Thursday, December 14, 2017

ARC Review: 2017 DSP Advent Calendar by Various Artist (Part 4)

Stocking Stuffers (2017 Advent Calendar)From the blurb:

Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most…. 
The holidays are a time when bigger often means better, and meals are huge, decorations are over-the-top, and elaborate gifts and grand gestures are one way to show affection. But beneath all the pomp and ceremony, after the grandiose presents have been unwrapped, the stocking stuffers are still waiting to add that final sparkle to the perfect celebration. Even the tiniest trinkets can be gems when they’re chosen with love, and like a good love story, they are held close to the heart and treasured for years to come. The festivities don’t have to end after the feasts and gift exchanges. Dig a little deeper for romantic stocking stuffers both naughty and nice. 
Enjoy a tale of men in love with men every day throughout December.

Heather's rating:

I'm reading:

All Creatures Great and Small by Kasper Quill

A surprisingly cute, light little novella from newbie author, Kasper Quill.

I don't always have the best luck with anthologies, and I definitely don't have the best luck with first-time authors, but I was impressed by this one.

It started off a little rocky with a lot of telling and not a lot of showing, but it soon got into the groove. The MC was funny ( I LOVE funny) and the animals were adorable. The plot morphed into something that was just okay into a really sweet opposites attract story.

It wasn't perfect, but it was a really nice holiday story, and a winner for this anthology.

Eugene and the Box of Nails by Jaime Samms

This was actually a very sweet story, even if I wanted to knock some sense into Eugene part of the time.

Eugene and the Box of Nails was a classic-feeling Christmas story about the lonely man getting help from strangers and finding love where he least expects it. It was really heart-warming, even though I felt like the romance was a bit too underdeveloped (happens with short stories) and Eugene was too willful for my tastes.

I really enjoyed the older MCs and the very sweet HEA. A good one.

Ghostwriter of Christmas Past by T.A. Moore

Ghostwriter of Christmas Past was an excellent novella, and is sure to be one of my favorite holiday stories of the year.

I was SO beyond impressed with this one. I haven't read T.A. Moore before, but this book... gah, it just brought all the feels! It was a perfect blend of romance and Christmas spirit, and it made me simply happy.

Novellas are extremely hard to write, and I find myself rarely giving top ratings to them. However, this one just grabbed me from the start. I don't always love kids in romance, but the MC's niece worked perfectly here. I also sometimes struggle with romances where the MCs already have a past intimate connection, but this was an example of an excellent second-chance romance.

My only wish was that it was even longer because I just wanted more of Jason and Tommy's story. I'll be watching for every new T.A. Moore story in the future.

A Gift of Family by Tami Veldura

I wish I could say that I enjoyed this more, but, really, I'm being generous with 2-stars.

Just insta-love, insta-connection, insta... everything! I really hate insta-love, and I know it's hard to make the connections feel real in a short story, but this was just too much for me.

The dog part was cute, but other than that, it was a miss.

A Holiday Crush by CJane Elliott

This wasn't a terrible holiday story, but it just lacked that *umph* for me. It was a little more political than I was expecting, and a little more choppy than I was hoping for, but the overall message was a sweet one.

There was nothing really memorable about the story, I'm sorry to say, but I think in a collection it would be nice in the mix. Just okay, overall.

** A free copy of each book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. **

Buy this anthology:

Dreamspinner Press

Thanks for reading!

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