Reconnecting With Love THE WISHING TREE–A Review

RELEASE-Blitz-Banner-for-Wishing Tree

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M Christmas romance from RJ Scott. THE WISHING TREE is a standalone small town romance that features a youngest brother finally getting his wish, the love of his elder brother’s BFF.

The Wishing Tree coverAbout the book:

It takes an impossible Christmas wish for Bailey to find forever love with his brother’s best friend.

Turning twenty-five and still a virgin, Bailey has barely dated, let alone acted on the private fantasies featuring his brother’s best friend, newly retired hockey star, Kai. All he wants is for Kai to love him, but after a summer when Kai’s anger drove them apart, love doesn’t seem possible at all.

When Kai goes home to Wishing Tree, he knows he owes everyone an apology, not least of all to the man he loves. He’s convinced he can be the man Bailey deserves, and he needs to show Bailey how much he’s changed.

The only problem? Bailey has secrets he’s scared will drive Kai away, and Kai is running out of time to convince Bailey that falling in love starts with a wish, and can end up in forever.

The Wishing Tree is a standalone small-town Christmas MM romance with perfect snow, twinkling lights, a first real kiss, a shy virgin with a silken kink, a retired hockey player, and all the Christmas feels.

How about a little taste?

“Hey, Angel.” He bent at the waist, stretching, but twisting his neck as he did, so he could send me a smile. His caramel eyes were such a beautiful shade, just this side of topaz, and his lips were lush and pink and pillow-soft. He called me Angel because according to him my hair, all blond curls and long made me look like an angel. I didn’t mind him calling me that, I secretly loved it, but when my brothers did it too, then I wanted to murder them in their sleep.

I loved seeing him because he was my entire world and I wanted to tell him everything.

I hated seeing him, because I didn’t know what to say to him, and how in God’s name would I ever be able to tell him anything?

“Hey.” I sketched a wave, the card obvious in my hand and, embarrassed, I shoved it deep into my pocket, hoping he didn’t notice.

“Are you adding a wish?” he asked, then he stalked over to me, and I swear I was going to die on the spot. “I should do that as well.” He lifted the lid to the sheltered card box, and picked up a pen, which he proceeded to tap on the surface. “I’ll have to owe the tree a dollar. I’ll bring it back later.” He glanced up at the tree as if he was apologizing to the skeleton of branches. “I don’t know what to wish for.” He side-eyed me. “What are you wishing for?”

Oh god, my tongue was a hundred times too big for my mouth. I couldn’t tell him all my secrets; I wouldn’t have known where to start. I let out what sounded like a squeak, and same as my brothers, he didn’t pause to let me answer, because he knew as well as they did that I didn’t talk much, that I was shy.

He was a professional hockey player, a star in his own right, twenty-one and with the world at his feet. I’d loved him forever, and I hated that I didn’t see much of him. Just man up and say it. I love you, Kai. Can you kiss me?

My Review:
Bailey Haynes and Kai Buchanan both grew up in Wishing Tree, Vermont, a tiny hamlet that boasted a glorious oak tree that people tied wishes to, in hopes that they’d come true. It’s maybe a bit soppy, but they–and the many visitors to Wishing Tree–believed in that special magic. It especially brought many tourists in the holiday season, and Wishing Tree is a delightful Christmas village, with themed shops, an artisan market, and lots of festive family activities.

Back in the day, Bailey knew his heart’s desire was Kai. He was terrified of coming out, but he was even more terrified the beautiful star hockey player would never love him back. And, that seemed an almost insurmountable ache for a teen. He’d made his last wish on the Wishing Tree ten year ago–that Kai would be his first kiss, and would fall madly in love with him, but that was a besotted teen boy’s wish, and as Bailey is now 25, well, he’s gotten past it. Okay, no, he hasn’t, but he’s still okay being related to Kai by the marriage between his brother and Kai’s sister, right? Being the best uncle is Bailey’s mission, but he can’t do that and continue to avoid Kai whenever he skates back into Wishing Tree–and not especially when he learns Kai is coming back for good.

Kai grew up and followed his dream of becoming a pro hockey player, but he’s always missed his home and family, and lately, he’s worn-down by injuries and his lonely life in Albany. How many times did he stand up as a best man for a teammate who finally married the love of his life? And, yet, Kai couldn’t even admit his own love, Bailey, whom he feared was growing up and probably moving on back in Wishing Tree. Last summer, Kai made a jerk of himself, dazed on pain meds and beer when he lost all composure and lashed out at his father, and then Bailey who’d only sought to comfort him. And, that’s when Kai knew he needed to make a big change. It’s December, and he’s done with rehab, and pro sports and not being around his small, but supportive, family. Freshly retired, he’s going to make amends to all his peeps in Wishing Tree–namely Bailey. If all goes well, he might be able to confess his longstanding love, too.

This is a sweet, slow-burn, small-town Christmas romance that has some fun moments. Both Bailey’s and Kai’s families have suspected the love growing between them, for years now, and they are both overwhelmed by the love and teasing support they experience. Kai is desperate to convince Bailey that his love is ardent and true–and he messes it all up over and over, making Bailey both more frustrated, and more determined to give Kai a wide berth to avoid the humiliation he’s experiencing. Well, until Kai refuses to left himself be shoved back. They make a sexy odd-couple, and its fun to watch these tongue-tied men, Bailey the introvert and Kai the woebegone, reveal their truest selves to each other and their families. Lots of Christmas kitsch and a bit of sexytimes that includes Bailey’s virginity and silk kink in the mix.

Interested? You can find THE WISHING TREE on Goodreads and Amazon.

About the Author:
RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

Catch RJ on her website, Facebook, Goodreads, twitter and LibraryThing.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Sweet and Sexy THE HOLIDAY LIST–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand new contemporary M/M romance from Lane Hayes. THE HOLIDAY LIST is the fourth book in her new The Script Club series, and features a genius astrophysicist who inexplicably ends up helping a single dad connect with his sciencey young son. You can catch my review for earlier books in the series, FOLLOWING THE RULES, RULES OF PLAY, and THE JOCK SCRIPT, but this one is fine read as a standalone, too. I loved it!

Drop down to catch my review and enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon GC.

About the book:

The Mars maestro, the single dad, and a wish list…


Boy, am I lucky! Finding a living situation with a houseful of passionate scientists just before the holidays is ideal in every possible way. As the newest member of the Script Club, I feel it’s important to step up and tackle the to-do list my friends would prefer to avoid. Item one, address the tutoring request from the neighborhood-hottie-slash-single-dad on the next block. I’ve got this!

Or do I?

Handsome, older, sporty gentlemen intimidate me. And Mr. McSwoony doesn’t like the holidays. This may be a daunting task.


What do you do when a new neighbor shows up on your doorstep with cookies and a wacky plan to spread holiday cheer? I don’t need cheer, but I could use help with some of the experiments my son wants to try. I know football, not science. Hopefully, I can talk Chet into a mutually beneficial trade. The only snag is that I’m seriously attracted to my local Mars expert. He’s unintentionally charming…in the very best way.

Don’t quote me, but maybe this holiday elf with thick glasses and a mile-long list might be exactly what I need.

The Holiday List is an MM bisexual, geek/jock romance with a holiday twist featuring a lovable scientist and a single dad who’s probably on the naughty list!

How about a little taste?

“Who said I was lonely? I’m not lonely. I’m just tired of being with myself. That’s not the same thing,” I argued.

“Close enough. One thing that helps me fight the blues is an immediate change of scenery,” Chet pronounced with a wide grin.

“Thanks, Doc, but Linc is coming home this week. I’m not going anywhere.”

“You don’t have to physically go anywhere. You can just switch up your routine and add—”

“Let me guess…holiday cheer?”

Chet beamed. “Yes.”

I had to give the guy credit…he was tenacious.

I couldn’t let him think he’d won too easily, though. I furrowed my brow, giving him my best cranky scowl, and huffed. “You really want to decorate my house?”

He frowned. “No. I want to reset your karma. And mine. You’ve done a good deed here tonight, and I owe you one in turn. I also owe my roommates for their kindness.”

“Putting up a tree is going to help your karma?” I snorted.

“And yours.”

Somehow, I doubted that, but I liked the idea of having an excuse to see him again. “Fine. You can decorate my house.”

Chet whooped as he jumped to his feet. “A nice noble fir would look perfect in that corner of your great room near the fireplace. But of course, closer to the window. We don’t want to worry about fire hazards. What’s your ornament situation? I’m happy to purchase some if needed. Simple red and silver balls are always nice and—”

“I’ve got plenty of balls.” I stood, testing my shoulder to be sure I didn’t do any real damage, as I met him at the door. “It’s getting late. We can talk about this later. You seem like the kind of Christmas elf who needs parameters.”

He snickered, pushing his glasses to the bridge of his nose. “There might be some truth to that statement.”

“Just so we’re clear, I’m not gonna want to wake up in a winter fuckin’ wonderland.”

“Right. Got it.”

I braced my hand on the doorknob, scanning the dimly lit foyer briefly. “Come over Saturday. We can talk about it then. And…you can meet Linc.”

Chet narrowed his eyes. Not gonna lie, his immediate transformation from skinny geek to bad-ass science guy was kinda hot.

“Is this trickery?”

“No, but it might be a good trade. We’ll see.” I shot a lopsided grin his way as I opened the door, pointing at the chair that knocked me on my ass. “This is not an adequate security system. I’ll give you my number. If anything seems suspicious or if you need anything, call me.”

Chet typed my contact info into his cell obediently, then pressed Call so I had his number too. Courtesy complete, he fixed me with a no-nonsense look. “Thank you. For the record, while I appreciate your help tonight, I didn’t agree to—”

“I know, I know.” I stared at him for a long moment.

This had to be one of the oddest yet most interesting nights I’d had in a while. This was probably a good time to remind myself that Chet was my neighbor. My much younger neighbor.

But damn it, he was tempting.

I leaned in and pressed my lips to his. It was featherlight touch, hardly a real kiss at all. It was just enough to make him blush. Chet’s cheeks pinkened, and a flush rose low on his neck.

“Mr. Rooney…”

“Sam,” I gently reminded him. “Good night.”

Don’t ask me how I did it, but I somehow managed not to turn around as I headed down the pathway and up the street to my house. My lips twitched in amusement, giving way to a smile that grew with every step. When I finally got home, I let it fly, grinning like a madman as I chomped on a rosemary shortbread cookie made by my own personal elf.

Was I vaguely alarmed at the concept of letting him put a bunch of holiday crap up in my house? Fuck, yes, I was. Hot kiss or not, nothing was going to happen between us. And I was okay with that. Mostly.

Maybe he was just the diversion I’d needed, ’cause hanging out at home for the next couple of weeks suddenly didn’t seem so bad.

My Review:

Chet is a new housemate in the Script Club of geeky astrophysicists who are all about new experiences and getting the most out of life. He is excited to make these new friends, and help out where he can. And one new chore on the list is to help out the rambunctious youth down the street–and his sexy single dad find some happiness in the holiday season.

Sam is a little bruised and frustrated as a single father–feeling in his heart that his ex is a better dad. He’s definitely the big family, holiday kind. Adding to the issues, Sam is recovering from a knee surgery and on-the-job injuries. He’s a football referee, and is used to being on the road a lot, especially during the holidays. But, he’s also determined to better connect with Lincoln, his 8 year old son who is a high energy science loving kiddo. Sam and Chet have an instant attraction, yet Chet isn’t willing to be a fling, at first. And, if Chet is going to work with Linc, well, he’s also going to fill his house with the holiday spirit.

It’s a sweet and fun holiday story. I really liked Linc, and how Chet was effortlessly awesome at engaging his natural curiosity. Sam starts to fall hard for Chet, too, swooning for the way Linc admires the heck out of Chet. And, well, there’s so much sexytimes, as they experiment their way into love.

Interested? You can find THE HOLIDAY LIST on Goodreads and Amazon.


Click on this Rafflecopter Giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards.

She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.

You can reach out to Lane on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon.