Book Review: Not Just For Christmas by Annabelle Jacobs
|Rating: 4 Stars|
Published November 28th 2017
Summary: Ben has Christmas, cats, and mistletoe on his side…. Jason doesn’t stand a chance
For Ben Slater, moving back to Bristol means being closer to his family, living with his best mate, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. But there’s also Jason, his best mate’s eldest brother. Ben’s had a crush on Jason for as long as he can remember, but the eleven-year age gap has always seemed insurmountable.
Jason Armitage works as a vet at his uncle’s practice. He owns a cute cottage on the outskirts of the city, and a loving dog. The one thing missing is someone to share it all with. His brother’s best friend seems a bad choice, but Jason can’t help taking a second look. Ben’s changed a lot since Jason last saw him; both in appearance and attitude. Gone is the shy young boy, replaced with a confident, twenty-four-year-old man.
In the run up to Christmas, the festive period gives Ben the ideal opportunity to show Jason what he has to offer. But concerns for his brother’s feelings hold Jason back. If they have any chance of making this work, Ben must convince Jason that he’s old enough to know what he wants, and Jason needs to believe that a relationship with his brother’s best friend won’t ruin their friendship.
In this slow burn MM romance, Ben has had a crush on his best friend Liam's older brother Jason forever, but Jason is 11 years older - an age gap that's insurmountable (and kind of icky) when Ben is 16, but not quite so huge when he's 24 (making Jason 35). There's an extra little kink in the works because Liam is bi, and when someone asks Jason if Ben and Liam are a couple he's not 100% sure, but does know it makes him uncomfortable to think about them together.
Jason's a vet and has the cutest dog and Ben's an animal person volunteering at the animal shelter while he's between jobs. Ben's job he gets is socializing the cats. Man, who doesn't love a big, strong, hot guy playing with fuzzy little kitties? Me-ow. And when Ben and Liam are witness to a cat getting struck by a car, they of course race the cat over to Jason's vet practice. I'm not even THERE and this cat has stolen my heart! This book has all the tags: slow burn, best friend's sibling, May-December romance, friends to lovers, childhood crush to lovers, Christmas romance… It's definitely more sweet (but does have its steamy moments!)
I did knock off half a star for some weird bits that I think were errors not caught in editing, but perhaps they were just Briticisms?
BEWARE: This novella may make you want to rush out to your local animal rescue and adopt a cat. You have been warned.