Tour & Book Review – The Christmas Oaks by V.L. Locey

A big welcome to V.L. Locey as part of her review tour with Signal Boost Promotions for The Christmas Oaks.

Review

I loved this story about two very different men reconnecting as they both deal with their demons.

I like stories set in small towns with a strong sense of family, and this one has both of those. Kutter’s Summit felt very real, and a character in its own right, with its quirks driving some of the storyline, especially with the weather and isolation. I thought the descriptions were very visual and I had a clear picture of each scene in my mind. I liked Bryan’s relationship with his sister, Deb. His PA Betty totally rocks, and his cat Aesop deserves a mention. As a side note, I love that name for a cat.

I felt for both men, and I thought their different relationship with Bryan’s grandfather was well written. I liked how, although Bryan’s memories of him are soured, he didn’t just come across as a stereotypical homophobe but a man who realised he’d made mistakes. I liked how both Bryan and Parson were damaged in their own way, and how, although Parson had PTSD, it’s not just him who needs Bryan to start to make a future for himself, but that they need each other as Bryan’s overwork and stressful lonely lifestyle is slowly killing him. I thought Parson’s PTSD was written well, and realistically, especially its long term effects.

I enjoyed their journey into rekindling their friendship, and taking the next step into something more. I liked how their relationship is written with no labels, and they’re just them. The epilogue made me happy. It was perfect for both of them.

I’d recommend this story to readers who enjoy a feel good, low angst story with realistic characters. 5 out of 5 stars.




Cover Design: Designs By Sloan


Blurb 

Can the magic of Christmas, and the soft voice of a man who has seen too much, show Bryan a future where anything is possible?


Bryan Graham is shocked to find he’s inherited a hunting cabin in north-central Pennsylvania. From his grandfather of all people; a stubborn man who went out of his way to make Bryan’s childhood miserable. He’d vowed never to go back to the small, rural community of Kutter’s Summit, not that he didn’t have fond memories of the place. It’s just that he’d rather be celebrating a quiet Christmas back in Nashville with his cat and his contracts. 



A couple of weeks of hunting, cleaning, and handyman work, and he can hopefully put the place up for sale and move on with his life. He never expected to find his childhood friend Parson Greer living in the cabin. Parson is no longer a boy, but a handsome, wary man consumed by the demons of a faraway desert war. When a rekindled friendship shifts into something deeper, Bryan finds himself lost in emotions that a workaholic like him has never made time to experience before.

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.


When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.



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About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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