Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Novella Reviews: Iced and #ChristmasHatesYouToo

Bah Humbug is the Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar. You can buy the whole calendar, or you can buy the individual novellas. I'm here today to share a couple novella reviews; not all the titles have their own cover, but if they do, I'll share it!

Iced by Jon Keys

Review by Lauren

source: copy from publisher; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryKeith Walker, a mall bookstore employee, is struggling to get through another miserable holiday season while trying to preserve a crumbling long-term relationship. One of his few comforts is his morning coffee made by a good-looking, younger barista. Austin Novak felt an attraction when Keith started frequenting the coffee shop, but he doesn’t think the older man has any interest in him or his graphic novel collection.

A Christmas week snowstorm buries the city and locks Keith’s car into its parking spot. Keith decides to show Austin his gratitude for helping free the car from the ice with a dinner invitation. The meal becomes complicated when Austin meets Keith’s boyfriend, Shawn, and things go downhill from there when Shawn announces he’s heading to CancĂșn with his coworkers. Keith is caught between keeping his boyfriend happy and keeping his job. But Keith might not need a plane ticket to find the happiness that’s been missing from his life.

Review: I really enjoyed Iced. It's a simple story, with Keith having a crush on the barista, Austin. One night it gets so cold and icy, his car is stuck in the mall parking lot, and Austin comes to his rescue. As a thanks, he invites him over to dinner, where they find Keith's boyfriend Shawn with his best friend. It's obvious the two are a little flirtatious and Austin is angry on Keith's behalf.

I thought Keith was a really good guy, but he definitely lets people walk over him. Austin is more outspoken and he does care for Keith, but ultimately, he just wishes that Keith wasn't with Shawn - who is obviously bad for him. As it's a novella, you don't get a ton of character growth, but when it comes to Austin and Keith, there isn't much they need to change. Keith just needs to stand up for himself more. It's a good, quick read!

Want to buy Iced? Get it from Amazon for $1.99

#ChristmasHatesYouToo by E.F. Mulder

Review by Lauren

source: copy from publisher; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryBorn December 25, Noel Beebe is tired of having his birthday overshadowed by all things Christmas. While looking for love on social media, he comes across a prospective new beau just in time to celebrate the Big 3-0, someone who encourages him to take back his day and say thumbs down to Christmas! On a trip to the Big Apple, Noel does just that, flipping off the Rockefeller Center tree and demanding his coffee in a nondecorative paper cup as a fun birthday prank. His act of defiance is caught on video and soon goes viral, leading to a backlash all over the Twitterverse, Internet, and TV. Suddenly what Noel thought would be his best birthday—and even Christmas—yet is shaping up to be his worst. Can his family and his potential boyfriend prove to the world that Noel isn’t the Scrooge he’s been labeled?

Review: I really loved this novella! Noel (rhymes with Joel, not No-El) isn't a big fan of being born on December 25th. It just means that his birthday gets mixed in with Christmas and it's not really celebrated all on its own. When he ends up going out on a date with someone he met via Twitter, they persuade him to have a little fun and pronounce his hatred of Christmas wherever they go. For example, when visiting a coffee shop, Noel will loudly say how he hates Christmas and he doesn't want a holiday cup, he wants a regular cup! The man he's out with video tapes most of these interactions and puts some up on his Twitter feed. Unfortunately, Noel's videos go viral.

Suddenly, he's all over the news. The hashtag "#ChristmasHatesYouToo" is used over and over. Everyone in the world seems to think that Noel is an awful person who hates Christmas and somehow, America. It's ridiculous, but it's definitely upsetting and Noel doesn't know what to do to show that he really doesn't hate all these things. It was just for fun.

It's ultimately up to Noel's potential boyfriend, friends, and family to "clear" Noel's name. All in all, it's a really cute read. I thought the premise was kind of fun - I could definitely see someone doing something similar to Noel all in good fun and having it blown way out of proportion.

Want to read #ChristmasHatesYouToo? Buy it from Amazon for $3.99


Verushka Byrow said...

Oh man #Christmashatesyoutoo sounds like so much fun! Poor Noel! My cousin is born on Dec 31 and that happens every year without fail -- it's all about NYE!

Liz. R said...

I can just imagine that sort of video from #ChristmasHatesYouToo going viral! It must be difficult being born on Christmas day though, I can sympathise with Noel. Glad he had people to help clear his name!

Talk Supe said...

OMG Christmas Hates You's cover art is awesome! Also the novella sounds like a fun story, definitely my type

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Lisa Mandina said...

I have to say I love the cover of this book! The second story sounds pretty cute. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Great reviews!