Author: Raine O’Tierney
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Porker, Fatty, Tons-of-Fun: Crowley Fredericks has heard it all. He’s dropped a lot of weight since his high school days, but he’s still a big guy, and the painful words and bullying follow him. Rejected—again—because of his size, Crowley is starting to think that maybe love just isn’t meant for huskier men.
Averell Lang and his twin are so different they might as well not even be related. So when Rell’s brother brings his roommate home to snowy Susset for the holidays, Rell expects the worst—another uptight, pretentious hipster. What he discovers instead is Crowley. Nerdy, fascinating, attractive, Crowley. Rell never expected to look at a man this way, and what he sees in Crowley Fredericks is something he didn’t even know he was looking for. If both men can overcome their hang-ups, they might unwrap more than presents this holiday season.
Review: Crowley has always been the chubby guy. He’s lost some weight but he still has the body issues that a lot of us struggle with. He’s pretty confident in all other aspects of his life. His best friend and roommate invites him to spend Christmas with his family after Crowley’s mother tells him to not come home when he finally admits to her he’s gay. Crowley doesn’t really want to spend Christmas alone and his roommate insists he come home with him. Once he agrees he’s pushed out the door to make the next train because that’s the only ticket left.
Averall is kind of a screw up/free spirit. He jokes about how many jobs he’s lost but crawling home to his mom to once again isn’t exactly what he wants to be doing. He just doesn’t have a choice. His mom knows him well enough and decides to put Averall to work with chores if he’s going to be staying for a while. Again. One of those chores is to pick up his brother’s roommate at the station. Averall expects another hipster douche bag like his brother but he’s pleasantly surprised to find Crowley and him get along quite well.
Averall has never really been into men but there’s something about Crowley that does it for him. They share some gaming interests and laugh a lot together. Crowley doesn’t make Averall feel like a loser. He likes him just how he is. Crowley thinks Averall is super sexy but obviously straight. And probably out of his league anyway. Until Averall kisses him under the mistletoe. Crowley’s first kiss ever.
I enjoyed this story. I think a lot of us can relate to having body issues. I don’t think the topic was too heavy and there was a lot of humor and witty banter between the characters to keep the story at that feel good level. Crowley does have some freak outs that stem from a cruel joke when he was in high school. It traumatized him and he really had nobody to talk to about since he in the closet at that time.
Averall is a totally lovable loser. I loved his carefree attitude and the man can spit out some clever zingers. He has his own struggles with realizing he can’t keep skating through life. Meeting and falling for Crowley really brings home the point that he has to get his shit together. I think because Averall’s willingness to do whatever he wants really helped me overlook the fact he accepted being attracted to a man sexually and emotionally so easily. He really didn’t question it at all. He just went with it. The MCs were adorable together. They both brought out good qualities in each other.
The family was a lot of fun. They were entertaining and warm. Lots of yelling and arguing but you knew they loved each other. Like the way only family can be. I think Crowley accepting Averall as he is in front of his family, who thinks he’s a screw up, helped him gain a little perspective on what he wants. Wanting to be with Crowley and feeling worthy pushes him into action.
Overall this was a sweet Christmas story with a well done gay for you theme. Lovable characters. It tackles some heavier issues but kept light with plenty of humor. A fun and festive read I’d recommend picking up if you’re looking for a holiday themed book.