It’s the holiday season again and Jonah Gray is dreading the annual ball he attends at his parents’ request. Jonah is wealthy and successful and his parents wish he would bring a date each year. Jonah is fine not having a steady date as he’s busy enough, but one fateful trip in the elevator changes everything.
Sacha Ivanov just started working in the same building as Jonah. Their first meeting in a close space sets off sparks between the two of them and Sacha finds himself at a high-end party and then Jonah’s penthouse that same night. The men can’t stop thinking about each other and, since neither of them wants a relationship, decide friends-with-benefits is the best plan for them. But the magic of holidays is upon them and both men might just reconsider and ask for something more.
Garrett Leigh offers up an easy-to-read story set around the holidays, including her trademark of two sometimes difficult characters. Jonah and Sacha both work too much and are both stressed. They think they don’t have time for a relationship or don’t want a relationship, but they are both lonely and it takes some time for them to recognize this.
The men spend about 20 minutes in an elevator together, so it was a stretch for me for this book to be tagged as forced proximity in the blurb. But that is the catalyst that sets the men up. The attraction is immediate, the conversation intrigues them both, and Sacha winds up being Jonah’s fake boyfriend for the night. However, only Jonah’s parents think Sacha is his fake boyfriend and the rest of the time at the office the men try and pretend like they don’t really know each other, so again, the fake relationship part is not the main focus.
The men know what they like however, and steamy nights together quickly become addictive. These two understand each other and work better together, except they don’t know how to act when others are around. Sacha gets mad when he realizes he is catching feelings for Jonah and tries hard to push Jonah away and regrets it each time.
The men also both have issues in their past that they still deal with. Sacha’s issues stem from his family back in Russia and he was more closed off and, even by the end, his story wasn’t fully revealed. There is enough to get a sense of him, but this is not a story of in-depth character development. Their jobs are also a focal point of the story, but at the end there also wasn’t closure on what was next for the men.
You will find here a story of two men who are instantly attracted to each other and have to break through their own defenses, as well as each other’s, to find love during the holiday season.