Harry and his friends are out walking in the woods when they come across a strange woman who is juggling a fireball. Harry’s first instinct is to think it’s a trick, and when the woman asks Harry if he believes in magic, he gives her a quick and definite no. The woman, Melia, gets the impression that Harry speaks before he thinks, and Harry’s friends back up her assumption. Melia says she’ll do something to help Harry out, and blows power into his face. When it’s all over, only Harry remembers events like they really happened.
Harry’s friends tease him about the way he stumbles over his himself and says inane things when he sees the hot downstairs neighbor Andrew. Harry nerves always get the better of him when he see Andrew, and he can only be embarrassed about what comes out of his mouth. Not to mention, Andrew looks at him like Harry is just plain stupid.
Andrew has noticed Harry, but since Harry acts like kind of a jerk, Andrew thinks things between them will never happen. But suddenly, when they interact, instead of Harry saying something seemingly a little bit mean and disdainful, he’s actually polite. They manage a conversation, and when they meet up again a few days later in a coffee shop, find that they actually enjoy one another’s company. Andrew is just pleased that the hot guy from upstairs is real and nice, and he feels badly that he misjudged shy and awkwardness with Harry being rude.
As the two men begin to get to know one another, weird things keep happening to keep Harry from making a fool of himself. Harry knows its Melia’s magic, and he grateful for it as he and Andrew start a relationship. But on Christmas Eve, Harry realizes he’s thinking long term with Andrew. And that Andrew has only come to care for the man that Melia’s magic has created. Once again, Melia comes to the rescue, and Harry learns that he can trust what he and Andrew have been building.
Oh, guys, this was a sweet, cute little Christmas story, with a bit of magic thrown in. Though the very beginning was just a little bit…strange for me, the story soon flowed and gave us a whole host of characters to flesh out the tale. I enjoyed this story a lot and it’ll definitely go into my Christmas story rotation.
Harry is adorable, really, even if he speaks before thinking, and has a tendency to put his foot into his mouth. It was easy to see how flustered he gets around Andrew, and I liked the way the author made it clear that what was happening could easily be taken two ways. When we were in Harry’s head, he stuttered and flushed, his mouth running away from him. But when we saw it from Andrew’s POV, it was easy to see how he could take it so wrong and it made Harry seem like a jerk. It was clever and well done, and it really built the scene and showed us exactly what these guys were working with. And how far they had to come to even get to friends, though I wouldn’t call them enemies, let alone become lovers.
Harry and Andrew were both well-crafted and wonderfully drawn characters. I loved getting to know them, and watching them overcome the obstacles in their path to find their way to each other. There were a couple of moments where I had to make a little leap, but it wasn’t hard to make, and the writing was so smooth and the plot flowed so well, that I didn’t have any trouble doing that. I liked these guys a lot, when they got past those first hurdles and really started moving forward, I just fell into the relationship with them.
Jacobs gives us a whole host of well-drawn secondary characters as well, so the story has a real complete feeling. Add to that the clever little things that kept Harry from making a fool out of himself, the subtle, and not so subtle, reminders of the magic, and a really sweet story emerges. It’s very low angst, and the Christmas feel is woven through the tale.
Basically, I just really enjoyed this story, once I got past the somewhat strange beginning, and really found myself absorbed in Andrew and Harry’s relationship. This one is a definite recommendation to anyone who loves Christmas stories.