Audiobook Review: What Happens At Christmas by Jay Northcote

When two friends pose as boyfriends, could what happens at Christmas turn into something more? 

Justin is recently and unhappily single. Christmas is coming, and he doesn’t want to face his ex alone at their office party. So Sean—Justin’s best mate and long-time secret crush—volunteers to go with him and pretend to be his new flame.

Sean has always lusted after Justin from afar, but there’s never been a good opportunity to ask him for more than friendship. Posing as Justin’s boyfriend isn’t a chore, and if Justin wants to rebound onto him, Sean’s more than willing. At the party pretence and reality blur, and a kiss on the dance floor leads to a night of passion.

In the aftermath, they both assume it was a one-time thing until fate intervenes. Stuck together in London over the holidays, they give in to temptation again. But what happens at Christmas stays at Christmas... right?

Narrator: Mark Steadman
Listening Length: 3 hrs 41 mins

I read this one last year, and loved it, so when the request came in to review the audiobook I was all over it. The pretend boyfriend thing is a great trope when done right and I loved how it was done in What Happens at Christmas. Justin and Sean were already best friends so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to believe they’d taken the next step and it was a good excuse for the boys to get handsy, which, they totally wanted to do anyway, so hearing the bits of thrill-y tension they were feeling was so good to listen to. The touchy-feely comfort they got to go with while they were pretending to be BFs helped move the story forward into the friends to lover’s trope, which is quite possibly my favorite. So, overall this one was a big ol’ winner for me.

The narrator, Mark Steadman, was a perfect fit for the story, his Justin fit the personality that was described and Sean was damn swoony with his deeper timbre. The banter between them as they worked toward understanding and pushing the boundaries they wanted to cross had just the right amount of tension and the narrator captured all the subtle nuances so well, I forgot I was even listening to an audiobook.

Jay Northcote’s backlist is chock full of delicious Christmas magic and what I love is that he makes distinct characters and couples with personalities I don’t forget. It should be easy for them to run together after a while, but they don’t so as the stories are starting to be released in audiobook form I’m just so darned tickled. I get to hear their stories all over again and a man with an amazing voice and a dreamy accent is telling me all the beautiful things.

Get yourself a little Justin and Sean in both ebook and audio form, the narrator does the author’s words justice and it’s sweet story that’ll give you warm fuzzies throughout the season and beyond.

For more information about What Happens at Christmas, check it out on Goodreads.

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

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