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Secret Santa

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  757 ratings  ·  173 reviews
Length: 3 hours 44 minutes

Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship...

Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son there aren’t many hours left over. He’s lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn’t mention that he has a c
Audible Audio, 4 pages
Published December 14th 2020 by Jaybird Press (first published November 24th 2017)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  757 ratings  ·  173 reviews

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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

- drama

- Big Misunderstanding

- reindeer games


- two guys hoping to find more than a quick shag through a hookup app

- cute kid

- candy cane dildo

Santa likes the naughty boys too, and Luke has high hopes for the Geeky Guy he meets on Grindr.

When Luke realizes Theo is keeping a secret, he decides to let Theo tell him when he's ready. Unfortunately, small deceptions spiral out of control, and Santa is outed by a dinosaur!

Never fear! Open communication & honesty save the day. *gasps* You don'
☆ Todd

This one started out pretty slow for me, as the guys kept lying by omission or flat out telling one another untruths.

Once they finally had their "coming clean" chat in the park, after the truth was out and the trust repaired, I enjoyed the story much more.

Theo was a 29 y.o. IT geek at the Apple store in the mall, but also the father of 4 y.o. Archie. We were told that Archie was "the result of a drunken experiment between two friends," but I *reaaaaaaally* wanted more details there, since there'
Tanu Gill
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a cute short story. Theo and Luke were your regular characters, no millionaires or princes or hermits, just regular characters who wanted a chance to date and tried to find a dateable guy on Grindr. The chemistry they had just sparked, and we had a surprisingly articulate and well-spoken Archie! Had fun while reading it.
Jay Northcote
Nov 06, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
My Christmas themed book for the holiday season this year. Coming soonish :)


This is a cute sweet Christmas read about two men meeting on Grindr both looking for more than just a quick hookup but they discover dating is harder than they expected.
Luke is lonely and wants more so when he meets Theo on Grindr he’s excited. Theo has a young son Archie but he wants someone special in his life, could Luke be that someone?
These two are both nice guys but lies and omissions could shatter the relationship before it really gets going.

I liked both Luke and Theo but I loved Arch
Virginia Cavanillas
A very nice read. Very realistic and sweet.

Theo and Luke, two characters with secrets, looking for that special person meant to be the one. That's what we have here, a drama free Christmas tale of two guys falling in love and trying to fit in each other's life.

Jay Northcote delivers a story that felt very real, they felt very real. Ordinary guys, with normal lives and everyday problems. Two sweet men with average jobs, troubles in the dating game and some secrets.
Don't you worry because those se
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
3.5 Stars!

I thought this was pretty cute, despite the over abundance of miscommunication. Or just plain lack of communication.

I thought Luke was a bit of a douche at first, but I warmed to him by the end.

Not bad for my first holiday read of the season.
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some authors who you can rely on for a good festive story no matter what and Jay is one of those.

His latest offering has a bit more of a twist to it than the usual with each of the protagonists hiding something from the other. It's not unnecessary angst for the sake of drama though.

It felt totally believable that Theo wouldn't want to mention his son Archie on a first date and that Luke would be embarrassed to admit he'd seen them while playing Santa.

And, speaking off children, Archie
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas, lgbtq, ku
*3,5 stars*

Luke and Theo are cute, individually and together. They are both genuine guys and the way they meet felt quite realistic - self doubts and all. Although I maybe didn't feel the earth move between them, they were sweet, hot and very 'normal' (in the best sense, I assure you)
The 'angsty bit' caused very minor palpitations and was resolved in an eye-blink - which - I guess - is deliberate and fitting, considering it's a Christmas novella.

A pleasant read!
4 Stars

I enjoyed this Christmassy M/M romance a good deal — probably more than I was expecting, if I’m being quite honest.

Theo and Luke meet on Grindr, both men looking for something deeper and more long-lasting than your average Grindr hook-up. When they get chatting and realise that their immediate relationship goals align, they decide to plan a date, seeing as how they live quite close to one another and seem to have enough in common to give the face-to-face thing a crack.

Problem is, both men
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, arcs
3.5 stars.
3.5 Stars

Secret Santa conjures images of mistletoe, presents, and being merry -- ho ho ho!!! Jay Northcote gifts us all with a low angst Christmas story about getting a boyfriend for Christmas. The holiday just wouldn't be same without Jay's style of feel-good cheer!

Luke and Theo both have secrets. Not huge secrets, but it's enough to make things awkward for a bit there once things are in the open.

You see, Theo is a single dad. He co-parents with his friend Caroline, and has his son, Archie, fo
3.5 Stars
A lovely secret Santa story. I think my favorite part of the story was the magic of Christmas spirit, sometimes I forget what it's like to have small children, Christmas is so much fun to watch through them.
Denise H.
*** If you haven't read a book by this amazing author, you are missing out !
A sweet British Christmas romance ! Our two men are looking for more than a hook up.
Theo, 29, IT Specialist,

has a 4 yr. old son, Archie, that he shares custody with Caroline. But Theo gets lonely and searches for a long term relationship.
Luke, 29, is filling in as a mall Santa

until his permanent pharmacy job begins. He too would like a steady boyfriend.
They meet online and set up to meet for coffee, but the first
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He's making a list...checking it twice...

Theo’s a single dad who really doesn’t have time for relationships between sharing parenting duties with his son’s mom and working as any parent especially any single parent knows there isn’t a lot of time left in the day…mind you that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t like a relationship, but Theo’s not a hook-up kind of guy and it’s hard to find someone who wants a relationship when you’ve got a 4 year old, so when he starts chatting on-line with a guy

Because this is a holiday season and it started well, and Jay Northcote is one of those authors who can write the best holiday stories. When Jay offered me this book, my hands were eagerly grab Theo and Luke's story.
This time, it's about family time!

My heart did some tug of war every time Luke or Theo met and still cannot revealed their secrets to each other. I know it's silly, but also very reasonable. While Theo wanted to 'see; where their relationship leads before he could open his secret, Lu
Nov 27, 2017 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 52%

Jay Northcote's book are more miss than hit lately. For some reason the writing feels different these days. Or I am different, I don't know.

I've had the same problem with the last couple of books of him. The dialogue feels so strained. It doesn't flow nicely. Even the texting felt super awkward and not at all like the two MCs had a lot of (online) chemistry.

Get Lucky: Thanks. You’re hot.
Geek Guy: Sorry it took a while. I got distracted. And thanks. You’re hot too.

This made me crin
Lyndy Ann ♫
Secret Santa is a wonderful Christmas love story of how a cute little boy and a Santa costume brings two lonely guys together at Christmas.

I really liked Luke and Theo they are getting to know each other but they are both lying, what will happen when the truths are revealed?

Little Archie is so cute, every Christmas story needs a cute little child.

This is a fun sexy Christmas read my first of 2017 and my promise for 2028 is to read more Jay Northcote.

Normally I stay away from holiday romance stories because of the fast pace and how quickly the relationship progresses. This time though I decided to make an exception and try "Secret Santa" and I'm so glad that I did!

The relationship between Luke and Theo was believable and there was no insta-love, which is one of my biggest niggles along with ista-relationship when I'm reading a romance story. In this short,Christmas story the two characters meet online and decide to try a date and see if it w
Liam Elliot
God, dating is awkward.

And here's a book that perfectly captures that whole does he like me, why didn't he message me, self-conscious torture one engages in during the early days of seeing someone you like.

To be clear, that's not really a point in this book's favor, because I hate that part. It's the worst.

Then there's the question of When To Tell The Guy You're Seeing About The Dealbreakers. Dealbreakers. It's the shit you have that when people find out about it they ghost you. Kids are pretty
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holiday-romance
3.5 stars

This was a cute holiday romance but I didn't love it. In the past, I've liked many of Jay's books partly because they are often about ordinary guys in real life. Recently, though, I've found the characters in his books to be almost too ordinary, kinda boring in fact. In Secret Santa, I didn't find anything terribly witty or interesting in the early texts and communications between the two guys, but there is lots of awkwardness. I guess I didn't really feel too much of a connection to th
DNF at 30%
This book is just not clicking with me. I just can't relate to any of the characters. Maybe I will try it again next year.

3.75 stars rounded up

Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship

Single father Theo has no time to date between his own job and taking care of his four-year-old, Archie. He then tries the land of dating app and starts chatting with a guy called Luke. On their early conversation, Luke makes a comment that he is not too fond of kids. Theo doesn't know what to do with this, because him and Archie is a package deal. So Theo decides not to mention about his son until he is sure about L
Dec 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
Book Reaction:
Rating: 3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

Thank you to Signal Boost Promotions and Audible for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: oh-so-british
I always look forward to Northcote's annual holiday novella. I have faith it will be an enjoyable read and make me happy. This year was not a disappointment. White Christmas and white lies are not the best combination but Theo and Luke connect through an online dating service and have a few hiccups early on. It wasn't intentional. One of those unfortunate information omissions that began the trickle effect of misgivings. But as we know, one lie leads to another and then another...and the molehil ...more
Super cute Christmas story.
Funzee Shu
The secrets between them loomed, seemingly insurmountable. Luke wanted to fix things and make it right, but he didn’t know how.
Theo only knew about his own dishonesty. He didn’t know about Luke’s.

Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship...


Yup! Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship!

I couldn't agree more!

And that what makes this Christmas Novella had successfully grip me since the very first page to the very last.

The author 'cruelly' put the reader
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm always happy when i get a new Jay Northcote read on my kindle, he writes stories that are about real life, no big angsty drama. He always gives me the feels of, as if i was sat having a cup of tea with a friend and their telling me whats been happening in their life.

Christmas reads should be lighthearted fun reads and thats what we got. It was a little different to the normal friends to lovers. Theo and Luke contact each other through a social app. Both looking for more than just a hook up t
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first part of a relationship is always the hardest. Theo and Luke both want the same thing, a solid relationship, but that is hard to do when they hold back a large part of their lives from each other. Yes, I understand that they are getting to know each other, but the attraction is there from their first conversation, so the miscommunication that follows is at times, a little frustrating.

But the book comes down to just that, attraction. Theo has a son, and Archie is the sweetest, smartest c
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Jay Books, they're so refreshing, and down to earth, about English characters in good old England!

The tale is nicely written and is totally Jay Northcote's style, which I love and totally enjoy. It's a little different to the usual friends to lovers, Christmas books; it's done believably, with decent characters, Theo and Luke, who fall into a relationship based on lies. That's not actually as dramatic as it sounds, there's no real angst in this, just some basic misunderstandings. There's
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I don't hang out on Goodreads much, so if you'd like to connect with me then Twitter, Facebook or an email is usually best :) All my contact details are on my website.

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website c

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