A Second Chance – Van Cole

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“It was childish to cling to the idea of this boy that had built me up and ruined me, especially ten years later – but there was nothing I could do. I was a slave to the lack of closure. I couldn’t move on.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. Not exactly what it says on the tin, though. The summary gives the impression that what we’re about to read will be a more complete novel than what we actually end up with. It’s not entirely inaccurate, but it’s making promises that it doesn’t really deliver. Having said that, this is still a good read and I did enjoy it, there just wasn’t a whole lot to it. The whole story, which is fairly short and only took me about an hour to read, is told from Dane’s first-person point of view. The way it’s written is less like reading events as they take place and is more like Dane is summarizing the events for us and telling his story from some nebulous future point. Some of the story takes place in the past, when Dane was in high school, but the parts that take place in the present read the same way. Even without much focus on Sam’s thoughts and motivations, and the somewhat stilted delivery, I still felt that this was a solid story. I do wish we could’ve gotten more focus on some aspects, there were a lot of points (mostly having to do with Dane’s family) that could’ve been expanded on, but as it is it’s still pretty decent. The main point of the story is Dane trying to get closure over the disaster that was his first love, and I really liked the read. The emotions in the story were great, though not as explored as I would’ve liked in some places, and I thought the outcome was great. The writing isn’t the best, but the story was really good and I would definitely recommend it for the experience of reading it.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Will A High School Reunion Bring These Lovers Back Together?

Sam and Dane were two young men on the brink of their futures. Sharing high school adventures together, these two young men were both figuring out how to deal with their homosexuality when they found solace in the sexual expression of each other. Confused and concerned, Sam and Dane live in a world of mixed emotions, fighting their desires while finding each other undeniably linked.

When Dane shares with his family the fact that he is gay, his world is turned upside down and he turns to Sam for comfort. But, family pressures and a societal fear push the lovers to the breaking point, life and prejudice seeming to separate them forever. Life goes on and two worlds are built…two very different worlds. Then, an invitation threatens to turn their worlds upside down.

Ten years after a graduation, will the reunion of their two souls bring them back together for good?

Or, will time and fate tear them apart forever?

This Romance Short Story Was Formerly Title The Reunion

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca as part of the Surprise Baby: Gay MPREG Romance Collection]

 

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS

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Flight Risk – L. A. Witt

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“I wanted Aaron. I wanted him to be okay, I wanted him to be with me. I wanted my friend back. And, yeah, I wanted him too.”

 

In a word: Read the thing. L. A. Witt is fast becoming one of my favourite authors; I usually really like her stuff. This one is no exception. Though I will say that this felt… not incomplete exactly, but I felt like there could’ve been more to it. But there’s only so much story that can be put into something this short (it’s about 20, 000 words long), I suppose. Even so, I still really liked the story and the characters. The whole thing is a small window into the lives of Bennett and Aaron, two fighter pilots living on a military base in Japan. This details the story of how they became more than friends and is strictly a ‘getting together’ story. We don’t get a lot of background for much of anything; we only really get enough information to set the scene. Bennett and Aaron are friends; Bennett is also attracted to Aaron but has no idea if Aaron feels the same way about him. Then they spend a night together and everything changes. The feelings and emotions in this are amazing (as usual with L. A. Witt), and both men contribute their fair share. One thing I really like about this book is that Aaron’s ‘hot-and-cold’ treatment of Bennett after sleeping with him, while aggravating, came from a place of actual concern/fear instead of some stupid misunderstanding. The fact that it was resolved easily but still not completely, given the circumstances, was also a plus. I definitely recommend this one.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Fight pilot Bennett “Roid-Rage” McKinney has had a crush on one of his squadron mates, Aaron “Tex” Austin, for ages. The snarly RIO is sexy, sarcastic, gay… everything Bennett wants in a man.

When Tex has a rare night off from the chronic pain caused by an ejection a few years ago, he reaches for the nearest warm body… which just so happens to be Bennett’s.

After a hot night, though, Bennett wakes up alone. Tex starts sending him mixed messages—one minute he wants him, the next he’s cold-shouldering him. Bennett isn’t interested in playing games, not even with the man he’s been lusting after. One night stands are fine, but he’s not getting involved with someone who might disappear at the drop of a hat.

But as the men try to resist each other, he realizes he’s not the only one who’s afraid of getting involved with a flight risk…

This 20,000 word novella was previously published as part of the Unconditional Surrender Military Collection.

 

[available for purchase at Amazon.ca; also available in a bundle at Amazon.ca and Barnes & Noble]

 

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QR: New Game, Start – C.S. Poe

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“So there was this guy… and I guess you could say it was pretty one-sided.”

 

In a word: Read the thing.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Reclusive medieval scholar, Edgar Royal, has a crush. On a guy. Not a big deal, except that said guy, Walter Chase, is a famous online gamer who has no idea Edgar even exists. Edgar has harbored these feelings for nearly a year, and when Walter announces on Twitter that he’ll be visiting New York City as a guest at the GamerOn convention, Edgar decides he’ll be one of the thousands of fans who responds to the message.

He definitely doesn’t expect to be singled out by the humble, gorgeous, out-and-proud heartthrob. And when it comes to dealing with people, Edgar’s skills are pretty nonexistent. Even with Walter giving all the right signals, Edgar lacks the courage do anything about the mutual attraction growing through their online courtship. He’s always been better with the written word, so maybe the perfect Christmas gift will say what he cannot. But if Edgar can’t get the present to Walter before the convention ends, he may miss out on the boyfriend of a lifetime.

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble; also available as part of the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar set]

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QR: Candy Canes and Cappuccinos – Elizabeth Coldwell

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“Why did I always get like this around Steven? I liked him, and I was pretty sure he liked me too.”

 

In a word: Read the thing.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Kyle is struggling to run his coffee shop on his own after his partner walked out on him. He has his eye on Steven, who comes into the shop each day, but hasn’t worked up the nerve to express his interest. When Steven asks Kyle to help out with Christmas lunch at the homeless shelter where he works, Kyle is too exhausted to agree. He donates his tips but still feels he’s blown his chances with Steven and made himself look like a selfish jerk.

On Christmas Day, Kyle sees a way to make amends—to both Steven and the needy people depending on his kindness. It’s the right thing to do, and Kyle hopes he can clear up the misunderstanding and show Steven the type of man he really is. Maybe then they can consider some dessert when the lunch at the shelter is over….

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble; also available as part of the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar set]

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QR: All Creatures Great and Small – Kasper Quill

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“What was a little pain compared to giving my fur baby the Christmas he’d probably never had?”

 

In a word: Read the thing.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) Growing up an orphan meant Charlie never celebrated Christmas. He’s committed to making sure his newly adopted cat, Max, doesn’t miss out like he did. Unfortunately, he discovers that giving Max the perfect Christmas might be easier said than done—and not without risk.

Charlie’s landlord, successful and wealthy real estate developer Aemon Scotfield, is charmed by the gorgeous redhead and his shameless alley cat. He finds himself compelled to help orchestrate a memorable celebration for Max—and Charlie—despite the mishaps that seem to just keep coming. As difficult as it will be to pull off the perfect holiday, the real challenge might be walking away when it’s over.

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble; also available as part of the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar set]

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QR: Trading Tridents – C. M. Taylor

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“I had to focus on making my knees stop shaking and to avoid floundering like a landed trout, but I made it. Onstage. With Derek Kitow.”

 

In a word: Read the thing.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) DecemberCon 2017. John Perlan, aka YouTuber “SmileyNibor,” has come to the con for one reason and one reason only: to see his idol, actor Derek Kitow. And since Derek has announced he’ll be dressed as the original Aquaman, Perlan decides to come as the Aquaman reboot. It helps that he already has the beard and the bod to make a convincing Momoaman.

But when Derek Kitow makes his entrance, he recognizes Perlan from his tiny YouTube channel and wants him onstage! Has Kitow been following him online? Could SmileyNibor’s hero also be a fan? And what exactly does Kitow have in mind by inviting Perlan to meet him after the panel?

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, and Barnes & Noble; also available as part of the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar set]

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QR: An Unexpected Sanctuary – Cassie Decker

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“It’s hard to believe it was only a year ago the world fell apart so spectacularly – sometimes it seems like a million lifetimes have passed since I was sitting in my dorm room worrying about finals week.”

 

In a word: Read the thing.

 

The Summary: (from Goodreads) An aggressive super-flu pandemic wipes out a majority of the population over the course of one Christmas holiday—and brings Tobin and Kyle together. For almost a year, they’ve been trekking across the country from Colorado toward a sanctuary in upstate New York. Kyle’s survival skills have kept them alive, and Tobin wants to repay the man he loves with a very special gift of his own making. He sneaks off in search of the last few pieces… only to get himself and Kyle kidnapped by a desperate stranger. With their journey to New York on hold—possibly indefinitely—they’ll need to accept that home isn’t always defined by a place as much as the person you’re with.

 

[available for purchase from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon.ca, Chapters, and Barnes & Noble; also available as part of the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar set]

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