Jingle Balls 2 by Mav Anthony, Vic Winter, and Lorne Rodman

Torquere

Gay Anthology

ISBN-13: 978-1-60370-224-9 ISBN-10: 1-60370-224-5

Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

“The Winter God’s Sacrifice” by Mav Anthony

Bel has spent his entire life in the service of the god Urdon.  Now his people are suffering, and a sacrifice is needed.  He must give his life to appease his god—or will his god desire another sacrifice?

“The Winter God’s Sacrifice” is a hot little tale.  Bel’s wide-eyed innocence was appealing.  I liked the idea of a sacrifice that turns into something more.  Everything happened a bit quickly for me, and Urdon’s position of power over Bel made me wonder if Bel would have loved him otherwise, but even so this was an enjoyable story.

 

“Little Miracles” by Vic Winter

Normally, police officer Ricky would be looking forward to Christmas.  Now, however, he and his lover have barely been speaking for weeks.  He’s afraid the holiday will not be a good one, but he’s about to get a couple of surprises…

“Little Miracles” is a sweet story of second chances and unexpected happenings.  I liked kind, forgiving Ricky and really wanted things to work out for him.  Though I enjoyed reading this story, it felt rushed.  Too many things happened, and one of those things (which I won’t describe because it’s a huge spoiler) wasn’t necessary at all in my opinion. 

 

“Christmas at the Ciel” by Lorne Rodman

Robert owns the Ciel restaurant.  Kent is the head chef.  Both are good at their jobs, but they can’t seem to get along with each other—especially when Robert keeps trying to cook in the restaurant’s kitchen.  Is their annoyance with each other hiding something more?

“Christmas at the Ciel” is the best developed of the three stories.  The history between the two main characters was set up rather well, and the story takes place over a longer period of time than the other two in the anthology.  Robert and Kent are stubborn men, and their banter was amusing to read.  When they finally came together, it was hot! 

 

Overall, Jingle Balls 2 is a fun and quick holiday anthology.  There’s a bit of something for everyone, from humor to sweetness to fantasy.  While I would have liked to have a bit more of the first two stories to truly flesh them out, all three stories were pleasant reads and a good diversion on a frigid day.

     

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