Book Reviews

Merry Cherry Christmas by Keira Andrews at KA Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / Students/Teachers/Professors / New Adult / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Ro on 19-November-2020

Book Blurb

A nice boy gets naughty...

Redheaded freshman Jeremy "Cherry" Rourke is certainly living up to his childhood nickname, although still being inexperienced is the least of his concerns. After coming out, his parents barely talk to him. He hasn't made any friends at university. Worst of all, he's about to spend Christmas completely alone in an empty dorm.

Jeremy clearly needs a fairy godfather, so football captain Max Pimenta takes him under his wing to help him find his dating groove. But Jeremy's wound way too tight. He's too vulnerable. Max can't trust some random guy with him. He needs to take care of Jeremy himself and introduce him to no-pressure exploration. It's not about romance or feelings—he's just doing the kid a favor.

Max is definitely not falling for this lonely, beautiful boy. No way.

And it's not like he can leave Jeremy all alone for the holidays. He'll bring him home to his family's maple syrup farm—strictly as friends since his parents have rules. No more fooling around. No more eager, breathless fun. No more making Jeremy shiver and blush with suggestive whispers in his ear. No more sweeter-than-sugar kisses. All nice. No more naughty.

But Jeremy's sleeping right across the hall, and Max wants him for himself. The twelve days of Christmas will last an eternity if they don't break the rules.

Shhh. No one has to know...


Book Review

The book begins with Jeremy – cute, nerdy Jeremy – flat on his back after slipping on the ice. “His body had seized up, pain radiating from his back. He probably wasn’t going to die, but it hurt like hell. His face stung as more freezing rain pelted down on it.” He does this in front of football players, including the laidback, friendly Max. The guys are eager to get to the party they were heading to, but when it turns out Max steps on and destroys Jeremy’s glasses, a decision has to be made. “But I can’t see!” and cringed at the terror in his voice.” Since Max is the one who stepped on the glasses, he offers to walk Jeremy home. Max is very concerned about concussions and he doesn’t want to see anything else happen to Jeremy so they hang out for a while. During their visit, Jeremy sort of blurts out everything that is going on with him – his parents, missing his brother, having no time to make friends, being alone and his fear that he would die a virgin.


I have to say how much I liked Jeremy (Cherry) and how badly I felt for him. Right away he has “…the familiar clench of hurt and dread” because now he needs his prescription to get new glasses and will have to communicate with his mom. He came out to his parents and it didn’t go well. “The hurt swelled, so huge and terribly hollow at the same time.” He’s “not allowed” to tell anyone else in the family, including his seventh-grade brother, Sean. It is Sean who gave him the name Cherry, just to get that out there. It’s not the virginal status!


To make matters worse, his parents decided to go on a Hawaiian cruise with just them and Sean, leaving Jeremy along in his dorm room for Christmas. I was so angry at his parents right from the get-go. They didn’t disown him but they also act like he’s not really part of the family. Awkward conversations, distant attitudes, and seriously, acting like he is being punished. So much for unconditional love.


For his part, Max lost his mom when he was just a child and he has made promises that he would follow in her footsteps and become a lawyer. He is on his way to that goal, waiting for his LSAT results. Except it really doesn’t seem like he is sure about this. Max is wise (at least when it comes to other people) and he is kind. Stereotypical jock he is not. He understands Jeremy being overwhelmed in a new place. “This place is a lot. University’s a lot. Leaving home’s a lot. Especially if it’s tense with your parents.” This goes a long way to making Jeremy feel better. “He wasn’t sure how the captain of the football team could even begin to understand not fitting in, but somehow Max seemed to.”


Max makes it is his mission to get Jeremy laid. Except pesky feelings start to intrude. While Max is denying it, his friends are noticing. Particularly his friend, Honey, whom I just loved. When Max is wondering if Jeremy might like him, Honey is matter of fact. “Yeah, he passed me a note after third period. I put it in your locker. It said, “Does Max think I’m cute? Y-slash-N.” So tomorrow in homeroom…” He made me laugh and he is so supportive of Max.


Max is all about showing Jeremy the ropes of being sexual and ends up taking Jeremy home to the family farm for Christmas, where things get even more complicated for poor Max and his feelings.


So the goal is now a little complicated. Max wants to set Jeremy up with someone and get him laid except he doesn’t want anyone to touch him. I laughed when Max was, in his own words, “petty AF” because he avoided shaking the hand of the man who was going to be Jeremy’s guy, Levi. Max encouraged Jeremy to go on a date with Levi but then regrets it. “He couldn’t exactly shove Levi into the nearest snowbank accidentally-on-purpose with kids watching.” He is stubborn, our Max. Just as an aside, he is also gross because who puts mayo on hot dogs? But I digress.


There isn’t a lot of angst here, despite the issue with Jeremy’s parents. I will say that when his mother called from Hawaii with some words to say for where Jeremy was spending Christmas, I was so happy he stood up to her. Part of that was due to Max but part was the growth of Jeremy. There are sexy times happening with a gentle Max and a first-time Jeremy. More than anything, however, the sweetness of these two coming to realize what they could be to each other and what they could be on their own made it so good.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 201 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 19-November-2020
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link