Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Christmas is looming and Jack De Lacy needs a solution to one hell of a fix.
Dumped by his boyfriend in favour of his best friend, Jack’s been busy bragging about the hot new man in his life.
A hot new man who doesn’t exist.
With an important function to attend where he’ll come face-to-face with his ex, Jack knows he’ll be a laughing stock when his boasts are exposed as nothing more than wishful thinking. He’s desperate but time, like his options, is running out.
Rory Kincaid is scared he won’t last another night sleeping rough on London’s frozen, snowbound streets. With all the homeless shelters full, Rory seeks refuge in the first empty doorway he stumbles across.
Finding Rory shivering in the sub-zero temperatures, Jack can no more send him away than kick a puppy out into the cold. A shower, shave and hot drink later, and the grubby street kid is transformed into a beautiful young man.
As the attraction between them grows, so does a plan that will get Jack out of the mess he’s in and give Rory a warm, safe home for Christmas. Sweet and adorable, Rory will make a great fake boyfriend for the festive season – the problem is, neither Jack nor Rory is sure where the make believe ends and the truth begins.
I started off with this book feeling so disgusted with Jack’s jerk of an ex-boyfriend (Sam) and even more of a jerk ex-best friend, Sam, (you don’t break the friend code!) Jack has been dumped by his boyfriend of three years in favor of Jack’s best friend, coming face to face with them “…chewing each other’s face off and frotting for England in the middle of the dance floor.” I mean, how do you even handle that? Because Jack has been getting the pitying looks and the “…awkward, embarrassed, and downright amused glances of men he once thought of as his friends”. It’s dreadful. Add in that it is all happening at Christmastime, something that Jack has always loved, and it is just the worst.
So what Jack does is start talking all about his hot new boyfriend and how great things are. The fact that there is no new boyfriend isn’t a big deal until Jack has to produce him. Now what?
When he runs across (almost literally) Rory in a doorway, freezing outside because the homeless shelters are full, Jack, who is a decent person, brings him home to let him warm up and get something to eat. Rory has been through so much, it was heartbreaking. Jack comes up with the idea to have Rory pose as the new hot guy, which would give Rory a warm place to stay and let Jack “…stick two fingers up at Sam and Basil.”
They have to attend a Foundation party where both Jack and Sam were on the board and they also spend time with Jack’s family, something Rory has been sorely missing. From the birth parents who didn’t want him, the adoptive parents who didn’t deserve him and the older boyfriend who needed to be slapped, Rory hadn’t had people he could depend on. Jack might be though.
I have to say, I don’t know what Jack saw in Sam (the ex) because he really came across as an idiot. For that matter, Baz, the former bestie, also is no prize. I mean, we know that because of what they both did to Jack but even on their own they were obnoxious. They cause some issues between Jack and Rory and of course the two of them don’t communicate as they should. As things become less fake and more real, I wanted to yell at them both, SAY SOMETHING, but they sort of each dance around it. “Come with me as my friend…Not come with me as my real boyfriend.” They read into the other’s comments but don’t take away the real meaning. Rory especially has no reason to believe someone would truly be there for him and I was pulling for them so much.
I appreciated that there is no sex on page here because I think it would have taken the story in a different direction. Rory needed time to feel safe and Jack needed time to be sure of things. I liked that they had that time. It’s a little bit Christmas miracle and I was perfectly happy with that . This is a sweet holiday story with an uplifting message.
Cover art: Tammy Clark. Suitably in the holiday spirit.
Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited
Kindle Edition, 103 pages
Expected publication: November 15th 2018