Release Day Review: Falling for Santa Claus by C.J. Anthony

When Jack Frost’s aunt dies and leaves him her house in the tiny town of Great Falls, Jack seizes the opportunity to escape the rat race of Chicago for the quaint village he loved as a child. On his first night he’s welcomed by a baseball bat and a trespassing warning from Nick St. James—longtime Great Falls resident and infamous curmudgeon.

Jack wants to give Nick the benefit of the doubt—he can’t deny his attraction to the big man—but after several run-ins with Nick’s grumpiness and closed-off heart, he’s ready to give up. Only after discovering the secret Nick’s been covering up for years does he vow to break through Nick’s walls to find the loving man hiding behind them.

And the Jizzmas in July just keeps on coming! He He He, see what I did there?

It’s no secret I love July Jizzmas to hold me over til the official season starts and the setting of Falling for Santa Claus was perfect to get me in the mood. The small town that Jack moves to after his aunt passes away is basically Christmastown. It’s a tightknit community with all the good and bad that comes with it. Someone will always have your back, but they will also be all up in your business at the same time. It’s a little overwhelming for Jack at times, but he really loves it and before long he’s part of the fabric of the town too.

His aunt had a renter who lived in a house she owned nearby, one Nick St. James. Now to say Nick St. James is a curmudgeon is a kindness. He’s quiet, surly and can be downright rude. Nick and Jack dance around an obvious attraction, but Nick’s attitude makes me wonder why Jack bothers. Just because he’s the only other gay man in town (that he knows of, of course) doesn’t mean Jack should be treated rudely. Nick obviously has some issues but he doesn’t open up until the end, sort of, so I think when it was all said and done, I needed more of Nick-at-the-end-of-the-story to balance out Nick-through-the-rest-of-the-story.

The story is told through Jack’s eyes so we don’t get into Nick’s head at all. I needed in there so he could be a sympathetic character for me and so I could get more of a gist of the two of them together. Jack figures out a few of Nick’s secrets and it turns out Nick isn’t such a grumblebutt underneath it all. Which is nice but I needed a little more directly from Jack so that I could be happy for them both.

The way the blurb read, I thought this one was going to take a bit of a veer off into paranormal/fantasy land, but it doesn’t and I liked the way the author worked in the Santa Claus angle in a realistic way. Again, a little more from Nick and I would have swooned.

I did have one issue that I had trouble letting go of. The situation that trapped them together for a time needed some detail work to make it believable. Nick is a handyman and any handyman who knows anything knows there’s a bypass to automatic garage doors. Believe me, I know that’s a nitpicky thing, but it did take me out of the story in a moment of, “Oh, come ON, even I know how to fix that”. 

Letting that go though, the story will definitely put you in a Christmas spirit. The town of Great Falls and its citizens are great to read about and Jack is a good guy that I wanted to see happy. I do believe Nick is the one for him, I just wish I could have read about it.

For more information on Falling for Santa Claus head over to Dreamspinner Press.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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