Review: Ari McKay – Santa’s Naughty Helper

santas
Author: Ari McKay
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: MM Holiday

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: Shy lawyer Kevin Anderson is presented with an unexpected opportunity when he draws hunky litigator Erik Wilson’s name for their office’s secret holiday gift exchange. Kevin has pined for his friend for a long time, but he fears ruining their working relationship if Erik doesn’t return his feelings. The anonymity of the exchange gives him the chance to let Erik know someone is interested, so Kevin turns the gift into a game: twelve days of presents, each more suggestive, culminating with a Christmas Eve meeting—if Kevin finds the courage to see it through!

Erik is intrigued by his secret Santa, who has given him something to look forward to during the holidays for the first time in years. But as Christmas approaches, he realizes he doesn’t want a mystery man; he wants his best friend, Kevin. When his attempts to instigate something with Kevin fail, Erik accepts the dinner invitation of his secret admirer. Little does he suspect that Santa’s naughty little helper might be just the man to make all his Christmas dreams come true in a holiday friends-to-lovers romance that progresses from sweet to spicy for two sexy lawyers.

Review: In a word: adorable! Christmas in July (well, okay, I read it in June). So first off, it has one of my favorite tropes, friends to lovers. Second, it’s a holiday story, a big time weakness of mine. Finally, it has a shy, doesn’t know how awesome he is character. Score!

Kevin and Erik are a team at the law firm where they both work. Erik is fantastic in front of the court while Kevin works the background and research. They are a true case of opposites, “Where Kevin was shy, Erik was friendly, and while Kevin disliked having to stand up and speak in court, Erik thrived on it.” They balance each other professionally and wouldn’t Kevin just love to have the same thing personally, although he’s way too shy and afraid of messing up a friendship to do anything about it.

Until the Secret Santa, that is, when he is given Erik’s name. The fun begins with his thoughtful gifts. There is no way Erik could be as oblivious as he was by about give number 4 or 5. The fact that he didn’t even consider it could be Kevin made me roll my eyes. I loved most of the gifts, although once they started getting really sexual it seemed more out of character for Kevin.

The one quibble I had with this is – the blurb pretty much tells the whole story. But it’s cute and sweet with really likeable characters.

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