Title: A Moon-Runner Christmas
Author: N.J. Nielsen
Length: 16,440 pages (81 pdf pages)
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: m/m paranormal (shifters)
Two lives — One destiny. When fate decides two people belong together, nothing can stand in its way. Liam Kantry and Carlo Bruenelli find themselves caught up in the madness of Christmas as they discover the meaning of being true heart-mates.
Liam Kantry wants to be with the man he has loved his whole life, yet incessant rumours and innuendos have labelled him the pack whore — a point he has never disputed.
Carlo Bruenelli is waiting for his heart-mate; he is one of those who believe they really do exist. In his heart he wants it to be his best friend, only Liam doesn’t believe in heart-mates. What will it take to change Liam’s mind?
Christmas is drawing near, and between snowball fights and the contract ceremony, Liam and Carlo find themselves caught up in the excitement and obsessing over what their future holds.
Are they true heart-mates? Will they forge a successful future for themselves or destroy two families?
This has a lot of the hallmarks of a typical shifter story, which is not a bad thing, but it turned just a bit too perfect and sweet at the end for me. Carlo is turning 21 and each year, several packs get together around Christmas for essentially a big singles party where people search for potential life-mates or just a little fun. Carlo has been in love with Liam for years, but Liam’s reputation for being a slut is legendary and Carlo is sure Liam would not be right for him, despite loving him. And to top it for, their fathers have been feuding for their whole lives.
Finally Liam decides to make a play for Carlo, because as it turns out, he’s not a slut and for some odd reason, his brother has been spreading those rumors. Carlo isn’t sure he believes it, but when Liam formally petitions for him to be his mate, he’s willing to try. As it turns out, they are heart-mates which is a very rare. Then things tipped a bit too far into the absolutely too perfect ending, complete with abandoned baby who needs a home, and parents who have set aside their feud after 25 years.
I was a bit confused by Liam. At first he seemed to want to chase Carlo off with his stories of being promiscuous, then later he appears annoyed with his brother for spreading the lies. But you’ve known about it for two years at least, it seems like it was common knowledge. Then suddenly he’s putting in a bid for Carlos’ hand (so to speak) and he’s worried Carlo won’t accept him. It just seemed a bit of a convenience that in the end he’s nearly as innocent as Carlo.
Shifter fans will enjoy this story, but I think some may find it a bit too much. I know Christmas stories are notorious for being overly sweet and “perfect”, but in this case I think it would have been better to stop at the relationship and do a sequel next year where they get to start a family. Going from just friends to a couple with kids in 8 hours left me feeling a bit as if everything was jammed in that could be.