Yay, it's Friday again! And a Friday before a long weekend, that's even better. :) True, we have all kinds of family obligations, but that's just how it is. We're away for the weekend, but hopefully we'll be home by Sunday night and then we have Monday off from work (as we have a second Christmas Day in the Netherlands). Time to hang around the house together, watch some tv shows and read books, before going back to work on Tuesday. Sounds good, huh? :)
I’ve been reading a few more Christmas stories this week. It’s such a nice way to get in the mood for the holidays. Here they are:
The Santa ProblemTorquere Press, 2011
Blurb:Lane would do most anything to make his live-in love Gavin happy, but this is taking things too far. Just because Gavin can’t find someone to play Santa at his office building, doesn’t mean it’s Lane’s problem too. But Gavin can be very persuasive when he wants his way, and Lane may be taking on more than he can handle in order to keep his man content.
My thoughts:I love a little bit of humor in my stories, and The Santa Problem just delivers that. And not only that. The plot is engaging, the characters feel very real, the chemistry is scorching hot and there's some sweetness to top it all off. The only complaint I have is that the story ended. This was such an enjoyable read, it perfectly showed the author's skill to make her characters three-dimensional and to bring a scene to life. From the first paragraphs on I felt as if I was there in the room with them. It's definitely a Christmas story, but not of the traditional, sappy kind. I think I almost peed myself when the little 'Santa problem' reached its peak, it’s hilarious. I highly recommend this story and every m/m reader should buy it, and I'm not only saying that because I know Tam and consider her a friend. She really wrote an entertaining and lovely story with The Santa Problem! 4.5 stars
My True Love Gave to MeCarina Press, 2011
Blurb:Alexander Norton loathes the festive season. The revelry of the ton is a reminder of Christmas four years ago, when his first love, Thomas Bennett, broke his heart and fled to New York without a word. So when he encounters Thomas at a holiday ball, Alexander is determined not to let on how much he still hurts.
Thomas has returned for one reason only: Alexander. Having finally come to terms with his forbidden desires, he will do whatever he must to convince Alexander to give their love another chance. But instead of the happy, carefree man Thomas once knew, Alexander is now hard and cynical. Saddened to know he's to blame for the man's bitterness, Thomas resolves to reignite the passion he knows lies hidden behind the wall of disdain...
My thoughts:This story is part of the Men Under The Mistletoe anthology - although it can be purchased as a single title as well - and is set in Regency England as we're used from Ava March's books. Characteristic for the time period is the forbidden nature of gay love, something the main character Thomas in this story struggles with when he and Alexander start falling in love. Given their young age, they're 19 years old, it's understandable he's unsure and feels the pressure of society and family who condemn sodomy. So, he flees and hurts Alexander deeply in the process. When he returns after four year, Alexander doesn't warmly welcome him back into his life and Thomas has to work hard to make Alexander even listen to his apologies, let alone to win him back.
Their story is an intense story, full of dark and deep feelings that made my stomach twist more than once, out of sympathy for both characters equally. The narrative alternates between both their perspectives so as a reader it's easy to empathize with and understand both men. I only wondered if Alexander understood Thomas' motives to leave to New York as well as I did, because some things remained unsaid between them while we learned about them through their thoughts. But other than that this story was perfect, it's written well, has intriguing, memorable characters, a compelling plot and hot and moving sex scenes. Especially when you love a historical setting and don't mind the angsty implications of that period's forbidden gay love, My True Love Gave to Me is a wonderful read, for any time of the year and not only for around Christmas time. Because although it is set in December and the season plays a role in the plot, it's not highly significant and the story doesn't have a very 'Christmassy' vibe. However, you won't be disappointed when you want I seasonal read either. 4.5 stars
My Christmas PresentSilver Publishing, 2011
Blurb:Lucas has been in love with his dad’s best friend, Mitchell, for years. Arriving home after finishing university, he's determined to find out if the sexy cowboy returns his feelings. When Mitchell receives his Christmas present early, will he continue to fight his attraction?
My thoughts:This is a May-December romance in which a son is in love with his father's best friend and vice versa and where the age gap is about 20 years. I have to admit that this is not one of my favorite themes, on the contrary, but this wasn't a bad read for me. The father's friend, Mitchell, was rather reluctant about starting something with his friend's son, Lucas, and his cautious behavior worked for me. And although the way the father gave his approval to the relationship was a bit weird, the first hesitant attempts to physical contact between Mitchell and Lucas were sweet and endearing. By that time I was all for them getting together.
Their story is told from both their perspectives which makes it easy to believe in the sincerity of their feelings. Both men have had a crush on the other for a long time, and through their thoughts we learn all about the why. When they finally give in to their attraction there's some hot smexing and unfortunately with that the end of the story presents itself as well. The story, which takes place around Christmas and involves some sort of a Christmas present, is an enjoyable read with a decent plot. 3.5 stars
Have you been reading good Christmas stories that you can recommend?
Happy Gay Friday!~