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The Christmas Secret

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There’s no place like home for the holidays...

When her best friend comes home for the holidays, there is something different about him. Gracie Logan had been best friends with Harris since they were in junior high. Growing up, he had been the popular guy in town who all the women swooned over.

And she had been stuck in the friend category forever.

Keeping her lips sealed about her crush, she decided to continue being the one thing he needed most--a friend.

Harris Bates was home for the holidays. One look at Gracie and knew he could no longer fight what he had known for years.

She was the one for him.

Sparks began to fly, and they can’t ignore the intense attraction between them. Will they act on what is brewing between them? One thing they both knew was that nothing will ever be the same again.

The Christmas Secret is a steamy, holiday BWWM romance. For readers who love sexy, friends to lovers romance, this is for you. This novella is reserved for mature readers only.

57 pages, Kindle Edition

Published November 11, 2020

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About the author

Peyton Banks

51 books501 followers
USA TODAY Bestselling author Peyton Banks is the alter ego of a city girl who is a romantic at heart. Her mornings consist of coffee and daydreaming up the next steamy romance book ideas. She loves spinning romantic tales of hot alpha males and the women they love. She currently resides with her husband and children in Cleveland, Ohio.

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5 stars
164 (51%)
4 stars
90 (28%)
3 stars
55 (17%)
2 stars
9 (2%)
1 star
2 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 72 reviews
Profile Image for Marti (Letstalkaboutbooksbaybee).
1,339 reviews124 followers
November 28, 2020
I needed a short book for a reading challenge and I was in the Christmas spirit, what can I say?

This was only 57 pages long and a nice quick read about two childhood best friends who realize their feelings for each other....after he dresses as Santa and she sits on his lap 👀

I’d say there’s about 20% plot and 80% 🍆🍆🍆🍆 but I’m very okay with that.
Profile Image for Mary.
755 reviews3 followers
November 30, 2020
Merry Xmas to me 🥰

My favorite genres, IR and friends to lovers. Great book to start my holiday reads. Harris and Gracie were friends for about 20 years and realized at Christmas they were in love. Great novella and a must read.
Profile Image for Rosie.
1,285 reviews35 followers
December 24, 2022
As a rule, I don't read books under 100 pages! Only Peyton can get me to read a book with less than 60. Though friends to lover isn't my sweet spot, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It evoked the Spirit of Christmas and I loved the dynamics between the two families. The epilogue was a pleasure to read. Highly Recommended: Read It!

Read all her books, I have!
Profile Image for Samantha.
1,383 reviews24 followers
January 11, 2021
This was a fabulously steamy little holiday read. I really enjoyed these characters and their chemistry.
Profile Image for Chalice.
2,620 reviews77 followers
January 23, 2022
The couple: Harris and Gracie

Romance genre: friends to lovers
Length: 57 pages

Plot: Gracie and Harris have been neighbors and friends forever. They live in different cities now that they're grown but they're still best friends. When Harris comes home for the holidays, he realizes that it's Gracie he wants, so he sets about wooing her, much to the delight of their families and Gracie herself.

Commentary: This was a super sweet story with two friends who always loved each other but finally made it official. I liked seeing them finally come together and Harris's interactions with his mom over the "secret friend" he was bringing to her party were cute.

14 reviews
November 29, 2020
Oh, the heat is HOT, and the physical chemistry is captivating so be careful you may just get burned all the heat coming off these pages. There were some "oh no" "oh wow" " what the what" moments, shenanigans, intrigue, and suspense the good kind that makes you turn the page until there are no more to turn. Gracie and Harris have known each other all their lives but yet neither of them wanted to ruin the friendship to have something more so they remained just friends. Although Gracie was in love with Harris and Harris in love with her. Gracie was there to pull him out of some dark thoughts during his time in Afghanistan, always supported him in everything and vice versa but something was missing for them both. Well this Christmas will they figure out that they are a perfect match to each other?
Profile Image for Beverly McCall.
Author 3 books24 followers
January 4, 2022
The Christmas Secret is a delightful holiday romance by Peyton Banks. In it, readers meet Gracie Logan and Harris Bates. Gracie and Harris were high school friends. She was a cheer leader, and he was the football star. He joins the Marines. She remains friends with him and his family. They were attracted to each other, but, it seemed romance might fall into the realm of forbidden. Then he returns. Does the magic of Christmas work its charm? You must read this book to find out. Ms. Banks does with this second-chance romance. This is my first-time reading Ms. Banks’ works. I enjoyed her writing style and her multi-dimensional characters—both the leading and supportive. Gracie and Harris, as well as his mom and dad, are likeable. Ms. Bank’s dialog is outstanding. Her descriptive scenes drew me into the story making it seem as if I was a first-hand witness. This was a delightful read and a perfect way enjoy an evening in front of a fire.
2,830 reviews21 followers
November 27, 2020
Gracie goes with friend Ida and daughter Luna to see Santa and finds under the beard is crush Harris.
Gracie had agreed to go with her friend Ida when she takes her daughter Luna to see Santa. When they arrive they hear other saying that this years Santa has all the women wanting to sit on his lap. They queue waiting for Luna's turn to come watching as the other children tell Santa what they want this Christmas. Then it is Luna's turn to give her list and have her photo taken but as she walks back to Ida Santa get Gracie to come and sit on his lap when to her shock she realizes that longtime friend and secret crush Harris is behind the beard.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Bish I’m Reading .
702 reviews16 followers
December 9, 2020
Gracie and Harrison are best friends who both have hidden romantic feelings for each other. Gracie kept her feelings hidden due to her fear of losing their friendship while Harrison is having a hard time accepting that the “perfect” woman he’s been looking for is his best friend. 20 years later Harrison is home for the holidays and he decides to take their friendship to the next level. This is a cute low angst and no drama love story. I’m freaking blown that it took 20 years for them to actually make moves. Just wow! There is no miscommunication regarding them being together and their friendship made the transition to lovers much easier. With that being said, I felt their transition was rushed. I would have preferred a conversation between the couple expressing their love, the reason for hiding their feelings so long or expectations moving forward rather than seeing them rush to have sex all weekend. Overall, it was a short feel good Christmas story, I just needed that pivotal conversation in lieu of sex.
172 reviews
November 15, 2020
Great short story

Gracie has been in love with her friend Harris since Junior High School but never made a move to tell him because she didn’t want to risk losing her friend. She would rather have him in her life as a friend than nothing at all.
Harris has also secretly had real feelings for his best friend Gracie but didn’t know or want to admit to himself what he was feeling towards Gracie.
Twenty years later Harris finally wakes up and realizing that the woman he’s been looking for is none other than his friend Gracie and he’s done not having her in his life as just a friend his making her his woman.
348 reviews5 followers
November 15, 2020
Sweet and Steamy!

This was a super quick read but still very good. Gracie and Harris have been friends for a long time, they grew up together. Gracie has long been attracted to Harris but doesn't think he feels the same. Harris has been dating trying to find the right one but the women never feel right. Of course it's because Gracie is the one. I especially loved this book because there was no miscommunication or skating around their attraction to each other. It's sweet, steamy, and straight to the point.
Profile Image for Amy.
2,283 reviews20 followers
November 27, 2020
The Christmas Secret by Peyton Banks was an amazing Christmas read sure to get you ready for the holidays. Best friends since high school, Harris and Gracie finally realize what has been missing from their lives. When Harris comes home for Christmas, he begins to see his friend Gracie Logan as more than his best friend. Has Gracie been a good girl or a bad girl this year? Will Santa bring her what she wants this year? Hoping Drew will get his own story. Great story with amazing secondary characters.
2,249 reviews16 followers
November 29, 2020
Gracie has loved Harris forever. Harris is bestfriends with Gracie. Harris is home for the holiday and has found what he was looking for in his bestfriend Gracie. Gracie is in the friends zone. Are they willing to take a chance since they feel the same things. This is a short sweet holiday friends to lovers type story. I was totally engrossed in the story and the characters. What a great holiday happy romance.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Jadine.
747 reviews
December 13, 2022
I feel like the story was logical for Gracie as she's been in love with Harris forever, but for him to have just figured out that he loves her as more than a friend this moved too far for him. Condoms were mentioned once and then blatantly not mentioned during sex later so I'm not surprised she ended up pregnant from that encounter. The proposal was a step way too far for me. They haven't even talked yet! He doesn't even live in the same place as her! There seems like a lot of discussions should happen before a proposal, they just started dating!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Cherryl.
1,662 reviews1 follower
December 30, 2022
These such a cute story

Everyone knew they belonged together except them. They both suppressed their feelings for each other because they did not want to ruin that friendship. After all, they were BFFs. They were both seeking partners that best showed traits like the other to no avail. Why settle for a person who was like the person you already loved? This Christmas was different. Why look for the love of your life when you already had them? Gracie Logan and Harris Bates were made for each other.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
2,806 reviews29 followers
November 24, 2020
A short, funny & sexy read about life long friends that have deep-seated feelings for each other but are too scared to give into them in case they spoil their friendship. I really liked Gracie (FMC) and Harris. They were genuinely sweet together and everyone around them made it a heartwarming read. A book about family and love. A good read
154 reviews1 follower
November 27, 2020
Gracie and Harris had been friends for twenty years . Both harboured feelings for each other but didn't act on those feelings until Harris returned home for Christmas. I liked this story. There was no angst, no drama just a feel-good read with likeable, believable characters. A perfect holiday read!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Scarolet Ellis.
7,445 reviews47 followers
December 17, 2020
The Christmas Secret by Ariel Marie is a very loveable Holiday romance story to read. I have never read anything by this author till now and I really loved it and will continue to read their books. I highly recommend this story to everyone who loves reading about small town, holiday and contemporary romance.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Erotic Empty Nester.
8 reviews3 followers
December 31, 2020
Gracie and Harris have been best friends since middle school and have been there for each other through everything. Getting to witness them acknowledge how they felt about each other was steamy and sweet all at the same time.
This is my first time reading Peyton Banks, and I felt like it was a good introduction to her style. Looking forward to reading a full length novel by her now!
January 19, 2021
Good Book

Great story .. it was perfectly written love story .
I’m happy for Gracie and Harris to finally follow their hearts .and Harris came back to town and wifed her . They already had their parents approval long ago. Which is a great thing . It’s about finding your love and add peace and Happiness l
6,576 reviews33 followers
January 30, 2021
A well written, fast pace, and engaging friends-to-lovers romance! The storyline is well though-out, well developed, passionate, relatable, and enjoyable. Likeable characters; their chemistry is undeniable and off the charts. Definitely recommended!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
271 reviews
February 4, 2021
The Christmas secret

This was an interesting romance story. Harris and Gracie was next door neighbors who had a crush on each other but remain friends. The novel contains intrigue, dreams, hope, friendship, and allowing love to prevail. I will be recommending this book to everyone I know!!!
Profile Image for cynthea carbon.
182 reviews2 followers
April 20, 2021
I love the way Gracie thought Harris was just a friend and she keeps her crush to herself not knowing Harris was thinking about her the same way until he dressed up as Santa and he felt the way his and her feelings are for each other than when he drop off apples for her to make pies for his mother that they act on their feeling and realize they wanted each other.
Profile Image for MichelleVeiga.
199 reviews
May 15, 2022
Naughty Santa!

Harris & Gracie have known each other almost all their lives. He has been her knight in shining armor since school. However they each have a secret. They each care for each other but have never dated. Join them this Christmas as they both get what they wish for. Enjoy. 🥰⛄🎄🎅🏻💞
Profile Image for Bertha Johnson.
97 reviews2 followers
November 20, 2020
Just Love Christmas Story!!!

This was such a cute story. Love happy endings. This story did not leave anything out. Harris and Gracie’s story was the best Christmas Novella that I read in a long time.
Profile Image for Betty.
386 reviews
November 23, 2020
Most everyone they knew had already guessed their secret!

Harris and Gracie! Gracie and Harris! Best Friends! Then Lovers! Now Married! Then a Baby Boy! What an amazing Christmas! Enjoyed the Romantic Episode! 😘
641 reviews1 follower
November 23, 2020
Great book!

This was great story with a entertaining storyline. I loved the chemistry between Harris and Gracie. I highly recommend it. You will love it and will not want to put it down until you finish it.
Profile Image for Marianela Aybar (Mari Loves Books Blog).
7,757 reviews156 followers
November 28, 2020
I love friends to lovers romance and this one sucked me in. I loved Grace and Harris. When they see each other on the holidays, sparks fly and I was glad to see them give in to their attraction. It's a great holiday romance that will have you smiling and swooning.
Profile Image for Vivian Chrisman.
2,773 reviews4 followers
November 28, 2020
Holiday Romance

Gracie and Harris have been friends since school. This Christmas something feels different. Have the two finally realized what has been there all along? Lovely Christmas love story.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
5,892 reviews29 followers
November 29, 2020
A quick and fun read. A great holiday themed story. The story is easy to read, the characters are likeable and have great chemistry. A great book just before bed or on a break.

I am voluntarily leaving a review.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 72 reviews

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