#Review: Christmas in Peony Harbor, by Rosie Summers

Title: Christmas in Peony Harbor (Aster Island #0)
Author: Rosie Summers
Rating: 3/5 stars

“Escape to Peony Harbor this Christmas! A complete standalone novella in the Aster Island series. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, curl up with a blanket, and relax by the fire as the snow falls quietly on Peony Harbor…

Anna Harper hasn’t been home for Christmas in over three years—ever since she got promoted to editor in chief of the popular Stylish magazine in New York City. But this year is different. When a slew of layoffs hit the glam company a week before the holidays, Anna is both out of a job and in need of a change of scenery.

When Anna returns home to the cozy little island off the coast of New England, she’s only expecting to stay a few days at her sister’s beachfront inn. But when she steps foot on Aster Island, she’s in for one festive surprise. On her first day there, Anna runs into a mysterious guest at the inn—while wearing elf pajamas no less—and although she hates to admit it, Ryan Jackson is bringing up feelings in Anna she’s not sure she’s ready to explore.

Anna’s dreams of settling down and having a family were pushed aside as her career skyrocketed, but maybe it’s time for a change. This year, something’s in the air, and a little pinch of Christmas magic is trying to prove her wrong. As the holidays swing into full gear, Anna must make a decision. Will she give herself over to a Christmas miracle, or when New Year’s Eve rolls around, will she be back in New York City… alone?” (description from Goodreads)

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When the holidays come around I tend to gravitate toward holiday romances. In particular, novellas that I can fit in-between all the chaos the season brings. That’s one of the reasons I picked up Christmas in Peony Harbor. Another was that I was really in the mood for a small town setting (another catnip for me).

I was able to breeze through this novella a bit faster than I realized during a few sessions here and there. Partly that’s because I was drawn toward seeing what would happen next at the small island town of Peony Harbor was established and also to see where Anna and Ryan’s character arcs and growing friendship would lead. It was here that I was a bit disappointed, but maybe I was hoping for more than the length of this book could give. I was hoping to see Anna’s growth on the page and some more development of Ryan’s character. I also felt that I needed some more depth to their interactions while falling for each other. Again, a novella length story makes it challenging, but as a reader I was still left wanting more.

Despite this, I think I’ll be trying out the first novel in this series. The town seems like a great setting. Some of the characters could be fun to read if given the chance to show themselves on the page more. And being that it’s centered around Eloise, and “older” character, I’m going to give it a chance. Everyone deserves a story at any age, not just the twenty-somethings.

All-in-all this was a still a quick, cozy holiday read. A bit light on the romance. A bit light on the story depth. But worth giving a shot.

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You can find this book on:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Rosie Summers is a little bit obsessed with coffee, chocolate, and books…not necessarily in that order. She lives with her husband and children and enjoys writing happily ever afters when everyone else is asleep.

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HRM – New Year Bae-Solutions series

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Overworked and undersexed were the two words that my best friend used to describe me when asked. After packing away my hurt feelings over her assessment, I realized that she was absolutely right. I was way overdue for some relaxation, so when friends surprised me with a trip to an exclusive resort during the winter holidays, I leapt at the opportunity to get away. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would have a chance encounter with a handsome stranger who offered the remedy to all that ailed me. Eight nights together were all that we had to share and I planned to take advantage of every single one of them.

I lost the bet.

I thought my divorce would be the toughest thing I’d experience in years, but going without sex for seven months is hard. Literally. And now, my best friend is helping me find the perfect woman to end my drought. Problem is, none of the women are doing it for me. None of the women are her.

This thing had been going on for a year now. The thing where they’d meet up at this quaint little bed and breakfast to spend a steamy weekend together. It had started last Christmas when they’d both been in Temptation. They’d agreed to the no strings attached occasional trysts, but this holiday season—after all she’d gone through in the past months—Gemma Taylor might need something else; and if Myles Donovan doesn’t agree, she’ll take just six more minutes in his arms.

Some rules are meant to be broken.

A passionate affair with a sexy, charismatic man is right up Valencia Townsend’s alley. Except when that man is her boss and it’s against company policy. He may be irresistible, but she has no intentions of ending her year the same way it began – in a relationship headed nowhere.

The no-fraternization policy Dwayne Albright put in place to protect himself comes back to bite him with a vengeance. He never expected to meet Valencia, who completes him in every way. Now he has five nights—five moments—to decide whether to follow the rules or ring in the new year and every year with his perfect woman.

At a New Year’s Eve Party, four years ago, I met the man who changed the game for me. He was everything I’d imagined for myself and then some! But like a thief in the night, he barged in and stole my heart and hightailed it out of the country without a second glance. Our four-page letters were the only thing that kept us connected. Until they stopped…

Ivory Vaughn was raised to uphold her family’s prestigious expectations. Marry a man from a well-known family. Create a life others envy. Live wealthily ever after.

Her New Year’s Eve date is set to be the start of her perfect life. But when the sexy, unpolished Jackson “Chef” Keating crashes, all plans get thrown to the wind. He might stand for everything she believes is wrong, but Mr. Right is sometimes the man you least expect.

She was the one who got away. That’s what successful author Brandon Cobb thought about his secret college crush Sasha Bennett. The beautiful aspiring artist and free spirit had always been way out of his league – until now. While on tour promoting his latest book, he spots Sasha.

Fate is telling him his timing is finally right. He suggests Sasha spend New Year’s Eve with him. Sasha ditches her date and they have an unforgettable night. When the clock strikes twelve, Brandon makes his move. One kiss leads to two hot kisses and a promise of forever.

Everything about my life is different than before. My deadbeat father died, but I found the family of my wildest dreams. I have more money than I ever thought I’d have, yet all I want is one kiss, one shot with him. The only problem? He’s the hot bartender I always fantasize about, the confidante who never lectures, and the gentleman who never quite gets the hint.

How many more drinks do I have to order before he sees that I’m not just his friend’s newfound sister, but I might be his one chance at forever?

Maybe just one more…

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If you’d like to buy this series you can find all the books on:

Amazon

HRM – New Year’s Resolution, by @CrystelGreene


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Britain’s Prime Minister Mathias Parker, 28, is smart, sophisticated, and sexy as hell. Police Sergeant Daniel Kent, 36, is the PM’s bodyguard. But not for much longer: Daniel has decided to quit. Because Mathias isn’t the obnoxious prat Daniel expected, but the sweetest man he has ever met. And because their intimate nightly encounters aren’t simply recreational, as he’s been trying to convince himself. For Daniel at least, they’ve come to mean something so much more—something that cannot be…

Daniel Kent has never been a fan of Prime Minister Mathias Parker, the hyper-brilliant political wunderkind with the killer cheekbones and the hipster Instagram, and he certainly didn’t vote for him. So, when Daniel starts out as the PM’s personal protection officer at 10 Downing Street, the last thing he expects is falling in love.

But in the long days and nights he spends watching over his young client, Daniel comes to realize that Mathias Parker is more than just talent, looks, and natural leadership: he’s a man of true integrity and determined to serve his country no matter the personal cost.

Daniel and Mathias become friends, then friends with benefits. Neither of them talks about their feelings, but the simple fact is, the young prime minister with the unexpected submissive streak has stolen Daniel’s heart.

When disaster strikes and Mathias nearly gets killed by a would-be assassin, Daniel blames the incident on himself and on his failure to perform like a professional—without emotion.

The prime minister needs to be kept safe. That’s all that matters, and Daniel’s decision stands. He’s going to quit, and he’s going to tell Mathias before the year is out. It’s December 31, so this means tonight.

But Mathias has got something to tell Daniel too…

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS is a contemporary gay romance set in an alternate Britain at some point in the not-so-distant future. It contains a bodyguard caught between duty and love, the hottest prime minister in British history, major mischief after hours in 10 Downing Street, heartbreak and disaster, and a happy ending.

46k words. For readers eighteen and over only!

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon

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About the Author:

The first man I fell in love with was Beauty’s Beast. Next came Robin Hood, then Mr. Darcy.
Two decades of married life later, I still love fictional men – especially when there are two of them in a romance novel who are meant to be!
I like it best when I can create their plights and fights myself, and I can be trusted to always throw in some sizzling hotness and a lot of feels. Here’s my author promise: no fade-outs when things get steamy or emotional, and an ending that will leave you smiling.

I’m a lawyer by training, a lover of pastry, and a believer in Happy Ever Afters. I’ve been wandering the world for quite a while now, mostly opting for the roads less traveled. Today, I live in the beautiful Austrian Alps with my big, noisy family.

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HRM – The Best Gift, by @EliEaston

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With help from a Christmas miracle, two bruised hearts find joy again.

Greg Cabot is the third generation to run Cabot’s Christmas Wonderland and tree farm in rural Vermont. But this year will be his last. Since the death of his son, Sam, in Afghanistan, Greg no longer has the heart to run a business based on holiday cheer. When he picks up a hitchhiking soldier on a snowy night, he finds the help he needs to get his farm through the holidays—and maybe much more.

Sergeant Robbie Sparks doesn’t have much to be thankful for this holiday season. Badly wounded in Afghanistan, he’s spent most of the past year in recovery and was discharged after ten years of service. When fate lands him at Cabot’s tree farm, he feels like he’s fallen into a snow globe reality. Friendly people, gorgeous trees, lots of Christmas kitsch… and Greg Cabot.

Greg believes he’s too heartbroken for romance, but those we love never truly leave us. A little nudge from heaven may help build a bridge for these two men trying to heal. If only they are willing to take that first step.

This stand-alone, long novella is a small town, Christmas cornucopia, May-December, hurt/comfort , military romance stuffed full of family and holiday feels.

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has published over 30 gay romances.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story.  She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time.  She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.

In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

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HRM – Where Forever Started, by @BarbaraElsborg

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What would you do if you saw someone getting beaten up?

Have-a-go hero Barney really should have used his patented superpower—his Very Loud Scream—and not chanced his wobbly, faux bravado. Now he’s dodging a posse of angry yobs, his head reeling from more than the missile that just hit him. Just who is this stranger sprinting at his side?

By the time it’s safe for him and Raf to emerge from their refuge, there’s a definite connection between them. And yet there’s something about Raf’s story that doesn’t quite add up. Will Barney’s I-dared-to-believe dreams go up in smoke or is this New Year’s Eve the one Where Forever Started?

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | Smashwords | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Barbara Elsborg lives in Kent in the South of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Volcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.

After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.

Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they were to write.

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