The last Wrap-Up Wednesday of the year! It’s been a busy month, and I’ve tried to escape by reading books – old books. Books I’ve already read because my poor brain can’t take in anything new right now LOL
December should be the month when you read a lot of holiday stories. I haven’t. I’ve read one which you’ll see below. Other than that I’ve read a few M/F stories. I re-read the first two books in Patricia Briggs’ Alpha & Omega series, but while I like Charles, that series fails to grab me. And I read the first book in The Legends of Regia series by Tenaya Jayne but lost my way halfway through the second. Series. Very few series manage to hold my attention.
Oh, and I read Moonshadow by Thea Harrison. I would’ve continued that series, but when I checked out book two and saw who it was about, I didn’t LOL.
I also read The Duke by Gaelen Foley, but… eh…
Okay, onto the M/M books!
How to Cheat at Dirty Santa by Amy Spector
The one and only Christmas story I’ve read this month! This is cute, such an adorable story about Jonah who has a crush on his colleague, Nathan, and when it’s time for the yearly dirty Santa game at the office, he asks his friends for help to get his present in Nathan’s hands. It spirals out of control, of course, and the plan gets more and more complicated and more and more people get involved. Hilarious. And I loved the ending!
Some things are worth risking the naughty list.
Jonah Newfeld is not someone men fall for at a glance. They have to get to know him first. So when he meets the perfect man, he knows he needs to play the long game.
Nathan Sharp is the newest guy on the customer service floor. He’s clever, kind, blessedly single, and volunteers weekends at a local animal shelter. Jonah wants to raise babies with him. But when Nathan’s sister starts trying to fix him up with her veterinarian, Jonah’s dream is put into jeopardy.
Jonah needs the perfect plan if he wants to win over the man of his dreams. But a terrible plan will have to do, and more than a little help from his friends. If Jonah can pull it off and manage to get the boy, it’ll be more than worth being put on Santa’s naughty list for good.
A Charm of Magpies
I was in the mood for a paranormal story, and I hadn’t read the third story in the A Charm of Magpies series by K.J. Charles, but I wanted to. You know series… Anyway, it’s been many years since I read the first, then I read the second a few years ago. I remember putting littlest down for a nap, and she never could fall asleep unless I stayed in the room, so I started reading it. Littlest turns six next week. So I decided to re-read the first two before reading the third. And lo and behold, I read through the entire series. It’s awesome!
And I love the covers.
A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.
Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn’t expect it to turn up angry.
Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude… and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.
Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn’t the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.
Magic in the blood. Danger in the streets.
Lord Crane has never had a lover quite as elusive as Stephen Day. He knows Stephen’s job as justiciar requires secrecy, but the magician is doing his disappearing act more than seems reasonable—especially since Crane will soon return to his home in China. When a blackmailer threatens to expose their illicit relationship, there’s only one thing stopping Crane from leaving the country he loathes: Stephen.
Stephen has problems of his own. As he investigates a plague of giant rats sweeping London, his sudden increase in power, boosted by his blood-and-sex bond with Crane, is rousing suspicion that he’s turned warlock. With all eyes on him, the threat of exposure grows. Stephen could lose his friends, his job and his liberty over his relationship with Crane. He’s not sure if he can take that risk much longer. Crane isn’t sure if he can ask him to.
The rats are closing in, and something has to give…
Danger in the air. Lovers on the brink.
With the justiciary understaffed, a series of horrifying occult murders to be investigated, and a young student flying off the rails, magical law enforcer Stephen Day is under increasing stress. And the strain is starting to show in his relationship with his aristocratic lover, Lord Crane.
Crane chafes at the restrictions of England’s laws, and there’s a worrying development in the blood-and-sex bond he shares with Stephen. A development that makes a sensible man question if they should be together at all.
Then a devastating loss brings the people he most loves into bitter conflict. Old enemies, new enemies, and unexpected enemies are painting Stephen and Crane into a corner, and the pressure threatens to tear them apart…
Between Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton
I don’t know how many times I’ve read this. Four is my guess. I didn’t mean to read it this time, but I felt a little lost after I’d read the Magpies, and hubby got me a new phone and I didn’t have all my books so I was scrolling through my kindle app (I normally read on apple books, but my new phone is an android and all my books were gone and I was panicking and so on) and there it was.
I was going to bed and thought I’d just read the first chapter or so and then the next day, I’d sort out the book situation. I ended up reading the entire book, not that night, but the next day I continued it instead of sorting the book situation.
It’s funny because I normally steer clear of all books with a religious theme, but I like this one. Though Levi’s family pisses me off to no end.
Levi Binder is a Miami bartender who cares about only two things: sex and surfing. Ostracized by his Mormon family for his homosexuality, Levi is determined to live his life his own way, but everything changes when he meets massage therapist Jaime Marshall.
Jaime is used to being alone. Haunted by the horrors of his past, his only friend is his faithful dog, Dolly. He has no idea how to handle somebody as gorgeous and vibrant as Levi.
Complete opposites on the surface, Levi and Jaime both long for something that they can only find together. Through love and the therapeutic power of touch, they’ll find a way to heal each other, and they’ll learn to live as sinners in a family of saints.
Treasure by Kim Fielding
Now that I’d read Between Sinners and Saints, I was missing the ocean. I think it’s time to move. Moving away from the sea wasn’t our best idea and I miss it a lot.
It’s been years since I read this one, but it’s such a… cosy might be the wrong word, but the small-town charm and the weird characters, imps and dragons, and there are pirates! What’s not to love?
Julian Massey has always been sickly. When the young man’s parents send him to the seaside town of Urchin Cove to recuperate, he finds himself stranded in a tiny cabin with only the quirky local inhabitants for company. Then a storm blows through, and he finds an unexpected discovery washed up on the beach: an unconscious man.
After stealing a treasure, Kit Archer is taken prisoner by a ruthless pirate, Captain Booth. When a storm hits the pirate ship, Kit is able to escape, but not without serious injuries. Jules nurses him back to health, and friendship grows into desire. But Captain Booth is bound to come in search of his treasure and the man who stole it.
In a world with dragons, sprites, and wizards, it’s going to take more than a little magic for Jules and Kit to find lasting happiness together.
Yakuza Pride by H.J. Brues
Hubby and I were watching Giri / Haji on Netflix, so I figured when I was all about rereading old books, why not reread Yakuza Pride? I remember loving it when I read it waaaayyyy back when. I still love the story, but man the epithets. Every time the yakuza looked at the American a part of my soul died. I know it’s a ‘me problem’, but I just wish writers would stop doing this to their stories. The smaller man has a name, the American has a name, and I bet ya the older man does too.
Still yakuza, tattoos, torture, and artists!
When yakuza underboss Shigure Matsunaga meets Kenneth Harris at a boring social event, he’s surprised to find himself attracted to the blond gaijin with the mismatched eyes. Shigure is even more pleased when he discovers Ken not only speaks Japanese fluently, but is fluent in Japan’s ways, even the more violent of the martial arts. Ken’s expertise at kendo is not his most striking quality—it’s the passion beneath his quiet, almost fragile exterior that ignites Shigure’s lust, and the two come together as explosively as they spar.
Shigure is a dangerous man in a dangerous position. He’s been trying to keep the peace with the Daito-kai—his hated rivals—but the danger on the streets is escalating, threatening those Shigure most wants to protect. He may claim to love his gaijin, but before he can keep Ken safe, Shigure will have to overcome hostility from his people, a hidden enemy, and, the most insidious opponent of all, his own hard-won pride.
Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
I got cocky. If I’d read one series, what’s to say I couldn’t read another? Captive Prince is another one of those I read a very long time ago, and I’d read the first two but not the last. So I did a repeat of the magpie books, I reread the first two and then I read the last.
For the most part, I disliked Laurent, but it’s a perfect balance really. Just when I think I can’t have more of him, he does something that makes my heart ache. I like the third story better than the first two, there were moments when I laughed, and I liked it better when Laurent and Damen weren’t hating each other.
Who knows, soon I’ll tackle the Whyborne & Griffin series too. I’ve read the first two, but it was years ago LOL
Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.
Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.
For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else . . .
With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.
Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow . . .
The stunning conslusion of worldwide phenomenon—from the boldly original author of Captive Prince and Prince’s Gambit.
His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.
On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilising for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.
Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity—can it stand against the Regents final, deadly play for the throne?
Surfacing Again by A.L. Lester
Actually… I just realised that I lied when I said I’ve only read one Christmas story. I’ve read Surfacing Again, a short sapphic romance set on Lindisfarne, and it has otters! This is lovely. The cold wind of the sea and the warmth of Rowan’s cafe all mixed with holiday cosiness. And otters.
Melinda is staying on Lindisfarne for a Christmas break with her old friend when an unexpected argument leaves her alone for the holiday.
It’s the first Christmas since her mother died and the island’s peace and wild tranquillity bring balm to her wounded heart. Two chance meetings, first with a pair of wary otters and then with cafe-owner Rowan, bring her genuine joy.
Will her tentative relationship with Rowan survive the end of her holiday and the turning of the year?
A short sapphic Christmas story. With otters.