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American Walsh Brandt is happy when a promotion lands him his dream job and a quiet new life in Germany. Until December rolls around, when he realizes it’s almost impossible to hide from the holiday season in Germany.
Dierck Reiniger is fascinated by Walsh’s hatred of Christmas and makes it his personal mission to help Walsh enjoy Weihnachten and the German traditions he grew up with. Walsh has a great time getting to know Dierck—but he still isn’t sold on Christmas, despite Dierck’s efforts. Dierck’s on the rebound, and he’s determined to develop their physical relationship slowly, much to Walsh’s frustration. It isn’t until they’re alone in a secluded cabin—hiding from the traditional trappings—that Walsh finally recognizes what the magic of the season can bring when spent with someone special.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calendar package “Celebrate!”
The joy of Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar this year for me — as a reader who lives far far away in Indonesia — is to see so many holiday customs from different places. I get to know different local cultures along with the snow (Indonesians don’t have snow!) and “holiday feels” to it. I feel like I am traveling to these places without actually having to spend any money (travel is NOT cheap you know!)
This story brought me to Germany, to enjoy Weihnachten and other German traditions. Walsh, an American transplant in Germany who really, REALLY dislikes Christmas, meets Dierck who was determined to “sell” Christmas to him. I was having fun reading about all the things Dierck did with Walsh, showing all the traditions he grew up with. It was quite detailed and I was basically drowning myself with the need to absorb of these new adventures.
The characters were likeable – although since the story was written in Walsh’s perspective, I did miss Dierck’s thoughts and feels. I wonder what made Dierck decide to go slow in the relationship, what made him decide that he and Walsh should not jump into sex immediately. Oh, I’m NOT complaining … I mean, to me romance is not exactly equal to sexual intercourse. And I liked reading about Walsh and Dierck doing things outside of the bedroom. But this story was lacking in that – only a couple of kisses – and even Walsh got frustrated at the lack of sex. I was totally okay with it, but I could also imagine how other readers would be as frustrated as Walsh and thing the romance lacked the sparks needed.
Of course, having NO knowledge about German customs however, it also made me think whether all of these traditions were done correctly. I enjoyed it because I wasn’t familiar with it. But I can totally imagine that if you’re German or very familiar to German traditions, and then you might find things wrongly depicted in here, it will annoy you *smile*
But all in all, I found this one enjoyable and darn cute and very German-Christmas-y…