Title: So This is Christmas (The Adrien English Mysteries #5.5)
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher: JustJoshin Publishing (Self-Published)
Release Date: 30th December, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Mystery & Detective
Page Count: 127 pages
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
God Help You Merry Gentlemen…
Arriving home early after spending Christmas in jolly old England, sometimes amateur sleuth Adrien English discovers alarming developments at Cloak and Dagger Books–and an old acquaintance seeking help in finding his missing boyfriend.
Fortunately, Adrien just happens to know a really good private eye…
This is a long-awaited addition to the Adrien English series. After The Dark Tide I always feared a sequel would result in things turning out badly for Adrien and Jake. After all they’d been through over the previous five stories I didn’t think I could bear them falling out or splitting up after they had finally decided to be together. So it was great to see these guys happy and settled and living together, with plenty of scenes and special times in this novella. They certainly deserved this after the previous heart-wrenching episodes.
The mystery plot of this story revolves around a missing person and is not overly complicated, which I liked. I didn’t want a convoluted storyline to distract me. Jake and Adrien get a chance to go on a road trip reminiscent of earlier stories, but this time around Adrien is more aware of Jake’s wishes and concerns for him and he’s trying hard to please his man.
And that’s what I loved about this story. We see how far their relationship has progressed over the past six months (when The Dark Tide ended). Jake is at ease with PDAs and is truly committed to Adrien. He’s in love and still very protective, although he’s making an effort to not be too controlling. He’s just adorable. We get to see more clearly why Adrien fell in love with him. In fact, Adrien’s joy shines through. There’s some beautiful lovemaking scenes with emotion-packed words and a very happy end of year for them both, giving us hope for their future together.
There a lot that’s familiar here: The bookshop, although Adrien doesn’t get a chance to work in this story, and many names from the past pop up. Alfonso, Paul Kane, and even Kate are dealt with. Guy even makes an appearance, but not for long. Natalie, Angus, and the pet dog and cat all contribute to the fun and drama.
There were a couple of minor details that made me pause in my reading. Adrien and Jake return early from their Christmas vacation in London with Lisa et al. in time to be in Cloak and Dagger early on December 26th, presumably having collected the dog and unpacked their cases. For this to have happened timewise, they would have had to miss most of Christmas Day in England. A relatively insignificant point but it bugged me for several chapters. And also when Adrien was scouring various Facebook pages for information on the missing person and people connected to him, he states that he doesn’t have a Facebook profile, thus he wouldn’t have been able to log-in in the first place.
I’m sure Josh Lanyon and Adrien/Jake fans will relish this novella as much as I did. It’s superbly written as always and serves as an uplifting and very enjoyable epilogue to the series, leaving the possibility of more for the future. I’m hoping an audio version will be made available as I can’t wait to hear Jake’s voice again and all those words of love and affection for Adrien.