So I've had a chance to read a few shorts and I'm a fast reader. I think I read today's DSP Christmas thing in 17 min. before I left home this morning. So it looks like a lot, okay, it is a lot, hush up and let me live in my own little world kay?
The Dickens With Christmas by Josh Lanyon (75 pages)
A few points. a) What the hell is that guy wearing? A belly vest? Are those in? b) When you open this file you go "Oooooh, nearly a 100 pages of Lanyon goodness, only to realize that the last 25 pages are ads for other Loose-Id books. Hmmm. Moving on. James, a book authenticator is hired to check out a rare Dickens Christmas novel Sedgewick is auctioning off. (British - because no American would name their child Sedgewick). James has a past where he got tangled up in a murder/forgery thing 3 years ago so is forced to work for some unsavoury clients but needs the cash. He meets Sedgewick and under unusual circumstances he ends up getting together with him but even though the sex is hot they always seem to get into some kind of tiff and James storms off. There are some other things that keep them apart but I won't go into details. I felt for James, losing everything when he was innocent, having to work at Barnes and Noble to pay the bills (although I'd like to think that was my dream job). You don't find out much about Sedgewick except for what he tells. There is lots of humour, some of it a bit dark but on the whole a great read for the season (or anytime really).
Two Christmases by Anne Brooke (25 pages)
Danny has been living with his older lover Jake for 9 months, he's tried to change his ways, easing off the drugs and booze but one night gets high/drunk and sleeps with his ex who did not take their break-up well and decides to blow the whistle on him the week or so before Christmas. Danny tries to apologise but knows he screwed up. He tells his boss everything and his boss offers him drug/alcohol counselling in order to keep his job. A year later he meets up with Jake again and they see if they can start over. I really liked this story as it went from Danny thinking he had things under control in his life (obviously not since he had sex with his ex) and a statement that showed this was "I was off the drugs, almost." Umm. you were off or you weren't. It wasn't heroin or anything but still. The story was told from Danny's perspective and as he worked his way through the crap and counselling and accepted responsibility for why he did what he did. It certainly wasn't a sugary Christmas story, dealing with the effects of drugs and alcohol on someones life but it does leave you with the potential for a much healthier Danny and Jake to have a HEA. I really enjoyed it. No smexin'. :-)
Silver & Gold by Devon Rhodes (66 pages)
Although this has a different cover it's part of the DSP thing. The cover. Sigh. Is he with his Grandpa? I'm sorry. In the book he's only 12 years younger, he looks 22 years younger here. Not that the older guy isn't good looking but .... Okay, Geoff is just divorced (from a woman) and suddenly his first love (a boy) gets in touch and says "Let's get together over Christmas." He gets very excited but kind of freaked about his age. He tries to color his silver hair but Abe, his secretary's gay stylist refuses because he thinks it looks great. Abe and Geoff get together and have wild monkey sex and good times for a week but Abe finds out Geoff plans on reuniting with his ex and the tears begin. Sigh Too many tears. He's only known him a week or less. I would be pissed off, finding out you were the practice fuck for the ex, but Abe is heartbroken especially when he overhears Geoff talking to the ex and making it sound like Abe is nothing. So Geoff goes home and realizes he wants Abe, not the ex and then has to make it right. Abe cries some more. I liked Abe but he did tend to cry a lot for me. Not that I'm against boys crying, really, I don't, but in perspective. I also have issues where people fall in love in a week. I know with Christmas stories unless you involve characters who've been in a relationship it's hard to cram in a HEA into the Christmas season. Granted it seems to start on Nov. 1 at 00:01 hours, but I have issues with declaring yourself in love within 72 hours. *shrug* That's me, a personal thing. Nothing wrong with the story, just my little niggle.
Gay for Pay by Kim Dare (48 pages)
Ben Smith (niggle, sometimes he's referred to as Smith, sometimes Ben, I prefer first names, just me) is pissed because he has to chase after his rich client's spoiled son who has "run away". He finds him in a low-class BDSM club as part of the slave auction where he claims to be "gay for pay". So Ben buys Nate to save his ass and takes him back to the hotel. He finds out that Nate is really submissive (or wants to be) but for some twisted reason won't admit he's gay but wants a master. So naturally Ben is pleased since he's been lusting after Nate all along and is a dom. They go home and Ben confronts Nate's dad about the "not gay" thing and seems his father knows Nate's a gay submissive and is afraid some guy will take advantage of him. But a woman won't? Get a clue mister, we can be just as evil as the boys. Anyway, Ben declares he will take care of Nate *wink* *wink* and Nate's dad is fine with that. Okay. There's some hot smexin' but I thought Nate's Dad was pretty naive if he thought marrying a woman would protect his son. An okay read.
Finding Love by Simone Anderson (75 pages)
I've never read this author before. Nick gets a phone call that his ex Tristan has disappeared. He is on medical leave from the Chicago PD after being shot. He rushes home and they find Tristan chained in a shed wearing a mask. Seems someone has been sending Tristan messages saying they are going to kill Nick which is kind of weird since they've been split up for a year after Nick couldn't admit to loving Tristan. (BDSM relationship) So they spend a lot of time screwing around and getting more freaky threats in the mail and trying to figure out who the hell is doing this. Some things that weren't really made clear were the fact that Tristan's brothers and sister seem to hate him because he's gay I guess, they make reference to it but you don't really find out the whole thing and then there is reference to Tristan's "body sensitivity" issue which makes him less than perfect and the reason Nick couldn't love him? Huh? I wasn't sure. But if you have an overly sensitive body, would you be into getting whipped? Wouldn't that be too much? And he's a martial arts teacher. You take some hits to the body. So they just made reference to this body thing but didn't explain what it was or why it was a problem. Nick was a bit of an ass, must have you and fuck you stupid, push you away and say it was wrong, must have you and you fuck me stupid, push you away .... Sigh. I must say the person I suspected of being behind it wasn't. Surprise. Usually I guess. So that was okay.
An Australian Christmas in New York by Sean Kennedy (22 pages)
Vince has been living in NYC with his lover Chuck for 4 years and while he loves the traditional white Christmas, he's feeling a bit melancholy and missing a steaming hot Christmas back home in Australia. In order to help combat the home-sickness, Chuck decides to try and make an Australian Christmas for Vince. It was a really cute story and I loved finding out so much about Christmas in Australia since of course the season is the exact opposite. Playing in the pool on Christmas day is appealing to me, but I would probably miss a white Christmas after a few years too. Lots of fun traditions explained and special desserts and foods that are traditional in Australia. So a social studies lesson in the habits of the Aussie celebrating Christmas along with a sweet story about a guy trying to give his partner a taste of home.