Thursday, November 29, 2018

Hockey Holidays Anthology Blog Tour

This holiday season unwrap a brand-new collection of hockey romances that includes humor, drama, love, and – of course – hockey!

Each book is EXCLUSIVE to the anthology and NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED by USA Today, New York Times, and all your favorite bestselling hockey romance authors.

Our reviews are spotlighting the M/M romance novellas in the anthology.

Dallas Christmas
by RJ Scott

Logan knows lusting after his captain's brother can only lead to trouble. But when fate throws them together, it’s hard not to fall in love.

Holding On Tight
by Susan Scott Shelley

For defenseman Vince Forsberg and his boyfriend Joseph Parelli, the pressure to make their first Christmas together perfect leads to a lot of chaos, holiday mishaps, and some unexpected results.

A Star-Crossed Christmas
by V.L. Locey

Two years ago, Mitch shared an explosive kiss with his childhood friend Shaun. Will Christmas be the time for the two men to find a future together that works?

The anthology is only available until 11.30.18. Grab your copy now, and help make a difference.
**100% of the proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to charity.**

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Buy Links

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
Dallas Christmas by RJ Scott
4 stars
M/M Romance

Logan and Archie had a fling that could have been something. But with Logan not out to his friends and Archie being the brother of one of Logan's teammates... that is just too much against them having a relationship.

Logan can't help but be scared about what his friends and family will think when they find out that he's attracted to men. He is known as the playboy of his team and while it's not necessarily a true observation, Logan doesn't do anything to deter people from believing it.

I really liked how you could see both sides of this story clearly. Logan wants to be able to love whomever he wants and Archie wants a reason to fight for the man he loves.

When all is said and done, Logan and Archie have some choices to make and whether or not they end up together will be a huge factor in which choices are made.

I think of three stories, this was my favorite. It was very well developed.

Holding on Tight by Susan Scott Shelley
3 stars
M/M Romance

Vince and Joseph are almost at a place where everything falls into place. Vince wants so badly to take care of Joseph. He knows that he's lucky to play hockey for a living and wants to make sure that Joseph never wants for anything.

Joseph doesn't necessarily see Vince's generosity as a good thing. He wants to pull his own weight and despite putting out a lot of applications, he's coming up short on a job. Joseph wants Vince to understand this, but both Vince and Joseph's communication style is severely lacking.

This is mostly a story about missing communication, missed opportunities, and overall, the love between two men who won't give up. I was slightly annoyed with all of the miscommunications – it felt very young adult. But it was an overall sweet story.

A Star-Crossed Christmas by V.L. Locey
3.5 stars
Best friends to lovers
M/M Romance

This was a sweet story about a hockey player and snowboarder who realize that they are more than just best friends.

I loved that you were able to see the history behind their friendship and absolutely LOVED the grandma. I also thought that Locey adding in bits and pieces about the moms’ relationship helped seal the relationship history with its present.

It's a quick story and it left me wanting more. I really wanted to see if they were able to truly have the relationship that they both envisioned.

This is a new favourite Christmas read. Anthologies can be a bit hit and miss but I loved all three of the m/m stories I read for review. The length of these short stories is perfect for reading over the busy Christmas holidays when readers only have a few minutes at a time to relax with a book.

RJ Scott’s Dallas Christmas is vaguely tied to her Harrisburg Railers books, but the characters are new and the story easily stands alone. This story features a couple with a history together and a hockey player who might finally be ready to risk his heart. It’s a sweet and angsty read and the couple’s prior history makes the love story believable.

Holding on Tight by Susan Scott Kelley is a story about an established couple struggling to communicate and connect with each other over Christmas. It’s a sweet and sometimes sad story. Joseph’s personal struggles make this more realistic than the average hockey fantasy and I enjoyed the connection between Joseph and Vince.

My favourite story in this collection is VL Locey’s A Star-Crossed Christmas. It tells the story of a hockey player and an Olympic snowboarder. Mitch and Shaun are childhood best friends who start to explore something more than friendship during a Christmas at home with their families. This is the book I’d most love to see as a full-length novel. I loved Mitch and Shaun and I loved their families. I loved the sense of hope and possibility in this new adult romance. The gorgeous New England setting is magical and I didn’t want the story to end.

My 5 star rating is based on the three stories I have read and reviewed below, and the fact that the anthology is at a very low price and its sales contribute to a charity. I bought a copy as well as receiving one to review. I am looking forward to reading more of the stories in the future.

Dallas Christmas (RJ Scott)

This short story avoids the need for insta-love by introducing us to two guys who split due to hockey-playing Logan not wanting the drama that comes with being gay and out in the sport. The fact that the guy is his captain's brother may also be a factor. Luckily, Archie is persistent and confident of his feelings but even so, Logan may just ruin the best thing through his fears. I loved Archie's resilience in the face of Logan's denials.

A Star-Crossed Christmas (V.L. Locey)

This is a Cayuga team story, a series which I have enjoyed a great deal, and would recommend to you. Even though most of the team are open about their sexuality, Mitch identifies as straight, even though his memory of Shaun's kiss haunts his dreams. This is a really fun story bringing together these two childhood friends for a chance at working out what they really mean to each other. Both professional athletes, who went their separate ways after one kissed the other... but both home for Christmas, they may just succumb to the magic of the season.

Holding on Tight (Susan Scott Shelley)

This is a Buffalo Bedlam book, and I have to admit that it is new to me, but I will be visiting earlier stories in the series when I have a minute – which is, after all, one of the joys of reading short stories in anthologies, new discoveries!

I found this short story to pack a lot of punch as it dealt with the realities of the non-hockey player boyfriend having to shape his life around the other. Trying to compromise on career, and deal with issues at his old house whilst also being somewhat beholden to his much richer boyfriend. Yet at the same time, not wanting to be anywhere else, and certainly not with someone else. It is a problem which becomes particularly troublesome at Christmas and almost derails a perfect ending... but luckily the author ensures that we all get the happy ending we desired.

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.

She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit and has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers.

Connect with RJ

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

USA Today bestselling author Susan Scott Shelley writes stories with heat and heart, where love always wins. Her romances give readers lighthearted and emotionally satisfying escapes into happily ever after. In addition to crafting stories, she is also a professional voiceover artist and enjoys lending her voice to a wide range of projects. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and is an avid fan of her hometown sports teams. Her favorite things include running (honestly, it's more like jogging), sports (especially hockey), hard rock (but will listen to anything from heavy metal to show tunes), and writing about people from all walks of life finding their special someone.

Connect with Susan

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V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Doctor Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

Connect with V.L.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Hockey Holiday Anthology to read and review for this tour.

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