Garrett Leigh writes excellent angst, so I was curious to see how that would balance out the inherent lightness of a holiday romance. I was not disappointed by any means, as Jonah and Sacha stumble into a relationship together throughout a single December. Neither man really does relationships for various reasons, but their first hookup leads to more encounters thanks to the forced proximity of their professional lives. It’s a cliché that the first sexual encounter happens at the 50 percent mark of a romance novel, but I loved how Leigh flips this trope by having their first actual kiss happen at that moment instead.

Sacha speaks perfectly fine English, but Leigh treats the conversational sparring between him and Jonah as a metaphor for their entire relationship. Each man’s needs and wants don’t translate perfectly, either via speech or action. There is no single “dark moment” for their burgeoning romance but instead a series of minor clashes resulting from Sacha’s insecurities and Jonah’s desires.

But this is a romance, and a holiday romance at that, so the inherent joy and hope of the season finally bind the two men together. This book came highly recommended by another reader whose tastes I admire, and I’m happy to pay forward the compliments. This book is not to be missed by fans of Leigh or by readers looking for a holiday romance with a bit more emotional meat on its bones.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.