Review: C Jane Elliott – A Holiday Crush

Author: C Jane Elliott
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Mm Holiday

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Summary: San Francisco lawyer Brad Halberstam is in a rut. At forty-one, he’s successful but alone. Even his holidays are predictable—he spends every Christmas golfing in Napa with his ex-boyfriend. Then attractive but oh-so-young filmmaker Michael Blair invites him out. Brad joins Michael and his housemates in their holiday celebrations and learns that life can be joyful. He hesitates to saddle Michael with a much-older boyfriend but as their attraction ignites, Brad’s tempted to let Michael sweep him into a bright new future.

Michael lives in a group house in Berkeley. He loves making life into a celebration, especially during the holidays. Michael longs for a partner, and he hopes serious but sweet Brad Halberstam is the one. Michael’s infatuation grows over caroling and cookies, but his housemate reminds him that Michael always latches on to someone during the holidays, so he won’t be alone. After a misunderstanding, Michael loses heart, no longer sure if his relationship with Brad is real or just another Christmas crush.

Review: Brad is a high powered lawyer who met the younger Michael when he was the videographer for depositions. Of course, because they were technically on the same case (in a very roundabout way) Brad couldn’t show any interest in Michael . When the case is complete, however, he runs into the vivacious, bubbly Michael on his way home and stops to celebrate for a minute.

Michael is everything Brad is not- joyful, happy and bright. Michael lives in a group home with about six other people in order to afford the bay area. Brad lives in a lovely apartment on his own. Michael has friends he loves and he puts his all into life. Brad has friends he isn’t sure he likes and tends to put everything into his work. He also is very worried about the age gap between he and Michael. He starts to see differences in who he was and who he has become. “He was loath to admit to these young, passionate guys that he’d never been to one rally since the election.” He knows that resisting the current travesty of politics is key but “…at some level he was ashamed to not be walking his talk.”

I LOVED the way it is predicting, “Way to flip the House. And the Senate” in the 2018 elections. Please, please let that happen. What I didn’t love so much was Dave, Brad’s former lover and still friend who acts like a total jerk, trying to ruin things for Russ and for what reason? It really is at this point that Russ looks around at his friends and realizes that maybe they aren’t what he wants to be, not how he wants to live his life. But Michael gets hurt in the process, which made me want to slap Dave. And Russ a little, for his part.

Michael may be the younger of the two but here we get to watch Russ grow up and develop. I do wish that Russ had to deal with Michael’s age as he thought it was. This is less a cute holiday story than a thoughtful one and I enjoyed it.



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