Book Review · General

Book Review: His for the Holidays

His for the Holidays is a holiday MM romance anthology. It has stories by LB Gregg, Harper Fox, ZA Maxfield and Josh Lanyon. LB Gregg and  Harper Fox are both new writers to me.

Mistletoe at Midnight by LB Gregg

Owen McKenzie has traveled to Vermont to spend an old-fashioned Christmas with his family when he finds himself staying at the same inn as his first love. Owen is disconcerted to realize he’s still attracted to Caleb Black but refuses to pursue him. Caleb left him once, and Owen’s not going down that road again.

Owen is positively stunned when he finds his high school sweetheart with his family at Christmas. His ex shows up, too, but leaves on Christmas, which I thought was really sad. But necessary to give the lovers a clear field. The back story was pretty good and it explains Owen’s issues (as back stories should!). He never really got over Caleb. 😉  I loved loved loved the ending. It could not be more perfect. Obviously, since this is a romance, they end up together, but they way it happened! Sweet.

Nine Lights Over Edinburgh by Harper Fox

Detective Inspector James McBride is riding high on the belief that he’s about to bust a human-trafficking ring. But just five days before Christmas, his unorthodox methods catch up with him and his world comes crashing down.

What’s so amazing about this story is how much action and drama the author packed into a shorter story. There is kidnapping, human trafficking, a failed marriage, a budding romance – enough stuff to fill a novel and overwhelm anything shorter. But it doesn’t. Doesn’t overwhelm the story, that is. The romance is the forefront and all the other stuff just adds a touch of magic. Everything is just right. I am in awe of the writer’s skill.

I Heard Him Exclaim by ZA Maxfield

Steve Adams’s heart hasn’t been in the Christmas spirit ever since doctors put a stent in it and ordered him to clean up his act. No longer filling out his Santa suit or allowed to make merry, he’s forgoing the holidays this year and heading to Vegas to indulge in the few vices left to him: gambling and anonymous sex.

This is the sweetest story in the whole anthology. Chandler has just become guardian of his five-year old niece. Than his car breaks down and Steve comes to his rescue. The girl is convinced Steve is a thin Santa Claus and Steve is more than happy to act the part. The whole cast of characters – Chandler, Steve, Poppy (the niece), Steve’s family – are all wonderful. Chandler’s worry over how he was going to raise Poppy was very sweet and well-balanced against the romance.

Icecapade by Josh Lanyon

On the eve of the new millennium, diamond thief Noel Snow seduced FBI special agent Robert Cuffe, then fled into the dawn. Now a successful novelist, Noel uses his capers as fodder for his books, and has modeled his hero’s nemesis (and potential love interest) on Cuffe. Though he leaves Robert a drunken phone message every New Year’s Eve, Noel hasn’t seen or heard from him in a decade.

This is my favorite story in the whole anthology. I posted a line from it yesterday for teaser Tuesday. Why? It has romance and mystery, and is just so much fun. Icecapade begins after a drunken night spent with the FBI pursuing him. He wants to stay with Robert, but doesn’t want to go to jail and has to leave. Robert likes him, too, that’s why he doesn’t return or report his New Year phone calls. Robert shows up after the statute of limitations has run out on Noel’s crimes, but lets Noel believe he came because he thinks Noel is still a thief. Such deliciousness! LOL I had so much fun reading this. The only thing is that if the FBI knew where he was and what he had one, why didn’t they arrest him before statute of limitations ran out? I can only assume that they didn’t have enough evidence, but that is a pretty minor issue.