Title: I Heard Him Exclaim by Z.A. Maxfield
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Length: 34,000 words
Book Rating: B
Who Likes a Skinny Santa?
Steve Adams’s heart hasn’t been in the Christmas spirit ever since doctors put a stent in it and ordered him to clean up his act. No longer filling out his Santa suit or allowed to make merry, he’s forgoing the holidays this year and heading to Vegas to indulge in the few vices left to him: gambling and anonymous sex.
His road trip takes a detour when he encounters Chandler Tracey, who’s just inherited guardianship of his five-year-old niece. Overwhelmed, Chandler’s on his way to deliver Poppy to his parents. But fate has other plans and, after car trouble, Chandler and Poppy accept a ride home with Steve. Though the heat between the two men is obvious, they put it on simmer while they band together to make Poppy’s Christmas perfect.
Steve soon comes to believe that while Chandler is the right person to look after Poppy, someone needs to look after Chandler. Fortunately, Steve knows just the man for the job.
I Heard Him Exclaim by Z.A. Maxfield is a light festive holiday story that is as sexy as it is sweet. With his usual holiday spirit conspicuously absent this Christmas, Steve Adams is on his way to Las Vegas when he rescues Chandler Tracey and his niece Poppy after their car breaks down.
Steve Adams impeccably demonstrates what the Christmas season is all about. He is very involved with his large and close knit family. His yearly ritual of dressing up as Santa Claus enables him to give back to the local community. He is upbeat and positive and his belief that things happen for a reason really resonates with me.
Chandler Tracey is grieving the loss of his brother and sister-in-law. He is feeling overwhelmed and riddled with doubt about raising his niece, Poppy. Calm and self- assured Steve is just the man for Chandler. With his relaxed demeanor and laidback attitude Steve helps Chandler put many of his fears and insecurities to rest.
I Heard Him Exclaim has a well-developed, yet slightly unrealistic plot. The characters are three dimensional, likeable and easy to relate to. Steve’s family is wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoyed their interactions. Poppy is absolutely adorable, and I love how easily she fit in with Steve’s extended family. And WOWZA! The sex scenes between Steve and Chandler are frequent and sizzling.
I Heard Him Exclaim is a magical holiday romance that is engaging and deliciously steamy. Z.A. Maxfield’s delightful epilogue is the perfect ending for this heartwarming and conflict free story.