Rudy is totally into his coworker Zac, but not only does Zac not seem to notice him, he also doesn’t interact much with anyone from the office. When the gang convinces Zac to finally go out with them for drinks, Rudy gets a chance to know him better, and some flirting and drunken kisses help him realize he really is interested in Zac. When Rudy learns that Zac has no plans for Christmas, he invites him to come home and spend the holiday with his family.
Zac grew up without a family and usually keeps to himself, so he surprises himself when he agrees to go home with Rudy. It turns out Rudy’s family Christmas is everything Zac ever dreamed about as a child, full of food and warmth and togetherness. Zac gets a chance to know Rudy better too, and he definitely likes him, but Zac is wary about getting too involved. Even though it is clear that Rudy would like to take things further, Zac has no experience in relationships and doesn’t think he has what it takes to have something real with Rudy. Not to mention that no one he loves has ever stuck around, and he is not sure he can bear to have his heart broken again. But as the holiday continues, Zac realizes he may be able to have everything he has always wanted with Rudy.
A Family for Christmas is a light, warm, holiday romance. We first meet the guys at the office where Rudy is crushing on Zac, but Zac keeps himself at a distance from Rudy and everyone else. We then move over to Rudy’s family home for the holiday and see Zac start to take down the walls he has built around himself as he spends time with Rudy and his loving, if quirky, family. Rudy is interested in Zac from the start, but Zac is holding himself back out of fear and doubts, and it takes him a while to stop being afraid and take steps forward with Rudy. This story is as much about Zac experiencing the joy of a family Christmas as it is about the two men together. In fact, at times I did wish for more on the relationship end and seeing them get to know one another, rather than so much focus on how this is the perfect Christmas experience. But I think Northcote does a nice job of showing Zac opening up as he spends more time with Rudy’s family and their warmth and support is part of what helps him ultimately realize that things can work out between him and Rudy.
As I said, this is a warm, sweet story. There isn’t much conflict here, just the guys getting to know one another under the backdrop of the family holiday. I think it works well for what it is, however, and fans of holiday stories and Northcote’s writing will find much to like here. So this one is an enjoyable story about two men finding love and sharing the joy of family over the holidays.