A Christmas story I recommend to everyone By Randy Brown

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Our Totally, Ridiculous, Made-Up Christmas Relationship by Brittainy Cherry


228 pages, Kindle edition.

This story truly illustrates why this is one of my favorite plots; the fake boyfriend/fiancé/husband/etc.

Kayden and Jules; one desperately needs a job, the other has to produce someone to keep their family off their back during Christmas. Before these two meet, we learn where they are in their lives, mostly through the failures of their current life choices. Dire straits funnel them into each other’s arms, literally. A seasonally wicked snowstorm, a broken down car, family members that are all too well-known and a hidden nut allergy test the ersatz couple as severely as any twenty year marriage.

They haven’t even known each other ten hours.

Distracted by the intense attraction to each other, they open their hearts, sharing hopes and fears never voiced to anyone. The loss of Kayden’s first real love, Jules betrayal by her own sister. They cling to each other amidst the chaos that is Christmas with the strange people that makeup Jules’ family. Entirely too famous strange people.

A 3AM pancake cooking session, where the blueberries vs chocolate chips argument is about to lead to interesting uses of maple syrup but is interrupted by … Grandma? The Christmas tree expedition where a demonstration of fake Kung Fu fighting runs smack dab into an old fashioned fist to the nose. All of this while struggling to keep up with each other’s stories of how they met, courted, and everything else a committed couple is supposed to know about each other.

Then comes the unraveling (could this plot be carried through without the reveal? Now that would make an interesting story; the couple forced to live their made up relationship). The truth is revealed, with a crisis that makes the white lie too innocent to even mention. Then a second truth is revealed but we aren’t done yet. Things happen, butts are kicked and Christmas passes. Hilarity ensues on New Year’s Eve.

A very touching story with enough laughter to cause people to move away from you, not to mention your spouse banishing you to another room.

© Randy Brown 2017

A Christmas Book recommendation.

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Thanksgiving is over! Almost. A few families will have leftover food to deal with. Some, like my family, will prepare a turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Saturday or Sunday so that they can experience the joy of leftovers.

Anyway, tis the season and all that. Yo ho ho and a bottle of … No, that’s talk like a pirate day. Ho, ho, ho, with no yo, goes along with tis the season.

I have a collection of Christmas stories on my Kindle that I re-read every year after Thanksgiving. This year I decided to share some of them because we all could use a break from the barrage of holiday-ness assaulting us from every which way.

I found these stories from a wide variety of sources; author’s newsletters, free ebook lists, Kindle special deals, personal recommendations from other readers and authors, and happenstance when I stumbled upon the book.

In no way have I received recompense for touting this book or any other I happen to recommend. I like the story and want to share it. I try to give a broad overview of the story so that you can decide if it something you would enjoy reading or not.


My Christmas Boyfriend by S J Crabb


283 pages, Kindle edition.

One of my favorite Christmas movies is an adaptation of the Dylan Thomas poem, A Child’s Christmas in Wales. It stars Denholm Elliott, who narrates this lyrical piece.


My Christmas Boyfriend could be subtitled; An Adults Christmas in Dorchester. England that is.

This wonderful story follows one of my favorite plotlines; boyfriend/girlfriend needed for the holidays, subtext; to keep the family off my back. Divided equally between his high-society Christmas wedding and her small village family gathering, we are in for a wild sleigh ride through an English Christmas season.

Annie starts the story out by losing her job and her day goes downhill from there. At every turn life gives her a kick and just when you think ‘Oh, the poor dear’ she gives a kick back. On the train to the family home, where she schemes what kind of life story she will make up to account for her current unemployment, her single-ness, and overall lack of prospects for either a new job or man in her life, she meets Liam and they commiserate over a flask of brandy. A rather bleary plan forms.

Annie leads us through the strange world of a high-society English Christmas wedding where she finds that Liam’s last girlfriend was the most beautiful, famous movie star of all Europe. Annie is snubbed by everyone but Liam and a few of his close friends, who know the truth about his former girlfriend. When the new groom, a slezeball of the first order, makes a disgusting proposition, she causes a scene. Liam is only too happy to leave since he never wanted to be there in the first place.

Oh, did I forget to mention? Liam is a high-fashion photographer, for British Vogue no less.

Still filled with her indomitable spirit, Annie leads Liam, with dread warnings and dire tales of her family gatherings, to her childhood home. Now, here there are references to an English TV show or well-known story, that I am not familiar with but will look up at some time or another. It may well be something like Ozzie and Harriet of our past, where her folks pretend to be Ozzie and Harriet. Her folks run a small year round—except for Christmas—vacation resort.

Mom goes all out for Christmas, dad is asking the strangest questions of everyone, her sister is a crime scene investigator with a homicide detective boyfriend, her gram insists on being called Lizzy and refuses to admit to being over 70 … And we are introduced to what I would consider a normal Christmas gathering. Mulled wine and/or brandy at the local pub, Christmas shopping for last minute gifts amid crowds that are all seeking the same must have children’s toy for the season. Decorations that must be found and brought down from storage, dad asking even stranger questions, an alarming amount of Brussel sprouts, mince pies and more mulled wine, a happy surprise among the carolers and odd, early morning sounds that come from Annie’s sister’s room when she is supposed to be alone.

This is a Christmas story that I am adding to my list of To Be Read stack that I open every year at Thanksgiving.

Excerpt from Dr. Gabrielle Graham’s personal journal, Monday evening, 10:40 PM

Once upon a time a man appeared in my living room.

He was six foot tall, dark hair with blue eyes and a strong jaw. He was broad-shouldered, 180 pounds or so, fit, and wearing black jeans, a gray t-shirt, and well-worn, expensive hiking boots. Good looking without being a pretty boy.

Scared the living crap out of me …

I was sitting at the kitchen table studying the ledger that had smashed my foot that afternoon, doodling as I always do when I’m thinking. The entries just weren’t making sense, where would the shopkeeper get bok choy in April? Rocky Bar is high in Idaho’s mountains, above five thousand feet, the sun wouldn’t even reach it that early. Snow would still be a foot thick, covering the frozen ground. And in 1882 it would take several days travel from Boise.

“Who are you?” A man’s voice came from behind me.

I spun around to face him, ready to kick some ass but all I could do was stare into the cutest blue eyes I’d ever seen. He seemed shocked for some reason. I don’t know if he expected the apartment to be empty or what. How had he gotten into my locked apartment, anyway?

He shook his head and held out his empty hands and said, “Sorry. I’ve never done this before.”

Which is a strange thing for a burglar to say, even if it is his first job. ‘Never admit you don’t know what you’re doing’, one of the rules that grandpa taught me and dad reinforced. Grandma always winked at me during their lectures.

Next he said, “I thought I was dreaming, but you’re real.”

Duh. For a microsecond I thought he must be high or delusional but I couldn’t risk dropping my guard. I needed to take him down, then ask questions. I gathered myself, ready to leap across the room and tackle him …

That’s when things got interesting.


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