Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Random Review: Hockey Holidays by Various Authors #Review #Giveaway

Hockey Holidays Anthology
Reviewing Three stories:

A Star Crossed Christmas by VL Locey
Dallas Christmas by RJ Scott
Holding On Tight by Susan Scott Shelley

Publisher: Cedrona Enterprises
Publication Date: November 13, 2018 
Pages: 755

Reviewed by Michael


**100% of the proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to charity.**

This holiday season unwrap a brand-new collection of hockey romances that includes humor, drama, love, and - of course - hockey!

Each book is EXCLUSIVE to the anthology and NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED by USA Today, New York Times, and all your favorite bestselling hockey romance authors.

When You're Ready by Toni Aleo
He knew she was the one, she wasn't so sure, which is why Grace and James' love story is one for the ages.

A Second Shot by Shannon Stacey
She was the one who got away, but when their paths cross once again, all he wants for Christmas is the chance to take another shot at love.

A Wolfe Brothers Christmas by Jami Davenport
Spending their first Christmas together in years, the Wolfe brothers fumbling attempts to create good memories go awry.

Christmas Crosscheck by Jaymee Jacobs
Bryan's planning to propose to Georgiana on Christmas Eve, but will the chaos of their families’ first holiday together ruin their special moment?

Final Slapshot by Jean C. Joachim
Harry "Deke" Edmonds hides his secret, hoping for a Christmas miracle. When confronted with the truth, will his heart-breaking decision cost him everything?

Lucky Holiday by Jennifer Lazaris
Tyler Quinn made the biggest mistake of his life when he broke Ella’s heart, and he’ll need more than an ace up his sleeve to win her back in time for Christmas.

Dmitri's Christmas Angel by Kat Mizera
Two women. Two surprise pregnancies. Dmitri Papadakis is screwed.

His Christmas Cinderella by Kate Willoughby
When Gideon Aguilar mistakes Bailey Peng for his Uber driver it leads to a night he can’t forget. But after she disappears the next morning will he be able to find his perfect fit?

Red-Hot Trouble by Lily Harlem
Sophie Delaney never intended to walk into ‘that’ locker room, at ‘that’ moment, but she did, and now she’ll never be the same again.

Christmas Interference by Lisa B. Kamps
Shane Masters no longer believes in happy-ever-afters. Can the woman who knew him best thaw his heart with a little holiday magic before it's too late?

The Devoted Father and the Introvert by Mary Smith
Elexis Dunaway loves Twitter and work. Dag Limon loves his twin boys and playing professional hockey. Soon their worlds will collide with one simple tweet.

Her Best Worst Boyfriend by Melanie Ting
This Christmas, Em Davis is bringing Mr. Wrong home to prove a point to her parents, but Ian Reid might turn out to be Mr. Right.

Icing isn't Only for Cookies by Melody Heck Gatto
Avery James wasn’t looking for love when tall, dark, and deliciously handsome hockey player Kyler Wilson walked into her bakery.

Dallas Christmas by RJ Scott
Logan knows lusting after his captain's brother can only lead to trouble. But when fate throws them together, it’s hard not to fall in love.

The Playboy by Stephanie Julian
Kyle is back in the minors to rehab his career but that's not all he's hoping to fix. Convincing the girl he left behind to take another chance on this former playboy will be harder than resurrecting his career.

All I Want by Stephanie Kay
When fate brings first loves Maggie and Alex back to the same city, will Maggie be brave enough to give the relationship she never forgot a second chance?

Holding On Tight by Susan Scott Shelley
For defenseman Vince Forsberg and his boyfriend Joseph Parelli, the pressure to make their first Christmas together perfect leads to a lot of chaos, holiday mishaps, and some unexpected results.

A Star-Crossed Christmas by V.L. Locey
Two years ago, Mitch shared an explosive kiss with his childhood friend Shaun. Will Christmas be the time for the two men to find a future together that works?


Star Crossed Christmas

Sometimes things happen that force us to question everything we thought we knew about ourselves.  Or, sometimes those things open our eyes to possibilities we never knew existed.  Such is the case with Mitch Adams, the new goalie for the Cuyaga Cougars hockey team.

See, a couple of years before the start of the story, he and his best friend, Olympian Shaun Sandbeck.  Then he ran, completely confused by the situation.  The problem is, he hasn’t been able to forget that moment, and now finds himself back home for the holidays. 

You can get most of that from the blurb.  What you can’t get is the deep sense of confusion that one event causes Mitch.  He’s haunted by that kiss, causing him to question who he is at his very core.  Throw into the mix their conflicting schedules, and the idea that if he acts upon his burgeoning feelings, and things not work out, it could easily destroy the one friendship that matters most.

Shaun, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same kind of reservations.  Which makes sense since he’s been out much longer and is more comfortable with who he is.

All is this could have been told with a serious amount of angst, but there isn’t any.  Instead, there’s actually a cuteness about it that makes the story incredibly endearing.  And, Grandma…I ADORED her and her star-crossed quilt.

Dallas Christmas

Call me jaded, but I was kind of surprised by this story.  To fully understand why, you have to know that when I’m reading a romance, I want to feel something for the characters and with them.  That’s something difficult to achieve in a short-story format.

Honestly, when I started this, I was not crazy about Logan.  It took me a little bit to figure out why, and I realized that he was kind of wishy-washy.  He knew what he wanted, and that was Archie, but he couldn’t let himself go after it.   He was too afraid of what the repercussions would be for his friendships on the team as well as his career.  But he couldn’t bring himself to make the ultimate decision and either walk away from Archie, or go all in.

As the story progressed, I found myself understanding Logan more and more, and even empathizing with his dilemma.  That’s the sign of good writing, when there’s so much packed onto the page that you actually feel the characters, and for them.

Ultimately, he gets the push he needs from the most unlikely of sources.  The scene is quick, but incredibly powerful.  And Logan is all the better because of it.  You can almost feel his sigh of relief.  I sighed right along with him, because I felt the weight that was lifted.

Holding On Tight

The holidays can be a stressful time of year, even for the most holiday spirited.  When you’re trying to navigate a new living situation in a completely different town, away from all of your familiar surrounds, the holiday season can be downright daunting.

That’s where Joseph Parelli’s at, torn by wanting to spend his first Christmas with his boyfriend, Vince Forsberg, in Buffalo, and the sense of obligation he feels towards his grandmother rental property on the Jersey Shore.  He’s kind of circling the drain, as it were, feeling pulled in too many different directions.  And all Vince wants is to make this the most perfect Christmas for Joseph as he can.

Unfortunately, when there’s that much pressure, things are bound to go wrong.  If there was Murphy’s Law award, it would certainly go to these two.  Joseph and Vince have to learn to work together through all of the chaos, and that’s a hard thing for Joe.

I liked this one because, despite the short page count, there’s a lesson to be learned in this story.  If you concentrate on what’s truly important, everything will work out in the end.  I think that’s something we all loose sight of at that time of the year, which simply causes more discontent.

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  1. I love it when all proceeds go to charity! Thank you, authors, for being so generous!

  2. Hi and thanks, Princess, priest and the prick Ella Frank