“The mouth is made for communication, and nothing is more articulate than a kiss.” ― Jarod Kintz
Summary: Mick has done a bang up job of turning his roommate, Fielding, child prodigy and Physics superstar, into a much more approachable and normal guy. Since moving in together at the start of the year, their friendship has blossomed into an uncharacteristically co-dependent bromance that neither of them expected. But Fielding’s past was not favorable to his romantic endeavors and with the department Christmas party looming, he finds himself terrified at the prospect of that promised kiss under the mistletoe with a girl who intends to rock his world. With the pressure mounting, and the terror of embarrassing himself in front of his peers looming, who better to turn to but the best kisser on campus; his best friend and roommate Mick?
As Mick slowly comes around to the prospect of schooling the adorkable geek, he finds himself lost in a long discarded confusion about his sexuality. With a kiss to end all kisses, Mick and Fielding come face to face with a new facet of their friendship, one they can’t deny and won’t ignore. Could this kiss be the start of something beautiful, or can the two men simply blame it on the mistletoe?
Review: It’s no secret that I am a die-hard Eli Easton fan. It is also no secret that Easton is to m/m romance what Andrew Christian is to underwear – the frontrunner and the hottest thing out there. I knew as soon as this novella popped up in my inbox that I was going to love every minute of this cute little Christmas caper. Not only do I adore the holidays, but I also love all things romantic and lovely, particularly when penned by one of my favorite authors.
So what exactly is it about this particular story that won me over?
Well, as expected, Easton penned a story so humorous and endearing that all it took was one look at the cover to have me itching to get started. The characters were likeable to the nth degree, each of our MC’s bringing something sublime to the story. Be it Fielding’s naive and determined nature or Mick’s overprotective and level-headed leadership, there is something in this story for everyone. Together, the two young men form a comedy duo that will have you smiling from ear to ear at their cuteness and laughing your ass off respectively. I’ve read a few reviews of this book, and I have seen the term ‘gay-for-you’ bandied around a fair bit. In all honesty, this was more of an ‘I’ll-come-out-for-you’ story. Mick had been harboring same-sex attractions much of his teen life, and Fielding was so involved in his work and so under-socialized that sex had never once crossed his mind. In a style to defy all expectations, Easton actually described the moment when their views changed about each other, and did so with such incredible talent that I could see and feel every second of that fateful kiss and everything that happened afterwards, right up to the HEA.
Though I do have a tendency to feel the sub-genre of the jock-for-geek relationship has been overplayed, a horse that has been flogged to death, resurrected and flogged some more, this story seemed to liberate itself from convention and give a new spin on the pairing. While Mick was essentially a jock, he was taking a lot of science classes to help him achieve his goal of becoming a health advisor, so that ‘dumb jock’ mentality was ditched previously in favor of knuckling down and studying to reach his dream. This was very refreshing, as expectation would have us believe it would be Fielding’s influence that would have lead to this. Nope. Mick did it all on his own. By having that kind of drive and determination, I felt like it made him and Fielding more equal, both competent men who were good at their own things, coming together as clueless as one another in the shared realization of their feelings for each other. It set them on an even ground and allowed them to shape their relationship together, both in control and both contributing.
The kissing and sex scenes were very steamy (which we all love), but Mick’s caring nature and Fielding’s curiosity also added a level of emotion that isn’t always expressed in this kind of story. Whilst I found myself getting hot under the collar as Mick took charge over his novice partner, it also was very tender and loving and that, to me, made the start of their relationship that much more endearing.
With a handful of supporting characters, the reader was given a tale with a solid back-story, accounting for all of Mick and Fielding’s flaws and eccentricities, which made their motivations much more believable and easier to digest. I could find myself imagining what it must have been like growing up different for Fielding, or the confusion Mick must have felt having attractions to other boys as he grew older. This story is one I will not be forgetting in a hurry, and indeed will be adding to my Christmas reading list for a second perusal. Some stories you just can’t beat, and this to me is another five star treat from Eli Easton that I highly recommend.