Erryn reviews ‘A Kiss Before Christmas – A Snowy London Love Story (Jack and Rory Book 1)’ by A.E. Ryecart. This book was released on November 15, 2018, and is 157 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Dan Calley. It was released on May 8, 2020 and is 3 hrs and 45 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I loved the Deviant Hearts series.
Christmas is looming and Jack De Lacy needs a solution to one hell of a fix.
Dumped by his boyfriend in favor of his best friend, Jack’s been busy bragging about a hot new man in his life.
A hot new man who doesn’t exist.
With an important function to attend where he’ll come face-to-face with his ex, Jack knows he’ll be a laughing stock when his boasts are exposed as nothing more than wishful thinking. He’s desperate but time, like his options, is running out.
Rory Kincaid is scared he won’t last another night sleeping rough on London’s frozen, snowbound streets. With all the homeless shelters full, Rory seeks refuge in the first empty doorway he stumbles across.
Finding Rory shivering in the sub-zero temperatures, Jack can no more send him away than kick a puppy out into the cold. A shower, shave and hot drink later, the grubby street kid is transformed into a beautiful young man.
As the attraction between them grows, so does a plan that will get Jack out of the mess he’s in and give Rory a warm, safe home for Christmas. Sweet and adorable, Rory will make a great fake boyfriend for the festive season – the problem is, neither Jack nor Rory is sure where make-believe ends and truth begins.
Warning: this novella contains a camp Christmas tree, a drag queen Christmas fairy called Doris, way too many jugs of eggnog, a closet posh boy, and the sweetest Kiss Before Christmas ever.
I listened to this story on Christmas Day, and that felt appropriate. These days homelessness is becoming more and more frequent, and although Rory wasn’t homeless because he was gay, he had faced a set of circumstances that led him to being that way. Things that could happen to any of us. And although he wound up on Jack’s doorstep, it could have gone horribly wrong. In those temperatures, he might have died. That happens to people and it’s beyond tragic. That many of us live in wealthy countries and there are homeless speaks to a distinct lack of empathy and will to do something about it.
But I digress.
Rory does wind up on Jack’s doorstep and Jack is unable to send the young man away into a raging snowstorm. At first, it’s just a sandwich. Then, okay, a shower. Then… Yeah. So Jack essentially has a new roommate for at least the next few days. But Rory might also be the solution to Jack’s problem. Jack was dumped by his boyfriend and then betrayed by his best mate. The two most important men in Jack’s life hooked up under his nose and left him high and dry. That Jack has to be around them for a charity he volunteers for just rubs salt in the wound.
Not wanting to seem like a loser, Jack has made up a boyfriend. Now that Christmas is here, people in his life (including his well-meaning family) are clamouring to meet said boyfriend. Rory offers to help and with a growing attraction between the men, it seems the solution. Except Jack hasn’t been honest with Rory about who he really is and that is bound to make a difference. So the question is…will they still be together in the New Year?
I have to say I enjoyed this audio. It was on the short side but that was okay because the story came together really nicely. And as someone who struggles through Christmas, this was the perfect story of two people coming together and finding love.
Now, of course I have to mention Dan Calley. He’s a great narrator and I always enjoy his performances. So yes, a little holiday cheer is in order and I’ve scoped out there are two more books in the series and I plan to pick them up.
10/10 Points of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
A born and bred Londoner, she may have moved to someplace more leafy but the city is still very much part of her DNA, which is why her books are set in and around present-day London, providing a thrilling, metropolitan backdrop to the main action.