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Hometown Christmas

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  468 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Can Yani and Gavin go from friends to lovers this Christmas?

Yani Nicolaou is sworn off love for good. After fleeing a bad break-up in London, the only blood, sweat, and tears he has left are for his gyro stall at the Christmas market. Rebound fling? No thanks. He’s sticking to one-night-stands.

Ex-army vet Gavin Richie has even less capacity for romance. Managing a homeless
Kindle Edition, 164 pages
Published November 21st 2019 by Fox Love Press
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  468 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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Garrett Leigh at her best here.

This is pretty much the perfect Christmas story.It's not all tinsel and baubles,it's more low key twinkling lights because it's not all about Christmas.It's a story that happens to take place in the run up to Christmas.

Once again Garrett Leigh has created two highly likeable men. There's a grittiness about it because Gavin and Yani have their problems,they haven't exactly walked in a straight line.Both men's issues felt real and the Author tackled them extremely
Time of Death @ 63%

Oh my, apparently there is a first time for everything... I never thought I would see the day where I give up on a Garrett Leigh book, but apparently the curse of highly anticipated books is a thing lately.

I virtually begged on my knees for Wedge's story since I've read Between Ghosts and Soul to Keep, and now that I got it, I'm dragging my feet here and I think it's time to move on. The chemistry between Gavin (Wedge) and Yani is missing the spark for me, fade-to-black sex
Len Evans Jr
Want to just start off by saying "kudos" to the author for not only writing an incredibly sweet and lovely love story between her two main characters, but did it with both of them having mental conditions. She created two flawed but perfect men, one with OCD and the other PTSD and she did so with such realism, humor and love that it took my breath away. I completely and utterly fell in love with Yani and Gavin. I loved the fact that each of them, though having to deal with the day to day issue ...more
Garrett Leigh never fails to transport me to a world far, far away. Even though her settings are typically just "across the pond", there is something about her characters and their lives that is completely foreign to me. To say that she captures my imagination is putting it mildly. When I dive into one of her books I know I'm going on a full adventure with words, scenes and people that are wholly unique.

I'm not sure I'd call Gavin and Yani's story a happy little Christmas tale. Then again, are
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I've been wanting Wedge's story since he first appeared in Garrett's stunningly brilliant books Between Ghosts and the Rented Heart series.

Once the joker of the pack, since his accident, he's retreated into himself and moved back home.

And, once again, I'm tickled by Garrett setting another book in my birth place of Leeds. She gets all the nuisances which make it such a fascinating city right.

Another thing she nails is her military research. I've said it before, I've family who were Special
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it, the wait for Wedge's story so worth the wait.

Gavin + Yani = Christmas happy place

*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
4.5 Stars!

Classic Garrett Leigh.

Christmas story perfection.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, read-2019
*3.5 stars*

A holiday read by Garrett Leigh, Hometown Christmas is a story about giving love and compassion to those around you.

Yani is a cook from Cyprus that has lived in England for years while his whole family is back on the island. He has worked many festivals with a food track and it's finally the time for him to do something of his own, so now he has a tent at the market.

Gavin is ex-military, out because of an accident that happened while he was abroad. He's been out for a few years
Lost in a Book
3.25 Stars

Hmmm… I liked Hometown Christmas. I wouldn’t classify it as a holiday book but more of a story that happens to take place during the holidays. This book falls in line with other Garrett Leigh reads where there are characters with disabilities, complexities, and a splash of angst.

So, with Christmas only a few days away, I’m just gonna give a quick and dirty review.

~Yani and Gavin meet, eye fuck, and continue on their way…
~Until Yani shows up to cook for the shelter Gavin is running.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas, lgbtq, ku
I hate to admit that it’s been too long for me to remember Wedge (Gavin) from previous books, but I really liked him (again) anyway!

Both Gavin and Yani are complex characters with tons of past and present issues to deal with. Gavin’s back injury from his military service and Yani’s OCD being the major ones that come into play here.

If that sounds pretty heavy going for a Christmas novella, don’t worry. Yes, there are serious questions raised and life changing moments happen in the best sort of
Nov 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: holidays
Nobody's sadder than me when a Garrett Leigh book doesn't become a favorite. I enjoyed Hometown Christmas but I did not love it, at least not with the ferocity I usually love a book by this author. I absolutely believe that had the story been longer, I wouldn't have liked this a lot more. But somehow it felt short, rushed and maybe a little....unbalanced.

First things first, I counted on Leigh to nail the Greek MC and I was right. There wasn't a lot of Greekness in it, but what was there -the
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m a creature of habit. I have a small list of places that sing to my soul and caught in the midst of Leigh’s words is one of them. There are many reasons why I continue to seek her blissful (okay, not always but I AM happy by the end!) havens but the unending cord that connects her stories is on the top of the list. I am rather fond of all her friends and can’t tell you how happy it makes me when they reappear in a new light. I was bouncing in my seat when I realized Gavin was Wedge from our ...more
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hometown Christmas is holiday romance Garrett Leigh style. The tone of the story is one of hope. We have two men who are, in a sense starting over. Yani has recently gotten out of a bad relationship, and Gavin has been discharged from the military and overcomes physical injuries he suffered while enlisted.

While the story holds the warm feelings of the holidays, it still sheds light on real-life issues- homelessness, PTSD, OCD. I love that she was able to capture the spirit of the holidays while
Denise H.
In England, two men with deep, dark insecurities, flaws and loneliness meet and ponder the reality of truly letting someone into their lives.
Yani, 28, Greek chef who works a Food Market stall in Leeds,

has OCD, and has failed romance. His best gal friend, Bex, calls in a favor, so he agrees to cook at the homeless shelter.
Gavin, 38, ex-military, with war wounds and tattoos, runs the shelter.

When the men meet, it's instant attraction, but neither guy thinks he can have a long term
3.5 stars

Yani left the hustle and bustle - and the heartbreak - of London behind for his small gyro stand. He’s content with the new life he’s building, though it involves a self-imposed ban on love.

Gavin still occasionally struggles with his life-altering injuries, but he’s determined to put all of his drive into his homeless shelter. It gets lonely sometimes, but he’s too busy for a relationship.

Their paths first cross randomly. And that lock of eyes was everything. So visceral!


The two men are
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Hometown Christmas” was my first Christmas story for the 2019 holiday season...and turned out to be a good choice. I freely admit I’m not only a fan of this author, I’m also a fan of Christmas, so to me this sounded like a good combination.

Yani Nicolaou has sworn off romance and fled London with a broken heart. He’s all about making a success of his gyro stall at the Christmas Market. There’s no time or room for romance in his life, if he’s lucky he could maybe squeeze in a one night
Nov 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This story started really strong for me, but for whatever reason, I started to feel like I was missing gaps in logic or thinking or feelings from one or both MC's as the story progressed. As a result, it was hard for me to get invested in their love story. It was also hard for me to believe major story elements such as the reason Yani was weary to commit to a serious relationship. Was it just me? I might go back and re-read sections later to see if I feel differently.
Joyfully Jay
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: michelle
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.75 stars

I generally do not read holiday stories; it’s just not my thing, but a Garrett Leigh book is impossible to pass up, so holiday or not, I was in.

Yani and Gavin are both closed off to the possibility of a relationship for different reasons. Yani just got out of a bad breakup and his OCD wins some days and Gavin is still recovering from military injuries and his PTSD can send his mood in different directions. Right from the start, I always love the dialogue and
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*ARC provided by the author *

I'm so sorry I couldn't get to this one earlier!

As usual, Garrett Leigh treats us readers with some deep, insightful character building. The progress of the relationship is delightful, honestly to die for.

I know this author is mainly known for the angsty content and the hot sex scenes (some even early enough in the story to catapult me out of my comfort zone). This book, however, was completely different from that: there was a gentler progress of the relationship,
This book was the very definition of right book, right time. It was exactly the right time of year to read it (Christmas Day and Boxing Day), I was in exactly the right frame of mind (relaxed) and place (cozied up with family in my childhood home), and the subject matter was exactly the right blend of sad and sweet that catches me in the feels but doesn't overwhelm me and make me sob my heart out.
Barb ~rede-2-read~
What a beautifully touching, heartwarming holiday story. Both young men, Gavin and Yani, had their issues and each found a way to help the other not only cope but embrace their core and just live.

Gavin is a former soldier, injured in the line of duty. He's recovered from a broken neck though still has some residual weakness and tingling in his extremities. A bigger issue is his PTSD but he's not much for complaining and soldiers on, so to speak. Yani runs a food stand at the local market, now
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Original review December 14, 2019:

DNF at 50%. I’m not sure why but I’m just not hooked. The characters are nice enough but I’m relatively bored and uninvested. Sweet story but I just keep wishing I was done. No point in forcing myself when I can make my wish come true and end it now.

If I were to rate it now, I’d give it 3 stars.

Definitely worth checking out if you have KU.

Edited to add December 15, 2019:

Turns out I was still thinking about Yani and Gavin when I woke up the next morning and
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this story of two different, emotionally bruised guys finding each other around Christmas time. Sweet & steamy - recommended.
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a rather sweet holiday read. I"m saying "rather" because this is Garrett, so there's has to be a little bit of angst thrown in there. Though I gotta say I was really appreciative of the way it DIDN'T create any drama, rather making the characters more human and allowing them to connect on a deeper level.

We've actually sort of met Gavin Richie before as "Wedge" in a few of Garrett's previous novels but honestly I don't remember much about him. He is ex-military, special forces, and
Garrett Leigh does it again with this beautifully heart warming romance. MC Gavin is ex-military and suffers from ongoing pain from breaking his neck which resulted in him being medically discharged. MC Yani works such long days at his food van selling Greek cuisine and then does it again at the shelter where he feeds all the homeless. Both men are troubled souls - PTSD and OCD give both men a gritty earthiness that I loved. They were real, their lives were hard, Yani rarely seems to sleep, ...more
Leelah🍁♋️ Orion
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
When you don’t want a book to end. I was so loving being in their lives for the snippet we got to be. I absolutely adored both MC’s. Loved their relationship loved the way they both had patience with each other, and gave each other grace during the hard parts. The MC’s description of the type of anxiety he had was spot on me. And I loved how he lived with it. He didn’t try to cure it, just acknowledged he had it and lived his life with it the best way he could. Thank you for this.

The writing
Dec 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Way too shortGL writes so good, and this one should have been at least a 100 more pages, so much faded into black, and that I’m seriously not a fan of, thus the rating. These guys have such a beautiful strong story going on, and I feel I only touched the surface here.... ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
I feel bad for saying this, but this book was a real disappointment. It dragged, and it was a chore to finish, and the most interesting parts were about the food. I'm pretty sure it's just me, though. Most other people seemed to have enjoyed it just fine.
Andrea D
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Time and again it is amazing what Garrett Leigh is able to create...
Lillian Francis
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story. It's got a lovely Christmas vibe but it's not overly sweet. Set partially in a homeless shelter over Christmas it doesn't shy away from the reality of that situation, nor does it hide from the mental stresses of the MCs. But it didn't have the angst that can often be found in this author's books.

I love the way this author writes their MCs. Both guys have depth, and a past that makes them interesting. I loved Gavin especially.

Warning: Don't read when hungry. I craved gyros and
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Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer, cover artist, and book designer. Her debut novel, Slide,