Author: H.L. Holston & A.J. Burke
Publisher: SH Publishing
Genre: MM Paranormal
Summary: Ever since Gabriel Foster started working at Demerchant Industries, he’d been fighting his attraction to his enigmatic boss, Sébastien Demerchant.
During a Christmas party at Sébastien’s mansion, Gabriel discovers his feelings might be returned. But everything is not as it appears, and Gabriel’s world will be turned upside down in the process.
Review: This is a slightly confusing story and I don’t know if I will be able to fully explain where I sort of got lost. Gabriel works at Demerchant Industries and has had a crush on his boss, Sebastien. It is now time for the holiday party and despite a definite aversion to the event, “…his middle-American upbringing rebelling at the ostentatious and pretentious atmosphere…” he is attending, mostly because when the boss asks you to show, you show. Sebastien has graciously offered Gabe a guest room, so he need not worry about driving in the blizzard that is on the way. During the party, Gabe goes on a search and ends up in the basement. This is where things start to move forward.
One thing that bugged me, and this is just a personal thing, is the way the conversation was in French, followed by an English translation. I think I’d have preferred just the “…Gabe asked in his halting French…” followed by the sentence. That probably makes no sense, but it was a thing for me. But that is a minor thing.
Turns out that Sebastien and Gabe have known each other before and always try to find and return to each other. For some reason, Sebastien always remembers, Gabriel does not. Once Gabriel is clued in, basically by an accident on the stairs leading to a painting, the story has back and forth, past and present scenes.
Gabriel resists slightly when he hears the story of he and Sebastien because really, who wouldn’t? He is afraid, of the unknown and how much he wants Sebastien but also that he may be buying into Sebastien’s delusions. He does rather quickly begin to accept what Sebastien is telling him. For his part, Sebastien has been very patient. Usually Gabriel remembers him right away, this time he did not.
There were editing issues that at times did rip me from the story. “Shuttered” for “shuddered”; “Sebastien’s concerned face bored into his”, which I assume meant his eyes bored into his; “credenza” for “veranda”, etc.
For the most part, this is an interesting premise and the story is told well with characters who show depth in an eternal love situation.