It’s the last week before Christmas and you know what that means: Christmas carols, Christmas cookies, Christmas parties, and Christmas stress. So what better way to unwind than with a some nice sweet stories and a glass or two of eggnog? I can’t think of anything better to do do with my weekend, anyway. So here are two candy cane flavored books for you, both of which promise some holiday happily ever afters for your relaxation.
O Hell, All Ye Shoppers by Louisa Masters
Ethan Hall was going to relax. It was the last Saturday before Christmas, December the 23rd, and all he wanted was his television, junk food, and a couch. What he got was his younger sister calling, almost in tears, begging him to do her one little, tiny favor: Go to the mall and pick up a present. It wouldn’t be like he had to go shopping, after all. She’d already ordered it! All he had to do was go to to the mall on one of the last shopping days before Christmas and pick it up! Please?
Of course he gives in. It’s his sister, he kind of has to. And so Ethan ends up in line at an upscale woman’s shop where he meets perhaps the only other man in the store. Ty is looking for a last minute present for his sister and upon seeing what Ethan has (a present picked out by his baby sister for his older sister), decides to buy the same thing for his own relative! It’s perfect, right?
But not as perfect as the spark that flares up between them. They agree to meet up for lunch, which turns into an hours long conversation followed by dinner and a quick snuggle on the couch, which leads to something more.
This book has everything you need for that true Christmas spirit. Trying to park at the mall, being stalked by other drivers as you walk to your car, standing in line, and easy listening Christmas carols. It also has a charming couple who find out that fate itself had a hand in picking out the wrapping paper. Light and fluffy, it’s a perfect bit of Christmas sugar for the holiday week.
Stokely is a quiet man, self-contained, and comfortable living his quiet life. He has a good, if unexciting, job where he helps people, a comfortable and clean apartment, and an assistant who doubles as a friend. He also has a crush on a local radio celebrity who he listens to every day of every week of every month. But not this month, because it’s December, which means Christmas carols all day long.
Christmas has never been Stokely’s favorite holiday. For Asher, though, Christmas is his favorite time of year! He has a thousand and one events to fit into one month and is trying his best to do them all, even if it means no sleep, no food, and the occasional collapse. When he meets Stokely at one of his more foolish events (ice-skating on the sidewalk), it’s instant attraction. It’s tricky to maintain one’s balance on the ice, after all.
But it’s more than Christmas that brings them together. Both Stokely and Asher grew up in the foster system. While Asher does what he can for his fellow foster kids — events and charities and festivities galore — Stokely would rather put the past behind him. But with a bit of Christmas cheer, and maybe a Christmas miracle, can Asher help Stokely’s heart grow a size or three?
There was nice heart to this book and Stokely and Asher had time to be developed and their story was kind of adorable. As someone who sympathizes with Asher (December is my busiest and most loved month), I couldn’t help but get personally involved with this book and with this romance.
These two novellas are just what I needed to go with my cookies. They’re cute, they’re sweet, and they’re perfect for a quick December read while you wait in line, or snatching a moment between wrapping presents and putting up decorations. I hope they put you into the holiday mood!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.