I signed up for the Dreamspinner Christmas thingy so everyday I get a holiday story. That's fun, I love shorts. Of course I'm still reading my other stuff too. I'll have to keep up-to-date here. Last time with the Wedding things I got so far behind. :-P
Old Poison by Josh Lanyon (108 pages)
I seem to be on a JL kick, not that it's a bad thing. This is the follow-up story to Dangerous Ground. Taylor and Will have been a couple for several weeks now since Taylor's gunshot wound (last book). They are still working out the whole "we're a couple thing" but Taylor is about to get back on the job, things are going well when Taylor gets a freaky birthday gift. Okay, weird but whatever. Then someone leaves a half-assed bomb on his door. Freakier. It seems that someone/thing from Taylor's former life working Japan is back to haunt him. I have to say the big climax (no, not THAT one) to this book was very gripping for me. I was holding my breath to see how it was going to end. And kindly *insert eye roll* Josh took the time to ensure that what delicate shreds of my innocence remain were further stripped away. I had to google "butterfly board". Don't, really, I'm doing you a favour here. Just let it go. Sigh. It was a very high action story with some funny stuff tossed in and some schmoopy romance. I'm going out for Japanese food now Saturday night. I really enjoyed it.
The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson (155 pages)
WHAT?!?!? you say scandalized. You've never read this book? Yes, yes, I read it near the beginning of my m/m reading career (if it only it could be a paying career) but after much discussion on Kris' blog I thought I should read it again since I didn't seem to have the same love of said book as others. Did my opinion change a year later? Umm, no. I didn't dislike it but I was curious to see what about it didn't turn my crank since I couldn't really remember. (WHY IS MY KEYBOARD STUCK ON FRENCH? Grrrrr.) It's GFY. I like that. It's friends to lovers. I like that. (Str8te Boys - oh yeah - THAT worked for me.) But what I determined was Nick just made me crazy. He's an experienced cop, who has been undercover before and yes, he's got the hots for Sean and it's disconcerting but he damn near blew their cover several times because he was freaked out 24/7 about his feelings. Holy angsty boy. On the job suck it up and deal. People get killed here, it's not like you work at Borders and can afford to zone out while restocking the chick lit section. So there you go, I liked Sean, a lot, but Nick was so freaking uptight and angsty for most of the book he made me like it less. Oh yeah, plot, undercover cops at a gay resort. ;-) Fun times.
Four Gold Rings by T.A. Chase (7 pages)
Why you ask are you talking about a 7 page free story? Sometimes I do. So there. But really, this cover so turns my crank in a major major way (and there's not even any naked man titty there). I would frame it. I just am totally in love, the font, the feel, the red balls. Sigh. Okay, this is a little freebie you can get at Samhellion. I think they are going to have a bunch of Christmas freebies so check it out everyday although not all are m/m. Anyway, this is a little short about Casey and Garrett (of Out of Bounds and High Line fame) and their men and four gold rings. LOL Not too hard to figure out but I'm one of those people who likes to revisit favourite characters so it's pleasing for me, pretty steamy and romantic. Oh yeah and did I mention that cover?
Season's Greetings by Chrissy Munder (28 pages)
The first in the Christmas series is this one with love 'em and leave 'em Ross who writes greeting cards and is now working on the Easter campaign (in late Nov) and is having major writer's block. He knows why, it's the new guy Ian. But he likes him and they've become friends and he doesn't want to fuck it up by having a one night stand. After a failed attempt at hooking up with a stranger, Ian arranges for him and Russ to stay late and decorate the office for Christmas. *wink* I really enjoyed this story. Russ is totally pissed off that he can't get Ian out of his head, he's trying to write Easter stuff while Christmas music plays, he lives in Florida where they don't get snow, everyone is so freaking cheerful it's making him nuts. He is my ideal character. Snarky, pissy and frazzled. And it was pretty funny. There is a running bit about a stuffed bunny that he's trying to use for inspiration that made me giggle a few times. It's not a sugary tale of true love at Christmas with rings exchanged (which is not a bad thing but that's not the angle this book takes) but I found it very amusing and loved Russ a lot. A cute story.
Biting the Biscuit by Dawn Kimberly Johnson (20 pages)
I' m reading this and thinking "Hmmm, this set-up seems kind of familiar. Guy with a bum leg, lover killed ..." Oh shit, this is the follow-up to Broken that Jenre reviewed HERE. Ooops. You don't NEED to read Broken first, enough is explained to make it clear but it would likely mean more if you did. Basically Alex and Eli agree to go and spend Christmas with Eli's dead lover's family. Awwwwkwarrrd. Eli thinks they are perfect since neither he and Alex had good childhoods. But it's a sweet story about moving on after someone dies, not only from the two protags experience but as much is covered about the ex's family moving on as well. A nice read, poignant I'd say but as I said, it would like have been better if I'd read the other book first. That happens fairly often in these anthologies where I'm not always aware of all the back story but it is easily a stand alone.
Whoa, I really haven't ever read The Assignment, believe it or not. Here I am styling myself as a reviewer, and I probably haven't read even half of the m/m classics that you and Kris have read. How humbling! :)
D'oh - what the heck is the Dreamspinner thingie of which you speak?!
Val, Phhhtttt, don't sell yourself short. I was just very lucky that I discovered Wave's blog at the very beginning, she was the only reviewer back then. LOL I got tons of great recommendations and I tended to go with them rather than surf and randomly pick (except for the ones on my banner now and I think I was freaking lucky to have started out with some winners or I might have sworn off the genre all together). Now I know more what I like, I know more authors and what their style is and I find more blogs like yours and others that help me decide on new books. But I'm not up on my "classic" gay lit. I have real interest in it no matter how great people say it is, which makes me feel guilty, like I SHOULD love Gone with the Wind. (hated it) because EVERYONE says it's great.
Chris: Every now and then (obviously now) Dreamspinner does a promo where they send you a thematic short story (20-50or so pages) in the mail. well the link. Last time was a wedding set in June. So for 30 days you get a story a day. The earlier you subscribe, the cheaper it is. I think I got in on the ground floor so payed something like $32 which is around a buck a story, cheaper than the shorts I buy at TQ. Then a few weeks later it was more and then just before December I think it was in the mid-$40s. I can't remember exactly. You can also buy the stories individually at DS but of course to buy them all would be more expensive. I now some will not be as strong as other, but I spend $1.50 for unknown 12 pagers at TQ so I figure they can't be THAT bad and a few will be great.
Oh, yes, Gone with the Wind went on endlessly!
And this is great: "Phhhtttt"! Can I quote you on this? Ha, ha!
Hmm - is there a Dreamspinner newsletter that alerts you to those opportunities? I didn't see anything like that on their site. I did pick up the Clare London title from that collection...
There could be a newsletter. I think I just found it when I was shopping on the site. Kind of purely by chance I ran across it. Clare's a great writer so I'm sure it will be great. I'm looking forward to Sean Kennedy's as well. I'm reading todays now and got a tiny thrill that it's set in Toronto. I'm so easy to please. :-)
I love reading stories set in the Twin Cities (MN), so I can understand! Next time I visit friends in Toronto, I'll have to meet you for coffee and book talk.
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