Derek feels like his life is spinning out of control. He’s feeling like the job he has is neither the job he was supposed to get or the one he wanted, he’s at odds with his parents and feels like they’re constantly trying to marry him off. If he could just catch a break, put a little distance between him and the rest of the world.
Derek finds his buffer in the form of Luke…a former fireman who’s in need of twenty thousand dollars to finish paying or the renovations to on Halligans, his family’s bar in NY’s Financial District. So, when Luke’s friend asks him for a favor…a favor that will bring in Luke’s much needed money. Luke finds himself reluctantly agreeing to be Derek’s pretend boyfriend for the holidays…4 dates that’s all he needs to get through and then he’ll have the money he needs…what could possibly go wrong with just 4 dates?
What neither Derek or Luke is prepared for is that things would go right…so much righter than either man is prepared for as they find that not only is there a definite attraction between them but as they get to know each other they’re also finding that they like each other.
I admit I was fairly certain that I was going to enjoy this one before I even opened the book…the author’s R.J. Scott and for me that pretty well makes it a done deal. For me Luke was the perfect person for Derek. He saw past Derek’s exterior with his pretense of confidence in an effort to cover his insecurities. Luke saw a talented man that he knew he could both like and respect. For Derek, Luke was his dream man come to life.
One of the things about this story that really capture my attention was the relationship dynamics between Derek and his parents. So often in stories the relationship between adult children and their parents are portrayed as either being good or not good but for Derek and his parents that’s not the case. Derek loves his parents and they love him and are supportive of him, but Derek doesn’t see it this way and that’s largely due to a communication issue or more accurately a case of miscommunication. Which for Derek is a more common event in his life than it needs to be because of the defensive barrier he’s built around himself.
Luke’s efforts to get past Derek and his façade of confidence has a trickle-down effect on Derek’s life allowing him to re-evaluate his interactions not just with Luke but a lot of the other people in his life…colleagues, friends and his parents.
For me the fake-boyfriend to boyfriend premise of this story was well done. It was sweet, and not only did we get to see the relationship develop between these two, but we got to find out a bit more about each of them, their past, their present and what they wanted for their future.
‘Love Happens Anyway’ is an enchanting holiday story and while a lot of the issues stem from miscommunication it’s not intentional or surrounded by any over the top angst or drama and the icing on the Christmas cake for me in all of this was the ending…I loved the ending. It was sweet and filled with the joy of the holidays…definitely recommended for anyone wanting a sweet holiday story filled with fun, cheer and two sexy men who make the holiday just that much brighter.
An ARC of ‘Love Happens Anyway’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Nightfall is an odd one, because I definitely liked the idea and the atmosphere well more than the actual book, so much so that I pushed through to the end. I am absolutely not the kind of reader who must finish everything she starts -- I abandon things all the time -- so that I kept trucking is decidedly in this book's favor. That said, I still wasn't super jazzed about Nightfall, so.
Three teenagers -- a sibling pair and another boy -- live on an island on a planet where the seasons are incredibly long. (Think Game of Thrones without the incest.) The entire community of the island comes in the spring, and leaves 14 years later in the fall. At that point, the island is given over to ... something, and everyone must leave their habitations just so. The teens get left behind in the push off the island, and must either make it through Night, or get off the island somehow in the cold and dark.
The environmental stuff was bananas good, and I was all in on the descriptions of the changing seasons and the changing island. The teens, maybe not so much. Several footballs are hidden for so long that it was almost insulting, plus it just made it hard to care. I also didn't find the ending particularly satisfying, but, per usual, ymmv. Winter is coming, I guess.
Picture the scene: Victorian London. A smoky club. A group of literary icons. The price to join this group? A story of the supernatural. The scene is now set.
Imagine the tales these writers of old would share. Stoker, Dickens, Wells, James, and Stevenson, among others. What price would you pay to sit at that table? Unfortunately, the opportunity to sit there in person is gone, but thanks to William Meikle, you CAN now be privy to these stories and anything else these authors have to say. The entrance fee for you? Quite reasonable!
The standout tales for me were:
WEE DAVIE MAKES A FRIEND (in the style of) Robert Louis Stevenson. This was the first story and my favorite of the collection. Young Davie is an unwell boy and is often bedridden. The gift of a new toy changes his life.
ONCE A JACKASS (in the style of) Mark Twain. A Mississippi steamship captain makes a terrible mistake and unfortunately, all of the passengers and crew pay the price.
THE SCRIMSHAW SET (in the style of Henry James) I adored this tale of a haunted (?) chess set. This was my second favorite tale in this collection and I've just read that the author is planning to write more about this set in the future. I can't wait!
TO THE MOON AND BEYOND (in the style of Jules Verne) A super cool story about a man, his rocket and a trip to the moon. What was found there and what did he bring back with him? You'll have to read this to find out!
BORN OF ETHER (in the style of Helena Blavatsky) A man embarks upon a supernatural journey to freedom.
I was not familiar with a few of the authors here, Helena Blavatsky included, but I think the author did a stellar job of emulating their writing styles. These tales were entertaining, well written and I loved the framework within which they were presented.
For these reasons, I highly recommend this gem of a collection!
You can get your copy here, (your price of admission, rather than a story):
*Thanks to Crystal Lake Publishing and the author for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*