Book Review by Gillian: A Family for Christmas, by Jay Northcote

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jay northcote family for christmas

A Family For Christmas, by Jay Northcote
Published By: Jaybird Press
Release Date: November 18, 2016

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


Zac never had a family of his own, but Rudy has enough to share.

Shy, inexperienced Rudy has a crush on Zac from the moment his new colleague walks through the door. On an office night out before Christmas, Rudy finds the courage to make a move, and they form a tentative bond. When he discovers Zac will be alone at Christmas, he invites Zac to come home with him.

Zac prefers to keep people at arm’s length. Yet when Rudy offers him a family Christmas it’s impossible to resist. With no parents of his own, Zac is pleasantly surprised to be welcomed by Rudy’s. The only drawback is that everyone assumes they’re a couple. Unwilling to disappoint Rudy’s mum and make Christmas awkward, they decide not to deny it.

It’s not a chore for Zac to pose as Rudy’s boyfriend, but the pretence makes him want things that scare him—things like a real relationship with Rudy. Zac’s suffered enough rejection in his life already and is afraid to risk his heart. If he can get over his past rejection and let Rudy inside his armour, he might get more for Christmas than he ever imagined.


M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Office Romance
Friends to Lovers
Holiday (Christmas)


I think even the biggest grinch would find their hearts growing “two sizes too big” after reading this delightful, Christmas novella. Jay Northcote really does a wonderful job here, giving us a feel good story that provides just the right amount of sweet and sexy to make this an easy, low-angst but compelling read.

The fact that this is, in part, an office romance just ups the ante for me because it’s one of my very favourite kind of stories. There’s something about two people, subtly peering over their computer monitors to eye-fuck each other, that really appeals to me. In this case, it’s sweet Rudy who is harbouring a quiet crush on his aloof new co-worker, Zac. While Rudy would love to get to know him better, Zac has been politely rebuffing any invitations to join in group lunches or after-work drinks.  But when Rudy and Zac’s boss makes a point of inviting Zac to join the company Christmas drinks party, Zac feels compelled to attend and Rudy sees this as his chance to flirt and make his interest in Zac known. Unfortunately, numerous tequila shots makes his plans go slightly awry.

Without giving away too much of the plot (this is a novella, after all), Zac ends up tagging along with Rudy to celebrate Christmas with Rudy’s family. Assumptions are made, miscommunications occur, lost kittens are saved and fake boyfriends become…well, you’ll have to wait to open that gift yourself J Needless to say, the boys get their HEA but their journey there is pretty, damn adorable. Plus, the epilogue brings beautiful closure to the whole story.

I really loved Rudy’s family and how loving and open they were to Zac. Seeing him go from being closed-off and emotionally scarred to accepting Rudy’s pure hearted, undemanding affections and the affections of Rudy’s family, was wonderful. Zac’s emotional journey is relatively low-angst, but it does provide a nice balance to story and stops it from veering into overly sweet territory.

There’s nothing better than an uncomplicated love story when the stresses of the world seem to be closing in around you, and Christmas often brings that stress out in spades. This would be the perfect book to sit and relax with, and maybe help you remember that the ONLY thing that matters is being able to spend the holidays with people that love you unconditionally.


 Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. Jay has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and he also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.


You can purchase A Family For Christmas from:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Universal Amazon

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.


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