit and our lovely Evan gets to be Santa’s little helper and bound to be rewarded for being such a nice boy. Should you choose this story you will be treated to a wonderful, erotic, naughty, sexy, and HOT as hell story, which is bound to make your blood boil, your breath shallow and even sweat start making an appearance on your body. Heavy panting is a side effect of this story too so be prepared, these characters are out to be your naughtiest and sexiest gift for the night, even attempting to dominate your dreams.

Definitely worth it and recommended.


Last Leap of the First-Foot by Ari McKay

LastLeapoftheFirstFootLGTitle: Last Leap of the First-Foot

Series: 2013 – Heartwarming Advent Calendar

Author: Ari McKay

Genre: Historical Romance / Holiday

ISBN: 978-1-62798-581-9

Length: Novelette (58 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3~3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Iain Donaldson and Bran MacRae have been best friends since childhood, despite Iain being part of the gentry and Bran a mere crofter’s son. Iain’s feelings of friendship have deepened over time, and he suspects Bran might share his inclinations—and Hogmanay may be the time to confess feelings. As the old year becomes the new, Iain keeps his promise to first-foot at the MacRae cottage, and Bran takes the opportunity to bare his heart—will it be enough to overcome the challenges to their budding relationship?

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4483

Review: Historical romance coming right down from the Highlands. Iain and Bran dance a little dance around each other .oblivious to the fact they both feel the same way. The year is 1899 and New Year is fast approaching with Iain making up him mind to woo Bran and make a family. Bran’s whole life has been mooning around Iain, his first love, heck his only love, but when he finds out his feelings are returned his entire life collapses.

Weird isn’t it? But Bran knows they have no future. If his parents find out he’d be cast out and if the village finds out about them both Iain is in danger of losing everything. So while it was hard to think he was alone in this dead-end love, its torture to believe they both love each other yet they cannot be.

The text is burdened with feelings of longing and despair, and the era’s romantic feeling looms in the air. The dialogues are written in the Scottish dialect and you might have a tiny bit of trouble, but it is not overbearing and it does not take from enjoying it, it rather gifts the story an authentic touch. The romance between them is just that. Romance! Like the old romances we used to read, when the knight comes barging and stealing the lad, in this case away to his castle, and live happily ever after. Yes, it’s near a fairytale and a good one at that, even as I felt my sugar going high at some point.

The parents were a bit shocking with how liberal they were for the time and place this story is set upon, but then again I already mention this resembles more a tale so it was okay in my books. What I loved more is the general language of the text. Yes, I’m repeating myself, but I feel as that alone actually made the difference for me and made me enjoy this read as much as I did.

So if you’re a fan of historical romantic reads you might want to take a look at this and enjoy a couple of hot boys in kilt. Yes, there are such scenes in the story. J

Heart of the Pines by Jon Keys

HeartofthePinesLGTitle: Heart of the Pines

Series: 2013 – Heartwarming Advent Calendar

Author: Jon Keys

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Holiday

ISBN: 978-1-62798-590-1

Length: Novelette (70 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5~4 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Christmas is the worst time of the year to find yourself alone. Chris Moss, owner of a tree farm, knows this down to his bones as he makes his way through his first holiday season after losing his wife to cancer. When Wade Hart, an annual customer at the farm, visits, they find common ground: Wade lost his own longtime lover to a parting of ways and is lonely too. The constant, gentle companionship provides fertile soil for an attraction neither expects, but nurturing a new relationship is a tough proposition. With the encouragement of family and friends, Chris and Wade may yet find that a second love later in life can be just as fulfilling as the first.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4492

Review: I loved this story!
I have a bit of a soft spot when it comes to stories with older guys, yes, but this one was so good that I believe even the twink-lovers will find this read just awesome.

Wade is feeling low doing his Christmas tree shopping alone. Yes, his relationship with his ex was on the down road for a long time now, but one simply can’t help but feel alone on holidays after a ten-year-old relationship is over. While whining his poor fate at Chris, the tree farm owner and good friend, Wade forgets that Chris can understand him better than he thinks. As a matter of fact, Chris points out that it could be worse, and that’s when it hits him that Chris’s wife of thirty-one years, Mary, died nearly a year ago.

This is how Wade starts offering his companionship as comfort to Chris and himself during the holidays as no one should be left alone, but as days and week pass them by, both men are surprised with the unexpected feeling and connection that start blooming between them.

I think this was such a great story, so down to earth with so many real feelings in it. The men’s portrayal was fabulous. Their fears, their hesitance, and the slow steps they take the ghosts of their previous relationships that can’t just leave like that. I thought I was looking down the road at some neighbor in real life, it felt so much alive, so true to reality with all the bittersweet emotions tangling in the air.

Yes, I loved it. I loved both men a lot too. I had a blast not reading about some hot twenty-something young thang… Nothing wrong with them, but I find older guy to be some kind of novelty in romantic books.

And that’s what this story is, a romance. A second chance at love with all that entails, from first awkward date to the first time they come together, and may I congratulate the author on the brilliant first time that didn’t happen for this couple. It was the cherry on top for me at how freaking believable every single event in this story was.

I loved it! Can’t say that enough. Have at it.It’s well worth the read.

The Lawyer Under the Tree by Meg Harding

LawyerUndertheTree[The]LGTitle: The Lawyer Under the Tree

Series: 2013 – Heartwarming Advent Calendar

Author: Meg Harding

Genre: Contemporary Romance / Holiday

ISBN: 978-1-62798-600-7

Length: Novelette (57 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 1st. 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb: Christmas parties aren’t Travis Buckley’s thing. He’s far too cynical and set in his ways. Too bad his bosses don’t care what he wants. Travis had better lawyer up and make the firm proud by contributing to a charity auction giving out dates with gorgeous men. It’s not really a hardship, except Travis might just buy a bit more than he bargained for.

Happy-go-lucky Cameron Ward runs the charity and has a lawyer for a brother, so he knows all about the secrets underneath those staid personas. This year, with a little help from his brother’s firm, Cameron’s setting out to be the crown jewel of the charity auction. Of course, every crown jewel needs a king—and Cameron knows exactly who he wants.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4502

Review: So here, I am starting this book and I’m loving the shark-type the main character is. Travis is a lawyer. A lawyer! He is confident and smart; the best lawyer of his firm always takes what he wants, and always the one to be in charge. He dislike the holidays, the many people doing the touristy thing, the charities that are charities only so the sharks will look like good nice ole boys, and old rich ladies with claws for hands. Arguments are his oxygen and right there resides his weakness. Do you love the main character so far? I did, he’s raw material for a laughing session and laugh I did.

Enter Cameron, Travis’ boss’ brother. That little sneak. You have the impression something’s not right when Ward, Travis’ boss, orders Travis to bid on his brother’s auction and buy a date with him. You know that there is a catch, especially when Cameron appears to be a young twink, essentially a prey to Travis’ wolf, but damn if you expect what’s hidden behind that lovely twinky face.

The phrase “you met you master” comes to mind when I think about this story and it’s just like that. I loved every little thing that happened. The writing proved brilliant into making you feel the whole extend of this little story. The portrayal of the characters was brilliant; I so loved the lawyer. He was everything one might expect from one and then some. I loved the fact Cameron put Travis out of his comfort zone so easily, I loved how he played it, I loved how he took control out of his hands so effortlessly keeping Travis on his toes. Most of all I loved how they ended their night. That was just hot, what can I say, when one begs for a spanking you just have to deliver.

The story is fun and funny (albeit on Travis’ expense). It is also sweet and romantic. The ending was just lovely and after a semi intense read, I felt it was more than proper to end on a “sappy” note. I loved it and I would recommend it to all of you who like a nice, surprising, romantic read.

Goosed by Sasha Payne

GoosedLGTitle: Goosed

Author: Sasha Payne

Genre: Holiday

Length: Novella (52 pages)

ISNB: 978-1-62798-585-7

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Reviewer:  Mickie

Blurb: Constable Mark Cordwell and Sergeant Bryn Powell deliver post, transport the children to school, and make sure the older inhabitants are safe in their quiet farming village deep in the Welsh countryside. It’s their first holiday together since Mark transferred from England, and Bryn and his neighbors are determined to let Mark know he’s welcome, with little traditions that mark the season. As Christmas and the Plygain service approach, Bryn has one more gift up his sleeve—and he knows it’s the one that will make their holidays perfect.

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4487

Review: This story, while not written in a format I am used to, and the cadence snarled me a few times, is a sweet series of snippets into the life of a lovely couple sharing their first Christmas together in the Welsh countryside. The characters are sweet, vividly written and capture your heart, as well as your imagination. The love between the main characters is evident and beautiful. The love they have for their quaint town, and the folks in it are wonderful to read.

This story takes you on a very special journey during the week before Christmas, and the way of life in a place, that was a joy to discover. I recommend this book as a lovely getaway from the commercialism that has become the holidays…it is beautifully written, with characters that warm your heart and make you smile.