Release Blitz ~ Christmas Crackers by Jay Northcote (Reviews)

 

 
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh

 

Christmas Crackers: An MM Holiday Romance Collection

 

 
Three sweet and sexy MM Christmas stories in one great collection!

Best friends snowed in together. When the heat rises, will they get cold feet?

Getting snowed in at a remote cottage in Wales with someone he’d fancied for ages isn’t exactly how Sam expected to spend Christmas. His feelings for Ryan are pointless. Ryan’s straight—or so he thought.

Until now, Ryan’s kept his feelings for Sam buried. Why ruin a friendship over what might only be gay experimentation? Playing it cool seems safer, until a cold snap makes sharing body heat vital. In their Welsh safe haven, anything seems possible.

As Ryan’s reserve melts away, Sam wants more than stolen kisses under the mistletoe. But a sudden thaw means making decisions. They could face the New Year together—unless one of them gets cold feet.

 

***


When two friends pose as boyfriends, could what happens at Christmas turn into something more?

Justin is recently and unhappily single. Christmas is coming, and he doesn’t want to face his ex alone at their office party. So Sean—Justin’s best mate and long-time secret crush—volunteers to go with him and pretend to be his new flame.

Sean has always lusted after Justin from afar, but there’s never been a good opportunity to ask him for more than friendship. Posing as Justin’s boyfriend isn’t a chore, and if Justin wants to rebound onto him, Sean’s more than willing. At the party pretence and reality blur, and a kiss on the dance floor leads to a night of passion.

In the aftermath, they both assume it was a one-time thing until fate intervenes. Stuck together in London over the holidays, they give in to temptation again. But what happens at Christmas stays at Christmas… right?

 

***


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.

~ * ~ Jos Review ~ * ~

5 Stars

This is a compilation of 3 previously published stories. I’ve got a confession…I’ve read them all before. Why would I offer to re-read them again—you might wonder. Well, who doesn’t love to revisit old favourites, especially at Christmas time? These were all published between 2014 and 2016. If you’re new to the author, they might be ones you’ve missed. If so, you’re in for a treat. I found it had been long enough ago, since reading them, that they seemed familiar, but not so recent that I could remember exactly what happened. When I finished reading them, I remembered why I liked them so much. It’s good to see they aren’t dated, either.

All three stories are obviously set around Christmas; the first two are friends to lovers, and the third are work colleagues. In the first story, Ryan and Sam aren’t prepared to risk their friendship, but a few days in a cottage make it hard to hide their feelings. A similar theme is in the second, but this time Justin and Sean also pretend to be boyfriends, which leads to a night of passion that is hard to forget. In the last story, which is perhaps the most emotional, Zac keeps himself separate, having no family of his own. Rudy, a shy, introverted colleague makes it hard for Zac to keep up those barriers. A Christmas with Rudy’s family makes it impossible.

All share the theme of opening up, being honest, and overcoming the fear of leaving yourself open to heartache. They are all set in Britain, and have an authentic voice. What the author does well is not rushing the story, despite them being novellas. We get to see both points of views in all of them, which I always enjoy. I find it easier to connect and understand their fears, making their actions more believable and honest. They are all sweet stories with nice guys that you really root for. They leave you smiling and happy. Just what you need at Christmas.

**Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.***

~ * ~ Annies Review ~ * ~

4.5 stars

Christmas Crackers is a collection of three previously released holiday stories by Mr. Northcote. I usually enjoy this author’s writing. I hadn’t read these titles yet, so I was excited when the opportunity to get them, as a set, arose.

Despite sharing the author’s trademark smooth, unhurried style and likable characters, I really liked that they all had different tropes fueling the plots. Cold Feet is a bi-awakening, forced proximity romance in which weather leads friends to discover something more between them. What Happens at Christmas is another friends-to-lovers story, but this one involves a fake relationship. In A Family for Christmas, an office place romance develops between new coworkers. The stories are all well developed, with a noticeable connection simmering between the men. While I wouldn’t say that these romances were overwhelmingly filled with physical scenes, they weren’t light on them either, and I liked that each couple stood apart in their physical and emotional connections.

Each book in the Christmas Crackers bundle taps into holiday cheer with a brightness that captured the season, all while providing a lovely, low angst story. If you’re a fan of seasonal romances, this is an excellent deal.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement***

 

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 self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press.

Website: https://jaynorthcote.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jay_Northcote
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotewriter
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction
Facebook author group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jaysplayground
Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/JN-readers
Jay’s books: http://author.to/JayNorthcote