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We are reviewing all 5 books today and tomorrow
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Reviewed by Donna
TITLE: Falling for Santa Claus
SERIES: Christmas in July
AUTHOR: C.J. Anthony
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 52 Pages
RELEASE DATE: July 24, 2016
When Jack Frost’s aunt dies and leaves him her house in the tiny town of Great Falls, Jack seizes the opportunity to escape the rat race of Chicago for the quaint village he loved as a child. On his first night he’s welcomed by a baseball bat and a trespassing warning from Nick St. James—longtime Great Falls resident and infamous curmudgeon.
Jack wants to give Nick the benefit of the doubt—he can’t deny his attraction to the big man—but after several run-ins with Nick’s grumpiness and closed-off heart, he’s ready to give up. Only after discovering the secret Nick’s been covering up for years does he vow to break through Nick’s walls to find the loving man hiding behind them.
I’m a total sucker for cute Christmas stories, so Christmas in July stories are an awesome mid-year bonus as far as I’m concerned. And this particular short story from C.J. Anthony, did a great job of conjuring the Christmas spirit.
Despite the fun play on the characters’ names, our main men are both humans of the non-magical variety. Jack has just moved back to the small town he use to visit as a child and the first person he meets is his grumpy neighbor, Nick St. James. Nick’s grouchy nature is well known by all of the town residents, but he’s also an obviously nice person despite the lack of friendliness. When Nick and Jack are thrown together to play important roles in the annual Christmas parade, they find themselves spending some extra time together and Jack gets to the bottom of Jack’s prickliness.
The Christmas aspect of this story was brilliantly done. You could really feel the holiday joy that permeated the tiny town and its residents. From the parade, to “Santa”, to the caroling and the characters’ names – Christmas was evident in every aspect of this story, whether at the forefront or in the periphery. But the author managed to keep the holiday sweetness within acceptable levels.
My only issue with this story was that I didn’t feel a real connection between the main characters. All of the characters were well written, from our MCs to the few secondary characters that pop up, but I felt like Nick and Jack ended up together because they were the only two gay men for miles. Another reader may not get that impression at all, and to be honest, I really enjoyed this story despite that. I also appreciated the fact that both men were over forty, because I don’t think we get enough characters that can grow legit, grey Santa beards.
If you too are a fan of holiday tales, then this short story is totally worth a read.