Hiring a boyfriend for Christmas; what could possibly go wrong?
Derek is facing yet another Christmas where his life feels out of control. He has a new career that doesn’t feel like his, and parents who would just love to see him settled down. All he needs is a temporary buffer for the parties he has to attend, and for his parents to leave him alone. Enter, Luke.
Luke is twenty-thousand dollars short for the renovations on Halligans; his family’s bar in New York’s Financial District. A favor for a buddy has him agreeing to play the part of boyfriend to a guy with more money than sense.
But when the spirit of Christmas works its magic on the two men, and they begin to fall for each other, Derek runs scared, and Luke needs space.
It doesn’t matter what obstacles you throw in the way of love, or how much you run in the other direction, because, when you’re least expecting it, whether you want it or not, love happens anyway.
Review by Lucy:
I have to say my immediate thought on seeing this book was that it was one of the most adorable holiday cover ever. After reading it and getting the connection, I can say it is the most adorable holiday cover ever.
Derek is a definite contrast in personality. He acts like a child to his parents sometimes; he is arrogant with people other times; he is a pushover with his friends at times; he is miserable at a job that he loved. He’s a good person and he wants to do well but sometimes he’s just not sure how to go about it. What he does know, however, is that the made up boyfriend, Marcus, that he has been talking up to his parents now has to be made to appear for a lunch. Oh no!
He ends up at a professional date supply place (sounds weird but it made total sense) owned by Alan, a friend of Luke’s. Knowing that Luke desperately needs money for his family’s bar, he sets up Luke to be Marcus. Thirty grand for four dates? So doable! The two of them butt heads right away but while Derek is high strung sometimes, Luke is more laid back and so they fit together pretty well. Derek has definite demands on what he needs – mainly, he needs to show his boyfriend is falling out of love with him and is ready to break it off.
For his part, Luke was injured at work and now has thrown everything into fixing up his family bar, Halligan’s. For that, he needs money and Derek is the way to do that. He’s worried about what his mother and sister will say about the how but he can’t be caught up in that right now. He suffers night terrors and pain from his injury but Luke really is a positive, sweet soul. I liked him immensely and he really is good for Derek.
Derek has to take control of his life and has to start looking at things differently. Luke helps with that, even as they both remind themselves it is a contract, a paid employment. “Now Luke was really getting to me with his whole I know everything routine.” A routine that works well, actually. “Looking good, boyfriend.” It’s what Derek needs.
Both families are awesome (despite Derek’s pouting in the beginning) and Luke’s mom cuffing him on the back of the head made me laugh. Boys. I loved seeing Derek begin to blossom into what he wants to do at work and how Luke helps with this.
The trope of fake boyfriend is one of my favorites and while in this one the coincidences are a little much (firefighter time) I thoroughly enjoyed it, just an all-around feel good.
December 6 – Xtreme Delusions, Valerie Ullmer, The Way She Reads, Gay Media Reviews
December 8 – Lelyana’s Book Blog
December 11 – Hearts On Fire Reviews, Millsy Loves Books, My Fiction Nook
December 13 – Mirrigold:Mutterings & Musings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, BFD Book Blog, Nicole’s Book Musings, MM Good Book Reviews
December 15 – Jim’s Reading Room, Making It Happen, Padme’s Library, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews
December 20 – Dog-Eared Daydreams, Book Lovers 4Ever, Au Boudoir Ecarlate, Wicked Reads
December 22 – A Book Lover’s Dream, Bayou Book Junkie
I knew Marcus was six-two, just a little taller than me. I knew he had blue eyes, and dark hair with red tones in certain light. He had a brother, but they didn’t see each other much, being that his brother was in the Navy. His parents were retired in Florida, but they’d had Marcus and his brother Adam late in life. Marcus was twenty-nine, same as me with only a few months separating our birthdays, and he was a firefighter. Oh, and he was a good, kind man who was thoughtful all the time and treated me like a prince.
“That’s such a shame. Anyway, how are Marcus’ kittens?” Mom asked. I pulled myself back to what she was saying. It was never good to not pay full attention to anything Mom said, otherwise you’d end up agreeing to all kinds of things she’d throw at you when your defenses are down. I loved her dearly but she was sneaky like that.
Which is how I got myself into this mess with Marcus in the first place.
“Did he find good homes for them?”
“Absolutely, the last of them went to a widowed grandmother in his apartment block.”
“Socks? The dark one?”
I glanced at my notes. “No, you remember Socks went to his uncle; Spider went to the old lady.”
“Oh yes, of course, although why someone would name a kitten Spider I don’t know.”
“There were spiders in the house where Marcus found the kittens.”
“I still don’t understand how there could be spiders in a burned-out house.”
Shit. “Spiders are hardy.”
“You said the house was razed to the ground, dear.”
Now I was losing the will to live. “Well, maybe the spider was outside. Mom, I need to go, Moira is at the door and she needs me to sign off on the new AbbaLister raisins account.”
“Of course dear, just, please tell Marcus he is welcome at any time. We so want to meet him and thought it’d be better at the house.”
“I will, I know he’s keen to meet you.”
“Oh good,” she said, and I knew I’d fucked up and somehow given her an opening. I’d never mentioned once that Marcus wanted to meet them, because that would just give them the impetus to take matters into their own hands. My worst fears were confirmed. “Oh, I’ve had the most wonderful idea.”
Oh God, what?
“Your dad and I are coming into the city on Monday; book us dinner on any night, or lunch, breakfast, anything. I want to meet this young man of yours and if it has to be in a restaurant then so be it.”
“I’m not sure—”
“Derek, he can’t be busy every night next week, and every lunchtime, goodness me, we’ll even take a quick coffee if that is all he can manage.”
Shit. Shit. And double shit.
“I’ll see what I can organize.” I kept my tone regretful, to at least give the impression I would try to organize them meeting Marcus, but that it would be unlikely.
We finished the call, and I replaced the handset in the cradle, fighting the urge to throw it against the wall, sit and cry at my desk, or maybe, less drastically, move to Montana and become a cowboy.
So many lies.
There was no Moira standing at my door. It was still closed and I’d lied to my mom.
There were no kittens, I made those up, and the spider story. The word spider came about because when I’d been talking to my mom about Marcus and the kittens, a tiny spider had crawled over my notes.
I closed the notebook in which I had the names of five kittens with their various characteristics listed.
Mom wanted to meet Marcus, any night, any lunch, anytime.
Which sucked big hairy balls.
Because that was another thing I had made up.
There was no Marcus either.
RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.
The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.
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