Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Book Review: Secret Santa by Jay Northcote

Secret Santa
Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship...

Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son there aren’t many hours left over. He’s lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn’t mention that he has a child. It’s early days and he’s worried about putting Luke off before they get to know each other.

Luke is currently working as Santa at the local shopping mall. He figures Theo never has to know. Christmas will be over soon and Luke will move on to a new, less embarrassing job. He’s surprised when Theo and a little boy visit Santa one afternoon. Theo doesn’t recognize Luke, and Luke realizes he’s not the only one with a secret.

Despite misgivings on both sides, they start dating, and the chemistry is amazing. But as Christmas approaches their secrets pile up like colorful packages under the tree. If they’re not careful, they’ll lose the best gift of all—each other.

Todd's rating:

This one started out pretty slow for me, as the guys kept lying by omission or flat out telling one another untruths.

Once they finally had their "coming clean" chat in the park, after the truth was out and the trust repaired, I enjoyed the story much more.

Theo was a 29 y.o. IT geek at the Apple store in the mall, but also the father of 4 y.o. Archie. We were told that Archie was "the result of a drunken experiment between two friends," but I *reaaaaaaally* wanted more details there, since there's zero indication that Theo was anything other than 103% gay. Much like myself. :- P

Also 29, Luke was temporarily working the holidays playing Santa at the mall, before starting his training as a pharmacy adviser.

Neither had been lucky in the love department, but both were hopeful that this time might be different. So, of course, they started building their relationship on the lies that I previously mentioned. *sigh*

Other than cheating and "the big misunderstanding," deceit is one of my least favorite plot devices, so I was glad when the lies were finally revealed, and they their relationship began moving forward on an honest footing.

I especially enjoyed the parts where "Santa", and later Luke (out of costume), began bonding with Archie, working toward creating their own little, happy family.

This story had very little actual angst, and the steam was pretty decent, so I'd rate it at around 3.5 stars.

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