I can’t believe it’s day 5 of my huuuuge Christmas Stories giveaway already!
Today’s wonderful story is Eli Easton’s Midwinter Night’s Dream. First, the blurb:
Micah is the hippest, most chill guy on campus. But when he gets the hottest kiss of his life from a cute guy during a game of ‘spin the bottle’, Micah’s cool turns into a puddle of anxious goo. Sure, Micah’s always been a little bi-curious, but he never thought he’d pursue a guy, much less a guy who doesn’t seem to be interested in getting caught.
Leo is passionate about two things: gay rights activism and acting. He stays focused and in control, and he never, ever, dates straight guys. When a chance spin of a bottle at a party has him locking lips with Micah Springfield, president of the Delts, dread-headed, serial-dating, straight Micah, Leo is determined to forget about it, no matter how incendiary the sparks or how gorgeous Micah may be.
Leo has bigger problems. His senior project is directing Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream just before the Christmas break. When his venue cancels at the last minute, Micah offers the use of his parent’s barn in rural Pennsylvania. Leo’s play may be saved, but what about his heart? Between Micah’s sweet lips, his family’s welcoming arms, and a devious bulldog who is determined to play Puck, Leo may find himself falling under the spell of Christmas magic.
Here’s a little factoid for you: the original title for my first novel was Midwinter Madness and it was loosely based on Twelfth Night, my favourite Shakespeare play. Sadly, my publisher insisted on a name change (to the uninspiring The Lady’s Secret) however, that is not the point of this anecdote. The point is that I was predisposed to like Midwinter Night’s Dream for that reason… though also because I really, really like Eli Easton’s books.
Midwinter Night’s Dream isn’t, however, based on Twelfth Night, but rather on A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a change of season to make this into a somewhat unlikely but very satisfying holiday romance.
One of our heroes is Micah Springfield, the brother of Hank (the eponymous hero of last year’s Unwrapping Hank). Laid back, dreadlocked Micah falls, with uncharacteristic swiftness and force, for theatre major Leo. Their first kiss, during a game of spin the bottle, is one of those spectacular romance moments that I just love. I whooped audibly at that point. But despite the immediate and overwhelming connection between them, Leo won’t consider starting anything up with lady-killer Micah who has only just discovered his bisexuality.
In the lead up to the putting on of the play, Eli has a fantastic section mirroring the plot of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the cast she’s created. I particularly loved Hank and Sloane as Oberon and Titania and Grinch the bulldog as their servant, Puck. It was tremendous fun and added a little hint of low key magic to the proceedings.
Despite this story being based on a play set in the height of summer, this whole book has a fantastic holiday feel with the wintry landscape and Christmas sights and smells and tastes. It made me feel downright sappy.
So, yeah, basically I loved it and you should read it.
If you are so inclined, you may enter the giveaway, simply by leaving a comment below about your favourite Shakespeare character. The winner will be decided on 7th December 2015 at 8pm GMT. However, if you just can’t wait that long, follow the buy links below.
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.
As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.
Eli’s website is http://www.elieaston.com and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITED TO ADD – THE WINNER OF THE GIVEAWAY IS SULA – CONGRATULATIONS!