Sometimes the Best Presents Can’t Be Wrapped (Susan’s Review)

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Title: Sometimes the Best Presents Can’t Be Wrapped
Author: B.G. Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 25, 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary, Christmas
Page Count: 131
Reviewed by: Susan
Heat Level: 0 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Ned Balding used to be a decent man—until the stress of seemingly countless responsibilities changes him, and he becomes cold and driven—the kind of man who considers firing an employee days before Christmas. The kind of man who kicks a dog…. But Ned’s transgressions haven’t gone unseen. A Salvation Army Santa witnesses his misdeeds and decides Ned needs to be taught a lesson.

When Ned wakes up the next morning, he’s stunned to discover he’s been transformed into a dog.

In the past year, Jake Carrara has lost his mother, a lover… even his dog. His boss came close to firing him just before the holidays. He isn’t sure he’s ready for another pet when he’s asked to foster a dog, but Jake’s good heart won’t let him refuse. Little does he know, this isn’t just any dog.

Through a twist of fate, two people with little reason to be friends might teach each other to rediscover the good—and the love—in life.

This was cute! I really liked this holiday ‘Scrooge’ story. Although I do have to say that that wasn’t because of the romance, because that happens almost off page somewhere at the end.

Ned is a true Scrooge. He works himself to the bone and has no time for anything. Not for his friends, not for his husband, who suddenly decides he has enough and files for divorce. When an employee has taken a few days off because his dog just died, Ned has had it and is about to fire that man, when a friend and colleague steps in and prevents that.

But Ned is just so angry with everyone and everything. He is about to kick a dog on the street when he gets stopped by a guy in a Santa suit. The guy seems to know a lot about Ned, but Ned just thinks the guy is crazy.

That is until he wakes up the next day as a dog! Ned doesn’t know what to do so he whines and howls and cries. Of course that only brings in someone from animal control and Ned finds himself at the pound.

It is there that he is taken in by Jake, the employee he was about to fire. Jake is willing to take Ned for a few days, but he can’t possibly take him for much longer since he is still mourning the loss of his own dog…

First I have to say that the name Ned Balding was just awful! I kept picturing this crazy old dude instead of the hunky man he was supposed to be.

But besides the terrible name this story was quite entertaining. I loved reading about Ned’s experiences as a dog. I also loved how he slowly realized what a complete bastard he had become and how he treated the people around him.

I do wish we had gotten a little more romance, since Ned was a dog for most of this story. We don’t actually get to see Ned and Jake becoming a couple, so that was a bit disappointing. It’s not completely off page, since we get told what happened. And we do get a nice epilogue of one year later. But no smexy times whatsoever.

Still, this was a lovely holiday story with a lot of heartwarming moments.

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Galley copy of Sometimes the Best Presents Can’t Be Wrapped provided by publisher in exchange of an honest review.

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