*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*
Zac never had a family of his own, but Rudy has enough to share.
Shy, inexperienced Rudy has a crush on Zac from the moment his new colleague walks through the door. On an office night out before Christmas, Rudy finds the courage to make a move, and they form a tentative bond. When he discovers Zac will be alone at Christmas, he invites Zac to come home with him.
Zac prefers to keep people at arm’s length. Yet when Rudy offers him a family Christmas it’s impossible to resist. With no parents of his own, Zac is pleasantly surprised to be welcomed by Rudy’s. The only drawback is that everyone assumes they’re a couple. Unwilling to disappoint Rudy’s mum and make Christmas awkward, they decide not to deny it.
It’s not a chore for Zac to pose as Rudy’s boyfriend, but the pretence makes him want things that scare him—things like a real relationship with Rudy. Zac’s suffered enough rejection in his life already and is afraid to risk his heart. If he can get over his past rejection and let Rudy inside his armour, he might get more for Christmas than he ever imagined.
This was – without exaggeration – perfect as always, it was totally charming and sweet.
My heart needed this right now. ❤ So purrrrfect. :3
This novella has sweet character I want to cuddle. :3 All of them. ❤
Zac remined me not often but sometimes of the Grinch or a less-digusting Scrooge XD But of course he is kind-hearted and no villain. 🙂 He is just misunderstood and very secretive and hestitantly in getting in near contact with other.
From his looks he is different from the lean, tall Rudy. He is a few inches shorter and is “compact power”.
Rudy with his schoolboy charme is nice described, with kissable lips, and so the tension between Zac and Rudy is rising several times in the book. He is the “innocent” guy, but changes within the book a few times, especially he acts different – and not to the bad – when he is with his family. As Zac said somewhere in the book: a determined Rudy is rare. xD
As said the tension is always there between the two main character, from the visit of the bar until the one scene in Ruby’s home. I am just saying: closet making out ❤ So hooooot. I will remember this scene fondly and with a large grin on. 😀
Another fact which impressed me was the (sex) transformation of one of the minor character. The character Eric was very nice to read about and I hope maybe we see him again? Also since it is a personal topic for Jay this is really touching and I assume Eric is some kind of alter ego for Jay in the book, at least this is the way I read it. 😉 Anyway, in any way it impressed me totally and I am so happy to have those and the other pleasant minor character.
The past of Zac was also totally touching and totally realistic. This book gives you a feeling like being wrapped in a cozy blanket, not new but worn and slightly torn, with holes, still comforting and comfortable.
A thing I have to laugh about: Rudy’s name. XD I don’t know if it was really planned but since it is a story placed around the christmas days and with all the holiday celebrations the name is a short version of the famous Reindeer’s name Rudolf. xD And within the thought I can’t stop imagine a blushing Rudy, with a red nose. xDD Hilarious picture. xD
FULL 5 out of 5 stars! Re-read guaranteed ❤
Have a look at the great cover ❤
Title: A Family for Christmas
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press (self published)
Length: 44,000 words approx
Genre: Contemporary m/m romance, feelgood, heartwarming
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Release Date: Friday 18th of November 2016
Series info: This book is a standalone
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*NB: This book will be exclusive to Amazon for 90 days, after that it will be available at all major retailers.
The toast had popped, and when Rudy went to get the butter out of the fridge, he automatically straightened the photo of his family in its magnetic frame, a shot of them from last Christmas at the dinner table, all wearing paper hats and raising their glasses at the camera. He froze, staring at their smiling faces, as another memory from last night came back to him.
Oh my God. Had he really invited Zac home for Christmas, or was that a dream? Nope, Rudy was pretty sure it was real now the details were coming back to him. But the weirdest part was that Zac had said yes. Maybe he just said yes to shut Rudy up and was hoping he wouldn’t remember.
“You all right there?”
Zac’s voice made him jump guiltily. “Yeah, sorry. Miles away. I’m in a bit of a daze this morning.” He got the butter out and put it on the kitchen table. On autopilot, he gathered plates, knives, spreads and the coffee. Zac was still standing awkwardly in the doorway. “Have a seat.”
As they poured, spread, ate, and drank, the silence between them grew until Rudy wanted to hack through it with the butter knife. He had no idea where to begin, but they needed to leave for work in half an hour and he couldn’t leave things like this. Rudy had to know what was going on.
Was Zac seriously planning on coming home with him for Christmas? Rudy didn’t regret issuing the invitation, other than how hopelessly needy and overeager it made him look. He liked Zac—okay, he fancied him too, but that wasn’t the point—and he didn’t like the idea of Zac spending Christmas alone. Nobody should spend Christmas alone unless they really wanted to, and Rudy had got the feeling that Zac didn’t. Zac’s excuses about being antisocial hadn’t rung true after how he’d opened up last night, and his defensiveness had come off as protesting too much.
Rudy began tentatively. “So… um. About this Christmas plan….”
“Look, it’s okay. You were drunk. I’m sure you didn’t really mean to invite me home with you for Christmas. Don’t worry about it.”
“No! That’s not what I meant.” Rudy drew in a breath to give him the courage to be honest. “I did mean it. Okay, yes, I was drunk, and I wouldn’t have had the guts to ask you otherwise. But I’d really like it if you came.” He met Zac’s dark eyes and willed him to believe him. “It would be cool to get to know you better, and my family would be totally fine with it. I don’t like to think about you being on your own on Christmas Day—unless you really want to be.”
Zac shrugged, his shoulders tense and eyes wary. “It wouldn’t be the first time.”
A wave of pity swept over Rudy, but he instinctively knew that if he let that show, it would be a mistake. Instead, he shrugged. “Well the offer’s there. It’s your call.”
Zac took another bite of his toast and chewed slowly while Rudy waited. He could almost hear the gears turning in Zac’s head as he weighed his options. Finally he nodded. “I’ll come.”
Happiness flooded Rudy and he couldn’t stop a huge grin from spreading over his face. “Brilliant. I’ll phone Mum later.”
They stared at each other for a moment, and then Zac smiled too—a little uncertainly, but Rudy would take what he could get from Zac. His gaze dropped to Zac’s lips, and something twisted in his chest as he thought about kissing him last night. They really ought to talk about that too, but Rudy was afraid that if he brought it up, Zac would insist it was a drunken mistake. As long as the kiss went unmentioned, Rudy’s hope could live on.
Author bio – Jay Northcote
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.
Author links / get in contact