Thursday, December 6, 2018

Random Tales of Christmas 2018 Part 4

Stuck with You by Jay Northcote
Two clashing colleagues stuck together for Christmas—will opposites eventually attract?

Patrick has been single since he broke up with his cheating ex almost a year ago. With Christmas looming, he’s resigned to spending it alone with only memories of happier times for company. When a business trip with a co-worker leaves them stranded in the Lake District due to heavy snow, it seems Patrick will have company for Christmas after all. It’s a shame his companion is Kyle, who’s undeniably attractive, but annoying as hell.

Aware of Patrick’s reluctant admiration, Kyle basks in the attention even though Patrick isn’t the type of man he normally goes for. Averse to relationships after being hurt in the past, Kyle enjoys the occasional hook up, but has given up on seeking anything more meaningful.

Stuck together, their antagonism escalates along with a heavy dose of sexual tension until it finally ignites. What starts as a Christmas fling soon feels like something special; but will their tentative connection melt away as the snow thaws? If they’re going to take a chance on finding happiness together, they’ll have to put their differences aside and learn to trust one another.

Contains: enemies-to-lovers, snowball fights, bickering, spanking, a cute dog, a wise old lady, mistletoe, and a happy ending (of course).

Patrick has resigned himself to spending the holiday alone after breaking up with his cheating boyfriend a year ago but he finds himself stuck with co-worker Kyle when a snowstorm hits.  When sniping turns to flirting and innuendos turns to actions will their Christmas fling ignite into more or will the sniping keep it from going beyond the stranded holiday?

On the surface, Stuck with You could be labeled your typical, well not really enemies-to-lovers but definitely acquaintances-on-opposite-ends-of-the-politeness-spectrum-to-lovers😉 holiday story.  However, at the heart of Kyle and Patrick's journey is seeing the difference between the person and the image as well as letting someone see the person instead of the image.  That's not to say I was always happy with either of them, whether it was intentional or in response to the moment, they both are well versed in "smartass" and need a good clip upside the head.  But as in life, we live and learn so if everything was all squeaky clean and copacetic than Stuck with You would be a very short pamphlet instead of lovely novella.  Where is the fun in that? 😉

From beginning to end, Stuck with You is full of heat, laughter, smartass-ery, fun, friendship, romance, holiday spirit, but most of all it has plenty of heart.  I haven't read all of Jay Northcote's books or even all of his holiday stories but I've never been let down before and I wasn't let down this time.  Unfortunately, I don't have much time to do many re-reads during the holidays but one of these years I will be doing a Re-Read Holiday Style in the summer and when I do, Stuck with You will definitely be on that list.


Simple After All by Yolande Kleinn
Noah Fiore, contracts attorney and dedicated curmudgeon, spends every Christmas with his family on the shore of Lake Superior. It’s practically tradition for his sister to invite a tragic tagalong to the festivities. But this year Kara’s guest is no pity case. Riley Coto is a friend, and his warmth and charm quickly win over the Fiore family.

When Riley overhears Noah complaining about Kara’s habit of bringing home strays for the holidays, he feels more than a little out of place. But Riley finds himself drawn to Noah. Something tells him there’s more to the man than the bad attitude he shows the world. With Christmas coming fast, Riley is falling for Noah, and there’s nothing simple about that.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Advent Calendar "Bah Humbug."

Felix Navidad by Hollis Shiloh
Justin isn't a fan of Christmas (or holidays in general) at the best of times. But now his long-term boyfriend has broken up with him, and he's even more gloomy than usual. The hot and unfortunately straight Felix, his partner on the force, keeps trying to help. It's really not working until Christmas Day arrives, and brings with it an unexpected gift...

Hollis Shiloh has produced some pretty lovely Christmas tales in the past and this one is no different.  I'm not sure how I missed this one last year but as the saying goes "better late than never" and I truly would have hated to miss out on this little holiday gem.  Felix Navidad is a definite friends-to-lovers story that will leave you warmhearted by the time you reach the last page.

As the cliche says "you can't see the forest for the trees" well that is kind of what is going on with Justin.  He can't see what is really in front of him because he's only let himself see part of Felix, course Felix has been pretty quiet on certain points so it isn't entirely Justin's doing.

Watching these two discover the next leg of their journey is pretty entertaining and fun, just exactly what a good holiday story should be.  I may have arrived to the party late but as I said above, "better late than never" so if you are like me and missed this one in 2017 than I highly recommend reading this gem now.


A Holiday Tradition by Chrissy Munder
Paul Carpenter has his life all planned out. Or at least his father does. The right school, the right degree, the right job. Paul is on track, until a bus accident has him sitting out a coveted internship, babysitting, or being babysat, by a grandfather he barely remembers during his holiday stay in a Florida RV park. His father’s reasoning? How much temptation can Paul find around a bunch of senior citizens playing bingo? There’ll be nothing to distract him from his studies.

It’s hard to muster his holiday spirit when Paul is used to snow and cold, not sun, surf, and plastic flamingos in Santa hats. But then Paul meets Kevin Lombardo, who offers to show him some new holiday traditions. Suddenly Paul’s fast track hits a curve.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar "Warmest Wishes."

Two Daddies for Christmas by Felice Stevens
Second to None Novella
Two clueless men.

One determined little girl.

A whole circle of friends who’ve grown tired of waiting.

You are hereby invited to the wedding of the king of New York City nightlife, who’s finally marrying his prince charming.

Too bad neither of them know it’s happening.

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Random Tales of Christmas 2018

Part 1  /  Part 2  /  Part 3

Simple After All by Yolande Kleinn
NOAH ARRIVED just after ten, under a flurry of morning snow. Eyeing the fleet of vehicles, he catalogued the vans, cars, and trucks already lining the long driveway. His tires creaked over ice as he wound his way toward the house. He wasn’t the last, but it was a near thing. Almost everyone had already arrived.

The invitation was the same every year: December 12. But Noah Fiore couldn’t bear two full weeks stranded with anyone—not even his own family—so he delayed his arrival with every possible excuse. He was earlier than usual this year. It was only the fifteenth. He must be going soft.

Wind stung his bare ears when he slid from his car into the icy lakeside air, and he gathered his luggage from the trunk. Snow swirled heavier from the slate-gray sky, blurring Noah’s view of the massive house. Tall pines crowded the gravel drive, and just past the edge of the property, a sliver of lake glinted between the trees.

Lake Superior was alive and roiling despite the heavy chill of winter.

Noah didn’t like the cold. Every year he marveled privately at his parents’ insistence on hosting Christmas here, dragging everyone to the North Shore just because they happened to own lakefront property and a three-story vacation home. That it was the only place large enough to contain the extended Fiore family didn’t placate Noah much. It didn’t make him any more appreciative of the gusty cold, or the flecks of snow he could already feel catching and melting in his beard.

He rounded a huge drift and hoisted his suitcase and computer satchel higher. Both were heavy with extra paperwork—contract revisions that would have kept well enough through the holidays—but Noah preferred to keep busy. He was too much like his mother that way.

Frozen wood squeaked beneath his boots as he mounted the stairs and crossed the front porch. Light glowed through patterned glass in the front door, which swung abruptly inward before Noah could take hold of the latch. Music leaked from somewhere deeper in the house, and Noah gaped at his father. He hadn’t called ahead to let anyone know when he would arrive—he hated the fanfare—yet here Luis Fiore stood, anticipating him anyway. Luis’s face, deeply lined and smiling, looked smug.

Noah glared. “Merry Christmas,” he muttered, reaching past the doorframe to set his bags in the foyer. “I’ll be right back.”

Felix Navidad by Hollis Shiloh
I thought I was about as excited as I'd ever been for the most wonderful time of the year. 

When else would my partner and I get to chase down a robber dressed as Santa? 

It was awesome, one for the scrapbook. Vaughn and Santiago taking down a Santa. Felix flying after the guy on foot, me jerking ahead with the car, sirens on, to cut him off. The guy veered, but we knew this town. This was our beat, our patch. 

Felix followed without missing a step, and I navigated alleys with quick precision to cut him off at the pass. I could drive when I needed to. The Santa bandit couldn't get by us, not when we were working together. We were in the zone. I cut the sirens so I wouldn't give him any warnings. We'd already called it in. 

I jerked to a stop at the end of the alleyway just as Santa-thief zoomed out at top speed and slammed up against the passenger side window, where I normally sat. I swear he squeaked against it as he slid down a few inches, and where was Felix? He should be cuffing the guy right now. I waited a second, then flung myself out of the car, grabbing for my cuffs. 

"Freeze!" I told him. 

I didn't see Felix. 

A Holiday Tradition by Chrissy Munder
“YOUR FATHER says you sleep with men.”

His grandfather’s unexpected statement dropped into the silence of the RV like a bomb, and Paul Carpenter jerked upright, knocking his head into the passenger-side window with a loud clunk.

Oh. My. God. A burning surge of resentment rose in Paul’s throat. What the hell? He’d send his father a furious text if it would do any good. Not only for dumping his sexuality on his grandfather, but also for the idea behind this entire trip!

He closed his eyes, focusing on the coolness of the glass rather than the scream he had held back for the last few miles of the drive from Michigan to some mobile home and RV park on Florida’s eastern coast. Paul had never heard of the place, but Grandpa Louie swore Decembers were better under the Florida sun.

Two hours down, a minimum of sixteen more to go. Probably eighteen, with as many rest stops as his grandfather made. Paul took a deep breath and dug his thumbnail into his palm, mentally gearing himself up for the confrontation sure to come. “If you’re asking if I’m gay, yes, Grandpa. I am.”

Grandpa Louie nodded in reply. He carried his years with comfort, the bulk of muscle honed by hard work not yet whittled away by time, and his hearty appearance overcame his fondness for dressing in bright pastels.

Paul hoped he would age just as well, but he took after his father’s family. Which translated to him being shorter, thinner, and with hair more dishwater than blond.

“Thanks for telling me. It sure would have been embarrassing if I tried to set my wingman up with a bird of the wrong feather.” Grandpa Louie cackled at his own joke, his quick glance inviting Paul to join in.

Paul released his tension with a choked-off huff. “Wingman?”

“You betcha. Why do you think I spend my winters down south?”

Jay Northcote
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

Yolande Kleinn
Yolande Kleinn is a shameless dreamer, a stubborn optimist, and a purveyor of erotic romance. Excitable, fastidious and just a little eclectic, she spends every spare moment writing the stories she wants to read. If she can drag other people into the pool along with her, then so much the better.

Hollis Shiloh
Hollis Shiloh writes love stories about men, also called gay romance or m/m romance, with the preferred genres of contemporary, historical, and fantasy. Hollis's stories tend towards the sweet rather than the spicy. When not writing, the author enjoys reading, retro music, and being around animals.

Chrissy Munder
Chrissy Munder writes contemporary M/M romance filled with everyday men and extraordinary passion to transport readers into their personal world of love, laughter, and desire

She is an avid reader, a wanderer of Michigan’s wilderness, and, while not in any particular order, a lover of lists, zombies, and bad sci-fi. She’s also perpetually behind on everything—except feeding the cat. There are those who might tell you she started writing LGBTQ romance as a way to justify her office supply addiction, but shhhhh! don’t listen to them.

After too many jobs in too many states she’s eagerly awaiting a far too distant retirement and the chance to become a full-time Lake Michigan beachcomber. Until then, she’s excited to share her love of romance, laughter, and happy-ever-afters.

Chrissy loves to chat with her readers so don't be shy! Visit her on Twitter, her website, Facebook, or Goodreads.

Felice Stevens
Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn't until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth's court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Jay Northcote

Yolande Kleinn

Hollis Shiloh

Chrissy Munder

Felice Stevens

Stuck with You by Jay Northcote

Simple After All by Yolande Kleinn
Felix Navidad by Hollis Shiloh

A Holiday Tradition by Chrissy Munder

Two Daddies for Christmas by Felice Stevens 

Release Blitz: Romancing the Undercover Millionaire by Clare London

Title: Romancing the Undercover Millionaire
Author: Clare London
Series: Romancing the . . . #3
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 4, 2018
Cover Design: Alexandria Corza
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Can poverty and privilege find a loving compromise?

Alexandre Bonfils, a rich and spoiled second son, is tired of being ignored and decides to help when the family’s exclusive wine business is in trouble. Going undercover in the warehouse, he loves the adventure—and the chance to be close to the sassy and sexy manager, Tate Somerton.

Tate is hardworking and financially struggling, bringing up his siblings on his own. A suspected saboteur at work is his latest challenge, but now he also has a clueless, though very attractive, new intern. There’s an immediate spark between the ill-matched couple, until a shocking accident cuts short Alex’s amateur sleuthing.

While recovering in the generous care of Tate and his family, will Alex realize what belonging really means? Passion and pride come together to fight for the company they’re both committed to preserving, but can a personal bond remain when the dust settles?

“ALEXANDRE, GOOD morning.” Charles Bonfils, the patriarch of Bonfils Bibendum, the highly prestigious London wine merchants, a cousin of an English baronet, and a personal multimillionaire—if he ever had the poor manners to share actual financials with anyone other than his personal advisors—inclined his distinguished, salt-and-pepper-haired head at the young man sitting on the other side of his desk. “Good of you to turn up on time.”

Alex Bonfils inwardly winced. His father was one of the few people who could, without fail, make him feel four years old again. He resisted rubbing his palms dry on his designer slacks, but only just, and nodded in reply. “Papa, when you call, I come. Of course.”

Charles lifted one eyebrow; that was all.

It was enough.

“Father.” Alex took a deep breath and ran his hand through his blond hair, inevitably destroying the artful work of his personal stylist. “Okay, so I know I haven’t been your most reliable son—”

“I only have two,” Charles murmured. “And all I ask is that they are both full participants in the family business. Or any legitimate business, for that matter.” He sounded calm, but his fingers tightened dangerously around his antique ink pen.

“Yeah.” Alex assumed this summons was something to do with him missing the latest Bonfils management meeting. Or maybe it was because of those embarrassing paparazzi pictures taken in the nightclub last weekend with the twin male models. Or when he gate-crashed the Queen’s garden party last summer, or the fact that Alex had never bothered to finish his university business management course, preferring to go backpacking in Ibiza, or… or… oh, many more examples of how he continued to disappoint his august Papa.

“I think the time has come to face facts,” Charles said.

“Yes? I mean, it has? What about?”

Charles grimaced, obviously struggling to keep his temper. “You have shown little enthusiasm in the business to date, whereas Henri….”

Alex bit back a snort. Henri. His revered, very sober and sensible elder brother, with a gorgeous aristocratic wife and two precocious children to carry on the Bonfils family line. Henri was their father’s chosen heir to the business dynasty. Henri was brighter, smarter, more reliable, more respectable, more predictable—

“Alexandre? Are you listening to me?”

Alex jolted back to attention. “Sure. Go on. You were talking about Henri. How does that affect me?” He hadn’t meant to sound snappy, but constant comparison to a preferred sibling would do that to a guy.

“He’s Bonfils’s CEO for a reason, Alex. He’s committed to the company, a fierce supporter of the industry. He listens, and he learns. Then he works hard.”

The implication was there—Henri was and did all the things Alex wasn’t and didn’t.

“I can work hard.” Alex wished he sounded less defensive. He could work hard. He was just so rarely inspired to. Or rather, he was distracted by things more exciting, more dramatic, more intriguing than profit and loss accounts, stock turnover ratios, and five-year operational budgets.

He hid his shudder at the mere thought.

Surprisingly, his father didn’t scorn his protest. Instead, his gaze almost softened. “Believe me, I know you can. And you do, for the things you love. You have many excellent qualities, and the good intention of using them. But I can’t rely on mere intention for the continuing, successful management of this company. It needs to be your life’s work.”

Alex blinked hard. What was Charles saying? “Jesus, Papa. Are you firing me?”

Charles blew out a tight breath. “I cannot fire you, as you so quaintly put it, when you have a unique position as my son. However, I see no reason to burden you with an operational role any longer.” His tone hardened. “Alexandre, I think you should find yourself a new, personally satisfying project. You will no longer be needed at the monthly management meetings. Your personal allowance will continue—it was your mother’s last wish that all members of the family are supported, regardless of their role in the business—but I think it best for both our expectations if you distance yourself for a while from Bonfils’s Bibendum.” He placed his pen down on the desk blotter with exaggerated care.

Alex was speechless. It was an unfamiliar status.

For a long moment, Charles was still. Then he stood and half lifted his hand from his side, as if he was about to shake Alex’s hand or maybe—just maybe—pat him on the shoulder. Instead, he sighed deeply and gestured gently toward the door for Alex to leave. “And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment elsewhere.”

Author Bio:
Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!



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