Title: Desperately Seeking Santa
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: November 22, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holiday Novella
Word Count: 225 pages
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Journalism student Gabe Martin gets his first professional assignment—to write about a Christmas charity dinner that benefits a children’s home. It sounds like a total snooze-fest until Gabe learns that the event’s Santa is a mystery man. He shows up in costume and no one has a clue who he is. Uncovering his identity sounds like the perfect angle to turn a fluff piece into real, hard-hitting journalism.
Mack “The Mountain” McDonall, at 6’10”, is University of Wisconsin-Madison’s enormous star wrestler. When Gabe first claps eyes on him at a wrestling match, it’s lust at first sight. Gabe’s friend, Jordan, sets up the pair on a date. But when Gabe chatters on about his plans for outing Santa, Mack goes cold, and their first meeting becomes an epic fail.
As Gabe researches the children’s home, he learns that Mack McDonall has secrets a guy renown for being a brute wouldn’t want the world to know. Can Gabe find his holiday spirit, write a killer article, court a surly giant, and give everyone a very merry Christmas?
In a nutshell, Desperately Seeking Santa is a sweet YA romance (both MCs are about 21 years old) and a heartwarming holiday story. AND we get to revisit Jordan and Owen from Eli Easton’s wonderful Superhero. What’s not to like?
Gabe is a journalism student (and intern at the Wisconsin State Journal), struggling with a routine filler story about an upcoming Christmas Charity Party sponsored by the local Elks. When he learns that no one know the identity of their Santa, he sees the beginning of a potentially interesting expose.
When Gabe finally attends a Badgers wrestling match with his friend Jordan to watch Owen wrestle, Gabe is gobsmacked by the undefeated Mack McDonall, 6’10” and 285 pounds of gorgeous muscle. And when Jordan and Owen invite both Gabe and Mack to dinner one night in an attempt to set them up, Gabe is overjoyed to learn that Mack is gay, and is definitely interested in him … until Gabe mentions his plan to expose the Charity Party Santa.
It doesn’t take an investigative reporter to uncover the secret, although it does take Gabe a while to figure it all out. But I like how Easton weaves Mack’s background into the story and introduces his family and their Christmas tradition. Mack and Gabe have a sweet, slowly developing love story, with only a few on-page sex scenes, without any manufactured angst or misunderstandings. I could have done without Gabe’s dios every other page, but the epilogue brought the story to a beautiful conclusion, and we get a peak into Jordan and Owen’s next steps in their life together. 4 stars for this easy-to-read and enjoy Christmas story.