Mitch Jackson is earning extra money for the holiday season by wrapping gifts at a department store. That’s where he meets the most beautiful man he’s ever seen. But Mitch doesn’t get the man’s name…until he comes back again. The third time Austin Payne appears, Austin asks Mitch out to dinner.
The connection between them is strong right from the start, and they both feel like something more is brewing. They decide to wait before they go to bed together and spend time getting to know each other first. By the time they do finally sleep together, both men are thoroughly invested. And both Mitch and Austin know this isn’t just a holiday fling, but the start of something amazing.
A Shae Conner holiday novella? I was ready to read this even before I read the blurb. I’m a sucker for sweet holiday stories, and Conner delivers in spades. Mitch and Austin have such a connection right from the start that it’s clear to both of them, and the reader, it’s more than just a date or hook up.
There’s a bit of a fairy tale feeling to this short novella in that it’s a perfect confluence of events for the MCs. Their meet cute is adorable and they are both open to more. I loved that when they recognized what they were feeling, they talked about it and were on the same page. Even though there were only about 50 pages to this story, there was no rushing with their romance. They took the time to get to know one another and to know that they were in it for the long haul. I also loved that it ended with an HFN, as it was fitting for the characters and the story. But it was a solid one, and there’s no doubt for the reader that with a bit more time, these two guys will be fully and completely in love.
I was looking for a little bit more character development, especially when it came to Austin. This story is told solely through Mitch’s third person POV, and he’s a great narrator. But as a result, we didn’t get to know Austin as well. Both guys are sweet and big hearted and transparent when talking to each other, but I missed out on Austin’s side of things a bit. In relation to that, Mitch had some worry about their apparent wealth disparities (Austin seemingly comes from a wealthy family) and I’d have liked to see that more directly addressed, since it was weighing on Mitch’s mind.
But those things are minor in the grand scheme of things. This story is set in NYC in the magic of winter, with holiday feelings in the background. I really enjoyed the two MCs, their chemistry was fantastic, and watching them fall together was wonderful. If you’re looking for a quick, sweet, holiday read, this one is it.