Publisher: Cedrona Enterprises
Genre: Contemporary, Hockey Romance
Blurb: **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.
NB: My reviews are for the 3 MM stories in the anthology.
Dallas Christmas by RJ Scott
Logan Maxwell, a winger for the Burlington Dragons, is stuck in Dallas and missing Christmas with his family. There’s no snow in this damn city, he’s lonely, and he can’t even remember the last time he hooked up with a guy.
Spending his precious Christmas break with the other single players on the team could be great, he guessed, but for one thing; Archie Simard.
Lusting after the brother of your team captain is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas, Logan knows that. But when fate throws him and the temptation that is Archie together, it’s hard not to fall in love.
I haven’t read any of the series that this is a part of—The Burlington Dragons—but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this story. I loved Logan and Archie, and Logan’s resistance of their relationship. I thought the author did a great job in making his determination not to fall in love, and denial that he already had, very realistic. I also felt for Archie as his frustration, yet love for Logan came through very well although the story is from Logan’s POV. One line stood out for me: “All you have to do is tell me you love me.”
This isn’t the first I’ve read from this author, and I like how her stories have a lovely flow to them, which makes them a delight to read. The characters feel very real, and this story hooked me in immediately, and I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened as I was invested in their story and wanted to make sure they got their happy ending. The supporting cast was wonderful. I particularly loved Simba, Archie’s brother, and had to go check out the author’s website to see if his story is written—it is! The other side characters were great too, and felt fleshed out, although they weren’t the focus of this story. The sense of family within the team is a real strength, and I’d love to read more about them. And as an added bonus I must admit I squeed at the mention of Ten from the Railers’ series.
I’d recommend Dallas Christmas to readers who enjoy a feel-good story about working out your priorities with wonderfully written characters—and hockey. 5 out of 5 stars.
A Star-Crossed Christmas by V.L. Locey
Being the new man in the crease can be tough. Mitch Adams, former back-up for the Cougars is now the main man in goal, replacing August Miles, who was recently called up to the pros. There are lots of new things happening in Mitch’s life and not everything is because of hockey.
Two years ago, he shared an explosive kiss with his childhood friend, Olympic snowboarder, Shaun Sandbeck. Since then, Mitch has been more than a little confused about a multitude of things pertaining to who he is, his sexuality, and the fact that he can’t stop thinking about that kiss and how he wants more.
For Mitch, going home for Christmas is a chance to find his focus and face the man who caused all this confusion. Is it possible for the two men to untangle lust from love, and find a future together that works?
This short story is part of the Cayuga Cougars series which I haven’t read, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. Although, of course, it has left me wanting to read that series!
I thought this was a lovely friends-to-lovers story, and I enjoyed reading about Mitch and Shaun. One of the strengths of this story is the strong sense of family, not just within the Cougar team, but the way Mitch and Shaun’s family support them. The family scenes are wonderful, and bring with them a real sense of a caring loving atmosphere.
Mitch and Shaun complement each other well, and their friendship since children develops easily into love. I particularly liked Shaun’s grandmother who isn’t subtle about her hints that these two belong together. I love the background of the quilting shop she runs, and the way both their families are supportive of their friendship and relationship, and how they already
This is feel-good story and one I would go back to as a comfort read.
I’d recommend A Star-Crossed Christmas to readers who enjoy a feel-good story about friends to lovers, with a strong sense of family, and a great supporting cast, against a backdrop of hockey. 5 out of 5 stars.
Holding on Tightby Susan Scott Shelley
Buffalo Bedlam defenseman Vince Forsberg and his boyfriend Joseph Parelli want to make their first Christmas together perfect for each other. The pressure is overwhelming, and with every holiday mishap, “perfect” slips further away. Can they save Christmas, or will their first holiday together be their last?
While this story reflects the common theme of the team as family, it also shows a couple working out their place in the world now they are together. I loved that Joseph is struggling to find a job, and settle into a new location, and the strain that does put on his and Vince’s relationship—it felt very real. I liked how I got to know more about them in the way they each reacted to a situation.
This is another feel-good sweet read. I loved Joseph and Vince and was cheering for them to find a way through everything life threw at them. The supporting cast was great, and I loved how they looked out for both men. The ending made me happy, as did the romance.
This is the first story I’ve read from this author, and I’d love to read more.
I’d recommend Holding on Tight to readers who enjoy a sweet story about a couple working through the hurdles of life together, a strong sense of family—and hockey. 5 out of 5 stars.