It’s a couple of days before Christmas and the Armitage pack is getting ready to celebrate. Their biggest problems look to be Nate maneuvering Ian into setting up a million candy canes along the driveway and Matthew having to endure yet another boring council meeting. That is until Arik accidentally raises revenants in the garden while attempting to bring some plants back to life for winter. Soon, the pack is facing an infestation of the dead brought back to life and it will take all of them working together to bring the revenants down. But the men are determined to protect each other and with some machetes, claws, and the creative use of a snowblower, they manage to clean up the zombie mess just in time for Christmas dinner.
A Very Armitage Christmas is a fun novella set in Eliot Grayson’s Mismatched Mates world. It features the couples we have met in the first two books, Ian and Nate, and Arik and Matthew, and is definitely best appreciated by those familiar with the characters and the series.
The focus of the action is on the revenants (Arik will remind you to please not call them zombies) that Arik accidentally raises while trying to tend the winter garden. While the revenants are threatening the pack, this story isn’t as intense as the main books in terms of suspense or action. The tone here is lighter and more fun, as befitting a holiday novella. There are some cute moments as Ian and Matthew battle to see who is the biggest baddie and some light thrills as the pack takes on the revenants in the midst of preparing for Christmas.
What I think Grayson does nicely here is give the story some extra depth by focusing on these characters and their relationships. We see Nate and Ian, who are happily together, but where Ian also has some insecurities about how Nate really feels. He worries about if Nate really loves him and needs him the same way he loves and needs Nate. For Arik, he worries his mistake with the revenants will cause Matthew to be angry and disappointed in him and realize that Arik is more trouble than he is worth. Arik, who still can barely show any real emotion or vulnerability, finds himself particularly raw here. So there are some nice moments as the men work through some insecurities and come out feeling stronger about their relationships. I also really enjoy the dynamic between Nate and Arik, who are slowly feeling their way along to a friendship. Things started out super tense between them, but now they have a somewhat grudging friendship and bond that is fun to see, especially because these guys can get up to a lot of trouble together.
So I found this one a fun Christmas novella and it reminded me just how much I enjoy these men and this series. I am hopeful that Grayson has more to come for the Armitage pack.