Wreck The Halls by Jessica Payseur

Wreck The Halls by Jessica Payseur
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Christmas)
Length: Short story (46 Pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Business has been good at Paul’s Café in Madison, Wisconsin—until a few months before Christmas. When Nick opens Nick’s Restaurant next door, Paul watches his customers leave for cheaper food and an owner who smiles more. With his livelihood at stake, Paul lashes out, trying to drive away Nick’s customers, but Nick won’t go easy, and escalating sabotage threatens to ruin the holidays for both of them.

Paul thinks all he wants for Christmas is to see Nick’s Restaurant go under, but the more he tries to drive Nick away, the less he’s sure he wants him to go. Nick is everything Paul secretly craves, but by the time he realizes Nick is all he really wants for the holidays, he might have ruined any chance for them to get together. And there might not be a present in the world that can fix that.

Paul runs a café and has been pretty happy until Nick’s Restaurant opened up right next door. Paul hadn’t minded initially – not until he realized Nick’s place was really eating into Paul’s profits. When an all-out eatery war breaks out between the two of them can they manage to find their way to some sort of compromise?

I have to be honest, Paul’s initial antagonism towards Nick really made me laugh. At the start I quite enjoyed Paul and Nick’s tit-for-tat retaliation, especially when it was small things – turning an “open” sign to “closed” on the front door, or convincing a waiter to leave a little early and abandon his post. I was nervous when the “war” escalated to a point I felt was a bit over the line – but was relieved when both Nick and Paul each individually realized that they had pushed too far. This helped keep the rivalry on the more friendly side of antagonistic and greatly relieved me.

The sex was smolderingly hot when the two men finally made their move and I was pleased that the author managed to keep the enemies-to-lovers aspect of the story fairly realistic and sensible.

Readers looking for a playful and fun Christmas story should find this a good M/M read. The sex is hot but the vast majority of the story is based on Nick and Paul and how their feud brought about their new relationship together. I enjoyed this quick short story.

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