Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: All I Want for Christmas… Is No Christmas
Author: Colton Aalto
Series: 2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug
Heroes: Alec & Hayden
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 36 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2016
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Alec Ryder’s arrest in Aspen, early on the morning of December twenty-fifth, is the latest disaster in his series of unhappy Christmases. He’s dreaded the holiday since being subjected to endless church services as a child. Being kicked out on Christmas Day after he came out to his parents, followed by an improbable series of yearly yuletide trips to the emergency room, haven’t made his Christmases any merrier. But getting busted for prostitution is the worst catastrophe; it means Alec’s dream of a college degree is gone, replaced by the specter of jail time.
Just when Alec thinks things can’t get worse, Hayden Adler shows up to interrogate him. Hayden is a glamorous attorney who also happens to be Alec’s college roommate’s cousin. Alec’s had a crush on Hayden for years, but whatever miniscule chance Alec might’ve had is now history—just like the life he’s been trying to build for himself.
But things aren’t quite what they seem. In a long line of miserable Christmases, Alec will never forget this one, although not for the reasons he suspects.
This story starts off with a real bang with Alec being arrested right from the start. Except, he doesn’t know why he’s being arrested but he has his guesses. After all, he is a high-priced prostitute and just about caught in the act. But not everything is as it seems especially when his long-time crush Hayden comes in to ask him a few questions.
It was interesting to see how Alec reacts to the things law enforcement subjected him to and even more interesting when he realized Hayden would be there to interrogate him. I loved the moments when Alec’s shyness and awkwardness came out in front of Hayden, it was just adorable. I also liked the little bits of interrogating there was because it gave a little depth to Hayden’s character. Speaking of which, I liked Hayden but he wasn’t as fleshed out as he could have been. I do like that these boys have known each other for years but never really let anything happen. And I ADORED the fact that Alec’s best friend and Hayden’s cousin always thought they would be a great couple, it was just too cute!
This little short had a lot of potential but it fell a little flat of what it could have been. I liked the premise of the story but there were way too many flashbacks in it for me to really enjoy the story. For something this short, I didn’t appreciate getting part of the story told in a flashback while we were halfway through it. If those parts had been at the beginning as a prelude, that would have been better and less jarring but as it was, it really lessened my enjoyment. Add to that, there was too much sex for this shorty so I didn’t feel like Hayden and Alec even knew each other (aside from the brief times they’ve met in the past) and now they’re planning their life together? It was hard for me to come to grips with that 😦
All in all, not a bad story but not as good as it could have been. I liked Alec and Hayden as characters and this one definitely had a lot to potential but with the amount of sex and the flashbacks, it just didn’t have enough room to grow into what it could have been. I still think readers should give this a go, though, because it has its moments that make the story worth reading.
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*