Tuesday, November 28, 2017

ARC Review: Desperately Seeking Santa by Eli Easton

Desperately Seeking Santa
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?

NOTE: This 50,000 word short novel features a new couple but includes Jordan and Owen, from the author’s book “Superhero”. It can be read as a stand-alone.

Jewel's rating:

Sometimes Christmas wishes do come true...

Desperately Seeking Santa was a heartwarming and feel-good Christmas story -- just how I like them. While I'm one that prefers a fair amount of angst in my books, one exception would be Christmas stories where I really want people to just get with the happy program. I mean, it's Christmas! Eli Easton does not disappoint.

Gabe Martin has been assigned to cover a story for the local newspaper where he interns. He's disappointed in the 'feel-good' fluff nature of it and yearns to stretch his journalistic wings with something more juicy. I mean, how exciting can a Christmas benefit at an Elk Lodge be? So Gabe has to be creative and when he stumbles on something he might be able to use, he is itching to go.

Mack McDonall is a wrestling champion at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He's a giant of a man, and very private. He's smart, passionate about things (and people) he cares about and he wants to make a difference. Mack is quiet, not exactly shy, and does not trust easily. He's got plenty of reason to keep things close and he's determined to succeed in life. I really admire Mack. He was handed a difficult life, but he doesn't let it define him.

Jordan and Owen, from Superhero do play fairly large rolls in this story, and it is Jordan who drags Gabe to a wrestling match and later introduces him to Mack. Don't worry if you have not read Superhero, though, as this story stands perfectly well alone. That said -- go read Superhero, anyway. You won't regret it. I loved getting to visit with Jordan and Owen again.

Desperately Seeking Santa is about the real spirit of Christmas. It's about making a difference. It's about family. It's about trust. I loved the slow burn of the romance and I loved being inside Gabe's head. He was a delight. The secondary characters were well sketched, as well. The whole package was an utter delight to read.

If you're looking for a story to help put you in the Christmas spirit, Desperately Seeking Santa is sure to do the trick.


ARC of Desperately Seeking Santa was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

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