Review: Gifts for the Season: Winter & Christmas MM Charity Anthology by Various Authors

 A charity anthology from your favorite MM romance authors featuring fifteen brand new stories.

RJ Scott - Single Dad Christmas
It would be a Christmas miracle if he loved me back.

Annabeth Albert - Must Be Santa
Tis the season for Operation Christmas Papa!

Joanna Chambers - The First Snow of Winter
Christmas Eve, 1814: a maimed war hero and the childhood friend he almost kissed five years earlier are trapped together by the first snow of winter.

Eli Easton - Twelve Days of UPS
What happens when your Secret Santa is less intriguing than the delivery man who brings the gifts?

Suki Fleet - Sometimes, Always
When Echo’s Christmas Eve surprise for Peri goes a little sideways, it turns into a night they’ll both remember for the best reasons, for always.

Lane Hayes - Out For The Holidays
Good Things Happen When You’re Out for the Holidays!

Annabelle Jacobs - Driving Home For Christmas
A road trip, snowstorm, and only one big bed at the Inn…

Alex Jane - Homestead for the Holidays
Alone in a cabin in snowy Nebraska for Christmas

Amber Kell - A Santa for Trin
Everyone needs a bit of Christmas magic.

Garrett Leigh - No Place Like Home
As long as they’re together, love always wins

V.L. Locey - Dressed In Holiday Style
Can the spirit of Christmas save this budding love affair?

Clare London - Five Gold Blings
Where Christmas sparkle leads two lonely hearts.

Posy Roberts - Sojourn with You
This year, a place to stay is the best Christmas gift Sawyer could ask for.

Felice Stevens - The Gift of Forever
What do you get the man who has everything?

AE Via - An Unworthy Gift
What do the lonely do at Christmas?


Adam - 3.5 Hearts

This holiday anthology will definitely put you in the seasonal mood! The stories are a mixed bag, but overall they brought feels, some heat, and a lot of Christmas cheer. And even better - all proceeds go to The Trevor Project.

Oddly enough, my favourites from the anthology both had deliverymen in them - Twelve Days of UPS by Eli Easton and Five Gold Blings by Clare London. I too would like a hunky deliveryman at my door for Christmas!

My one complaint - most of these short stories have connections to prior books, and that wasn’t always clear in the blurb. Prior reading will definitely make a difference in the experience.

However, all of these shorts can be read on their own regardless. So bundle-up and enjoy!

Out for the Holidays by Lane Hayes - 2 Hearts

I haven’t read Lane Hayes’ Out in the Deep, so I was a bit in the dark about the relationship. This is very much so a case where reading the couple’s backstory makes all the difference in enjoyment. Also the holiday vibe was a bit too low-key.

And beyond the relationship between the two MCs, I also felt that the family drama was a lot without the context of the background.

That being said, they’re still a cute couple and they get full points for their bedroom performance. Recommended for past readers of Gabe and Derek’s love story.

Single Dad Christmas by R.J. Scott - 3.5 Hearts

This was such a sweet little story. But I also wanted to give Austin a thump on the head - he just needed to tell Paul how he felt, and then let Paul talk. Kudos to Paul for wrangling the kids and Austin.

Readers won’t necessarily get the background of how Paul and Austin fell for each other, but there’s definitely no doubt that they’re head-over-heels in love.

Bonus points for fitting all that Christmas cheer into such a short story. And for the delightful kids! Their antics were hilarious.

I would definitely read a follow-up to see where Austin, Paul, and the kids go next.

Twelve Days of Christmas by Eli Easton - 4 Hearts

Right off the bat, kudos to the author for writing a COVID-era love story. 2020 has been anything but sunshine and roses, but I appreciated the realism.

And it made the romance all the more precious - because we deserve some joy these days!

This was an absolutely adorable short story - the mystery of the gifts, how Paul and Dan went from relative strangers to friends with mutual crushes, and the happy ending.

In just a few pages, I was thoroughly sold on Dan and Paul’s romance. The connection between them is undeniable.

This was very much so just the beginning to their story, so there’s room for more!

Must be Santa by Annabeth Albert - 3 Hearts

I thoroughly enjoyed Teddy and Nick’s love story in Better Not Pout. It was the perfect mix of romance and holiday feels. So I was excited to read this short story!

The two men are still head-over-heels in love with each other. And they’re also still complete polar opposites.

But what they’re definitely on the same page about - making a home for Nathalie and James.

It’s not easy, but slowly the four do come to understand each other. And just in time to celebrate their first holiday season together as a family, with the requisite visit to Santa, baked goods, and some time with the large McNally family.

Overall, this was a cute follow-up to Teddy and Nick’s story. Recommended if you’ve read Better Not Pout.

The First Snow of Winter by Joanna Chambers - 3.5 Hearts

This was trademark Joanna Chambers - two complex men skirting around each other before they figure out how to make things work. All against an atmospheric Regency era holiday setting.

Sam and Jasper’s romance is one of childhood friendship and a love cut short. So it was entirely believable that they’d fall back into each other’s arms quickly once they had the chance.

And I was all for it! They’re sweet together, and accept one another as he is. Sam could understand Jasper’s struggles with hiding his sexuality, while Jasper saw beyond Sam’s injury.

If you’re looking for a short interlude in Regency MM, ‘The First Snow of Winter’ will do the trick!

Five Gold Blings by Clare London - 4 Hearts

This was an excellent amuse-bouche! I haven’t read anything by Clare London before, so I wasn’t sure what I would get.

This short little story delivered laughs, feels, sexytimes, and holiday cheer, all with a bow on top!

Both of the characters were adorable - Gray’s grouchiness and Alec’s sunshine. And it was absolutely adorable how quickly Gray got with the program, despite his protests.

The sweetest part was how they both brightened each other’s lives so quickly. Yes it’s insta-love and that’s not always believable, but hey I’m more than happy to root for it when it’s undeniable!

Overall, very sweet story. Would read more of Alec and Gray.

Sojourn with You by Posy Roberts - 2 Hearts This short story started off pretty cute, between Sawyer’s earnest crush, Gregg’s unintentional flirting, and Murphy the sweet dog.

I was digging how the two men were becoming close friends, all the while circling towards something deeper.

And then it ended with no resolution.

This is apparently just the beginning of Sawyer and Gregg’s story. I think there really should be something in the blurb to indicate that. Frankly, I was expecting a complete story and the decidedly non-romantic and unexpected ending just left a bit of a sour taste.

As it is, I don’t expect I’ll be continuing Gregg and Sawyer’s story.

Sometimes, Always by Suki Fleet - 3 Hearts

I haven’t read Peri and Echo’s story in ‘Sometimes There’s Stars’, but I didn’t find it difficult at all to see the love between the two men. They were so entwined.

Perhaps a bit too entwined at times with the borderline mind-reading, but hey, that didn’t detract from the feels and cuteness.

This short will probably do more for you if you’ve read Peri and Echo’s full story. But regardless, it’s an enjoyable sweet holiday read, with a surprising amount of heat.

No Place Like Home by Garrett Leigh - Did Not Read

Garrett Leigh’s Roads series is one of the few that I never got into, and that I didn’t complete. This short continues Pete and Ash’s story. I’m sure fans of the series will appreciate this story!

The Gift of Forever by Felice Stevens - 3 Hearts

I haven’t read Frisco and Torre’s full story in Never Say Never, but that didn’t at all detract from this follow-up. It’s obvious that they have a very sweet and very steamy romance.

I was all for it!

Overall, I quite enjoyed this short story. It was a perfect holiday morsel, complete with sugar cookies and good food.

Recommended if you’ve previously read and enjoyed Frisco and Torre’s love story!

Driving Home for Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs - 3.5 Hearts

This was sweet! I do like a good snowed-in story. Plus, Tom and Jared definitely warmed each other up.

Even better was the friends-to-lovers angle. It was easy to believe that Jared and Tom would be able to build on their friendship for their happy ending.

However, this was definitely a major case of miscommunication/lack of communication, which was frustrating. Which isn’t my favourite, but wasn’t at all a dealbreaker.

Recommended if you’re looking for a friends-to-lovers short with some angsting.

A Santa for Trin by Amber Kell - 2 Hearts

This short holiday story follows two couples from Amber Kell’s Moon Pack series (Dara/Steven and Anthony/Silver). And also Anthony and Silver’s son Trin.

I haven’t read any of those books previously, so I’m definitely missing that connection/context.

That being said, it was still an okay read. I got the vibe - the joy of Santa for kids, and how family brings people together during the holidays.

Recommended if you’ve read the Moon Pack series previously.

Homestead for the Holidays by Alex Jane - 4 Hearts

A perfect friends-to-lovers Christmas romance!

I really liked how obvious Jace and CJ’s love for each other was, even if it was only (outwardly at least) as friends at first.

Bonus points for CJ being a big old softie, with a love for holiday decorating and jingles.

This may be a very short read, but it packs some great feels and sweet moments. I would definitely read more of CJ and Jace’s story!

Shee Reader - 5 Hearts

I read a few of these stories and they were festive perfection! Some were re-visits to established couples from other books, and some were brand new stories. Each had its own merits , and the whole thing was a real joy.

I absolutely loved the Single Dad Christmas (by RJ Scott), An Unworthy Gift (by AE Via) and The Gift of forever (by Felice Stevens) but my absolute fave was Twelve Days of UPS by Eli Easton.

The story of a successful and nice, but lonely guy who is new to the area getting gifts from a secret Santa was so lovely. The fact that the gifts were perfect because they were from dear old friends was even better, but the loveliest but was that the gifts were sent because the friends thought the UPS guy would be an excellent love match! Seeing the development of the relationship from delivery guy and homeowner to the joyous Christmas “I wanted it to be you” moment was a delight from start to finish!

The whole anthology was great (and for charity too) but my heart was stolen by Eli Easton.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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