He loves no-one and never will.
Lord Christmas Gale is a genius and a misanthrope, and, quite to his disgust, adored by all of Society for his capacity to solve mysteries. When a man approaches him seeking help in locating a lost dog, Gale rebuffs him. But what begins with a missing dog ends in murder and intrigue–two of Gale’s favourite things, if it weren’t for the orphan that comes attached to them. Oh, and Benjamin Chant.
He has sworn to never love again.
The Honourable Mr. Benjamin Chant isn’t sure how he got swept up in Gale’s mad investigation, but there’s something intriguing about the man–a vulnerability that most of the world doesn’t notice, but which captures Chant’s interest, and his sympathy, from their first meeting. After a disastrous love affair in the past, Chant has sworn to never give his heart away again. Especially to a man who does not want it.
But it isn’t just their hearts at stake.
When their investigation takes a dangerous turn and their lives are threatened, both Gale and Chant are forced into the realisation that perhaps two imperfect men might fit perfectly together–that is, if they can outwit the killer who is intent on seeing them both dead.
A Case for Christmas is the second book in the Lords of Bucknall Club series, where the Regency meets m/m romance.
Chant put an arm around Gale’s shoulders as comfortably as though they were the oldest and dearest of friends. They sat in silence for a moment. Then Chant’s hand drifted up, his fingers threading through Gale’s hair. Gale stiffened. Forced himself to take measured breaths. What on earth… ? Chant carded the strands gently, and Gale felt a strange but not unpleasant prickle go up his spine. Chant’s fingers brushed the hair at Gale’s temple, and then his nails dragged very lightly to the back of Gale’s scalp where they dug in just a little. This time, Gale’s whole body seemed to jump like a candle flame.
He swallowed hard. “What… what are you doing?”
“Shall I stop?”
“No. I—I just don’t understand what…” He trailed off.
“Have you truly never known the pleasure of having your hair stroked?” There was a smile in Chant’s voice, but a sadness in his tone that made Gale at once defensive.
“I… I’m sure I…” But he could think of no instance where anyone had run their fingers through his hair this way. The room grew completely still, until there was nothing but Chant’s gentle touch, and Gale’s awkward pattern of tensing, then letting go, and then tensing again as he tried to acclimatise himself to the sensations. “No,” he muttered finally as though conceding a great defeat.
“Do you dislike it?”
“The only thing I dislike about it is that I am perpetually dreading the moment you’ll cease,” Gale snapped.
“Well, then I shall never cease.”
Gale snorted in spite of himself.
“If you will indulge me, I’ll arrange you so that it is easier for both of us.”
Chant seemed to be waiting for the rest of whatever Gale had to say. But Gale did not have more to say. He inhaled and then released his breath, trying to slacken his body but to little avail. “All right,” he whispered.
I absolutely love historicals, especially the Elizabethan era. And because m/m historicals are challenging to find, I usually gobble them up right away. (As an example, I was supposed to read three books before I received this arc…as soon as I received it, it jumped to the front without question). I also love stand-offish, snarky characters, and enjoyed Christmas Gale so much in book 1. He could never remember (wink wink) how many sisters he had, or their names. He just made me laugh. So, this was an instant read for me.
Gale is a reluctant hero, who once again gets caught up in mysteries and his detective work. And his banter with Chant was fantastic. It allowed their personalities to shine through, both the grumpy of one, and the sunshine of the other. However, they really seemed to be a great couple together, offsetting each others’ quirks.
The side characters were fantastic, and it just made the book that much more fun, but was still interwoven with a mystery to be solved.
I’m not sure I could have enjoyed this book more, and I’m ready for book 3.
4.5 pieces of eye candy
About JA Rock:
J.A. Rock is the author of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A.’s books have received Lambda Literary, INDIEFAB, and EPIC Award nominations, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Novel Award. 24/7 was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101, and a Rainbow Awards finalist for 2019’s Anhaga.
To connect with Lisa on social media, you can find her here:
She also has a Facebook group where you’ll be kept in the loop with updates on releases, have a chance to win prizes, and probably see lots of lots of pictures of her dog and cats. You can find it here: Lisa Henry’s Hangout.