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A Family for Christmas

Narrated by: Mark Steadman
Length: 4 hrs and 33 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Summary

Zac never had a family of his own, but Rudy has enough to share.

Shy, inexperienced Rudy has a crush on Zac from the moment his new colleague walks through the door. On an office night out before Christmas, Rudy finds the courage to make a move, and they form a tentative bond. When he discovers Zac will be alone at Christmas, he invites Zac to come home with him.

Zac prefers to keep people at arm's length. Yet when Rudy offers him a family Christmas it's impossible to resist. With no parents of his own, Zac is pleasantly surprised to be welcomed by Rudy's. The only drawback is that everyone assumes they're a couple. Unwilling to disappoint Rudy's mum and make Christmas awkward, they decide not to deny it.

It's not a chore for Zac to pose as Rudy's boyfriend, but the pretense makes him want things that scare him-things like a real relationship with Rudy. Zac's suffered enough rejection in his life already and is afraid to risk his heart. If he can get over his past rejection and let Rudy inside his armor, he might get more for Christmas than he ever imagined.

©2016 Jay Northcote (P)2017 Jay Northcote

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The narrator distracted from the story

I liked the story, the characters and their inner turmoil but would have liked a lot more chapters. I could not realy enjoy the book because of the narrator who pauses after every four words. His voices were fine. I'd like to try more Northcote books but Steadman goes on my avoid list.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Zach and Rudy

Rudy has a crush on his coworker Zach who keeps to himself, having little interaction with others. Zach is talked into meeting some coworkers for a drink at a local bar. Zach and Rudy both have a few drinks and begin flirting with each other. Rudy has a little too much to drink so Zach offers to walk him home. Once they get to Rudy’s place Zach calls for a taxi only to discover it would be a long wait. Rudy offers to let him stay at his place as friends. While they both are a little drunk, Rudy invites Zach to go with him to visit his family for Christmas. The next day Rudy is horrified when he remembers that he asked. Much to his surprise Zach still wants to go. It’s obvious to Zach that Rudy has a crush on him and while he finds Rudy to be sweet, he refuses to consider pursuing anything with him for fear of hurting him. Zach appears to be a loner who doesn’t like getting close to others. As the story unfolds we find out more about Zach and why he is so cautious. Rudy quickly became my favorite character. He is so sweet and genuine and his insecurity makes him even more enduring. This was a beautifully written love story about taking chances and how putting yourself out there for the right person can be life changing.
This was my first book by Jay Northcote but definitely won’t be my last.
Mark Steadman did an amazing job with narration.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

as good as the ebook

The story is always 4 or 5 stars, because if I wouldn't like the story as ebook, I wouldn't listen to the audiobook.

The performance from the narrator is also very important for me. I can't listen to a lot, because my English as a non-native-speaker isn't so perfect to follow a whole story over hours, when the narrator speaks too fast or too sloppy. Normally I have to SEE the person, who is talking to me in English. It took me a little bit, to come into the narrator, but at the end, it worked. I only have to take a few breaks between. I'm just not yet finish with the book, but I listen enough to give a review.

PLEASE READ MY RATING SYSTEM!!!

To my ratings for the performance:

5* - very very good
it's like an A+

4* - very good and will be often re-listening
it's like an A

3* - it's more then a one-time-listening, but not more then once a year.
it's like a B

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Family Christmas at it's finest

Story encapsulates Christmas time with family from games to helping with dinner, only leaving out the family photo 😜 bonus: deflowering virgin(Rudy) and a cute kitten who thinks it's play time when someone is giving a blowjob😂😂
Zac is a new office colleague who keeps to himself in hopes of never getting hurt after being abandoned as a baby
Rudy has had a crush on Zac since day one, after a drunken night out where they share a kiss and Rudy finds out Zac has no family to send Christmas and promptly invites him home for Christmas as 'friends'
Rudy's family and Rudy himself work their way into Zac's heart and make him feel like he belongs

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Another delightful tale from Jay Northcote

I confess I am now firmly addicted to Jay Northcote's tales. The only danger is the risk of developing chronic insomnia if they are adopted as bedtime reading.

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Profile Image for Tina Arnold
  • Tina Arnold
  • 22-12-19

Warm Christmas Feels

This story had an interesting premise where Zac enjoys a Christmas Holiday with Rudy, his co-worker. I am from the states and I love all things British. I enjoyed hearing about the meals and holiday games and even the drafty old farm house--but that was just wonderful window dressing to the overall story of 2 guys who saw themselves as misfits finding they truly enjoy one another and are not just attracted to the outside. Both characters explained a wonderful vulnerability for where they were coming from into this new potential relationship. This book definitely had hot moments as well--IMO made hotter because they were falling for each other. I noticed other reviewers mentioned an issue with the narrator and I just wanted to say that I had no notable issues with the narration of this book. I was very pleased--but then again, I could have just been seduced by the accident, Reading this at Christmas and with one of the main characters as Rudy who was a bit shy did remind me of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer--but that is clearly just me because I have been listening to way too much Christmas music : )

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex Korent
  • 18-12-19

Simply Adorable

This book is just so so adorable. I was having some tough days and turned to fluffy audiobooks to try to improve my mood. This one is just so sweet, very sliiiightly angsty, and just so adorable. It is heart-warming and wonderful, and Mark Steadman does an amazing work (although he does go a bit heavily on pauses sometimes).

I am happy to say that the book definitely improved my day <3

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Erryn Barratt
  • Erryn Barratt
  • 26-12-17

A Touching Christmas Story

Having overindulged at the office Christmas party, Rudy winds up leaning on his standoffish officemate Zac and instead of leaving well-enough alone, Rudy – realizing Zac will be alone for Christmas, invites the young man home with him. And, to the shock of both men, the anti-social Social Media Manager accepts. They work together at an LGBTQ support program called Rainbow Futures. Their co-workers are people from across the spectrum and that is awesome without being contrived.

This is a wonderful Christmas story, a perfect, happy tale coming at a time when things aren’t always nice in the real world. Authors can give us a few hours when we can check out and step into…say, a small village in rural England – an idyllic setting for a Christmas story – hearth and all.

Zac is fighting the feeling of being an outsider and interloper in this small village. Then, a little critter comes into his life to remind him what is really important.

Rudy and Zac are great characters as they are both coming at the relationship from different places. Rudy is inexperienced while Zac is jaded. But some honesty moves the relationship to a deeper level than either had envisioned.

Mark Steadman is a great narrator and I love the British accent, easy to understand, reminiscent of the great British actors.

Oh, and I love how Die Hard is now considered a Christmas classic movie…

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for 'Nathan
  • 'Nathan
  • 14-12-17

A wonderful bit of Holiday cheer

This was such a lovely little story about two men who struggle with connection. Rudy is super-shy, and although he loves his job at Rainbow Futures (a youth-services organization working with LGBTQ youth) and has overcome the shyness with most of his coworkers, the new guy—who is super-hot—leaves him completely locked inside himself.

It doesn't help that Zac never involves himself with any of the rest of them. He does a great job as the social media manager, but he is the least social person around. That Zac's history has taught him this is the only way to stay safe is beside the point.

When a holiday party, a bit too much tequila, a kiss, and an offer made in the spur of a moment combine to push Zac and Rudy together for the holidays alongside Rudy's odd (and awesome) family. After that? It's all up to some holiday magic, and maybe a kitten.

Extra props for the queer content, too: this is a rare story where queer moves beyond &quot;two men falling in love&quot; and includes trans and bi characters actually, y'know, existing in the world.

I listened to this on audiobook, and while the performer was good, there was some oddness with how he paused mid-sentences that I found a bit distracting. The characterization, on the other hand, was solid, and I loved his voices for the various characters, so I tried to ignore the distracting pauses, and it didn't knock me out of the narrative.