Published by: Dreamspinner Press
Format: eARC Novella
Genre: Holiday Romance
Reviewed by: Erin
Featuring: The most convenient inconvenient snowstorm, a famous actor, the flight attendant trying to resist his charms, and the damn paparazzi.
Plot: A freak blizzard strands flight attendant Andy Weston at LaGuardia Airport on Thanksgiving. Tabloid reports about Hollywood It couple Devin Delaney and Cristina Marino breaking up in spectacular fashion keep Andy sane. And then Devin Delaney himself turns up at the gate Andy is working. Against all odds—and because there’s nothing else to do—Andy and Devin begin to talk, immediately connect, and, after Devin confesses the real reason he broke up with Cristina, have a magical night together snowed in at the airport. But the magic ends when Devin boards his flight home the next morning, and Andy assumes it’s over.
Then Devin turns up on his doorstep. Andy is game for a clandestine affair at first—who could turn down one of the hottest men on the planet? But he soon grows tired of being shoved in Devin’s closet. As Christmas approaches, it’s clear that this will never work unless Devin is willing to make some big changes. Devin has a holiday surprise in store—but will it be enough?
Review: Devin December is a cute holiday novella about Andy, a flight attendant living in New York, and Devin, a world-famous movie star. Andy likes to follow the tabloids and has had a crush on Devin for forever. Thanks to a freak snowstorm, Andy and Devin end up snowed in at LaGuardia together just after Devin’s recent, very public breakup with his famous girlfriend, Cristina. They end up spending the night together, talking and…well, let’s just say that Andy figures out really quickly that Devin broke up with Cristina because he’s not anywhere near straight.
It’s a fun one-night stand, but things get complicated when Devin shows up at Andy’s apartment a few weeks later. I like how they don’t immediately fall into a whirlwind romance — novellas often require a little hand-waving in that area — and Andy is more taken aback than swept away. His life is not glamorous; he lives in a tiny, dingy apartment and he has to work long, hard hours to afford it. He’s not ready to let some movie star come in and act out his gay fantasy with him. This resistance, the feeling like they had to work for their happy ending, sets this book apart from other novellas I’ve read. I liked that Devin’s coming out (or not) wasn’t portrayed as the One Right Thing To Do, but it showed the complications of having one partner in the closet and one out and proud. I also liked the fact that the ex-girlfriend isn’t villainized or mocked; she’s aware of Devin’s sexuality and she just simply doesn’t want to be his beard anymore. This is a story that’s been done quite a bit in m/m, but it feels fresh here.
My only complaint is that it ends a little abruptly. The book seems to just stop, and I was left looking for a little more. That said, if you want a lovely holiday novella featuring two guys who feel very real, check out Devin December.
Things you might not like: It’s a novella, so it’s short and to the point. It’s also light and fun, so if you’re looking for dense, dark, and wordy, this isn’t it.
Things you will love: A clear love/knowledge of NYC, realistic characters and reactions, a sweet, mostly angst-free romance.