ARC Review by Annie: Stocking Stuffers by Erin McLellan
Sasha Holiday is so over the holidays after getting left at the altar last Christmas Eve. But as the marketing maven for Lady Robin’s Intimate Implements, she’s stuck not-so-merrily pitching naughty toys at a romance book club’s Christmas party. Her loathing of the yuletide only intensifies as a snowstorm rolls in and traps her at the Winterberry Inn. Stranded with her is Perry Winters—a hot bearded book club member trimmed in flannel and tattoos.
Perry’s a romantic with an unerring belief in the magic of the season, and he recognizes a Christmas miracle when he sees it. Brave, smart, and confident—Sasha Holiday is a gift. And the gifts keep coming when she suggests they pass the time with some no-strings fun. After all, she has a big bag of toys that would make even Santa want to stay in bed on Christmas Eve.
But the frisky festivities turn complicated as feelings spark between Sasha and Perry. Perry wants to see Sasha once the snow clears, but Sasha is reluctant to take the relationship sleigh ride again. Perry will have to show her that love is more than just a holiday feeling.
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Release Date: November 1st
Erin has a list of content warnings on her website.
*A copy of Stocking Stuffers was provided by the author
This was absolutely delightful! And perfect to get into a Christmas-y mood too! Like seriously, when I read the last page I was ready to get out my Christmas decorations, put on some Christmas carols and have a hot chocolate with a mountain of whipped cream and eat cookies.
McLellan perfectly hit the notes between sexy, funny, kinky and heartfelt with Stocking Stuffers and particularly Perry stole my heart. He’s like a golden retriever who is up for anything, has a heart of gold and trusts impeccably. Plus he’s very hard to resist. And he reads romance! That sweet boy is just too cute to not be real. But let’s start at the beginning.
It’s a pretty typical evening for Sasha when she presents her sex toys to the Staunchly Raunchy Book Club at the Winterberry Inn. (Think Tupperware parties but with toys.) It starts to snow pretty heavily while she’s still demonstrating the toys to the attending members. She’s in the middle of explaining how the prostate massagers work, when Perry – the Inn owner’s brother – comes in. He startles her and she drops the still buzzing toy. There is an instant and undeniable spark between Sasha and Perry when they first lay eyes on each other. After the book club meeting/presentation is over, and everyone got to buy or order the toys they wanted, Sasha attempts her travel home, but soon realizes that she is stuck at the Inn until the storm lets off for a bit.
It’s her worst nightmare to be stuck in an inn full of people happily celebrating Christmas. So what is she supposed to do with all the time and the toys she has? Of course she (and Perry) decide to spent the time they’re snowed in by having lots of sex and exploring Sasha’s red bag of toys. Whenever they see an opportunity to sneak away, they do. And the chemistry between them is just off the charts! I really, really loved how – despite Sasha’s fear of being open with someone – she just couldn’t help but trust Perry. I liked how we got to see her vulnerable side with him.
But Sasha was reluctant to turn the fling into anything more than a one-time thing because she didn’t want to get her heart broken again. Her preferred relationships are short flings and one-night stands whenever she feels like it. Otherwise she isn’t looking for a long term commitment. I found Perry to be the perfect character to counterbalance Sasha’s Christmas grumpiness. He’s sweet and considerate and absolutely smitten with Sasha at first sight. And he’s willing to try anything with Sasha when it comes to sex. I loved how Perry didn’t really have to do anything to win Sasha over. There were no grand gestures or declarations, it was all just Perry’s charm winning her over. (I hope this makes sense.)
And that epilogue! I have no doubt that Sasha and Perry will still be together 50 years from now.
I also need to mention how inclusive Stocking Stuffers is. Not only do we see multiple queer people and pairings on page, but McLellan was careful not to use gendered language. Particularly during the scenes when Sasha presents the sex toys.
Now, can someone please turn this into a Hallmark or Netflix holiday movie?
Erin McLellan is the author of several contemporary romances, all of which have characters who are complex, goodhearted, and a little quirky. She likes her stories to have a sexy spark and a happily ever after. Originally from Oklahoma, she currently lives in Alaska and spends her time dreaming up love stories set in the Great Plains. She is a lover of chocolate, college sports, antiquing, Dr Pepper, and binge-worthy TV shows. Erin is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Alaska chapter.
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Genre: Contemporary Genre: Erotic Romance Orientation: Bisexual Pairing: M/F Review Self Published Tag: Forced Proximity Tag: Holidays Tag: Part of a series Erin McLellan So Over the Holidays series Stocking Stuffers
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