Friday, December 2, 2016

ARC Review: Krampus Hates Christmas by Andi Van & Cursed Miracles by Meg Harding (need buy links)

From The Blurb:
Karl Kringle hates the modern-day Christmas. He was born to be Krampus, but the Holiday Council refuses to let him help his brother Nick—aka Santa Claus—with the Naughty List until he finds his holiday spirit. To meet that challenge, he’s turned human and dumped in a strange apartment. 
Lewis Weatherby loves the holidays and always has. Not only do his parents own a pumpkin patch and tree farm, he’s also inherited a Christmas-themed shop. All he wants from Santa is the man of his dreams, and the Big Guy might’ve just delivered. Lewis’s new neighbor Karl is gorgeous, sweet, and has a fantastic sense of humor—if his jokes about being Krampus are any indication. 
Soon getting home is less important to Karl than what will happen when Lewis inevitably realizes the truth behind his jokes. He’s finally starting to understand the real joy of the season—now he just has to figure out how to hold on to it.

Karen's rating:

'Krampus Hates Christmas' is a cute twist on an old holiday legend. The legend of Krampus originated in Germany centuries ago and was created to be a counterpoint to Santa. While Santa gave children sweets as a reward for being good. Krampus, who is also known as Black Peter in other parts of the world, would visit bad children and take away their treats and steal them away to his lair.

In Andi Van's version of this legend. Krampus is Santa's twin brother and he's lost his love for the holidays over the years as he's seen Christmas become increasingly commercialized and the burden to his brother has become more than his brother can truly handle. Krampus just wants to help his brother, to lighten the load that has been placed on the over burdened Christmas icon. Unfortunately the board of directors (other holiday icons) don't want to allow Krampus to help until he finds his love of the holidays again.

Krampus finds his holiday spirit when a little magic lands Krampus in the world of humans right next door to Lewis, the owner of a Christmas store and member of a family that makes its living from the holidays with their Pumpkin Patch/Christmas Tree farm.

I liked that the relationship between Krampus (otherwise named Karl Peter Kringle) started as friendship in spite of their attraction to each other. I liked Lewis's family, they were down to earth, working people who were loving, supportive and there for each other when needed.

I think my favorite character in this story was Krampus, he really was just a big old teddy bear and I loved seeing him find his love for the holidays again. It really was the best part of the story. Sadly seeing him and Lewis fall in love was ok, I liked it but at times it just wasn't working for me and the ending was all right, but really didn't work as well for me as I would have liked it. So just 3 twinkling little stars on this one because the holiday feelz just weren't quite there for me.


From The Blurb:
Two hundred years ago on Christmas Eve, William Mashinter was frozen in time, cursed by his wife to roam the world on his own, waiting for the love of his life to find him. The love of his life, whom she killed. Time hasn’t healed this wound, and William is tired of the happy holiday and the constant reminders of a love that’s been taken from him. But then the impossible happens, and maybe… maybe he can get a new Christmas perspective. 
Brady Gallagher has lived three different lives, always aware of the first and most important, yet unable to find the man who will fill in the missing pieces and let him know he’s not crazy. He encounters him at a work event, of all places, but is he willing to throw everything else to the wind and embrace the miracle laid out before him?

Karen's rating:

William Mashinter and Brady Gallagher feel in love during a time when loving another man was neither a wise nor safe decision, but the heart wants what the heart wants. Sadly for William his wife's heart wanted revenge and she was just the witch to get it.

William is cursed by his witch of a wife (seriously, she's a witch) to wander the earth until his true love (that would be Brady) finds him. Problem is she's killed Brady and cursed him to be reborn and in each life he remembers everything that's happened from his previous lives. Needless to say this is going to take a 200 years worth.

I loved this the whole premise had me salivating. I'm a sucker for a story with tons of drama and angst and a big payoff and seriously 200 years of being reborn only to start looking for your soulmate in each life remembering that he's out there wandering the earth waiting for you, looking for you. I had this one cast and produced as a movie/television series/whatever I'll take what I can get. I loved 'The Highlander' and this has all the makings of being every bit as epic.

I loved the beginning seeing how events came to be through William's memories. I felt his pain and heartache. Shared his sense of loss and eventually the hopelessness of ever being reunited with Brady.

What fell short for me was the middle. I wanted those 200 years filled in with more than just a few paragraphs. Even a few more pages would have worked for me. I wanted that extra drama to enhance how much these two men went through to be reunited. William hinted at dark times in his life and dammit I wanted to know what happened to him, but alas this is a short story and I was not to get this part of it.

It's a big world out there and it's not getting any smaller. These two men being reunited was like the proverbial needle in a haystack so William thinking he was going crazy rather than believing it was possible that it was Brady's voice he heard and not his mind playing tricks made total sense to me. Which made their reunion so perfect when it happened. I loved it.

As for the ending...I loved it. William and Brady's reunion worked so well. It was intense, sweet, a tiny bit awkward and totally perfect but then again, 200 years looking for the love of your life...deserves nothing less than perfect.


ARCs of 'Krampus Hates Christmas' and 'Cursed Miracles' were graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Buy the books:

Reading give us someplace to go, when we have to stay where we are. (Mason Cooley)

Buylinks are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with this book, author or booksellers listed.

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