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Winter Warmers [Kindle Edition]

Chrissy Munder , Clare London , JL Merrow , Josephine Myles , Lou Harper

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Book Description

Baby, it's cold outside! Beat the chill with Winter Warmers—a seasonal anthology.

Mulled wine. Butterscotch kisses. Hideous sweaters. Candy at the beach, or a trip to a sex shop in Amsterdam. And the man of your dreams, wrapped around you...

Winter warmers come in many shapes and sizes, from the tongue-in-cheek to the hot-as-hell. Enjoy a quintet of heart-warming tales of men loving men from Clare London, Chrissy Munder, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, and Lou Harper that are guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.

One thing's for sure—it's going to be a red-hot Christmas!

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 482 KB
  • Print Length: 155 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pink Squirrel Press (26 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006F8QFTG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #296,148 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will Warm Your Heart and Your Pants 9 Feb. 2012
By DarienMoya - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I am so happy I read this book, even though anthologies are my least fave to read. Well I have no complaints, I loved this book every freaking story had me grinning, and getting feelings in my heart. A perfect Christmas read, about the joys of the holiday. It could have been all `happy love is all we need' but each story had a little something more. Every story has a uniqueness that stand on its own. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one.

Lucky Dip by Clare London
We find Andrew Jackson a teacher preparing for the school's annual Christmas party. The stress is high and the kids are rowdy but he can't disappoint them. When he is paired with his ex-boyfriend Gregg who dumped him a few weeks before. Andrew is feeling like things can't get any worse. When both men get locked in a storage closet they both have to face the feelings they still have for each other, and Gregg has some grovelling to do.

This story was super cute. I loved the kids and Andrew is this clumsy and sweet man. Greg seems like a go-getter, all suave and charming. I really liked the theme of this one, lovers finding their way back to each other over the holidays. It's definitely the tamest story when it comes to sex, but what it lacks in hot sure makes it up in cute.

Butterscotch Kisses by Chrissy Munder
Mathew Morrison is the shy guy, not as outgoing as he wants to be. He is determined over the holidays to get over his fear of heights. He feels that he can make the climb to the top of the hill and kick fear in its butt he will finally get the confidence he lacks. A series of attempts prove unsuccessful, but the 'cute ticket guy' surely lifts his spirits. Mathew decides to try his fear conquering on one of the coldest and its cute ticket guy to the rescue.

I enjoyed Mathew. He is such an endearing character, he will so definitely capture you heart. I wanted him to have everything he wanted. His determination might even have given him a chance at love. This story was super sweet.

Wintertide by Lou Harper
Two men have a meeting at a Santa Monica Pier just weeks before Christmas. Jem a young man finding his way in the world, and Oscar the older man slowly making his way from losing his partner of many years. Their meeting leads to a night of hot sex, and a little misunderstanding on Jem's part that might keep them apart. This novella stood out to me, it has a small paranormal aspect to it but nothing that is too unbelievable. I loved that Oscar's POV was included, it made the characters richer and in the end, you wanted them to both find happiness and love with each other. This story made me sad and happy at the same.

When In Amsterdam by Josephine Myles
I am seriously jonesing for this one. I loved this sexy little Christmas kink story. Brandon is visiting Amsterdam with his new boyfriend Jos for their Sinterklass celebration. It's a new and budding relationship but you can tell that both men feel strongly for each other. There is the shyness from Brandon who feels that he might not be able to offer what Jos needs sexually, but he blows that out the water.

It is.... I can't even find the words, but it's my absolute favourite in the entire anthology. I loved the diversity with which you always find in Josephine's writing. I love the interracial love, just makes the story so much more. I am just in love with this one, an awesmazing job.

A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips and Thou by J.L Merrow
Last but certainly not least is my second fave short in the anthology. It's quirky and its fun and I love the witches. Liam is the only man in a house full of women, making it by playing the sax at King's Cross-station. There is a man who always captures his interest, but can never find the opportunity to make a move. When his mom and Aunt's give him some crazy Christmas gifts, Liam might actually land the man he has had his eye on.

This was super cute and funny, with a mix of sexy. I loved all the quirky characters and the playful dialogue, definitely a winner by J.L Merrow. It was a joy to read.

Overall, this anthology was super awesome. There is a story in here for every reader. Each one offers its own unique writing style and though the theme here is all about Christmas, none of the stories can be compared to each other. It's the erotic, meets the sweet and in comes the sexy. This one caused a whole lot of pants losing, and I am still at this moment searching for them. It will warm your heart and have you burning in other places. Fantastic!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sweet Treat 9 Feb. 2012
By L. Horan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
If there's a time of year to allow oneself to believe in the promise of love and romance, it's the holiday season, and these five contributing authors deliver that magic beautifully in Winter Warmers, a collection of short stories that range from poignant to comical to sexy to just a little bit kinky, but will surely make you believe there's something special about this time of year.

Clare London delivers a "the one that got away" story in Lucky Dip, in which Greg must seek forgiveness from Andy, the man he dumped, and learns that the true gift during this holiday season is the gift of a second chance.

Butterscotch Kisses by Chrissy Munder is the story of a man, Matthew, who tries valiantly to overcome his fear of heights but finds that his true conquest might just be Adam, the cute ticket guy in the squirrely hats who comes to his rescue.

Lou Harper's Wintertide is the supremely touching story of a May/December romance between Oscar and Jem, a man who finds healing and redemption in the arms of a near perfect stranger, and discovers that letting go does not mean forgetting.

Josephine Myles delivers an oh-so-sexy story that leaves no doubt as to whether it's possible to be both naughty and nice at Christmastime and still get everything you want. On holiday in Amsterdam to meet his boyfriend's family, Brandon quickly learns that where Jos is concerned, taking charge and dominating his boy is better than anything Sinterklaas could leave in his stocking. After all, When in Amsterdam...

Rounding out the collection is JL Merrow's A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips, and Thou, a wonderfully clever story told by Liam, a mohawked punk with more charm and wit than anyone has a right to have. He's had his eye on the older man he sees every day at King's Cross station, but can't seem to catch the man's eye. That is, until his well meaning mum and aunts decide to brew up a strategy guaranteed to add a little bit of color to his plumage. When he finally catches Neil's eye, Liam learns the anticipation of unwrapping a gift is half the fun of the holidays.

If you're in the mood for a yummy yuletide collection, Winter Warmers might be the perfect treat.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great winter anthology 8 Feb. 2012
By JayHJay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Winter Warmers is a holiday anthology by five great authors. Each one is short story length making for a solid novel-sized book. I really enjoyed the anthology and would definitely recommend it. The stories have a nice range from sweet and fun to hot and sexy. Below I have a summary and some thoughts on each of the stories.

Title: Lucky Dip
Author: Clare London

The story opens with school teacher Andy Jackson helping to get ready for the school Christmas Fair. It is a bit chaotic and Andy is more than a little clumsy and he is even more stressed with the arrival of Greg Canbury who has come to set up the Lucky Dip booth. Greg is an uncle of one of the students and he and Andy used to date until Greg broke up with him on the school Quiz Night. Andy is shocked when Greg tells him how much he regrets the breakup and how sorry he is and that he wants to get back together. Another clumsy fall by Andy leads to the men getting stuck overnight in the storage closet. Forced together and aided by copious amounts of mulled wine stored in the closet, the men talk through what happened between them. Greg admits to being scared about the strong feelings he had for Andy and apologizes for how he reacted. When Andy sees how sorry Greg is, he is able to forgive him and the men take advantage of their seclusion to get together once again before they are rescued.

I think London does a nice job of giving us a sense of the men and their personalities in such a short story. I felt like I got to know them well, especially Andy with all his anxieties and clumsiness. My only issue with the story was I had a hard time following along in the beginning. Short stories by nature require you to sort of jump in to the middle of things, but I found myself a little lost for a while with all the kids introduced and the bustle happening with the fair. I had a little trouble keeping track of the characters and getting a handle on what was going on. Once the guys moved to being alone together things flowed more smoothly for me and I really enjoyed watching the lovers get reunited with the help of a little liquid courage. This was a sweet story and I was glad to see the guys make it back together.

Title: Butterscotch Kisses
Author: Chrissy Munder

We first meet Matthew Morrison, gloved hands clutching firmly to the railing of the steps to the town toboggan run, determined to face his fear of heights. His recent date dumped him when Matthew was unable to climb the stairs and, with the aid of a self-help manual, Matthew is now determined to face his fears and make his way to the top. Well, that doesn't go so well, at least the first time. So he is back for more every night, each time making his way a bit further to the top. He is anxious and a bit humiliated as kids pass him by on their way to the top, but his spirits are improved by Cute Ticket Guy who greets him each night wearing a different funny animal hat. In addition to his fear of heights, Matthew has got some other issues with confidence, especially when he feels compared to his more outgoing identical twin Eric.

One night while continuing his efforts to make it to the top, Matthew gets caught in a freak storm. He is lost in his fear near the top of the steps and doesn't even realize the increasingly bad weather or how cold he has become. Cute Ticket Guy comes to close down the ride and help Matthew down, sheltering him in his ticket booth and warming him up with hot chocolate and butterscotch schnapps (a Butterscotch Kiss, sounds so yummy!). Cute Ticket Guy turns out to be named Adam and the two men hit if off, talking and flirting and a little kissing, with the promise of more to come.

This was such a sweet story, I really loved it. Matthew is adorable and his inner commentary was so funny. I loved that little bit of dorkiness mixed in with a real desire to overcome his fears and face his challenges. The story had a light tone and lots of humor. This story was a lot of fun with a great tone, sweet characters, and great sexual tension.

Title: Wintertide
Author: Lou Harper

Jem Kowalski is wandering around the Santa Monica pier one cold day when an older man catches his attention. Something about this guy just draws Jem in, and he follows him along the pier, watching him throw something into the water. Jem finally decides to talk to the guy, and after a quick chat and a shared kiss, accepts the man's invitation to come over. Although it seems a bit fast, Jem figures it is not much different than going home with a guy at a club, just different surroundings. The men have sex and settle in for the night, but Jem takes to wandering around the apartment. When he sees signs of another man in the house, he assumes the worst and takes off.

When Oscar Westfield wakes up, he is sad to see that Jem has gone. We switch to his POV and learn that the pictures and other items belong to Charlie, his partner of 20 years who died five years before. Oscar finds himself really drawn to the much younger Jem, who reminds him of Charlie when they first met - sort of wild and untamed and needing care and love. He can't get Jem out of his mind and is determined to find him in hopes of starting a real relationship. I won't say more other than Jem is very happy to see him!

I really liked this story and the dynamic between the two men. Jem is quite a bit younger and a bit wild and impulsive. He is just what Oscar needs to snap him out of the mourning he has been in since Charlie's death. I liked the alternating POV as it gives the reader the perspective of both men as the plot unfolds. Harper does a nice job of taking the story from the quick hookup into something more lasting and meaningful in just a short story.

Title: When in Amsterdam
Author: Josephine Myles

Brandan has come to Amsterdam with Jos, his boyfriend of two months to spend Sinterklass with Jos' family. On the way to the hotel the guys are caught in a sudden downpour and the first place Brandon ducks into to get dry turns out to be a sex shop. Brandon is a bit freaked out. Although not inexperienced, his background is pretty vanilla and he knows Jos has been into more kink with past boyfriends. He worries about what Jos really wants and whether he can meet that need.

After borrowing a dressing room to change into dry clothes, Brandon sees a leather harness that catches his attention in the back room. When Jos offers to model it for him, Brandon finds himself filled with both fear and desire. Seeing Jos strapped into that harness makes Brandon crazy, and he realizes that maybe he can do this after all. The men take off for the hotel where Brandon explores his Dom side and realizes it may not be as buried as he thought.

Wow, this story was hot! Watching Brandon come alive as he realizes how much the dom/sub dynamic really turns him on was incredible. And I really loved the sort of role reversal between them. Often in books I have found that when one partner is new to BDSM it seems to be the sub who is the one being taught. So I thought it was a nice twist to follow Brandon as he learned what it means to be in control and how to use it for both his own pleasure and that of his partner. This story was very romantic and unbelievably sexy. Definitely my favorite of the anthology.

Title: A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips, and Thou
Author: J.L. Merrow

Liam is an out of work musician, playing for money at the King's Cross station and living with his mom and two aunts (who just happen to be witches). He has been watching one particular commuter day after day, a gorgeous older man with silver hair who seems to be avoiding eye contact. His mother and aunts want him to find love, and cook up a little something to make that happen.

The first day one aunt gives him a hideous bright purple knit hat that looks like a tea cosy when sitting on top of his mohawked head. Liam knows better than to refuse to wear it and catches quite a bit of attention, including that of his handsome stranger. The next day he ends up with an incredibly long knitted "Dr. Who" scarf courtesy of his other aunt, drawing even more attention. By day three he is a complete spectacle, adding a hideous, multicolored sweater to the outfit. But this is finally enough to give his handsome stranger the courage to approach him and ask him out (turns out his name is Neil). The men hit it off, sharing drinks and dinner and then attending midnight mass together. Although they must go their separate ways that night, it is clear that there is more to come for Liam and Neil.

I really enjoyed this story, especially Liam and his somewhat kooky family. The tone is very light and humorous, especially Liam's narration which is casual and fun. I love the total acceptance he has for the craziness of his family and the love and devotion between them all is clear. I found the story clever, creative, and a lot of fun.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winter Warming Indeed! 10 Feb. 2012
By Jen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I was really pleased when I heard that this anthology was going to be released. It features four well loved authors in Clare London, Chrissy Munder, Josephine Myles and JL Merrow, plus Lou Harper whose a fairly new author but I liked her story Between Friends in the DSP June Daily Dose anthology, so I knew I was in for a treat with these stories and I wasn't disappointed. This is not an anthology of Christmas stories, but rather each story is set in winter, and as such can be read at any time of the year.

Before I do a round up of each story, I just want to highlight something that really worked for me in this anthology as a whole, which was that each story was firmly routed in its setting, and that each setting was very different to the others. This meant that I was taken from the rather claustrophobic setting of a British Junior school, to the snow and freezing temperatures of a Michigan winter, to the milder winter of Santa Monica, to the canals and architecture of Amsterdam, and finally to London. I found this variety very pleasing indeed.

Clare London's story, Lucky Dip, really showcased the author's talent for situational comedy as it is set in the hectic world of the school Christmas Fair. Year two (7-8 year olds) teacher, Andy, is struggling to get his class stall erected whilst looking after the child of one of the parent helpers. He's pretty annoyed when he finds himself placed next to the lucky dip stall with is being run by his ex-lover Greg. What I really liked about the story, other than the great little jokes about working in a school and dealing with children, was the way that the men were forced to confront their feelings and deal with their issues. It made it impossible for them to run away from the situation, and as such allowed them time to make amends in a realistic fashion. Plus the tone was so lighthearted and fun that it made the story an enjoyable start to the anthology.

Butterscotch Kisses by Chrissy Munder was a change in tone to something a little more sombre, at first. This was a welcome quieter story which focused on Matthew who is trying to overcome his fear of heights. Each day he returns to the toboggan run where his previous boyfriend dumped him in order to try and climb up to the run, and each day he fails. His visits are brightened by chatting to the 'cute ticket guy' who rescues Matthew when a sudden storm blows in. I really felt for Matthew at the beginning as he struggles with something he really has no hope in conquering. My heart ached for his lack of self confidence and I loved the sweet beginnings of his romance with Adam and how that gave him the push he needs to keep going. The little touches, such as Adam's hat and the way he warms Matthew up, not only with heat, but with his words meant that I enjoyed this story a great deal.

Lou Harper's story, Wintertide, was a quieter read and was perfect for the middle of an anthology. It's a May to December romance which takes the theme of moving on from grief. Jem is a young man with a dead end job who takes a trip out to Santa Monica where he meets Oscar, a middle aged man. They click well together but Oscar has to let go of the past before he can move on into a future with Jem. I have a fondness for older/younger man romances and whilst these two don't initially seem as though they would fit together with their different backgrounds and outlook on life, I thought the author did a good job of showing the potential for them as a couple. It's a story of new beginnings and as such we leave them as a HFN, but I felt that worked best within the context of the story and I still felt optimistic for them in the future.

The fourth story, When in Amsterdam by Josephine Myles, was set in Amsterdam during their Sinterklaas celebrations. Black guy Brandon is not happy to see all the 'Golliwogs' in the windows of the stores and no matter how much his Dutch lover Jos tries to explain that they are Pieten, or elves, it doesn't stop Brandon feeling uncomfortable. The pair shelter from the rain in what turns out to be a sex shop where Brandon surprises himself at how much he is turned on by a particular leather harness. There were two elements to this story which worked well for me. Firstly, I loved the setting, especially with the time of year and I very much enjoyed reading about the traditions and the architecture in the city. Secondly, this was a story about changing your perceptions of yourself and I liked the slow way Brandon chases away his misconceptions of Jos' submissiveness, and begins to learn how to make that work within their relationship. I was fanning my face at some of the sexual tension but was so much more than just hot sex, it was also about making a relationship work. Great stuff.

The final story was A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips and Thou by JL Merrow, and was an amusing story full of quirky characters and observational wit. It's taken from the first person narrative of Liam who lives with a coven of witches made up of his mother and two aunts, and who makes his living busking in the London Underground. Each day he sees a hot older man at the tube station but the man never seems too look at him unless to put a pound in his saxophone case. In the days leading up to Christmas his mother and aunts give him a series of bizarre clothing items as early Christmas presents which finally seems to get the man's attention. This was definitely the silliest story out of the anthology with the two main leads almost getting upstaged by Liam's mother and aunts, but it still retained a core of romance as Liam and his 'silver fox' Neil spend a few hours getting to know each other. The London setting with its shift from the tube, to a traditional British pub to an Anglican Church all added to the fun of the story for me and I finished it with a smile on my face.

Often when I read anthologies, I can select a favourite story. Not so with this one because all the stories were equally as entertaining and well written. If you're looking for a set of stories to chase away the cold winter weather then this anthology of contemporary stories will be perfect.. I'm looking forward to more story collections from this new press.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong with this collection. 21 Dec. 2011
By Tam Ames - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is going to be an abbreviated look at each story saying what I liked about it.

Lucky Dip - Clare London: A story of a grade school teacher who is forced to work with his ex (the uncle of a student) to prepare for the Christmas carnival. They manage to get locked in a storage closet for the night, complete with bottles of wine and mince pies where the ex gets a chance to explain his behaviour. I really liked that while it all worked out over the night, Andy didn't give in easily to a second chance. He made him grovel and seriously was ready to move on. I get frustrated when one guy just say "gee sorry" and the other goes "okay". Nooooo. Groveling is good. Lots of fun descriptions of the kids preparing for the fair with a good dose of humour.

Butterscotch Kisses - Chrissy Munder: A man dumped by his bf because of his fear of heights and refusal to go on the toboggan run, is determined to conquer his fear, if it means showing up every day and paying to climb a little more each day. Flirting with the ticket sales guy with the funky hats is just a bonus. When he's rescued by hat boy, they finally get a chance to talk. It was a very cute story and I felt for Matthew who suffered from dyslexia as well and felt that he couldn't live up to the "perfection" that was his twin brother, but was determined to beat this one thing. The hats were amusing.

Wintertide - Lou Harper: Escaping noisy neighbours, Jem sees a sexy older guy on the pier. They flirt and end up at sexy guys place, although later after waking Jem sees pics of another guy and figures he's with a cheater, but Oscar tracks him down and explains it his lover who died and they decide to try dating. This story had one of my hot buttons, BIG age gap. Oscar was 45+ and Jem was not yet 21. Long term viability? I find it hard to buy into that. If I look at in a "for a period of time that works for them" maybe. I just tried not to think about the numbers much. Well written and I'm sure others won't mind the gap at all.

When in Amsterdam - Josephine Myles: An interracial couple head to Amsterdam to spend Christmas with Jos' parents. Brandon is first freaked out by all the pieten he sees in the store windows (little black elves who help Santa) and he's also feeling self-conscious about the fact that Jos is into BDSM and he's very vanilla. However taking shelter in a sex store from the rain, maybe he's not quite as vanilla as he thought and could give Jos what he needs. This was more sexy and intense and a while not angsty or serious, not so light as the others. Seeing vanilla Brandon explore his Dom side was very interesting and hot.

A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips and Thou - JL Merrow: Liam, who lives with his mum and two aunts who are witches, spends his evenings playing his saxophone in the metro to earn cash. Everyday he sees an older man but they never talk. His family is eager to get him mated off but end up knitting him a variety of odd items they insist on wearing. A hat that covers his mohawk, a long Dr. Who scarf and a god awful cardigan. Each item seems to bring him closer to meeting his crush, the cardigan being the last piece of the puzzle. I snickered many times reading this. The hat that looked like he had a tea cozy on his head and the references to Dr. Who were very funny. Even though there was another big age difference, maybe because they only spent the evening together I didn't feel the same squick factor. *shrug* Who knows with me.

Anyway, these stories are all fun reads, all have a light hand with humourous moments, although some are more outright funny and others less so, but when you're in the mood for something that leaves you feeling light and positive about the season it's a great selection. All of these authors are ones I can rely on to give me a good story with strong writing and appealing characters
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