Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I figured out my problem ....

I'm not burned out, I'm suffering from a relapse of the Toy Poodle Flu. I should have figured that out when I was hanging out at MH-T and reading shorts. Duh. I was opening files and going "135 pages. Meh. 250 pages? No. 310 pages? WTF? 400?!?!?! When the hell did authors get so verbose?" So that should have been my first clue. So in the guise of setting up my Fiction Wise newsletter (thanks Chris), I searched by "lowest price" cause that usually means short and spent a whole $6 last night and started reading. Below are my results. Ahem. Perhaps this has given my flu a kick in the ass. Why you ask if you read over 120 pages last night didn't you just read one book of that long? Because I could read for 25 minutes, then go check Facebook, my e-mail and the boys' blogs, then come back and read again, then go and surf and not break my concentration of the story. See, there is method to my madness. Just nod your head kay? Moving on.

Oh and I ditched my Hunk du Jour widget. I have better hotties of my own I'll post.

Stranger Places by Willa Okati (41 pages)

This is the first follow-up to Rack and Daniel from In the Strangest Places. Seems Rack has booked them on a camping weekend for committed gay couples but forgot to tell Daniel. Well he asked him but during the throws of orgasm Daniel doesn't quite remember. After Rack finally convinces Daniel they should go off they ride on the Harley to find the place. Typical guys they get completely lost and it's midnight and they are in the middle of nowhere. Daniel decides to act on one of his fantasies and entices Rack into the woods for some hot smexin' and they have an encounter with some wildlife. Nothing much here, just a bit more of the guys, some funny stuff with Rack in the woods. I still think all that metal has to hurt but they seem to like it.

Christmas for Gary by Vic Winter (41 pages)

Gary has been tasked by family to look after Grandma while they are away. Well seems Grandma and her friends are crackers who shop like mad, flirt with guys and are like I hope to be when I'm 80. Gary is a shy teacher who tries not to be shocked by the ladies but it's pretty hopeless. He sees a hot black guy at the food court at the mall and they encourage him to approach him. He doesn't but one of the ladies calls the guy over and basically says Gary thinks he's hot. Gary melts in a puddle of embarrassment but Troy invites them all to the gym where he's a trainer the next day. After the gym Troy invites Gary for lunch and they make a date. Things go well and Gary can't believe hot built Troy likes him but they can't seem to get together again as Christmas approaches except for some hot phone sex. Gary's Grandma insists they invite Troy over for Christmas Eve and she'll wear ear plugs. LOL She was a riot. She also gave Troy a very interesting gift. Another typical Vic Winter feel good book with some real characters in the old ladies. A cute Christmas read.

Dead Man's Curve by Vivien Dean (145 pages)

What you say? That's not a short. No and I didn't read it yesterday either. I forgot to post it. I won this at Wave's in the Christmas give-away. Spencer is a playwright in NYC who is appalled at the production of his latest play. He gets a call saying Mitch is interested in staging his play about a D-list movie star who died in a mysterious accident. Spencer is sceptical but meets with Mitch and can't help but be caught up in his enthusiasm. Mitch even agrees to let Spencer work closely with him and they become friends during the lead-up to the play. Spencer and Mitch find each other attractive but don't make a move until the star makes a play for Spencer and Mitch loses it and goes for it. There is a subplot about reincarnation and past lives and why are Spencer and Mitch SO obsessed with the story about this guy. I don't believe in reincarnation so I related more closely to Mitch who thought it was hooey (and thus lead to the conflict) but I really liked the characters and it was interesting to read about how they stage a play and what goes into it. Vivien said she actually used to be in theatre so I'm assuming the stuff she wrote was pretty accurate. It was a good read without the big mystery/stalker/coming out of the closet/angsty thing going on which I quite enjoyed. So thanks again to Vivien and Wave for this Christmas present.

Special Delivery by Cassandra Gold (18 pages)

I enjoyed the other Cassandra Gold short I read so thought I'd try this one. Mark is a secretary for a law firm and while he gets along fine with women, socially with guys he's pitiful. Tim is the new UPS (he wears brown, what else could he be?) delivery guy who is HOT. Mark of course acts like a spaz every time Tim shows up. The other secretaries start betting on who Tim will ask out first. Mark's friend bets it will be him but the one secretary who is very sure of her "assets" scoffs at the idea. After several weeks Tim asks him out. Mark won't let his friend tell anyone though. They go out for about a month but haven't had sex as Tim is a perfect gentleman and Mark is too shy. Finally with the prompting of his friend he makes a move and they have a smokin' weekend. Monday at work Tim makes a delivery and it happens all the secretaries are together. The bitch overhears Tim and Mark say I love you and it's a great comeuppance. I quite enjoyed this story as well. Not rushed (Hi, let's be in love), Mark was the typical shy goof but it was a cute story with likable characters and I was with Jenny, Mark's friend, I wanted to tell that bitch after the first date. For 18 pages it was a nice complete story. The cover of that book? Not so much.

Savior by Jade Falconer (30 pages)

Generally I like Jade Falconer's stories, this one, not so much. All the reasons I liked the one above, I didn't like this. Anyway, Ricky is a rock star who has a stalker problem. His manager hires Jim as a bodyguard without Ricky's approval. He's pissed but decides Jim is hot and he'll tease him. Doesn't seem to work but the next day Ricky is attacked at an event and Jim saves his life and they get funky back at the house. Okay, Jim is a professional bodyguard and when Ricky suggests they sleep in the same bed the first night he goes for it and even flirts a bit. Then the next day he quits his job but promises to stay and protect Ricky and they are totally smitten. Ummm. How could a professional just completely toss his integrity aside in a 2 hour period? And Ricky keeps talking about how the guy is his savior. You don't want a relationship based on that, really. And if you quit how are you going to live? You need money. So you are going to live off Ricky? Which is what he said everyone always wants him for his money? Bah. Anyway, if the story had take place over a period of weeks or months I could have gone for it. But he hadn't even known the guy 24 hours when they were madly in love. I thought Cassandra Gold did in 18 pages what should have been possible in 40 here. So this was my disappointment of the night. It won't turn me off the author at all because I have read many of her shorts I enjoyed but this one just didn't work.

Have a safe and fun New Year's Eve everyone. I look forward to many more interesting books in 2010 and hopefully my flu will soon be a thing of the past.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I've been a slacker

In honour of the "almost kiss", I stole this from TA Chase's website today. Hot hot hot. (Obviously he stole it from Beautiful but whatever.)

I haven't read much in the last day or so. Not sure why. I have been kid-free, Monday I had no work ... *shrug* Maybe I burned out. Sometimes I read and read and read and then ... crash. I end up reading a bunch of old stuff, just because it's easy, I don't have to concentrate and I don't have choose what to start next. So ....

I've been hanging out at Matthew Haldeman-Time's website were I go when I want to reread some free stories that I adore. He doesn't have a lot of published stuff and he seems to have this whole fantasy thing going on at his website but I love some of his short m/m stuff that he posts. Some of his stories are graphic in the smexin' department and some are very sweet stories (often of college guys - shut up!) just meeting and maybe making a first date.

Two of my favourites are Incredible and Stupid Question.

Jason is a typical goth boy who shows up at the swimming pool every time the swim team has practice. Trent is the 6'4" star of the swim team who gets curious as to why Jason is there everyday and becomes so intrigued. He's determined to be the first guy on the team with a goth boyfriend and sets out to meet his goal despite the fact that Jason is less than warm and fuzzy when they interact. Incredible is the story of how they get together, then Stupid Question is a few months down the road when they've been dating and Jason's friends think he should ask Trent if he loves him but he doesn't want to fuck it up by asking a "stupid question". I just really like these two guys, it is light and playful and you really get the sense of both personalities and how they mesh even though they come from very different worlds. I reread them often and would love to see a longer story someday with them.

Some of my other favourites are Purple and Magenta, about a guy who just can't focus on studying at the library and finds something way more interesting to capture his attention. Two Bodies which is kind of obsessive and stalkerish but works for me. LOL I also enjoyed Ten Weird Things about two roommates with seemingly nothing in common but bond over a book about weird things, like people who lay down in the road and die in the Southern US. Seriously, it uses real examples from a book about stuff like that. Some of it is hilarious and seeing Eric figure out that he's crushing on his roommate and deciding to do something about it sweet too. There is also some really funny spoofy stories in The Adventures of Jonathan Jackmore. Made me laugh.

So there is my MH-T pimpage for the day/year. If you are looking for a quick little fun read, check out his shorts and I've also enjoyed his published stories as well which got pretty good reviews around the web (at least the parts I hang out in.) On with the stuff I paid cold hard cash for. Well, the credit card was cold when I got it out of my purse.

Pleasures with Rough Strife by JL Merrow (45 pages)

This is set around 1920 (ish) and Daniel is poaching on his landlord's land at Christmas and decides to climb a tree and get some mistletoe for his mother. He falls out of the tree and smacks his head and breaks his leg and some ribs. The gamekeeper (who hates Daniel's family) finds him and takes him to the main house where Philip, the young lord lives a reclusive life following the death of his lover 4 years earlier to the Spanish flu. He finds himself drawn to Daniel and awkwardly spends time with him but starts to come back to life. When Daniel makes a play Philip freaks and Daniel tries to apologise ending up with him hurting himself again and Philip finally confesses he likes guys too. How historically accurate? No clue. Would the servants really be okay with their master being gay? Maybe. But I quite enjoyed how Daniel's enthusiasm for life despite his father dying when he was a young man and living in abject poverty managed to wake rich Philip out of his grief-induced stupor. They also make reference to a poem in the book which is published in full in the back. I always like when author's do that. So there are no declarations of undying love and will they make it? Who knows but it was a nice story about moving on, finally.

Spam! It's What's for Christmas by Lenore Black (41 pages)
Who can not love a book with Spam in the title? Ben is a former baseball player who's knee blew out and now he's been fired, his boyfriend of two year's kicked him out and he's out of money. He finds an ad for nude male models and figures what the hell. He needs the money to buy an amazing gift for his ex to win him back. There were lots of funny lines that made me smile like
Nude Male Models Wanted! Here at least was a skill set he possessed; he definitely knew how to be naked and a man. Anyway, he gets a job for a spam penis enlargement ad working with photographer Gavin. After the ad Gavin asks him to pose for some personal photos and things get very personal. But Ben confesses he has a boyfriend he's trying to win back so figures that's that. He gets some more work and gets the money for the $500 present for his ex, only to find out his ex moved waaaaay on, like months before they broke up. Ooops. Unexpectedly Gavin shows up at his door on Christmas eve and ... There is a whole little side story of a snarky tattooed Santa at the bus stop who talks about giving Ben what he NEEDS, not what he WANTS but he's also very funny because he's so snotty and unlike Santa, but is he? Hmmmmm. :-) Anyway, I quite enjoyed the humour in this story, again, no declarations of true love but figuring out that clinging to the past just because it's been there is not always the way to go. This one made my morning a little brighter today.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day after Boxing Day - What's that called?

Oh yeah, Sunday. The trees look lovely after yesterday's freezing rain, it seems to have stopped now. I should go out and buy lettuce for the rabbit but we'll see how motivated I get or if I watch Star Trek movies all day.

Smart Alex by AKM Miles (197 pages)

Smart, as everyone calls him, grew up in a tiny town where he felt he was the only gay guy on earth. He heads off to university in the city hoping to find more like himself. His first day in the dorms he runs across Tommy and Mike necking in the hallway. He invites them in and explains he's just so damn happy to find gay people. When Smart's homophobic roomie shows up they quickly switch so that he can share with Tommy while Mike lives at home with his homophobic parents. Things go well although Smart wishes he had someone. One night Mike is gaybashed on his way home from school and Smart ends up as the liaison for Tommy and Mike at the hospital dealing with Mike's parents. He meets Alex a nurse and they hit it off. Mike then goes to Tommy's parents farm to recover and deal with the psychological aftermath of the bashing and Alex and Smart get to know each other better. A few niggles, it said that Smart was youngest in his class so would be only 17 when he graduated and heads off to University, and Tommy and Mike are older, at least by one year or two. But then later he claims they are all nearly 20. Huh? The whole book takes place his first semester on campus. And they go to a gay bar (only drinking soda) but no one questions them there. This takes place in the US too, not Canada where 18 or 19 is the legal age. Also these guys talk about their feelings ALL the time. LOL Not like most young men I'd imagine. I think it dealt pretty well with the aftermath of such an attack and Mike's reactions (not that I'd really know thankfully) but there were some things I had to overlook to make it more enjoyable.

Mistletoe on the Mountain by PD Singer (14 pages)

More follow-up stories. This is a little Christmas short about Jake and Kurt of Fire and Snow on the Mountain. Jake knows that what Kurt really wants is Jake to acknowledge him in public, to be "out". Jake just can't seem to bring himself to do it. They talk and find out Kurt was in the same position years ago and the relationship fell apart because Kurt couldn't admit publicly his relationship. Finally after avoiding a freaking town full of mistletoe, Jake makes his move at the Christmas dinner hosted by their friends and plants one on Kurt in front of everyone, the best Christmas gift ever. A cute little story and I can imagine that being forced to pretend your not with someone you love in public must grate on nerves after a time.

Love Bites by Jade Falconer (52 pages)

Yes, I'm reading a Halloween short or two. Shut up, it's AFTER Christmas, technically and the cover has nothing to do with the story, it's just one of those covers they make up for all stories in a series.

Matthew's boyfriend died a year ago and he finally agrees to go to a Halloween party at a club with some friends. He's only there a few minutes when he meets Peter who's dressed as a vampire. Within minutes they are on their way to Matthews place for some hot smexin'. Matthew is totally hooked and Peter has to leave before dawn. Doo doo doo doo *insert Twilight zone music* They get together the next night and have more smokin' hot sex and Matthew is even more hooked after Peter bites him and Peter tells him he's a vampire and Matthew is good with that and declares his love (24 hours later). But I'll let it go since there is a paranormal aspect. It was an okay story.

The Carpenter and the Fairy by Cassandra Gold (33 pages)

More Halloween but no paranormal. First note, when you open the file it says 44 pages, the story actually starts on page 11. There are 10 pages of warnings, duplicate pages with the author's other stories, name of publisher, etc. 10 pages. Jesus. Anyway ...

Mason's friends drag him to the club on Halloween. He hates it but goes as a carpenter, easy peasy since he is one. He's big and muscular and usually hooks up with similar butch guys but sees slim twinky Avery in a loin cloth and fairy wings and is totally enamoured. They end up back at Avery's and have a great night but Mason totally freaks because Avery is way out there gay and so not Mason's type so he sneaks out. Avery is hurt but figures he was too gay as he's been told. Mason finally tracks him down to apologise and explain and ask for another chance. So a cute story of someone finding himself attracted in a big way to his opposite type and dealing with that. I liked Avery, he's a baker who wears eye liner and lip gloss. Very cute. So while they meet at Halloween it's more of a plot device simply to get them together.

Bending the Rules by Jack Green (28 pages)

Another one where the book doesn't start until page 11. I'm not sure if this is a Fictionwise thing where they add their own pages, or Phaze (all of them are Phaze books) but it's freaking annoying.

Zach is a personal trainer who mostly dates women but dating clients or employees is not encouraged although happens. He meets Kieran the new yoga instructor and thinks at first he's a girl (slim, long hair, eye liner) but it totally in lust. Kieran knows he's attracted but was told Zach was strait and is a bit cautious because straight guys seem attracted to him. After seeing Kieran in yoga class doing some amazing bendy things Zach asks him out that night. Seems Zach has no problems with dating guys too and after dinner and some dancing they head home for some hot smexin'. Just a little story of two guys meeting and hitting it off right away, both very different, slim and bendy vs big and brawny. It only takes place over a few hours so not much development but a HFN which worked for me.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Boxing Day

Hmmm. I wonder if there is something special for me in that box? I can hope. Although it seems awfully light to hold a twinky boy. Hope everyone had a super Christmas Day and is enjoying their Boxing Day. The weather is awful here with freezing rain although the trees look lovely with their light coating of ice. We are staying indoors today and off the road. We have lots of leftovers, Top Chef marathon on TV and e-books aplenty to read. Here's a few I read the last day or so.

Snow on the Mountain by P.D. Singer (133 pages)

This is the follow-up to Fire on the Mountain which I read a week or so ago. Very different. That one was two guys, mother nature's wrath and exploring their feelings. This one is prostitution rings, work politics, threats to their affection for each other with still some mother nature's wrath thrown in. Jake and Kurt are spending the winter working for a ski resort. Kurt as a ski instructor for a very upscale well-paying school and Kurt is running the lifts while trying to learn to ski. Kurt finds out there is a reason his ski school charges so much for "lessons" and tries to get out of his contract by threatening to go public which causes another employee to threaten Jake and him. There's an avalanche and another employee who has his sights set on Jake and Jake and Kurt still learning about each other and living together. A very different feel to this book with the outside influence to their relationship and their lives but I still enjoyed it a lot, really like the characters and would love to see what happens to Mark and if he can find his HEA. I still don't like cold and snow, even if it involves hot guys. :-)

Simple Gifts by Andrew Grey (19 pages)

This is a revisit of Eli and Geoff from Love Means No Shame which I haven't read. Eli is a member of the Amish community who found love with Geoff in the other book. His family hopes to see him at Christmas but he's torn between them and Geoff because he can never tell them he's gay or they will be shunned by the community. As a gift Geoff sends him off to spend the day with his family knowing he gets him every other day. While there Eli realizes that Geoff and their friends (surrogate family) truly loves him for all he is which his bio-family never can. This would probably have been "better" for me if I'd read the other book because of course I didn't "get" all the nuances to the story. But as a result I did buy Love Means No Shame today so while I'm doing it in the wrong order it has piqued my interest.

Got Mistletoe by Andi Anderson (63 pages)

I bought this today based almost entirely on the cover. Those pants. Blake is looking for wrapping paper and asks Rudy for help. Rudy is exactly Blake's type, perky, bubbly, cute as a button. After some stuttering and stammering Rudy's coworker helps them get together. It's basically just a cute story of very nearly insta-love where the strong sensitive alpha is totally smitten with the bubbly twinky boy. A theme I love. So it's just a cute story and while they don't profess to be in love they are totally ga-ga but it works for me in this one. Did I mention those pants?

Four Grooms and a Queen by John Simpson (59 pages)

This is a revisit of the characters from Murder Most Gay which I haven't read either. It's the four characters from the other books, Pat and Hank receive promotions to detectives at work thanks to their previous exploits. To celebrate Pat decides to ask Dean to marry him in Boston at Christmas. On a whim Hank decides to ask Shawn as well and they'll have a double wedding. I didn't connect with this book because I didn't know the characters and something about the style of writing didn't work for me. Not sure what it was but sometimes you just connect with a style and sometimes you don't. But for those familiar with the 4 guys I'm sure it was a great revisit to see them happily married.

by Mary Rayne (50 pages)

This is a follow-up in essence to At the Edge where Christopher was involved in a threesome with his friends. Now he's made plans to come to Florida for Christmas with his sister who bails to be with her fiance. At the beach Chris meets Devyn and her daughter who invites him to her brother's house for dinner. He meets Mason who also writes erotic BDSM novels of which Chris is a big fan. There is an instant attraction and the next night on Christmas Eve when Devyn and kidlet go to church Chris and Mason get freaky with it involving a latex straight jacket and gag. This was insta-love but there is a paranormal aspect to it since Devyn and Mason are relatives of Santa and he was frustrated with Chris' sluttish ways so gave him Mason to see if he'd get this act together. I won this on Slash and Burn and there was a second book about Devyn who finds love with two guys m/m/f but I doubt I'll read it, not right now anyway as that's really not my thing. As an aside, I've read a few lately where m/m romance authors make a living doing that full-time. How come all I ever hear about is whining about EDJs? What's up with that? Shouldn't you all be writing full-time and being rich and famous? :-P

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

One more sleep

Look at him, all tucked up and ready for Santa to come. Adorable. :-) I'm pretty much ready, presents all bought and wrapped and under the tree, most of the food bought (I need to go out and find a German Chocolate Cake my daughter requested today) and just need to clean off my dining room table. How does that thing become such a catch-all? Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and I will have a little Christmas cookie treat on Wave's site tomorrow (appears we've crashed it trying to get free books this morning).

Silent Night by Rowena Sudbury (20 pages)

Jonah is the bad boy of his wrestling organization (pro-wrestling) and has been doing some charity work but is heading home Christmas Eve. There is a huge storm and his flight is canceled but along with that of fellow employee (but I got the impression not wrestler) Max. So they end up spending the night in the executive lounge of the airline alone. They get talking and it seems Jonah has a reputation of being a slut and is treated as such and although Max has a partner things are not going well for them. After some sharing of feelings things go VERY well for Max an Jonah. Max decides to change his plane ticket the next day and go home with Max rather than return to his lover. It was okay, it's only 20 pages and while I felt sorry for Jonah and how people treated him, it is possible to say no sometimes, no one forced him to give blow jobs and Max was in a relationship even if it was shit. I think another 20 pages could have made it better if some of these things had more time to be dealt with.

One Night Stand by Clare London (31 pages)

Teddy wakes up in a strange bed and realizes he seems to have had a one night stand (which he swore off of) and he can't remember with who. He starts remembering it was the Christmas party for work, getting drunk, he was a super aggressive top with whoever it was and then .... Holy shit, it was his boss and friend Marshall who he'd been crushing on forever. As he debates smothering himself with a pillow Marshall wakes up and Teddy tries to apologise but Marshall confesses he's been crushing on Teddy too and nothing happened he didn't want. About the first half of this is Teddy laying there freaking out and remembering and it's really very amusing, for us I'm sure, not for him and then Marshall trying to get through to him that he didn't take advantage of him or do anything he didn't want. A very cute story about most employees' worst nightmares. Thankfully we don't drink much at our Christmas parties because I've NEVER had a boss I'd want to end up in bed with. Ewwwwww. A fun little story that I quite enjoyed.

Leftovers by Treva Harte (69 pages)

This probably should have been read tomorrow after a huge dinner, but oh well. Paul and Emmerson where best friends and lovers in college but Paul left to pursue a singing career in LA and Emmerson (a song writer) stayed in NY even though Paul has pushed him to travel. They get together every Thanksgiving with their friend Liz and Paul and Emmerson have their "thing" but Emmerson refuses to go with Paul. This year Paul has decided he loves Emmerson and he wants them to be a couple. He finally finds out WHY Emmerson won't leave NY. I won't say why but I thought it was handled very well and that Emmerson had a lot of issues from his childhood which contributed but with Paul's support and that of Liz he manages to deal with it if not "get over it". Liz was a great female character. She'd been their best friend forever and now following her divorce, she and her child end up moving in with Emmerson and helping him too. She was not the bitchy pushy friend, how a good friend (male or female) should be, so kudos to Treva for that. It was a good read that explored an issue you don't see much of.

Cy Gets a Sex Demon by Angela Fiddler (172 pages)

I had mixed feelings about his. I kind of liked the "feel" of the novel, it's set in Calgary so always a bonus and I'm sure people from Calgary would have recognized some landmarks mentioned, but I always felt like I didn't quite know what was going on. That I'd somehow missed some piece of information that would have made it clear. Cy works for some mysterious organization doing something mysterious. I never really figured out what, but it involves fae and demons and people with powers and he seems to be a guy who finds lost people. He takes home the new office temp Patrick (I had no clue why really. Because he thought the boss would kill Patrick? Maybe? See, not sure what or why) and he's looking for a missing young man who had something to do with Patrick's father and there's a request to search for a sex demon who was lost in a card game. It was a very complex world that I never really understood. I always felt I was standing behind a fuzzy glass and that the characters knew things you didn't so they would just nod sagely and go "oh right" but I was clueless. I did like Patrick and Cy had an amusing and kind of sardonic way of looking at the world but I think I read a lot of it with a puzzled look on my face because I felt I had missed something somewhere along the way. Oh and the sex demon part is only at the end. I'd be interested to find out what happens to him. I guess I just don't do well with ambiguous but it might work well for others.

Have a Merry Christmas all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas is getting closer

Wow, you'd think I don't do anything on the weekend but read. Oh, you may be right. But I did do some baking yesterday but it had to sit in the fridge for 8 hours (or 24 in my case because 8 hours was 10:30 and I wasn't doing any more baking last night. So I read and read and read, until 1:00. Bad me. I've also noticed that books I like but don't love I can never remember the main characters names. If I love the book, doesn't really matter how short, I will remember, if I just like it or it's okay, I don't and I always have to look it up. Guess that should be my indicator as to how many stars I give it on Good Reads. 4 stars means I remembered your name, 5 stars says I remembered your name, underwear colour and how you take your coffee. LOL

Soldier by AKM Miles (257 pages)

This was the culprit of my non-sleep. I was bought Tommy's Story (below) and was cruising around Fiction Wise and saw this one and I thought there was no way two stories could have a guy named Soldier so I got this one, which is the precursor to Tommy's story. Glad I did, and I read it first.

Anyway, Dillon is a former foster kid who is now sheltering 7 emotionally, physically and sexually abused kids in an informal shelter as the kids don't work in the foster system. He's not licensed though so they keep it quiet. One night he meets Soldier who is hanging around watching them. One of the really damaged kids takes to Soldier like crazy and even though Soldier hates being around people he is absolutely hooked by what Dillon is doing for the kids and wants to help. Seems Soldier is filthy rich but was badly burned/injured by a bomb in Iraq and his face/body is badly scarred. Dillon was gay bashed when he was 14 and is also scarred where his face was cut. Anyway, Soldier and Dillon connect and Soldier proceeds to help with the kids, two of the main characters are Gom (the little one who took to Soldier) and Tommy, a sexually abused boy of 12. It's a book about the trials and tribulations of having a relationship, helping severely damaged kids recover and working the system as gay men with some evil parents thrown in. Why was I up until 1:00 reading? It broke my freaking heart. These kids had been through BAAAAAD stuff and some of it is put out there on the page for you to read and as a mother it kills me to know parents do this crap but I know it happens and some much worse than in the book. Yes, Soldier went from having no human contact to talking about feelings and helping kids deal overnight and yes, they moved really fast and it was almost insta-love but I just ADORE the theme of guys helping kids in trouble who need a good home and some love. *sniff* Yes I teared up. Shut up. So while I'm not sure the characterization of the guys was all that realistic I didn't care. Call me a sap.

Tommy's Story by AKM Miles (42 pages)

This is a little follow-up to the one above focusing on Tommy but with everyone making an appearance. It's 10 years later and Tommy is now a social worker who is back home working for his parents in an expanded shelter. He's been crushing on Daniel who ran the homeless shelter which funneled kids their way but he's older and Tommy was so badly sexually abused he doesn't know if he could deal with a relationship. There is the subplot of Gom who is attacked and badly hurt and trying to find out who is behind it. One night Daniel reveals to Tommy that he loves him and wants a relationship so it's partly Gom's story and Tommy helping to find the culprit and Tommy and Daniel dealing with Tommy's fears of intimacy and getting past it. A bit pat in the solving of Gom's crime but it was less than 50 pages so they couldn't drag it out and it was nice to see how someone who was sexually abused deals with being in an adult sexual relationship. So a nice little follow-up but obviously not as in depth as the first one.

Snow Follies by Chelle Dugan (34 pages)

Eric is moving to Flagstaff for a new job and he's going to live with his sister and twin boys for a bit while their Dad is in Iraq. It starts snowing and the police pull him over to put chains on but he's clueless having never driving in the snow. Cameron the cop thinks he's cute so keeps an eye on him. Seems Cameron lives down the street from his sister. They both agree there is attraction and kind of work on it, tip toeing around a bit until NYE when they finally get together. It is a cute story of two guys getting to know each other, no insta-love but lots of attraction and Eric was one of those cute klutzes that kept needing rescued by Cameron periodically. A cute little read.

The Santa Mug by Patric Michael (70 pages)

This is one of the DSP things with a different cover. Darren's lover died 4 years ago on Christmas Eve. He's been a wreck ever since but Max, who introduced them keeps hanging in there. He invites Darrel to go to his parents with him for Thanksgiving. Surprisingly Darren agrees and is immersed in a house full of wild family which is kind of overwhelming but during the chaos he finally acknowledges that he feels something more for Max. After they get back they are trying the dating thing and on Christmas Eve Max is coming over and he shows up with a gift that Marlon had given him for Darren that fateful night. Seems Darren and Marlon had had a bad fight and Max is afraid it was a "get lost" gift so never gave it to Darren. It's basically a story about moving on and seeing what's right in front of you all along. A couple of niggles, one of the in-laws at Thanksgiving was very cold to Darren but it never explained why. Wasn't sure if he was homophobic or what because everyone else in the family was fine with Max being gay. So I wanted to know what was up with that. Darren was a bit of a selfish ass and Max held on for 5 years or so waiting for him, not sure that's realistic but hey it worked. A nice story about moving on after losing someone and the value of friends.

The Five of Wands by Sara Bell (50 pages)

Travis is an intern or resident (not sure) at a big hospital where his father is the Chief of Medicine, however his father hates his guts. Jeremy is another Dr. who seems to delight in being an asshole to Travis and making snide comments about his Dad helping him out. Jeremy overhears something that makes him realize maybe he was wrong about Travis and when Travis is accused of giving a young boy the wrong medicine and then covering it up on the charts Jeremy comes to his defence and they both admit they've had feelings for each other. So it's a combo of them getting to know each other without the animosity and solving the mystery of how the child got the wrong medicine (which nearly killed) him and who framed him. The only part I didn't care for was this whole section where Jeremy took him to his Grandmothers place an they walk around her garden which has statues based on Tarot cards (Arcana tie-in? Get it?) and they stand and talk about what the 5 of swords means. It was like "damn, I have to put something in here about the 5 of swords, this will work". Umm. No. A better solution would have been to take Travis out and get him hammered like he wanted to rather than discuss life changing decisions in a garden when your career is flushing down the toilet. Anyway, I found that kind of stuck on and perhaps Jeremy's turn-around was pretty sudden but they did say he'd been noticing how great Travis was, just didn't want to admit it, so not that different I guess. An okay little short.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Making up for Lost Time

So I read a ton yesterday (lots of shorts though) AND managed to finish my Christmas shopping and do some laundry. Woohoo, go me. Staying up until 1:00 helped. :-P

Pomegranate by Vic Winter (41 pages)

Davey is a star wedding planner in Toronto who is working on his best friend's wedding. Alan is one of the photographers he uses who has been crushing on Davey for about 8 months, seems Davey has been crushing on Alan too but neither says anything. They get a chance to have a dance or two at the wedding and realize maybe there is something there. A few weeks later they get together to go over the photos and they make their move. Just a cute little story about two guys who like each other and finally acknowledge their attraction. There is a pomegranate theme as that's the name of Davey's company and he makes a special pomegranate cake and uses it in decorating. A sweet little story.

Ice Cream on the Side by Wren Boudreau (122 pages)

Dylan is an architect working on a new addition to a private school when he meets the new art teacher Michael. They are attracted right away but Michael is a bit skittish after a bad relationship and Dylan is known for his ice cream guys, a quick bite and he's gone. By chance Michael is exhibiting his art with Dylan's ex (and now friend) Ian. But Ian's getting weird about wanting Dylan back and some weird stuff starts happening. Ian is murdered and Michael is attacked and they are trying to figure out who's doing it. I really enjoyed this book. So often at the beginning I found myself smiling. Not necessarily laugh out loud but I really liked Dylan's voice. He was kind of a bit random with his brain always rattling around on seemingly wild tangents. As for the mystery I have to say I thought I knew but then she thew in enough other red herrings that I wasn't 100% sure until the end, there seemed to be a few plausible suspects. So a great read I thoroughly enjoyed.

Dresden Weihnachten by Edward von Behrer (39 pages)

Actually I read this the other day but forgot to include it. Daniel gets assigned by his NYC company to Dresden Germany at the last minute. He's not thrilled but hey, it's an adventure. He's working hard and feeling a bit lonely when he talks one day with Dieter one of the clerks at the grocery store. A few weeks later on a whim he invites Dieter to dinner. They have a great time and Dieter takes him to a special Christmas festival in Dresden and tells him that he can see the past/future and he and Daniel were connected in another life during the war when he died and that they are destined to be together. First I LOVED all the detail about the festival in Germany, the detail was wonderful and obviously the author has been there or did some in depth research. I'm not sure the "together in another life" worked for me, probably because I don't believe in that sort of thing so I have a tendency to roll my eyes when it comes up. But on the whole it really gave you the sense of being there, reminded me of my year in Prague, and the connection between the two guys was strong. My biggest complaint? Sigh. Czechoslovakia doesn't exist anymore and hasn't existed since 1995, the Velvet Divorce when Slovakia and the Czech Republic agreed to be separate countries (history lesson time). Of course I had to bitch to my daughter and she said "Maybe it was meant before they split" (damn logical kids) and I checked and it said he wrote down his country preferences (along with Germany) 5 years previously which would be 2004, nope, it had been an independent country for 9 years. So everyone, there is NO Czechoslovakia and don't let me hear you say it or I'll rap your knuckles. Lesson over.

Cinnamon Dreams by Vic Winter (26 pages)

Digby hates his office job with a passion (I'm with ya Digby) and one day on the way to work passes a bakery with the most delicious smell of cinnamon buns. There is a sign for help wanted in the window so he makes a spur of the moment decision and applies for the job. Keith is the huge baker and at first he works up front but his goal is to learn to make cinnamon buns. Eventually he gets to work in the back making cookies and brownies with Keith, who he's attracted to but talks mostly in grunts and growls. Digby LOVES his new job though, even though he makes less money. He waxes poetic about the smell of cinnamon and has dreams about it. It was also pretty funny. One of my favourite lines: "Digby wondered if there was a special layer of hell for men who were turned on by cinnamon buns." Eventually they get together after a long day of pre-Christmas baking (yule logs). I bought the last one of these about Pumpkin Pie because I love it and I love the smell of cinnamon. There is a cinnamon bun store at one of our malls downtown and that smell permeates the whole hallway of that store. I always want to buy one but I know they are about 15,000 calories each but I can only imagine the heaven of working in that smell everyday. Digby is me. :-) So a cute read with lots of poetic writing about cinnamon and wonderful smells.

Charity Starts at Home by Zahra Owens (56 pages)

Quinn runs the local homeless shelter (used to be homeless himself) when Haden shows up. Haden was tasked to work there for a week 7 months ago as part of a DUI penalty. Quinn kind of crushed on him at the time but figured Haden was just another rich guy who put in his time. Haden comes with offers to help out and to contribute some things to make it a special Christmas. Quinn doesn't want to be attracted because they are from different worlds and can't figure out why Haden is doing this. As he works with him and gets to know him better he knows it's from the heart but Haden is filthy rich (has a live-in servant) but believes that his time at the shelter changed his life. He's very hesitant about starting anything with Quinn because he's never had a relationship when he's not drunk. They decide to take it slow and one day at a time to see if two guys from very different worlds can make it. This was not a sugary Christmas story. Both Quinn and Haden are recovering alcoholics with baggage, and the two different worlds they come from make meeting in the middle very difficult but it was a story of hope and maybe finding something better, for the homeless people and for Haden and Quinn. So I really enjoyed the story. Definitely a HFN or working towards a HFN.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last Weekend Before Christmas

I did hardly any reading this week, partly because I was sick and partly because I was trying to get my house organized for the flooring guys to come in. Flooring looks great (well, better than the crap I had) and I stayed home sick yesterday so read a bunch. Today I plan on finishing up my Christmas shopping, yay. If my car will start. It's -20C and I forgot to park in the garage last night. Duh. On with the show.

Wrangers: The Defense Rests by Vivien Dean (67 pages)

This is book three in the Sam and Dere saga. Last book Derek finally admitted he wanted to be boyfriends. This time they have been asked to take on a case together at work (which they never do) that is an HIV positive woman up against an insurance company who claims she lied to them. Derek gets totally whacked out because he sees it as them using gay attorney's because HIV is seen as a gay disease and he is uber-paranoid about being labeled. Him and Sam have an argument about it and about being out and ... well, that's about it. They make up and Derek gets on board with the case. I was kind of hoping for more details about the case as it sounded interesting but it just revolved around Sam and Derek's relationship and Sam says the "L-word". I really like the two guys, very different characters and how they make it work but there wasn't much to the story. So for those who like them it's worth reading but you really need to read the other two first.

The White Stag
by Jamie Freeman (33 pages)

Joshua met Jude (a Senator's son) at a grief support group for those who lost people in 9-11. They eventually hook up but Joshua won't commit because Jude is an atheist and Joshua can't be with someone who doesn't believe in God. They remain friends though and he's invited to the fancy Christmas party. Can they work out their differences? I had issues with this book, well with Joshua I guess because I'm an atheist and I can't believe someone would refuse to be with me because I don't believe the same things they do. Arrgghh. You bigoted asshole. It's mentioned that Joshua's family is totally fundie and he left the church, and yet he treats Jude the same way his family would treat anyone not as religious as them. Also I found there was this whole scenario at the end with a white stag coming out of the forest and bowing down to Jude which was a bit too out there. Couldn't they have just worked it out without some supernatural element? Anyway, Joshua's attitude pissed me off and I didn't like him much so I didn't care if he and Jude got together, in fact I'd rather they didn't because it's going to rear it's ugly head again, guarantee it.

Home for Christmas by Nicki Bennett (18 pages)

This is a revist of the characters in Riverwalk which I haven't read and you don't need to read it first although it would probably help. Connell met Spence in the US and they spent a whole weekend together. When Connell returned to England they kept up a long distance relationship which seemed to grown stronger. As a surprise Connell comes to the US on Christmas eve to spend it with Spence. He also plans to tell him he's moving permanently because he wants to be together. Spence is thrilled to see him and seems he had sent him a ticket to come (he hadn't opened his card) and has a ring for him. So it's just a sweet little slice of life and kind of nice to know they didn't meet on Monday and fall in love on Wed. but that they had a developed relationship. My only niggle is it's not really that easy to just "move to the US" or any country. You have to apply for a visa/greencard - although he was self-employed so that helps. Books always make it seem so easy. As someone who works for a government, we don't let just anyone move here, even if you are cute as a button.

Fire on the Mountain by P.D. Singer (105 pages)

Jake is a rookie fire ranger partnered with Kurt in the Rockies. They live together out in the woods going to town every few days. After a few weeks (a month? I forget) suddenly Jake who is gay but never acted on it realizes he's got the hots for Kurt. Ack! How to hide it as they are good friends and he doesn't want to ruin it. Out fighting a fire one day they get trapped when their truck is disabled and have to take shelter in a cave where they seriously fear they may die. They start playing a game about what is on your list of things you want to do before you die and Kurt blurts out he wants to suck Jake off. Oooookay. Well, Jake is happy and they get down to it. Then they get rescued and have to immeidately go and fight another fire and can't talk about it and Jake ends up back at the cabin while Kurt does other stuff for a few days, both of them stewing about if it was just a "I might die I'll try it thing" thing or an "I like you thing". Maybe a bit too much stewing but I suppose I'd do the same thing. In the end they both want more and there is another book that follows their story after this one. I really liked Kurt, he's easy going and friendly but it's all told from Jake's point of view so you don't know much about him except what he reveals. I really enjoyed it though and look forward to the second one.

Carol of the Bellskis by Astrid Amara (100 pages)

Seth is a paralegal who's having an affair with his deeply closeted boss Lars who treats him like shit at the office for fear of everyone finding out. Seth asks him to go to the Hannukah week at his aunt and uncle's B&B in Whistler. He refuses because he thinks people will figure it out. Seth finally has reached his limit and tells lars to fuck off and it's over. Yay Seth. I cheered for him, nearly out loud I think. So he goes to the B&B and his aunt and uncle aren't there but the guests start arriving so he tries to fill in but he can't cook and certainly not kosher. He serves them grilled cheese for the first night of Hannukah. HAHAHA That night Lars shows up wanting him back. Seth tells him to get lost (I think I cheered again) but seems Lars can cook like a pro and manages to hang around do the cooking. All kinds of wacky things happen to the guests and Seth is trying to find his aunt and uncle and keep everyone happy and deal with family phone calls and Lars is pushing him. I really HATE it when someone refuses to acknowledge someone, they are a dirty little secret and I just want the user kicked to the curb so badly and I think Seth did a pretty good job (although he relents of course, it's a romance) but Lars finally "got it" and did acknowledge him which was nice. So there was some humour with the guests and my heart ached for Seth and what he wanted but knew he wouldn't get. Oh and I learned a ton about Hannukah. :-) I really enjoyed it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The tree is up but I'm not really feeling it

I'm not very much in the Christmas spirit. I swear if I didn't have a kid I wouldn't even bother with a tree. But she decorated it yesterday and she made cookies today. I came home from work to a very delicious smelling house. Hopefully by this time next week I'll be getting there. So I've been reading rather than getting Christmasy.

Sammy Dane by Stormy Glenn (134 pages)

James/Jamie is a cop who can't find Mr. Right and decides to hit a new bar one night. He meets Dane/Sammy an erotic gay romance author. Dane is soooo not his type but he's attracted and they go home and Dane is a total top and James bottoms for the first time in his life and loves it. He wakes up in the morning to a note saying "lock the door when you leave" and is hurt and mad. He eventually decides to go back because he's smitten but Dane is gone. He manages to track him down through his website and they hook up. It turns out that Dane (usually called Sammy) is the brother of James' brother's partner (another gay cop). After a rough start they get together and it seems that some guy the brother's set Sammy up with on blind date is now stalking him and is out to remove the competition. The stalker part is not a huge part of the story, it's more about them getting together because while Sammy is a total dom in the bedroom, in real life he's an airhead who forgets to pay his bills or eat and has terrible self-esteem. But I liked how falling in love turned James into a totally insecure baby. I don't mean that in a bad way, but here was the guy who loved 'em and left 'em and is suddenly unsure of his place in a relationship. So I did like it, I liked the two guys together and the contrast of how they were with each other in the bedroom (hot) and how they were in their the rest of their lives where their roles were reversed.

The Curse of the Pharaoh's Manicurist by Angelina Sparrow and Naomi Brooks (204 pages)

Charlie gets a job as the private secretary of a Edward, a British lord/adventurer. He's attracted from the first and while there is some flirting it doesn't seem to go anywhere. They are tasked to go and find a missing archaeologist in Egypt going up against Edward's ex-fiance and his ex-lover (a guy). This is set in the 20's and there is lots of atmosphere in Paris, at the Moulin Rouge, on the Orient Express (shades of Agatha Christie) and in Egypt (a la The Mummy movie). It's quite the rollicking adventure with some paranormal tossed in as they fight mummies and Egyptian gods. The one thing I didn't care for was the constant emphasis on bringing women into the relationship. Edward was sleeping with maids and they talked about sleeping with women all the while professing their love for each other. I'm not sure I sensed that deep connection and I glossed over the m/m/f DP at the end. I just didn't see what point it added, especially having it "on page". I know at that time gay men slept with women, but these two really sought it out, it wasn't duty or a sense of necessity for an heir. So I guess they were both pretty bi-sexual and neither one had any qualms about having sex with men either, no angst. So I really liked the adventure part, not sure the romance worked quite as well or me.

The Mistletoe Phenomenon by Serena Yates (72 pages)

Lance's lover ran off with their money and he's now forced to work at his sister's Christmas store in Mistletoe, Wyoming (not sure it really exists, I should google that). Magnus comes in with his nephew Jakob he is raising after his brother's death to buy decorations. Jakob takes an immediate shine to Lance and starts inviting him to be with them all the time. While Magnus and Lance share some kisses under mistletoe they don't really get together. Finally when his SIL's relatives try to take Jakob, Magnus asks Lance to move in with them and be sort of like a nanny/housekeeper. Seems Lance has always wanted to be a househusband and it's handed to him with a hot guy and some more drama with the relatives and a kidnapping. I liked the fact that Lance didn't have big career aspirations, you don't see that much in m/m, usually they are both career driven, but to have someone who loved cooking and looking after a kid was a nice change and the way Magnus changed from being such a scientist (his job) to being more in touch with his feelings thanks to Lance pushing him in the right direction was great. My only issue (yes, here it comes), was the length of time. I think Magnus asked him to move in about 6 days after they met, they got together about 3 days later and after the crisis declared undying love. So 10 days. Sigh. Yeah yeah, it's a Christmas story, I get it, the clock is ticking but I need more time. :-) So I would have liked to see it take place maybe from Thanksgiving to Christmas, about a month I could have lived with more easily. But for those who don't mind fast moving romances it was well done.

Collingsworth by Andy Eisenberg (44 pages)

This is a historical set in some unspecified time period. Michael attends a private boys school but is the orphaned nephew who is treated badly and is on non-resident scholarship. He's had a crush on David for years but has never acted and boys are told not to act inappropriately. The music teacher takes a liking to Michael and helps steer him towards a relationship with David when the girls' school cancels for the Christmas dance and the boys have to dance together. Also seems that now David is 18 he finds out that his cousins were spending his money and he's actually rich. He kicks them out of the house, David comes over and fun ensues and Michael goes home to David's family where he is completely accepted and it seems the family knows David is gay and accept that. Not sure that part is totally realistic and will two 18 year olds swear undying love forever? Somehow I doubt it but it was a sweet little story about the poor relative who is really rich after all and gets the cute boy in the end.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Avoiding putting lights on the tree ...

Rather than decorate my tree, I'm doing this. Lazy lazy me. Later we're going to the Princess and the Frog. Sigh. The tree will be here tomorrow I suppose. It looks like I was in an ML Rhodes binge but I kept forgetting to say I read Wanting and thanks to Chris some of these were just too cheap to pass up. :-P

A Time for Charity by A. Willingham (16 pages)

Mitch is not in the holiday spirit but runs to the store to buy his sister some perfume for her birthday. The clerk is just his type and he totally loses it and is a total klutz making a poor impression but he figures he'll never see him again. That night his friend convinces him to come to a charity event at the gay club and who does he meet? Sam, the same clerk he just made a fool of himself in front of and it doesn't go much better at the club although when Sam gets ditched by his ride Mitch pulls up his socks and offers him a ride home. It's just a little story about two guys with chemistry meeting and MAYBE it will be more as both are looking for a relationship. For 16 pages it was okay. You obviously don't get to know much about them in that long.

If I Must by Amy Lane (66 pages)

This is a longer DSP one so the unique cover, speaking of which, is that not the cutest cover ever? Ian is an Australian math genius (in the US) who is totally useless, loses 5 phones in 4 months, destroys the kitchen table doing experiments, forgets to eat, show up for meetings, just totally into the math stuff in his head. Joel is new in town and looking for a place to live when he meets Ian at the gym and he offers him his spare room. They hit it off and Joel takes over keeping Ian fed and organized but is straight so they are just friends. Joel goes home for Thanksgiving and Ian calls him saying their cat "Manky Bastard" has to be put down so he rushes back after a frank talk with his Mom and sister about whether he is gay, which never occurred to him but he loves Ian. It was told interestingly with Joel telling his sister stories about Ian and his spaciness so almost like flashbacks that emphasized Ian's personality. He may be spacey but he had a huge heart. I really liked this story. I thought it was really sweet but not overly sugary and I enjoyed that they had a relationship as friends before they hit the romance so I didn't have to deal with "It's Christmas, let's ram in a HEA". I loved Ian but I could never live with him, I'd go around the bend living with someone like that, but it seemed to work for Joel. I really liked this one. After the last few questionable ones I was starting to worry but this gave me hope for the future. LOL Well done Amy.

The Professor's Secret Passion by M.L. Rhodes

Nathan (27) decides he's going to as his advisor if he feels the same way as him. Aiden is 9 years older and super paranoid about the teacher/student thing so denies any feelings. Nathan decides not to take no for an answer and they end up getting it on on the desk. When the head of the Department stops by, the mood is broken and Aiden freaks and runs. He won't answer Nathan's calls and isn't home. Nathan refuses to give up and decides it's worth pursuing and waits out Aiden. I liked that Nathan didn't just give up, that he figured what they had was worth figuring out WHY Aiden was so adamant about not being in a relationship. In general I like the way ML Rhodes writes, I like her characters and the smexin' is hot although there isn't that much as the story takes place from a Friday evening to a Monday evening with them actually only together at the beginning and end. Still a great little story.

Wanting by M.L. Rhodes (92 pages)

Jeremy is straight but the night of one of his room mates birthday he has sex with his best friend (and roommate) Ben. Then totally freaks. He breaks up with his girlfriend although he'd been avoiding her for months, he starts studying until 3 in the morning to avoid Ben because he's sure he'll hate him, Ben things Jeremy hates him, the girlfriend is a PITA and won't take "I don't want to see you anymore" as a good enough reason and wants to know WHY. Honey, when a guy has refused to have sex with you for 4 months, you don't turn his crank, that IS the reason. Get a clue. Anyway, she figures out his fascination with Ben and he's more or less forced to deal with the issue. He admits he wasn't drunk and had wanted it and Ben's been lusting after Jeremy for years. Everything is hunky dory until Jeremy's homophobic racist (Ben is black) father bursts into the bedroom. Ooops. There is a nice show-down where the true meaning of friends being your family, not blood is raised. All in all a good story, and I could relate to Jeremy's avoidance technique because that tends to be my first reaction to issues. LOL One thing though there were some glaring editorial errors. Apparently the book was written in a couple of days but at one point he was trying to breath and "he dragged air into his legs". Ummm. Really? I told my daughter and she goes "Maybe he's alien?" I don't think so. There were one or two others that were not just little misses but major words wrong. Not a big deal but the breathing through his legs stuck out obviously.

Christmas in Killarney by Cash Cole (62 pages)

I'm sure whoever wrote that song never dreamed it would be used in this context. LOL Colin is an Irish writer who lives in Australia but is home for the holidays. He goes back to the church to get his sister's Tupperware (fuck Tupperware, you can replace it) and ends up falling in some water and passed out naked in the church. Someone takes his clothes and as he chases them down in the snow he gets hypothermia as it is now a blizzard. Harry takes him home to his partner Morgan. They own the local pub. They get Colin warmed up and decide they might be willing to take him on for a threesome but Colin shies away. The next days he helps them prepare for a big party at the pub and when some money goes missing he offers to lend it to them but the town pulls together instead. That night they have wild monkey sex (body shots baby) in the bar after everyone leaves and they decide that they might like to have Colin permanently in their lives. It seems that everyone was pretty okay in small town Catholic Ireland with two gay guys seeming to take on a third as they kissed him in front of everyone and no one even blinked. Uh huh. Problem for me, after 24 hours they decided they wanted to be a threesome. I know Colin was only there 2 weeks, it was Christmas so we needed a HEA, but I'm having more and more issues with this theme as I read more. No insta-love please, an agreement to see if they can make it work, even just saying "maybe I'd like to see if we can make this might work" is fine, declarations of undying love are not required. So I liked the characters, liked the setting, just had my usual issue.