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Mason attempts to bake gluten-free cookies for their crush and college classmate, Natalie. When the baking goes very wrong, can Mason still win Natalie’s heart?

This low stakes story includes holiday baking, two people pining, rain-soaked admissions from hopeless romantics, some wholesome smut and a 100% nonbinary trans cast.

44 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 1, 2020

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Eli Wray

9 books13 followers

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5 stars
26 (30%)
4 stars
39 (46%)
3 stars
17 (20%)
2 stars
2 (2%)
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0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,625 reviews5,070 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
December 10, 2021
I decided to go ahead and DNF this one at the 50% mark because it really wasn't for me, but it's also not a book I feel right about giving a negative rating because I'm sure it's going to make a lot of people very happy! It's so sugary sweet, so over the top with fluff and cuteness, that I felt like I was inside the heads of the two most wholesome, innocent people of all time... and again, while that's going to work very well for a LOT of readers, I was very bored and not having a lot of fun. As a queer woman, I love seeing happy queers, but I think I'm a little too dry and cynical to enjoy this level of fluff anymore. Ah, well. It's a cute story and I'm happy it exists, even if I'm not the right audience!

Representation: both characters are non-binary/trans

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Profile Image for Althea.
420 reviews139 followers
December 15, 2020
Everything about this novella is just one giant yes!!!!!! I cannot put into words how much I enjoyed and appreciated Mason and Natalie's story and I'm diverging from my 12 Days of Queermas TBR to buy and read the next two novellas immediately!!

Read for the 12 Days of Queermas Readathon!
Profile Image for theresa.
286 reviews4,283 followers
December 24, 2022
i hadn't read anything festive yet this year so this novelette was a great christmas eve fix!! the writing style wasn't my favourite but it was a very sweet story!
Profile Image for Anniek.
1,711 reviews627 followers
November 8, 2020
Oh my god I'm literally grinning like a dork over here thinking about what I've just read. Wow. Okay. So. This was absolutely delightful and such a fluffy Christmas novella, and I think I may have just found a new favourite author.

This novella really reminded me of Xan West's books, which you know I love, because they had the same kindness and the same joy and the same care. I absolutely adore that because it's something I really crave. Seeing so much trans joy just makes me so happy and it makes me feel like I get to be happy too.

This book also meant two firsts for me: my first book where the person using they/them pronouns is writting from third person POV, meaning you see A LOT of their pronouns. I often get the impression that authors and/or publishers shy away from this and I think it does so much in terms of normalization and acceptance to just embrace it and go for it.

The second first is that I don't think I've previously read a romance between two non-binary characters, which was just absolutely amazing. The book might be short but it really shows how there's many ways to be non-binary - one of them uses they/them pronouns and one of them uses she/her pronouns, for instance.

So yeah, read this for so much trans joy! I found it really empowering and heartwarming and just super loveable. Can't wait to read more from this author!!
Profile Image for lauraღ.
1,398 reviews58 followers
December 18, 2020
Mason didn't feel that pressure to feel right about themselves. They just existed. Seen. Next to Natalie.
I loved this so much! A sweet and very tender friends to lovers holiday short where everyone is trans and nothing hurts. I loved the premise, (baking as hapless seduction needs to be a thing in more romances) and mutual pining is adorable. They were both so INTO each other and it was so good. 

We need more books like this!!
Profile Image for S.
201 reviews15 followers
December 18, 2020
Appropriately named, this is a short novella that's very cute and sweet but has a little bit of spice to make things interesting.

Loved the non-binary and trans character representation and their foray into liking each other.
Profile Image for Bee.
110 reviews12 followers
December 22, 2020
This was so sweet and warm and SAFE. Just two really really cute queers that want to make each other feel seen and loved.
Profile Image for Laura.
1,687 reviews46 followers
October 4, 2020
Sweet and soft

This book feels like a warm hug in the best way. I love seeing books with trans joy and the mutual pining between Mason and Natalie is so cute. So many moments of squee!
Profile Image for A.E. Bross.
Author 7 books38 followers
December 22, 2021
I had actually picked this up last year and am finally getting to it, and I'm so glad I did. A light, low-stakes bit of nonbinary & trans romantic fluff was just what I needed as Xmas draws ever nearer.

This was a quick, fun read, with low to medium heat and all the feels. These two characters that are surprisingly fleshed out given how short the text is. Mason (they/them) is adorable, thoughtful, and wants nothing more than to give a gift to Natalie. Unbeknownst to them, Natalie (she/her) has a bit of a bit of a thing for them as well. What follows is a glorious queer story with many cute moments, a few awkward moments, some utterly beautiful moments of clarity, and (most importantly) COOKIES!
Profile Image for Anna.
1,272 reviews223 followers
December 12, 2021
This is the first in the A Very Enby Christmas series and it was my favorite of the three. It is centered around baking which obviously is my jam. Mason just wants to make a gluten-free cookies for their crush Natalie but their cookies don't quite turn out. In a rush to get Natalie to help them, Mason says they're for someone else which leads to a day of gluten free baking and a little bit of misunderstanding but ultimately a happily ever after. This book is cute it's soft and fluffy and full of queer Christmas joy. Mason is non binary and uses they them and Natalie is trans and uses she her.

If you struggle with explicit sex scenes, this is the book to read of Eli Wray's. It does have one small explicit scene that includes hand to genital contact but it is over quite quickly and could easily be skimmed.
Profile Image for Ana.
368 reviews6 followers
December 21, 2022
Super cute little t4t winter romance! The characters are both extremely mushy about each other. There was something really cute and down to earth about the sex in this book. It was really cozy and comfy and affectionate without being overwhelmingly SIGNIFICANT and MEANINGFUL in that way you sometimes get in romance and that can feel really uncomfortable.

Plus, now I want cookies XD
Profile Image for Ceillie Simkiss.
Author 9 books89 followers
October 5, 2020
Sweet and Beautiful

I picked this up on a whim and it is literally a balm to my soul. I highly recommend it
Profile Image for Emmalita.
508 reviews35 followers
December 12, 2020
This was a sweet little story. Like Mason, food is my language of love. They are trying to bake gluten free cookies for their classmate Natalie as a way of wooing her. She arrives as the most recent unsuccessful attempt is coming out of the oven. Seeing Mason's distress, Natalie offers to help them bake cookies the net day, not realizing that she is the intended recipient.

For a very short story, it is packed with pining, emotional revelations, and beauty. I am diving into the next two stories. I can't wait to read more Eli Wray.

Profile Image for Leigh Kramer.
Author 1 book1,166 followers
December 12, 2020
This was such a cute short story! Mason wants to their their shot before Natalie leaves on Christmas break and decides baking gluten-free cookies for the first time is the way to go. Of course, baking doesn’t go well but it does get Natalie to agree to come over and teach them how to bake. They were both so nervous and excited and questioning whether they were reading the signals right. It was incredibly sweet. Some of their conversation felt a bit over my head but that’s okay. I read this with a smile on my face.

Character notes: Mason and Natalie are both nonbinary college students—Mason uses they/them and Natalie uses she/her.

CW: references to misgendering
3 reviews
October 3, 2020
I thought that this was adorable! There's mutual pining the start of the book, great for those readers who love to do the book equivalent of gleefully shouting at the TV screen, and the resolution was good and cute, and then the rest of the book is just this lovely slow, soft exploration of what it's like to just Be with each other. The sex scene was hot and yet full of emotion!! It's definitely a real "cookie" of a book, lol, quick but feel-good. I'll read the upcoming short stories too, I'm sure.
Profile Image for 'Nathan Burgoine.
Author 55 books409 followers
November 20, 2020
Okay, this story basically wins the award for adorable awkwardness for the year. Everyone else can go home. Good game, good game.

(Full review up at my blog for Short Stories 366 here).
Profile Image for Em.
495 reviews11 followers
December 20, 2020
Real cute, very fluffy romance short story featuring two trans non binary people (I tagged f/x and x/x because one uses she/her pronouns but is non binary). The idea that gluten free Natalie sees her crush Mason baking gluten free cookies "for someone" and doesn't immediately at least hope that they are for her is a bit silly, but I can let that go for such a positive little piece of fiction. NB the Christmas is not particularly central in the book, if you do or don't want a lot of holiday in your romance.
Profile Image for Gabriel.
17 reviews8 followers
September 20, 2020
Okay, I've never read romance before. I tried, but the heavy gendering made me ill. This, though? This was amazing. I was laughing out loud at the cuteness and sweetness. And oh yeah, the sex was SO HOT while effortlessly centering consent. And both characters are trans! Buy it! (An advance copy was provided by the author in exchange for feedback.)
Profile Image for Kris Alice.
19 reviews
November 19, 2020
I’ve been meaning to read a romance with trans and nonbinary characters for months. I came across this one by chance. I was intrigued by the cover, the title, and the blurb. It being a debut release and available on KU made it an easy pick. And I like it. It’s sweet, soft, and joyful. Looking forward to the next book in the series, "The First Noel".
Profile Image for Megan.
1,081 reviews63 followers
December 18, 2020
This is just so crush-y, it's hard not to call it adorable, so I'm just going to say it: it's adorable. There's the sugar-high joy of enjoying the presence of someone you're crushing on, and the even sweeter, deeper joy of shared, contagious happiness. Especially recommended to readers who appreciate clear communication around sex and comfort.
Profile Image for Eli Wray.
Author 9 books13 followers
November 15, 2021
Two cinnamon rolls make holiday cookies in the first novelette in my Christmas series! If you haven't noticed yet, my series leads start in their twenties, and each successive book in the series has leads about a decade older. So here, Mason and Natalie are college kids finding their way to first love. I hope you enjoy it!
Profile Image for Littlebookterror.
1,650 reviews56 followers
December 26, 2021
Very sweet (and gluten-free).
My favourite part was definitely how they both continued to communicate during the sex scene, asking questions and making sure the other one was also comfortable. There was no mindreading and innate understanding of someone's pleasure, which is just nice to read sometimes.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
1,214 reviews107 followers
November 7, 2022
Short romance with NB characters, which was nice. Not really for me, though - this was low-stakes to the point that I had trouble getting particularly invested. If you're up for really, really low stakes (we're talking "does my college crush like me back?" where the answer is immediately "yes" with no complications), you might like better.
Profile Image for Kara.
Author 24 books73 followers
October 30, 2020

A sweet, sexy story of two people who have walked away from heteronormative structures and - surprise - love is still love. Gluten-free baking as a metaphor for finding new ways to define your sexuality and gender worked very well here!
1 review
December 23, 2020
Inclusive love

This was such a happy Christmas romance! I loved the silly cookie mess-ups, the wholesome nervousness of a new relationship, and especially the open communication between Mason and Natalie. I couldn’t have asked for more in a Christmas story.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews

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