Thursday, December 13, 2018

Death to Christmas Sweaters by LE Franks – Warmest Wishes

Chess and Benjamin are casual lovers, each hiding his devotion to the other and his wish for more. But Chess is a wealthy playboy who—Benjamin believes—will never settle down. And Chess is sure, with the way Benjamin keeps him at arm’s length, that he can’t be interested in getting serious.

They’re destined for a head-on collision as Chess plans for a holiday escape designed to send Benjamin’s ardor spiking like the temperatures in Los Angeles, while Benjamin desperately drags his feet, wanting to cool things down to protect his vulnerable heart. But when the ghosts of Chess’s Christmas past and Benjamin’s unwelcome present converge at LAX, it’s obvious there are other forces at play and about to take over.

Drawn into their respective family dramas at a joint gathering, will Chess and Benjamin finally take a stand for each other and the relationship they both want, or will the holiday finally take its toll?

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Advent Calendar Day 13

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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 stars

This short story packs in a lot of issues – and maybe could have had a few less side threads going on, and still been a well-rounded story.

I enjoyed the humour, particularly when the British contingent arrived at an unexpected joint celebration. It also ensured that private thoughts had to be revealed, and the two men finally did some straight talking.

It was a good Christmassy read, reminding me of the many ways in which people choose to spend the season – whether constrained by family or eschewing tradition.

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/M Romance, friends-to-lovers

Chess and Benjamin have been friends forever. They have a great group of friends and they normally have a fun holiday trip with them each year. The main issue is that neither Chess nor Benjamin believe that they can have anything other than what they have.

Chess knows that he wants more, but with Benjamin's flirty nature, Chess believes that Benjamin will never see him as more than just a casual hookup. But when push comes to shove, Benjamin and Chess will need to have a serious talk... family and holiday plans go awry and Chess and Benjamin have to lean on each other in order to survive this crazy year.

It's a sweet friends-to-lovers story, but almost too short to truly get a feel for their relationship and proper development of the craziness that was their holiday. However, it was enjoyable.

This is a cute short story. Both Chess and Benjamin are likeable, if somewhat bland and predictable. The story takes Chess and Benjamin from skittish ‘friends with benefits’ to a committed happily ever after. I found it hard to trust the happily ever after when Benjamin kept going hot and cold on Chess – who was still partying hard at the start of the book. It’s Chess’ Aunt Beatrice who steals the story. She’s a little bit Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey and she did make me smile.

I’m not sure this works as a short story. I feel like the blurb tells most of the story but at the same time, I feel like key moments were rushed and I struggled to connect to characters who weren’t fully developed and a painfully predictable storyline.

LE FRANKS writes M/M romance and is known for her wicked sense of humor and appreciation of the fine art of irony, and the absurd. She writes fast-paced stories filled with emotion and passion and just a little snark. Her characters are quirky and complicated, people living in the margins—men in the middle of their journey, doing the best they can, while searching for a connection to something bigger than themselves.

LE Franks lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, surrounded by inspiration everywhere. She regularly indulges in a passion for travel every chance she gets, and can be found writing about sexy men who desperately need a happily ever after, shoving her cats off her laptop, and plotting her next escape out of the country. And one of these days she’s going to finish that serial killer love story that keeps bubbling around in her head.

LE Franks is a finalist for 2013 & 2014 Rainbow Awards. Her books are available through her publishers at MLR Press, Dreamspinner Press, and Pride Publishing and online bookstores.

Connect with LE

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Google+  ~  Instagram

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Warmest Wishes: Death to Christmas Sweaters by LE Franks to read and review.

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