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Sunday, 09 December 2012 12:29

Review: Red Hot Holiday

Written by Jennifer Porter
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RedHotHoliday“Red Hot Holiday” anthology including “Wish List” by K.A. Mitchell, “I Need You for Christmas” by Leah Braemel and “Breath on Embers” by Anne Calhoun (erotic, Carina, December 2012, $7.99, 262pp)




“Wish List” by K.A. Mitchell


Blindfolds. Handcuffs. Submission.

There's so much Jonah Kendrick hasn't tried, and so much he wants to explore. But just before Christmas he finds a ring box in his boyfriend's desk. Jonah panics. He loves Evan and their sex is hot, but how can Jonah be ready for forever, when there are so many items on his Naughty Bucket List? Desires that might drive Evan away.



Evan's noticed Jonah has been distant. His usually talkative and cheerful boyfriend is preoccupied. The seemingly straitlaced Evan stumbles across Jonah's wish list of sexual kinks, and Evan realizes he may not have to hide his true nature from Jonah after all. The Dom in him wants to see Jonah on his knees, begging, submitting, but Evan isn't sure Jonah's ready to accept what being Evan's sub would mean.


The two lovers must figure out how to share their hidden desires with each other before their secrets permanently damage their love.


When Jonah finds rings in his boyfriend’s desk, he goes a little bit crazy. He loves Evan, but isn’t sure about a lifetime commitment. He is also worried about the kinky desires he harbors, given that he sees Evan a bit staid and unadventurous. While with Evan’s family for Christmas, tensions run high. Evan is aware that something is bothering Jonah, but Jonah won’t talk about it. After seeing Jonah’s Naughty Bucket List though, Evan realizes that Jonah is looking for a firmer hand – and calls upon his past as a dominant to give Jonah what he needs.


Jonah’s panic felt incredibly realistic and true, true enough that I bought into the fact that the major conflict in this story is really a big misunderstanding. Had Jonah and Evan just talked earlier, there wouldn’t have been any tension. However, Mitchell made this work. Evan and Jonah’s relationship is in a transition period where both are thinking about the next steps and worried about whether they are in love or not.


“Wish List” by K.A. Mitchell is a steamy and emotional erotic romance – and one of my favorite m/m romances. The holiday aspects are wonderful as well, especially the scenes with Evan’s family that contain both the good and the bad things associated with holiday togetherness. This story is a great read and fans of m/m erotic romance should not skip it.


Buy this story on Amazon now!Buy Anthology on Amazon!
Author Link: http://www.kamitchell.com/
Follow K.A. Mitchell on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ka_mitchell


“I Need You for Christmas” by Leah Braemel


Ryan Porter is a sculptor, and beneath his callused hands, even the most rigid metals bend to his will. So, too, does his girlfriend Megan—a confident, strong woman who delights in submitting to Ryan’s dominance in the bedroom.


Megan is a Mountie, and she’s spent the past few years in the arctic following her career dreams. Family obligations kept Ryan at home, but their love survived the distance thanks to several hot visits. A Mountie always gets her man, and Megan is bound and determined to keep Ryan.


Now Megan’s with Ryan for the holidays…but how long will this visit last? She’s always been willing to do anything Ryan desires, but will he finally tell her that all he needs for Christmas is her?


“I Need You for Christmas” by Leah Braemel is an erotic retelling of O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.” Ryan and Megan have been in love for years, but have been forced to live apart due to Megan’s job as a Mountie. Both are ready to settle down and have decided to make a change and surprise the other this Christmas.


This story begins with Ryan picking Megan up at the airport. She is supposed to be home for the holidays. Their reunion is filled with heat and sexy tension. While Megan is a strong and controlled woman in her work like, it is Ryan who is the dominant one in the bedroom. Meanwhile, Ryan is busy making plans to move up north to join Megan while trying not to let her know. Megan keeps her own secret about having quit her job and transferred to the local police department.


It does take a bit of effort to believe that Megan and Ryan could hide such big changes in their lives from each other – or that they would make such major changes without consulting each other. However, I did get what Braemel was trying to do.


Ryan and Megan’s love story is an inspiring one. Both have made tremendous sacrifices in their lives that have kept them apart, but their love has remained constant. “I Need You for Christmas” put a big smile on my face and will spread holiday cheer to readers.


Buy this story on Amazon now! Buy Anthology on Amazon now!
Author Link: http://leahbraemel.com/
Like Leah Braemel on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLeahBraemel
Follow Leah Braemel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeahBraemel


“Breath on Embers” by Anne Calhoun


Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend. He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex, Ronan sets out to change her mind.


Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.


Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last forever?


I was absolutely blown away by Anne Calhoun’s “Breath on Embers.” Calhoun masterfully combines deep emotional angst, eroticism and a wonderful happily ever after all in a festive, holiday package to create a nearly perfect erotic romance. I cannot recommend this one highly enough.


Thea is a tortured soul, a woman in agony over the death of her husband. To escape the pain, she fled her small town for the lights, sound and energy of New York City. She uses loud music to dull her pain and keep people from getting too close. While she engages in a sexual relationship with Ronan, she is unwilling to get involved emotionally – especially when he wants to include her in his Christmas plans.


Ronan is determined to bring Thea back to life, however. He sees so much in the damaged Thea, so much to love that he will do almost anything to break through her shell. He tries ice skating, helping Thea with her holiday charity plans and even finding a male friend for a ménage. Thea tries so hard to resist Ronan’s efforts, but her fall is inevitable.


At times, reading Thea’s story is painfully heartbreaking. Her loss has consumed her, and her journey back to the living is not in any way easy. But there is something special about the holidays that help Ronan get through to the woman he loves.


“Breath on Embers” by Anne Calhoun is one of the best erotic romances of 2012. Don’t miss it.


Buy this story on Amazon now! Buy Anthology on Amazon now!
Author Link: http://www.annecalhoun.com/
Like Anne Calhoun on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.calhoun
Follow Anne Calhoun on Twitter: http://twitter.com/annecalhoun


Book Disclosure: An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley, but an ebook of “Breath on Embers” was provided by the author.

Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012 15:08
Jennifer Porter

Jennifer Porter

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