I'm Evan Goodman, budding actor, future star, college freshman. Oh, and let's not forget - recently dumped. If only my family wasn't expecting to meet my new boyfriend over the holiday break. Enter JD Laurens - a sweet and quiet science major who mostly keeps to himself.
When he gathers the courage to come out, poor JD gets abandoned by his only family right in front of me, and now he has nowhere to go for Christmas. But I have a proposition for him: pretend to be my boyfriend for the holidays, so I can take him home. It's a win-win. What could go wrong?
©2014 Skylar M. Cates (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
Light, sweet holiday fare, a little angst, but a well deserved HEA. The main characters are both sympathetic and likeable. The only thing was that KC Kelly, an excellent narrator, sounded too old for the two 18 year olds but he still made it good to listen to. Enjoyable.
"4.5 stars for narration...2 stars for story"
4.5 stars for K.C. Kelly's narration...2 stars for the story.
Let me start by saying I absolutely adore the whole fake boyfriend trope! I love it. Usually.
Evan Goodman has been recently dumped by his not-quite boyfriend. Unfortunately he's bragged a lot to his family about him and they are all expecting to meet the new boyfriend over the holiday break.
While quietly freaking out in a coffee shop about going home dateless, Evan witnesses the coming out and rejection of JD Laurens by his only family.
Evan sort of knows JD. JD's a quiet science major who lives in Evan's dorm and after JD is abandoned right in front of him Evan cooks up a scheme to bring JD home with him for the holidays killing two birds with one stone...he gives JD a family and home for the holidays and Evan has a boyfriend to show off to his family.
And if that had been the story, I would be giving this 4, maybe even 4.5 stars. BUT. But it isn't. Instead Evan makes JD lie and say he's the sort-of boyfriend who just dumped Evan. That's where it lost me. That whole storyline did absolutely nothing for me. Turns out I hate a story where the fake relationship is based on one of the characters lying about who he is and, wow, that whole bit went on way too long. How could you ask a guy who had just lost his family and home because he wouldn't lie about who he is - turn around and quite literally LIE ABOUT WHO HE IS?!
So bottom line: This had loads of potential, the narration by KC Kelly is terrific and fans of the fake boyfriend lying about being someone else entirely trope should adore this.
It just didn't work for me personally.
"Warm Holiday Feels"
Evan is “dating” this self-centered, cheating, popular guy from his major who drops him right before Christmas. He goes to the Donut Shop to fuel up for his trip home for the holidays and sees JD “out” himself to his very mean, hateful brother, who tells JD never to come home – ever. (And it turns out JD’s brother is his ONLY family- big jerk!)
Evan hatches a plan to save both JD and himself from a horrible holiday. JD can play Evan’s boyfriend, Tyler, (who the family was expecting to meet) and JD can have a place to go over Christmas.
Needless to say – the tricking doesn’t fool anyone, and mom is suspicious of Tyler/JD. But – as you can imagine – JD is a far better boyfriend to Evan than Tyler ever was and what started as a hoax ends up as a HEA.
Your heart will bleed for JD and the way he just shines in the face of Evan’s family is so touching. Neither Evan nor JD have much “experience” so the smexy times are pretty tame, but very sweet. This reads almost like a young adult title, but that doesn’t stop it from being a really sweet and fun book full of goofy holiday games and sappy moments.
I really enjoyed this and didn’t miss the smexy times.
KC Kelly did an absolutely fabulous job with this. He is excellent at the pacing and emotion and does a really nice job with JD voice.
"Such a cute Holiday themed story."
It was festive, got me in the Christmas spirit
Evan. I liked that to spite the crappy day he was having, he stopped to think about some one else and to help them with their crappy day.
I haven't read the book, but I really enjoyed the audio version. I like when narrators can bring the characters to life in my head.
When Evan had to come clean with his family.
When Evan Goodman's 'boyfriend' breaks off their romance just before the Christmas Holiday, he is loath to go home and deal with his families "oh honey, what happened?" So when he sees a guy he recognizes from school at a local coffee shop, having an even worse Christmas then him, Evan approaches JD with a suggestion. JD can pretend to be Evan's boyfriend, therefore alleviating his nosey families questions, and also give JD a self, welcoming place to stay for the Holiday. Over the two week break at Evan's home, he and JD learn more about each other and grow closer, both of them eventually wanting more than just 2 weeks. But when Evan's cheating Ex calls, will Evan run right back into his revolving door arms? Or will he realize how much more JD has to offer him?
Such a cute Holiday themed story. Evan and JD both were so miserably cute together at the start, growing more confident as individuals by holding each other up and sharing their strength. The epilogue was amazing, I love when stories jump forward and show where the characters are down the road. Narrated by KC Kelly and I heard a different tone from Kelly than I've ever heard before, and I've listened to a lot of audios by him. He's really good with the gruff, brooding voice which is what he used for JD. But the tones and inflections for Evan were new and unique. I could hear the frustration and loneliness in both men in the beginning. Then by the end the confidence really shined through.
Definitely a must read for fans of Kelly's audios, and those that like fun romantic stories will enjoy this one as well.
I had two main issues. First and most significant, the narrator is miscast for an 18 year old college student. Second, it the book jumps from one scene to the next scene somewhat abruptly.
"Made me Cry"
The last two m/m books I've read brought me to tears and that doesn't happen often. In this book the characters were so likable and sweet I couldn't help but get emotional after one was treated so badly by his brother and the other brought him into his own family.
"Short & Sweet Holiday Read"
A sweet new adult romance told from a fresh, young perspective. In a case of opposites attract, Evan and JD are perfect for one another - a fact only discovered through a bit of a hoax on the parents. The support Evan is able to give JD is precious and demonstrates his authenticity as a good young man.
This was such a sweet, tender listen for the holiday season.
"I'M IN LOVE BY THIS STORY!!!"
Evan is definitively an actor, lol, it was so funny to see his internal ramblings, and at the same time, his bluntness and sarcastic humor…
At first, JD struck me as a hard core guy, but as they start to chat and get to know each other, I found he was actually, a sweet, hurt and quiet guy…
JD is mortified that Evan watched his fight with his brother, so when Evan asked him to pretend to be his boyfriend during the holidays at his family’s house, he’s sure Evan was acting out of pity and didn’t want to accept.
When Evan could (finally) convince JD that he would be the one doing him a favor, so no one would know how Evan was dumped by his boyfriend, he accepted Evan’s offer.
Evan’s family are really supportive and their different holiday traditions are sweet!!!
To see the interaction between JD and Evan is heart warming, they are perfect for each other! While JD is quiet, Evan is blunt and his family accepts JD from the start… It’s great to see they getting to know each other and the feelings growing between them.
K.C. Kelly did an amazing job with this book’s narration.
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