2013 Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar Reviews - Week One

2013 Dreamspinner Press Heartwarming Advent Calendar

The Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar is a collection of 31 stories. The stories can either be purchased as a bundle, where a new story is released each day during the month of December, or can be purchased individually. This year’s holiday theme is Heartwarming. J9 will be reading and reviewing each of the 31 stories from the Advent Calendar and will post her reviews each week in the month of December. The following are reviews for the stories that were released this week.


Reviewed By: J9

In Another Life by Cardeno C.In Another Life by Cardeno C.: This is a sweet and spicy novella with lovely characters, a fated romance, and a unique way of telling the story. This non-linear story features a young Shiloh who wakes from a suicide attempt but with a near-death experience that provides him great hope for his future, one with EMT Travis in it. Travis saved Shiloh and doesn’t leave his side and the two form a bond. These are very likable characters that get an emotional and erotic romance with a near fated quality to it.

 

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs


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From This Window by Diana JeanFrom This Window by Diana Jean: I loved this character based romance between the reclusive and Grinch-y Lucas and his neighbor, Jeremy. From his apartment window Lucas watches people get ready for Christmas but is removed from the festivities and relationships. His neighbor Jeremy suddenly decides Christmas is the time to pursue anti-social Lucas. These are great characters well outside the norm in MM romance. This is a sweet story about how even troubled people can find someone to care about them, as Jeremy proves to Lucas.

 

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs


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Last Leap of the First-Foot by Ari McKayLast Leap of the First-Foot by Ari McKay: I’m a sucker for historical MM romance and that’s what I got here. Iain is a wealthy landowner in 1899 Scotland who is finally ready to offer more than friendship to Bran, his best friend. Bran has long had lusty thoughts about Iain but can’t imagine a way they could have a relationship. Bran and Ian are likable leads and they have a great chemistry. I also enjoyed Bran’s homespun mother and father and the Scottish setting of this novella.

 

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs


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Bashert by Gale StanleyBashert by Gale Stanley: This new adult story is about one college student’s exploration of his Jewish faith and his homosexuality. Stories of faith are always difficult to pull off in my opinion and this one did an adequate job using Hanukkah to do so. I did like that both Jonah, the lead, and Aaron were young men of the same age and had more in common than just wanting to get laid.

 

J9’s Rating:
3 Frogs


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Scanty Santa by Troy StormScanty Santa by Troy Storm: This is an erotic story with all the focus on the stripping and sex with only a nod to a future relationship. When one neighbor sees another dressed as slutty Santa but without a ride to his stripping gig, he offers dirty Santa a ride and gets more from his night than he imagined. Even for an erotic story, this one seemed odd with language like “white-hot grease poured into my gut” or “he read me like Dickens, backing off when I was about to erupt”. This story wasn’t my thing with its rambones flying around and chewing on roots going on.

 

J9’s Rating:
1 Frog


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A Lion in Tails by Andrew GreyA Lion in Tails by Andrew Grey: This tender, family-focused novella was sweet to read. Larry is raising his five-year old nephew, Angus, after his mother suddenly died and Larry goes to rent a little tux for Angus to wear at their Christmas party. Joshua works part-time at the tuxedo shop and Angus takes to him right away, inviting him to their Christmas party. Larry and Joshua want to consider a relationship but Larry’s focus is rightly on Angus. I enjoyed this little story of three people becoming a family. Sure it’s simple, sweet and uncomplicated but that made for easy escapism for me. Readers who don’t like plot moppets shouldn’t read this as little Angus is adorable and helps bring the men together. I enjoyed this light novella of family building.

 

J9’s Rating:
3 1/2 Frogs


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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter | Goodreads.

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