The last thing Cole expects to get for the holidays is dumped. But there he is, in the airport on his way to Banff for a romantic getaway, helplessly watching as his boyfriend's ex declares undying love, proposes - and is accepted. With a few weeks to go until Christmas, Cole's mood dives from jolly to jaded. But instead of sitting at home alone and feeling sorry for himself, he goes to his favorite bar, McGregor's, for a pint and some company.
The moment Owen McGregor sets eyes on Cole, he knows there's something wrong. So he takes it upon himself to ensure that Cole has a happy holiday: 12 outings for the 12 days before Christmas. Even if he can't quite think up 12 activities that don't involve getting the forlorn hunk into his bed.
With each outing they take together, Cole realizes that the love he thought he'd shared with his ex was less than perfect. And that Owen might prove to be more than just his rebound remedy.
©2015 Christine d'Abo (P)2016 Riptide Publishing
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"sweet story with a solid narrative performance"
This is a sweet story and Nick J. Russo does a great job at bringing it to life.
The relationship between Owen and Cole develops very naturally and I like how the two connect on more than just a physical level, even in a short time. The story shows them getting to know each other and spending time together. The sex scenes are hot but that's not all there is to it. Overall, the story is pretty realistic. Clearly, this is the beginning of meaningful relationship. It's mostly a smooth sailing romance. I love that Owen, as a bi character, is not portrayed as a player (Being promiscuous or unable to commit has nothing to do with your sexuality. Its a character trait. I'm not judging; just saying one does not equal the other) or someone who struggles with or denies his desire for men (no angst, no struggle with self acceptance, no push and pull). I've read and listened to too many stories with inconstant, disloyal, confused bi characters and I'm glad that this is not one of them.
"Sometimes bouncing back is just what you need."
Oh yes, multiple times, such a great story and add to that great narration and it's a book I'll be ready to listen to again, soon.
The beer tasting and what took place just after.
He brought the characters to life with the perfect voices.
Can't I take them both????
I really love it when a book I've read and enjoyed comes out in audio and is even better. It helps when it's a well written story and a well versed narrator. Russo took these characters as written and made them three dimensional, gave them a life above and beyond the Cole and Owen that I fell in love with on paper. Perfect tones and inflections, subtle nuances that he could create with voice that were lost in the written version of the story.
Tams e-book review December 2015
When Cole is left standing at the airport, holding the bag, watching his boyfriend be whisked off into the sunset by another man... well he's about done with Christmas. Stumbling into a local bar, getting punched and catching the eye of the sex on wheels bartender was just a happy circumstance.
When Owen, said bartender, offers Cole an option to either of them spending their Holiday's alone, Cole refuses at first. There is something so open, honest and alluring about the bartender with his scruffy beard and bedroom eyes that has caught Cole's attention though, and he is intrigued. But when Christmas comes, the distraction goes, and Cole will lose another man, or will he?
If you are looking for a Holiday story without all the eggnog, parties and fluffy happy ever after, then this just might be the book for you. Cole and Owen are anything but traditional. While they are both family men, they are both perfectly flawed, and therefore utterly irresistible. It was refreshing to read a story where both male leads struggled with their circumstance. There was just a little bit of angst and indecision, but it fit perfectly with the storyline and the characters. The fun dates they went on, the slow progression to the bedroom sports, everything was paced perfectly and I was completely engrossed in the story from start to finish.
"Sweet, light, holiday themed, low angst"
Both Owen and Cole are sweethearts! Cole has just been dumped by a “rebound boyfriend” and is obviously hurting. Owen sees Cole in his bar and wants to cheer him up with some outings, one a day, before Christmas.
Since both are in denial (or have chosen to believe this can’t be anything “special”), neither will admit that the outings are leading to love.
There is a lot of sexual tension and some tender moments. Cole has to decide if it’s too soon to have a boyfriend and Owen has to decide if he wants to settle down at all, especially with a man (He’s bi, but mostly been with women.)
In the end we are given a lovey HFN/HEA and a hope for their future together.
There wasn’t anything dramatic or exciting but a nice, mostly believable forward movement of two men falling in love.
If you’re in the mood for something light, Holiday themed, snow filled and low on angst – this is for you! It’s more about the tension than the fulfillment, but it does have a sweet ending.
4 of 5 stars
Nick J Russo is awesome! I will pretty much listen to anything he narrates because he’s so reliably good. I love the quality of his voice and can listen to him for hours. I trust that he’ll handle the emotions well. He excels at dialog and the emotions involved in a good sex scene! But he can also carry the non speaking parts as well.
He does another great job here. Owen’s voice is delicious and Cole’s is lovely as well. Nick manages to give the women feminine but not screechy voices and to give everyone a unique voice without using OTT accents. Highly enjoyable and the best way to enjoy this story!
5 of 5 stars
Overall 4.5 of 5 stars
"Spice Hot and Heartwarming Holiday Romance"
I didn't realize one of my favorite narrators was telling this one so that was a pleasant surprise, but beyond that, I loved the connection between narrator and story/characters so it enhanced the story. Each character was distinct. Emotions such as the humor, the sadness, and whew boy the passion stood out.
Maybe it is because I recently listened to it, but I thought this one was like A Fortunate Blizzard the way both guys were adamant about there being no chance of a relationship, the fun activities, the friendship, and the hot sexual connection.
I think the hunt for the Christmas tree because it was light, funny, and sweet. Also, I loved that moment when Owen was ready to go to pieces from all that was happening and they shared that hockey game and just a moment of guys hanging out.
Tough call. I loved both main characters for sure, but Owen's mom and the two bar tenders were great secondary characters adding to each scene.
This is a quick novella and standalone.
I received this book free.
A solid narration for a good book. I really enjoyed Nick Russo's performance, especially his portrayal of Cole and Owen.
"I didn't think it was bad, just boring."
I didn't think either character had a personality and they were hard to tell apart. It was just really generic and forgettable.
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