Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Winter Warmers Anthology
Authors: Chrissy Munder, Clare London, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, Lou Harper
Length: 126 pages
Publisher: Pink Squirrel
Baby, it's cold outside! Beat the chill with Winter Warmers - a seasonal anthology
Mulled wine. Butterscotch kisses. Hideous sweaters. Candy at the beach, or a trip to a sex shop in Amsterdam. And the man of your dreams, wrapped around you...
Winter warmers come in many shapes and sizes, from the tongue-in-cheek to the hot-as-hell. Enjoy a quintet of heart-warming tales of men loving men from Clare London, Chrissy Munder, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, and Lou Harper that are guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.
One thing's for sure—it's going to be a red-hot Christmas!
This is going to be an abbreviated look at each story saying what I liked about it.
Lucky Dip - Clare London: A story of a grade school teacher who is forced to work with his ex (the uncle of a student) to prepare for the Christmas carnival. They manage to get locked in a storage closet for the night, complete with bottles of wine and mince pies where the ex gets a chance to explain his behaviour. I really liked that while it all worked out over the night, Andy didn't give in easily to a second chance. He made him grovel and seriously was ready to move on. I get frustrated when one guy just say "gee sorry" and the other goes "okay". Nooooo. Groveling is good. Lots of fun descriptions of the kids preparing for the fair with a good dose of humour.
Butterscotch Kisses - Chrissy Munder: A man dumped by his bf because of his fear of heights and refusal to go on the toboggan run, is determined to conquer his fear, if it means showing up every day and paying to climb a little more each day. Flirting with the ticket sales guy with the funky hats is just a bonus. When he's rescued by hat boy, they finally get a chance to talk. It was a very cute story and I felt for Matthew who suffered from dyslexia as well and felt that he couldn't live up to the "perfection" that was his twin brother, but was determined to beat this one thing. The hats were amusing.
Wintertide - Lou Harper: Escaping noisy neighbours, Jem sees a sexy older guy on the pier. They flirt and end up at sexy guys place, although later after waking Jem sees pics of another guy and figures he's with a cheater, but Oscar tracks him down and explains it his lover who died and they decide to try dating. This story had one of my hot buttons, BIG age gap. Oscar was 45+ and Jem was not yet 21. Long term viability? I find it hard to buy into that. If I look at in a "for a period of time that works for them" maybe. I just tried not to think about the numbers much. Well written and I'm sure others won't mind the gap at all.
When in Amsterdam - Josephine Myles: An interracial couple head to Amsterdam to spend Christmas with Jos' parents. Brandon is first freaked out by all the pieten he sees in the store windows (little black elves who help Santa) and he's also feeling self-conscious about the fact that Jos is into BDSM and he's very vanilla. However taking shelter in a sex store from the rain, maybe he's not quite as vanilla as he thought and could give Jos what he needs. This was more sexy and intense and a while not angsty or serious, not so light as the others. Seeing vanilla Brandon explore his Dom side was very interesting and hot.
A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips and Thou - JL Merrow: Liam, who lives with his mum and two aunts who are witches, spends his evenings playing his saxophone in the metro to earn cash. Everyday he sees an older man but they never talk. His family is eager to get him mated off but end up knitting him a variety of odd items they insist on wearing. A hat that covers his mohawk, a long Dr. Who scarf and a god awful cardigan. Each item seems to bring him closer to meeting his crush, the cardigan being the last piece of the puzzle. I snickered many times reading this. The hat that looked like he had a tea cozy on his head and the references to Dr. Who were very funny. Even though there was another big age difference, maybe because they only spent the evening together I didn't feel the same squick factor. *shrug* Who knows with me.
Anyway, these stories are all fun reads, all have a light hand with humourous moments, although some are more outright funny and others less so, but when you're in the mood for something that leaves you feeling light and positive about the season it's a great selection. All of these authors are ones I can rely on to give me a good story with strong writing and appealing characters, so you can't go wrong with this collection.