Justin is recently and unhappily single. Christmas is coming, and he doesn’t want to face his ex alone at their office party. So Sean—Justin’s best mate and long-time secret crush—volunteers to go with him and pretend to be his new flame.
Sean has always lusted after Justin from afar, but there’s never been a good opportunity to ask him for more than friendship. Posing as Justin’s boyfriend isn’t a chore, and if Justin wants to rebound onto him, Sean’s more than willing. At the party pretence and reality blur, and a kiss on the dance floor leads to a night of passion.
In the aftermath, they both assume it was a one-time thing until fate intervenes. Stuck together in London over the holidays, they give in to temptation again. But what happens at Christmas stays at Christmas… right?
Length: 37,000 words
What Happens at Christmas by Jay Northcote combines two of my favorite tropes: friends to lovers and holiday magic. Justin and Sean were both written beautifully. Even though this is a novella, I felt there was plenty of time given to getting to know both characters, as well as explore their feelings for one another.
It would have been so easy for this story to take a turn into a cheesy mess, but the author never went that far. It was a perfect balance between Sean and Justin trying to play their parts in front of Justin’s ex and them trying to decide whether to hide or reveal their own feelings.
Even though it would have been plausible if they had jumped right into the sack, I appreciated that there was a bit of build up to them doing the deed. It made their connection that much stronger and believable.
I’m not typically a fan of novellas because they always leave me feeling like something’s missing, but that was NOT the case this time. I feel confident that Justin and Sean are on their way to a great new life together and will stand the test of time!
This book has already been added to my holiday collection and I can’t wait until next year when I can enjoy it all over again!
5 pieces of Eye Candy