Title: Three Dates of Christmas
Author: KC Burn
Length: 39k Words
Category: Holiday Romance
At a Glance: This one is definitely worth adding to your Christmas book list!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Dean Murphy hates Christmas a little more each year. His job as a pharmacy manager requires him to festoon his store with seasonal cheer, but his distaste for the lurid commercialism is only topped by his irritation with the syrupy sentimentalism. Being alone sucks, but he’s managed just fine without friends or family for years; why should December 25 be any different?
When the tattooed Tony Delvecchio walks into his store, Dean hopes that maybe Tony’s different. Maybe Tony’s the man who won’t be driven away by Dean’s Scrooge-like tendencies. But Tony loves the holiday season, and he challenges Dean to three dates. Three dates to change his mind about Christmas.
Despite knowing it will all end badly, Dean does the unthinkable. He agrees.
Review: Tony loooooves him some Christmas. Like, sappy, all-in, swooning over Christmas displays kind of love. You know, like I love Christmas. *cheesy grin* And, when he sees the Christmas decorations at a small, local pharmacy, he is certain that whoever created these displays must be a kindred spirit. There’s no way that someone could craft that kind of warm, homey display and not be filled with Christmas joy, right?? You guessed it…of course he’s wrong. The store was begrudgingly, rather than lovingly, decorated by Dean, the pharmacy’s manager, who, as it turns out, is a pretty major Scrooge.
Dean recognizes that Tony is a massive fan of all things Christmas, and that acting on his attraction to him might not be the best idea, but he can’t help the way the two of them seem to be naturally drawn to each other. So, when Tony suggests that Dean commit to three dates, just three Christmas-themed dates, before shooting him down, Dean agrees. On one condition. There will be no watching of A Christmas Story. Meep.
I really dug the ‘three date’ premise. Each date was unique and cool—all completely unexpected by Dean. I totally enjoyed where KC Burn went with each date. And, it was fabulous to see Dean’s resistance crumble a little bit more with each one. We learn that Dean is a former foster child—his story is heartbreaking—and that he is so closed off and guarded because he doesn’t want to give anyone the opportunity to hurt or disappoint him ever again. I don’t think he actually ‘hates’ Christmas at all. Underneath that tough exterior is a boy who had very little growing up, who had to scrap for everything he owns; I loved watching Tony slowly but surely peel away Dean’s layers.
I liked both Tony and Dean a lot. Tony is such a shmoopy sap. I loved him. Some might find his extreme love of the holiday or his belief that Dean was a gift from the Yuletide Spirit a bit corny, but I thought he was adorable. And, it was perfect that he came from a big, close, Italian family. And Dean, despite his refusal to acknowledge the holiday and replacing Christmas shows with horror movie marathons, is probably just one more Christmas date away from becoming a total convert. By which I mean, watching the Christmas Eve marathon of A Christmas Story on TBS every year like the rest of us do.
Three Dates of Christmas is a very cute story. I’ve not previously read any KC Burn, and I don’t know if this is true or not, but it seemed like it was written by someone who truly loves Christmas and all the trappings of the season. And, that made me smile. This one is definitely worth adding to your Christmas book list!
You can buy Three Dates of Christmas here: