Sunday, December 5, 2010
Nice or Naughty Weekend, part 1
To get into the December spirit I decided to read the collection of short stories and novellas from Dreamspinner's Advent Calendar Set 2010, titled Nice or Naughty, this month. Here are my thoughts on the first few I read.
All Snug is a very cute, sweet story about two guys, Elliot and Shawn, who both want to buy the same antique bed as a Christmas present for their boyfriends. It's told in first person point of view from Elliot who is the more succesful guy of the two and can afford the bed easily. Shawn has worked overtime and saved his last penny to be able to buy the bed. To decide who can have the bed they agree to participate in a contest that includes a few challenges. While having fun trying to win the challenges they start to learn more about each other and Elliot falls hard and fast for Shawn's innocence and different look on life.
Both guys are lovable characters, the challenges are fresh and fun and the plot is original and well-paced. The outcome - concerning Elliot's and Shawn's boyfriends for whom they wanted to buy the bed - was a bit predictable but that didn't diminish the reading pleasure at all. This was a great start for me to the Nice or Naughty set.
As the Snow Lay All Around
This story is set in historical England and is about a rich and a poor boy, Gerard and Matthias, meeting for the first time when they're ten years old, on Boxing Day. Then they meet again on a few Boxing Days to follow over the next decade. And finally, that one special Boxing Day when they're grown up and share their first kiss followed by a hot orgasm in the snow. Nevertheless, the class difference keeps them apart. And then a few years later they meet again...
For such a short story this one has a huge time span in comparison, so there's not much room for character development or - for example - extensive sex scenes. Despite that, this was a very enjoyable, classic themed story, framed in a well-paced plot, sweetly told from Gerard's third person point of view. Matthias stays a bit of a mystery because of his missing POV, but that didn't bother me. He and Gerard make a cute couple whom you just wish all the luck in the world.
Batteries Not Included
I recently read a very enjoyable novella by J.L. Merrow, Pricks and Pragmatism, and I was very much looking forward to this short story. And I wasn't disappointed in the least. Batteries Not Included is a humorous and original story, with a supernatural twist. One morning Sam wakes up and discovers his favorite popstar in his bed - naked. Neither of them can remember how they ended up in bed together, or what happened there. And Cain doesn't seem to be too happy about it either. Slowly they manage to unravel the events and meanwhile they have to deal with Sam's over-the-top, witchy mother, Lilith, who is a hoot. The story is told from Sam's point of view, in first person, and I really loved his witty, snarky voice. Sam and Cain are so hot together - their chemistry is sizzling, even in the non-erotic scenes. Their initial banter accompanied by Sam's observations made me laugh out loud quite a few times.
Overall, I really enjoyed these first three Nice and Naughty stories. Only 28 ones to go! :)