Journalism student Gabe Martin gets his first professional assignment—to write about a Christmas charity dinner that benefits a children’s home. It sounds like a total snooze-fest until Gabe learns that the event’s Santa is a mystery man. He shows up in costume and no one has a clue who he is. Uncovering Santa’s identity sounds like the perfect angle to turn a fluff piece into serious journalism.
Mack “The Mountain” McDonall, at 6’10”, is University of Wisconsin-Madison’s enormous star wrestler. When Gabe first claps eyes on him at a wrestling match, it’s lust at first sight. Gabe’s friend, Jordan, sets up the pair on a date. But when Gabe chatters on about his plans for outing Santa, Mack goes cold, and their first meeting becomes an epic fail.
As Gabe researches the children’s home, he learns that Mack has secrets a guy famous for being a brute wouldn’t want the world to know. Can Gabe find his holiday spirit, write a killer article, win the heart of a surly giant, and give everyone a very merry Christmas?
Senior journalism student Gabe was impatient to get his first investigative assignment, but was given a feel-good, Holiday fluff piece on a children's home benefit, instead. He just knew it would be a snooze-fest, until he got wind of a mystery surrounding the event's Santa.
Senior engineering student Mack was the undefeated 285 pound wrestler at the University of Wisconsin, but "The Mountain" persona only paid for his college fees, it wasn't who Mack really was at heart.
So when Gabe was convinced by his best friend Jordan to go to one of Owen's college wrestling meets (both were MC's in Easton's "Superhero") and Gabe got one look at Mack, in all of his 6'10", singlet-wearing glory, it was completely and totally game over. We're talking slack-jawed drooling here, folks.
There was a huge mystery regarding Mack's past, one which was also closely tied to Gabe's reporting assignment, so the majority of the drama was unraveling that bit of secrecy, which Mack wished to remain hidden at all costs. Even if that meant pushing Gabe away.
This was a fun read, with a lot of walking on egg shells on Gabe's part, while he tried to do both his job *and* work on winning Mack's affections. Not an easy task.
However, in spite of a potential for the revelation of Mack's past becoming explosive, the drama was kept to manageable levels, as Gabe successfully averted the huge catastrophe that there could've been at the fund raiser, which I felt was cleverly done.
The sexy bits consisted of only one scene, taking place after the proverbial bomb had been diffused, with the lead up being some serious levels of UST, so I wouldn't categorize this one as a steamy read.
I did really enjoy the epilogue, from a year down the road, cementing not only the solidity of the relationship between the MC's, but also their feeling of having an actual family surrounding them.
I'd rate this story at 4 stars, mainly for the humor that Gabe brought to the story and recommend it to anyone looking for a holiday read with a lot of tension, but only a bit of actual drama.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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