Today, let’s look back on December and look forward to January.
Favourite December reads
Drama! by new-to-me author A.J. Truman was great! Well-written, funny, with great characters and fabulous character growth plus realistic dialogue (always important!). It felt like I was hanging out with my friends. Recommended if you’re looking for something light, easy, and quick with opposites attract, enemies to lovers, and fake boyfriends.
Another new-to-me author is Macy Blake and when Logan went on sale for free last week, I picked it up and decided to give it a try since, by that point, my reading slump had had me picking up and DNF’ing several books in a row. Logan is book, like, 20 or something in an ongoing universe, but the first in a spin-off, and I didn’t find myself lost at all. I enjoyed my first foray into Macy Blake’s world and look forward to more.
Books I’m looking forward to reading in January
Ocean’s Echo is the second book by Everina Maxwell. I absolutely adored her first one (Winter’s Orbit) and have been meaning to pick up Ocean’s Echo since it released in November. It’s said to have reluctant allies, fake dating, forced proximity, soul bonds, and mutual pining.
I’m a huge fan of Avery Cockburn’s books, and assuming I get past my contemporary romance book slump soon, I intend to read A Christmas Harbor in January. I love Avery’s books so much that I haven’t even read the blurb for this one; I just know I want to read it! Can anyone say “auto-buy author?”
I Love You Both So Much by J.E. Birk, Rachel Ember, and Leslie McAdam has been recommended to me by several readers in my Facebook Group, so I thought I’d give it a try. I don’t read a lot of m/m/m, but I’m excited to pick up this polyamorous romance about three former best friends.
Emma Scott is another favourite of mine. (If you haven’t read Someday Someday or When You Come Back To Me, I highly recommend them. They’re two of my favourite reads of 2022.) Emma’s coming out with a new m/m novel in January called The Muse, a paranormal romance about sacrifice, redemption, and true love.
The final book on my TBR for January is Sixteen Souls by Rosie Talbot, which came in my October Rainbow Crate box. It’s a story about a trans bilateral amputee who can see ghosts and the new frenemy who can do the same. I don’t do well with ghost stories, but this one sounds so good that of course I’m going to read it even though I’ll have to sleep with the light on at night.
TBR Wrap-Up: December
On last month’s High Five Friday post, the books below were on my TBR list. Here’s what I thought about them.
As much as I adored the first book in this duology, this one I struggled with. Either because it’s incredibly slow or I wasn’t in the mood for it (or both). I got to 54% before setting it aside. I’ll finish it at a later date.
The best book of the Dreamer trilogy, this one nicely concluded several different storylines in Stiefvater’s signature prose.
Super enjoyable, with well-written characters and a fun storyline. I’ll be looking for more by this author.
The writing was good, but my issue with this book is that neither main character was given a goal they’re striving toward, and they weren’t given a reason for wanting that goal or obstacles to obtaining it, making them flat and a product of circumstance instead of their own story.
I hit a low-angst contemporary romance reading slump, so I never got to this one, but I’m re-adding it to my TBR for January.
On the writing front
A Gift-Wrapped Holiday
Did you miss my new Christmas release, A Gift-Wrapped Holiday? It came out on November 22 and readers have been saying it’s “like a warm hug on a cold night” and “Mal and Luca are just the sweetest together.”
Check it out below to order it on ebook, paperback, or audio!
Mal’s first priority is giving his six-year-old son the best Christmas ever, a goal made trickier by a recent move to New England after losing his job. As a single dad, he’s not looking for romance—especially not with a blond California boy ten years his junior.
After being ridiculed at the family business, Luca sets out to prove himself by opening an eco-friendly gift-wrapping store in a small town with a hard-on for Christmas that’s about as far from LA as he can get. Out of his comfort zone in snowy Maine, love is the last thing on his mind.
But the magic of the season has other ideas. As Mal and Luca collide on wintery streets, will they let their first Christmas in Lighthouse Bay lead to happily ever after?
Get it here:
Or find it on audio:
Star of the Game
Star of the Game (Stick Side 6) released on December 27th, and you can get this best friends to lovers romance that readers have been calling swoon-worthy at your favourite e-tailer.
Felix only wants two things:
1. To make music.
2. His best friend, Emery.
But he’s not willing to risk two decades of friendship for something more. Besides, a bout of writer’s block is preventing him from creating new material, and he’s got deadlines to meet. He doesn’t need any distractions—and Emery is the biggest distraction of all.
Emery only wants two things:
1. To play hockey.
2. His best friend, Felix.
He’s ready to risk it all for a shot at being together. While he should be concentrating on playing his best hockey so his team will grant him a contract extension, there’s no reason he can’t multitask.
With their careers at a crossroads, the timing for romance couldn’t be worse—but when Felix is forced to move in with Emery, will Emery finally convince him to take a chance at becoming the stars of their own game?
Get it here:
Lighthouse Bay Trilogy — Special Edition Illustrated Covers
In case you missed my announcement on last month’s High Five Friday post, I had special illustrated covers made for the Lighthouse Bay trilogy! They’re available as paperbacks on Amazon. Note that there’s no special or extra content in these versions; the only difference from the original is the cover. And the original covers are still available too, of course.
Because these aren’t linked to the original paperbacks yet, they’re kind of hard to find on Amazon, so I’ve linked each book below.
On last month’s post, I talked about how writing Star of the Game inspired a spin-off trilogy featuring a side character you’ll meet in Star of the Game. The trilogy is called Vancouver Orcas and is set around an AHL (American Hockey League) team callled the Vancouver Orcas! All three books will release in 2023: Game Plan, Game Changer, and Game On. Look for Game Plan, featuring the Orcas’ head coach and his best player’s dad (gasp!), in March or April.
I’m currently about 44,000 into writing Game Plan, with about another 15-20K to go.
Multi-author Giveaway — EXPIRES DECEMBER 31
You have exactly one day left to download all of the free m/m romance books available via the Your Book Boyfriend’s Boyfriend giveaway on Prolific Works. After that, they’re gone forever…well, okay, not forever. I know a lot of authors are planning on using them as freebies for newsletter subscribers or putting them up for sale on Amazon. But this is your VERY LAST CHANCE to get these books absolutely free with no sign-up required.
My contribution is Chasing Sunsets! Check out the cover and blurb below.
A sex scandal wasn’t how NHL player Dane Roxborough imagined starting his summer. Neither was fleeing Boston with his tail between his legs. Seeking refuge at his parents’ inn in his hometown, all he wants is to hide from the press…and reconnect with his college sweetheart.
Grant Lilly’s had enough of broken hearts. Sure, Dane still owns his, but that doesn’t mean anything when Dane left him to play hockey once already. Grant has a life and a career in Glen Hill, and he doesn’t need Dane resurrecting old feelings.
Amid Green Mountain summer nights, can Dane and Grant chase the sunset to their happily ever after?
What was your favourite read of the month?