Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Christmas Stories 2018

Over the past week or so I've been reading Christmas stories whenever I found myself with a few spare minutes. Below are my thoughts on the stories I read.

Cupcakes and Mistletoe by George Loveland

Declan was sure he had locked the front door to his bakery shop. When a handsome man begs Declan to make him a batch of cupcakes, he knows he can’t refuse.

Adorable, sweet, with a small dose of magic this is a charming Christmas story featuring characters (both main and secondary) I wouldn’t mind meeting again.

Made in Paris by Ana Newfolk

New York. Paris. A friendship across continents and ages.

In Paris, days before Christmas, and on the most important stage of their lives, Dorian and Jean-Paul stumble upon the many letters they exchanged over the years since they became penpals at the tender age of ten. 

Watch what happens when friendship turns into more. 

Distance, tragedy, and fear. 
Will anything get in the way of their love?

A sweet gay romance set in the most romantic city with a happy ever after from the author of Made in Portugal, Ana Newfolk.

Grab your copy and discover a love...made in Paris.

Made In Paris is a 10k word standalone gay romance short story with a HEA ending and no cliffhanger.

A most charming story portraying a relationship as it develops over twenty years as two boys, living on different continents, grow up and move from pen pals via friends to.… Well, if you want to know what their lives look like twenty years after the first letter you’ll just have to read this wonderful story, told in part through those letters they sent back and forth.

Baby, It’s Cold Inside by Brigham Vaughn

A trip to visit his boyfriend Nate’s parents during the holidays leaves Emerson a nervous wreck. Bad weather and an unfortunate mix-up leads to an awkward first introduction, and as things deteriorate from there, Emerson begins to doubt if their relationship will survive the stressful weekend. Can Emerson get everything back on track and impress the Collins family in time to have a Merry Christmas? 

Poor Emerson. He’s hopeful and full of good intentions as he is about to meet his boyfriend’s parents for the first time. Except nothing goes as he’d imagined it would and he fears he’s ruined his only chance to make a good first impression. The poor lad made me smile. He’s so young and his emotions are sooooo over the top. In fact, the whole story made me happy and I can honestly say I read it, from start to finish, with a constant smile tugging at my lips. And the epilogue turned that smile into a delighted grin. A wonderful, feel good, Christmas story.

First Footing by Clare London

Caleb and Owen's relationship thrives on conflict and banter, however deep their true feelings run. But are they really going to fall out over... a Christmas card?

Who knew receiving a Christmas card could have such exuberant consequences?

Sometimes having an argument can be as much fun and as hot as more standard foreplay. Caleb and Owen sure have arguing for the heat of it down to a find art. And the question about whose name should be mentioned first on a card addressed to both of them leads to all sorts of rather fabulous not to mention deliciously scorching verbal skirmishes and other, more physical shenanigans.

An original, highly entertaining and rather sexy Christmas short.

The Christmas Hitch (Mysterious Mixology) by Chris Ethan

All they want for Christmas is love.

Charlie is desperate for company this Christmas. With his family and friends away for the holidays, he’s accepted he might have to spend the last few days of the year on his own.

Adam hopes his friend will invite him to spend Christmas with him. When he does, however, he’s on the other side of the country.

What happens when a train is halted mid-journey and the two men are stuck in each other’s charming company?

The Christmas Hitch is a cozy gay romance with magical cocktails, mysterious bartenders and love at first sight and is approximately 15k words. 

Treat yourself to a sweet date with two strangers...

Two men at their wits end when it comes to life in general and love in particular find each other and happiness thanks to a delightful combination of coincidence and mysterious encounters with someone who may not be who or what he presents himself as.

An adorable story that will leave you with a huge smile on your face once you’ve reached the end (and on one or two crucial moments during the story too). Charlie and Adam are so obviously made for each other it’s hard not to cheer when they find each other during what might have been a disastrous delay in their journey, but turns out to be anything but. This is a comforting feel good read if ever I saw one.

A Gentle Shove of Human Kindness by Amy Lane

Witness the Angel Gabriel.

a.k.a. "Heaven's biggest prick"

Gabriel has been accused of the crime of hubris--and his sentence is to remember why angels protected humans in the first place. A permanent seat at Starbucks might be Gabriel's idea of hell, but it's there that he meets the irrepressible Jamie and wounded Ernie, and realizes that the human race might be worth saving after all.

It just needs a gentle shove of human kindness.

Okay, so strictly speaking this isn’t a Christmas story. Given that it features angels as the main characters and ends with the reader feeling happy and, may I say it, with their faith in human kindness refreshed, I’m inclined to gently shove this adorable, funny, and yet poignant short into this lineup anyway.

Gabriel in this story is probably best described as a grumpy old angel, convinced humankind is depraved and doomed. All it takes is twenty-four hours of observing Jamie and Ernie to restore his faith in humans and reduce his cynicism. A most wonderful, lighthearted yet poignant short.

When Harry Met Sully by Susan Mac Nicol

Sometimes, Christmas elves ARE real. And when Harry sees one he'd like to get to know better, you simply have to go with the Christmas flow.

This is a rather sweet and gently funny account of, as the title suggests, the moment Harry is introduced to Sully by Liz, his friend who is determined to end his solitary status.

This is the shortest of the Christmas stories I’ve recently read. It doesn’t come with a happily ever after. Heck, I’m not even sure it qualifies as a happy for now. But, it does leave you with a feeling of happy times to come, and in this case, that’s more than enough.

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