Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Conscientious and detailed to a fault, David Appleton refuses to leave for the office Christmas party until he finds the error in a report submitted by Marc, one of the workers in his department. Aside from the fact that this guy constantly tries to undermine David, the bottom line is that David won’t allow anything with his department’s signature on it to go out incorrect. Get the picture? David is pretty darn straight-laced. He’s also a nice guy, a gay man who has never had a partner, and a man with a secret underwear fetish that he doesn’t want exposed. He actually came close to being outed for his sexy pants when CJ, a coworker, happened to see him in the locker room after his workout one day, but so far, CJ seems to be keeping his lip zipped.
After finding the error and having a confrontation with Marc, David heads to Santa’s secret gift exchange. Marc and his buddies slip a gift into the exchange that’s intended to embarrass David, but CJ, this year’s Santa, spots it and knows it’s not really for David since CJ is the one who drew David’s name. The clearing up of the confusion over the gifts and over that day in the gym and a consequence for Marc lead to a satisfactory conclusion for this light holiday romance.
This story had a promising plot bunny, but unfortunately, the execution was poor. The author is a new author to me, and I’m not sure how experienced, but very definitely her writing style, the transitions from scene to scene, and the missed opportunities for humor or further dialogue were quite below average. So two stars for the fact that the overall story was okay and an extra half because it’s Christmas, and I don’t like being an Ebenezer who shoots down an author’s efforts at holiday romance.
Cover art by Freddy MacKay features a handsome guy in a plaid vest and dark slacks superimposed over a gift box with tissue paper in disarray. This would be David after opening his gift from CJ. Very nice representation of the story.
Kindle Edition, 40 pages
Expected publication: December 13th 2017 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC