I didn't mean to lose my virginity to a sexy mall Christmas elf...but hey, 'tis the season.
Val: A month ago, I was a powerful CEO at the head of my family's fortune. All I cared about was money. Now that my company is destroyed, I've got millions of dollars in the bank and nothing but free time ahead of me. There's a whole world outside the boardroom that I've never experienced, but I don't know what to do with myself, other than spend money on things I don't need. I'm not looking for love, I'm definitely not looking for sex, I'm just want something meaningful back in my life...and then I meet Charlie, an elf at Santa's Village at the mall. He's so laid back, more relaxed than I've ever been, and there's something about him--his body, his self-assurance, his heart--that keeps me coming back for more.
Charlie: When everybody's got high expectations for you, sometimes you have to escape. That's why I'm a pool boy during the summer, a Christmas elf during the winter, and not interested in anything more complicated than that. But this Christmas, I need something to care about. That something might just be Val. He's the first person I've ever met who doesn't demand anything from me, who lets me be in control. But when he finds out why I need that control, why I'm so afraid to let him give me anything, will my secrets push him away? Will he truly accept me? Can this be more than just a Christmas fling?
WRAPPED is a 70,000-word emotional snowstorm of first-time gay romantic comedy, with big feels, steamy angst, letters to Santa, a stolen bicycle, and a holiday HEA!
Wrapped is a bit different that most Christmas romances, at least for me. Yes, Charlie's a mall elf and the story takes place during the holiday season, but other than that, it doesn't really have a big Christmasy feel to it. What it does have is a terrific couple who compliment each other perfectly. Initially, I was a little put off by the switches from first to third person and back again, but the further I read, the more it made sense. Val's view of the world around him and the way he reacts to things isn't like most people and getting his chapters in first person goes a long way toward getting an understanding and feel for this character. I loved the way this relationship progressed, and the way these guys fit together. Val often comes across as almost childlike with the way he approaches new experiences, yet he's all control when he sees a problem that needs fixing. Charlie is the sweetest guy, but underneath is a lot of hurt and fear, and plenty of reasons to be less than trusting. Val and Charlie have great chemistry, and it's impossible not to fall for this pair as they get to know each other and figure things out. There is some angst, and even a bit of heartache along the way, but there's also a bit of fun and humor and even a little steam to even things out. All in all, this one is a simply delightful sweet romance.