A Christmas Memory
Title : A Christmas Memory
Author : Max Vos
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, Xmas
Length : 27 pages (e-book)
Published : November 15, 2013
Rating : ★★★★★
J.J. has always hated the holidays. Presents, decorations, the traditional family Christmas…It’s all his colleagues in the staffroom can talk about. J.J. avoids these conversations like the plague. He’d do anything to keep his co-workers from seeing the real J.J, the gay man who doesn’t want to be noticed. When he slips up and reveals that he is all alone with no plans for Christmas, the well-meaning ladies of his high school want to take him in for the holidays.
Enter Coach Adam Sutton who comes to his rescue—and now J.J. is trapped by this hulk of a man who won’t take no for an answer. And he would have to be someone J.J finds attractive, wouldn’t he? Too bad he’s straight and J.J’s not about to step out of the shadows and make a move on him. He likes his arms where they are, thank you very much.
But Adam has a secret, one which is going to turn J.J’s world upside-down. Adam wants to give J.J. a Christmas to remember, but as it turns out, both men’s lives are never going to be the same again…
I love the holidays and one of the things I look forward to every year is finding new holiday stories to enjoy. When I had the opportunity to read A Christmas Memory by Max Vos, I was elated.
Jonathan Nathaniel Jones, or J.J. to his friends, is a first year high school history teacher. His life has not been easy – with an absent father and alcoholic mother, he has had to fend for himself. When he gets his teaching job he decides to build a persona for himself that blends in, keeps him out of the spotlight. He has seen how gay teachers can have a harder time in school and he knows the new teachers are often scrutinized their first year.
All is going well until one day at lunch he is distracted, and when the Coach asks him one of the dreaded holiday questions “Do you have big plans for the holidays?”, he unconsciously says that no, he has no plans. This brings about a lot of unwanted sympathy from the teachers he works with. Luckily he is saved from this by a quick intervention from none other than the Coach himself, who offers J.J. a way out, saying that he would be spending the holidays with him and his family, even going so far as saying they were going to decorate the Coach’s house together that coming Saturday. Not knowing how to respond or get out of the situation, J.J. agrees.
Coach Adam Sutton – handsome and charismatic high school coach, former NFL player, Tom Selleck look alike- is one of those guys everyone gravitates to. He is energetic, outgoing, always smiling and, according to J.J., total eye candy. This is one of those complications that J.J. has been trying to avoid with his geeky professor persona. He has had a crush on the Coach but is sure he is straight and that it would be bad for his health to act otherwise. Besides, some of Coach’s big guy, backslapping, jock ways are kind of irritating to J.J. Unable to think of a way to get out of the commitment for decorating, J.J. arrives at Coach’s house. As the coach comes around the house with a ladder, J.J. notices the coach is commando under his sweats. Groan! After a somewhat awkward beginning they put in a full day of decorating and he finds he is actually enjoying himself. They end up having a pleasant dinner together and J.J. finds himself agreeing to return the next day to work on his old car with Adam. So maybe Coach is not so bad after all?
What happens next is what makes a holiday story so much fun for me. There are things these two do not know about one another. They both have secrets and I think Adam’s is the most surprising. There is a point where I, as the reader, and J.J. both had a moment of “whoa” what did he just say? But as we get to know Adam, he is wonderful and his enthusiasm and sincerity are contagious. I giggled at some of the descriptive words used during the down and dirty sex scenes (because they were so much fun) and I got teary at some of the conversations between Adam and J.J. about their lives. The scenes with Adam’s family really helped develop and endear me to Adam’s character. The romance moves fast, and although I sometimes have reservations about that, I was more than happy to go with it in this story. It is definitely one filled with holiday joy, love, hope and a beautiful Christmas memory. I highly recommend adding this to your holiday reading list.
Rated 5 stars by Deb