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Having overindulged at the office Christmas party, Rudy winds up leaning on his standoffish officemate Zac and instead of leaving well-enough alone, Rudy – realizing Zac will be alone for Christmas, invites the young man home with him. And, to the shock of both men, the anti-social Social Media Manager accepts. They work together at an LGBTQ support program called Rainbow Futures. Their co-workers are people from across the spectrum and that is awesome without being contrived.
This is a wonderful Christmas story, a perfect, happy tale coming at a time when things aren’t always nice in the real world. Authors can give us a few hours when we can check out and step into…say, a small village in rural England – an idyllic setting for a Christmas story – hearth and all.
Zac is fighting the feeling of being an outsider and interloper in this small village. Then, a little critter comes into his life to remind him what is really important.
Rudy and Zac are great characters as they are both coming at the relationship from different places. Rudy is inexperienced while Zac is jaded. But some honesty moves the relationship to a deeper level than either had envisioned.
Mark Steadman is a great narrator and I love the British accent, easy to understand, reminiscent of the great British actors.
Oh, and I love how Die Hard is now considered a Christmas classic movie…
This was such a lovely little story about two men who struggle with connection. Rudy is super-shy, and although he loves his job at Rainbow Futures (a youth-services organization working with LGBTQ youth) and has overcome the shyness with most of his coworkers, the new guy—who is super-hot—leaves him completely locked inside himself.
It doesn't help that Zac never involves himself with any of the rest of them. He does a great job as the social media manager, but he is the least social person around. That Zac's history has taught him this is the only way to stay safe is beside the point.
When a holiday party, a bit too much tequila, a kiss, and an offer made in the spur of a moment combine to push Zac and Rudy together for the holidays alongside Rudy's odd (and awesome) family. After that? It's all up to some holiday magic, and maybe a kitten.
Extra props for the queer content, too: this is a rare story where queer moves beyond "two men falling in love" and includes trans and bi characters actually, y'know, existing in the world.
I listened to this on audiobook, and while the performer was good, there was some oddness with how he paused mid-sentences that I found a bit distracting. The characterization, on the other hand, was solid, and I loved his voices for the various characters, so I tried to ignore the distracting pauses, and it didn't knock me out of the narrative.