Rating: 4 Stars

Publisher: Jacki James

Genre: Gay Holiday Romance

Tags: Contemporary, Age Gap (12 Years), Bi Character, Christmas, Romance, Series, Small Town

Length: 212 Pages

Reviewer: Cindi

Purchase At: Amazon

Blurb –

They say there’s no place like home for the holidays… But that isn’t true when snowbody loves you.

When I get ditched at the airport right before a holiday trip to the Bahamas, spending Christmas at home alone isn’t all that appealing so impulsively hopping on a plane to the most Christmasy place on earth seems like a good idea. At least until I realize I’ve got no plan, no place to stay, and nothing but beach clothes.

Luckily, Arlo, the handsome B&B owner, comes to my rescue.

Christmas Falls is supposed to be a quick holiday escape, but the town is just so dang cute. And so is Arlo.

There’s just something about the older man that draws me in and makes me want to stay a bit longer, and then a bit longer. Through sleigh rides, ornament-making, and handling a winter storm that strands guests, the Gingerbread Cottage B&B, Christmas Falls, and more importantly Arlo begin to feel like home.

The holidays never end in Christmas Falls–but can I say the same for me and Arlo?

Review –

I’ve been a fan of Jacki James for a few years now, having read quite a few of her books. Ripley, who I met in Snowflake Kisses, and in his own story, Finding Ripley, will forever be one of my all-time favorite fictional characters. She’s one of my go-to-don’t-have-to-read-the-blurb-auto-buy authors. When I saw Snowbody Loves Me, I knew I’d be reading it sooner rather than later. Other than a couple of inconsistencies (Arlo was 35 early in the book and 38 later), and a couple of misspelled words, I found it to be a really nice Christmas story.

I was introduced to Christmas Falls in Grinch Kisses, that I loved. I was also slightly introduced to Arlo in that book. I love multi-author series like this because the reader is often discovering new authors to them, while at the same time reading old favorites. It’s nice for me because the series started with another author I enjoy, D.J. Jamison. Christmas Falls reminds me of a small town in Vermont that my husband and I visited during the holidays a few years ago, only much more magical.

Emerson, 26, is a successful author of cozy mysteries. He’s talking about holiday plans with other author buddies when he mentions that his latest not quite a girlfriend had invited him to the Bahamas, but he said no because he didn’t see the relationship progressing. One of his friends encourages him to show up at the airport and surprise her.

Dumb move, dude. I saw what was going to happen from a mile away.

Needless to say, Emerson had been replaced on that little trip. After buying a random ticket just to get through security, he’s stuck with no Bahamas trip and nowhere to go but home. But then he looks at the ticket he bought to see it’s for a place called Christmas Falls. He decides to take the plunge and get on that flight. What he doesn’t expect is to fly into the town while it’s in the middle of a major Christmas festival. In other words, no place to stay because everything’s booked, and no flights out for a while. It doesn’t help that when he rushed to pack for the airport, he packed clothes suitable for a sunny vacation spot, not a cold and snowy one.

Luckily, Arlo, the owner of a popular B&B in Christmas Falls, just happens to be at the airport and overhears Emerson’s conversation with the airport worker. A family’s trip to Christmas Falls has been delayed, so their rooms are available for a couple of nights. He offers them to Emerson.

Once Emerson is settled and has bought warmer clothes, he explores Christmas Falls, loving everything he sees and experiences. He even signs a few of his books in the local bookstore, which leads to him being asked to be part of a book signing in a couple of days, scheduled with another local author that Emerson has met before. He’d love to, but where would he stay? Once again, Arlo comes to the rescue and offers him his couch in his private apartment at the B&B.

These two guys dance around each other a little before a reindeer driven carriage ride changes everything. First, there’s a little hand holding, but then a little kiss, and what do you know? They’re eager to get back to the B&B, and not for Emerson to sleep on Arlo’s couch. 😉 They have sex, and then it’s just kind of a given that they’ll be sharing Arlo’s bed during the rest of Emerson’s stay. The question was… how long will Emerson be staying? A major snowstorm helps answer that question for a little while, but then the festival ends, and it’s time for Emerson to go back to his real life.

Or is it?

I loved Arlo and Emerson together. Emerson fit into the town like he was born there, even jumping in to help Arlo when emergencies like the snowstorm that popped up. They’re kind of public about being a couple, if only temporary. It’s the ‘if only temporary’ that stays in the back of each man’s mind.

All of that was nice. The reader can easily see how much the two men already care about each other. What wasn’t nice was their lack of communication about what they both want. Arlo doesn’t want Emerson to leave. Emerson doesn’t want to leave. He’s an author. He can work anywhere. But instead of discussing their feelings, Emerson makes the boneheaded decision to fly home when his friends do, friends who came to visit with their little girl when things slowed down a little in town.

I wasn’t happy with how Arlo found out that Emerson was leaving. They’d spent a couple of weeks together at that point, mostly as a couple, but Arlo had to hear about Emerson’s flight back from a conversation in passing with the above-mentioned friends. Obviously, they come back together quickly. While I’m huge on romantic gestures like in this book – I’m a major hopeless romantic – I really felt like this was too rushed, I guess? Don’t get me wrong, it was very nice and sweet. I don’t know, I guess I just expected a bit more than what I got. I will say this, though… the epilogue more than made up for it, in my opinion. The epilogue was a total, “Aww…” moment for me.

I’m loving Christmas Falls. I’m loving the cutesy names of businesses and streets. I’m loving the people and how Christmas is basically celebrated every day of the year, though in a much smaller scale after the actual holiday has come and gone. I’m loving watching these couples come together. Granted, I’ve only read two books so far, but I’m eager to read the others in the series.

While I did love Arlo and Emerson together, I’m rating this 4 stars instead of higher because of the inconsistencies with Arlo’s age that I mentioned above, and the kind of rushed way they decided to stay with each other. There were only a couple of misspelled words – the/teh and that/taht, so that didn’t matter to me. I know how easy it is to miss things. Another thing that bugged me was how Arlo was described before I learned he was in his thirties. I swear I thought I was reading about somebody in their late forties or fifties because it just came across as him being much older. When I read 35 (and later, 38), I was thinking, “Seriously? THAT’S old? That’s the age of my oldest son.”

If 35 and 38 are old, I’m ancient. 😉

Overall, another really good story by Jacki James. A great addition to this series.