Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar: All Creatures Great and Small by Kasper Quill & The Last Gift by Chrissy Munder #Review #Giveaway

We have another two Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar reviews for you today. All Creatures Great and Small by Kasper Quill and The Last Gift by Chrissy Munder. Don't forget to enter the Advent giveaway at the end!

All Creatures Great and Small by Kasper Quill

Growing up an orphan meant Charlie never celebrated Christmas. He’s committed to making sure his newly adopted cat, Max, doesn’t miss out like he did. Unfortunately, he discovers that giving Max the perfect Christmas might be easier said than done—and not without risk.

Charlie’s landlord, successful and wealthy real estate developer Aemon Scotfield, is charmed by the gorgeous redhead and his shameless alley cat. He finds himself compelled to help orchestrate a memorable celebration for Max—and Charlie—despite the mishaps that seem to just keep coming. As difficult as it will be to pull off the perfect holiday, the real challenge might be walking away when it’s over.


I'll be honest and say that my holiday reading this season is woefully behind. Life, what can you do, right? I love this time of year when all the stories full of family and love and joy come out rapid fire, it's almost too much to keep up with sometimes. But it's always nice to step back from the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping, and baking to immerse yourself, often for an hour or less, into a book that reminds you of what the best parts of this time of year are about. I might not have read all that many Christmas (and Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc.) stories so far this year, but I can tell you that no matter how many I do wind up reading, All Creatures Great and Small by Kasper Quill will be among my favorites. 

Talk about a meet cute to remember! A stray cat, a bicycle, and a slippery sidewalk do not mix as IT guy Charlie comes to find out in a most painful way. Not to mention the pretentious observer from the car across the road. Charlie has grown up in foster care and has never experienced a "real" Christmas. When the stray cat, that Charlie names Max, finds a home with Charlie, Charlie vows to give Max the perfect Christmas, complete with a tree and everything else that goes with it. Y'all. Charlie is an adorable mess, who is about the most endearing, clueless guy I've read about in some time. I absolutely loved him to pieces. Quirky and sarcastic with a heart of gold, he was just awesome! When Charlie informs his landlord of his new roommate, he is quite surprised that the landlord turns out to be none other than Aemon Scott, aka the pretentious asshole from the car. Aemon is that perfect blend of blunt and dry that works so well (at least for us readers!) with a character like Charlie. These two are certainly a perfect example of opposites attracting. 

I loved how Aemon was just so smitten by Charlie, and Charlie was so completely clueless ... until he wasn't. Light, sweet, and surprisingly touching, All Things Great and Small is part of Dreamspinner Press's Advent Calendar anthology and at only 34 pages packs quite the emotional, sentimental punch. Don't miss this one guys. Lots of heart with some cute adopted pets thrown in make this the perfect respite from all the holiday chaos. 

The Last Gift by Chrissy Munder

College student Nick Reed works late shift at a convenience store and dreams of graduation, a job he can be proud of, and finding the man of his dreams.

But the man of his dreams is about to find him.

A change in his lab hours forces Nick to swap shifts with a coworker. But no one prepared Nick for Mr. 5:25—Aaron Hampton—a beefy blond who’s Nick’s perfect guy, but professionally and socially out of Nick's reach. Soon Aaron becomes the highlight of Nick's workday, and when the overly focused lawyer needs Nick's help with holiday gifts, Nick is eager to spend time with Aaron.

They become friends, share book recommendations, and are surprised to find themselves at the same charity run. But is that all? When Aaron learns Nick is heading back to his old shift, will he find the courage to ask for one last, very special gift?


Seriously, it’s not that often anymore that I discover a new-to-me author that I have to…um…stalk.  But after reading “The Last Gift”, that’s exactly what I did.  The first thing I did was friend request  Chrissy Munder on Facebook.  Then, I started following her on Twitter.  Then I perused her blog and website.  And finally, I went to the Dreamspinner Press website looking for more of her work.

Yeah, I might have a problem. 

I loved this story.  Honestly, I really liked Nick (although I’m not nuts about manbuns).  Works two jobs to help support his family, goes to school full time, worries about his family.  He’s snarky and fun, and secure just enough with himself to know who he is, but not so much as to be arrogant.  And Aaron…Aaron is just an absolutely adorable dork.  I say that as a dork myself.

This is why I love short stories and novellas.  You get a taste of the talent without a massive investment of time.  “The Last Gift” is everything in one tiny little story that so many full length novels try to be.  Charming and funny, romantic and sweet, and just oh-so-good.  It really will get you in the holiday mood.


Be sure to enter the Advent Giveaway!!

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  1. I enjoy a holiday story when one of the M's gets something/someone they always desperately wanted.

  2. I like stories that are heartwarming and bring joy.

  3. Sweet with a bit of steam are my favorite Christmas stories.

  4. I like the type of holiday stories where a lonely person/people find happiness with someone. I love found family stories.

  5. My favorite re-reads at this time of year center around family, usually the one we create. I love stories that have animals and kids, characters who experience the wonder of Christmas, maybe for the first time, and lots of hope, comfort, and humor.