Read my reviews of the previous books in The Game series:

Top Priority (#1) | Their Boy (#2) | Breathless (#3) | Doll Parts (#4) | Out of the Ashes (#5) | The Shepherd (#6) | Adrift in the Embers (#7) | Hostile Takeover (#8) | Senseless (#9)

One of the things I love best about this series is how it explores the intersection between romance and real life. This is the first installment to circle back and revisit a relationship previously developed “on page,” and I especially love Dee’s take on how the happily ever after doesn’t mean the story is over. Even a relatively solid and emotionally closed dynamic will always be an evolving beast because humans are not stagnant creatures. Throw in an age gap where one of the partners is still at the beginning of their journey, and changes are sure to ensue.

We first revisit Kit in the prologue to this novella, which gives us a quick glimpse at what to expect from the rest of the story. I appreciate that Dee allows us to see Kit growing and thriving within both his relationship and as part of the larger social community. Here, he and his cohorts pick up the thread of a community-wide interest sparked by events in the previous installment of this series.

Since this is a holiday story, Dee doesn’t go too heavy on the angst once it’s Colt’s turn as the perspective character. After all, not all change is inherently good or bad, and it’s understandable that anyone would need time to process things. Luckily, Colt has Lucas and Kit to show him that his concerns can be a source of potential enjoyment, not fear.

And trust me, Colt isn’t the only one to benefit from the promised potential enjoyment. I loved seeing so many familiar faces at the holiday party central to this story. Dee deftly balances the vanilla aspects of the party, including the sweetness of the gift exchange, with the inevitable shenanigans that occur when you mix almost 20 kinksters with seasonal cheer. I’m pretty sure my Kindle melted.

Though this book primarily follows up with Colt, Lucas, and Kit, Dee continues to tease readers with her next new focus. Macklin is slowly becoming a real character rather than a background presence. I’m already highly invested in his promised journey for the next book in this series—and that was before the final tease Dee leaves us with at the end of this story!

(Special shout-out to Kit for the A-10 Warthog reference in this story! Brrrrrtttttt, indeed.)

Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars
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