Thursday, December 14, 2017

Book Review: SECRET SANTA by Jay Northcote

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Length: 38,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design


Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship

Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son there aren't many hours left over. Heís lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn't mention that he has a child. It's early days and he's worried about putting Luke off before they get to know each other.

Luke is currently working as Santa at the local shopping mall. He figures Theo never has to know. Christmas will be over soon and Luke will move on to a new, less embarrassing job. He's surprised when Theo and a little boy visit Santa one afternoon. Theo doesn't recognise Luke, and Luke realises he's not the only one with a secret.

Despite misgivings on both sides, they start dating, and the chemistry is amazing. But as Christmas approaches their secrets pile up like colourful packages under the tree. If they're not careful, they'll lose the best gift of all-each other.

Carra's Review

Now this?  This is exactly what I like to read for holiday romance.  A relatively quick read for me, sweet and cute with just the right touch of angst, and just a few touches of spice to heat things up—all centered around Christmas for that bit of holiday magic.

Both Luke and Theo have things about themselves they don’t want to reveal to someone new; Luke because he’s a bit embarrassed about his holiday job and Theo because he doesn’t want a potential boyfriend to bolt once they find out he has a child.  These may seem like things that have been written about before, but the author puts a fresh spin on them by weaving a little twist into it with Luke finding out Theo’s secret without Theo knowing it, adding a convoluted bit of extra secrets into the mix.

As the story progresses, I was hoping all that secrecy wouldn’t wind up blowing up in Luke and Theo’s faces—because they had such a natural chemistry between them, everything with them felt just right and I wanted to see them make it as a couple.  They had physical attraction as well as a great rapport with each other, easily feeling comfortable together even once Theo’s son Archie (who is absolutely adorable) is adding into the equation.

Secret Santa was a fun, mostly light holiday romance, and it was a very solid 4-star read for me.  I definitely recommend this story to anyone looking for a good M/M holiday romance.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and some hot and steamy sexual content. 

Author Bio

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story-just to see if he could-and found it rather addictive. He hasn't stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

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