Kutsuya no Musuko – Maaya
A shoe shop owner, his secret hobby and the boy he likes…
Boy likes him, kinks and all. That’s true love right there.
Humbug – Joanna Chambers
Quin Flint is unimpressed when his gorgeous colleague, Rob Paget, asks for extra time off at Christmas. As far as Quin is concerned, Christmas is a giant waste of time. Quin’s on the fast track to partnership, and the season of goodwill is just getting in the way of his next big project. But when Quin’s boss, Marley, confiscates his phone and makes him take an unscheduled day off, Quin finds himself being forced to confront his regrets, past and present, and think about the sort of future he really wants…and who he wants it with.
A highly enjoyable retelling of the classic story of Scrooge in the guise of a workaholic who wouldn’t find the time to take a holiday and expects his subordinates to do the same. Come Christmas time, he found himself alone. Work has eaten up his life and everybody hates him. But good cheer comes from unexpected quarters and he found new love and a new lease on life.
This holiday short is perfect for bed weather days or when you just want to start celebrating early. Because Christmas starts in September why not.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
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“I actually hate Christmas,“ says Eileen. "Everybody has this idea you have to have a good time, like happiness comes in a ruddy packet.” Her face is flushed with heat. “One time, I stayed in bed all day. That was one of my best Christmases.”Rachel Joyce
Lunch Time! – Kobato Mebaru
For what reason does one salaryman keep eating at the company cafeteria that’s notorious for serving horrible food?
Smooth, Mr. Salaryman, very smooth.
Consulting Royalty: Matters of the Heart – Alli Reshi
Demitri is a consultant to an Earth-based task force that solves extraterrestrial crimes. But even his extensive knowledge and non-Earth perspective are strained by the hunt for a serial killer. The situation is further complicated when his childhood friend Devin, a notorious criminal, comes under his care while recovering from a coma. Between hunting a killer, convincing his team to trust Devin, and trying to help Devin recover, Demitri is pulled in too many directions, and he’s not sure he’ll manage to accomplish any of his goals.
Being secretly in love with Devin isn’t helping matters.
It’s like I stumbled into an episode of a crime investigation drama mid-season, something like CSI: Extraterrestrials, episode 6. It started with a recap of the previous episode’s cliffhanger where Devin threatened to kill the POTUS and Demitri tried to stop him. The writing assumes you are already familiar with the characters and how the world is set-up. Putting together everything is no hardship and things do come together okay, although a bit of world-building would do a lot of good. I find the world of multi-specie entities interesting and I hope Alli Reshi might add more details to what is potentially a rich universe to mine with stories.
Demitri and Devin are childhood friends from a faraway planet who were exiled because Devin was deemed insane and Demitri was involved in illegal research in an effort to help his friend. They are also both sitting on a love confession to each other for centuries. Out with it, boys! I am a sucker for a friends-to-lovers trope done well so I was rooting for Demitri and Devin (said rooting involves sitting them together and smacking their heads). Devin is still tagged as a criminal and I am curious about his fate so next book, please.
There were hardly any details about them but the rest of the team, Benn, Isaac, Gabrielle, Amy, and Sally were likable people. I want to get to know them so some background info would be nice. They all knew Demitri was in love with Devin, heck, maybe assume they were boyfriends already. They were all egging on the Demitri to just get it on already but the poor man had to keep it all bottled up inside.
The case was a minor subplot, minor as in easy to solve. It was simply a matter of identifying the right specie then wait for it to appear. On the upside, it was another way to introduce an interesting new alien to the story. I’m hoping the next case would be more challenging and the investigation be more rigorous. It’s partly what I signed up for after all.
So, major points on the interesting premise, the characters and the romance, hopefully better world building and harder cases to solve next time. This series shows good promise so I want to see where the author takes it.
I received a copy of Matters of the Heart from Less Than Three Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it
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Thanks for being my best friend and making my life bearable. Oh, and sorry I fell in love with you for a while there.Leigh Bardugo