“All Wrapped Up” by Annabelle Jacobs

about

This box set contains three previously published holiday romances by Annabelle Jacobs: Not Just for Christmas, Old Acquaintance, and No Place Like Home.

Not Just For Christmas

Ben has Christmas, cats, and mistletoe on his side…. Jason doesn’t stand a chance

For Ben Slater, moving back to Bristol means being closer to his family, living with his best mate, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. But there’s also Jason, his best mate’s eldest brother. Ben’s had a crush on Jason for as long as he can remember, but the eleven-year age gap has always seemed insurmountable.

Jason Armitage works as a vet at his uncle’s practice. He owns a cute cottage on the outskirts of the city, and a loving dog. The one thing missing is someone to share it all with. His brother’s best friend seems a bad choice, but Jason can’t help taking a second look. Ben’s changed a lot since Jason last saw him; both in appearance and attitude. Gone is the shy young boy, replaced with a confident, twenty-four-year-old man.

In the run up to Christmas, the festive period gives Ben the ideal opportunity to show Jason what he has to offer. But concerns for his brother’s feelings hold Jason back. If they have any chance of making this work, Ben must convince Jason that he’s old enough to know what he wants, and Jason needs to believe that a relationship with his brother’s best friend won’t ruin their friendship.

Old Acquaintance

There are two sides to every story, even those buried in the past.

When Sam spots the hot guy moving in next door, he’s all for going round to introduce himself. That soon changes when it turns out his new neighbour is Charles Whitmore, an old school acquaintance. Sam didn’t like him back then, for good reason, and fifteen years haven’t altered that.

Splitting up from his long-term boyfriend means a move across the city for Charlie. As luck would have it, his immediate neighbour is a guy he went to school with, Sam Gellar. While Sam is less than welcoming, his best mate is more than happy to invite Charlie into their social circle. Whatever problem Sam has with him, Charlie resolves to get to the bottom of it because, frosty beginnings aside, Charlie likes him.

With Christmas just around the corner, fate pushes them together, and they get on much better than they ever did at school. Despite his efforts not to, Sam develops feelings for Charlie, and they appear to be reciprocated. If Sam wants to take things further, he needs to either confront Charlie about their past—a past Charlie seems to have forgotten entirely—or let it go and move on. Sam knows deep down that he can’t let it go, but can’t find the right time to bring it up either.

No Place Like Home

Will Oliver get the gift he’s hoping for this Christmas?

Oliver Walker’s Christmas is shaping up to be a quiet one. That is until hunky neighbour Ed Middleton moves in next door.
Attraction is instant, but Ed is only there temporarily and neither wants to start something with an expiration date.

As the festive season approaches, holiday cheer wraps around them, and giving in to temptation is inevitable. But Ed is still set on moving in the new year—a fresh start, miles away from those he’s closest to.

If Oliver doesn’t want to lose his heart, he’ll have to show Ed that home is wherever he wants it to be, and love is possible no matter what.

No Place Like Home is a heartwarming story of love between neighbours, family and friends, about adorable rescue cats, and remembering that sometimes the very thing you’re looking for is right under your nose.

review

What a charming book package! Three stories all bundled together? I’m loving it! This collection of holiday stories warmed me just as much the second time around. In my opinion, this set includes a good, better, and best. I’ll recap my initial thoughts beginning with my favorite…

Not Just For Christmas

Ben and Liam have been best mates since they ran around in their nappies (don’t you just love the British influence?!) and Ben is coming back…home. He’s moving in with Liam and looking forward to recharging his bestie batteries. He has missed family time; both his own and Liam’s. His pulse is kicked into overdrive thinking about one particular brother of Liam’s…Jason. He has drooled over Jason for years and his fascinations never wavered. He graduated from University and he’s ready to embrace adulthood. If only he can show Jason he’s not just his kid brothers’ sidekick anymore, he might just have a chance with him. Dating someone so deeply integrated in the family has its risks and Jason has never been much of a risk-taker. He can’t jeopardize his relationship with his brother. It’s not worth it, is it? This Christmas is full of surprises and he’s grappling with control. His life is just fine the way it is. No need to complicate things. But then he didn’t count on Ben returning as a sexy self-assured man either. When passion consumes them they need to decide, is this a one-off, a casual thing for Christmas, or maybe more?

As I said before, the writing is a sure thing. I enjoyed the Bristol setting. I have yet to visit (someday!!) but I feel as though I can clearly see it behind my eyelids thanks to Jacobs’s vivid descriptions. Then we have the charming and endearing characters. I enjoyed every single one of them. That’s a rarity in itself! There isn’t a bad guy or any major angst. Simply two guys, sweeping each other off their feet. There are times you just need a relaxing and carefree story such as this. Top it off with lovely holiday traditions and adorable furry friends and it becomes a winning Christmas story. And did you check out the adorable cover? Top-notch!

Jason is older, established in his professional life, and lonely. Family and friends surround him, but he’s not found someone to share the intimacies of everyday life with. To be honest, he’s not really looking. But then…Ben returns. He’s known Ben most of his life but always viewed him as his little brother’s friend. He was fully aware that Ben was attracted to him but their age difference was a roadblock Jason felt comfortable leaving be. However, this new mature Ben ignites something in Jason. He’s lively spirit and sexy determination rattles his resolve. After one night of fiery passion, he panics. However, it doesn’t take long for him to realize and accept he wants Ben in his bed and by his side. And…Not Just For Christmas.

The relationship begins unbalanced. Ben has had the hots for Jason for more than a decade. He knows what he wants. Jason never thought of Ben that way….before. Once he’s positive everyone is cool with it he quickly catches up. But plan on a shaky start. Ben has been willing to wait for Jason, so follow his example and harness some patience, it will be worth it!

No Place Like Home

Some things are a given. Me devouring Jacob’s annual holiday story is one of them. This year we have an awkward meet-cute between two new neighbors with a spunky Aunt and a finicky kitty. Ed is working on flipping a house before he moves out of town. After inheriting his Aunt’s home Ed and his siblings decide a makeover is in order before they sell the place. Still licking his wounds from a recent break-up this opportunity seems like the perfect stepping stone for Ed before he packs his bags and heads north. Ed doesn’t have much of a plan but the sparks flying between his new sexy neighbor definitely isn’t one of them. Too bad he’s not staying. He’s off to tackle his dreams and grand adventures await him. No time for a fling and he’s not a hook-up kind of guy. There’s just something about Oliver that makes him wish they had more time. Maybe, just maybe, their Christmas wishes will come true after all.

There’s a bit of push and pull. Ed is a little like a porcupine, bristly and sharp at first glance. But he has the softest underbelly when he trusts enough to show it. Oliver is more like a Goldendoodle, never short of a smile, and always willing to help. Put them together and things aren’t always smooth sailing but certainly amusing. I adored Oliver and his lighthearted attitude. I was also smitten with Betty. I could easily see myself sitting in her kitchen, munching on cookies, and working on puzzles. I wasn’t so sure about Ed at first but he warmed my heart before long. It was clear to see he was still hurting and feeling a touch lost with his newfound future. His bossy sisters were hilarious and I immediately thought of how lucky he is to have them. Working side by side on the home renovation they discover that there really is….no place like home.

Slow burn sets a gentle pace. First impressions aren’t always true impressions. And the acceptance that there’s nothing wrong with a small world…you must catch your happiness wherever you can!

If you’re searching for a tender tale that reminds us we don’t always need to chase our dreams….because sometimes they are already at your feet.



Old Acquaintance

This one left me a bit puzzled.
On one hand…I enjoyed it.
But on the other, I was irritated with Sam for most of the story.
I *liked* Sam enough but frustration raged as their “miscommunication” dragged.
It’s not really a second chance because they weren’t anything that would count as the first time. Just high school peers. One with questionable taste in friends which leads to…the lie.
And I was disappointed that Sam continued to hold onto this ‘fact’ despite other evidence proving Nigel’s friendship’s integrity.
Charlie is awesome and thankfully, quite forgiving.
Still had Jacob’s usual charm.
Adored the kit-kat.
Loved the ending.
Not my favorite of the bunch but still an enjoyable read.


And that’s a wrap! If you’re new to AJ’s tales this the perfect place to get a triple helping of her marvelous stories. And the price is hard to beat. So, why not settle in and indulge in some jolly good cheer?! 


bookisfor  Anyone needing a dose of Christmas goodness, this is three times the festive fun! 

 

bookinfo

TITLE: All Wrapped Up
AUTHOR: Annabelle Jacobs
PUBLISHER: self-pub
LENGTH: 519 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 23, 2020
BUY LINKS: Amazon, AmazonUK

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