10 February 2015

Christmas in His Heart by Havan Fellows & Lee Brazil

 Christmastime brings joy to hearts everywhere. Between snow angels, festive clothing, holiday decorations, and of course, all the beautiful lights, it’s hard not to partake in the season.

Unless you no longer have Christmas in your heart.

Dermot Alasdair has never shared the horrific memories that keep him from celebrating the happiest time of the year, nor does he ever plan to. He’s fine being alone and shut off from everyone; he has his restaurant and that’s all he needs. He believes that, too…until the craft store next door from his eatery hires a perpetually smiling annoyance. Really, it isn’t normal for someone to be that happy all the time.

Xander Leahman didn’t know what he was getting into when he accepted an invitation to visit his best friend and help her interview people for the newly created position of manager at Craft Time. When a surly man bumps into him and then walks away with an enticing sway to his hips, Xander decides the position—and Dermot—are perfect for him. Now all he can think of is finding ways to get Dermot out of his clothes. Well that, and how to open this grinch’s heart to the Christmas season and, hopefully, love.
The first thing I need to say is that I read this book after the holidays were over. And that might have been a mistake. One gets so holiday’d out that reading a Christmas book afterwards may not reflect the book as well as if read before.

The basic storyline was good: Curmudgeon meets over-the-top boy and feels instant attraction, though he can’t stand how holiday’esque said boy is. Against his better judgment, he falls for said boy. His worst fears come to pass and he pushes said boy away. So the question lies: will he get the boy back or not?

The story between the two men was told well, but there were some huge gaping plot holes. Dermot works so hard on a project…we never see it presented, but do hear it went through. It seemed somewhat anticlimactic. Dermot’s history was hinted at and there was at least one reference that made it sound as though his parents turned on him after his brother died – that they even blamed him. And yet, at the end, that doesn’t seem to be what happened at all.

I won’t tell you what happened at the end (though the epilogue is worth the whole book), but the complete turnaround by one character…I wish there’d been a bit more buildup. It seemed off.

Anyway, I still think that the storyline was good and I adored Xander. This is one book that would have had a +half star, but since we can’t do that, a solid 3 stars.


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