REVIEW: Faux Ho Ho by ‘Nathan Burgoine
Silas Waite doesn’t want his big-C Conservative Alberta family to know he’s barely making rent. They’d see it as yet another sign that he’s not living up to the Waite family potential and muscle in on his life. When Silas unexpectedly needs a new roommate, he ends up with the gregarious (and gorgeous) personal trainer Constantino “Dino” Papadimitriou.
Silas’s parents try to brow-beat him into visiting for Thanksgiving, where they’ll put him on display as an example of how they’re so “tolerant,” for Silas’s brother’s political campaign, but Dino pretends to be his boyfriend to get him out of it, citing a prior commitment. The ruse works—until they receive an invitation to Silas’s sister’s last-minute wedding.
Silas loves his sister, Dino wouldn’t mind a chalet Christmas, and together, they could turn a family obligation into something fun. But after nine months of being roommates, then friends, and now “boyfriends,” Silas finds being with Dino way too easy, and being the son that his parents barely tolerate too hard. Something has to give, but luckily, it’s the season for giving—and maybe what Silas has to give is worth the biggest risk of all.
Dear. Mr. Burgoine,
I have Amazon to thank for putting this in some list of books I might like. It’s holiday-ish but honestly I’d say it’s more Halloween and Canadian Thanksgiving than Christmas. But the title is adorable.
Silas Waite is out to his family but only his sister really supports him. His parents maintain rictus smiles when they are around him or on a video call with him while his older brother – the politician – uses Silas as a prop to show how tolerant he is (Hint – not very). Needing to keep his wealthy and overbearing parents from pushing into his life, Silas has had roommates to help pay the bills. Dino is a tank and not a person Silas would have ever seen in a “Silas Waite Venn Diagram” overlapping his own life but Dino has turned out to be a nice, totally decent guy who also just happens to have pecs to swoon over. But when Silas’s sister surprise announces her wedding (for a reason), Silas is backed (by an invitation listing both of them) into asking Dino to go with him. Can they maintain a fake relationship for the duration of the wedding celebration? In conservative Alberta?
Fake dating, found family, LGBTQIA+ (m/m, f/f, bisexual rep), character with disability rep, references to gay bashing, and homophobia are all in the book which is a lot considering it’s a novella. After they become roommates but way before there is any romantic relationship, Dino brings over a one night stand to their apartment. Also Silas and his friends are gamers and there are a lot of references to that which I didn’t really catch.
I know this is part of a series and is populated with characters from other stories but they take second place to the MCs for this book. This is a nice, (mainly) sweet, Hallmark kind of a story. The good people are good and the baddies are bad and no one is converted to the good side. But the main villain does “get his” in a spectacular fashion that goes viral.
Dino and Silas are adorable – separately and together. Do they have much character depth or do we see any negative traits from them? Well, not much. Dino does snore though lightly. Other than that, they are practically perfect (for each other) in every way. There’s no sex but there is lusting and the promise of eventual hot and sweaty action. The story is told with chapters that alternate between now and the months that Silas and Dino have lived together and gotten to know each other. Even after I finally realized how this was set up, it still caught me off guard until almost the end of the book. But it works to lay out the story and we get to watch these two lovebirds realize how awesome the other is. For a fairly lighthearted novella that hits all the beats we know are coming, I enjoyed it. B-