Title: A Boyfriend for Christmas
Author: Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press
Release Date: November 26, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 60,000 words
Reviewed by: ParisDude
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Archie’s posh parents want him to meet a nice girl—how can he tell them he’s fallen for a bad boy instead?
Closeted, innocent and lonely, Archie Arandale longs for someone special in his life. A Christmas party organised by his wealth management company is the last place he expects to meet the man of his dreams.
With his leather jacket, tattoos, and piercings, Cal Turner turns heads the moment he walks through the door. He definitely isn’t looking for a boyfriend, but Archie’s hesitant charm captures his attention, and sneaking off during the party to have a little fun can only make a dull evening more interesting.
After their reckless and thrilling encounter, Archie is keen for more experience and Cal is happy to oblige. The need for secrecy means this can only be a casual fling, yet as they spend time together in the run up to Christmas, their feelings become more intense than either of them had bargained for. How can Archie find the courage to tell his family about Cal, when Cal’s the exact opposite of the ‘nice girl’ they’ve been hoping for?
Contains: A closeted virgin, a tattooed biker, class differences, a dramatic coming out, a very inappropriate Christmas gift, and a happy ending (of course).
Bristol, some weeks before Christmas. Archie Arandale dreads attending the upcoming Wealth Management Company’s Christmas party but go he must, for the sake of his family. It’s a see-and-be-seen-event of the rich and posh where each one assures each other of their prominent social status. Not Archie’s thing at all. And not Cal Turner’s thing, either. Unlike Archie, he comes from a working class background, is an openly gay tattoo artist, and a tattooed and pierced walking wet dream for those with a slight bad boy kink. Not your average Wealth Management Company Christmas party invitee, but he’s won the National Lottery some years back, has invested his winnings in said Wealth Management Company, and on a dare promises his best mate to attend the swanky evening.
Of course, Archie meets Cal, Archie ogles Cal, Archie gets a hard-on for Cal, and the same is true for the latter. They spend a steamy moment in the Gents while Archie’s dad, the Honourable Mr. Arandale, holds a speech. Archie loses his virginity, both lose their hearts (no insta-love, but the reader easily catches the drift), and after some dates, Archie is introduced to Cal’s mom (sweet, sweet moment). But. Archie’s not out yet. And Cal seems weary to remain the hidden, secret boyfriend—he who wasn’t keen on the whole boyfriend-thing in the first place.
As in the last Northcote-books I read, the plot is quickly summed up. It’s easy, straight-forward, with no unnecessary extra-drama, no-one throwing fits, acting unexplainably odd to make for complicated twists and turns. It’s again just one of those nice stories where man meets man, the guys fall in love with each other, logical step after logical step, they have to overcome some minor, overcome-able obstacle, and they end up in each other’s arms, happy and content. And as a result, the reader is happy and content too. This reader sure was.
Now, a mystery that won’t surprise anyone who knows me: I dig Christmas. I dig the season, the festivities, the family-thing, the whole package with Christmas tree, carols, Christmassy food, Austrian cookies, candles, mulled wine—you name, I yell ‘Wanna have it!’ So, imagine my bliss when I opened the book and found out it was a cute, heart-warming story written by a solid, no-nonsense charmer such as Jay Northcote, whose writing style I really adore, and that is set around Christmas, with a boyfriend as the main Christmas gift for each of the MCs… I loved Archie and his insecurities, his blushing boldness when it came to sex, his falling-in-love-no-questions-asked-attitude. I loved Cal, who seems to be the “stronger” character in the beginning, somewhat a lonesome adventurer, but solid, anchored, down-to-earth. I loved how both men came with different background stories that, even in 2019, still strike as familiar and believable (rich swankies and working-class don’t mingle, don’t believe anyone who tries to tell you the contrary; check out the statistics instead), and how they were able, out of love, to overcome them. I loved the family support Archie surprisingly found inside his family, when even he thought he’d have to deal with his coming-out all by himself.
This really reads like a good mug of mulled wine—a novel that tastes of cinnamon, cloves, and oranges, with great descriptions of the Bristol and Wales regions (reminds me I do have to plan a trip to the UK asap), some nice ‘n’ steamy sex, lots of snogging, no angst, and the best Christmas gift ever: L. O. V. E. Unhesitatingly recommended read.
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