2013 Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar Reviews - Week Two

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

Goosed by Sasha PayneGoosed by Sasha Payne: This gentle story is about an established couple enjoying the holidays together. I loved the Welsh setting and the fully developed relationship between the two leads as well as the sweet ending.






J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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Gaudete by Amy Rae DurresonGaudete by Amy Rae Durreson: Given the restrictive word count of this short novella, the current and back story telling didn’t work for me here. The leads met in the Christmas season for years as boys and young men and always shared a connection.  Then they meet years later as lonely adults still searching for each other at Christmas. Choosing to tell the flashbacks and the present alternating just jolted me out of each time. I did like that one lead had believable ADHD and was therefore a slightly different romantic lead.

 

J9’s Rating:
2 Frogs

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Worth It by Kris T. BethkeWorth It by Kris T. Bethke: I enjoyed this tender reunion romance. We open with Jack sending his young lover away to college and then their agreed upon reunion five years later. This isn’t as angsty as I might have liked given the set up but it’s a good blend of emotional and sexual intimacy.




J9’s Rating:
3 Frogs

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Holiday Invasion by Elle SommersHoliday Invasion by Elle Sommers: This is about a gay couple with a baby being invaded by family for the holidays. I really liked both leads and the realistic way they juggle their new baby as well as their relationship with each other and their families. I wish the end focused a bit more on the leads as a couple but I won’t quibble.

 

J9’s Rating:
3 1/2 Frogs

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Prairie Dog’s Love Song by Eli EastonPrairie Dog’s Love Song by Eli Easton: I’ve gotta love gay cowboys, especially when the silent and stoic one makes a big romantic gesture in public! Joshua finds out his best friend’s brother is gay and all grown up when he sees Ben “acting” on an adult website. I loved Joshua and how he decides to fight for Ben and the life they could have. My one complaint with this story is Ben’s initial refusal to admit he was gay. It felt forced and unnecessary in this otherwise tight novella.

 

J9’s Rating:
3 1/2 Frogs

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Heart of the Pines by Jon KeysHeart of the Pines by Jon Keys: This is a wonderful story of two mature men becoming each other’s port in life’s storms. Chris will always love and miss the wife he lost to cancer but is willing to explore his feelings for Wade, a man whose long-term boyfriend left him. I adored the way Chris and Wade accept and love each other and this goes for their sexual intimacy as much as their emotional. This is a tad sentimental for my usual taste but the characters were so lovely I didn’t care in this holiday season.

 

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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Blah, Humbug! by Dawn FlemingtonBlah, Humbug! by Dawn Flemington: This story features one perfect Santa sharing holiday cheer with the grinch. I wish more of the story focused on the relationship development between the leads than the mysterious good deeds of the Santa. Still, this story basks in its’ holiday cheer and manages to do so with plenty of sex too.

 

J9’s Rating:
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.

2 comments:

  1. It is very hard to write a short story that is fantastic. Not enough words.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I agree it can't be easy but I also think authors have pride and offer their best. Some just work better for me than others--that's the beauty of personal taste! :)

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