Book Reviews

Santa Baby (Minnesota Christmas 4) by Heidi Cullinan

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Menage MMM / BDSM / Erotic Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 31-December-2017

Book Blurb

Trimming the tree is more fun with three.

Twin Cities developer Dale Davidson has come to Logan, Minnesota, to turn it into Christmas Town, not to give in to Arthur Anderson’s offer to join him and his fiancé, Gabriel Higgins, for a Christmas Eve threesome. Dale is polyamorous, but it’s clear Arthur is offering a night of fun and nothing more. Maybe one night with the couple he admires so much won’t hurt…

Together the three of them light a fire hot enough to boil Lake Superior in January, and one night of fun becomes an extended engagement as Dale puts down some tentative roots in his new hometown. Everyone loves Dale, Logan’s own Santa Claus, and somehow no one knows what wild times are happening right underneath their noses. No one knows, either, the complicated ways they’re falling in love with one another.

But a shadow from Dale’s past emerges, an abuser threatening him with violence and shame. Ronny doesn’t want a happy ever after for Dale, only to draw him back into a consuming darkness. It will take the love of not only Gabriel and Arthur but all of Logan to convince their Santa he has nothing to be ashamed of—and that he will always have a home in their hearts.


Book Review

Heidi Cullinan's 'Minnesota Christmas' series is a well loved one of mine and one of the few holiday series that I actually read. I love the little town of Logan with all its unique secondary characters plus, of course, my favorite couples from previous books. The secondary plot of 'Winter Wonderland' brought the decision to bolster Logan's economy by converting it to a year-round holiday tourist attraction. This prompted Marcus's old friend, Dale, from Minneapolis to make the drive north to see about the potential. Well, in 'Santa Baby' he finds more possibilities than just turning the town into a tourist extravaganza.

This was the problem, actually, the thing he couldn’t explain to Arthur. Somehow those fond feelings for Dale made him hesitate to take him to bed, and he didn’t know why.

I can admit that I struggled a wee bit with this story. I certainly am no prude when it comes down to ménage, but Arthur and Gabriel are already an established couple, this isn't a shifter story, and Gabriel doesn't have quite the laissez-faire attitude that Arthur has. Polyamorous relationships are not for everyone, although I do believe they can work, and work very well, if a lot of communication is used. It is about more than sex, it is about being in love with more than one person, having relationships that provide you with different things, and being able to make it all work.

Gabriel is very conflicted in the beginning. Not because he doesn't desire Dale but because there are other things about Dale that have Gabriel thinking it wouldn't be difficult to fall in love with the man, and because of the kind of man Gabriel is, that indicates a betrayal of his fiancé in his mind. Dale has those same feelings for Gabriel and once Arthur realizes this, he has to step back and figure out whether he could be okay with marrying Gabriel, but Gabriel and Dale seeing each other, also. See what I mean about struggling?

They had a spark. More than sexual attraction, more than casual interest. There was something pulling between the two of them. Something bigger and brighter than a single night of fun. A bit of tinder that could turn into a flame and become a raging fire. It appeared as if the fire had already started.

Now, there are several different ways the author could have taken this storyline and I'm really glad she chose the one I least expected. I'm going to veer away for a moment to briefly mention the sadistic bastard who has been tormenting Dale in the cities. It broke my heart to see the true Dale come to the forefront once he was safe and felt needed by Gabriel, and even Arthur, to a point. This man has used power and control because he could, and he violated Dale in the most awful way a human being can. Needless to say, Dale is lucky in more than one way that he came to Logan and made friends, plus discovering Arthur and Gabriel. Marcus, Frankie, Arthur, Gabriel, Kyle, and Paul will see to it that Dale doesn't get harmed again.

My reservations about this polyamorous storyline were completely gone long before I reached the end. I loved the development of the relationships between Gabriel and Arthur, Arthur and Dale, and Gabriel and Dale, mainly because it wasn't at all as I expected it to be and that made it so much more real and plausible for me. My only complaint is I would have preferred a more personal takedown of Dale's abuser but I respect the way the author finalized that plot line. A monumental addition to the series! Thank you, Heidi!

 

 

 

 

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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 80000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 08-November-2016
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTKD04T