The Christmas Deal (CrabbyPatty’s Review)


Title: The Christmas Deal
Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: KA Books
Release Date: November 14, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Fake Boyfriend, Holidays
Page Count: 250 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Blurb:

Will fake boyfriends become the real deal this holiday?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—except ex-Marine Logan is jobless and getting evicted. Worse, he’s a new single dad with a stepson who hates him. A kid needs stability—not to mention presents under the tree—and Logan’s desperate.

Then he meets lonely Seth and makes a deal.

Can Logan temporarily pretend to be live-in boyfriends to increase Seth’s chances at a promotion? If it provides a roof over their heads for the holidays, hell yeah. Logan considers himself straight—he doesn’t count occasional hookups with guys—but he can fake it. Besides, with his shy little smile, Seth is surprisingly sexy.

Make that damn sexy.

Shocked that Seth has only been with one man, Logan can’t resist sweetening their deal to teach him the joys of casual sex. No strings attached. No feelings. No kissing.

No falling for each other.

Easy, right?

The Christmas Deal is a steamy holiday gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring fake boyfriends, bisexual awakening, a clueless single dad with an angry preteen, and of course a happy ending.


In wrapping my head around doing this review, I realize there is an awful lot of backstory and so much happening in this book, but it doesn’t feel that way. Andrews takes all those details – small or large – neatly tucks them together and weaves everything into a really charming holiday love story full of family and new beginnings.

Logan has an entire basketful of descriptors – ex-marine, injured railroad worker, widower, unemployed, single dad – but the bottom line is he’s a good guy, struggling with raising a teenager and still stunned by the loss of his job and friends and a marriage that happened for all the wrong reasons.

Seth is 37 (but reads a lot younger, IMHO), with an ex-boyfriend, few friends, and a job promotion he completely deserves …. but he needs a fake boyfriend to seal the deal. Enter his co-worker / best friend Jenna who offers her brother Logan up for the job and the story starts to unfold.

The real strength of The Christmas Deal is the well-developed cast of characters who make the “fake boyfriend” scenario believable and relatable. The new boss, Angela Barker, is a tough Southern broad who could have easily become a stereotype. But she is written with heart and a certain amount of tough-minded charm. Logan’s sister Jenna is a gem of a character – warm and loving and nurturing – and constantly trying to dab away spit-up with a Tide pen.

There’s sizzle and a spark right from the start between Logan and Seth, but Logan can’t quite get past his convoluted idea of being straight and yet occasionally “helping a buddy out” with an occasional blow job, hand job or “I’ll fuck someone’s ass if they want it. Like I said, it’s just about getting off.” […] “I’m probably sayin’ this shit all wrong. With guys, it’s just quick and easy..” As Seth asks:

“But you’re not gay.”
“Exactly.” Now Seth was getting it.
“Or bi?”
Logan scoffed, “Isn’t that just being wishy-washy or pretentious?”

At first, Logan offers nothing more than casual sex but the way their relationship evolves and grows is equal part sexy as hell and sweet. And once we get more of Seth’s backstory, I dare you to NOT feel your heart shatter just a bit:

For so many years, he’d told himself Christmas wasn’t for him. That he didn’t deserve it somehow. Standing in front of the tree, surrounded by holiday glitter and color, he ached down to his bones for this home to truly be his and not only for show.

Happily, Seth gets his wish, Logan and Seth get a perfectly wonderful HEA and The Christmas Deal leaves you with a warm sense of family and holiday cheer. It’s a lovely way to start the holiday season! 4.5 stars and a Recommended Read.


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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of The Christmas Deal provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

Author

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