Recommended Read, Review Revisited

Review Revisited: Holly’s Take on A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilia Grant (2014)

Hey you! Yeah, you! 

Are you feeling Grinchy right about now? 

Would you like your heart to grow three sizes?

Yes? 

Then please go read A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong immediately. It might be the perfect Christmas romance. It’s utterly charming and includes just enough of the obligatory “let’s do Christmas cheer” activities without being twee. It features two protagonists for whom *everything* goes wrong (#relatable, what’s up 2021!), but things end up just right in the end (and my heart goes pitter-pat).

I agree with everything Erin wrote about the characterizations in her review. What she doesn’t discuss is how crisp the writing is. Not just on the level of plot and characterization—because the way Grant builds up the tension between these two crazy lovebirds is masterful—but also on the level of word choice. 

Here are the first two paragraphs:

The trouble, Andrew Blackshear would later reflect, might have all been avoided if he’d simply kept to the main road. His first glimpse of the girl would then have been indoors, seated, with her hair bound tidily back, and their first dialogue would have been an inquisition so tedious as to temper the allure of those great swooping clean-edged curves that made up her prodigal mouth.

But with no way of knowing what lay in store, he hadn’t any reason to avoid the detour. The clouds broke above him, he turned down a lane whose towering yews promised a bit of shelter, and trouble found him, in torrents that put the winter squall to shame.

“Trouble found him, in torrents that put the winter squall to shame.” Just sit and savor that clause. I am egregiously bad at text analysis, so I can’t explain how amazing it is, but I can feel it, in my guts.

Look, both Erin and I thought this book was really really wonderful. You should probably just trust us. (Read on for Erin’s thoughts on the characters, plus general squeeing.)

Continue reading “Review Revisited: Holly’s Take on A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilia Grant (2014)”
Listicle

Saturday Smutty Six: Sexy Xmas Novellas to Put You in the Mood

Christmastime’s a-comin’ and sometimes you just need a little pick-me-up to get you through that visit with your in-laws.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered, with six sexy Christmas novellas. These quick reads deliver on the sexytimes and the romance joy. (And half of them also deliver on sexy Santas.) What are you waiting for?


Santa Claus is Going to Town on Me by ML Eliza

Holly hates Christmas—until she meets Claus. And his magical Christmas sex toys. Is this book chock full of sexy Santa rumpus? Yes, yes it is. But it also includes surprisingly thoughtful bits about grief and joy and desire.

Mistletoe Madness by Rebecca Norinne

Previously published as The Roommate Situation

That awkward moment when you hear some weird sounds coming from your hot roommate’s room so you go check on him and walk in on him masturbating. Especially awkward: Mikayla has a huge crush on Nick, but is terrified of making the living situation weird. What’s a girl to do? (Masturbate as quietly as possible, that’s what.) Nick and Mikayla have a really sweet and supportive dynamic outside of the bedroom—and once they get over the pining, the physical chemistry is off the charts.

Sleigh Bells Ring by Jodie Griffin

Erin: Hahahahahaha OMG this story takes every famous little phrase from Santa holiday mythology and makes it filthy. Sugar plums. Rudolph’s nose. I’m dead.

Holly: Look, do you want to read reindeer shifter BDSM erotica, or don’t you? 

PS: Blame Erin for this one.


Santa’s Helper by Shae Sanders

A divorced mom takes her kids extra far to see the only Black Santa in the area, only to discover his son—her ex flame—has taken over the role. It’s playful and then it’s hot. *fans self* I liked that this book features a mom who is not the custodial parent of her children and has a generally positive co-parenting agreement with her ex.

The Naughty List by Ellie Mae MacGregor

This is a really short, hot book with a sexy, gray-haired Santa with tree-trunk thighs. It’s totally entertaining. If you’re looking to check boxes for older protagonists, lube use, sexy consent, and other excellent sex-partner things, this is your book. See also:

A Second Chance Road Trip for Christmas by Jackie Lau

You know, I just really appreciate that Jackie Lau gets all the tropes right out there in the title. Greg Wong agrees to drive his high school sweetheart, Tasha Edwards, home for Christmas. Of course they end up snowed in in a hotel room with no heat and only one bed. I wonder how that could possibly turn out? (Hot. It turns out hot.) Bonus points for a buttoned-up hero who gets fabulously unbuttoned for sex.

Review

Review: I’ll Be Home for Hanukkah by K.K. Hendin (2020)

The Girls in Apartment 5G, Book #1

Heat Factor: They do not even kiss, my friends.

Character Chemistry: Noam is extremely opaque, but he plays with Shayna, who is a bit tightly wound, so it’s fun

Plot: Shayna and Noam, Orthodox Jews who grew up in NYC, are suddenly and unexpectedly sent to North Pole, Alaska just weeks before Christmas, for an end-of-year review meeting with a big client

Overall: I really enjoyed this read, mostly because it’s so playful

Continue reading “Review: I’ll Be Home for Hanukkah by K.K. Hendin (2020)”
Review

Review: Santa Claus is Going to Town on Me by M.L. Eliza (2021)

Heat Factor: His jizz tastes like peppermint

Character Chemistry: Instant attraction, plus Santa has a special power where he knows your desires *eyebrow waggle*

Plot: Holly hates Christmas, but she’s definitely going to bone Santa when given the chance

Overall: Sexy rumpus that’s surprisingly thoughtful and legitimately touching

Continue reading “Review: Santa Claus is Going to Town on Me by M.L. Eliza (2021)”
Review

Review: Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday (2021)

Sequel to A Princess for Christmas

Heat Factor: This is a slow burn with a bit of boning at the end; if you’ve read other Jenny Holiday books, this one is on the tame side. 

Character Chemistry: Dani and Max are adorable, separately and together. 

Plot: Dani and Max become best friends. Then they fall in love, but can’t admit it—not to themselves, and definitely not to each other.

Overall: It’s cute.

Continue reading “Review: Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday (2021)”