Title: Santa’s Naughty Helper
Author: Ari McKay
Length: 15,100 words (54 pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
When shy attorney Kevin Anderson draws Erik Wilson, his hunky co-worker, in their office’s secret gift exchange, he realizes this might be just the opportunity he needs to make Erik notice him. Erik seems to enjoy the game of twelve days of naughty gifts, but can Kevin overcome his fear of rejection enough to go through with his plan and offer himself to Erik on Christmas Eve?
I quite like the premise of this holiday story, that is a friends to lovers story. Once Kevin gets Erik’s name in the Christmas draw, he decides to give him one gift each work day, revealing the giver on Christmas eve. He’s been best friends with Erik for a long time and they work well together, in part because they are opposites. Erik loves to be in front of the jury, is comfortable with people, but Kevin hates that, but can work miracles with research. He takes a deep breath and decides to make his feelings known through the gift exchange.
He starts with romantic gifts, candles, a movie, chocolate, but when Erik fears it may be a woman crushing on him, he runs out to buy gay pride stickers and puts them on his office door. LOL Kevin then decides to up the ante and starts giving more risque gifts. The fun part was Erik didn’t WANT to know. He really didn’t have any family to celebrate with, and he was loving the game of getting gifts. Part of Kevin’s enjoyment of the game was watching Erik’s delight, which I think is what good friends turned lovers would feel. The gifts and discussions of crushes, also wakes Erik up and when Kevin confesses to having a crush on someone, he finally looks at him in a different light.
It was fun to see the different gifts and both of their reactions. Kevin trying to pretend he didn’t know what they were and Erik trying to make Kevin blush. You knew they were good friends who knew a lot about each other and were perfect for each other, if Kevin was a bit more confident about his strengths. Perhaps the law firm they work for was a bit too perfect. The description of the holiday party they hold had me envious and figuring it must be the thing of urban legends, mind you, at my work we have to pay for our own party, so I may well just have been jealous.
I really enjoyed it, and it’s not overly sugary or sentimental, but the different gifts and the banter between the two best friends made it a great holiday read.