Length: 48,000 words approx
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
For Ben Slater, moving back to Bristol means being closer to his family, living with his best mate, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. But there's also Jason, his best mate's eldest brother. Ben's had a crush on Jason for as long as he can remember, but the eleven-year age gap has always seemed insurmountable.
Jason Armitage works as a vet at his uncle's practice. He owns a cute cottage on the outskirts of the city, and a loving dog. The one thing missing is someone to share it all with. His brother's best friend seems a bad choice, but Jason can't help taking a second look. Ben's changed a lot since Jason last saw him; both in appearance and attitude. Gone is the shy young boy, replaced with a confident, twenty-four-year-old man.
In the run up to Christmas, the festive period gives Ben the ideal opportunity to show Jason what he has to offer. But concerns for his brother's feelings hold Jason back. If they have any chance of making this work, Ben must convince Jason that he's old enough to know what he wants, and Jason needs to believe that a relationship with his brother's best friend won't ruin their friendship.
Ben tried not to look, but inevitably his gaze was drawn to Jason still sat on the sofa. He stood as Pete stepped back, and Ben got a proper look at him. Ben wasn’t the only one who’d changed a little over the past couple of years. The last time he’d seen Jason, his hair had been short, like an army cut, and he’d had a beard. He’d looked hot then, but now…. Ben had to forcibly shut his mouth so he didn’t gape.
Jason’s thick dark hair, still shaved at the sides, was now a good couple of inches longer on top. And he was clean shaven. Ben kind of missed the beard, but without it Jason looked much younger, and his strong jawline was a thing of beauty. He looked thinner, too. Ben frowned because Jason ate like a horse and had always been bulkier than his brothers. That thought somehow made its way out of Ben’s mouth.
“Have you lost weight?”
Jason laughed softly, one hand immediately going to his stomach. He patted his belly and sighed. “God don’t you start. Mum’s already been on at me about not eating properly.” He pulled Ben in for a quick hug. “It’s good to see you, even if you do put the rest of us to shame.”
Oh God, that voice. As smooth and deep as Ben remembered.
This is such a sweet story with a nice splash of spice. I love the best friend’s brother trope, and making it a holiday romance is even better. Know what’s better than that? Adding in some adorable animals to the mix. Yeah, I’m a sucker for the animals…
The development of Ben and Jason’s relationship, while a long time coming, doesn’t feel rushed and is pretty low on the angst scale. It has that feeling of “finally!” to it, along with the relief of “yes, it’s just as wonderful as I thought it would be” for both Ben and Jason.
While there is a lack of drama, this is still a feel-good read that will make you smile (especially if you’re an animal lover), and Not Just for Christmas was a 4-star read for me. The supporting characters of Ben and Jason’s families are a good complement to the two of them, especially Ben’s best friend/Jason’s brother Liam. This story is one I’d recommend to all M/M romance fans, and it’s one for readers 18+ for some adult language and sexual content (oh yes, there’s that splash of spice!).
November 28 - The Blogger Girls, Gay Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Gay Media Reviews, Mikku-chan
December 2 - Making It Happen
December 4 - BooksLaidBareBoys, My Book Filled Life, V's Reads
December 6 - OMG Reads, Fannatality
December 8 - Valerie Ullmer, Au Boudoir Ecarlate, The Geekery Book Review
December 11 - Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Nicole's Book Musings
December 13 - Hearts On Fire Reviews, A Book Lover's Dream Blog, BFD Book Blog, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Wicked Faerie's Tales & Reviews
December 15 - Drops Of Ink, Bayou Book Junkie, Diverse Reader, Book Lovers 4Ever, Lelyana's Book Blog
|Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions|