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review 2019-10-08 14:12
Great Story and Characters
The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story - Patti Callahan Henry

The story of a ballad that changed the Unknown Souls band members lives began oh an early and dusky Thanksgiving morning as the band’s battered tour bus pulled into Seaboro, S. C. . It was just another day, just another road trip for the band members. But this port if call was an exception for Jack and Jimmy. The brothers arrived in their childhood town not for a concert, but to see their loves. Jimmy opened the bus window and inhaled the aroma of childhood, then closed his eyes to all the good and bad of his visceral memories that assaulted him each time he believed he had overcome his past. Jimmy and Jack founded the band ten years ago. Jimmy played the acoustic guitar, Jack the base. Their voices blended in most of the songs, yet each had his own style when singing alone. They wrote songs and traveled together. Than there was harry the drummer, Isabelle the back up singer, and Luke the band manager and keyboard player , each as close as family. Jack was engaged to Kara who had been his childhood love and next store neighbor. Jimmy had Charlotte waiting inside. Jimmy had known Charlotte a few years as a child and they’de reconnected months ago. Isabelle said they would take off and leave them alone, but Jack said nope , you’re staying . We’re family and it’s Thanksgiving. A band counted as family and they all knew it. For a few of them it was the only family they cared about. Jimmy avoided looking at the house next store. It would have been different if their father hadn’t been a fall-down drunk. They had lived in that house until jimmy was sixteen and Jack was twelve. Than that fateful Christmas morning when their mother packed up the station wagon including the presents and headed to Texas. They hadn’t stopped for anything but gas, drinks, and packaged food from convenience stores  off the highway. Jimmy went and got his guitar and was with Charlotte and together co wrote their very first song It was a ballad that they believed was about happenstance, fate, amd legend that gave birth to the long awaited love love between them. Jimmy asked Charlotte how she knew to write a song. She replied that she didn’t write a song. She had just told him some of her poetry lines. She never shows her poetry lines to anyone. He said “ You instinctively understand the rhythm and cadence of lyrics Charlotte. Why didn't I know this about you?” 

I loved this book, it was a great romance and connected to music. I loved Jimmy and Charlotte together as well as Jack and Kara . I also choked up at times while reading this book. I was so glad when Jimmy realized again the importance of true love. I didn’t want to put this down and only did when I had to. I loved how close Charlotte and Kara were’ I also loved that the band were all like family to each other. I loved when Jimmy made the decision to do everything he could to go to Ireland and his brother’s wedding. I loved the pace and plot. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I highly recommend it.

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review 2019-01-20 15:21
Audio Book Review: Spirited Christmas
Spirited Christmas: A Jonathan Shade Holiday Story - Gary Jonas

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Jonathan arrives at the office one cold December morning to find a little girl has been balled up waiting for him for an hour. Madison wants to hire him to take care of the ghost that haunts her house at Christmas and grabs at her.

I've listened to previous Jonathan Shade books and Joe does a great job, as he always does, with Jonathan. Joe knows Jonathan inside and out as he voices Jonathan when joking and being serious. You know what Jonathan is up to by Joe's voice. I'm so glad Joe has continued to carry through as the voice of this series. As always, the audio is clean and clear listening. I'm not distracted from the story in any way.

I love how Jonathan is with Madison. She's young, ten, and he treats her so well. When Esther tells him he wasn't going to not help this little girl, he is great at his payment as Madison only has change to pay with - all her money in the world. This is a small Christmas gift to the young girl so she can enjoy Christmas. Madison made me smile with her humor and personality. She could give Jonathan a run for his money on humors remarks. lol. She is a cute little girl. I enjoyed her interaction with Jonathan.

Jonathan finds that there's more to the ghost haunting than expected. In true Gary Jonas fashion, there is much more to the story than one would expect. Jonathan has a soft heart and it shows in this book. He's determined to do what's right but also what is wanted. The two do go hand in hand from time to time.

The ending brings the feeling of the heart of the Christmas spirit story, like many endings of Christmas stories. It made me smile as it warmed my heart. Also we have Jonathan in his fun remarks with Kelly as friends at the holiday.

The novella is marked at 9.5 in the series, but it's placed before the first book. There are things still in place for the first book or two. If you listen or read this novella, you can do so at any time. Read it before you get to the series or any time during the series. It gives nothing away for the events in the novels but gives a feel for Jonathan and Kelly, the major characters in the series. So, pick it up for the holiday this month!

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review 2018-12-23 03:32
Sometimes home can be a person and not just a place...
Homebird - Amy Lane

As is usually the case with an Amy Lane story. I was all in from the beginning. I totally related to Crispin because like him, I'm a homebird. I also loved his band of friends they were the kind of friends that I think anyone would love to have.


And like Crispin, I was charmed by Luka from the moment we met him. I found the relationship between these two men to be both interesting and unique. While I'm sure some would consider it to be love at first sight and I can see where that's coming from, for me it felt more like a really strong attraction that we got to see grow and become something stronger and more than that initial strong attraction. Something based on friendship, trust and respect. 


Crispin and Luka have not only both suffered loss in their past.  It's a loss that resulted from similar experiences. I really loved how this part of the story was handled...two men, similar experiences but each man choosing a different solution...


Crispin chooses to set down roots...he has his home, his sister Millie, his cat and the dog he shares custody of with Mille and most importantly he has his friends..friends who keep him moving, who force him to not just exist but to live...friends who are the reason that he's in Germany at Octoberfest where he meets the enchanting Luka.


Luka, deals with his loss by spreading his wings and flying from place to place...never staying in one spot for too long, never allowing himself to get to attached. Avoiding attachments...avoiding the possibility of loss, until Crispin and his friends sit down at one of his tables in the beer tent where Luka's waiting tables.


In the end both men come to learn that life is about balance as Crispin helps Luka to plant some roots and Luka helps Crispin to spread  his wings. It's compromise, balance and love that allows them to begin to find a life that gives both men what they need to be happy...the chance to spread their wings and fly, to have a home to keep them sheltered and secure and to have a life together.


'Homebird' is such a wonderfully fleshed out story with characters that could so easily be real and not just Crispin and Luka...for me they all came to life...Millie and her husband Todd, Luka's friends LInk, Cam, Ray and Nick and Jamie who joined their group part way through this adventure and that's another story all it's own.  The upside of this is that I got to read a story with very realistic and believable characters that I really liked...the down side of this is that I got to read a story with very realistic and believable characters that I really want to read more about.


'Homebird' is one of those stories that offers so much potential for more while feeling complete just as it is. I don't think I would call this a Christmas story, but more like a story that happens to take place at Christmas time. This was an absolutely delightful story worth reading no matter what time of the year it is.



An ARC of 'Homebird' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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review 2017-12-17 20:58
Sometimes, it's the things we don't expect, that turn out to be what we want...
In Case of Emergency: Gay Christmas Romance - Keira Andrews

Daniel and Cole first met 10 years ago as stepbrothers when they're parents had a passing thought to get married...the thought passed and took the marriage with it just as quickly. But Daniel's mother has reconnected with Cole, so when she learns that Cole's going to be in the same city as Daniel working on his thesis, well of course she insist that Cole use Daniel as his emergency contact and having no other friends or family Cole figures why not what's it going to hurt...after all no one every uses their emergency contact anyways, right? Well, until things happen and in Cole's case it's a trip on some stairs that lands him in the emergency room and has the university calling Daniel...his emergency contact...Daniel who's about to head out of town for a romantic holiday vacation with Justin his sorta'...kinda'...almost boyfriend.


So what's a man to do when he's left to care for his one time almost stepbrother who's got a broken wrist and a mild concussion and he's scheduled to go frolic in the snow with is almost boyfriend? Why take the almost stepbrother with him of course and this is where the fun begins.


It took a bit but I ended up liking Daniel. Initially Daniel was to say the least cold, standoffish and a bit of a jerk about Cole needing his help. While spending the holiday with Daniel is Cole's idea of a holiday in heaven he's also a really decent guy and he tries to convince Daniel to just leave him at home and he'd be fine. But once Daniel sets him mind to something he moves forward and doesn't change his mind. 


Once they arrive at the cabin, Daniel discovers in very short order that Justin not only isn't boyfriend material because really how wanted does one feel when the person they're planning on spending a romantic weekend with arrives at their romantic destination with with their own party...nope, Justin showed in real short order that he's someone who's just not even worth knowing. So in true Daniel fashion he makes the decision that things between him and Justin are over  before they really started...me likey this.


Finding themselves alone for the holidays the two men start to reconnect and Daniel soon realizes that even though Justin's gone his chance for romance and finding someone to love again is still there in the cabin with him.


I liked the epilogue. It was nice to get that peek ahead in time and see that what started when Daniel and Cole are reunited by an accident ended up as something real, solid and very intentional as these two men came together to make a life as a couple.


'In Case of Emergency' is a sweet, holiday romance with second chances a touch of hurt/comfort, sexy hot tub times, a bit of Star Wars and one of my favorite parts...no, there are no dragons, but Daniel and Cole are living and loving in CANADA!!!


Cole's attending Carlton University...that's my hubby's alma mater. Daniel attended Western (also known as UWO or the University of Western Ontario, it's in London a couple of hours from Toronto). Anyways, my point is that the setting for this one on a personal level just added to how much I enjoyed the story. Yeah, I'm a dork. I get a little bit excited when I read stories that are set in Canada but when it's a story with so many references that are familiar to me...well, it just makes it so easy for me to settle into the story and enjoy, which is exactly what I did.



A copy of 'In Case of Emergency' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-12-17 02:42
It's what's on the inside that really counts...
On the Third Kiss - George Loveland

As Donna Tracey, Drag Queen extraordinaire Sebastian Bennett works hard and he’s looking forward to a well deserved vacation with his boyfriend and the love of his life Elliot Bolton in the Gran Canarian or at least he thought he was until he came home to find Buster his chihuahua alone with nothing but a note telling him that Elliot needed a break and was going on their vacation with someone else…which this is bad enough right? But no Elliot didn’t stop there. Needless to say, Sebastian is devastated…hell, I was devastated with him.


Feeling like his world is crumbling Sebastian turns to the one person he can rely on pub manager and friend, Javier Reyes-Martinez. Javier doesn’t hesitate to step-up offering Sebastian support, friendship, a shoulder to lean on…whatever he needs.


When Christmas day rolls around and Sebastian decides that if he’s not going to be in the Gran Canarian that he might as well go home to his family he doesn’t hesitate to take Javier with him and it’s in the midst of a broken heart and being with his family who mean the world to him that Sebastian begins to realize that maybe Javier could be more than a friend…maybe, he’s what Sebastian really needs in his life.


I loved how things played out between Sebastian and Javier. Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that Seb was slow on the uptake but it did take his mother, his sister, his uncle with dementia…no seriously Seb’s uncle had some surprising moments of lucidness and imparted so pretty good words of wisdom and then there was Buster…that was one seriously smart chihauhau with really good taste in men and there might have been a few other people dropping hints before darling Seb finally got a clue but in his defence…douchebag boyfriend…screwed him over…so he might not have been seeing things as clearly as he should have.


On the flip side Javier may have known how he felt about Seb but he also cared about him enough not to push. He knew that Seb was a bit of an emotional wreck and he wanted to give him some time and space.


‘On the Third Kiss’ was a sweet holiday, friends to lovers story by a new to me author, whom I’m looking forward to reading more from in the future.



An ARC of ‘On the Third Kiss’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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