RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2016Format: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Length: 80,000 words
Publisher: Heidi Cullinan
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
eBook ISBN: 978-1-945116-99-5
Print ISBN: 978-0-9961203-8-8
Series: Minnesota Christmas # 4
Characters: Dale Davidson, Arthur Anderson, Gabriel Higgins
Reviewed by Meredith
Trimming the tree is more fun with three.
Twin Cities developer Dale Davidson has come to Logan, Minnesota, to turn it into Christmas Town, not to give in to Arthur Anderson’s offer to join him and his fiancé, Gabriel Higgins, for a Christmas Eve threesome. Dale is polyamorous, but it’s clear Arthur is offering a night of fun and nothing more. Maybe one night with the couple he admires so much won’t hurt…
Together the three of them light a fire hot enough to boil Lake Superior in January, and one night of fun becomes an extended engagement as Dale puts down some tentative roots in his new hometown. Everyone loves Dale, Logan’s own Santa Claus, and somehow no one knows what wild times are happening right underneath their noses. No one knows, either, the complicated ways they’re falling in love with one another.
But a shadow from Dale’s past emerges, an abuser threatening him with violence and shame. Ronny doesn’t want a happy ever after for Dale, only to draw him back into a consuming darkness. It will take the love of not only Gabriel and Arthur but all of Logan to convince their Santa he has nothing to be ashamed of—and that he will always have a home in their hearts.
I really love Heidi’s Minnesota series. Each year we get to hop on over to Logan with the boys and see what great romance and amazing plot awaits them. As some of you know Sleigh Ride was where we met Gabriel and Arthur and their super-HOT romance began. So, I was really surprised that in Santa Baby we were back with them and adding to their love story.
However, this is likely different than what you’re expecting. I have not read many books about polyamory relationships (people). I’ll say this though, Heidi really does explain it in a way you won’t misunderstand. And that’s awesome because lack of knowledge is the main reason people discriminate. Dale and Gabriel have an instant attraction that grows into love… with Arthur’s help. Blown away? Yeah. I would say that I was really feeling Arthur in this. I connected with him the most throughout the whole story.
On a personal level I couldn’t be with someone who was polyamorous. That’s a personal thing for me though. I’m open minded but I am not good at sharing at all. So, that’s what made reading this so much more fascinating. I don’t know how Arthur works through it but he does and I’m enamored with him.
It was weird seeing the already established Arthur and Gabriel evolve in Santa Baby. I didn’t expect we’d visit them again. Now, Dale. The other guy lol. His story tore me apart. Oh how I ached for him and all he went through. I was afraid I was going to resent Dale for crashing into Arthur and Gabriel’s lives and changing everything but I wasn’t. You just fall in love with Dale. Just bam, I love him and he can stay!
I don’t have much to complain about this story but I will say that in some parts I felt It was stagnating. A little bit too draggy in parts and rushed in parts where I, the reader, needed more closure. Namely the “bad guy” I won’t give anything away. Even though we find out what happens I felt after the emotional journey with Dale we deserved to look that SOB in the face. Again, a personal thing I guess.
This is a great addition to The Minnesota Series! Read this one and all of them!
Dale put a hand on Gabriel’s other leg, appearing concerned. “Are you all right?”
Now the two of them were touching him, sending their heat, their intensity into him, both of them laser-focused on his comfort, his needs, his pleasure. Suddenly he had a clear idea of how this evening was going to go. Gabriel held up his hands and let out an unsteady breath. “I’m fine. Shall we eat?”
He was relieved to find they settled into a rather normal meal, giving him a respite to collect himself. His body was a little sleepy from the orgasm, and he declined his second glass of wine, opting for water instead. The food was familiar, simple, and delicious. In the year they’d been together, Arthur had perfected the set of spices for venison steak, knowing just what and how much to season with to bring out the flavor in a way that made the meat exactly right. It was the same meal as the disastrous first dinner between the three of them—had it been deliberate? Arthur’s way of giving them a complete do-over? Probably. Except all Gabriel needed from the spread was the steak. The potatoes and salad, as far as he was concerned, were there for show—though he did try Dale’s bread, since he’d gone through the trouble to make it himself and since it happened to be Gabriel’s favorite.
It was quite good, in fact, especially since Arthur had kept it warm in the oven. Gabriel slathered it with butter and ate several large pieces, to the point that he put himself in a conundrum of which did he finish, his meat or his bread.
Arthur nudged him with his elbow. “Don’t make yourself so full you’re sick. Plenty more coming later.”
Gabriel understood what he meant by more—activity, not dinner, but Dale said, “Oh, is there dessert?”
Arthur didn’t move his gaze from Gabriel’s. “Yeah, I was thinking some cream.”
Gabriel blushed scarlet.
Dale chuckled and eased into his seat. “Goddamn, Arthur, but I love how you don’t muck around.”
“Not something I’m known for, no.” Arthur poked at the last few potatoes on his plate and swept up the remaining juices with the crust of his bread. “And since we’ve brought it up now, let’s lay out some rules for this evening’s entertainment. First, as a reminder, I’m making all of them. Second, and most important, if anybody doesn’t like what’s going on or needs us to ease up, we use yellow and red.” He rested a hand on Gabriel’s shoulder and toyed with a lock of his hair. “Gabriel does enjoy, in the right circumstances, saying no when he means go. But obviously it’s a risky game, and if we end up going there tonight, you’ll be following my lead, Mr. Davidson.”
Dale nodded, his expression hooded. “Yes, sir.”
Arthur glanced across their plates. “It looks like we’re all pretty much finished. Let’s get this table cleared, shall we? And then we can have a little fun.”
Gabriel carried the bread to the counter, because it was the only thing he dared carry for fear he’d drop it in his shaking hands. He wasn’t fearful, really, simply so stimulated and primed, aware both Arthur and Dale were focused on him. It made him excited, but it was overwhelming too. Part of him wanted to throw up his hands and tell them to leave the leftovers, for God’s sake, but for the first time ever he hadn’t finished his steak, and he watched it go into the fridge, thinking of when he would like to eat it next.
Then everything was put away, and they were heading into the living room.
Here we go.
(Books 1-4 of the Minnesota Christmas Series (Let It Snow, Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland, Santa Baby), Santa Hat, Handkerchief, copy of American Gods)
Also: An ebook copy of Santa Baby through InstaFree