Review: One Holiday Ever After by Various
Publish Date: December 19, 2014
Reviewed by: Heller
How I got this book: E-Arc from Publisher
The holidays are a time for celebration, discovery, coming home, and maybe even miracles for those who are lucky. From the streets of New York City, to the wintery wonderland of the Maine woods, to the quaint, small town charm of Idaho, the men in these stories have different holiday desires. They’re looking for familiarity or fresh starts, but they have one thing in common—their happily ever afters might be waiting in the last places they think to look. Come see what they unwrap in these stories by three acclaimed authors of male/male romance.
What a great little anthology. All three are very strong stories and I’m giving the Anthology a B+
Holiday Roommates by Tere Michaels
As an actor without prospects, Nate Brandywine needs an emergency roommate for the month of December. During a humiliating gig as a Christmas elf at a NYC department store, he meets Sean Callahan, his producer and a man struggling under the weight of a past-due loan. Sean’s desperate for a place to stay in the city for a few weeks. A month of sharing a workplace and an apartment with someone you can’t stop flirting with? Maybe the holidays won’t be so terrible after all.
This was my favourite story in the collection. Sean is desperate to make sure a department show Christmas show he’s producing is a hit. Nate, a former child star, is desperate for a job so he can hold onto his apartment. He’s a performer though and a damn good one having worked since a very young age. Sean recognizes his talent and Nate is given the starring role in the production after their singer bails. These two guys getting to know each other was so sexy and fun. I loved them and I smiled a lot reading this one.
I’m giving Holiday Roommates A-
Holiday Sanctuary by Elle Brownlee
Chris Declan is trekking through the wintry wonderland of rural Maine, searching for inspiration and himself, when he’s literally and figuratively taken by storm. First by the surprise blizzard that finds him seeking refuge in Paul Bak’s secluded cabin, and second by Paul. Making the best of being snowed in together soon becomes a comfortable friendship with fireside chats, a quaint holiday celebration, and more. But despite their growing closeness, there’s one thing they avoid—what will happen when the snow clears and the holidays end.
It took me a while to get into one. I’d say the second half of this read was stronger the first but it ended really strong. Chris needs shelter when a blizzard hits during his hike. He lucks out when he runs across Paul’s cabin in the woods. This was cute with an intriguing storyline and I loved the ending.
I’m giving Holiday Sanctuary B
Holiday Homecoming by Elizah J. Davis
Gavin Anderson never thought making it as a writer in LA would be easy, but when his latest project falls through, he gives up on Hollywood and heads to Bonabri, Idaho in hopes that the peace and quiet of his childhood home will help him figure out his next move. Instead he finds Eric Nichols, his parents’ cute and charming housesitter who is there to experience the small town Christmas festivities. Gavin’s plans for quiet reflection are no match for Eric’s holiday cheer, and he soon finds himself swept up in the spirit of the season. Gavin thought his life had hit a dead end, but in coming home he finds what might be a new beginning.
This was really adorable but the sweetness was tempered with quite a few emotional moments as Gavin was trying to come to terms with his successes and failures as a writer. I liked these men. Eric, who drew people to him, and Gavin, just trying to figure things out.
I have to say how much I loved Eric’s friend Katie. Loved her! So very funny and every time she and Eric talked I found myself laughing. Great dialogue. The bisexual conversation between Gavin and Eric was PRICELESS. This was a fun read but also a contemplative one and I enjoyed that disparity.
I’m giving Holiday Homecoming A