Title: 100 Days to Christmas
Author: Delilah Storm
Length: 12,400 words (46 pdf pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
After nearly a year of online video chatting and text messaging, Jackson and Steve are finally going to meet in person. Jackson is a successful New York City lawyer. Steve owns a popular bakery called Sweet Cheeks, in San Diego – and with that bakery comes a touch of a dough boy body. Steve is understandably nervous and desperate to make a good impression on the man he’s fallen in love with, who has only seen him through a computer screen. Steve has a hundred days to Christmas to become the perfect package he believes Jackson wants to unwrap, over and over again. But can a clumsy chocolate fanatic more interested in feeding his personal trainer chocolate éclairs than in doing push-ups manage to stay the course?
This was a fun little story that didn’t fall too far into the sugary sweet Christmas fare. As the blurb says, Steve owns/runs his own bakery in San Diego and Jackson is a lawyer in New York. They met playing an on-line game and clicked and Jackson initiated Skype conversations. Now nearly a year later, Jackson is coming to San Diego to meet in person. Steve suddenly realizes he’s “fat” and is determined to use those 100 days to Christmas to get fit, because Jackson is gorgeous and he doesn’t want the man to be disappointed.
A very amusing section entails short journal entries of Steve’s quest to join a gym and get fit. I loved this section. Steve is a bit flighty at times and very funny. His personal trainer’s insistence he jog and his reaction is amusing and ofttimes, he ended up bringing a plate of cookies and their “training” session ended up being sitting around dipping cookies in caramel sauce and chatting. Jackson found his stories hilarious as well.
Finally, Jackson is about to arrive and Steve realizes he’s only lost 10 lbs, not the 40 he had hoped for. He spends much time decided how to best camouflage his tummy and bum, however as with all great romances, Jackson loved him exactly how he is. It was very sweet and while the ending could have appeared rushed, the fact that they had been talking to each other on-line for over a year made it seem perfectly natural to me. I think the fact that the author let you see this happening over a period of time, the way Jackson teased Steve, rather than just saying “oh, they talked for a year” really made the ending fit well without feeling tacked on or hurried.
If you are looking for something a bit light and appreciate a character who does not have six-pack abs and frets about it some, Steve is an adorable character and I liked him a great deal. I was happy he found a guy who loved him the way he was, even if it was less than romance novel perfect.