Short Story: 28pgs
3 Pants Off
Christmas is fast approaching and familial obligations are dampening Brandon Jacobs's holiday spirit. On top of requiring his attendance at the annual neighborhood Christmas party, his mom has been bugging him to call AJ, a childhood playmate who just moved to town. Brandon's memories of AJ as a kid aren't exactly fond, and he's not about to waste time on him as an adult... until he runs into AJ at the party and decides that Christmas might be the perfect time for a fresh start.
Brandon Jacob is not really into holiday spirit; he'd rather just stay home and hang. But of course he's got to do the family stuff and attend his parent's Christmas party, mingle, and smile all happily. To make things rather worse his mom wants him to reconnect with an old play buddy who was a little terror. AJ made his life a living hell and he just can't understand why anyone would think he'd like to hang with AJ ever again. What he never expected was for AJ to grow into a man he would he very much like to know and now he's regretting not listening to his mom cus his holidays would have been all types of awesome.
Well this is a short one, and of course not offering much on character development. I guess overall, it was alright and had a nice holiday feel which came in the form of annoying family and sometimes you just have to suck it up and get it over with. I liked that it was old play buddies (not the least bit friends at the time) who can now explore and play in an adult way. In the end this one was alright, yet honestly forgettable.
|3 Pants Off|
Reviewed by SinChan
Holly and Oak by J.L O'Faolain
Short Story: 28pgs
2 Pants Off
Twice each year, during the solstice, the Holly King battles the Oak King as Nature takes its course. This year, however, Holly concedes defeat far too easily. Curious about his brother's haste, Oak nags his brother into revealing his secret: a new relationship with a human. While loving a mortal is not taboo, Oak fears his brother's love may run too deep. But despite knowing he risks his heart, Holly is determined to share warmth with his Sergio for as long as the world will allow, if not beyond.
Oak and Holly begins their twice a year fight to bring on the changing of the seasons. Nothing has changed between these two brothers, except that Holly seems to be in a rush this year. Later, it's revealed that Holly has a human lover and he hastens to be reunited with him.
I love the world building and discovering how Holly and Oak's relationship withstands the biannual battles. Holly and Oak's parents are briefly mentioned and it's interesting to think about how these immortal beings came to be. A lot of time is spent on the battle between Holly and Oak and it's fascinating to read about their powers waxing and waning with the seasons.
The downfall of the story is the length. There's too much scenes that need more depth and connections within these short pages that the entire story seem incomplete. The story doesn't have a proper sense of closure. The ending itself feels like the beginning of something new and exciting for Holly and his human lover. However, I'm not convinced of their relationship and Holly hasn't even revealed his true immortal nature to his lover yet.
Overall, it story seems like the first chapter to a novel instead of a complete short story. I still loved the story for its world building and light tone despite the shortness and incompleteness. I would definitely look forward to a more fleshed out version of the book, if there will be one.
|2 Pants Off|
Short Story: 47pgs
2.5 Pants Off
When Mark Wright is pressed into being a mall Santa on Christmas Eve, his life is changed forever. Six-year-old Trevor Robinson has his Uncle Jack in tow—the same man Mark had a crush on at Asheville High School fifteen years earlier. Jack tells Santa his Christmas fantasy: "... to spend the holiday with an incredible guy who turns me on and does all kinds of naughty and wonderful things to my body." How can Santa resist that challenge?
I have mixed feeling about this one, and the whole Mr Ling that Santa provides for Uncle Jack I found to be a bit offensive (and I am not easily offenced). All I'm saying is that Mr Mark Wright could have gone a different way in making all of Jack's dreams come true. I did like that it was a man finally being able to get his High school crush naked, but the choppy writing and craziness of the story really took away from me enjoying it more.
Had the recipe to be a nice story and maybe even "heartwarming" but it mostly came off as annoying to me. Mr Ling you should forever be retired and become a sexy Santa helper or something. That would have made more sense than the depictions of an Asian man in servitude.
|2.5 Pants Off|