Author: Toni Griffin, Angel Martinez, Silvia Violet, and Freddy MacKay
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover Artist: Catherine Dair
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Christmas means different things to everyone, but most often it’s all about pulling loved ones close and brightening the gloom. The fire’s crackling. The snow is piling up outside, even if it’s only in your dreams. Time to snuggle up with some cocoa and some stories carefully crafted by the Mischief Corner Crew to warm hearts and cockles.
Wreath of Fire: Smokey Mountains Bears 2 – Toni Griffin
Michael’s trying to start a new life away from his abusive father, but he’s drifting and not sure what he wants. When he accidentally starts a kitchen fire, the hot new fireman who comes to the rescue is not only another bear shifter. He’s Michael’s mate. Michael desperately needs to get his act together and figure out what he wants if he has any hope of claiming the bear fated to be his.
A Christmas Cactus for the General – Angel Martinez
Exiled to Earth for perhaps the worst failure in Irasolan history, General Teer must assimilate or die. Earth is too warm, too wet, too foreign, but he does the best he can even though human males are loud, childish louts whom he can’t imitate successfully. When a grieving seaplane pilot strikes up a strange and uneasy friendship with him, he finds he may have been too quick to judge human males. They are strange to look at, but perhaps not as unbearable as he thought.
Holly Jolly – Silvia Violet
I’m not gay. I just notice men sometimes. Everybody does, right? I notice Dane a lot, like every time I’m near him, but just because I think he’s an attractive man that doesn’t mean I like him, does it?
I’m also not a fan of Christmas. Too many years “celebrating” with my Bible-thumping family ruined the holiday for me. So what if I envy all these cheerful souls dashing about with smiles on their faces? I don’t have to like Christmas, do I? If anyone could get me in the Christmas spirit, it would be Dane with his easy, relaxed manner and his gorgeous smile. If that were going to happen, though, I’d have to find the courage to talk to him and to admit that maybe I don’t know myself all that well after all.
Snow on Spirit Bridge – Freddy MacKay
Alone in Japan, Finni is struggling against the constant distrust, avoidance, and xenophobia he experiences every day. He misses home. He misses his family. Nightmares come all too frequently because of the stress, and well, Christmas is just not Christmas in Japan. Not how he understands it.
Distressed by how miserable Finni is, his roommate, Mamoru, offers to be Finni’s family for Christmas. Little does he know how much one agreement would change everything between them, because both of them kept secrets neither ever dreamed were true.
I loved this anthology. Each story was unique and had its own strengths and weaknesses. However, as a whole this anthology was wonderful and so worth the read. It will most assuredly put you in the mood for a loving and happy holiday season.
Wreath of Fire: Smokey Mountain Bears 2 by Toni Griffin 4
This was a short story about two bears finding their mates. It gives good insight into what mating means for the shifters and the reader gets to watch both men struggle through the new emotions and desires. It was such a great story and for being so short, it packed in quite a bit of characterization. I fell in love with both men and I was so glad the author did not paint Michael as a child when all he lacked was the chance for an education. I really liked this Christmas story about the meaning of family and love.
A Christmas Cactus for the General by Angel Martinez 5
I really enjoyed this story and found myself smiling more often than not. I connected emotionally with both Bruce and Teer. I loved their story. The way they each dealt with grief and the friendship and easy camaraderie that naturally formed between the two. I loved Teer’s perspective on humans and Earth. His outlook was often humorous though he did not mean to be. His understanding of human traditions was a subtle or maybe not so subtle way for the author to point out the absurdities in some of the ways things are done without being disrespectful to those readers who follow those customs. Bravo Ms. Martinez. Finally, I loved the ending. It was perfectly beautiful.
Holly Jolly by Silvia Violet 4
This was another great story for this anthology. It started out with a “thou dost protest too much” atmosphere and very quickly turned into a journey of discovery that was fun to read. The tone and pace was a great compliment to the story and I enjoyed watching Tom come out if his shell and discover who he really is. The ending was just cheesy enough to make this a great holiday story with a future left up to the reader’s imagination.
Snow on Spirit Bridge by Freddy MacKay 5
If I could give this story more than 5 stars, I would. It was fantastic and broke my heart in the happiest way possible. I loved it and put this on the top of my favorites of 2014 list. Ms. MacKay blended legends of two cultures to create the Christmas romance of a lifetime. While the story was darker than most and started out rather somber, the ending was so wonderful I cried big fat ugly tears. Ms. MacKay, I bow down to your talent.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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,
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