BOOK REVIEW: Unexpected Christmas by Nell Iris

36600243[1]Release Date: December 16, 2017

Length: Novelette (50 pages)

Genre: M/M Holiday Romance

Cover Art: Written Ink Design

Links:  JMS-Books  Amazon  Goodreads

Blurb:  All alone, caught in a blizzard—without a coat—on Christmas Day. Would you accept a ride from a huge guy looking like a serial killer?

Daniel Erickson stormed out of his family celebration after choking on his turkey served with a side of bigotry. Utterly miserable, he reluctantly lets himself be charmed by the hulk of a man and gets into his car…hoping he won’t be ax murdered.

Axel Wilson—Ax for short, unfortunately—is a sweetheart. Really. He may be badass-looking but his heart melts into goo at the mere mention of his four-year-old niece. Surely, he’s not dangerous?

Thrown together by family drama, they spend the evening getting to know each other. Axel is nothing like Daniel expected. But it doesn’t matter that he loves poetry, is gentle and patient—and hot!—Daniel is absolutely not falling in love at first sight. There’s no such thing.




There’s something to be said for saving the best for last. Unexpected Christmas was my unexpected favorite holiday story for the year! It’s a precious jewel box of sweet, angst-free Christmas goodness about looking beyond the surface of your own prejudices and finding home in the one place you wanted to leave behind you.

Axel is everything good and loving in the world–a gentle giant who adores and protects his niece from a cruel world and has been hurt by people who can’t see beyond the fact that he looks like he eats kittens for breakfast. In the beginning, Daniel comes very close to being one of those people, but it doesn’t take long for him to put his judgemental attitude aside and see the amazing gift that fate had thrown in his path.

I don’t have a lot of criticism except I wanted more Axel. I’ll always want more Axel so maybe that’s more of a good problem to have. The story it told solely from Daniel’s perspective so I wish we got to understand Axels POV a little more, but in such a short form there’s only so much you can squeeze in. Between a short story and a novella, novelettes are generally a tough format for most authors. Most feel like a short story in need of a hard edit, but Nell Iris does an amazing job of weeding out the unnecessary detail and sticking to the heart of the story. Well Done!

Another typical JMS-books cover. Not bad or good, just not nearly as extraordinary as the story inside.



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