After losing his father to cancer at the start of the school year and beginning classes late, Lucas hasn’t really made many friends at college. It doesn’t help that as a freshman he is stuck with a senior roommate, Sam, who is kind of a self absorbed jerk. So when Sam’s family invites Lucas to come spend the holidays with them, he isn’t so sure, but he figures going with them is better than spending the holidays alone in the dorm.
Lucas ends up sharing a room with Sam’s brother, Nate. Lucas finds Nate all kinds of sexy, but he has zero experience with guys and isn’t sure where to even start. It turns out, however, that Nate is definitely interested and more than happy to guide Lucas along some fun vacation exploration. Nate is clear that he is not out, nor is he looking for anything serious, but Lucas is willing to enjoy the experience, even though part of him wishes for more.
As the family shares holiday celebrations, sightseeing in New York, and family movie nights, Lucas and Nate get to know each other better. The guys start falling for one another, but Nate still isn’t sure he is looking for anything serious, not to mention his family doesn’t know he is gay, and the guys are in schools hours apart. But as the holidays wind to a close, Nate and Lucas realize that they are not quite ready to give up the connection they have made.
Eight Nights in December is a cute holiday story from Keira Andrews. This book is a revised, expanded, and republished version of her story Eight Nights, originally released by Loose Id. I found this one light and sexy, and it’s a quick, easy read at just about 100 pages.
Lucas and Nate are both likable guys and you can feel their attraction right away. There is a bit of a geeky hero vibe in Nate, and Lucas is shy and uncertain, but when they get together both men are confident and bring lots of heat.
Lucas has just lost his father and his mother died years ago, so he is all alone and having trouble making friends and fitting in. He isn’t so sure about staying with his obnoxious roommate’s family, but its that or be all alone. The Kramers are warm and welcoming and we get some nice scenes of their Chanukah celebration and traditions. The story takes place over eight nights (as befitting a Chanukah tale) and the festivities are incorporated nicely into the book without overwhelming the story.
I do feel like things don’t get quite as fully developed as I would like. After eight days these guys are definitely interested in something more, and the epilogue takes us to a year later where things are settled for them. But there are a lot of key elements that are resolved during this time jump that I would have liked to see actually take place on page. For example, each man is struggling with his major and whether he is taking a path that he truly wants, or one that their parents have encouraged. So we get information about what happened in the epilogue, but we don’t actually see this being worked out. The other big issue for me is Nate’s conflict with his parents whom he thinks don’t care about him nearly as much as they do the golden boy athlete Sam. He has always felt second best by a long shot, and we see them dismiss his interest in photography as his “little hobby,” and again, I wanted to see this addressed, not just mentioned after the fact as resolved. I also think Sam makes this transformation from total insensitive jerk at the start of the book to sort of “pesky older brother” by the end, and we don’t get much explanation for that transformation. So I do think this story would have benefited from a little more development of some key issues.
That said, this is a light and fun story with a holiday spin. The guys are likable, they are fun and sexy together, and I could feel a connection between them even in a relatively short story. I particularly enjoyed the Chanukah elements and felt like the holiday is nicely incorporated into the book. There were some areas I wish were developed a bit more, but overall this is a nice choice if you are looking for an entertaining holiday story.