Hello my people!
This December has been about refilling my creative well. When you're a writer, creating on a consistent basis takes a great deal out of you. Oftentimes, when I feel as if I'm having trouble focusing on my own work, I realize I need to stop being an author for a few days and return to my reader roots. For this sabbatical, I chose three books by author Keira Andrews. Now, let me say, when you're going on a writing sabbatical, you have to be very selective of how your going to use your down time. As a fan of Ms. Andrews' prior works, I was more than happy to dive into this bundle of goodness in the form of two of her novellas, In Case of Emergency and Eight Nights in December, and her novel, Kidnapped by the Pirate. Check below for my individual thoughts on each.
Former stepbrothers find Christmas romance under the tree. After years alone, Daniel Diaz is finally ready to shake up his orderly, solitary life. He's about to leave for a cozy Christmas getaway with his new man when he gets the call from the ER that his former stepbrother has been admitted with a concussion and a broken hand—and Cole put him down as his emergency contact. Why the hell would he do that? Daniel barely knows the guy. After all, their parents' marriage lasted less than a year and it was a decade ago! But Cole has no one else to look after him and strict doctor's orders not to be left alone. So fine, Daniel will bring him along on vacation to make sure he doesn't starve or fall into a coma. This is supposed to be Daniel's chance to explore romance again after locking down his feelings for too long—except it turns out his could-be boyfriend is more interested in partying and being an obnoxious jerk. Daniel sends him packing, and now he's stuck with a virtual stranger in an isolated mountain cabin. Cole Smith crushed hard on cranky Daniel when they were teenagers. Alone with him in a romantic winter wonderland, those feelings roar back to life. Glimpsing the caring, vulnerable man under Daniel's frosty shell, he yearns to get closer. Christmas is a time for surprises, and Daniel and Cole discover a scorching connection that just might melt their hearts. This fluffy gay Christmas romance from Keira Andrews features former stepbrothers reconnecting as adults, sexy hot-tub shenanigans, cuddling by the fire, and of course a happy ending. 32,000 words.
This novella is a lighthearted quick read with very little angst. It's well-written (never doubted that it would be, because Keira...), and filled with fun, humor, and sexy goodness. The only negative thing I experienced reading this was I felt the conflict wasn't deep enough. Daniel's quasi-boyfriend's dickish moves weren't enough to make me feel as invested in the conflict as I would have liked to have been. That aside, it's a great, quick read that will make you smile.
A geek. A virgin. One sexy holiday. Orphaned Lucas figures spending the holidays with his obnoxious roommate’s family in New York City is better than staying alone on campus upstate. He ends up sharing a room again, this time with his roommate’s brother, Nate. Geeky photographer Nate isn’t at all what Lucas expects. In fact, he’s incredibly sexy—especially when he invites Lucas into his darkroom... They hide their attraction during Hanukkah celebrations, but behind closed doors, Lucas and Nate can’t keep their hands (or mouths) off each other. Nate’s only looking for a bit of holiday fun, and amazing sex with a hot virgin definitely fits the bill. Yet as the candles burn, Nate and Lucas begin to realize eight nights will never be enough. This gay holiday romance from Keira Andrews features secret trysts, new adult angst, spinning the dreidel, and of course a happy ending. 25,000 words. Note: Originally published as Eight Nights. New edition significantly revised and expanded.
Full disclosure, YA is not my thing as a reader. It's not a sub-genre I would normally select when making a book purchase. However, this is Keira Andrews we're talking about, so I was pretty certain going in I would like it.
As expected, my initial assumption was correct. YA or not, this novella is a fun, fresh read that delivers humor, sexy discovery, and entertainment all in one story. This is definitely a must-read.
Will a virgin captive surrender to this pirate’s sinful touch? Nathaniel Bainbridge is used to hiding, whether it’s concealing his struggles with reading or his forbidden desire for men. Under the thumb of his controlling father, the governor of Primrose Isle, he’s sailing to the fledging colony, where he’ll surrender to a respectable marriage for his family’s financial gain. Then pirates strike and he’s kidnapped for ransom by the Sea Hawk, a legendary villain of the New World. Bitter and jaded, Hawk harbors futile dreams of leaving the sea for a quiet life, but men like him don’t deserve peace. He has a score to settle with Nathaniel’s father—the very man whose treachery forced him into piracy—and he’s sure Nathaniel is just as contemptible. Yet as days pass in close quarters, Nathaniel’s feisty spirit and alluring innocence beguile and bewitch. Although Hawk knows he must keep his distance, the desire to teach Nathaniel the pleasure men can share grows uncontrollable. It’s not as though Hawk would ever feel anything for him besides lust… Nathaniel realizes the fearsome Sea Hawk’s reputation is largely invented, and he sees the lonely man beneath the myth, willingly surrendering to his captor body and soul. As a pirate’s prisoner, he is finally free to be his true self. The crew has been promised the ransom Nathaniel will bring, yet as danger mounts and the time nears to give him up, Hawk’s biggest battle could be with his own heart. This May-December gay romance from Keira Andrews features classic tropes including: a tough alpha pirate too afraid to love, a plucky virgin captive half his age, enemies to lovers, first-time sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending. 85,000 words.
OMG!!! This book is everything!! With swashbuckling pirates who ooze sex appeal, and fiesty, naive Englishmen whose hidden desires aren't as hidden as one might think, this book is a recipe for how exciting and erotic a historical romance can be when done right. I'm also thrilled that the author didn't see the need to ignore that people of color existed as more than slaves during this time. Yes, people of color were slaves, pirates, and even wealthy during this time too. Thank you Ms. Andrews for a book that made me clutch my pearls and nearly swoon with the vapors as I read it.
As expected, these books were amazing. In my opinion, you just can't go wrong with a Kiera Andrews story. Now, check below for this amazing giveaway!
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:
“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”