Author: Catherine Lievens
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 01/20/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Winter Holiday
Belgium expat Benoit Girault has only worked in the administrative department of Toys for All in Milwaukee for a few short months, but it’s long enough for him to miss everyone back home and to fall for coworker Jake Manning—not that Jake ever notices him. Or so Benoit thinks.
Jake notices Benoit all right, but he doesn’t want to risk mixing business with pleasure, not when it could create problems in the office. So when Jake’s friend and boss, Randall, tells him to team up with Benoit to organize a Saint Nicholas party, he’s less than thrilled. But as they work together and Jake nurses Benoit through an illness, he realizes some people might be worth risking it all for.
If you follow this blog with any regularity, you have probably at least seen that I have reviewed every title in Catherine Lieven’s Whitedell Pride and Gillham Pack series. Early on in those series, I wasn’t so impressed, but there was something about the writing that told me that the author had potential. I think I even made the statement that I wanted to see what she could do with better editing. While I have enjoyed watching her grow as an author throughout those two series, I was excited to see her branching away from her shifter series. I wanted to see what else she could do.
I will flat out tell you that I am impressed. I enjoyed Benoit’s Surprise Christmas from start to finish. I enjoyed getting to know both Ben and Jake. I enjoyed seeing their back and forth. I enjoyed seeing them grow together and act on the feelings both already had. I was sad to see their tale end.
For those of you wondering why there is a Christmas release in January, don’t fear. While the Belgian St Nicholas celebration is depicted, it is merely the catalyst to bring the main characters together. It is the backdrop for their growing closeness. There is also a little Valentine’s action for your holiday pleasure. In case you didn’t know, Lievens is a native of Belgium, so I enjoyed seeing her work her culture into the story.
There is not a lot of angst in this story. It is too short for that. It is a sweet tale of two secret crushes becoming less and less secret. It is a story of two men breaking the rules for a chance at something real. It is only a start, but a pretty solid and endearing one.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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