Book Reviews

Unwrapping Hank by Eli Easton

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 15-November-2014

Book Blurb

Sloane loves a good mystery. He grew up as the son of two psychiatrists, so he finds most people tediously easy to figure out. He finds his way to Pennsylvania State University, longing for a rural experience, and ends up being lured into joining a frat by Micah Springfield, the hippest guy on campus.

Nothing in Sloane’s classes is as intriguing as Hank Springfield, Micah’s brother and fellow frat house member. Hank looks like a tough guy—big muscles, tatts, and a beard—but his eyes are soft and sweet. He acts dumb, but he’s a philosophy major. He’s presumably straight, but then why does Sloane feel such crazy chemistry whenever Hank is around? And why does Hank hate Sloane so much?

When Sloane ends up stuck on campus over Christmas, Micah invites him to spend the holidays at their family farm in Amish country. It’s a chance to experience a true Americana Christmas--and further investigate the mystery that is Hank Springfield. Can Sloane unlock the secrets of this family and unwrap the heart hidden inside the beefcake?


Book Review

As Christmas stories go, this is a very special one on many levels. The psychology involved, both in the relationship between the two main characters and in each of their personal histories, is one level I found fascinating. Then there is the pure delight of the gentle romance that persists despite the many obstacles both real and imagined. And finally the tone of the story with its slight humor occasionally sliding into hilarious sarcasm made me smile, laugh, and kept me turning the pages for more. This is no sweet and fluffy romance, it is a substantial character study that happens to be set around Christmas. Can you tell yet how much I loved it?

Greg Sloane is an interesting, multi-leveled character who has already mastered the art of studying people and coming to accurate conclusions at a very young age. A college freshman, he is also the son of two psychologists who may be somewhat emotionally lacking as parents (always embracing the next interesting experience rather than focusing on their son), but who taught him how to read people. As Sloane said in the book, “Nothing my life went undeconstructed.” Which is why Sloane is so fascinated by Hank. The man is in no way an open book, and even though Sloane is convinced the guy is straight, he is utterly fascinated by Hank as a person. And even though, or maybe because, their relationship started with them not being able to stand each other, Sloane cannot stop poking at the mystery called Hank.

Hank is an enigma, even to himself. I can’t say too much about him without spoiling the surprise, the mystery that is him. He looks like a big, tough guy whose muscles have muscles, yet he is a philosophy major who aces his courses. He is a member of the same fraternity as his older brother Micah, yet he hasn’t formed any friendships and mainly uses the frat parties to get drunk – or so it seems. His family is amazing, yet he has deep-seated issues with his parents. He is quite vocal about hating Sloane, or rather the privileged background Sloane comes from. Yet he is as fascinated by Sloane as the other way around and that confuses and upsets him. Hank faces an uphill battle, mostly with himself as his worst enemy, and his potential for growth is tremendous.

If you like stories with interesting main characters who have more than a few “rough edges” and deeply held secrets, if two young men trying to find themselves and figure out how to relate to each other sound interesting, and if you’re looking for a fascinating, emotional, and wonderfully funny read that is as well-paced as it is entertaining, then you will probably like this novella.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 135 pages/40000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 14-November-2014
Price $2.99 ebook
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