A Holiday Crush (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Title: A Holiday Crush (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers)
Author: CJane Elliott
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holidays
Page Count: 50
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


San Francisco lawyer Brad Halberstam is in a rut. At forty-one, he’s successful but alone. Even his holidays are predictable—he spends every Christmas golfing in Napa with his ex-boyfriend. Then attractive but oh-so-young filmmaker Michael Blair invites him out. Brad joins Michael and his housemates in their holiday celebrations and learns that life can be joyful. He hesitates to saddle Michael with a much-older boyfriend but as their attraction ignites, Brad’s tempted to let Michael sweep him into a bright new future.

Michael lives in a group house in Berkeley. He loves making life into a celebration, especially during the holidays. Michael longs for a partner, and he hopes serious but sweet Brad Halberstam is the one. Michael’s infatuation grows over caroling and cookies, but his housemate reminds him that Michael always latches on to someone during the holidays, so he won’t be alone. After a misunderstanding, Michael loses heart, no longer sure if his relationship with Brad is real or just another Christmas crush.

This short novella features two men at very different points in their lives. Brad is a set-in-his-ways attorney who spends every Christmas golfing with his ex-boyfriend. Michael spends the holidays making cookies, wearing sweaters with jingle bells, and basically over-exuding holiday cheer every day of the season. When Michael falls big for Brad, his housemates want to make sure that “you aren’t seeing Brad through your holiday-tinted glasses, wanting to make him into, like, your Christmas love object or something.”

After a miscommunication that could have been easily settled by using your words, guys!, Brad finally realizes life could be a celebration and we get a happy epilogue with Brad and Michael. I liked this story …. but didn’t feel that spark that would have really made this story memorable for me. Also after Brad worrying about Michael being too young (almost a 20-year gap),

we learn that Michael is 33 – rather than the 23 Brad thought he was – so their age gap is only 8 years.
Ultimately, this story didn’t do anything for me. 3 stars.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of A Holiday Crush (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

A few “badges” from NetGalley:
100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader

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