Today I'm thrilled to have Joe Cosentino here to share the latest book in the wonderful Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories! I read The First Noel and loved it! It was heartwarming and sweet and I loved the characters immediately. I worried since I hadn't read the first two in the series, but the author did an amazing job of pulling the reader into the story immediately, so I didn't find myself missing anything. Highly recommend!!
As a five-year-old, I remember sitting spellbound in front of the television set as my mother watched her “stories” each weekday. I was fascinated by how well I became acquainted with the same characters as they lived their lives under my vigilant and joyous watch. Those people and I laughed, cried, loved, and lost together. I knew them more intimately than some members of my own family. I’d wake each morning wondering what would happen to them next. Weekends were traumatic times for me, where my television friends were nowhere to be found.
As I grew up, went to school, and led a life of my own, it was so comforting to know that those friends would be there if I stayed home sick from school, had a vacation day, or simply missed them and snuck a peek during lunchtime.
After I graduated college, I was ecstatic to play a role on Another World, an NBC daytime drama. Moving on to writing novels, it wasn’t a surprise when I decided to write a series of novellas about two characters who meet, fall in love, marry, adopt a child, and live together as a family—through laughter and tears. I mixed in my love for the winter holidays, and that series is The Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories. When my spouse and I returned home from our trip to the gorgeous, magical, and romantic island of Capri in Italy, I decided to start my series there. After visiting the many Christmas wonders in downtown Philadelphia during the winter holidays, I knew my story would commence in that cozy and heartwarming place.
The series begins with A Home for the Holidays, where Bobby, a young, Italian American law student from Philadelphia travels to Capri, Italy during the winter holidays to meet his eccentric Italian relatives, and falls in love with his handsome, muscular, sexy Italian distant cousin, Paolo.
Next is The Perfect Gift, a two-part story that takes place over the next two Christmases, whereby Bobby and Paolo move to Philadelphia, and overcome numerous obstacles for the perfect wedding (December Grooms) and adopt a seven-year-old son (An Unexpected Present).
Now in The First Noel, young lawyer Bobby and his young fashion designer husband Paolo are back at holiday time. Bobby’s hysterically funny parents and quirky best friend Jared are also along for the ride. Jared and Jared’s lover, (the second) Noel, have spotted young fashion designer Paolo in a cozy restaurant with a young man named (the first) Noel. Who is the muscular, gorgeous, and charismatic first Noel? Also, due to doctor’s orders, Bobby’s Dad has turned in his Santa suit at his department store, leaving the store Santaless. Finally, Geoffrey’s birth mother, funded by an anti-gay organization, has arrived on a mission to take back Bobby and Paolo’s eight-year-old son Geoffrey. Just when everything seems to be going up in flames like a dry Christmas tree too close to the fireplace, Santa appears and rings in a happily ever after ending. As was the case with The Perfect Gift, this story is packed with cozy holiday settings including Victorian carolers singing under candy cane-adorned city street lamps, productions of A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker, the Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad, and the adorned Christmas tree, market booths, and snowmen at Dilworth Park. The story ends in an exciting and very romantic finale at the Delaware River Waterfront fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
I’m so excited that Dreamspinner Press is publishing The First Noel as an e-book, and the entire Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories collection as a paperback!
I’d like to join Bobby, Paolo, Geoffrey, Jared, and both Noels in wishing you a happy holiday. The Bobby and Paolo holiday stories are my special holiday gift to you, wrapped with a huge ribbon of love.
THE FIRST NOEL, Bobby & Paolo’s holiday stories book 3
a short e-book novella by JOE COSENTINO
published by Dreamspinner Press
Barnes & Noble
Each Christmas has marked a milestone in Bobby and Paolo’s love story. But will this year be their last noel? It’s no surprise Bobby isn’t feeling much holiday spirit—not when he suspects his husband, Paolo, might be interested in his new business associate, the incredibly handsome Noel. On top of that, Bobby’s father is hanging up his Santa suit at the department store due to health issues; and worst of all, Geoffrey’s birth mother, funded by antigay extremists, is threatening their family. She’s trying to take away Bobby and Paolo’s adopted son, but she’ll have to face their supportive friends, family, and pastor before she can tear Geoffrey from the only real home he’s ever known.
With so many challenges in their path, the December grooms will need an extra helping of holiday magic this year. Rumor has it Santa’s on his way to spread some holiday cheer.
THE BOBBY AND PAOLO HOLIDAY STORIES
(A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, and The First Noel)
a paperback anthology by JOE COSENTINO
published by Dreamspinner Press
Barnes & Noble
The holidays are a magical time for everyone, but they hold special meaning for young lawyer Bobby McGrath and fashion designer Paolo Mascobello. Their whirlwind romance begins one December on the Isle of Capri, where they meet and fall in love, and each holiday season adds a new building block to their life together. Celebrate with Bobby, Paolo, and their colorful friends and family as they marry and start a family. Happily ever after doesn’t always come easy, but with love and the spirit of the season, miracles can happen and Christmas wishes can come true.
Praise for the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories:
“I adore the character of Bobby…the heartwarming family moments…The vivid and almost lyrical descriptions that Joe Cosentino uses when Bobby is arriving on Capri or sightseeing all over the island with Paolo…the love the author has for Capri and the people there flows off the page in every word he has written…when you finish reading this story, you will want to book your own flight to Italy and boat to Capri.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
“I was there with Bobby and Paolo, feeling the sun on my face and the warm swell of the sea as I walked barefoot on the sea’s edge, the author’s brilliantly descriptive words took me to that beautiful place where Bobby and Paolo fell in love.” Three Books Over the Rainbow
“Joe Cosentino’s holiday novella, A Home for the Holidays, delivers in every way that a romantic, feel-good story should. Every book I read by this author continuously pulls me in and wraps me up like a warm blanket.” Kathy Mac Reviews
“I’m going to go on record saying that Joe Cosentino pretty much has me at hello. His writing style is incredibly smooth with beautiful details that never feel like too much or too little. Even in this very short story, I felt like I was right there in Capri with Bobby. Both the scenery and Bobby’s emotions are painted with lush, vivid detail…exceptional writing and beautifully gift-wrapped love story.” AM Leibowitz
“I got glimpses of movies like Three Coins in the Fountain and Roman Holiday…Very romantic.” Multitasking Momma Reviews
“A Home for the Holidays a delightful, heartwarming journey of discovering one’s roots and the traditions that bring meaning to family. At the same time, it explores how breaking with tradition and becoming the person you were meant to be is also part of that grounding process, that finding home and making it your own is exactly what this holiday season is about. Filled with gentle humor and the lush backdrop of the isle of Capri, the story takes you on a wonderful guided tour of this landscape of the heart and the mind. The descriptions are a feast for the mind’s eye, the supporting characters quintessentially Italian, and the main characters—Bobby and Paolo—are the kind of yin and yang match that captures the imagination and the heart. For a charming seasonal read, A Home for the Holidays will leave you sighing with happiness.” GGR-Reviews
“In The Perfect Gift, Joe Cosentino has, once again, written a story filled with love, laugh out loud humour and a HEA that will leave a smile on your face and seasonal joy in your heart. I loved this delightful novella and highly recommend you add it to your holiday reading list...Joe Cosentino has a way with words that I find enchanting and delightful. His descriptions of characters and settings are colorful and often highly amusing. There’s a magic to the worlds he creates that few other authors can achieve.” Divine Magazine
“Joe Cosentino has a way with his stories with a touch of humor, great descriptions, and he grabs your attention, making you turn the page. If you like sweet romance, holiday stories, Christmas magic and cute kids, you will love this one!” TTC Books and More
“hilarious, contains some excellent observations about human nature, and had me eagerly turning the pages to find out what’s next…if you’re looking for a two-part read that is fun, emotional, suspenseful, and all about finding (and keeping) a family of your own, then you will probably like this novella. I definitely loved it!” Rainbow Book Reviews
“This is a feel good heartwarming holiday story you need to add on your holiday reading list. Or anytime of the year, because I know this will warm your heart. Recommended!” Lelyana’s Book Blog
“The Perfect Gift was funny, sweet, and entertaining…The emotional journey felt so real…For fans of LGBT fiction and romance, this is a must have book. It contains all of these elements shaping it into the wonderful journey that Joe Cosentino made it.” Urban Book Reviews
Joe Cosentino has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. As a bestselling author, Joe was voted 1st Place Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author, and 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Romance Author by the readers of Divine Magazine. He has also won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions. For Dreamspinner Press, Joe wrote the heralded In My Heart series: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star; the popular Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, and The First Noel; and the raucous The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland. That was followed by Holiday Tales from Fairyland, Tales from Fairyland Book 2. His famous Nicky and Noah mystery series includes Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, and Drama Fraternity. The scorching Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press) are Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, which were followed by Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings. Finally, Joe’s mainstream Jana Lane mysteries (The Wild Rose Press) are Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, and Rag Doll. Releasing next year are more Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, and Drama Runway. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. He loves to hear from readers at:
Excerpt of The First Noel, Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Book 3, by Joe Cosentino:
“MOM, I’M worried about the planet we’re leaving behind for your grandchildren too. It’s horrible how our air, water, soil, and food are polluted because of lobbyists from wealthy corporations who control conservative politicians.”
“You’re wrong, Bobby. The environment is polluted because nobody cleans as good as I do.”
Mom said, “I’m also concerned about the economy your son and nieces and nephews will inherit. It’s sluggish and getting worse because people go out to eat and travel too much. They should stay home and cook, like me.”
“It’s sluggish because average people don’t get any ‘trickle-down,’ unless we pee on ourselves by accident.”
“No, people who work too hard, like you, are the reason there’s a bad economy.”
“Little did I know that defending clients being evicted from their apartments, losing their medical insurance, and getting fired from their jobs was destroying the country’s economy.”
“Well, now you know, Bobby. That’s what mothers are for. To educate their children.”
I needed a break from Mom. Hi, I’m Bobby McGrath. Since you can’t see me, I’ll tell you I’m twenty-six, tall with frizzy red hair, green eyes, and a swimmer’s build. That is whenever I get to the gym for a swim while my husband of two years, Paolo, hits the weight room. I’m also a lawyer, specializing in civil rights cases. My husband and I live with our adopted son in the city with the greatest cheesesteak in the US. Philly is also the city with the most lactose intolerant people. That dichotomy perfectly sums up my mother’s reasoning.
I sat on the turreted window seat overlooking the department store my father manages. Gazing out the window, I enjoyed the late-night shoppers illuminated by the candy cane–decorated street lamps. As they trudged through the snowy street, some people disappeared into Dad’s store with hopes of finding the perfect holiday gift.
“How does me working too hard hurt the economy, Mom?”
“Because you’re too tired to go out and buy anything,” Mom replied.
“I just bought Paolo’s Christmas gift: a gold watch with sapphire stones that match his eyes.”
“And what did Paolo get you?”
“How do you know?”
“I know his hiding places. They’re all empty.”
“See! That’s why the economy is in a slump.”
The marigold, violet, and burgundy flames danced in our fireplace, surrounded by the white marble mantel and gold lions on each side. I wished Paolo was next to me. “Paolo’s been incredibly busy. He’s designing a new line of men’s sportswear that his boss Edgar is calling, ‘The Edgar Line.’”
“Why not ‘The Paolo Line’?”