No-Strings Noel by Annabelle Jacobs is a nice Christmas romance. The characters and storylines are sweet and there is little to no angst to the plot or obstacles to the relationship.
For me, I’d hoped for something a little more substantial, like not having to refer to my notes to remember characters names because after reading this story it was simply gone from memory.
The premise of a man (turns out two) recently out of a unworkable relationship going on a holiday and finding love is a great trope. I always look forward to see how each author puts their own spin on it. While there were some unusual elements here, none of them really gelled for me in this story, including the couple.
It starts off with the location being a family oriented park with housing , read tons of kids and kid focused activities/rides. Huge playgrounds, pools, indoor courts for badminton etc. Everything an active family could want. But a couple of young gay singles? Hmmmm ok… possibilities.
However, it sort of turns dudly ( yes I mean dudly… made that up from so dull and deadly) because of the personalities involved and the sheer lack of energy i felt coming from the dynamics between them. No chemistry, at least that’s my pov.
Henry , admittedly unhappy about his breakup, is a bit of a pill. Even after trying for a better attitude, his character never quite recovers. He stays an apologetic (on the inside) insecure man. Henry delayed college because he wanted to work for the money to pay for it so he wasn’t bogged down by students debt. Now he’s getting a later start. Instead of the author making us or me connect to him by infusing him with pride for his achievements at his age and determination, she left him a bit of a needy mess. So I stayed firmly outside any emotional attachment to him.
The other didn’t fare that much better. Dom is also coming off a broken relationship. One he says he’s from be with. Hint, he’s not. But this is a guy who, who unlike Henry, comes to this place on purpose. He’s ready to settle down, wants the ring and kids, dog and white fence or it’s British equivalent. He’s got his house already. He’s next level with an eye on relationship goals and stability. Day one and Dom’s holding hands and had a schedule. And thinking he really likes Henry.
Ok… my thoughts were.. Henry why aren’t you running…away…yikes!
Nope they are a couple for the entire holiday.
And I felt nothing for either of them.
Only when they reconnect afterwards did I become more involved. But, it was not ever a relationship I was invested in nor were these men.
For me, the author never made me believe in their relationship, romance, or even potential HEA, especially that epilogue.
If you are the type to read every Holiday story that’s released this season, here’s another for you! Or if you’re a fan of this author, you might want to pick this up. If you’re new to Annabelle Jacobs, check out her shelf, she has plenty of books I’d recommend.
A week of no-strings fun in a winter wonderland setting. No consequences, no expectations, no hurt feelings. Right?
Finding his boyfriend in a compromising position leaves him with a week off work and no holiday to go on.
A night of vodka, ice cream, and his sister’s sympathetic ear is the only way to deal with it.
It’s also how he finds himself on holiday alone a few weeks later, at an English holiday village in the countryside, surrounded by Christmas cheer and happy families.
He’s expecting a week of relaxing days and early nights, doing his own thing, and taking some time for himself. And hopefully finding some festive spirit along the way, because it’s sorely lacking at the moment.
What he’s not expecting is Dom.
Coming to somewhere so familiar soothes his broken heart after yet another failed attempt at finding someone to settle down with. He’s ready. They never are.
Seeing a lost-looking stranger on the first day of his holiday triggers his protective instincts, so he steps in to give him some helpful advice.
Who knew that advice would mean they end up spending the day and then the whole week together? But he figures a holiday fling is exactly what he needs to get through this slump: no expectations, no misunderstandings, no heartbreak.
Or that was the plan.
He knows Henry wants more, but he doesn’t trust himself where his heart’s concerned.
He doesn’t trust Henry not to break it.
A Christmas MM romance featuring a meet-cute, a sexy holiday fling, a meddling but awesome sister, a teeny bit of angst, and a festive HEA.