The way to a man’s heart is on a sleigh.
Arthur Anderson doesn’t want anything to do with love and romance, and he certainly doesn’t want to play Santa in his mother’s library fundraising scheme. He knows full well what she really wants is to hook him up with the town’s lanky, prissy librarian.
It’s clear Gabriel Higgins doesn’t want him, either—as a Santa, as a boyfriend, as anyone at all. But when Arthur’s efforts to wiggle out of the fundraiser lead to getting to know the man behind the storytime idol, he can’t help but be charmed. The least he can do is be neighborly and help Gabriel find a few local friends.
As their fiery arguments strike hotter sparks, two men who insist they don’t date wind up doing an awful lot of dating. And it looks like the sleigh they both tried not to board could send them jingling all the way to happily ever after.
Warning: Contains a feisty librarian, a boorish bear, small town politics, deer sausage, and a boy who wants a doll.
We met Arthur in book one. He was Paul’s f*ck buddy, he likes his sex rough, he’s a ginger, “pocket bear”, rough around the edges, not looking for a “partner” but he doesn’t like to be alone either.
Gabriel is the new librarian. He’s tall, geeky, awkward and in no way interested in Arthur.
Arthur’s mother works with Gabe at the library and schemes to get these guys working together in the hopes that sparks might fly between them, romantically. It’s a preposterous notion – they couldn’t be more different – but somehow… they connect – and how!
It is far from smooth sailing between them. Gabe has so many issues, including trust, and he needs special handling. Arthur is like a bull in a china shop when emotions are involved so it seems pretty hopeless.
They rally around the library fund-raiser and Arthur’s nephew and find that – if they’re both really brave – they might just have what it takes to make things between them work.
This book resonated with me on so many levels. It was amazing. I absolutely laughed then cried then swooned… it truly affected me very strongly.
I think Gabe’s character was the most compelling – for me. He feels such shame about his desires. He wants so badly to be the champion for the under-dog and when it comes to others he can be so fierce, but when it comes to defending himself and his wants and needs, he crumples.
My most favorite part of this book revolves around “William’s Doll” a story for children wherein a boy wants a doll and his folks won’t let him have it. Oh. My. God. I bawled! The way Gabriel handled it was absolutely amazing. I would have loved to have such a strong advocate in my library growing up. He was so brave. Bringing “big city” ideas to the sticks and letting people see that caring and nurturing are not exclusively feminine traits. (Or if they are, then we all have both types of characters in us.)
I also loved his vision of what a library should be. Being a library lover, I found his “new and improved” vision to be astounding. To look at the library as more than a stacking place for books and see it as a place for disseminating information of all types… amazing!
Another really touching scene was when Arthur and Gabe connected over graphic novels. Again, another “hidden” prejudice that gets “outed”. The love of literature can really extend past our traditional definitions.
And the smexy times. Though I connected the least with the things Arthur and Gabe liked to share in bed, I really appreciated Arthur’s no-nonsense approach to it. “Sex is sex”. If it feels good to both partners – do it. No need to perseverate on it and feel badly about it. So down to earth and such good advice.
“Next time I’m gonna lick you.” Arthur flashed his tongue over the nipple tip as he roughly palmed Gabriel’s dick, tugging his own out of his pants and thrusting them together, heated, velvet flesh. “For an hour. Make you crazy. Make you beg, honey. Let you say no to me, then I’ll makeyou say yes.” He humped, sliding their cocks together, sucking on Gabriel’s chest. “Because you don’t want me to stop, do you, baby? Say it. Hump me and say it.”
Finally – the ending. It has to rank – for me- up in the top ten most romantic endings I’ve ever read. It was absolutely wonderful and ooey and gooey and tear-jerking and perfect!
Gabriel bit his lip and closed his eyes, but the tears spilled out. He could feel everyone around him, feel them waiting, hoping, worrying.
Loving him. Just the way he was.
I think each book in this series can be read on it’s own, but I think it’s best read in order. This is (by far) my favorite in the series and I can’t recommend it, the series or the author enough.
6 of 5 stars
Copy Purchased for Review
Samhain Publishing Presents