Four Alternative Christmas Presents by Tam MacNeil ~ Book Review by Brandilyn

FourAlternativeChristmasPresentsLGTitle: Four Alternative Christmas Presents

Author: Tam MacNeil

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 12/01/2015

Length: Short Story (<15K)

Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal, Winter Holiday


It’s Christmas Eve, and newly minted superhero Matt AKA “Strong Man” is in the middle of taking down one of Central City’s most notorious criminals, the mesmerist and villain Dr. Destructo. It’s Matt’s first mission, and he’s working with his idol and secret crush, Jake X-Ray. He doesn’t want anything to go wrong.

Unfortunately for him, everything goes wrong. Soon Matt finds himself racing through alternative presents, trying to capture Dr. Destructo and trying to figure out why all the Matts in these other scenarios have the one thing he really wants—a relationship with Jake.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”.

My View:

Okay, I had to read this one twice before writing the review. I just couldn’t remember it well enough when I sat down. Luckily it is a fairly quick read.

I am of two minds on this story. My first read through was not nearly as enjoyable as my second. That tells me that there are people that are going to love this story. There will also be people who can’t make it through.

This entire story is a parody on the superhero mythos. For some people parodies are the greatest thing in the world. They take something they love and gently poke fun at the most prominent aspects of the world. For others, their eyes won’t be able to stop rolling at the obvious attempts to make this the “ultimate” superhero world. For example, how our hero joined his league of superheroes reminded me a lot of a Ninja Warrior type trial. Some will love it; some won’t.

The pace of the story itself was a little too fast for me. I was never able to enjoy and appreciate fully any single “present” before we moved on to the next. It was quick and jarring at times. I am sure it was the same for the main characters, but it felt more like an attempt not to have to flesh out the worlds fully. When our heroes finally get together, however, the story seemed never to end.

I enjoyed it well enough for the 15-ish minutes it took to read, but I would love to see what the author could do with a longer format.


Four Alternative Christmas Presents on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher 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,

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