All Snug

Title: All Snug
Author: B.G. Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella (75 PDF pages)
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

A guest review by Lily


Review Summary

A sweet, fun story about two men wanting to buy the same present for their boyfriend. A friendly competition ensues with a lot more than an antique bed at stakes at the end.

BLURB

This title is part of the 2010 Advent Calendar: Naughty or Nice

Elliot and Shawn each want to buy the same one-of-a-kind item for Christmas—a very old and expensive antique bed—as a gift for their lovers. But when they both arrive at the store at the same moment, the proprietor tells them to figure out between themselves who gets the bed. Elliot and Shawn decide to hold a contest: winner buys bed.

And so the competitions begin, from selling charity tickets to cleaning out stables, and interpersonal tension and burgeoning attraction mount as the days until Christmas pass. But who deserves the gift more: Elliot, who can afford the expensive gift for his casual sex partner, or Shawn, who can barely cover rent, and the mysterious man he’s head-over-heels for?

REVIEW

Elliot and Shawn first meet when they arrive at the same time to buy a special Christmas present. Elliot is a successful businessman with money to spare who wants to surprise his sexy boyfriend with the antique bed he covets while Shawn, who is struggling to make ends meet, is also determined to buy the bed for his lover. When the shopkeeper says they have to figure out between them  who’s going to buy the bed they decide to turn it into a competition and may the best man, and his boyfriend, win.

This is the first story I’ve read by B.G. Thomas and for the most part it was an easy, entertaining read. The storyline is reminiscent of one of my favorite holiday stories,”Gift of the Magi”, which is what first drew me to reading it. All Snug is told through Elliot’s point of view so he is the better developed character but enough insight was given into Shawn, through Elliot’s thoughts and impressions of him, that both men come across as likable and engaging. They are very different in terms of life experience and careers but they “fit” together well.

The competitions between the men were fun and entertaining to read and I liked that despite it being a contest there were no negative feelings involved. It was more of a lighthearted adventure as they look to divest someone of their girdle, sell some tickets and do a scavenger hunt of sorts based on the Labors of Heracles.

Even with the predictability of the storyline, it’s quite easy to figure out how the story will go from the very beginning, I was really enjoying it until the end. At this point one of my pet peeves occurred, and while it may not bother everyone, it did take away some of my enjoyment. Elliot and Shawn know each other just a handful of days so there is a bit of insta-love in the book but that really wasn’t the problem for me. What bothered me was that despite each being in a relationship with someone else for most of the story when they first have sex they do not use a condom, in fact it’s not mentioned at all. I actually went back and reread a few pages thinking I’d missed it somehow but no, it just was never talked about at all. This felt really wrong and out of character for both men.

Despite that I did enjoy the story. The writing is solid, the characters engaging and the sex scene, aside from the lack of condom use, was well written and hot. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

8 comments

  • Thank you so much for this very nice review. It put a smile on my face. Sorry that the no-condom thing bothered you. I figured it was such a fairy-tale kind of story, I would leave it out. I almost always have condoms in use, or make sure I explain why they aren’t used. It is certainly something I can be more mindful of in the future. Thank God I don’t have to use them with my man. They are awful horrid things.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, BG. 🙂

      The no-condom thing is a personal peeve of mine and certainly doesn’t bother everyone. In a contemporary, even knowing it’s just fiction, it still jars me out of the story when they’re not even mentioned. In this day and age I can’t imagine people actually doing that.

      I’m very thankful I don’t need them as well but I do make sure to remind my kids to use them. 🙂

      Reply
  • I enjoyed the story. It was a fun read, even though you knew how it was going to turn out. I enjoyed finding out what each new challenge would be in the contest, and the way Elliot did his best not to step all over Shawn’s pride at paying for things despite their obvious differences in financial means.

    Reply
  • Hey Lily,

    I’ve really been looking forward to reading this. I don’t even know why it excites me so much. Maybe just that its really nice once in a while to just chill out and read a nice, easy story.

    Insta-Love almost always bugs the hell out of me, one exception though is if the story feels a bit like a parable. I don’t know if that makes sense or even applies here, but in that circumstance I can usually suspend disbelief. Sex scenes without condoms REALLY bug me, beside obvious reasons like being uncharacteristic, because I always feel like a good author can put a condom line in there and make it add something to the story.

    Your review made me want to read it even more!

    Reply
    • Cole, insta-love is not my favorite either but it in this case it didn’t bother me. I knew it was going to happen that way due to the nature of the story. As for the condoms, that did bother me. It seemed totally out of character for both men. I would have expected at least the often used “I’m clean so it’s okay” line. 🙂

      Reply

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