An M/M Christmas, episode 2

Wrapped with Love by [Bolden, Beth] Giving Chances by [Chris, Tanya] Boy Toys: Hot Off the Ice at Christmas by [Wasp, A. E. ]

Wrapped with Love by [Bolden, Beth]
I really liked this story.  The second-chance element isn't something I usually gravitate toward but I was happy I read it anyway.  Reed is socially awkward, Jordan is an NFL star.  Two unlikely men to form a lasting relationship but thought they could beat the odds.  Until distance, silence, and fears got the better of them.  Now finding themselves in the same city with a chance to clear the air and we get to know two men who have an endearingly awkward time of bearing their hearts.  When they finally get on the same page we see how well-suited they are and can't help but cheer for their reconciliation and the new-found confidence they have in themselves and one another.  The coming out was a bit awkward and that scene could have been flushed out better, but it was alright.  A tender story with more than enough feels, awkward moments, and subtle passion to keep you reading.  With the way the author juxtaposed the past with the present it was a little confusing in the beginning but it grew on me by the end.  I liked the breaks we got with both learning about their past and seeing what their present was like.  It was a different way to enjoy the story, but enjoy I did.  4 stars.

 Wrapped with Love, Beth Bolden

Giving Chances by [Chris, Tanya]Surprisingly deep for such a short story about a meet-cute and a one-night-stand that has potential for more.  Jackson falls hard and fast and can't seem to help himself.  He should be taking a break since he just got out of a long relationship but something about Mitch makes him not try to resist very hard.  Determined to keep things to just one night he brings Mitch home.  But no matter what he does, he can't help feeling like there could be more with this guy.  With a ton of little slips about the future he's sure that Mitch will freak and walk out.  Mitch, however, isn't scared of the idea of more.  He's equally drawn to Jackson and is more than a little attracted.  They spend the evening enjoying one another physically and opening up in ways they weren't expecting which leads to a bit of the "more" that they're trying not very hard to avoid.  Jackson challenges Mitch and Mitch allows Jackson to be himself.  They both can be what the other needs and by the end of the story we see the beginnings of something very sweet.  Their epilogue is sweet and made me enjoy Jackson's openness and Mitch's steadiness.  Tender, hot, and filled with warmth and potential, this is a great Christmas novella.  3.5 stars.

Giving Chances, Tanya Chris

Boy Toys: Hot Off the Ice at Christmas by [Wasp, A. E. ]Oh man, I'm hooked!  This is a prequel to book 4 in the Hot Off the Ice series and I've already fallen in love with these men.  The vulnerable Joey with all his swagger as a cover and the insecure Liam with his self-doubts and ennui regarding his career change.  There's a lot of hotness in a seriously short story here and I love the alternating POV.  This whole set up with the cheating almost fiancee, the possible transfer, the interconnected family, the rise and fall of careers, the lateral moves, the adoring looks, the sage and perfectly feisty grandmother (who I'm completely in love with, by the way--she better be in book 4)...all of these things combine to create a bit of angst, a lot of anticipation, a truck load of passion, and immense potential for heartbreak, frustration, revelations, changes, and some sweet/hot love and lovin' to come.  5 stars.

 Boy Toys: Hot Off the Ice at Christmas, Amy Wasp

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