Vanilla-Free Christmas: Manlove Edition

Rebecca Brochu;Pelaam;Nicola Cameron;Giselle Renarde;Troy Storm
Vanilla-Free Christmas: Manlove Edition
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Evernight Publishing
Release Date
December 2012
BDSM, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ, Ménage or more

This Christmas, good will isn't all these sexy men are going to get…

Ménage loving and chance encounters will make the holidays merry and bright and hot enough to keep out the cold. From a romp in Santa's candy house to a dinner party where chains and collars are required attire, Christmas for these naughty men is going to be anything but vanilla.

Be Warned: m/m sex, m/m/m ménage sex, BDSM, sex toys, rimming

Book Review by Valentina Heart (author,reviewer)
Dec 28, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
171 people found the following review helpful
These is something mysterious when it comes to reading anthologies, because each story is a big unknown until you actually start unwrapping the present. In this one, the biggest mystery for me was that lack of vanilla the title promised and while I got a couple of interesting wrapped up gifts, the rest was in the lines of average or even a bit strange.

In Boughs of Love by Rebecca Brochu, I got to know Reese who took on raising his brother's daughter Holly after the accident that took away her parents' lives. He does everything for Holly and each joy she experiences puts a smile on his face, so it's not all that strange when he indulges her and goes to buy the biggest tree she can find. What he didn't expect was to find a hot worker (Keifer) there and for the man to refuse to leave his thoughts.

This was my favorite story of the bunch, simply because of the great tension and the wonderful descriptions of want between the characters. It's surprisingly low on sex, but the sparks between the characters make up for it and I did wish the story was longer.

Dressed for Dinner by Pelaam on the other hand was all about sex with Kevin and his Master Stefan attending a type of themed party revolving around their lifestyle. The story is really BDSM focused, but I found it to have little actual substance and had trouble connecting to the characters or enjoying their play. This one was not for me.

I loved Paul, the main character in Tied with a Bow by Nicola Cameron. His story was probably the most inspirational one of the bunch and his secret life as writer of gay ménages definitely made it more playful. I loved the humor in this one and his somewhat awkward way as he fought his attraction to his two neighbors. I loved how he put them in his story, especially since it filled the air with expectation. My remark would be the too quick switch to the ending and the very realization of his fantasies. As a big ménage fan, I do want a bit more work in such relationships.

Enough about Earl by Giselle Renarde was a bit unemotional, or I experienced it that way. Jodee and Cam are best friends, but Jodee used to have a crush on gay Cam and now she's talking constantly about her gay college friend Earl, making Cam bite his tongue almost each time she speaks.

They are attending a Christmas party where they would meet Earl and his best friend Kyle, who also has jealousy issues, and the pairings happen from there. The very couples, though obvious, didn't really work for me. I knew too little about Jodee and Kyle, and yet they took so much page space, while Earl and Cam wanted different things and seem to take the edge off or forget more than they actually wanted to have any type of a relationship.

The Christmas Cookies by Troy Storm was terribly confusing to me. It all starts with Ben, the mailroom clerk eating some spiked cookies and his bosses, the company owner Art and the office manager Marv, rescuing him from further embarrassment. The story had a good start, but the resulting ménage seemed strained and the story jumps only jumbled it further.

Each of these stories brought a little kink into Christmas cheer and while some are better than others, overall this is a well-rounded anthology and not a bad way to meet some new authors.
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