12 Dates of Christmas

Cover for 12 Dates of Christmas by Tanya Chris shows a young man in sun glasses in front of a wintery Christmas scene

Orion has devised a brilliant strategy for achieving internet fame—an Instagram campaign where he

goes on twelve dates over twelve days, culminating in a made-for-TV happy-ever-after with fellow influencer and hot Brazilian model Afonso. Their pre-arranged fake relationship is bound to capture hearts and dollars, skyrocketing Orion from mid-tier to top-tier. His plan couldn’t be more perfect.

And then he meets Gustav. Gustav isn’t famous or devilishly dark and handsome. He’s not even on Insta. And he has an annoying habit of calling Orion out on his dubious ethics.

Now Orion is torn between fake fame and true happiness as he tries to continue his campaign while dating Gustav on the sly. The world thinks it knows a lot about Orion, but none of what it knows is true, and as Christmas comes to a close, Orion is wishing he could start the new year in a whole new way.

This 20,000 word Christmas novella takes place in a non-COVID timeline.

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Gustav’s benevolent bulk and obvious interest were making Orion realize there were aspects of this fake boyfriend business he hadn’t given sufficient consideration to. Namely, how he was going to get laid. He and Afonso looked great on paper, but they were going to be duds in real life. They were both bottoms, for one thing, and both attention whores, for another. Attention whore wasn’t the nicest label Orion could stick on himself, but it was the most accurate.

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On top of that, Afonso came across as emotional, finicky, and high-strung, none of which were characteristics Orion appreciated in a partner. He wanted someone like this guy—the blond hulk standing steadily in a swaying train car looking at him with eager eyes. But if Orion was “dating” Afonso, he wouldn’t be free to date anyone else. Even hookups would be dangerous because if he got exposed as either a liar or a cheater, this campaign that was supposed to make his career would be the end of it instead. He was going to have to keep his dick in his pants for the next six months.

“Maybe you’d join me and my friends when you’re finished looking at the tree?” Gustav suggested. “Or I could look at the tree with you.”

“No! I mean, thanks. For the offer. Only—” Shit. He didn’t like seeing the enthusiasm wash out of Gustav’s eyes. The two of them had been making a real connection. Why did fate have to be such a bitch? Yesterday, Orion hadn’t had even a tingle of interest in anyone, and now he had to meet someone on the first day of his self-enforced celibacy? It wasn’t fair. But he’d put too much work into this campaign to bag it for a stranger on a train, as handsome and friendly as that stranger might be.

“I’m meeting someone,” he told Gustav, giving up on putting it any other way.

“Oh. Well. Good for you.” Gustav’s smile was a hollow echo of his earlier one. “Like you said, Christmas is about connection. I hope it works out for you.”

Orion considered backpedaling. He could say it was only a friend he was meeting, get Gustav’s phone number, track him down later. But he didn’t. He’d been planning this for months. Months.

The subway jerked to a halt and the doors slid open. People poured on and off. Gustav headed for the exit with a mumbled This is my stop that Orion could tell was a lie. He felt like the prince watching Cinderella escape. He should at least have a glass slipper to remember Gustav by, but what would be the point? This Cinderfella wasn’t his to catch.

The doors slid shut, the woman Orion had given his seat to rearranged her bags, and the train moved on.

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Reviews:Mirrigold on Mirrigold's Mutterings & Musings wrote:

So much fun. Tanya Chris pitched this book just perfectly.
It could have easily gone another way, with the reader finding it hard to sympathise with Orion, who really was a self-proclaimed attention whore but he was actually a sweetie at heart. I loved seeing how he slowly began to realise the fake persona he projected on his Instagram really wasn’t who he wanted to be.

loveQhuay on Reading under the rainbow wrote:

It was a fascinating story and so, so real, because this is what this generation is doing. Everyone is an influencer and live their life on Instagram - but that life is so fake, that they don't know how to live otherwise. The whole 12 date with 12 different people to find The ONE, and post all the perfect date photos on instagram, than all of a sudden fall in love with the last person - but keep it a secret that it's all fake. Yeah.

Susie Umphers on Amazon wrote:

This is such a fun Christmas romance. You have to feel sorry for poor Orion initially. He thinks he has the perfect plan to make himself a star and even lines up a fake boyfriend, model to make sure his story ends the way he wants it to. We of course, as the reader also expect the fake boyfriend to become a real one until Gustav shows up and changes everything. That's when the real fun starts as Orion tries to have his cake and eat it too. Unfortunately, Gustav is the adult Orion doesn't want to have to grow up to be just yet. Watching him mature and become a man worthy of Gustav makes for the perfect holiday romance.


Among Heroes

Cover of Among Heroes by Tanya Chris features two men in front of a tropical island backdrop

This disaster of a romcom will have you rooting for the two bad boy wannabees whose solid gold hearts yearn for each other while their rock solid bodies grapple with a different kind of yearning.

If you’re going to fly into the path of an oncoming hurricane, there’s only one man you want as Captain: ex-Air Force pilot, Rook Terzi. But why would you do ever do such a thing in the first place? This definitely isn’t the smartest decision Rook has ever made, as evidenced by an abrupt landing on the wrong side of Coxa de Peru, but being marooned isn’t all bad. In fact, it would be almost paradise if it weren’t for one particular passenger: YouTube personality and alpha-wannabe, Bryce Norris.

Bryce figures he’s the best choice to take charge of this group of survivors. He’s a paid adventurer, after all. Sure, his production manager usually handles the details, but Bryce does his own stunts, and he’s ready to sacrifice his body in any way necessary. Too bad no one’s asking him to play hero, because he’s well-equipped for the job.

When a crew member’s declining health means they can’t wait for rescue any longer, Bryce and Rook need to stop fighting for dominance and start cooperating on a jungle trek towards civilization. Can their rivalry turn to passion beneath a tropical moon?

Content warning: the author knows nothing about flying a plane except what you learn by sitting in one and has made up her own model of aircraft. If you have any aviation expertise, you’ll probably find this book supremely annoying. Otherwise, suspend your disbelief, buckle in, and let’s take off on what’s sure to be a wild ride.

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Rook carried his duffel into the brush to change. He was standing there in nothing but his briefs, debating whether or not to change those out too—since he only had one change of underwear, he probably ought to give these a second day—when noises behind him drew his attention to Bryce thrashing through the foliage like a rampaging elephant.

“Ha! I knew you weren’t wearing any bulky boxers beneath those pants. I’d have seen the lines.”

Rook snatched up the t-shirt Bryce had lent him and covered his groin with it. “Do you mind?”

“Oh, sorry. I forgot you need privacy to use the men’s room.” Bryce unzipped and fished his dick out through his fly.

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Men’s room. Well, it was true that the men had been mostly heading in one direction to use the facilities and the women in the other, so this small clearing had become a de facto men’s room. Still, Bryce could’ve given him five minutes to change his clothes rather than barge in here looking him over like he was candy.

“Don’t worry. I’m not going to jump your straight ass, fine as it might be in those sweet briefs. You’re not my type.”

“I happen to be gay.” Rook turned a bit, perhaps to intentionally give Bryce a better look at his fine ass. “And the whole group knows who you’re gunning for.”

“Can you blame me? Speaking of fine asses. Hey, hold up. What do you mean you happen to be gay?” Bryce tucked his dick away and zipped back up, leaving Rook to realize that he was still standing there wearing nothing but his briefs and Bryce’s hot eyes.

“I happen to be gay. So much for your gaydar. What makes you think Neil is?”

“Are you kidding? Just look at him. You telling me you wouldn’t do him?”

“Whether or not I’d ‘do him’ as you so eloquently put it has nothing to do with whether or not he’d be interested.”

“Yeah, well, keep off. I was there first.”

“He’s not a piece of property.” He pulled Bryce’s t-shirt on over his head, unaccountably annoyed at Bryce’s focus on Neil. “He can choose the man he wants to be with, and if that’s me, that’s me.”

“I don’t even believe you’re gay. You’d get with Neil just to piss me off.”

That was close enough to the truth that it pulled Rook up a little. “Maybe, maybe not.”

“Prove you’re gay.”

“Prove it how? You want me to kiss you, big guy?” He met Bryce’s eyes tauntingly, and for a moment he thought Bryce would say yes, and that he wouldn’t mind doing it either. Bryce’s upper lip featured a sweet dip in the center, and his lower lip hung plump below it. Around that prettily-matched set of lips, the bristles of his dark blond beard framed his mouth like a target.

Instead of kissing him, Rook grabbed Bryce’s package through his pants and gave it a rough squeeze. “That gay enough for you?”

“Hey. How about some boundaries?”

“Like when you barged in here to watch me change?”

“Barged in here,” Bryce echoed mockingly. “It’s a fucking bush, Rookie, not your private en suite. Now, you gonna put those clothes on or are we going in search of the missing half of the plane with you in your undies? ’Cause I’m not complaining.” Bryce reached around and squeezed his ass.

“I thought we were having boundaries.”

“I thought we weren’t,” Bryce countered before crashing back through the foliage, as loud as he’d come.

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Reviews:Dixiecowgirl on Amazon wrote:

Delightful, steamy and fun enemies to lovers romance that will keep you reading all night long. I so enjoyed this story-line because it was so much more than a plane crash and a hot romance. I really liked how the secondary characters played an important role and how the author wove the issue of encroachment of native lands into the plot.

Bryce and Rook kinda collide in this story and there is such a struggle for control. I so enjoyed their journey to get rescue help and the waterfall scene had me laughing out loud.

Jean on Amazon wrote:

A wonderfully paced adventure featuring two testosterone tanks that have you shaking your head and rolling your eyes thinking "men are the pits", but in a good way I assure you!

B. McGrath on Amazon wrote:

The one liners are to die for roflmao. Rook and Bryce's banter is similar to teenage boys with snark, and it kept me chuckling. I loved it. Neil was a big surprise with his comments to Bryce (no spoilers) . This is such a captivating read, and the more I read the more I loved Rook and Bryce as a couple. Heat, suspense, and adventure. I was on the edge of my seat with this great page turner. I loved the ending and epilogue.