Review: Santa's Naughty Helper (Lawyers in Love #1) by Ari McKay

Shy lawyer Kevin Anderson is presented with an unexpected opportunity when he draws hunky litigator Erik Wilson’s name for their office’s secret holiday gift exchange. Kevin has pined for his friend for a long time, but he fears ruining their working relationship if Erik doesn’t return his feelings. The anonymity of the exchange gives him the chance to let Erik know someone is interested, so Kevin turns the gift into a game: twelve days of presents, each more suggestive, culminating with a Christmas Eve meeting—if Kevin finds the courage to see it through!

Erik is intrigued by his secret Santa, who has given him something to look forward to during the holidays for the first time in years. But as Christmas approaches, he realizes he doesn’t want a mystery man; he wants his best friend, Kevin. When his attempts to instigate something with Kevin fail, Erik accepts the dinner invitation of his secret admirer. Little does he suspect that Santa’s naughty little helper might be just the man to make all his Christmas dreams come true in a holiday friends-to-lovers romance that progresses from sweet to spicy for two sexy lawyers.

I do love summertime Jizzmas so very much. It’s my crack no matter what the calendar says to be honest, but the novelty of Christmas when temps are at their peak is a balm to my sweaty soul. The novellas are the best too, they’re generally the fluffiest and that’s what I’m after. Santa’s Naughty Helper is exactly that, a fluffy sweet novella that’ll just make you happy and anxious for cooler temps.

I’m also a huge fan of this author team and they write holiday stories that appeal to me especially. Last Leap of the First-Foot and Letters from Cupid come to mind first and On the Rocks is a must read. And while I enjoyed Santa’s Naughty Helper, it does show me how much these authors have honed their craft since this story was originally published. Kevin and Erik are best friends but their exchanges felt a little unnatural to me, they were telling me about everything instead of showing me, so the closeness between them didn’t flow as naturally as some of their later characters.

Kevin and Erik were completely charming though and it was obvious they are meant to be together. They are complementary opposites with Kevin being shy and unassuming while Erik has no problem being in front of an audience (or courtroom). They work together on projects often, balancing their skill sets nicely. Kevin is a top notch researcher and Erik is the man presenting the findings. Since these two are good pals, the angst level is very low so, I mean, you know these two are going to be a thing, so instead of being stressed about outcome, I was able to just enjoy the cuteness.

Kevin is Erik’s Secret Santa and he literally decides to go all out. Or in. And out. You know what I mean. This is his chance to come clean to Erik about how he feels and he decides not to let his shyness rob him of his chance to get his man. Kevin decided that gifting Erik with 12 days of Christmas goodies was the way to go and he upped the ante every day. The gifts quickly went from sweet to sexy, and not subtle sexy either. When Kev decides to do something, by God he does it. I gotta respect that.

Erik was on board with the gifties too which encouraged Kevin all the more, hence the absence of angst. If we take a quick step into the real world and these gifts were being gifted to your average Joe you’d have an HR nightmare on your hands, but thankfully the real world had no place here and Erik embraced the gifts with his horny holiday heart.

My fave part is the big reveal and I have to admit, I read it twice. I really like Kevin and the setup was just perfectly him along with his newfound courage. These two went from friends to in-love-lovers in literally one thrust. I had no trouble believing it for Kevin since he’s been crushing on Erik forever but I would expect Erik would need a smidge more time to process the new dynamics. But as I’ve said reality has no place here so Erik was right there with Kevin and that made me happy for my Kevin and his Christmas.

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

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