Home for the Holidays by Ally Blue, L.B. Gregg, and Z.A. Maxfield ~ Review by Leisa

I’m a Christmas loving freak, and also a known anthology junkie … What’s not to love about a Christmasy anthology?!

HomeForTheHolidays_500x750Title: Home for the Holidays

Author: Ally Blue, L.B. Gregg, and Z.A. Maxfield

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

From the Publisher:

Home is where the heart is.

The December holidays mean many things: food, presents, traditions, stress, peace, renewal. But most of all, they mean families—good and bad, biological and chosen—and finding our way home, whatever the definition and wherever it might be. The four holiday-set romances in Home for the Holidays all explore characters leaving home, finding home, returning home, and discovering what home means to them.

And to help people discover home in the real world, 20% of all proceeds from this collection are donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York, whose mission “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.” To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit http://www.aliforneycenter.org/.

In L.B. Gregg’s lighthearted novella, How I Met Your Father, members of a boyband search for happiness years after the fame dissipates, finally coming to understand that home is any place where love dwells.

In Ally Blue’s angst-filled novella, Long the Mile, two homeless men come to realize that they are home for each other, no matter their living circumstances.

In Z.A. Maxfield’s novella, Lost and Found, an RV-dwelling musician (with a cute dog) has been running away from the idea of home his whole life . . . until he realizes that home is where his partner is.

In Amy Lane’s full-length novel, Christmas Kitsch, college student Rusty is kicked out at Thanksgiving for being gay, but at Christmas, his boyfriend’s family shows him what home really means.

Please note that while the Home for the Holidays ebook bundle now available on the Riptide website also includes Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane, the ARC provided for review to Prism Book Alliance pre-dated publication of Christmas Kitsch and did not contain contains all four holiday stories.

My View

Home for the Holidays, an anthology with stories related to Christmas by authors Ally Blue, L.B. Gregg, and Z.A. Maxfield, is not only a delightful treat for the reader, but purchasing the book is also a simple way to support a worthy charity.  Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title are donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York which helps protect LGBTQ youth from homelessness, and supports these youth in “becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.”

I just adore reading a good anthology – it’s always a chance to “meet” new authors, as well as spend a bit of time with authors I already know and love. Home for the Holidays certainly did not disappoint. There are three stories in the version of the anthology I read, and all have a theme related to how the characters define “home.” L.B. Gregg’s How I Met Your Father is sexy, fun, and loving.  The plot includes not only truly seductive and hot sex scenes (I will never again look at the family restrooms in airport terminals without needing to fan myself…), and the story line itself is wonderful and serves as a reminder that home is not a structure or building, but rather the feeling of comfort and belonging with the person you love. Equally wonderful is Ally Blue’s Long the Mile, a touching and sadly realistic story about two men who unexpectedly find themselves homeless, but learn that they are truly each other’s home even if they may not always have a roof over their heads.  Z.A. Maxfield’s Lost and Found is a lighter and sweet story of a loner musician who finally accepts that he needs the love and comfort of home that he gets from his former boyfriend who clearly still loves him.

The icing on the cake?  The edition of Home for the Holidays now available from Riptide Publishing ALSO includes Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane. Although this story was not included in the earlier version of Home for the Holidays that was provided to Prism Book Alliance for review, I have indeed read Christmas Kitsch!  Lane’s story of a young man rejected by his own family at Thanskgiving, and then warmly welcomed by his boyfriend’s family a month later at Christmas, is classic Amy Lane — it’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and leaves you with the feeling that family isn’t always determined by genetics; instead, family is made of the people who love and accept you.

I warmly recommend that you buy and read this lovely anthology. The stories are full of relationship angst, yummy sex, sweetness, commitment, and tenderness.  You will give yourself the gift of delightful reading pleasure (you’re getting four happy endings for the price of one!), and make the world a little bit better by supporting the Ali Forney Center, a charity established to help prevent LGBTQ youth homelessness to which the authors are donating a portion of sales proceeds.

To learn more about the Ali Forney Center or to donate directly to this this worthwhile organization, please visit http://www.aliforneycenter.org.

Buy Links:

Riptide Publishing
Amazon

I would like to thank Riptide Publishing for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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3 thoughts on “Home for the Holidays by Ally Blue, L.B. Gregg, and Z.A. Maxfield ~ Review by Leisa

  1. I love anthologies. I pick them up like some people buy shoes. Will be giving this a read. Thanks for the review.

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