Length: 50,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
When Sam spots the hot guy moving in next door, he’s all for going round to introduce himself. That soon changes when it turns out his new neighbour is in fact an old school acquaintance, Charles Whitmore. Sam didn’t like him back then, and fifteen years haven’t altered that.
Splitting up from his long-term boyfriend means a move across the city for Charlie. As luck would have it, his immediate neighbour is a guy he went to school with, Sam Gellar. While Sam is less than welcoming, his best mate is more than happy to invite Charlie into their social circle. Whatever problem Sam has with Charlie, Charlie resolves to get to the bottom of it, because, frosty beginnings aside, Charlie likes him.
With Christmas just around the corner, fate thrusts them together, and they get on so much better than they ever did at school. Despite his efforts not to, Sam develops feelings for Charlie, and they appear to be reciprocated. If Sam wants to take things further he needs to either confront Charlie about their past--a past Charlie seems to have forgotten entirely--or let it go and move on. Sam knows deep down that he can’t let it go, but it never seems the right time to bring it up. Until it is.
Old Acquaintance has a touch of enemies to lovers…I say a touch since only Sam has this notion, and honestly he wavers about that pretty quickly once he and Charlie are around each other more. This story is relatively low angst, and of the bit there is it actually resolves pretty quickly once brought to the surface.
Sam was basically a nice guy, though his old grudge against Charlie grew a little tiresome after a while. Once that’s resolved, and a little later in the book when Sam is finally reassured of his place in Charlie’s life, I felt more at ease with his character. Charlie is very sweet, he was definitely my favorite of the two. Putting Sam’s whole grudge thing aside, everything else between them was great and they did fit well together.
Some other things I liked about this story: There are some good, solid secondary characters here, especially Sam’s best friend Dave. There’s not really any major conflict in the book, which is exactly how I prefer holiday romances—less crazy and more cozy. The epilogue made for a nice revisit to Sam and Charlie a year later, with a feel-good ending that made me smile.
Though you might feel a little put out with Sam’s mostly internalized grudge, Old Acquaintance is still a good holiday romance that deserves a slot in your library and was somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars for me. The physical intimacy is pretty light, but even so there’s enough along with the adult language to make this one for readers 18+.
About the Author
Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They're usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.
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