Summary Review: This story is a short follow up to Zero at the Bone but is not a romance. Instead it focuses on D’s nephew who is being bullied at school.
At Jack’s urging, D reaches out to his sister, who he has not seen in thirteen years. When the pair journey to Indianapolis to spend Christmas Eve with Merle and her family, will an ex-hitman learn the true meaning of Christmas? Or just get drunk on eggnog?
If you read Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville you will already know Jack Francisco, a surgeon who was placed in protective custody after witnessing a mob hit, to keep him safe until he could testify in court. D was a hitman who was blackmailed into killing Jack, but when he found him his conscience wouldn’t allow him to murder an innocent man, which of course gets him into trouble with those who hired him in the first place. While on the run they discover that they are attracted to each other, and now a year later they are a couple and very much in love.
This story is about D finding his long lost sister Merle and their visit to meet the family at Christmastime. While the visit was brief I thought that the family togetherness was nicely done. Merle came across as sincere after the first awkward moments, as did her husband and kids, when they welcomed her gay brother and his boyfriend. During the course of the visit D’s nephew hurt himself and Jack was asked to administer some first aid to thirteen year old Jesse. When he examined Jesse he noticed some bruises on his body which clearly begged for an explanation. It turned out that Jesse was being bullied at school by several other boys who accused him of being gay.
This story highlights the rise in bullying in schools directed at kids who are perceived to be different, in most cases because they are believed to be gay.
I thought that the way the bullying situation was handled was executed very well. There was no confrontation with the other boys but the family took a very common-sense approach to dealing with the bullies. The book didn’t attempt to come up with a “cure all” for bullying but made a few suggestions for dealing with it which could be used in the real world. One of the more amusing aspects of the book was D’s reaction when he was asked to have the ‘talk’ with his nephew about whether he was gay.
There is no sex in A Very D Christmas so if you’re expecting smexing you’ll be disappointed. What I liked was reconnecting with Jack and D and being given an opportunity to see how their new relationship was working after a year, which to me was the highlight of the story, although this was definitely a sub plot. D is still D but he has mellowed and it’s obvious that Jack had a lot to do with the change in his personality.
You don’t need to have read Zero at the Bone to understand this story as this is a standalone; the author has included sufficient background information to catch you up on D’s and Jack’s relationship.
$0 .50 of the cost of this book which is $1.99 – a mere pittance 🙂 – will be donated by Jane towards The Trevor Project, so in addition to getting an enjoyable story you also get to help a worthy cause.