SETTING FOR EIGHT, DINNER FOR TWO
To overcome the bad ending of a relationship, Charlie Brooks and a friend plan to decorate his home for the holidays—including elaborate table settings like those made by local ceramicist Tory Phillips. The pieces are exquisite, but Charlie’s on a budget. So Tory convinces him to take his classes and try his hand at making his own dishes for the dinner party Charlie dreams of hosting. As they work together, they grow closer, and the fantasy gathering feels less important than what’s happening between them. When the big day arrives, it might be more magical than Charlie ever imagined.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar “Homemade for the Holidays.”
Leslie “Red” Parks was pretty surprised to find he was considered attractive enough to be a male escort. And once he started and the money came rolling in, he found he didn’t want to stop. For the first time in his life, people truly want him, and he likes that. A lot.
Kirk Toliver has never thought of himself as desirable either—which is why he is single. That, and he has spent years of his life caring for his ill mother. Before she passed away, she made him promise he would splurge on something crazy with the money she left him. She also said that you should always spend New Year’s Eve doing what you would like to do for the rest of the year. So what’s crazier than hiring a male escort?
But neither expected that one night together could lead to what was missing in both their lives.
GRUMBLE MONKEY AND
THE DEPARTMENT STORE ELF
Kit Jefferies, a part-time department store Christmas elf, is an artist who loves life and his family. Unfortunately, his car dies at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere as he is heading home for Christmas. Enter Nick St. George.
Nick is a very unhappy man—he’s achieved his professional goals only to find the rest of his life bleak and empty. Deciding there was only one way to make everything right, he is on his way to San Francisco on a dark mission, and even the horrible sleet storm in his path won’t deter him. That’s when he found Kit.
At first, Nick is pretty sure rescuing Kit was a big mistake. Kit’s personality is just too, well, effervescent. But as the miles go by, Kit begins to bring light to his dark heart. It might even be bright enough to illuminate a Christmas miracle.
Bianca worries that her daddy, Gavin, is lonely. She knows he’s gay and likes the idea of having two dads. So she the best thing that could happen would be for him to have a boyfriend. And since he doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it, she’ll take it into her own hands. She’s going to find him a boyfriend for Christmas.
Problem is, how’s a kid going to do that? So she enlists the unwitting aid of her father’s best friend, the straight and unattached Curtis.
Gavin has a Christmas wish, too, and Curtis setting him up on disastrous dates isn’t part of it! None of those men are who he really wants in life. But he can’t have who he really loves. Is it worth it to have someone who would be second best?
Meanwhile, Curtis finds life becoming complicated as he tries to please Bianca, make Gavin happy, and fend off his own growing and … unexpected feelings. Will anyone’s wish come true?
Harry Fielding is desperately unhappy with his life. He hates his job, his apartment, and most especially, he hates the way he looks. Despite this, once Harry hears that his fantasy man, Javier Torres, is playing Santa at the local gay bar, he can’t wait to get his picture taken sitting on Javier’s lap in hopes of finally catching the sexy man’s attention.
But it all goes wrong, and Harry ends up telling a very different “Santa” exactly how his life could be made better…
What he doesn’t expect is for his Christmas wish to come true! And it might just prove to be the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for!”
Once Javier Torres was a sweet, plump, and very unpopular child. But over the years, he turned himself into a gorgeous gym god. The problem is he’s also become an egotistical snob.
But one day his arrogance pisses off the wrong little old lady, and he wakes up to find that, like the Prince in Beauty and the Beast, he’s been transformed into something from his personal nightmares.
Javier has nowhere to go but back home, where to his surprise, he is greeted with open arms, not just by the family he remembers, but by his new brother-in-law, Cole.
Cole meanwhile suspects there might be a pretty heart locked inside that new body, but has Javier learned enough to earn Cole—instead of coal—for Christmas?
Elliot and Shawn each want to buy the same one-of-a-kind item for Christmas—a very old and expensive antique bed—as a gift for their lovers. But when they both arrive at the store at the same moment, the proprietor tells them to figure out between themselves who gets to purchase the bed.
So Elliot and Shawn decide to hold a contest: winner buys bed.
And so the competitions begin, from selling charity tickets to cleaning out stables, and interpersonal tension and burgeoning attraction mount as the days until Christmas pass. But who deserves the gift more: Elliot, who can afford the expensive gift for his casual sex partner? Or Shawn, who can barely cover rent, who wants it for a man he says he’s head-over-heels for?