Review: Christmas in His Heart by Haven Fellows and Lee Brazil

Christmastime brings joy to hearts everywhere. Between snow angels, festive clothing, holiday decorations, and of course, all the beautiful lights, it’s hard not to partake in the season.

Unless you no longer have Christmas in your heart.

Dermot Alasdair has never shared the horrific memories that keep him from celebrating the happiest time of the year, nor does he ever plan to. He’s fine being alone and shut off from everyone; he has his restaurant and that’s all he needs. He believes that, too…until the craft store next door from his eatery hires a perpetually smiling annoyance. Really, it isn’t normal for someone to be that happy all the time.

Xander Leahman didn’t know what he was getting into when he accepted an invitation to visit his best friend and help her interview people for the newly created position of manager at Craft Time. When a surly man bumps into him and then walks away with an enticing sway to his hips, Xander decides the position—and Dermot—are perfect for him. Now all he can think of is finding ways to get Dermot out of his clothes. Well that, and how to open this grinch’s heart to the Christmas season and, hopefully, love.

Who wants Christmas to be over? Not this Unicorn! I read the Jingle Jizz all year long and I loved this story about a surly (and kinda broken) Chef and an overgrown Elf-man who is completely charming and who I feel completely in love with. Yes, you Xander, you cheekly little minx.

Christmas in His Heart is written in a dual POV style and while I know that isn’t always everyone’s thing, or easy to pull off, it totally worked here for me and I’m so glad it was written this way. Xander’s brain is too amazing not to be a part of and Dermot would have come across as a totally unsympathetic ass hat if I hadn’t been able to get a gander at his inner musings and turmoil.

Ok, let’s talk about Xander some more. He’s charming as all hell and confident without being cocky. I couldn’t help but be drawn to him and his positive and really funny nature. His thoughts seem to head in the “stream of consciousness” direction that can be either too much and annoying or adorable. This was adorable. He’s completely smitten with the chef from the neighborhood and he’s made it his mission to make the grumpy man smile just for him. He starts by bringing Dermot coffee in a ridiculous Christmas mug. This is at 5% and from whence I fall for Xander;

Oh brother, did he suddenly feel like an obsessed teenager again – he’s touching my mug. He couldn’t help it though, ever since he came to Parkerburg the tall, dark, and gorgeous restaurant owner had caught his eye. What Xander wouldn’t do to be the reason behind a full-blown thousand watt smile on that man’s face.

D’awwwww. Remember those moments? When your crush touched or held some insignificant object of yours and suddenly it mattered way more than it should? And all he wants to do is make Dermot smile. How stinkin’ sweet is that? Basically it was two of my favorite things in one paragraph. A simple little moment and one character’s desire to just make another happy. There is nothing sexier on a man than a real smile, so this totally worked for me.

But Dermot has tragedy in his past and it weighs on him heavily. I appreciated how the authors gave enough hints and snippets so that you knew what happened without it turning into an overdramatic mystery. The event was horrible enough, so extra drama wasn’t necessary and it wouldn’t have gone with Dermot’s personality. So, there was some angst but it wasn’t overdone and getting to see into Dermot’s head made his thought processes clear and understandable.

Dermot isn’t a real chatty guy but as the two got to know each other I could see why Xander was so attracted to Dermot and how the two of them complemented one another perfectly. It did take a little time to get to the chatting as the sexual tension was a little too overwhelming to ignore for something as banal as conversation, but I did get their connection. As much as Xander wants to make Dermot smile, Dermot wants to feed Xander. “Food is love” to him and watching Xander enjoy one of his creations is food porn for Dermot and it was really sweet to read this stoic professional get all gooey watching his new love swoon over his culinary skills.

Then, the incident happens and just as these two guys are coming together, they fall apart. They’ve come to an understanding about Dermot’s aversion to Christmas and even though Xander doesn’t know all the details he’s cool with it. He isn’t going to let one day of the year get in the way of an HEA. But, they still haven’t had the all-important confessional conversation yet so misunderstandings and overreactions happened.

The action and conversations during were a little choppy for me and while I knew what was happening the comments by Shawna (Xander’s BFF) seemed a little out of place for the moment and I get why they needed to be somewhere, it just didn’t seem like the time given what was going on. I kind of expected Dermot to be a little more freaked at that moment so it read a little odd to me.

Thankfully Xander and Dermot acted like grown-ups and owned their own fuck ups. I was glad the break up didn’t drag on too long and while Dermot’s revelation was a smidge rushed I was ok with it since I liked these two together so much. The epilogue was perfect and I was happy to read that Xander finally shared his kitchen fantasy with Dermot and Dermot was happy to oblige, within reason of course, health codes exist for a reason after all. I would highly recommend adding this one to your Merry Jizzmas reading list and keep the holiday spirit all year long!

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**
For More Info on Christmas in His Heart, check it out on Goodreads!


  1. It did catch my eye but I think it was overpriced for the length, so I passed. Might just have another look....

    1. I really liked it and I really loved Xander!