Rating: 4.5 Stars

Publisher: Earl Gray Publishing LLC

Genre: Gay Holiday Romance

Tags: Contemporary, Christmas, Friends-To-Lovers, Second Chance Romance, Series, Small Town, Sports

Length: 280 Pages

Reviewer: Cindi

Purchase At: Amazon

Blurb –

Of all the things Murphy Clark loves about Christmas Falls, there’s always been one he loves a little more than the rest:

His childhood best friend, Jem Knight.

Doesn’t matter that Jem’s barely been home in years, or that he’s busy conquering football fields instead of hanging out at Jolly Java or admiring Murphy’s carved wooden gnomes. Murphy’s always loved him anyway.

But now Jem’s finally returned to Christmas Falls to be the honorary figurehead of the biggest holiday festival in the MidwestMurphy’s hoping to rekindle their friendship but he didn’t count on Jem not recognizing him. Or flirting with him. Or re-igniting the hopeless crush he’s always had for his best friend.

He definitely didn’t expect for his crush to no longer be hopeless at all.

Or for both of them to realize that all they want for Christmas this year is each other.

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 –

Silent Knight is the fourth book in the Christmas Falls series. Of the four, it’s the third by an author I’ve read and enjoyed before. Jem Knight was apparently introduced in the author’s Charleston Condors series, that I’ve not read. Undecided if I will at this point, even if I do want to know about Deacon, Jem’s best friend. I’m not a big fan of books about sports, though I’m a serious fan of sports in the real world. Go figure.

Jem is a popular NFL player for the Charleston Condors. He’s recently been injured, so he took Griff (from Grinch Kisses) up on his offer of being the guest of honor during his hometown’s Christmas festivities.

Jem couldn’t wait to grow up and move out of the small town, his goal to play in the NFL. He was able to do just that… until the injury.

Murphy has had a crush on Jem, his former best friend, for decades. They were as thick as thieves until Murphy took a complete step back from their friendship right around when they started high school. He had his reasons for pulling back, but it hurt Jem. It hurt Murphy too, but he didn’t see himself fitting into Jem’s football dreams. Murphy had no want, or need, to leave Christmas Falls, when Jem was basically counting down the days.

And now he’s back home. Not just back home, but he flirts a little with Murphy not even knowing the man he’s hitting on his is childhood best friend.

When Griff asks Murphy to be a liaison of sorts with Jem for all the festivities of the festival, he balks at first. He understands why he’s being asked because everybody knows how close Murphy and Jem were once upon a time. But the man didn’t even recognize him when they saw each other again for the first time in fifteen years. Even so, he agrees.

To say Jem feels like an idiot when Mik (from Get Frosted) tells him who the guy was he was being ‘friendly’ with at the bar is an understatement. Sure, it’s been fifteen years since he’s seen him, but to not recognize him at all?

Jem never understood why Murphy walked away from their friendship when they’d been so close. What he doesn’t know is that it was because of a major crush Murphy had on him.

Jem and Murphy kind of fall right back into their friendship. It’s awkward at first but it doesn’t take long before they’re as close as they were years before. Strike that. They’re now much closer than they were back then because a little hand holding and a few kisses here and there turn into so much more. It all seemed to come so natural to both of them; to go from former best friends to lovers, I mean.

In the first three books one of the main character’s – always one visiting or whatever – had one foot out the door of Christmas Falls. I swear I groaned to myself thinking it would be the same with Jem. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Jem pretty much figures out early on that there’s no way he’ll be leaving Murphy. He’s fallen and he’s fallen hard.

But then there’s Murphy, who wants to keep their relationship secret – meaning no obvious PDA or anything like that. I mean, everybody already knows they’re hooking up, but Murphy seems to believe that if they’re not so public then when Jem decides Murphy’s not enough, it won’t be so bad. I guess he assumes the gossip will die down.

Yeah, no. Everybody knows something is going on. It’s not like they’ve kept anything secret. They’ve just not kissed or anything like that in front of others. And as for Jem deciding Murphy’s not enough, that’s kind of laughable. Jem made it clear early on that what they had wasn’t just a fling while he’s in town.

I adored Jem. He’s not your typical jock that you see ad nauseam in some books. He’s just, after suffering his injury, trying to figure out what to do after football when football is pretty much all he’s ever known.

Murphy is well known for his sculpted gnomes, and not just in Christmas Falls. He makes a living off his creations with Tasha, his best friend and business partner.

I liked Tasha. She came across once or twice as one of those friends who feels it’s her job to tell Murphy how to live his life. Those types of characters are some of my most hated. Thankfully, Tasha surprised me and ended up being a good friend.

The romance between Jem and Murphy is super sweet and super sexy at the same time. They belong together, even if it took a few years for both of them to figure it out.

I found Silent Knight to be refreshing because Jem wasn’t constantly battling over leaving Murphy. When he went in, he went all in. I did, however, get frustrated with Murphy more than once. He didn’t want Jem to know about his old crush, and he kept fighting taking their relationship public. Thankfully, everything worked out beautifully in the end. It was a very nice story with a very sweet epilogue.

The next book is Under The Mistle-tome by Sammi Cee, another author I’ve read and enjoyed. I’m having a lot of fun with this series.