Santa’s Naughty Helper

Title: Santa’s Naughty Helper (Lawyers in Love #1)
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 5, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary/Holiday
Page Count: 52
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Shy lawyer Kevin Anderson is presented with an unexpected opportunity when he draws hunky litigator Erik Wilson’s name for their office’s secret holiday gift exchange. Kevin has pined for his friend for a long time, but he fears ruining their working relationship if Erik doesn’t return his feelings. The anonymity of the exchange gives him the chance to let Erik know someone is interested, so Kevin turns the gift into a game: twelve days of presents, each more suggestive, culminating with a Christmas Eve meeting—if Kevin finds the courage to see it through!

Erik is intrigued by his secret Santa, who has given him something to look forward to during the holidays for the first time in years. But as Christmas approaches, he realizes he doesn’t want a mystery man; he wants his best friend, Kevin. When his attempts to instigate something with Kevin fail, Erik accepts the dinner invitation of his secret admirer. Little does he suspect that Santa’s naughty little helper might be just the man to make all his Christmas dreams come true in a holiday friends-to-lovers romance that progresses from sweet to spicy for two sexy lawyers.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2012

I knew it was wrong season when I picked this one but I just couldn’t resist. This is cute Christmas romance mixing the Twelve Days of Christmas with Secret Admirer trope.

We have Erik and Kevin, best friends and coworkers, both of whom are at the point in life when they are ready to make some changes in the way they live their life. The Secret Santa event organized in their law firm gives them opportunity to go after what they want.

For Kevin, that’s Erik. For Erik, that’s someone to share his life.

I liked Kevin immediately. He is shy and has long-lasting crush on his best friend. He’d never made a move because he didn’t think Erik would be interested but when fate lends a hand and he gets Erik in Secret Santa event, he quickly decides it’s now or never. I was curious how gift exchange will play out, because picking twelve different gifts for someone can’t be an easy task, and Kevin has specific goal in mind. That was the part I liked and it was interesting seeing that there still were things they could discover about each other.

While the premise was great, the book itself left me feeling disappointed.

The POV changes are fast and I wasn’t able to connect with characters. All Erik’s and Kevin’s interactions are in the office. I would have loved to see them together outside of workplace. At one point, when Erik invited Kevin to watch the movie with him, I hoped for more, but it just didn’t happen. They are supposed to be best friends, but we only see gift exchanges and their reactions to them. A little more background information would have been helpful. I can see gift exchange as a way to jumpstart their relationship but it’s not enough to portray the whole relationship.

This is a cute story, good for times when you’re looking for something short and sweet.

Lawyers in Love

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Santa’s Naughty Helper provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.