Title: Desperately Seeking Santa
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Self-Published/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 160 Pages
Category: Contemporary Holiday Romance
At a Glance: Desperately Seeking Santa is just pure fun and a really wonderful addition to the current slate of m/m holiday fare.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Journalism student Gabe Martin gets his first professional assignment—to write about a Christmas charity dinner that benefits a children’s home. It sounds like a total snooze-fest until Gabe learns that the event’s Santa is a mystery man. He shows up in costume and no one has a clue who he is. Uncovering Santa’s identity sounds like the perfect angle to turn a fluff piece into serious journalism.
Mack “The Mountain” McDonall, at 6’10”, is University of Wisconsin-Madison’s enormous star wrestler. When Gabe first claps eyes on him at a wrestling match, it’s lust at first sight. Gabe’s friend, Jordan, sets up the pair on a date. But when Gabe chatters on about his plans for outing Santa, Mack goes cold, and their first meeting becomes an epic fail.
As Gabe researches the children’s home, he learns that Mack has secrets a guy famous for being a brute wouldn’t want the world to know. Can Gabe find his holiday spirit, write a killer article, win the heart of a surly giant, and give everyone a very merry Christmas?
Review: Eli Easton revisits two of my favorite characters from a previous novel, Superhero, in her current Christmas release, Desperately Seeking Santa. The story picks up three years later, and Owen and Jordan are now seniors in college. While the story doesn’t focus solely on Owen and Jordan, but rather, two friends of theirs, Easton manages to tie them into the book quite nicely. This time the action revolves around Jordan’s friend Gabe, a journalism major who works part-time for the local newspaper to help pay his tuition. Hungry for his first big story, and hoping it will also suffice as a project for his investigative journalism class, Gabe is rather disappointed when he’s given the local Elks Club charity dinner to cover. It seems the club has an annual Christmas meal for the children, and even has Santa make an appearance, and it’s the Santa angle that ends up making the story one Gabe is hungry to pursue.
Apparently no one knows the true identity of the jolly old elf, and Gabe decides to find out and expose his identity. In the meantime, Owen and Jordan have decided Gabe needs to find someone to date, and they have just the person. Weighing in just shy of three-hundred pounds and nearly seven-feet-tall, Mack, the “Mountain”, is an undefeated wrestler in his division. He’s also painfully shy and very private. Mack has secrets, many of them, and he’s very protective of those he loves. When he finally meets Gabe he wants to trust the man, but as soon as he finds out that Gabe has decided to expose the real Santa, Mack shuts down and shuts out Gabe. Unfortunately, Gabe is already smitten and really confused as to why a story about the orphanage and their secret Santa would have such a negative effect on Mack. Eventually, Gabe discovers the one secret Mack has refused to tell anyone—now, the only question is whether or not Gabe can undo the harm he’s done by being so nosy, and finally get his mountain man to trust him.
First off, if you liked (or loved, as in my case) Superhero, then Desperately Seeking Santa is going to knock your socks off. I thought Owen was the cutest wrestler I’d ever met, but Mack takes the prize and then some. He has so many carefully held secrets, but none are actually being kept to protect himself, as such; rather, he keeps them to shield those he loves from being hurt or wrongfully judged. Without giving too much away, Mack is that incredible type of person who will give multiple chances to those he trusts, even when it means he must sacrifice and bear the consequences he never deserved. However, if Mack doesn’t have faith in you, then the moment you wrong him or one he considers family, you may as well kiss him and his friendship goodbye.
Gabe is a guy who is used to people leaving him. His dad did, early on, to start over with a new wife, and let’s just say his love life has never really even gotten started. Gabe is already a bit of a cynic, and rarely takes the time to see beyond the surface with most people. In his experience, what lies beneath isn’t all that great anyway. But Mack is a very different story, and for some reason, Gabe wants this guy to take a chance with him. But, that means going slow and trying to figure out all the many pitfalls that seem to surround Mack’s private life. Love has never been this difficult or exciting.
There is magic to Eli Easton’s writing; her characters are incredibly relatable; they quickly nestle into your heart and involve you emotionally. It goes beyond just liking these guys; this author always manages to get the reader invested in the lives of her men and before long, you find yourself rooting for their success despite the roadblocks she seems to love to throw in their way. But best of all, in my opinion, is that she builds intimacy through dialogue and relational connections as opposed to loads of sex. The sex scenes may be few and far between, but the attraction between Mack and Gabe is scorching hot.
Desperately Seeking Santa is just pure fun and a really wonderful addition to the current slate of m/m holiday fare. I sincerely hope Eli Easton continues writing about these guys, along with Owen and Jordan. Their stories just make me happy, and in this day and age, that is the best gift a reader can receive.
You can buy Desperately Seeking Santa here: