We have time for one last story before Christmas, have we not? I was gonna write this post yesterday on the release day, but I got a niece (!), so for once reading or writing wasn’t on my mind.

Up! is a delightful story by Claire Davis and Al Stewart and if you’ve read this duo before you know what to expect language-wise. I just love their voice, the poetic, almost dreamy way they tell a tale.

Luke struggles with his mental health, he observes life through his window, afraid to take part in it after his world came crumbling down when he went to college. For years he’s followed Formaldehyde Bob’s blog, an artist Luke fell in love with a long time ago, and when their paths meet something between them grows.

This is such a lovely story about love and struggles, about family and art, about jeans and  Dr Martens. I adore Harry, Luke’s dad, he’s a beautiful character. As you know if you’ve followed this blog YA/NA isn’t really my thing, but few write NA books like Davis & Stewart. Marvellous! And it’s a free story, so go grab it!


Up!After a failed attempt at college, Luke lives a quiet existence with his dad. He recovers from bitter disappointment and gradually life returns to a regular rhythm. Safe and predictable. Every day he gains confidence, but with health comes boredom. From the window ledge, he watches people outside and wishes he could be like them.

There’s another side to Luke. Underneath his bed are five hidden pairs of jeans with matching Dr Martens: yellow, purple, striped, green and tartan. Some days he feels the itch to get them out. Nope. Those days are gone.

One day, an amazing thing happens. Dynamic blog artist Formaldehyde Bob comes to town with an exhibition of light and dark! Luke has crushed on him since being fifteen, idolising the man and his unusual creations. Something about the art calls to Luke like nothing else, makes him believe there might after all be someone out there who thinks in the same way. A soul mate. A bird with a similar song.

No. Luke isn’t going to go and see Formaldehyde Bob. He isn’t. Because he’s happy with his monotonous lot and doesn’t want to see hope sliding down a mountain of sand.

Will Luke take a chance and visit Formaldehyde Bob?
Can the jeans ever be worn again?
Does grumpy Barbara ever smile?
And the most important question: is there any magic left in the world?

Find out in this snowy tale of young love in the most unexpected places.

Content warning: references to self-harm, mental illness.

My True Love Gave to Me

I’m not one to read many historical stories, some I do read of course, but I often dismiss a story when I see that it’s a historical one. I don’t really know why, but I do. So it gladdens me to say I read a historical and I liked it LOL.

My Ture Love Gave to Me by Ava March. I was sure I’d read Ava March before this, but I haven’t marked any of her books as read, so I guess maybe I haven’t.

But, back to this story. Alexander hates Christmas because it reminds him of how Thomas, his one true love, left him four years ago. Thomas who fled to New York is now back in London, and the only reason he’s there is to beg Alexander to take him back.

Alexander isn’t so forgiving. Thomas broke his heart and it hasn’t healed during the four years that have past, he will not risk getting it broken again. But Thomas is persistent.

If you’re into fencing and Christmas balls, you should give this a try. Not my usual read, but I liked it a lot.


For more Christmas stories, click here.

My True Love Gave to MeAlexander Norton loathes the festive season. The revelry of the ton is a reminder of Christmas four years ago, when his first love, Thomas Bennett, broke his heart and fled to New York without a word. So when he encounters Thomas at a holiday ball, Alexander is determined not to let on how much he still hurts.

Thomas has returned for one reason only: Alexander. Having finally come to terms with his forbidden desires, he will do whatever he must to convince Alexander to give their love another chance. But instead of the happy, carefree man Thomas once knew, Alexander is now hard and cynical. Saddened to know he’s to blame for the man’s bitterness, Thomas resolves to reignite the passion he knows lies hidden behind the wall of disdain…

Lone Star – A Christmas Story

I just finished reading Lone Star by Josh Lanyon, while having a cup a glögg (that’s sort of like mulled wine, I think…never had mulled wine, but it’s what I’ve heard), and now I’m in an ‘aww-state’.

This was super sweet, not the kind of super sweet I consider too sweet, but you know, sweet. Mitch left home twelve years ago when his boyfriend, Web, didn’t want to come out. Mitch came out anyway and his father kicked him out for it. Now, he’s a famous dancer, his father is gone without Mitch ever talking to him again, and Mitch’s partner is cheating on him.

To get away from everything he returns to Texas and who should be the first he meets if not Web. Sparks fly, Christmas food is served, and decisions are made. Everything worked out fine except for one thing.

What about the reindeer?!?

Mitch keeps seeing a reindeer and there is never an explanation as to if its real or not or where it came from.

But, apart from that, I really liked this story. And for some reason, it made me want to read Mary Calmes. Don’t know why, Josh Lanyon and Mary Calmes aren’t very alike in their writing, but there you have it.


For more Christmas books, check out my collection.

Lone StarGrowing up in rural Texas, Mitchell Evans’ ambition to be a dancer made him a target. Though he found success in New York City, Mitch is at a crossroads, and heads home for the first time in twelve years to figure things out. When what appears to be a reindeer jumps out in front of his car, he drives off the road and into the path of the one man he hoped to avoid.

The last person Texas Ranger Web Eisley expects to see four days before Christmas is his first love. He hasn’t seen Mitch since they quarreled over coming out to their friends and family years ago. Though he’s not in the closet now, Web has worked hard for the respect of his fellow officers, but he still regrets the loss of Mitch in his life. And his bed.

The attraction between them is as strong as ever, and it doesn’t take long for the men to pick up where they left off. But is love enough to keep Mitch in town in the New Year?