Review: Not So Vanilla, by Morgan Noel

Title: Not So Vanilla
Author: Morgan Noel
Rating: 2.5/5 stars

“Bartholomew’s life is perfect. He’s got a job he loves, he’s in a committed relationship with his loving boyfriend who appreciates his neurotic tendencies, social anxiety, and general awkwardness. It’s not ‘white-picket-fence-and-Golden-Retriever’-perfect, but their nice little apartment in the city and the cat they rescued from the shelter come pretty close. 

The domestic bliss gets disturbed when his boyfriend Kyle brings a very hot friend from high school into their sanctuary, making both of them wonder if perhaps ‘perfect’ is as relative as good sex.” (description from Goodreads)

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A quick read (listen, for me technically). Didn’t end up enjoying it as much as I had thought going into it. I felt a potential for these characters to really go somewhere and develop, but much was left out for me. There’s a great premise having a third guy come to live with a couple and there was conflict there. Mew had a chance to grow both sexually and socially, too. While he technically did by the end, it was a bit too easy of a conclusion and then the story was over. I think working this into a larger story could do all the characters justice and I would be interested in reading that book.

Still, with the potential I feel it had, I’ll be checking out more of Noel’s writing. I may stick to text over audio though. Mew came out as too whiny for being a sole narrator and maybe that shaped his character into an even less enjoyable one than he was created to be.

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You can buy this book from:

AmazonAudible

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About the Author:

Full of snark and bitterness about failed careers, I’ve decided to pursue writing, like a real author

Find out more:

HRM – Wrapped Together, by @AnnabethAlbert

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We’re almost out of days in December. I hope you’ve found a few books to read this month from these posts. And if you’re still wanting more, there are still some holiday romances to lead you into the new year.

And if you enjoy today’s, it’s part of Annabeth Albert’s Portland Heat series. You’ll have much more reading ahead of you if needed.

In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .

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

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Frequent tweeter, professional grammar nerd, and obsessive reader, Annabeth Albert is also a Pacific Northwest romance writer in a variety of subgenres.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

Find out more:

HRM – A Very Marian Christmas, by @lucylennoxMM

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12 Marian Men-A-Mating… I mean, A-Meeting 
11 Blind Dates-A-Blinding 
10 Lords-A-Leaping 
9 Ladies Dancing (okay, maybe that’s Griff) 
8 Kids-A-Complaining 
7 Changes-A-Clothing 
6 Love Junk Gadgets 
5 **DRA-AAG QUEENS** 
4 Calling Neighbors 
3 Nosy Grannies 
2 Men Falling In Love 
And a partridge in a pear tree.

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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:

After enjoying creative writing as a child, Lucy didn’t write her first novel until she was over 40 years old. Her debut novel, Borrowing Blue, was published in the autumn of 2016. Lucy has an English Literature degree from Vanderbilt University, but that doesn’t hold a candle to the years and years of staying up all night reading tantalizing novels on her own. She has three children, plays tennis, and hates folding laundry. While her husband is no shmoopy romance hero, he is very good at math, cooks a mean lasagne, has gorgeous eyes, looks hot in his business clothes, and makes her laugh every single day.

Lucy hopes you enjoy sexy heroes as much as she does. Happy reading!

Find out more:

HRM – Holiday Romance from @EliEaston

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Toby Kincaid loves being the junior librarian in his hometown of Sandy Lake, Ohio. He spends his days surrounded by books and chatting with the library patrons. He especially adores the head librarian, Mr. Miggles, who is kind, witty, knowlegable about everything, and hopelessly addicted to Christmas. Sean Miggles is also pretty cute—especially for an older guy who wears ties and suit pants every day.

But Sean keeps himself at a distance, and there’s a sadness about him that Toby can’t figure out. When Sean is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he gives up without a fight. Toby realizes that he alone can save the library—and their head librarian.

Toby will need to uncover the darkness in Sean’s past and prove to him that he deserves a second chance at life and at love too. And while Christmas miracles are being handed out, maybe Toby will get his own dearest wish—to love and be loved by Mr. Miggles.

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When physics grad student Fielding Monroe and skirt-chaser and football player Mick Colman become college housemates, they’re both in for a whole new education. Mick looks out for the absent-minded genius, and he helps Fielding clean up his appearance and discover all the silly pleasures his strict upbringing as a child prodigy denied him. They become best friends.

It’s all well and good until they run into a cheerleader who calls Mick the ‘best kisser on campus.’ Fielding has never been kissed, and he decides Mick and only Mick can teach him how it’s done. After all, the physics department’s Christmas party is coming up with its dreaded mistletoe. Fielding wants to impress his peers and look cool for once in his life. The thing about Fielding is, once he locks onto an idea, it’s almost impossible to get him to change his mind. And he just doesn’t understand why his straight best friend would have a problem providing a little demonstration.

Mick knows kissing is a dangerous game. If he gives in, it would take a miracle for the thing not to turn into a disaster. Then again, if the kissing lessons get out of hand they can always blame it on the mistletoe.

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If you’d like to buy a copy of Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles, you can find it on:

Amazon | SmashwordsKobo | B&N

And if you want to grab Blame it on the Mistletoe, that can be found over on:

Amazon | SmashwordsKobo | B&N

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Other holiday romances from Eli Easton:

Desperately Seeking Santa

Amazon

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Unwrapping Hank

Amazon | SmashwordsB&N

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Midwinter Night’s Dream

Amazon | SmashwordsKobo | B&N

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A Prairie Dog’s Love Song

Amazon | Kobo | B&N

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About the Author:

Having been, at various times, and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of metaphysical thrillers, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of 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, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest writing.

Find out more:

HRM – Two from @helenjwrites

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Matt Bartlett and his family have been pulled apart in the last year by his dad’s affair and the subsequent divorce. Now Christmas is looming, and Matt and his sister are expected to play nice and share the holidays with his dad’s new family.

Lucky for Matt, his best friend Aedan Gallagher arrives on his doorstep on Christmas morning, bringing with him a much-needed blast of festive cheer and plenty of sparkle.

As they navigate Matt’s vindictive step-mother and Aedan’s own family trouble, Matt starts to realise that Aedan might be more than just a friend to him. But with everything else threatening to fall apart around them, he’s not sure if he should dare risk taking the next step. If he doesn’t though, he could lose Aedan forever.

Glitter on the Garland is a standalone gay romance novel with a HEA and no cliffhanger.

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Aedan wants everything to be just perfect for his boyfriend of seven years, Matt, for their first Christmas in their new home. But it’s Christmas Eve and he’s running out of time to create an idyllic winter wonderland. To make matters worse, Matt’s present hasn’t arrived.

A misunderstanding means the holiday might be ruined before it even begins. But little does Aedan know, Matt has a surprise or two of his own up his Christmas sweater sleeve.

Sparkle to the Season is a short and steamy sequel to Glitter on the Garland, although it can be read as a standalone, so long as you enjoy happy ever afters.

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If you’d like to buy a copy of Glitter on the Garland, you can find it on:

Amazon

And if you want to grab Sparkle to the Season, that can be found over on:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Helen Juliet is a contemporary MM romance author living in London with her husband and two balls of fluff that occasionally pretend to be cats. She began writing at an early age, later honing her craft online in the world of fanfiction on sites like Wattpad. Fifteen years and over a million words later, she sought out original MM novels to read. She never thought she would be any good at romance, but once she turned her hand to it she discovered she in fact adored it. By the end of 2016 she had written her first book of her own, and in 2017 she fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a fulltime author.

She also writes contemporary American MM romance as HJ Welch.

Find out more:

HRM – Holiday Romance from @Jay_Northcote

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Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship…

Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son there aren’t many hours left over. He’s lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn’t mention that he has a child. It’s early days and he’s worried about putting Luke off before they get to know each other.

Luke is currently working as Santa at the local shopping mall. He figures Theo never has to know. Christmas will be over soon and Luke will move on to a new, less embarrassing job. He’s surprised when Theo and a little boy visit Santa one afternoon. Theo doesn’t recognise Luke, and Luke realises he’s not the only one with a secret.

Despite misgivings on both sides, they start dating, and the chemistry is amazing. But as Christmas approaches their secrets pile up like colourful packages under the tree. If they’re not careful, they’ll lose the best gift of all—each other.

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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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For more holiday reading from Jay, here are three more:

Amazon | Smashwords | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Amazon

Amazon

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

Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

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About the Author:

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. Jay has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and he also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

Find out more:

HRM – Feathers from the Sky, by @PosyRoberts

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Cal Thompson is going a little mad over the Christmas holiday, stuck in a tiny house with fourteen members of his immediate family. There’s no privacy and no boyfriend to help him cope—because Philip is still a secret, though not for long. Cal’s family knows he’s bisexual, but they’ve always assumed Cal would marry a woman and be fruitful and multiply. Just as he’s ready to set the record straight, his parents tell the family they’re selling the family house and tip this introvert’s world on edge.

Philip Sherman arrives at Cal’s family home to find his lover mourning the loss of his home, paralyzed by the abrupt and unexpected announcement that trumped his own. Though Philip takes the setback in stride, they won’t be able to avoid the calling of their hearts for long: Cal needs to reveal the truth of his relationship with Philip to his family, and Philip has a question he’s desperate to have answered.

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

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.

She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.

Her stories have been USA Today’s Happily Ever After Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.

Find out more: