Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M Christmas romance from RJ Scott. THE WISHING TREE is a standalone small town romance that features a youngest brother finally getting his wish, the love of his elder brother’s BFF.
It takes an impossible Christmas wish for Bailey to find forever love with his brother’s best friend.
Turning twenty-five and still a virgin, Bailey has barely dated, let alone acted on the private fantasies featuring his brother’s best friend, newly retired hockey star, Kai. All he wants is for Kai to love him, but after a summer when Kai’s anger drove them apart, love doesn’t seem possible at all.
When Kai goes home to Wishing Tree, he knows he owes everyone an apology, not least of all to the man he loves. He’s convinced he can be the man Bailey deserves, and he needs to show Bailey how much he’s changed.
The only problem? Bailey has secrets he’s scared will drive Kai away, and Kai is running out of time to convince Bailey that falling in love starts with a wish, and can end up in forever.
The Wishing Tree is a standalone small-town Christmas MM romance with perfect snow, twinkling lights, a first real kiss, a shy virgin with a silken kink, a retired hockey player, and all the Christmas feels.
How about a little taste?
“Hey, Angel.” He bent at the waist, stretching, but twisting his neck as he did, so he could send me a smile. His caramel eyes were such a beautiful shade, just this side of topaz, and his lips were lush and pink and pillow-soft. He called me Angel because according to him my hair, all blond curls and long made me look like an angel. I didn’t mind him calling me that, I secretly loved it, but when my brothers did it too, then I wanted to murder them in their sleep.
I loved seeing him because he was my entire world and I wanted to tell him everything.
I hated seeing him, because I didn’t know what to say to him, and how in God’s name would I ever be able to tell him anything?
“Hey.” I sketched a wave, the card obvious in my hand and, embarrassed, I shoved it deep into my pocket, hoping he didn’t notice.
“Are you adding a wish?” he asked, then he stalked over to me, and I swear I was going to die on the spot. “I should do that as well.” He lifted the lid to the sheltered card box, and picked up a pen, which he proceeded to tap on the surface. “I’ll have to owe the tree a dollar. I’ll bring it back later.” He glanced up at the tree as if he was apologizing to the skeleton of branches. “I don’t know what to wish for.” He side-eyed me. “What are you wishing for?”
Oh god, my tongue was a hundred times too big for my mouth. I couldn’t tell him all my secrets; I wouldn’t have known where to start. I let out what sounded like a squeak, and same as my brothers, he didn’t pause to let me answer, because he knew as well as they did that I didn’t talk much, that I was shy.
He was a professional hockey player, a star in his own right, twenty-one and with the world at his feet. I’d loved him forever, and I hated that I didn’t see much of him. Just man up and say it. I love you, Kai. Can you kiss me?
Bailey Haynes and Kai Buchanan both grew up in Wishing Tree, Vermont, a tiny hamlet that boasted a glorious oak tree that people tied wishes to, in hopes that they’d come true. It’s maybe a bit soppy, but they–and the many visitors to Wishing Tree–believed in that special magic. It especially brought many tourists in the holiday season, and Wishing Tree is a delightful Christmas village, with themed shops, an artisan market, and lots of festive family activities.
Back in the day, Bailey knew his heart’s desire was Kai. He was terrified of coming out, but he was even more terrified the beautiful star hockey player would never love him back. And, that seemed an almost insurmountable ache for a teen. He’d made his last wish on the Wishing Tree ten year ago–that Kai would be his first kiss, and would fall madly in love with him, but that was a besotted teen boy’s wish, and as Bailey is now 25, well, he’s gotten past it. Okay, no, he hasn’t, but he’s still okay being related to Kai by the marriage between his brother and Kai’s sister, right? Being the best uncle is Bailey’s mission, but he can’t do that and continue to avoid Kai whenever he skates back into Wishing Tree–and not especially when he learns Kai is coming back for good.
Kai grew up and followed his dream of becoming a pro hockey player, but he’s always missed his home and family, and lately, he’s worn-down by injuries and his lonely life in Albany. How many times did he stand up as a best man for a teammate who finally married the love of his life? And, yet, Kai couldn’t even admit his own love, Bailey, whom he feared was growing up and probably moving on back in Wishing Tree. Last summer, Kai made a jerk of himself, dazed on pain meds and beer when he lost all composure and lashed out at his father, and then Bailey who’d only sought to comfort him. And, that’s when Kai knew he needed to make a big change. It’s December, and he’s done with rehab, and pro sports and not being around his small, but supportive, family. Freshly retired, he’s going to make amends to all his peeps in Wishing Tree–namely Bailey. If all goes well, he might be able to confess his longstanding love, too.
This is a sweet, slow-burn, small-town Christmas romance that has some fun moments. Both Bailey’s and Kai’s families have suspected the love growing between them, for years now, and they are both overwhelmed by the love and teasing support they experience. Kai is desperate to convince Bailey that his love is ardent and true–and he messes it all up over and over, making Bailey both more frustrated, and more determined to give Kai a wide berth to avoid the humiliation he’s experiencing. Well, until Kai refuses to left himself be shoved back. They make a sexy odd-couple, and its fun to watch these tongue-tied men, Bailey the introvert and Kai the woebegone, reveal their truest selves to each other and their families. Lots of Christmas kitsch and a bit of sexytimes that includes Bailey’s virginity and silk kink in the mix.
About the Author:
RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.
The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!