Feliz: 4 Sweet Peas for A Secret Valentine by BG Thomas

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BLURB: After his divorce, Steve Manchester came out so he could be himself and find love with another man. But as it turns out, the only man he really wants is his sweet, intelligent, and gorgeous best friend Burgess Cameron. Burgess, however, wants to keep the relationship platonic. When Steve can no longer stand the unrequited love, he decides to move to San Francisco to start a new life. But before he leaves, Burgess invites him to a Valentine’s Day dance, where Cupid may have other plans for them both!

Title: A Secret Valentine
Author: BG Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Publication Date: February 1, 2014
Series: A Valentine Rainbow
Cover Art: DWS Photography
Length: 44 pages

FELIZ’S OPINION: REVIEW: : This story was part of DSP’s 2014 Valentine’s Day Collection, a perfect little treat in this box of sweets. It’s in Steve’s 1st person POV, and I liked his narrative voice a lot—fresh and genuine. Reading the story actually felt like I was listening to Steve telling it to me, as if he were a real person sharing his and Burgess’s trials and tribulations on their way to their happy end. And that’s all about all there is, interspersed with flashbacks at their first meeting and at the circuits they made toward each other via two red-headed brothers (I loved Kayden and Jayden!) and Steve’s assignment in a foreign city. Just enough misunderstandings and manly lack of conversation to create a bit of frustrated wanting to bang the guys’ heads together, just enough sex to keep things interesting and just enough cute and sweet to warm my reader’s heart.

A Secret Valentine is a pleasant friends-to-lovers, not overly demanding, simply just right when you’re in the mood for a light, positive read.

MR. P’S RATING: 4 Sweet Peas!

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Josie Reviews Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf by BG Thomas

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“You’re not selfish!” Kit shook his head vehemently. Oh, but I am, little department store elf. “You helped me,” said Kit
GENRE: M/M, holiday
RATING: 5 Sweet Peas! Highly Recommended

BLURB: 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 that blocked 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.

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Title: Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf
Author: BG Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Publication Date: December 1, 2013
Series: Dreamspinner Advent Calendar 2013
Cover Art: Paul Richmond
Length: 90 pages

JOSIE’S OPINION: Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf by BG Thomas, part of the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar Heartwarming, is the perfect Christmas Story.

Nick St. George is an unhappy man, he may have money and success but he is lonely and bitter, his life pretty much a mess. Thrown out by his parents years before when they found out he was gay Nick lives his life conservatively, he doesn’t hide his sexuality it’s more that he doesn’t advertise it, no Rainbow Parades in Nick’s life, a decision that’s cost him at least one relationship.

Driving to San Francisco on Christmas Eve Nick is caught in a blizzard and seeks shelter at a rest stop, there he encounters obviously gay, out and proud artist Kit ‘Kitten’ Jefferies who’s trying to get home, which just happens to be in the same direction Nick is traveling. Nick very reluctantly agrees to take Kit home, at first Nick finds Kit annoying, he won’t stop talking, he’s bubbly and happy, but as they travel Nick warms to Kit. Kit is also attracted to Nick but finds him difficult initially, calling him Grumble Monkey in reference to all the moaning he does, but as they get closer to Kit’s home the men draw closer.

What happens when they get to Kit’s destination? Will Nick just wave goodbye and carry on to San Francisco?

I loved this story, it reminded me of films I’ve watched of strangers forced into road trips across America. Kit is sociable, he talks a mile to the dozen, he’s jolly, bubbly and he loves Christmas, exactly the opposite of Nick. Nick is tired and jaded. Tired of trying to prove himself to parents who don’t care, tired of trying to fit into a world that doesn’t want him, at least not as he is. Travelling with Kit forces Nick to revaluate his life, in fact Kit brings out the best in Nick, something the reader realises long before Nick does.

And the ending, It was unexpected and left me with tears in my eyes. I urge you to read Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf, it’s beautiful and sad, joyful and uplifting, it will touch your heart. I also have to mention the adorable cover and wonderful title, which rolls off the tongue so sweetly, Grumble Monkey is everything a Christmas story should be. If you only read one story this Christmas make sure it’s this one, you won’t be disappointed. Highly Recommended

The Boy Who Came In From the Cold by BG Thomas: Review at Mrs Condit’s

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“Todd! Are you okay?” Gabe asked, alarm capturing his features. I don’t know, Todd thought. I have no fucking idea. Because as wrong as he’d always been told such feelings should be, his heart was telling him-singing to him-that nothing have ever been so right.

GENRE: M/M
RATING: 4 Sweet Peas!

Title: The Boy Who Came In From the Cold
Author: BG Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Publication Date: May 29, 2013
Length: 284 pages

BLURB: Todd Burton has had enough of small-town Buckman. His abusive stepfather calls him a fag; his friend Austin makes him realize he may be gay, but Todd doesn’t want to admit his stepfather is right; and he dreams of being a chef. Three good reasons to flee his hometown and pursue greener pastures. But when Todd reaches the big city, his luck runs dry. Soon he can’t pay his rent and gets evicted. In the middle of a snowstorm.

Gabe Richards is a wealthy businessman with enough wounds of his own to make him afraid of ever being intimate again. But when he sees Todd outside his building, freezing to death, he takes pity on him and takes him in from the cold.

To their mutual surprise, Todd and Gabe find themselves drawn to each other. “One night” turns into a week. Maybe letting a man in from the cold can melt the ice around Gabe’s heart—and maybe getting evicted will turn Todd’s luck around.

JOSIE’S OPINION: Todd Buckman came to the Big City full of dreams and aspirations. Escaping from his indifferent mother and abusive step father he wants to make something of his life, become a chef, like all the chefs he’s watched on TV, but he soon he finds nothing but a pile of ash in place of his dreams. Homeless and destitute in the middle of a snow storm, with nothing more than the clothes in his back Todd has no idea which way to turn when Gabe Richards, offering kindness and his sofa for the night, takes pity of the young man he spots sheltering from the weather in his building’s lobby.

Gabe Richards is a lonely workaholic who just can’t walk away from the young man he sees in need, so he offers a roof over his head and friendship, as well as a shoulder to cry on. Initially attracted to the young man, who he at first mistakes for a gay hustler, Gabe sees in Todd a chance to repay kindness he once experienced. Soon the two men slot into an easy camaraderie. But can they have more?

As both men fight their attraction to each other can Todd accept that he might be gay, and that Gabe might be more to him than just a friend? And can Gabe trust again, trust Todd with his heart as well as his possessions?

I enjoyed this book, it had a quirky gentle rhythm to it that kept me hooked, and I kept sneaking it out when I shouldn’t, just to read a few more pages. It’s written from alternate POVs and I’ve never read a book with so much internal monologue, although at times it seemed a bit too much, it was lovely to follow Todd as he comes to the realisation that’s he’s not quite as straight as he thought he was. Gabe was so sweet and trusting; through his own internal musings we got to know so much about him, why he thought nothing of helping Todd, a stranger, and why he was reluctant to take it any further than friendship.

The story is full of richly detailed secondary characters, Tracey, Gabe’s fiercely protective friend and colleague, Cody, Todd’s unexpected confidant are just two, and Peter, Gabe’s boss who warrants a special mention, he was flamboyant, witty and charming and just perfect, especially when he regales a starry eyed Todd with how he met Gabe.

This book is just delicious; it’s humorous and funny, quirky and charming, an all-round fabulous read. It’s a perfect way to spend a few hours, and recommended for anyone who wants a Cinderella type story full of angst, heartbreak, surprising twists and a happy ending.

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Holiday Book Review: Bianca’s Plan by BG Thomas

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BLURB: Bianca worries that her daddy, Gavin, is lonely and decides he needs a boyfriend for Christmas. So she enlists 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! Meanwhile, Curtis finds life becoming complicated as he tries to please Bianca, make Gavin happy, and fend off his own unexpected mixed feelings. Will anyone’s wish come true?

Title: Bianca’s Plan
Author: B. G. Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Series: Advent Calendar 2012: Evergreen
Genre: glbt, family, holiday
Length: 49 pages
Favorite character: Curtis, Gavin and Bianca – They all made this one really nice
Favorite quote: You are straight, right?

MR. P’S OPINION: Bianca wants a partner for her father and another father for herself. She’d really love for it to be Curtis, who she thinks would be a great match for his best friend (and her father) Gavin.

But Curtis is straight and says he’s not interested. Bianca asks him to help her set up Dad with a man, but Curtis quickly nixes that idea, too. Bianca, however, is quite determined to follow through on her plan.

Gavin is stuck working Thanksgiving, when he’d rather be home with his daughter and best friend. A delightful memory they all shared was the only thing making the interminable day a little brighter.

During dinner Bianca asks a question that causes her father and his best friend a lot of agitation. Afterward Curtis agrees to help Bianca set her father up.

A series of really bad dates follow (did I mention they were REALLY bad?)

This was an incredibly sweet story of family and friends and the ties that bind. I may have gotten a little sniffly at one point (or two).

I won’t deny that I didn’t want it to be over as quickly as it was (the story is 49 pages), but these people definitely worked well together and it made for a very happy ending.

MR. P’S RATING: 4 Sweet Peas!