Two holiday tales that prove you can have your peppermint stick…and eat it too . An Improper Holiday by K.A. MitchellIan Stanton is the earl’s dutiful second son, always doing the proper thing. One exquisite exception: Nicholas Chatham. Except the consummation of their two-year relationship left Ian convinced that their desires were never meant to be indulged. Five yearsTwo holiday tales that prove you can have your peppermint stick…and eat it too. An Improper Holiday by K.A. MitchellIan Stanton is the earl’s dutiful second son, always doing the proper thing. One exquisite exception: Nicholas Chatham. Except the consummation of their two-year relationship left Ian convinced that their desires were never meant to be indulged. Five years later, Ian is home from war, wounded in body and spirit. Nicky never believed what they felt for each other was wrong, and he has plans to make things right. Now he has only twelve nights to convince Ian that happiness is not the price of honor and duty, but its reward. The Dickens With Love by Josh LanyonThree years ago, antiquarian James Winter lost everything: his job, his lover and his self-respect. Now a rich collector wants him to do whatever it takes to buy a newly discovered Christmas story by Charles Dickens from the nutty professor who owns it. The catch: the buyer must remain anonymous. Sedgwick Crisparkle turns out to be totally gorgeous—and on the prowl. Faster than you can say “Old St. Nick”, they’re mixing business with pleasure. But once Sedgwick discovers James has been a very bad boy, their chance for happiness is disappearing quicker than Santa’s sleigh....
|Title||:||To All a (Very Sexy) Good Night|
|Number of Pages||:||272 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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To All a (Very Sexy) Good Night Reviews
The Dickens With Love by Josh Lanyon The Dickens With Love is a Christmas story that proves that also a library mouse can fall in love, and surprise surprise, for another mouse too! Yes, since the classical Cinderfella story, mixed with Christmas feelings, would suggest that our hero is being rescued from a cold and lonely Christmas day by a knight in shining armour, and instead, of shining, the other hero has only the horn-rimmed glasses. James Winter is a book hunter, better he was a very good book hunter before losing his credibility when the antiquarian he was working for was found out with the hand in the jam, meaning that he was selling fake rare books. Just from that you have probably understood that James is not exactly Indiana Jones, the biggest adventures he probably had in his life was to find a rare book in the attic of some old lady, but James loves books and for him, even that was a fantastic adventure. Now he is deprived of all of that, he is forced to work in a department store selling cheap books to even cheaper buyers and he is dying inside. When an unscrupulous man asks him to deal in his name for a unpublished manuscript by Charles Dickens, even if James doesn’t like the man, the chance is too great to renounce. The owner of the rare book, Sedgwick Crisparkle is an English professor who has some hidden reasons to auction the book far from England and in a as much as possible anonymous way. There is a bit of mystery here, probably Josh Lanyon is not able to write a novel without a bit of mystery, but actually it’s a really old fashioned and sweet mystery, very much in line with the entire story. Anyway when James meets Sedge, the real reason behind the meeting is soon forgotten, and they are swept away in a whirlwind romance… with green and red flavoured condoms and posh hotels. It seems that Sedge is more interesting in tasting life (pun intended), in each possible way, and soon is better than later, almost essential. Sedge is like a child on a Christmas morning, eager to unwrap all the toys to then decide which toy will be the first to play with. James is a bit disoriented, Sedge has the attitude of a stuffy English professor, and the grace of an elephant, but then suddenly he looks James with yearning eyes, demanding love… well not exactly love, he is demanding sex, but still with the eyes of a puppy, so that James is unable to resist. Problem is that Sedge is also impulsive and easy to come out with sharp words, and James is still quite sensible on some arguments. The two together seem to work only when they are not speaking and also when the alcohol helped them to loose a bit of their inhibition. What probably I like most of both men is that they are so sweet and tender, they are not at all macho man, neither Sedge when he is trying to be gallant, he is more a kitten who is trying to growl like a lion. But then there is no need to knights in shining armours in this story, there are no real dangers and the only thing you can hurt are feelings. After all we are not speaking of deadly weapon, but of an old leather manuscript. Even the villain is not so dangerous and the worst thing that can happen is to go back home with a black eye. An Improper Holiday by K.A. Mitchell In 1814, after the Battle of Badajoz, Ian has one reason more to not consider himself a proper man, he lost a limb in battle and not he is not even up to the task he was destined to as second son of an Earl, to be an army officer. He is now living wandering from one relative to another, trying to choose the one who pities him less. He is probably searching to disappear from the world, and so he is not so happy when his brother, the Earl, asks him to be the chaperon to their sister to the annual Twelve Night fete at Carleigh Castle: the heir to the Marques, Nicholas, was not only Ian’s best friend at school, he was also his first love. Like so many lovers before them, when they were young and careless, they swore to be everything for each other for forever and ever, but then the war changed it all. There is a right characterization in both men: Ian is the typical second son, the one to whom everyone, from his father to his tutors, always instilled the concept of honour. His family was not enough wealthy to provide for him, and so Ian had to find his way in the world alone; he was supposed to be an officer, he was supposed to be independent. Not yet out of school, and in love with another man, Ian was forced to enlist and leave everything he knew. He did that to honour what everyone expected from him, and even if he didn’t leave Nicky with a promise to come back, inside his heart he was bound to be an honoured man even with him: Nicky was his first man, and Ian was determined to maintain him the only one also. In every aspect of his life, with his family and with his lover, Ian was and still is a perfect romance hero. And as a perfect romance hero, when he comes back home with an heavy handicap, he can’t consider to “impose” himself upon his lover, that, on the other hand, being a first son and heir, has to marry and fathered one heir or two at least. Probably in Ian’s mind, if Nicky marries a woman, it’s not almost a betrayal; it’s another way to be an honoured man, something Ian can perfectly comprehend. So, in his “innocence”, Ian doesn’t consider Nicky totally lost, in a way he is still faithful to the memory of their past love. It’s so with despair that Ian discovers that, not only Nicky was not faithful to them when Ian came back home as a less than full man, he wasn’t neither faithful to them when Ian was in battle. Nicky tells to himself that it was the need of companionship, maybe even the fear for what could happen to his lover, but in a way or another, Nicky didn’t respect the unsaid pact of being faithful to Ian. And, again, I think this is quite right with his character: Nicky is the first son, the heir; he has no need to be an honoured man; he will have everything thanks to his birth right. Oh yes, while Ian was away, he conspired with Ian’s sister, Charlotte, to have news on Ian himself, but this is the only hint I have that Nicky was as involved in their relationship as Ian was and still is. Now that Ian is back home, Nicky is bent upon the task to convince the man that they can be still together, that there are way for them to be couple, even if not in front of the society, at least in the intimacy of their bedroom. The solution is simple, and probably one that many before them took. But still, even if Nicky is now behaving as a man in love, I would not say that he is a perfect romance hero like Ian, I think he is a bit selfish and for sure a spoiled brat. The setting is quite nice, the story turns mainly around Ian and Nicky, but there are some interesting supporting characters, and I liked very much as the author described the different connections inside both families, of Ian and Nicky; there are all the different possible relationships of the time, the widowed and ruined cousin, the married but without child sister who plays the role of mistress of the house ad interim, the old father, the distant brother… it’s like an handbook of a noble English family of the nineteen century. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1605049220/?...
Every year around Christmas I give myself a present: books by Josh Lanyon. I first found him when looking for something new to read a few years ago, when Amazon suggested one of his Adrien English gay mysteries. Not usually my sort of thing, but I was in a reading funk, so I decided to take a chance and try it. Needless to say, Adrien (and Josh) won me over, and I've been reading Lanyon's work ever since. Unfortunately for this reader, most of his work is only available in e-book form, so I'm usually behind when it comes to his titles; I'm strange in that I really like the "physical" book in my hand. This year was no different as far as giving myself my present; I ordered three books, all of which has short stories/novellas by Lanyon. I picked up this work first, thinking it would be a good choice for the holidays. And I wasn't disappointed - by Lanyon. The other story? Well, let's look at that one first, shall we?In "An Improper Holiday" by K. A. Mitchell, "Ian Stanton is the earl's dutiful second son, always doing the proper thing. One exquisite exception: Nicholas Chatham. Except the consummation of their two-year relationship left Ian convinced that their desires were never meant to be indulged. Five years later, Ian is home from was, wounded in body and spirit. Nicky never believed what they felt for each other was wrong, and he has plans to make things right. Now he has only twelve nights to convince Ian that happiness is not the price of honor and duty, but its reward." So what's not to love, right? Hmm... that's what still has me wondering. The writing is good, I'll give the author that. But the feel of the story isn't to my liking. Ian is a classic case of the conflicted gay man, wanting what his heart and body tell him he wants, but knowing that society and religion tell him it's wrong. Nicky seems to be completely oblivious to those same social and religious mores, and I think that's part of the problem. He's a little too flamboyant for a gay man of those times (or that's how it felt to me). Another problem is the "love" story between the two men; I wasn't feeling that until almost the very end of the book. Rather the previous relationship gave the author reason to write sex scene after sex scene. Finally, there are other characters in the story as well that turn out to be gay - a lot of them, and some very central characters. While I agree that there are probably more gay people out there than some would think, this seemed to be taking a few liberties. Again, it just didn't feel right. And it gave the author a very convenient way to end the story, which didn't exactly sit right with me either. Overall, I'm not likely to pick up another work by Ms. Mitchell.Let's move on to Josh's story, "The Dickens With Love". "Three years ago, antiquarian James Winter lost everything: his job, his lover and his self-respect. Now a rich collector wants him to do whatever it takes to buy a newly discovered Christmas story by Charles Dickens from the nutty professor who owns it. The catch: the buyer must remain anonymous. Sedgwick Crisparkle turns out to be totally gorgeous - and on the prowl. Faster than you can say "Old St. Nick", they're mixing business with pleasure. But once Sedgwick discovers James has been a very bad boy, their chance for happiness is disappearing quicker than Santa's sleigh."Talk about a Christmas treat! Lanyon hits it out of the park again with this wonderful story about a man trying to redeem himself. Winter's buyer is appropriately sleazy, and you just know that he won't appreciate the newly found Dickens's story as he should. I liked the touch of Sedgwick's name, too; James doesn't believe it's his real name since it would mean that his parents named him after a character in another Dickens's novel. I think what makes this story (and most of Lanyon's, if I'm honest), is his attention to the details. Yes, he's writing man-on-man romance, but he always gives a good description of the physical setting, this time the Hotel Del Monte in California. I feel as if I'd know the place if I traveled there, that's how good he is with setting the scene! And he nails the character development, too, giving the reader a chance to know the characters. In fact, I always finish his stories wanting him to go back to said characters so we can catch up. I thought James was just perfect, a professional who has been burnt in his profession, doing what he has to do to survive, but desperately wanting to get back to what he used to be. He has a conscience, and that definitely plays into the story. Sedgwick is wonderful, too, giving us a taste of a man away from home, wanting to be who he really is, but not wanting to hurt his family. When the two come together to discuss the book, the sparks just fly - and you know what's just around the page. Perhaps the best part of the story is James reading the newly found Dickens's story. After all, no book dealer worth his salt would sign off on the authenticity of such a work without thoroughly examining it. I felt James' excitement as he got farther and farther into the story, and also his extreme disappointment when it looks as if his world is crashing down again; he's upset over Sedgwick, but also devastated that he won't get to finish the story. That's exactly how real bibliophiles react! And that's the sort of detail that makes Lanyon's work such a pleasure to read. Yes, the male romance (and sex) angle isn't going to be for everyone, but trust me - his stories are good. And when the storyline can stand on its own, then the romance just adds to overall effect. I highly recommend you check out his work, regardless of your "usual" reading fare; you won't be disappointed.
What a great book! Why I want so long to read it is beyond me. Both story were excellent. It's the first time I read a story by KA Mitchell and I really loved it. It's a historical piece. I would highly recommend reading this book.
This book consists of two stories: An Improper Holiday, which is a historical one, and The Dickens With Love, the contemporary. I like both, though JL's one more to my liking. I love how Josh Lanyon made his character still has his wits & humor (albeit dark ones, sometimes) even when he's in the lowest of circumstances. This I often find in JL's books that I've read so far; which I like so very much. The chemistry and bantering between the fall-from-grace antiquarian and the nutty professor is just appealing.As for the Hon. Mr. Stanton and Lord Amherst of the first story... I feel that there's a few missing links there. Also, call me hypocritical but I don't really agree with how the storyline went, just so all the people involved can have their happy endings.
4.1 StarsAM/M Romance Group Team Spin Spellapalooza Challenge read. (Go Team 6 - Living In Spin!!!)One of the better combined story books with Christmas themes. Very much liked the Josh Lanyon one, more than I expected (I absolutely HATE all Christmas music and most movies - A Christmas Story and the Rudolf cartoon with Ermey & the Island of Misfits Toys are the two exceptions). And this was the first regency-ish story I've ever read from Mitchell. Most of the rest I adore, so I was a bit fearful a change in genre wouldn't translate well...but it did.
This was a very sweet read about men who love each other. One is a historical, set in England, while the other is contemporary, set in Los Angeles. In both selections, the men have to look beneath the surface to determine if their relationship will withstand outside forces. Confusion about what each wants, pressures from family or concerns that ones motive may be driven by monetary gain. Both stories are well written with compassionate men who are truly looking for love.
An Improper Holiday by K.A. Mitchell - 2.5 starsThe Dickens With Love by Josh Lanyon - 5 stars: my review is here.
An improper holiday by K.A. Mitchell - 2 starsThe Dickens with love by Josh Lanyon - 4 stars
Read the stand alone An Improper Holiday.