- File Size: 1112 KB
- Print Length: 143 pages
- Publisher: Lyrical Shine (December 6, 2016)
- Publication Date: December 6, 2016
- Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01CWYTJUS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#236,781 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #306 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender eBooks > Romance > Transgender Romance
- #1003 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender eBooks > Romance > Bisexual Romance
- #1176 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Lesbian Fiction
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
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Wrapped Together (Portland Heat) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Hollis Alcott and Sawyer Murphy have been friends since they were young. When Sawyer exuberantly came out as gay as a teenager, Hollis kept his own sexual preferences much less public. Sawyer was best friends with Hollis’s sister Char in high school and eventually, she married Sawyer’s twin brother Tucker. Tied together now by a family marriage, Hollis and Sawyer have grown apart in the past few years but still see each other on occasion due to family events and with both having small shops on the same street. Hollis’s store is a tasteful, quiet stationary business, promoting quality over quantity. On the other hand Sawyer’s shop is just like his personality, overflowing with enthusiasm and kitchy pop culture goodies. They’re completely opposite in character and temperament, Sawyer’s playboy ways making Hollis even more determined to avoid him these days if possible, for reasons he doesn’t want to examine.
Hollis’s parents died three years earlier in a skiing accident and since then, he’s been withdrawn and still grieving, especially around the holidays. When Sawyer bets him in a storefront decorating contest put on by their local business association, Hollis reluctantly agrees to the contest and promptly loses. Losing the bet means he’ll have to put up with whatever Sawyer deems an appropriate payment, and when this means spending time together experiencing Christmas nostalgic delights, Hollis is soon caught up in a whirlwind of emotions centered around the season and his real feelings for Sawyer. Can Sawyer help Hollis find himself again, and in return, give them both the best Christmas present ever?
The contrast between these two character really makes the story come alive. Hollis’s grief is a real presence and not to be brushed aside. But I loved how his memories of his parents and the holidays they spent together become less tinged with grief and more filled with the warmth of remembrance, helped by Sawyer’s indomitable spirit. Sawyer doesn’t seek to negate Hollis’s grief, but to draw him out to be with his family and friends who miss him, and to show him that life is meant to be lived. Sawyer’s delight in getting Hollis to smile again and banter with him causes a chain reaction in Hollis who is warmed by Sawyer’s generosity and unfailing friendship, though at first he is resistant to changing the status quo.
But it’s not just about friendship between these two. The spark of attraction has existed for a long time, but one thing or another always held them back. Now though, it’s in full force and with neither being in a relationship with someone else, they have their chance to see where things can go. The result is some very sexy, surprisingly kinky scenes as they discover they are compatible in some unexpected ways. Hollis's main concern with getting involved in a sexual relationship with Sawyer has always been what would happen when Sawyer tired of him and moved on, so he'd held himself back from showing his attraction. Now though, their chemistry is too strong to be put aside so easily.
There are some really cute scenes with Aria, Char and Tucker's adorable young daughter (and therefore Sawyer and Hollis's niece) that make for some of the lighthearted moments in the story as Sawyer and Hollis compete in friendly uncle fashion for her attention. Combined with the sweetness of seeing Hollis and Sawyer falling in love, this romance is really just a delight from beginning to end. Highly recommended and definitely a new Christmas favorite.
--What’s Going On--
Christmas is right around the corner and Hollis isn't in the celebrating mood -- hasn't been since his parent's death 3 years ago at this time. Fellow shop owner and brother-in-law, Sawyer is determined to get Hollis out of his mood.
--What are the Issues--
Hollis's twin sister is married to Sawyer's twin brother and they grew up together. But while Sawyer is vibrant and outgoing, Hollis is painfully introverted and stuffy. Hollis has crushed on Sawyer but he doesn't believe that Sawyer will ever settle and take a relationship seriously because he's always flitting from one interest to another. On top of that, Christmas is a hard time for Hollis because he hasn't gotten over the death of his parents.
--What I Liked--
I always enjoy the Christmas/winter themed romance novels that come out this time of year! I really liked Sawyer -- he's always happy and excited and ready to embrace everything in life and enjoy it all. He was a good match to bring Hollis out of his funk and to also keep him from completely sinking into loneliness. Hollis is very British in a somewhat stereotypical way with his proper mannerisms and speech and his love of tea and paper/pen products. He's a huge introvert and his social anxiety reminded me of someone I know. It was interesting to see because Annabeth Albert does a really good job of showing how crushing those feelings can be for someone. Hollis's concern about gossip and crowds and what people will think could have come across and juvenile and silly but instead Albert handles it well and it comes across as a genuine problem that some people have to deal with. I also liked that though Hollis lets go of some of his grief and embraces a relationship with Sawyer, his core character personality doesn't change; he doesn't suddenly become this extroverted person. I always hate when author's do that in novels because it's just not real. But no worries here, because Hollis is still his normal introverted self.
--What I Would Have Liked--
I always prefer dual POV's so while this was still good, I would have loved having Sawyer's side. I think it really would have helped developed his character as a settled, changing man. Albert still does a great job of showing Saywer's growth and I believe him when he says he'll stick, but seeing his inner thoughts would have made that stronger.
I always say that friends to lovers are my jam, but this frenemies to lovers story - I think this may really be my jam. Add in the Christmas factor and I am all over it. A story element that totally worked for me, as I am sure other reviewers have warned, was the light BDSM kink. Very mild IMO.
Hollis and Sawyer have known each other for years. They grew up together, each a part of a set of twins who were friends. As adults Sawyer's twin brother is married to Hollis's twin sister. Hollis has spent the last couple of holidays on his own and melancholy. It works for him, it is how he wants to do it. Sawyer, however, wants Hollis to spend time as part of the family. To enjoy the season.
A bet brings them together in this Christmas short where enemies who are really friends realize that there may be more to their relationship than originally believed.
These two are the definition of opposite. Hollis is reserved and introverted while Sawyer is more flamboyant and...loud. But the two of them together was spectacularly hot.
Hollis and Sawyer are now my favorite couple in the Portland Heat series. They just <i>got</i> each other. I could have read another 100 pages of these two. I am definitely enamored with Sawyer and wish I could have heard his voice. He seems like a fun guy to get to know. While we are only in Hollis's head and he comes off as so sad and it made me sad. I wanted him to be closer to his sister and more open about the guilt and sadness he carried with him. A few more pages in the book and those little things may have been dealt with in a more in-depth manner.
This was a quick holiday read and I found it enjoyable as a whole.
Most recent customer reviews
A lovely addition to the series with a Christmas flare. I adore this street in Portland and love Hollis Alcott and Sawyer Murphy in this friends to lovers...Read more
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