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.
When Gabe Martin's friend, Jordan, finally convinces him to go to a college wrestling match with him to cheer for their team but more importantly Jordan's boyfriend Owen, whom, those who have read Ms. Easton's book 'Superheroes', will recognize as the MCs from that story but if you're like me and you haven't read 'Superheroes' yet you can read this story without worry.
Now back to Gabe accompanying his friend Jordan to a wrestling match where they cheer not only for Owen but where Gabe first lays eyes on the 6' 10", 285 lb. Mack McDonall star of the wrestling team and for Gabe the stuff of his fantasies...very, very steamy fantasies. Add to this the fact that journalism student...Gabe gets his first assignment from the local newspaper that he interns with...two events that seem totally unrelated but are anything but.
I enjoyed...wait scratch that I loved! everything about this story both of the MCs were absolutely adorable...Gabe with his outgoing nature and offbeat sense of humor...both what came out of his mouth and his internal monologues, his open and friendly demeanor and then there's Mack...quiet, intelligent, solid, dependable, stoic Mack who cautiously guarded his heart as carefully as his past but once you got past his barriers...you were held there safe, secure and loved.
As well as some wonderful secondary characters such as Gabe's mother and Gabe and Mack's friends Owen and Jordan we get to meet Mack's father, Jim and their friend George. Along with this we are given representations of both the child welfare system and prison system that serve as reminders that while things may not always work the way they should nor do they always fail. There are a lot of good people out there trying to help make this world a better place and sometimes it takes a story like this to remind us.
'Desperately Seeking Santa' was a sweet, fun holiday story filled with love, family and just enough drama to make things interesting and topped off with an epilogue that delivers a solid HEA for a sexy and adorable couple.
Eli Easton has once again given us a holiday story that reminds us that often the best presents...the ones that we really want and need aren't found under the Christmas tree. Definitely recommended for the holidays!
*************************An ARC of 'Desperately Seeking Santa' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
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There must always be a secret to be unwrapped at Christmas - that's the rule.
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