January 7, 2018 by Valerie Ullmer
Favorite Reads – January 7th, 2017
Although Christmas has passed, during the season I read some wonderful books that I would like to share with you today. Since I love reading Christmas stories year round, I figured I would share three of my favorites of 2017. I’ll share more in the coming weeks.
In Case of Emergency by Keira Andrews
Former stepbrothers find Christmas romance under the tree.
After years alone, Daniel Diaz is finally ready to shake up his orderly, solitary life. He’s about to leave for a cozy Christmas getaway with his new man when he gets the call from the ER that his former stepbrother has been admitted with a concussion and a broken hand—and Cole put him down as his emergency contact. Why the hell would he do that? Daniel barely knows the guy. After all, their parents’ marriage lasted less than a year and it was a decade ago!
But Cole has no one else to look after him and strict doctor’s orders not to be left alone. So fine, Daniel will bring him along on vacation to make sure he doesn’t starve or fall into a coma. This is supposed to be Daniel’s chance to explore romance again after locking down his feelings for too long—except it turns out his could-be boyfriend is more interested in partying and being an obnoxious jerk. Daniel sends him packing, and now he’s stuck with a virtual stranger in an isolated mountain cabin.
Cole Smith crushed hard on cranky Daniel when they were teenagers. Alone with him in a romantic winter wonderland, those feelings roar back to life. Glimpsing the caring, vulnerable man under Daniel’s frosty shell, he yearns to get closer. Christmas is a time for surprises, and Daniel and Cole discover a scorching connection that just might melt their hearts.
This fluffy gay Christmas romance from Keira Andrews features former stepbrothers reconnecting as adults, sexy hot-tub shenanigans, cuddling by the fire, and of course a happy ending.
I loved the relationship between Daniel and Cole. They were stepbrothers for a short time but Cole never forgot Daniel. When Daniel is called to the hospital one night after Cole has an accident, he realizes that the kid he knew had grown up.
Although Daniel had planned a getaway for him to get to know Justin, he decided that Cole couldn’t be left alone and takes him with. I enjoyed how supportive Cole was and how quickly Daniel got to know and like Cole. Their relationship solidified during their Christmas vacation together and the ending made me smile. A wonderful must-read!!!
Love Happens Anyway by R.J. Scott
Hiring a boyfriend for Christmas; what can go wrong?
Derek is facing yet another Christmas where his life feels out of control. He has a new career that doesn’t feel like his, and parents who would just love to see him settled down. All he needs is a temporary buffer for the parties he has to attend, and for his parents to leave him alone. Enter, Luke.
Luke is twenty-thousand dollars short for the renovations on Halligans; his family’s bar in New York’s Financial District. A favor for a buddy has him agreeing to play the part of boyfriend to a guy with more money than sense.
But when the spirit of Christmas works its magic on the two men, and they begin to fall for each other, Derek runs scared, and Luke needs space.
It doesn’t matter what obstacles you throw in the way of love, or how much you run in the other direction, because, when you’re least expecting it, whether you want it or not, love happens anyway.
I loved this book. Both Derek and Luke are in a place in their life when they aren’t really happy, just making their way in the world without too much fight in them. But when Derek needs a boyfriend over the holiday season, he hires Luke. As they get to know each other, I love how Derek finds himself in a place where he’s thrust into a position where he doesn’t quite have his feet planted and Luke has been injured and no longer working as a firefighter, yet trying to make his family bar work.
This book is lovely. Both Luke and Derek are very different men, yet there is something between them from the moment they meet. As Derek let his guard down and truly gets to know Luke, I couldn’t help but root for the two of them to work.
This was a wonderful holiday story. Luke and Derek are both original characters who move past their own pasts to become something greater together. A must-read!!
Eight Nights in December by Keira Andrews
A geek. A virgin. One sexy holiday.
Orphaned Lucas figures spending the holidays with his obnoxious roommate’s family in New York City is better than staying alone on campus upstate. He ends up sharing a room again, this time with his roommate’s brother, Nate. Geeky photographer Nate isn’t at all what Lucas expects. In fact, he’s incredibly sexy—especially when he invites Lucas into his darkroom…
They hide their attraction during Hanukkah celebrations, but behind closed doors, Lucas and Nate can’t keep their hands (or mouths) off each other. Nate’s only looking for a bit of holiday fun, and amazing sex with a hot virgin definitely fits the bill. Yet as the candles burn, Nate and Lucas begin to realize eight nights will never be enough.
I loved every moment of this book. Lucas, who started college late and is rooming with a man who cares more about partying and women than studying, is invited to his roommates home for Hanukkah. He meets Nate, Sam’s younger brother, and is attracted to him, but since Lucas had never had a boyfriend, he didn’t know how to act on his feelings.
The relationship between Nate and Lucas, while developing quite fast, you can see how their relationship would be a lasting one. They both realize that what they are majoring in in college is something that others wanted for them and during their relationship, they realize that they have to make themselves happy. Soon, they realize that being together is what makes them happy.
This was a wonderful book that I could read over and over. A must-read!!