Rating: 3 Stars

Publisher: Casey Cox

Genre: Gay Erotic Holiday Romance

Tags: Contemporary, Age Gap (17 years), Best Friend’s Dad, Christmas, Erotic Romance, Series, Small Town, Virgin

Length: 172 Pages

Reviewer: Cindi

Purchase At: Amazon

This review is NSFW-ish.

Blurb –

I’m definitely on Santa’s naughty list this year…

My agent calls me a PR nightmare, but I’m just trying to have some fun for the first time in my life. To clean up my supposed ‘bad boy’ image, I’m starring in a cheesy, live-action holiday rom-com set in Christmas Falls.

Ha, some punishment.

The head of the company producing the film is Hig Langton, my best friend’s dad, aka my lifelong crush. The most kind-hearted and devastatingly handsome guy I’ve ever laid my eyes on. A sexy business man and mountain lumberjack rolled into one. He can jingle my bells any time.

But this year, I want Hig to stop seeing me as a kid… Or his son’s best friend. I’m an adult, and it’s time for Hig to start treating me like one. And I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Clausing a Scene is low-angst holiday fun guaranteed to get you into the festive spirit. It’s packed with tropey goodness my best friend’s dad, age gap, snowed in, bi awakening, and first time.

Christmas Falls is a multi-author M/M romance series set in a small town that thrives on enough holiday charm to rival any Hallmark movie.

Review –

Brant, 25, is an actor. He’s very successful, having even earned an Emmy for a series he’s part of. His bitchy and selfish mother lives vicariously through her son, so he’s never had much of a life. I suppose as long as he was bringing in the money, she felt like she didn’t have to, you know, parent. She wasn’t in the book much, but she didn’t have to be.

Then there’s Hig, 42, Brant’s best friend’s dad. The best friend is Col, who I absolutely adored. I adored Col so much that I spent most of the book hoping he’d get more page time. Sure, the main characters are Brant and Hig, but I found Col to be much more interesting than his dad and bestie. Col has his own story coming up. As much as I loved his character, I’m undecided if I’ll be reading it.

Brant’s had a massive crush on Hig for as long as he’s known what a crush was. Hig is a very young 42, according to Brant, so it’s not like he’s fallen for somebody ancient. As for Brant, he’s a very young 25, though it’s doubtful that’s how he was meant to come across.

The book starts with a prologue that takes place on the 4th of July weekend. After spending time with Col and his dad in Christmas Falls for the holiday, Brant’s hot, and not just because it’s summertime. 😉 So what does young Brant do when everybody else is sound asleep? Or should I say when he thinks everybody else is sound asleep? He pulls out his big purple dildo – that he named after Hig, of course – and goes to town….. with the door wide open. Of course he’s seen, but he doesn’t find that out until later.

Now it’s Christmastime in Christmas Falls and Brant and Col are flying in to spend the holidays with Hig. Well, they plan to anyway. Unfortunately, Col is stuck in the middle of a snowstorm and is delayed. That was sad because it was the anniversary of his mother’s death, a day he and Hig always spent together. With her passing being so close to Christmas, Hig has always gone all out, doing everything he can to help his son through the difficult time.

Col’s flight delay gives Hig and Brant a few days alone. Whatever should they do? *smirk*

Well, what they do is have a lot of sex, but I’ll come back to that.

Brant, tired of being known as such a goodie two-shoes, decided months before to do a little drinking and partying to kind of change his good boy image. He’d never done any of that stuff before. It turned out he wasn’t a fan. As a popular actor, of course the media was all over it, even dubbing him ‘Brant the Brat’. Anybody who actually knows Brant in the real world knows he’s well-rounded and just an all around good guy – definitely NOT how the media portrays him. His agent is pissed, and his mother is embarrassed and angry. So while he’s in Christmas Falls he’s to film a cutesy and cheesy Christmas movie to hopefully help his public image – the same public image he’d tried to change when he did the partying, etc. Now he’s trying to change back. Hig conveniently owns the production company.

Back to the few days Hig and Brant have alone.

Brant again plays with his purple dildo. Because he’s totally incapable of closing a bedroom door at Hig’s house, he’s caught again. Only this time Hig makes his presence known.

The second-hand embarrassment both times made me cringe. It wasn’t even because he was caught. No, it was because nothing about what he was doing and saying was even remotely sexy. It was just… weird.

Hey, I’m all about good sex scenes in books. Some of the best I’ve read have involved a little one-on-one time with a hand or toy. The two times with Brant and his purple toy were just not sexy at all.

Hig and Brant play, which leads to lots and lots, and did I say lots? of sex with these two. Brant’s never had sex with anybody before, but damn, he took it like a pro… over and over and, well, you get the picture.

I don’t have a problem with things happening fast sometimes, but these guys took fast to the next level. There was so much sex – and not a whole lot of talking about their ‘relationship’ – that I almost skimmed through most of the sex scenes. I didn’t, but I wanted to.

In the book before this one in the Christmas Falls series, there was zero drama, zero angst, just lots of good feels. I was okay with that because Trevor and Trey didn’t need it. I felt that Brant and Hig did. Everything just fell together too nicely, too easily. Sure, there was Brant’s bitch mother, but she wasn’t part of the actual relationship between Brant and Hig. Everything was just too damn perfect, even with Col when he found out his best friend and dad were hooking up.

Honestly, I never really felt it with these guys, even during the epilogue that takes place a few months later. I didn’t feel it because there was so much sex and almost no conversations. That totally took away from the relationship for me. You can have too much of a good thing. I mention above that Brant was a very young 25 because he comes across as so immature. I know he’s been sheltered by his crazy mother, but still.

Anybody who’s read any of my reviews knows how much I LOVE age gaps in books. I seek those books out more often than not. Sadly, it didn’t work for me in Clausing A Scene. Brant just seemed entirely too young and naive for me.

Another thing that bugged me about this book is that there’s almost no Christmas Falls mentioned. Sure, they’re there, and the movie is being filmed in town, but where were the Christmasy parts that I’ve loved in the rest of the series? Very few locals are mentioned or even on page. I swear it felt like 95% or more of the book was Hig and Brant in their little bubble having sex, talking about sex, or thinking about sex.

There’s also another epilogue that takes place five years later, I think. It’s available via the author’s website. I haven’t read it.

Overall, it’s not a bad book, and it won’t prevent me from reading this author again. I just wasn’t wowed by it as far as the Christmas Falls series.